Feuilleton 398: Born to Survive
The Most Famous Hotels in the World as an exclusive and select group of historic and famous hotels, who have seen it all, cholera epidermic‘s, world wars, oil crisis, stock market collapses, … yes, and Corona, are obviously born and trained to survive them all. It is because our hotels have never ceased to come up with something inspiring and entertaining, attracting travellers from near and afar.
Literally rising like the Phoenix from the ashes, let me quickly throw three samples into this letter. The Peninsula in Hong Kong was supposed to open in 1926, before it got occupied by British troops, who used it as barracks, destroying its luxurious interiors. It had to be refurbished and finally opened in 1928, only to be hit by the worst economic slump of 1929. Today it stands —greater than any other.
Or take the Imperial in Vienna, a former palace, converted into hotel in 1873 for the world exhibition. Only a few weeks after it opened, the city was hit by a cholera epidemic. A few months later, the worlds first stock exchange crash occurred in Vienna and saw the economy dwindling. Not only did the hotel survive all this but also two world wars and the above listed various crises.
Another sample I only recently wrote a book about is the Prince de Galles in Paris. It opened only weeks before the economic crash of 1929, and operated virtually unvisited by guests for the first weeks. Today it is among the best hotels in the world, an icon of Art Deco in Paris.
What I’m trying to aim at is that the world of The Most Famous Hotels is living with ups and downs, with crisis and disasters. They are great at flying high in good times, and the proverbial rock in the storm when it comes to bad times. It is a proven thing that following the times of recession we are expecting an other golden age of travel.
So to my readers and friends near and far, I can only say: famoushotels first, go and visit them. The admired view from the terrace has not changed, it is still walking on thick noise swallowing carpets or over shining marble, looking at marvelous decorated high ceilings and enjoying the splendour of days gone by, kept alive only here. These hotels are more than museums of hospitality, many of them for over one century. They are the keepers of a tradition, the masters of the art of reception and well being. Not to forget all the people who work there and who so happily welcome you back.
As long as we don’t travel abroad or put ourselves at the risk of a long haul flight, visit "your" hotel locally. Look up the next one near to you in our well sorted list of over 450 properties around the world. Spend the weekend there in secluded safety, patronise their restaurants, buy yourself a time out in serene luxury. Or - seriously - book yourself into one of our hotels over the winter. Here's is how to go about this: https://famoushotels.org/news/long-term-stay