MOURBY OF STAIRS Adrian Mourby

MOURBY OF STAIRS

( words)

You can tell a lot about a hotel from its staircase. Some dominate the foyer as if attempting to emulate a palazzo or perhaps the Opera Garnier in Paris, a truly wonderful building that is essentially an elaborate flight of steps with an average-sized opera house at the top just to make the ascent worthwhile.
Others are more discreet. The Imperial Hotel in Vienna has its staircase some distance into this fine building and off to one side of a former courtyard, because when it was built as a palace in 1863. Duke Philipp of Württemberg intended to drive his horse and carriage into the palace, and alight at the bottom of the staircase from where he and his Ducchess could then ascend directly to the piano nobile*.
In the twentieth century staircases became less sumptuous and important as guests began to rely on that alarming innovation, the hotel lift. Very often today if you find the lift shaft you will also find the stairs rising up around it. That said, recently at La Mamounia in Marrakech (built 1923) I searched in vain for stairs. In the end Pierre Jochem, the general manager had to point them out to me. They were broad and gracious but set apart in a different section of the building almost as an afterthought.

For further information on the structure of this hotel read the history of the Imperial Hotel by Andreas Augustin.

Book Now

Booking.com

Most Popular

Prince de Galles

Prince de Galles

The Parisian hotel with two names! And it all started with a kiss! More than anybody else, Edward, the Prince of Wales (1910–1936),...Read More

Grand Hotel d’Angkor

Grand Hotel d’Angkor

At Angkor Wat - like around the pyramids in Egypt - virtually every hotel group of note operates a (sometimes historic) hotel. The most notable...Read More

Grand Hotel Royal (Corinthia Budapest)

Grand Hotel Royal (Corinthia Budapest)

The man with the sign ‘Grand Hotel Royal’ awaits me on the platform at Keleti railway station. He takes my bags and me to the hotel. The...Read More

Ritz Paris

Ritz Paris

First of all, obtain your very own and personal copy of Marcel Proust’s A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. Inform reception tha...Read More

Bristol Vienna

Bristol Vienna

  When you read 'originally opened', you know that there is something special about the opening date(s) of a hotel. Well, the...Read More