Before it was a hotel, The Athenaeum was an illustrious mansion called Hope House, named after the Member of Parliament, Henry Hope. None other than Charles Dickens – author of Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and The Old Curiosity Shop and as much a literary icon today as back then – loved the mansion for its extravagant interiors. Such an accolade was just the start of the celebrity endorsements The Athenaeum has received ever since.
Over the years, Hope House became the home of the Junior Athenaeum Club and later, a luxurious Art Deco apartment block. It first became a hotel in the 1970s, created by British entertainment group, The Rank Organisation. The purpose of the iconic hotel this group created was to accommodate movie stars whenever they were filming at the famous Pinewood and Ealing Studios in London. This was when the showbiz credentials of The Athenaeum were truly established.