History

A landmark London hotel since 1909


107YEARS

History Beneath Our Feet


The Strand is more than just a busy London thoroughfare. Running parallel the Thames and connecting Westminster to the City, it has been a focus for political and financial power for centuries. Somerset House, a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, is just one of the noblemen’s residences that once lined the street.

The birth of The Strand Palace Hotel


Our part in the street’s story begins in 1907, when permission was granted for a ‘grand’ new hotel. Two years later The Strand Palace Hotel opened its doors. At that time, a single room with breakfast would have set you back five shillings and six pence – just 27p in today’s money.

An Art Deco Icon


The twenties saw The Strand Palace Hotel expand, taking over the neighbouring Haxell’s Hotel. But the real story was a spectacular redesign. New Art Deco features – including a foyer so iconic that it is now owned by the V&A museum – proved a hit with fashionable Londoners, and made the hotel a firm fixture on the capital’s social scene.

The War Years


The hotel adapted quickly to the Second World War, providing accommodation for American servicemen, accepting ration vouchers in its restaurants and sheltering guests in its basement during air raids. Not everything changed, however – the hotel’s regular dances continued, offering a much-needed escape for war-weary Londoners.

Post-War Modernisation


With the war years behind it, the hotel began to modernise. By 1958 all rooms had private bathrooms, and increased demand for hot water spelt the end for our old coal-fired boilers, which had been salvaged from a First World War battleship. Modern oil-fired models took their place. Electronic cash registers soon followed, hinting at the communications revolution to come.

A Window into the Past


You can see vintage photographs and artefacts from The Strand Palace Hotel both here and at the V&A museum. Our own collections are held in a display cabinet opposite Sacred Café, and the V&A’s collections include our 1920s revolving door and a The Strand Palace Hotel room key that was recovered from a First World War trench in Normandy, France.

The Strand Palace Hotel Today


With Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs throughout, The Strand Palace Hotel would now be unrecognisable to guests from the Edwardian era. But links with the past still remain: a few Art Deco touches are visible inside and outside the building; guests from the war years still return to relive their memories. Outside, The Strand remains a buzzing focal point of West End life, just as it was in 1909.

 

+ Do you have a code?
Free
Wifi
Multilingual
Staff
Fitness
Room
24 Hour
Room Service
Our
History
Concierge
Service
Priority
Check-in
PRINT DIRECTIONS CLOSE