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Saturday, 1 August 2015


The oldest hotel is a hot-spring hotel in Japan which has been operating since 705 AD.

The pilgrims were the first to know the good stopping places, and the Guide de Pelerin a Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle written by Amery Picard in the middle of the 12th century describes in great detail not only places to seek sanctuary, but also monasteries with a high standard of board and lodging.

The world’s first purpose-built hotel was Lows Grand Hotel in Covent Garden, London. It opened in 1774 and owner David Low gave it up six years later to become a chiropodist.

Tremont Hotel, which opened in 1829 in Boston, Massachusetts, was the first hotel with ensuite bathrooms (and towels). It also featured a number of other innovations including indoor plumbing, reception area, locked rooms for the guests, free soap and bellboys.

The Grand Hotel in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, was built in 1867 on a calendar theme. It originally had 12 floors, 365 bedrooms, 52 chimneys and four towers, one for each season. The hotel was also V-shaped, in honor of Queen Victoria.

The Waldorf Hotel opened on 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City on March 14, 1893. The luxury building was completed at a cost of $3 million. It is now the site of the Empire State Building.

Cesar Ritz, a Swiss hotelier, opened a hotel in Paris, which bears his name in 1898. One of his innovations was to seat diners at small tables, as in a restaurant, as opposed to the traditional large communal table.

The Martha Washington Hotel, which opened in New York City in 1903, was the first hotel exclusively for women.

The Statler Hotel in Buffalo, New York, built in 1904, was the first hotel in the United States to have running water and a private bath in each room.

In 1925, Artur Heineman called his new San Luis Obispo, California hotel the Milestone Motor Hotel to cash in on passing freeway traffic. However, he could not fit the name on the roof, so shortened it to 'mo-tel.'

Marriott hotels are owned by Mormons. The Marriott hotel chain (which includes brands like Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott) is owned by Marriott International Inc. The company was founded by Mormon missionaries in 1927 and remains in the Marriott family (Bill Marriott is executive chair).

On the orders of Winston Churchill, Suite 212 of the luxury 5-star hotel, Claridge’s, in London became Yugoslavian territory for one day in July 1945. This was to allow Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, whose family had been exiled, to be born on home territory.

Claridge's in 2002

The hotel manager, played by John Cleese, in Fawlty Towers was based on a real Torquay hotel proprietor, Donald Sinclair. He threw a suitcase out of a window that belonged to Cleese's Monty Python colleague Eric Idle, when they stayed there in the early 1970s. Sinclair  was concerned that it contained a bomb.

There is a real Morrison Hotel, which was featured on the cover of the Doors album of the same name. It's in Los Angeles and opened in 1915. In 2004, it was cited for over 100 code violations and two years later the owners were sentenced for slum-like conditions.

In Steven King's horror novel The Shining, terrifying events are witnessed by young Danny in Room 217.  But for the movie version, the hotel where it was filmed, The Timberline Lodge in Oregon, U.S, feared guests would be afraid to stay in 217, so it was changed to the non-existent 237. As it turns out, Room 217 is now its most requested room.

It would take 18 years and almost ten months to stay one night in every room at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas (see below).

Kitsap County, Washington, was originally called Slaughter County, and the first hotel there was called the Slaughter House.

The world’s smallest hotel is in Amberg,  in the Upper Palatinate of Bavaria in Germany. The Eh’hausl has a floorspace of just 570 sq ft (53 sq m ) and can accommodate only two guests at a time.

The Eh’häusl. By Orzowei - Picture made by Orzowei, 

The J W Marriott Marquis Dubai in UAE, was the world’s tallest hotel, for just over five years, standing at 355.35 m (1,165.84 ft) from ground level to the top of its mast. Formerly known as Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Spa, the hotel consists of two 77-floor twin towers, with the first tower having opened on November 11, 2012. It contains 1,608 rooms and offers over 8,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor event space.

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai in 2012. Shahroozporia - Own work 

The J W Marriott Marquis' record was taken by another Dubai hotel. At 356.33 m (1,169 ft), the gold-coloured, 75-storey Gevora, which opened in February 2018, is now the world's tallest hotel.

Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, has the world's most expensive suite at £60,000 a night.

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