The Connaught (hotel)
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|Location||Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Owner||Maybourne Hotel Group|
|Number of rooms||121|
|Number of restaurants||2|
The hotel first opened in 1815 as the Prince of Saxe Coburg Hotel, an offshoot of a hotel opened by Alexander Grillon in Albemarle Street, Mayfair, and was originally a pair of Georgian houses in Charles Street, near Grosvenor Square. The 1st Duke of Westminster decided to redevelop the area, and the street was changed, becoming Carlos Place. In 1892 Scorrier, the owner, applied to rebuild the hotel, although work did not start until two years later, when the original houses were demolished.
In 1897 the Coburg Hotel was reopened. In 1917 during the First World War, the decision was made to change the name to the less-German "Connaught". The name chosen was taken from the title of Queen Victoria's third son, Prince Arthur, the first Duke of Connaught.
In 1935 Rudolph Richard, a young Swiss hotelier, became general manager of The Connaught and ran the hotel almost as an English private house, with the highest standards of comfort and service. In 1956 The Connaught was acquired by the Savoy Group, owners of Claridge's, The Berkeley and the Savoy Hotel in London. In 2005 the Savoy Group, including The Connaught, was sold to Quinlan Private, which sold off the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre and renamed the group Maybourne Hotel Group.
In March 2007 The Connaught closed for a £70 million restoration programme, described as a "contemporary interpretation". Guy Oliver was the lead designer of the restoration, refurbishment and redecoration of the old hotel, completing a total of 88 rooms and suites (including The Prince's Lodge, The Eagles Lodge and The Sutherland and Somerset Suites) as well as the restoration and redecoration of the main staircase, new lifts, concierge and public areas, L'Espelette Restaurant and The Georgian and Regency Rooms. Immediately after this work was completed he designed a further 31 rooms and suites in the new addition to the hotel, a terrace penthouse, and all of the public spaces and function rooms, including the Ballroom, Maple Oak and Silver Rooms. The Maybourne Hotel Group stated that they intended to preserve the traditional values for which the hotel is famous. Chef Angela Hartnett was replaced by French chef Hélène Darroze.
The hotel reopened in December 2007 with fewer rooms than usually available; development continued throughout 2008 when The Connaught Bar, designed by David Collins, opened. The hotel also has a swimming pool and Asian-inspired spa managed in conjunction with Aman Resorts. Other changes include a new Espelette Restaurant, with a covered terrace, and the Coburg Bar, managed by Andreas Cortes. The Connaught Bar is run by mixologist Agostino Perrone, which has received several international awards including World's Best Cocktail Bar at the coveted Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in both 2012 and 2016, the only bar in the world to have won it twice.
- Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince, London 2010, Frommer's, New York City: John Wiley & Sons, 2011, p. 140 
- 'Mount Street and Carlos Place: Mount Street: North Side', Survey of London: volume 40: The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings) (1980), pp. 321-326. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42158 Date accessed: 17 July 2010.
- Walsh, Dominic. "Savoy Group changes name after deal", The Times, 25 January 2005
- "The Connaught Bar". 14 August 2008.
- Eastmond, Dean. "IN Pursuit of the Perfect Martini: Welcome to the Connaught". Hiskind. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- The Connaught website
- Architect's summary of recent work
- A history of The Connaught by cosmopolis.ch
- [http://www.india-mahdavi.com/33/projects/bars-restaurants/at-the-connaught.html French-Indian interior architect India Mahdavi
designed major parts of the hotel]