In the history of Indian hotel industry, the story of Clarkes really begins in the 1920s when Mr. Ernest Clarke arrived as Manager of the Cecil, as Clarkes was known in those days. Both Mr. Clarke and his wife Gertrude had a keen eye for observation. They took a great liking to the honesty of a hardworking, young gentleman named Mr. Mohan Singh Oberoi, who was working at the Cecil that time.
Wanting to take a break from their busy schedule, Mr. Clarke and his wife decided to hand over the responsibility of managing Hotel Carlton - now renamed as Clarkes to this impressive young man.
During their six months absence, Mr. Mohan Singh Oberoi doubled up the occupancy to eighty percent which gave them enough reason to offer the hotel - on a decided amount to Mr. Mohan Singh Oberoi as they wanted to return to England.
After continuous hard work for five years, on 14th August, 1934, Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi became the sole and absolute owner of Hotel Carlton, Shimla. He subsequently named it after Mr. Ernest Clarke. Rai Bahadur M. S. Oberoi could not have hoped for a better thirty fourth birthday present.