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Salvador Dal once asked room service at H tel Le Meurice in Paris to send him up a flock of sheep. When they were duly brought to his room he got out a gun and fired blanks at them. George Bernard Shaw tried to learn the tango at Reid's Palace in Madeira, and the details of India's independence were worked out in the ballroom of the Imperial Hotel, Delhi.
The great hotels have provided glamorous backgrounds for some of the most momentous - and most bizarre - events of world history.
Adrian Mourby is a distinguished hotel historian and travel journalist - and a lover of great hotels. Here he tells the stories of 50 of the world's most magnificent, among them the Adlon in Berlin, the Cipriani in Venice, the Intercontinental in Saigon, Raffles in Singapore, the Dorchester in London, Hotel Kamp in Helsinki, the Pera Palace in Istanbul - and, a personal favourite, the Art Deco Midland in Morecambe Bay.
All human life is to be found in a great hotel, only in a more entertaining form.
About the Author
Adrian Mourby was an award-winning BBC drama producer before turning to full-time writing. He has published three novels, two AA travel guides and a book of humor based on his Sony Award-winning Radio 4 series Whatever Happened To? In recent years Adrian has won two Italian awards for his travel journalism. He also writes extensively on opera and has produced operas by Mozart, Handel and Purcell, both in the UK and in Europe.