Category Archives: Historic Hotels

Historic Hotels: The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin

In our serie of Historic Hotel we write today about The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
Nowadays one of Marriott’s jewels around the world, the Shelbourne Hotel is a part of Dublin city history. Under its roof many significant historical events happened in last two centuries. But also important social and family occasions for generations of Dubliners.
This 5 star luxurios hotel overviews St Stephen’s Green, one of major Dublins’ squares. Around the hotel there are many touristic and famous places as the Trinity College and the National Gallery.

The Hotel has 265 rooms, ready to gift luxe and comfort, with their prestigious furnitures e valuable fabrics.

A long list of famous Guests…and an unusual one!

Among the long list of famous Guests we can remember actors and politicians as: Charlie Chaplin, Peter O’Toole, John Wayne, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rock Hudson, Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama…ok we can stop here.
There’s also a particular Guest, according to some clients and staff declarations: the Ghost of a young girl! It is believed the hotel room’s spirit is Mary Masters, a seven-year-old girl who died of cholera in 1791. You cannot miss a ghost tale in Ireland!

A little bit of history

The Shelbourne Hotel was established in 1824 by Martin Burke, whose ambition was to open a hotel in Dublin for ‘clients who wanted solid and comfortable accommodation at a fashionable address’. The name Martin Burke chose for the hotel reflected his sense of business. He named it after Lord Shelburne, taking the liberty of adding an ‘o’; this way he instantly linked the hotel with his fame and his ascendancy.
Within a year of its opening, The Shelbourne was at the centre of Irish upper class social life. Martin Burke realized his ambition.
Martin Burke is remembered as a great hotelier who ‘contributed to the welfare and improvement of Dublin’.
After Burke’s death in 1863 the hotel maintained its splendor and fame: famous actors and actresses from London companies became frequent visitors.
In 1881, electricity reached some parts of Dublin and, in time, the Shelbourne.
In early 1900, the hotel enjoyed great success. New additions included the telephone and a lift. Guests started arriving by car and tram. We love to see that Historic Hotels are often places in which often new inventions and modern comforts take place first (as for the case of the lift at Grand Hotel Pera Palace  http://homesuitehomeblog.org/historic-hotels-the-grand-hotel-pera-palace-istanbul/ )
After the two world wars the hotel was restored and re opened maintaining its excellent standards and clients.

A historic meeting at the Shelbourne: The Irish Constitution

From February to May 1922, the Shelbourne hosted its most historic meeting: the draft of the Irish Constitution, that took place in room 112, under the chairmanship of Michael Collins. This room is now The Constitution Room.

A draft copy of the constitution resides in the museum.

A hotel with its own museum

The museum is defined as a social archive, not just of the hotel, but also of the surrounding city and countryside. The Shelbourne’s museum contains stories from staff, guests and commentators. You can find there menus, letters and articles that represent the history of the hotel’s various eras.

Even TV series!

National Geoghraphic recently produced tv series at the Shelbourne. Episodes show the impeccable service and what is needed behind the scenes to obtain it. The entire Staff – managers, chef, concierge,florists, houseekeping employees – has been shooted by cameras during the preparation of big events, famous international politics arrivals and of course during crisis moments!

Book your room: hard choice among famous suites

Today you can book a room at the Shelbourne quite easily if you can afford it – http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/dubbr-the-shelbourne-dublin-a-renaissance-hotel/
If you dare you can reserve one of 13 historic meeting rooms, but consider that the most famous is undoubtedly the Constitution Suite. With luxurious silk wall coverings, crystal chandelier and views over St. Stephen’s Green, the Constitution Suite offers you the chance to create your own history in this very special room. Otherwise you should go straight for one of the 19 suites named after famous guests like JFK and Princess Grace.
You will certainly enjoy the Spa of the hotel, with 6 special treatments rooms, manicure and pedicure and a swimming pool.
Reserving a table at the Restaurant Saddle Room, will allow you to eat delicious meal dishes as well as delicate fish proposal.

Historic Hotels: the Grand Hotel in Rimini and its Liberty Style

We continue our posts of the serie “historic hotels”, this time we remain in our beloved Italy.
We visit the Grand Hotel in Rimini  http://www.grandhotelrimini.com/en/#.WUktL8ZabR0,  in the Emilia Romagna region.

Our Clients needs and ideas enriches our hotels portfolio

The idea of this post comes from the Chef Tour of Tourissimo, one of our Clients. Tourissimo has recently ended its itinerary https://www.tourissimo.travel/emilia-romagna-chef-bike-tour  with a stay at the Grand Hotel . We ‘ve been involved in the hotels rooms booking process.

So we immersed ourselves in one of the most sparkling periods of italian twenty century: the period of Art Nouveau, that in Italy is called Liberty.
Italy has a huge heritage of Liberty art and the Grand Hotel in Rimini is one of the main examples of Liberty buildings.

History of the building

The hotel has 200 rooms, spaciuos terraces and a magnificent faceade Liberty style.
Inauguration was in 1908, the south american architect Paolo Somazzi designed the hotel few years before.
Internally still today we can admire french and venetian furntitures of XVIII century that commemorate a pompous past. And don’t miss the exotic gardens!

