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Ever since it opened in 1864, the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo has been surrounded by an air of secrecy. And that’s part of its allure. Run by generations of families, staff developed a rapport with wealthy guests, who came to Monte Carlo for its famed Place du Casino and growing reputation as a hot destination.




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With its Belle Époque exterior and prime location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the hotel embodies all the glitz and glamor that people expect in Monte Carlo. Monacan royals have long roamed about here, including Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly, who celebrated their wedding breakfast here in 1956. The likes of Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Maria Callas, Rita Hayworth and Cary Grant (pictured) have also been known to stay at the hotel.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


It’s one of London’s best-loved hotels, and for good reason. Opened in 1889 by theater mogul Richard D’Oyly Carte, The Savoy instantly welcomed star-studded guests through its doors, including actors, opera singers and royals. In fact, it was the first purpose-built luxury hotel in the country at the time, built in the image of American hotels of the 1870s and 1880s.




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Its interiors have never held back on drama either. From their earliest incarnation, with plenty of Victorian floral wallpaper and elaborate gilded details, to the 1920s, when the space was given an Art Deco revamp, the Savoy has always kept up with the times. Its reputation for glamor really began to skyrocket as cinema was gaining popularity, with film stars including Mary Pickford, Ava Gardner and Marilyn Monroe (pictured here with Laurence Olivier in 1956) staying at the hotel.




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The name has become a byword for all things luxurious, so it’s no surprise that The Ritz in Paris has been the touchstone of glamor since it opened in 1898. Built in two 18th-century palaces in the Place Vendôme, the swanky hotel was filled with innovations that were ahead of their time, including en-suite bathrooms, telephones and electricity. Pictured here is the Ritz Hotel Salon in 1957.




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As soon as it had opened its doors, the Ritz was filled with famous names. Oscar Wilde visited – although he wasn’t such a fan, complaining that the elevators moved too fast and the bathrooms weren’t to his taste. Other literary greats including George Bernard Shaw, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene followed in his footsteps. But by far the longest-staying guest was Coco Chanel, who lived in a suite here for 34 years.




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The fashion designer’s former abode has since been restored in a timeless and chic monochrome scheme, complete with her lesser-known works of art. After a $450 million renovation, completed in 2016, the modern Ritz is full of references to its history, from the Bar Hemingway to the Salon Proust and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Suite. La Table de L’Espadon, pictured, serves up a two-Michelin-starred menu in an airy, contemporary setting.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


The Carlton was bought by the Intercontinental Group in 1982. With its Belle Époque façade overlooking the dazzling sands of the hotel’s private beach, today it remains a place to see and be seen in Cannes. In 2004, seven highly luxurious suites were added to its top floor, allowing well-heeled visitors to gaze out at unparalleled views of the Côte d’Azur from sweeping terraces.




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The story of the Gritti Palace began in 1475, when it was created as a residence for nobleman Doge Andrea Gritti. With its unbeatable location alongside Venice’s Grand Canal, the stunning Gothic building opened as The Grand Hotel in 1895. It was soon put on the map by famous guests including Ernest Hemingway, Peggy Guggenheim and Charlie Chaplin.




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In 1947, the hotel got a new name – The Gritti Palace – and with it came a luxurious new makeover, after being bought by hotel group Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi. It quickly became pegged to the Venice Biennale and the Venice Film Festival, which saw A-listers including Elizabeth Taylor, Woody Allen, and John Dos Passos (pictured) waltz through its doors.




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Old-school charm is the order of the day at the Gritti Palace. In 2011, a $50 million renovation gave the hotel a new lease of life, with luxurious Italian fabrics, custom-made furniture and antiques taking its romantic spirit into the modern age. Meanwhile, suites nod to its lineup of famous guests: The Peggy Guggenheim, the Hemingway and the John Ruskin.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


In the Roaring Twenties, the hotel’s splendid ballrooms hosted flappers and Jazz-Age celebrities, while in the Second World War it served as a refuge for monarchs from Norway, Greece and Yugoslavia. Hollywood’s finest flocked to the hotel after the war – Barbra Streisand and Peter Sellers are shown here at a party in 1969.




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The present-day Claridge’s has kept souvenirs from each of its defining eras. There’s the Art Deco glass screens in the Foyer & Reading Room, the Roman-stone façade from its 1929 redesign, as well as the dramatic Dale Chihuly light sculpture in the foyer, courtesy of a 1996 restoration. It’s also home to the oldest working elevator in London, dating to 1896, which is still operated by an attendant.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Movie stars poured in from the mid-20th century, including the Gabor sisters, a well-known troupe of Austrian-Hungarian actors and socialites, shown in a family photograph at the hotel in 1955. The hotel is one of the few family-run five-star hotels in the world today, and is operated by members of the Gürtler and Winkler families, descendants of the original Sacher family.




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Nowadays, visitors can expect a sleek, timeless hotel which doesn’t scrimp on luxury. Complete with 152 individually designed rooms and suites, a boutique spa and state-of-the-art gym, there’s also the opportunity to sample (what else?) the famous Sacher-Torte, the recipe for which has become the hotel’s most closely-guarded secret.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Other famous names to sign its guest book were Louis Armstrong (pictured in his suite in 1956), Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Meg Ryan, Walt Disney, Clint Eastwood and more – the list is pretty long! It was also a firm favorite of Elizabeth Taylor, who spent a lot of time in the Harlequin Suite, often accompanied by on-again off-again partner Richard Burton.




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The fabulous suites pay homage to its history. In the Eisenhower Suite, occupied by American General Eisenhower during the Second World War, you’ll find historic wood-paneled walls and a grand four-poster bed, with a private balcony overlooking Hyde Park. Meanwhile Liz Taylor’s former Harlequin Suite has been transformed into an oasis of modern luxury with marble, onyx and glass. It even comes with a private butler.




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The establishment that would put Antibes firmly on the cool list, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc was created by French journalist August De Villemessant in the 1860s. But it went by a different name at first: Villa Soleil. And it wasn’t all plain sailing either. Beset by financial difficulties, occupation during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and an ensuing depression, it was left empty for some 17 years before an Italian hotelier took over and rejuvenated it.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Despite its celebrity legacy, the hotel remains surprisingly down-to-earth. Its rooms are still opened by old-fashioned keys instead of modern key cards, staff treat guests like family and much of the building itself hasn’t changed in years. Which is precisely why many famous guests still love it today. Pictured is Penelope Cruz on a powerboat outside the hotel in 1999.




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Perched at the top of Rome’s well-trodden Spanish Steps, the Hassler Hotel has been an emblem for luxury ever since opening in 1893. The original building was demolished and rebuilt in 1939, before serving as the American Air Force’s headquarters during the Second World War. Pictured here, former US President Harry S. Truman shakes hands with Enrico de Nicola, President of the Italian Constitutional Court, in the hotel’s lobby in 1956.




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Within easy reach of Rome’s prime attractions, including the Pantheon, the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica, it’s easy to see why trendy tourists love the Hassler. Screen icons old and new have stayed here, including Audrey Hepburn (pictured), Grace Kelly, Charlie Chaplin, Ingrid Bergman, Danny DeVito and Leonardo DiCaprio.




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After a revamp in January 2018, to celebrate its 125th anniversary, the hotel’s suites have been given a breath of fresh air, decked out in a timeless neutral palette with gold and silver touches. The Hassler is also home to Rome’s first ever rooftop restaurant, Imàgo, where guests can enjoy Michelin-starred Italian food with panoramic views over the Eternal City.




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