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Grand old hotels

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In many cities, there is an interesting old hotel, something to remind you of the days when travel meant long journeys by rail or sea, a place where the rich and the famous of its day would stay. Nearly all of these were built before the Second World War, and many date back to Queen Victoria's reign.

Staying in such places is usually not cheap, though it may be cheaper than a more modern high-end hotel. Nor are they necessarily the most luxurious option; the modern high-end places may be even better. However, the grand old hotels are usually very central and they do have an appeal all their own; the old fashioned fittings, the lack of the latest amenities and a certain graceful agedness are often part of their character.

Of course, you need not stay in such hotels to enjoy some of their services. For example, a visitor to Singapore might just go to Raffles for a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar where Rudyard Kipling and Noel Coward once drank, and check out the Billiard Room where Singapore's last tiger was shot.

A traveler with piles of money might consider a round the world flight staying in many of these hotels.

Africa

Egypt

  • Alexandria, Egypt - Cecil Sofitel [1]
  • Aswan, Egypt - Old-Cataract Hotel [2]
  • Cairo, Egypt - Marriott Hotel [3], originally the "Al Gezira Palace" built to house Napoleon's wife, Empress Eugenie of France
  • Giza, Egypt - Mena House Oberoi [4]
  • Luxor, Egypt - Old Winter Palace [5] The discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb was first announced on their bulletin board.

Morocco

Kenya

South Africa

Asia

East Asia

The Grand Hotel, Taipei

Middle East

South Asia

Southeast Asia

Raffles, Singapore

Many of Southeast Asia's grand old hotels can be credited to a single family, the remarkable Sarkies brothers from Armenia, who founded all of the following icons:

Of course, there are some other very classy options as well:

Europe

Northern Europe

West Europe

Central Europe

South Europe

Eastern Europe

North America

United States

The Cincinnatian Hotel.

Canada

The grand old hotels in Canada have a unique place in Canadian history. Most of them were built during first quarter of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway or Grand Trunk Railway in order to provide elegant accommodation while viewing the natural beauty along the rail line. Later, the railway sold them to international chains, mainly Fairmont.

These hotels are popular with tourists and locals alike and though overnight stays are expensive, they represent a fine piece of Canadiana worth visiting even if you only have time for a walk through the lobby. Two - Banff and Lake Louise - are major tourist resorts in their own right, located amid stunning Rocky Mountain scenery.

Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City

Mexico

File:DSC 4993W.jpg
Hacienda Chichen Resort

Costa Rica

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica

Cuba

  • Havana, Cuba Hotel Nacional La Habana [108], a grand old lady filled with memories of times past

South America

Argentina

Brazil

Oceania

Australia



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