It is my sincere hope I get to stay in each of the hotels in this list. It’s not that I’m super into hotels or anything creepy like that, it’s just these places are especially wonderful. They’re the kind of hotels you’ve seen in movies or in glossy magazines for years and thought, ‘One day I’ll stay there…. one day…’ Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about living a life you love, it’s to make ‘one day,’ today. So, as soon as the opportunity arises, you can bet your sweet booty I’ll be checking-in to these 7 iconic hotels, throwing on the first bathrobe I see and walking around my suite like I’m someone really famous and important while practicing my Oscar’s acceptance speech…. just in case.
1. Hôtel Ritz, Paris
Oh, my heart! If ever there was a hotel that filled the dreams of romantics everywhere, it has to be Hôtel Ritz Paris. Regularly recognised as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the iconic abode has played home to Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway. It was also a source of inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald! Opened in 1898, it really is the kind of place you dream of staying. Lazy afternoon strolls around Parisian streets, casually eating croissants with your handsome French lover… sigh… when I do finally stay here, you can expect a cinematic masterpiece of an Insta-story about it!
2. Waldorf Astoria, New York
One of the grandest hotels in the world, the Waldorf Astoria has graced many a silver screen. It first opened in 1893 but was closed in 1929, the hotel was torn down and replaced by the Empire State Building. It re-opened on Park Avenue in 1931, playing host to many famous faces, including Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Iconic doesn’t even really begin to cut it! The Presidential Suite here is legendary, the entire hotel has an old-world majesty and magic to it. Imagine 1930s opulence, supper and cocktails, shopping trips along Park Avenue and 5th Avenue and sunset strolls through Central Park. #TravelGoals
3. The Plaza, New York
It was once said, “Nothing unimportant ever happens at The Plaza.” A bold statement, but so outrageously cool I can’t help but want to be in there! Opened in 1907, The Plaza sits at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, offering a luxuriously gorgeous place to spend an unforgettable trip to New York City. Many films have shot here, including Sleepless in Seattle, Home Alone 2 and The Great Gatsby. It has also hosted famous faces like John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Onassis and Frank Lloyd Wright. The Plaza offers up a dream, to stay in New York and experience a little bit of luxury and magic.
4. Claridge’s, London
Officially opening its doors in 1856, Claridge’s started out as a small hotel in the heart of London. Now, it is an Art Deco masterpiece of a hotel and a portal into another world of glitz, glamour, and luxury. In the 1920s it played host to roaring parties and flapper’s, in the 1940s it was a retreat for Winston Churchill, in the 1950s it hosted Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Bing Crosby. Now, it’s an iconic hotel and a favourite of Kate Moss. On the doorstep, you’ll find the London of your dreams, from Selfridges and Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace and Bond Street.
5. The Beverley Hills Hotel, Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, nothing quite compares to the stunning Beverly Hills Hotel, with its wild and rich history of glamour, wealth, and romance (none of which I have). Since opening in 1912 it has seen many huge celebrities grace its hallways including Frank Sinatra and the entire Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, John Lennon, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and a host of Royalty too. You just have to take one look at The Beverly Hills Hotel to see how iconic and classic it is! A stay in one of the famed bungalows is bound to be unforgettable.
6. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
For over a century, the stunning Taj Mahal Palace has been the hotel of choice for Maharajas and dignities. It offers incredible views of the Arabian Sea and a taste of refined luxury and hospitality unlike any other. The place just oozes opulence, drama, and elegance. Opened in 1903 it cuts a dramatic figure in Mumbai with its iconic facade. The rooms are, of course, next level luxury and the kind of place you could lose days in bed. When I finally get the chance to visit Mumbai, you can bet I’ll be looking to spend a few unforgettable nights here!
7. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
Iconic hotels don’t come much more beautiful than the sleek, modern elegance of Tokyo’s famed Mandarin Oriental. This place is on my travel bucket list for good reason, not only is it in one of my favourite cities in the world, it’s absolutely gorgeous! Not only does it boast exceptional service and suites that will make your wildest dreams seem inadequate, it’s home to a number of Michelin-starred restaurants too. A stay here is an experience unto itself and if it’s good enough for Kevin Spacey, Lucy Liu, Geoffrey Rush and Morgan Freeman, it’s good enough for me!
Is there an iconic, luxurious, dreamy or otherwise famous hotel you’ve always dreamed of checking-in to? I’d love to hear about it and add it to my own travel bucket list, so please share in the comments below. P xx
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Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.