It was 1953, when the Sicilian Countess Gravina and the retired British Collonel Woodcock started the “Pensione Woodcock Gravina” on the 4th floor on Via Capo d’Africa 47. The pension was simple, but the food was good and wholesome and atmosphere around the communal round tables friendly and welcoming. Their clientele was mostly international Staff of the UN and FAO who would come to Rome for briefing and debriefing after missions in the field.
When the Canadian Mrs.Helen Khan first place to Rome in 1959 with her husband, who worked with FAO, this was the first place they stayed in. With hindsight this must have been a sign of destiny! In fact, many years later in 1971, Mrs.Khan and a German lady, Mrs.Ingrid Music, both in their fourties, decided to try their luck and bought the pension from the Woodcocks. The business was sold to them at the condition that they should do a period of “apprentiship”.
They called the Hotel “Lancelot “ in honour of the first guest that slept here, a French gentleman named Monsieur Lancelot. By a strange coincidence the name echos the tales of Sir Lancelot and of King Arthur’s round tables, similar to those that throughout the years have remained a distinguishing feature of the Hotel.
Each woman put their best energy and talents in that wonderful adventure. It was not only work for them, but a way of life and they welcomed guests as friends and not just customers.
Since 1995 the Hotel Lancelot has been managed by Mrs.Khan and her family.
Over the following years the Hotel was completely renovated to meet the changing demands of travellers, however we still treasure the original spirit that is the key to the Hotel’s success:
Greet each guest as if it were to your home and make each person feel they are important to us.