Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Grand Hotels

Reality and Illusion

Grand Hotels is the fruit of the many years Elaine Denby has devoted to travels and visits throughout Europe, North America, the Near East and the Orient; it is a fascinating architectural and social history that covers the globe from the 1830s to the 1930s, but which also takes note of the most recent refurbishments.

The styles of architecture and decor have varied enormously for grand hotels: a French Renaissance château manner for the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the 1880s; a fantastic Moorish-style confection for the Tampa Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast (1891); Art Deco for Oliver Hill’s seaside Midland Grand at Morecombe in England (1933). And the services available were equally stunning: Turkish baths, rifle-ranges, even a fleet of vintage Rolls-Royces at Hong-Kong’s Peninsula. To keep this illusory world glittering, the reality had to run like clockwork, with managers like César Ritz, king of hoteliers, monitoring every detail from ballrooms to basement boilers. Grand Hotels explores every aspect of this all-but-vanished world of opulence, from the entrepreneurs, architects and designers who made it possible to the ambitious individuals and dynasties that kept it going.

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

304 pages | 8.5 x 10.75 | © 2004

Architecture: History of Architecture

Culture Studies

Travel and Tourism: Tourism and History

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books

Table of Contents

1. Origins
2. Size and Grandeur in the United States
3. Europe Burgeoning
4. The Swiss Genius
5. Fin de Siècle
6. Founded in Empires
7. Journeys to the East
8. Into the Twentieth Century and Times of Change
9. Reality and Illusion
Select Bibliography

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press