Top Historic Hotels in the World

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Travel Features >> Top Historic Hotels in the World

Top Historic Hotels in the World

March 25, 2013

Half of the travel experience, as any seasoned traveler may know, will take you from one hotel to another. Most do not consider their hotel as a significant part of their travels, seeing it as simply a place to rest in between the adventures, but that is not always the case. Hotels can be filled with just as much history as other monuments of their country. Here are some of the top hotels around the world that have seen many years and are rich with their country’s history and culture.

Hotel Sofitel Winter Palace, Luxor
Located in Luxor, Egypt, the Hotel Sofitel Winter Palace was established in 1886. It can be found at the heart of the city, well within reach of some of the most popular destinations in Egypt. The Nile River hugs one side of the hotel, while historical attractions such as the Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings are easy to travel to from its location. Both European and Oriental royal families were the first to really help establish the hotel’s reputation as a winter resort, choosing the Hotel Sofitel Winter Palace during their visits to Egypt. Many famous figures have since then chosen it as their winter resort choice as well.

Hotel Mount Nelson, Cape Town
This hotel located in Cape Town, South Africa has seen a great amount of history. It was built in 1899, greatly rivaling its London counterparts in the eyes of hotel reviewers and guests. Since then, the hotel has expanded by taking in nearby historical buildings to be restored into rooms. It has gone from offering the “comforts of a First-Class Hotel at Reasonable Charges” to a popular spot for traveling politicians and celebrities alike. You’re likely to spot a few famous faces here than anywhere else in South Africa.

The Peninsula Hong Kong
Part of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels group, this hotel is legendary among Asian hospitality. The Peninsula Hong Kong is considered Hong Kong’s “Grand Old Lady”, built in the late 1920’s to welcome the rich and elite through its doors. The hotel’s presence transformed the area into a vibrant tourist area, and has since housed politicians, royalty and celebrities alike. The Peninsula was even the back-drop of the movie “The Dark Knight” in 2007 for one scene.

The TajMahal Palace, Mumbai
At the time when this historic hotel was born, Mumbai was still known as Bombay. Like many of the grand hotels of the world, it was built in hopes of attracting attention from the outside world, gaining a higher status for the city among the cities of the world. It was likely to see such elite guests as the Indian Maharajas and Princes at the TajMahal Palace, and the presence of great figures has not diminished over the years. The hotel’s structure continues to be a wonder to see even today, with its eclectic marriage of various architectures.

Grand Hotel Wien, Vienna
Over the years, the Grand Hotel of Vienna has become a “Leading Hotel of the World”, according to its current owners the international hotel company JJW Hotels & Resorts. It has changed hands over the years, going from status as a furnished house, to hotel, with its structure expanding and then being reduced to original state. The hotel was to be restored to its original and beautiful glory, which was a success as it still stands in Vienna as one of the finest, historic hotels to visit.

Hotel du Louvre, Paris
Since the move to its current location in 1887, Hotel du Louvre has become one of Paris’ most charming historic hotels. It shares its name with the current Antiquarian’s Louvre, which happens to be the reason why the hotel was relocated all those years ago. The hotel’s grand walls hold a history full of culture and art. Camille Pissarro resided at Hotel du Louvre for months, painting some of his well-known, impressionist work. It has since then become a part of the Paris experience for many travelers.

Hotel Kamp, Helsinki
There is a strong connection between Finland’s history and this hotel, located in Helsinki, Finland. It was built in 1887 and, until recently, has not been open to hotel guests. The building was under the ownership of a bank and from 1965 to 1999 the hotel was closed for any business other than banking. It’s re-opening was welcome, as now travelers have the opportunity to experience the famous Mannerheim Suite and legendary Mirror Room, where parties and history were made.

The Savoy, London
This grand hotel on the river Thames gets its name from Peter, Count of Savoy, who built the Savoy Palace in the same area that the hotel would later be. It is the new Savoy, finally built and opened in 1889. The Savoy was the first hotel to have electricity to power the lights, as well as electric lifts. It had several amazing luxuries that weren’t often or ever seen in many of the hotels before. It's hotel rooms, restaurants and bar have welcomed several famous guests, including H. G. Wells, Katharine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Winston Churchill and more.

Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg
This hotel was the first luxury hotel in the country, located in St. Petersburg, Russia. The building’s construction dates back to 1824, but it has only been a hotel since 1875. Grand Hotel Europe began as three separate structures, which Italian architect Carlo Rossi combines in the 1830s. Since its establishment it has also been used as an orphanage during the First World War and was renovated and restored in 1989. World royalty and celebrities have since graced its walls many times.

Palace Hotel, San Francisco
When the Palace Hotel structure, located in San Francisco, California, United States, was opened in 1975 it boasted a very impressive architecture. With 7,000 windows, 14-foot high ceilings and lavish guest rooms, it quickly became one of the destinations of the traveling elite. When the hotel had to be re-built in 1909 due to a fire, another layer of history was added to the structure when Maxfield Parish painted the 16-foot mural “The Pied Piper of Hamlin” in what is now known as the Pied Piper Bar of the Palace Hotel. The Palace Hotel has housed some of America’s biggest business men and U.S. presidents as well as celebrities from around the world.

Author Bio: The writer to this article is Peter Smith. He is one of the travel writers who have been awarded several times for their quality articles. He has visited most of the places in the world; his last trip was of Jerusalem and now he is writing on Jerusalem hotels.

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