At the hub of Mayfair Village since the early part of the 19th century, The Connaught has evolved into a hotel where all the desires of the modern traveller are fulfilled, but the charm and refined elegance remain unchanged.
WHERE IT ALL BEGINS
In 1815, what is now known as The Connaught first opened as The Prince of Saxe-Coburg Hotel, an offshoot of Grillion’s Hotel known colloquially as The Coburg.
It wasn’t until 1892 that the owners began the ambitious process of rebuilding the two houses which made up The Coburg, under the direction of Sir John Blundell Maple. Just five years later the new Coburg Hotel opens in 1897 and the structure remains largely the same today.
THE WAR YEARS
During the First World War the name of the hotel is deemed to sound German-allied and so the directors of the hotel rename it The Connaught in reference to Queen Victoria’s seventh child Arthur, later Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
In the Second World War French President General Charles de Gaulle becomes a permanent resident at the hotel where it is said he met with allied commanders nearby to discuss strategy and plan the D-Day landings.
In 1955 The Grill Room opened its doors and soon established itself as a destination dining spot in London.
20 years later Michel Bourdin becomes Head Chef at The Connaught and, during his ensuing 26 years at the helm, furthers the hotel’s reputation for culinary masterpieces with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother even visiting the hotel to open the new kitchens in 1992.
Then, in 2002 Angela Hartnett opens her eponymous restaurant at The Connaught serving inspired Italian dishes and is promptly awarded a Michelin star within two years.
IN WITH THE NEW
2007 saw The Connaught re-open after a £70 million restoration and refurbishment including a new wing, the Aman Spa, a serene Japanese garden and David Collins’ luxurious Apartment suite.
The following year Hélène Darroze brings her Michelin-starred cuisine to The Connaught, with her signature solitaire board menu which earns her a second Michelin star.
Then in 2009 Guy Oliver designs a new ballroom, the first to be built in Mayfair for over 80 years, with a 1930s art deco feel.
The last decade has seen a wealth of arrivals and accolades for The Connaught with the Connaught Bar becoming World’s Best Hotel Bar in 2010, and more recently the 2019 Best Bar in Europe.
Renowned New York-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened his eponymous restaurant at The Connaught, overlooking Mount Street in a relaxed, contemporary space designed by John Heah.
Now The Connaught Grill has returned, also under the direction of Vongerichten, with a respectful nod its roots but a contemporary focus on craftsmanship.