From the newly imagined cocktail bar to the fine dining restaurant, there’s a lot of news coming out of Brown’s. Earlier this year, the oldest hotel in London—a favorite bolthole in Mayfair—unveiled the swanky Donovan’s Bar, with a menu designed by cocktail “Maestro” Salvatore Calabrese, along with Beck at Brown’s by Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck. But that’s not all.
After the recent departure of Marco Novella, the hotel’s managing director, to head up The Lanesborough, Rocco Forte Hotels has announced his replacement. (Novella served as area manager of UK and Belgium since November 2016, also overseeing The Balmoral in Edinburgh and Hotel Amigo in Brussels.) Starting September 3, 2018, Stuart Johnson will take the reins as managing director at Brown’s.
It’s a homecoming for the renowned hotelier, as Johnson has a special place in his heart for Brown’s, where he served as general manager for 11 years before leaving in 2016 to work as project manager for Rocco Forte Hotels. At that time, he managed the development of The Westbund Hotel in Shanghai, scheduled to open in summer 2019. He also served as interim general manager at The Assila Hotel in Jeddah (the first hotel in the Middle East for the luxury hotel brand). Johnson started his career at The Savoy Group, where he became the youngest ever hotel manager (at the age of 32) at The Savoy in London. He later served as general manager of Cliveden for six years before working as the Publishing Director at Condé Nast Johansens.
The Rocco Forte group took over Brown's in July 2003. There are currently 11 hotels in the company's portfolio, with upcoming openings slated for Rome and Shanghai (2019).