William and Marianne Claridge purchased Mivart’s Hotel as a single house at 51 Brook Street and promptly renamed it Claridge’s, late Mivart’s. In 1854 they buy the adjoining five buildings and Claridge’s opens in its own right in 1856.
As Claridge's reputation grows, it becomes the London residence of Empress Eugenie prompting regular visits from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and soon becomes a favourite of heads of state and royalty throughout Europe.
Bought in 1893 by Richard D'Oyly Carte, owner of the Savoy, the hotel is promptly closed to allow a significant re-design led by the architect responsible for Harrods and re-opens in 1898.
In the vibrant years after the end of the First World War, the bright young things of London make Claridge's their place to party and the ballroom echoes to the sounds of jazz and the steps of the Charleston. Eighty new rooms are added to the hotel, a stunning ballroom and an art deco lobby.
Claridge's reputation as a haven for dignitaries is enhanced when many exiled heads of state use it as a refuge during the Second World War. The Kings of Greece, Norway and Yugoslavia remain there for the duration. Indeed, at the request of Winston Churchill, suite 212 is declared Yugoslavian territory so that Crown Prince Alexander II can be born on his own country's soil.
Winston Churchill even seeks his own solace at Claridge’s in 1945 following his election defeat.
From the 1950s onwards, the fashion crowd and Hollywood stars begin to adopt Claridge's as their London residence. Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Yul Brynner and Bing Crosby all check in and Spencer Tracy announces he'd rather go to Claridge's than to heaven when he dies.
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is soon commissioned by Claridge’s to design a suite marking the beginning of a long line of designers, from Dolce & Gabbana to Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin, who have lent their creative flair to Claridge’s over the ensuing years through the world-famous Claridge’s Christmas tree.
Following restoration in the 1990s, Claridge’s welcomes Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, The Foyer & Reading Room, The Fumoir and Claridge’s Bar.
In the new millennium Claridge’s hosts Kate Moss’ 30th birthday, Jade Jagger and Lulu Guinness become regular guests, David Downton is named fashion artist-in-residence and David Linley completes his 25 Linley Suites.
In 2019 Davies and Brook launches at Claridge’s as Chef Daniel Humm’s much-anticipated first restaurant outside of the US, replacing Fera by Simon Rogan, and bringing with it the inimitable style and flavour combinations made popular by Eleven Madison Park in New York.