Strand Palace Hotel


Europe, United Kingdom, London

The Strand Palace Hotel is a large hotel on the north side of the Strand, London, England, positioned between Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and the River Thames. It was built after Exeter Hall was demolished in 1907. It opened in 1909 and was refurbished in the Art Deco style during the 1930s, but has now been modernised. In the 1920's, Lyons and Co bought the adjoining Haxells family hotel in order to expand and improve the Strand hotel. After extensive redevelopment, the hotel became an art deco showcase, and re-opened in 1928 boasting 980 bedrooms. The same year, some not so prominent changes were being made behind the scenes. Two second-hand coal-fired steam boilers, salvaged from World War 1 battleships, were installed in the boiler house. The grand entrance to the hotel was the talk of the town and bettered those of our more prestigious competitors the Savoy and Claridges. The rear of the property was occupied by the Winter Garden Restaurant, which is now the Mask Bar, Lounge Bar and Reception area. The Winter Garden restaurant had a large dome ceiling and could seat over 500 guests, which were served by over 100 staff. Due to its large number of bedrooms, the hotel became popular with the American forces before they were sent into action. Indeed, the hotel was in fact commissioned as an official U.S rest and recuperation residence. Once again the Hotel became an important social venue as Londoners and war-weary soldiers jived and jitterbugged long into the night. Over the years, many of these service personnel have returned to relive memories, and today their families and relatives still visit the Strand. The post-war era saw the Strand Palace Hotel implement a number of improvements. With the introduction of private bathrooms in all guest rooms in 1958, reducing the number of rooms at the hotel to 786. The increased number of bathroom facilities meant oil-fired boilers had to be installed to cope with the demand for hot water. In 1968, the front hall and ground floor restaurants, including the Winter Garden were re-designed, and the first computerised billing system in London was installed. The revolving doors designed by Oliver P. Bernard at the main entrance were no longer classed 'fashionable', but were of such fine quality and historic interest that they were given to the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1976 Forte bought the lease for the Strand Palace Hotel from the Lyons Hotel Group. Over the next 10 years minor refurbishment took place throughout the hotel. In 1985 a more in depth refurbishment was undertaken on all floors of the new hotel and this included new furniture, new bathrooms and a redecoration of the bedrooms. Now owned by London & Regional, one of the largest private property companies in Europe, the Strand Palace Hotel has contemporary guestrooms, a British restaurant Johnston's, the Strand Carvery, the Mask cocktail bar, the Lounge bar, Hops pub, meeting facilities and conference rooms.