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The Myth of the European Grand Hotel


A wonderful, if slightly oddly formatted, article from the Hindustan Times, where Mr. Sanghvi sets out the criteria for a Grand Hotel: History; Grandeur; Design and Art; Service, of course; and Fine Dining. To which we would add: A Proper Bar. 

"Inside the Grand, Abandoned Hotels of Europe"

Thankfully, and in spite of layers of bureaucracy, many of these properties are being refurbished. 

"Grand banqueting halls, opulent lobbies and vast ballrooms; you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a collection of photographs was documenting some of Europe's grandest hotels. However, a closer look will reveal the majestic rooms to be engulfed in swathes of dust and moss; hotels that once hosted royals and high society abandoned to the elements."

Another criteria piece: Location / Views; History; Service, of course; Lobby &/or Pool "Scene"; Fine Dining; A Claim to Fame; Art, everywhere; & a "Media Presence". To which we would add: A Proper Bar. 

A colourful article... "Forget about mere distraction like sharks in the tank behind reception and the fake volcano going off on the front lawn. These are the simple things that make a great hotel. Atmosphere, Bed, Bar, Discretion, Privacy, Balcony, View and it helps if there's a beautiful woman too."

"Here's the not-very dramatic dénouement of our story. There are plenty of hotels which bear the name "grand". Yet, in an era where you can wear jeans and trainers in any hotel restaurant in the world, where the scent is not of leather and cigars but of lavender aromatherapy candles, where the concierge has a PhD and the porters wear Armani – quite simply, nowhere is really grand any longer."

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