St Athans

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St Athans

20 Tavistock Place

Russell Square

London WC1H 9RE

+44 (0)20 7837 9140

History of the Area

Tavistock Place is named after the ground landlord, the Duke of Bedford, Marquess of Tavistock, and was built c. 1807. Our hotel is a grade II listed Georgian terraced townhouse which retains many of its original features.

Our local area is known as Bloomsbury and is most famous for its literary figures, such as Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf’s Bloomsbury Set; these literary legends lived just around the corner on Tavistock Square.

Bloomsbury has also been home to many other great people including Bob Marley, John Maynard Keynes, Charles Darwin and William Butler Yeats (not in any order of greatness).

Not as famous, but one whose legacy certainly lives on was the philanthropist, Thomas Coram, who in 1741 opened the Foundling Hospital nearby – it is now the Foundling Museum. This was Britain’s first home for abandoned children and is said to be the world’s first incorporated charity.

Bloomsbury is also home to the University of London (est. 1836), 11 colleges, and to no fewer than 6 hospitals (the most famous being Great Ormond St. Children’s Hospital est. 1852). Tavistock Place is also home to the original Mary Ward centre, considered to be one of the finest Arts & Crafts buildings in London.

History of the Owners

The hotel has been with the same family since 1964 and is now run by Hans Jnr, Stefan & Karl, with the occasional help of their opera directing sister, Maria-Lisa. Their grandparents, Elena and Giovanni, Italian immigrants, first took over the lease of the hotel in 1964 from a Welsh couple. This is where the name of the hotel comes from – St. Athan is a town in Wales named after Tathan, daughter of the King of Gwent.

Their parents, Lucia and her German husband Hans, then leased the property next door, the Roma hotel, before then taking charge of the St Athans Hotel, too. In 2002, Hans passed away, then in 2016 Lucia too, but the family continues to keep the business going, doing what they do best: welcoming guests from all over the world.