Most Opulent Hotel Lobbies
The opulent Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo is one of Europe’s finest, with pretty bas-relief friezes, French doors and wrought-iron balconies overlooking the Mediterranean. The stunning hotel evokes a sense of the incredible grandeur and elegance of the Belle Époque era, and its glorious Winter Garden reception and lobby bar are bathed in light filtering through the Gustave Eiffel-designed, Art Nouveau glass-and-steel dome.
The Peninsula Paris
Enter the dramatic lobby of The Peninsula and you can sense the building’s history. During a stay here in 1928, George Gershwin composed ‘An American in Paris’, and the Paris Peace Accords were signed here in 1973, ending the Vietnam War. After years of meticulous restoration, the hotel opened last year, combining its heritage aesthetic with modern art. Lasvit’s ‘Dancing Leaves’ in the lobby evokes the plane trees lining Avenue Kléber outside in 800 handblown glass leaves serving as both chandelier and installation.
Although Raffles was born at the height of British colonialism in 1887, the appeal and renown of the definitive Singaporean hotel has transcended the centuries — its name is a byword for the Empire at play and the hotel has become an enduring favourite among celebrities and nobility. As a National Monument of Singapore, its colonnaded atrium is as resplendent as ever, soaring three storeys in carved white marble. Polished teak balustrades on the upper floors complete the air of Old-World majesty.
Four Seasons Hotel George V
The lobby of this Four Seasons offers guests their first taste of the luxury to come in this historic Art Deco hotel, not least because of the breathtaking floral arrangements. Artistic director Jeff Leatham has been using flowers to create “wow effects” since he joined George V in 1999. Now, three trucks a week arrive laden with 12,000 flowers from Amsterdam. Floral design themes and colours change every three weeks, with the actual flowers changed daily. “The best compliment i get is when someone tells me they’ve been staying at the hotel for 14 years and have never seen the same arrangement twice,” says Leatham.
Ideally located close to Mumbai’s many famous landmarks, museums and galleries, Taj SantaCruz is a modern architectural triumph of art and design where tradition and modernity collide to spectacular effect. While a collection of paintings and traditional sculptures by Indian artists provide local accents and style, the lobby is a breathtaking explosion of light, with stunning light installations and 3504 handblown glass pieces creating a glittering ceiling of modern chandeliers.
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-carlton Hotel
Big and bold could well be the motto of this Ritz-Carlton resort,first built in 1985 and overlooking its own one-kilometre-long private beach and 50-metre infinity pool. its centrepiece is the 38-metre-high dome that crowns the marble lobby atrium. underneath its majesty, guests gather for afternoon tea (both English- and Omani-style are offered), serenaded softly by a live pianist or harpist.
Hotel Ritz, Madrid
In the absence of adequate hotels, when King Alfonso XIII married in 1906, his royal guests had to stay in private houses. To avoid future embarrassment, the king was instrumental in creating the first genuine luxury hotel in Spain and when the belle époque palace, Hotel Ritz opened in 1910, he was finally satisfied visiting dignitaries could be received in style. The grand interiors are dressed in 10,000sqm of carpets and wall tapestries from the historical Real Fábrica de Tapices. Guests today will often see a young lady named Justi sitting on the floor of the grand lobby with coloured balls of wool and special needles — her full-time job is to repair the treasured carpets as they wear.
The Langham is possibly the most exclusive address in Melbourne. Though it overlooks the Yarra River and Melbourne city skyline, you could be forgiven for thinking you are stepping back in time to Renaissance Europe. The centrepiece of the hotel’s expansive marble foyer is a gracious water feature skirted by an elegant stairway and crowned with a Waterford crystal chandelier. Elegant epicurean delights, intimate and unapologetically opulent interiors, and extraordinary personalised service complete the luxurious picture.
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