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The prestigious address of 116 Piccadilly has seen its fair share of inhabitants over the years. Back in 1850, it started life as Hope House, the elegant private abode of MP Henry Hope. The mansion was said to have attracted the attention of Charles Dickens, who noted its extravagant interiors.

This is not to suggest, however, that Mr Hope was an ostentatious character. In fact, he was renowned for his astuteness and committed patronage of the arts. His prize collection of Old Masters, which he would occasionally put on display to the public, made Hope House the home of one of Europe’s finest private art collections.


As a five-star hotel, The Athenaeum has long been associated with the rich and famous. Charismatic executive manager Sally Bulloch heralded the hotel’s Hollywood golden age in the 1970s, where her natural charm and perennial presence at the hotel bar made her a hit with guests. She was said to have enjoyed a glass of champagne (or two) with Elizabeth Taylor – among countless others – and once (gently) admonished Russell Crowe for leaving his room untidy. Boy band Take That announced their split from the penthouse of The Athenaeum, and legendary film director Steven Spielberg even installed an editing suite in one of the hotel’s residences when working on E.T., Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Today, stars, world leaders and the well known continue to use The Athenaeum as their discreet home-from-home.

Sally Bulloch

The Athenaeum has been family-run since the 1990s and could not be more committed to its famous five-star service. An independent spirit remains at the heart of the hotel, where it continues to welcome everyone as VIPs and to make their stay individual.

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