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An independent family business since 1837

About Us 1815


Imperial London Hotels has a history spanning almost 200 years, beginning in 1815 when Henry Walduck was granted a license to open a Catering Establishment in Gravesend, which soon flourished.

His son Thomas Henry Walduck moved to London in the early 1830's. He purchased a hotel in Warwick Court which was sold in 1863 by his son, Thomas Henry Walduck Jnr, who moved to Bloomsbury and purchased the lease of the old Bedford Hotel for £290 at an annual rent of £90.

At the time, this was the only hotel permitted on the Duke of Bedford's Bloomsbury estates. It seemed such a vast place to fill that candles were lit in the windows of empty rooms to encourage prospective guests.

About Us 1904


Harold Walduck, the son of Thomas Henry Walduck Jnr built and reconstructed more than 10 hotels in the area, sleeping over 3500 guests.

In 1904, Harold Walduck invited the famous architect Charles Fitzroy Doll to design the Imperial Hotel in order to meet the excess guest demand at the Bedford Hotel. Fitzroy Doll was an English architect of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, who specialised in designing hotels.

About Us 1910


In 1910, a block of flats adjacent to the Imperial was purchased and converted into a hotel with 150 rooms. This was given the name 'The Premier Hotel', today known as the President.

Shortly following this came the opening of the National Hotel in 1920 and the Royal Hotel in 1928.

About Us 1913


The Victorian Turkish Baths were constructed as part of the 1913 extension to the Imperial Hotel. An early photograph reveals its once opulent interior, with heavily decorated walls and ceilings and a mosaic floor. Not only were they open 'day and night', but there was a wide range of other treatments available including Russian vapour, electric light and ultraviolet ray baths.

The baths were demolished, with the rest of the hotel, in 1966. But the statues were rescued and can still be spotted lining the Imperial Hotel courtyard along with a tiled mosaic sign in the pavement, toward the corner of the President Hotel.

About Us 1951


Harold Walduck's sons Norman and Stanley continued to rebuild and construct the hotels after returning from serving their country in World War II. They negotiated the lease on the County Hotel and built the Tavistock Hotel in 1951 - London's first post war hotel.

From 1924 until 1939, Virginia and Leonard Woolf lived on the top two floors of Number 52 Tavistock Square, which is now the site of the Tavistock Hotel. She lived here longer than in any other of the Bloomsbury homes, and wrote most of her novels here. You can now see a famous blue plaque outside the entrance to the Tavistock Hotel commemorating the famous writer.

About Us 1960


The rebuilding of the Premier Hotel followed in 1960. It offered guests 449 rooms, with 'bathroom and shower, large screen TV, multichannel stereophonic sound radio, telephone, international razor socket, weighing scales, and many other modern amenities'.

When the new hotel reopened as the President, it soon became home to the famous English rock band the Beatles when they came down from Liverpool to London during the summer of 1963.

About Us 1964


During the 1960's Richard, Thomas and Stephen Walduck joined the company.

The Bedford was rebuilt in 1964, followed by the Imperial shortly after in 1970. The Royal National was finally completed in 1998 which was and still is, London's largest hotel with over 1630 rooms.

About Us 2013


The Imperial London Hotels family has since been joined by the sons and daughters of Richard, Thomas and Stephen Walduck, continuing the long family tradition.

The boutique Morton Hotel was the newest addition the Imperial group, which opened in 2013.