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Culture vultures

The world’s most iconic hotels

Hayes and Jarvis Blog Team December 19, 2013

Some hotels are so much more than just a place to say. Timeless landmarks, historic sites, inspirational structures, and Hollywood legends, these hotels have seen it all and now they’re sights in themselves.

Beverly Wilshire Beverly HillsLos Angeles
Julia Roberts famously strutted through the Beverly Wilshire’s marble lobby in Pretty Woman. Even if you can’t afford the penthouse like Richard Gere’s character, this hotel is pure luxury, and a stone’s throw from the shops of Rodeo Drive. Cary Grant, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Elton John and Mick Jagger have all stayed here.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore
Built in 1887 and now a national monument, the legendary Raffles Hotel is a Victorian distraction in ultra-modern Singapore. Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, and Charlie Chaplin have all fallen for its colonial charms. Come to sip Singapore Slings at the Long Bar, where this cocktail was first shaken.

Bellagio, Las Vegas
Scene of the heist in Ocean’s Eleven, the world-famous Bellagio hotel and casino are Italian-inspired, with botanical gardens in the lobby and a Roman themed spa. Most famous for its towering choreographed fountains, synchronized with music and light, it’s also home to fabulous shopping, with Chanel, Gucci, and Prada on the premises.

Queen Elizabeth Hotel,
The Queen stays here whenever she’s in town. And so does everyone else it seems; Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela, Princess Grace of Monaco, and the Dalai Lama are all previous guests. Perhaps the most famous guests of all, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, held their bed-in protest in room 1738 back in 1969.

The Waldorf Astoria,  New York City
A classic New York City landmark, The Waldorf Astoria has been the epitome of Big Apple grandeur since 1931. The first hotel to offer room service and the place the Waldorf salad was invented, this famous Art Deco building has featured in many Hollywood movies, and played host to stars like Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, and the Queen.

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Rising from the middle of Lake Pichola, the Taj Lake Palace is a floating vision of white marble, mosaics, pavilions, and archways. Built in 1746, this former royal palace was used as a location in 007 film Octopussy. Achingly romantic, expect opulent guest rooms, scenic courtyards, and relaxing water all around you.

The Peninsula Hong Kong
The Peninsula Hong Kong’s legendary fleet of dark green Rolls-Royces and enter the lofty lobby of this glamorous institution overlooking Victoria Harbour. Opened in 1928, the hotel harks back to colonial decadence and good old-fashioned white-glove service; don’t miss the traditional afternoon tea served in the lobby.