The hotel doesn’t directly face the sea. That’s because in that period nobility and upper class had no interest for the seaside, that would be an absurd concept nowadays!

In 1920 a big fire destroyed upper rooms and the 2 big ornamental domes were lost in the event.
Also the second world war damaged seriously the hotel.
However the hotel has been reconstructed and still has its original charme. Furthermore In 1994 the Grand Hotel Rimini was recognized as a national monument and it is under the protection of the Superintendent of Fine Arts.
In july 2008 the hotel celebrated 100 year with dedicated events.
Since december 20017 the hotel is part of the italian Hotel Group Select Hotels, owned by the Batani family. Select Hotels is one of few italian Hotels Group.
The onwer Antonio has revealed that

“after being engaged with this wonderful lady for many years, finally I got married with her!”

Many famous guests has onoured the Grand Hotel during its centennial story…actors, politicians, rich and famous people.

The Grand Hotel and Federico Fellini

Surely an important famous person for this hotel was the italian director Federico Fellini. Fellini was born in Rimini and had been fascinated from the hotel since its childhood.

In his famous film “A’Marcord” (dated 1973) the Hotel was the ubiquitous background of many scenes, even if in a dreamy and magic interpretation.

A friendly and modern Staff

Nowadays relating with so impressive hotels, with their memories and glorious past, can be a little bit frightening.
But from our part we’ve been delighted and surprised by the extremely friendly staff, very attentive and efficient.

A hotel that doesn’t live only basing on its fame but that is able to renew its appeal every day.

Historic Hotels: Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

Christmas Season inspire us of fairy tales and stories.
That’s why we want to introduce the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, a historic 5 star luxury hotel in India. Mumbai is a city of millionaires and since ever here, despite other Indian cities, what is important is money, not castes.

An hotel against racial discrimination

What I like most is one of the stories about its construction: Jamsetji Tata decided to open the hotel after an incident of racial discrimination at the Watson’s Hotel in Mumbai, where he was refused because entrance at the hotel was permitted only to Europeans. Hotels which accepted only European guests were very common across British India.
The Taj Palace was built in 1904 and when it opened, the hotel was the first in India to have electricity, elevators, Turkish baths and English butlers. Later it also had the city’s first licensed bar, India’s first all-day restaurant, and Indian first discotheque. It passed the centuries and witnessed of many events.
During World War I the hotel was converted into a hospital with 600 beds.
On 26 November 2008, in a series of attacks in Mumbai, the hotel was attacked by a terrorist group and many people died in this tragic event.
In 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama became the first foreign head of state to stay at the Taj Mahal Palace after the attacks. In a speech from the terrace of the hotel, Obama said that “the Taj has been the symbol of the strength and the resilience of the Indian people.”

A perfect service and a dedicated Staff

Apart from its history, Taj is an efficient and organized machine, staff is totally dedicated and for many employees it’s like a second house. As it happens often people working behind the scenes are the secret of a perfect service.

Chief Concierge Satish said a wonderful sentence during an interview:

“we are delighted in delighting Guests”.

Simple and pure.

An impressive room inspection!

Satish and the executive housekeeper Indrani are involved in a daily check of rooms that impressed us: every day a team of 6 or 7 people including them chooses 1 room casually and they check every detail: air conditioning, bed linen, glasses, carpets.
They try to have the same point of view on the room of a Guest that rest sit on a chair or on a bed. It’s important to use the room as a Guests because sometimes you can notice a dirty patch only from particular positions and angles.

It’s a great job of detail attention and perfection and that contributes to making Taj a place that lives in people memory. https://taj.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj-mahal-palace-mumbai/

 

 

Historic Hotels: the Grand Hotel Pera Palace, Istanbul

With this Post we start a new line of articles about the Historic Hotels, that with their atmospheres help us to time travel.

We start with the Grand Hotel Pera Palace in Istanbul, a big palace that, almost reassuring, stands Mesrutiyet Caddesi, number 52.

pera-palace-facade

This hotel was built in 1892 for the passengers of the Orient Express that could find, in its rooms and art nouveau interiors, the same comfort and style that they were used to in Europe.  Three years were necessary to build this fascinating Palace in which Clients, got off the elegant train wagons at the station of the old town,  found hot water, perfumed bed linen and a sparkling lighting.

The second lift in Europe

One of the main attractions of this Hotel was surely the elegant lift, that was the second lift installed in Europe, after the Tour Eiffel’s one.

What is fascinating is to figure out its clientele: business men, spies, diplomats, and a various crowd of men and women attracted by the luxurious lives crossing there.

pera-palace-interni

Famous Guests: Agatha Christie

Probably the most famous room is the room number 411: this is where Agatha Christie wrote her best romance “Murder on the Orient Express” and is still available for a reservation today http://www.jumeirah.com/Pera-Palace-Hotel‎, really an unforgettable experience.

agatha-cristhie-pera-palace