Secrets always come in the form of an ear. We didn’t say it first (although we should have), Jean Cocteau did. And we completely agree, because, we at SoBarnes are known for our big ears. Recently they’ve picked up some indiscretions, legends, and secrets about of the world’s most luxurious hotels. We wanted to share them with you, but be careful, you can't tell anyone.
The Plaza Hotel in New York City, the greatest
In 1907, a red ribbon was cut, and New York City’s most prized possession was born. The Plaza Hotel was built to be the city's most iconic hotel, and it shows. Its 19 floors and 282 suites are filled with the utmost opulence: 24-carat gold-plated fixtures, solid white-marble, glittering mosaics, and Mascioni linens - not to mention the crystal chandeliers that top the halls. Its cachet ambiance has attracted a long list of important people, like kings and queens, presidents and diplomats, movie stars and musicians, who together have made the plush bed the hotel sleeps in. But just like the Carlyle, the Plaza hides secrets and even a stealthy escape route in the Royal Plaza Suite. At the same time, since each night is priced at $30,000, take your time before you make a break for it.
Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris, the classic beauty
Another day, another city, another Plaza Hotel, this time in Paris. However, this one is more palace than a hotel. Its style of luxury is classical French, except for the 7th and 8th floor, which pays special tribute to Art Deco. If you don’t believe us, the Plaza Athénée was given “the palace distinction” by the French ministry of economy, which, it should be said, is the highest title of luxury in France. And when you are told that the house chef is Monsieur Alain Ducasse himself, we know you are going to book a room pronto. In this case, you are advised to witness the world’s most breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower, from the rectangle window in Room 361 - but that remains between us.
Hotel Roosevelt in Los Angeles, and its phantoms
Just near the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hotel Roosevelt still stands in all its glory: a beautiful Spanish Revival-style building built during the Golden Era of Los Angeles. In fact, it hosted the very first Academy Awards in 1929. Inside, its fabulous Old-Hollywood atmosphere is alive and well, however, the decor has become less glitz and glam and more modern and refined. And the mural painted on the bottom of the pool by artist David Hockney, ensuring it a place in the register of Historic-Cultural Monuments in the City of Angels, adds to its allure. Legend has it this glamorous boutique-hotel has one too many A-list guests, or rather ghosts roaming the venue, especially in the penthouse suite. A stay with Marilyn Monroe, Carole Lombard, and Clark Gable, who can resist? Not us, we have no fear.
The Ritz in London, the lady with a backbone of steel
Since 1906, personalities from around the world have come to admire the innovative steel architecture of The Ritz in London and enjoy the beaded service of its impeccable butlers. Its opulent tea rooms invite relaxation and sweetness for “afternoon tea at the Ritz,” although insiders know it is actually “champagne afternoon tea.” In the style of the French Renaissance, the decor is full of pastels and gold gilding, especially, especially in the suite dedicated to Marie Antoinette, where Eisenhower, Churchill, and de Gaulle have gathered for top-secret pow-wows (our sources confirmed).
Hotel National in Moscow, the glorious
Located in the heart of Moscow, this small jewel opened its doors in 1903, becoming an important cultural landmark and a highly sought-after luxury hotel for an upscale clientele. The interior of Hotel National, is authentic with classic Russian decor, with an elegant white-marble staircase that leads up 6 floors, giving the place an undeniable air of elegance. Its 202 suites are just as beautiful, 55 of them are adorned with authentic antique furniture. For the record, the hotel acted as a refuge during the most tumultuous years of 20th-century Russia, even having a cameo in American journalist John Reed’s book, Ten Days That Shook the World. Needless to say, a stay here is a stay in history.
Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid, the musical
The Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid has a special place in our musical hearts. In 1912, it was the largest palace-hotel in Europe, in classic Belle Epoque form. Today, the hotel the reminds us of the international jet-setters of the 20th century, with 467 rooms that deeply respect this glamorous legacy. Our intel tells us that Sunday brunch is not over until the lady of generous form has sung because meals are served with an Opera performance. And at the restaurant La Rotonda, do not leave without looking up and marveling at the beautiful stained-glass dome - guests are usually too distracted by the tunes of a master pianist. At night, music is played in the ballroom, under an exquisite light sculpture of white rose-petals in opaque white glass. It’s extraordinary and romantic.
Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, and its grand stage
Once upon a time, there was an architect named Lapidus, who said, “If you create a stage and it is grand, everyone who enters will play their part.” From this came his masterpiece, the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, the elegant and luxurious Art Deco hotel, known to the world for its unique nightlife scene since 1954. More than just its celebrity-studded nightclub LIV, the hotel welcomes gourmands who enjoy the “ocean-to-table” cuisine in its 8 restaurants. Its world-class oceanfront spa, Lapis, cures more than hangovers. Some confidential info, even Martha Stewart has said it’s the most beautiful spa in America, and she’s right.
La Mamounia in Marrakech, and its many sides
A legendary palace-hotel of Marrakech, La Mamounia is a luxury oasis - authentic, bewitching and superb in the urban landscape. Guests can take a walk in the gardens or enjoy the originality of its cocktails at the bar or refined cuisine at its restaurants while daydreaming in front of the Atlas. Besides, personalities, artists, and celebrities, but also Churchill and Roosevelt liked spending time at La Mamounia. This place is so unique, the only question left is inside or out? The rest is history.
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