GRAND HOTELS OF EUROPE by Willi Frischauer


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Hotel devotee Frischauer's predilection is toward ""the big, sumptuous, thick-carpeted, discreetly subdued luxury hotel with a bevy of servants appearing as soon as my fingertips touched the bell."" Into this category fall the Ritz of Paris, Claridge's in London, Rome's Hotel Excelsior (featured in Fellini's La Dolce Vita), the Metropole in Brussels, the Palace at St. Moritz, the Hotel de Paris at Monte Carlo, and four others in Madrid, Amsterdam, Vienna and Athens. Aside from sheer luxury, Frischauer accents the varied clientele of these superhostelries as being equally important as service. His pages are sprinkled with a gorgeous confetti of famous names, while he lolls about like Elsa Maxwell. (""The coziest-looking hotel I know, though almost too dainty to confine my bulk, is Salzburg's Goldener Hirsch..."") And a page never passes without some fabulous item of cuisine to bloat the reader's imagination. Among the gossip with which he pads his hotel histories are some stories to be taken with l tsp. of salt; for instance, one in which Hemingway carries a live lion out of the Ritz Bar and dumps it on the sidewalk. Frischauer lays out his repast with lotsa relish and a forgivable smirk, seldom mentioning the tab. But $52 for supper, $120 for a night's rest, it adds up.

Pub Date: Dec. 27th, 1965
Publisher: Coward-McCann