>>>Hotels for star worshippers

Hotels for star worshippers

These were the homes of real celebrities, and are mute witnesses to their brilliance and one affair after another.
What’s a horse doing in the presidential suite of the Le Meurice hotel? Only Salvador Dalí could answer that, as it was he who asked them to send one up. The eccentric painter was a regular guest at this Parisian palace located between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. He stayed there for one month a year for three decades. “He was mad”, says William Oliveri, the master cocktail maker who has spent half his life behind the bar there. Every day he serves the ‘Gala and Dalí’, a cocktail named in their honour that includes strawberry, vodka and mint. “He paid the cleaners to hunt flies in Tuileries Garden”. The seven floors of the iconic building combine the opulence of the 18th century with a modern style that is also reflected in its rooms. Dalí chose 106-108, the same suite that King Alfonso XIII of Spain had occupied. “I want the throne where his majesty used to place his royal derrière!” demanded the surrealist artist when the original toilet was replaced by a new one. Staying there costs almost €7,000 a night.
With 20 rooms, L’Hôtel is the smallest five-star hotel in Paris.
Photo: © Amy Murrell

A hotel for the brave

Stephen King was inspired by room 217 of The Stanley Hotel (Colorado) to write ‘The Shining’, which became a bestseller when it was published. Its location in the Rocky Mountains gives it an air of mystery, which is perfect for the Stanley Film Festival, an event for fans of horror flicks.

Room 411 of the Jumeirah Pera Palace Hotel (Istanbul) is the most requested. That was where Agatha Christie stayed between 1926 and 1932 to finish writing ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. So says the medium hired by Warner Bros., the company that bought the rights to make a film about the queen of suspense. They have used this revelation to exploit the image of the writer through the Agatha Christie Suite and a restaurant that also bears her name. Its menu is based on the typical dishes of the cities through which the Orient Express travels. Every day someone asks the concierge of the oldest hotel in Turkey if they can have a look inside room 411, which combines black and burgundy tones to create a feeling of mystery. It’s always occupied, but visitors can enter the hall and see the second oldest wooden lift in Europe.
At the Beverly Hills Hotel in California they tried to protect the privacy of their famous guests, but on the occasion of its centenary a book has been published that reveals its secrets. ‘The Beverly Hills Hotel – The First 100 Years’ says that Elizabeth Taylor celebrated six honeymoons in bungalow 5. Marilyn Monroe had an affair with Yves Montand after the filming of ‘Let’s Make Love’ in number 21. And Marlene Dietrich allowed herself to be photographed by the press wearing trousers on the lounge’s bar, thereby challenging the dress code that required skirts for women.
The Stanley Hotel plans to open a horror-themed museum soon.
“I am dying as I have lived, beyond my means”. So wrote Oscar Wilde next to his unpaid bill at L’Hôtel, located in the Latin quarter of Paris, where the writer lived until his death. Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Jim Morrison were also guests there. In 1967 it was completely renovated without preserving room 16, where the Irish writer looked at the wallpaper and said: “One of us will have to go”. How do we know? Because although the walls don’t talk, the bellboys do.
Raffles Hotel has been declared a National Monument.

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