Red Carnation Hotels Celebrate 100 Years of Hospitality

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Bea and Stanley Tollman (Photo: Red Carnation Hotels)

This year Red Carnation Hotels celebrate 100 years of hospitality, as one of the 42 family-owned and run TTC travel brands. The Red Carnation Hotels’ story is a love story which started over sixty years ago.

The Red Carnation Hotels story began when a beautiful young woman called Bea caught the eye of a distinguished young hotelier named Stanley, who was known for wearing a red carnation in his lapel.

Almost 35 years later, Beatrice and Stanley Tollman purchased The Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair. Driven by Beatrice’s lifelong affair with the world of hospitality, and celebrating her husband’s signature flower, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection came to life.

That love story is still at the very heart of our ever-growing collection of hotels across the world. Our Founder and President, Beatrice Tollman, embodies the generous hospitality and warm, passionate service for which we are renowned. She is the creative mind behind our beautifully designed hotels, the daily inspiration for our Executive Chefs and the benchmark for our teams’ exacting standards.

At the heart of this love story is our Founder and President, Bea Tollman – a woman and leader greatly respected and much adored by all those who have the pleasure of knowing her as a guest, as a colleague, as part of the Red Carnation Hotel family.

  • 1950: A beautiful South African Woman named Bea caught the eye of a distinguished hotelier named Stanley, who was known for wearing a small red carnation in his lapel. 
  • 1954: As newlyweds they opened a number of hotels in South Africa. Inspired by their shared enthusiasm for providi9ng world-class hospitality, these hotels set new standards for outstanding excellence and unsurpassed service. 
  • 1975: By this time, the Tollman’s journey took them and their family to Great Britain- where the next story of their chapter unfolded. 
  • 1984: The couple purchased The Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair. Driven by Bea’s lifelong love affair with the world of hospitality, and celebrating her husband’s signature flower, ‘Red Carnation Hotels’ came to life. 
  • 1998: Hotel 41 was born, occupying the top floor of The Rubens at the Palace, and now a residents’ only property rated number 1 in London.
  • 2015: The Red Carnation Hotel Collection grows to 17 luxurious properties in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. 
  • 2009: Bea Tollman’s life story was captured in the wonderful collection of her favorite recipes with the publications of her cookbook, “A Life in Food.” 
  • 2012: Bea Tollman was awarded Hotelier of the Year at the European Awards 2012. 
  • 2016: Bea Tollman was named the “Leading Hotels of the World Leading Legend.” 
  • 2017: The Red carnation Hotel Collection voted number two of Top Hotel Brands in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards.” 
  • 2018: Bea Tollman inducted into “The British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame.”   
  • 2020: Xigera safari lodge will join the collection in the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. 100 Princes Street will also open as the hotel’s first property in Scotland.
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