17th – 19th Century
Numbers 16-18 St James’s Place were originally built as private residences in the 17th century. Number 17, most famously owned by Lord and Lady Lyttleton, remained in the family until 1849 when Lady Lyttleton, daughter of the then Earl Spencer, was pressed into service as nanny to Queen Victoria’s children.
1850 – 1912
In the years that followed, the house changed hands many times, becoming the Richmond Club Chambers, Green's Private Hotel and St James's Palace Hotel. The Stafford Club, originally housed in number 18, was added in 1886, and in 1912, the hotel was extended to include number 16; The Stafford Hotel was born.
1939 - 1945
During the Second World War, The Stafford served as a club for American and Canadian officers stationed overseas who sought refuge in the Wine Cellars. This led to the formation, in later years, of the Better 'Ole Club whose membership comprises guests recognized for services above and beyond the call of duty to The Stafford; one of its most famous members is HRH the Prince of Wales.
1947 – 1994
In 1947 Costain, headed by Sir Richard Costain, purchased the hotel and in 1985 it was sold to Trafalgar House, to complement their ownership of the Ritz and Cunard Cruise Lines.
Cunard oversaw the development of the world-famous Carriage House rooms in the late 1980s and established the hotel as a favorite with North American visitors.
1995 – 2009
In 1995, the hotel was bought by Daniel Thwaites plc, a family-controlled Lancashire-based brewery. Since then, the hotel has undergone a program of continual re-investment, including a six-month closure for major refurbishment in 1996 and an annual spend of over £1 million on redecorating and replacing fabrics and furniture.
With the opening of the ‘all suite’ Stafford Mews development in 2007, every effort has been made to ensure that the hotel maintains the friendly charm and understated elegance for which it is renowned.
In 2009, the small luxury hotel was purchased by Britannia Hospitality Limited and in 2010 became part of the Kempinski Hotels collection.
A synergistic collaboration, Kempinski Hotels is a hotel management company commited to allowing the individual personalities of each of its properities shine. Known world-wide for its distinctive collection and high standards of service, the brand was was founded in 1897 and remains Europe's oldest luxury hotel group. While its roots are in Germany, its portfolio is now spread throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia with properties in locations such as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, the Dead Sea, Istanbul, Bruges and St. Moritz. Rich in tradition, it comprises a fine collection of sumptuous hotels and resorts, from the truly historic to the breathtakingly avant-garde.
The acquirement of The Stafford London by Kempinski creates a new presence for the brand in a key European capital, as it is the management company’s first London hotel in the city since 2008.