From scandals to murders..10 luxury hotels immortalized in history

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Hotels allow us to step out of our daily lives and into more glamorous experiences.

While many hotels celebrate rich and varied stories, some have witnessed tragic events, which later helped become a major part of their popularity. Here are 10 of the most popular examples of such hotels:

Saint George Hotel and Resort, Beirut, Lebanon

Saint George Hotel, Beirut
St. George Hotel, plain_textCredit: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis/Getty Images

While it may seem surprising today, in the 1950s and 1960s the capital, Beirut, was a major destination attracting international jets.

The St. Georges Hotel & Resort was the first beach club to open on the coast of Beirut in the 1930s, and British actor Peter O’Toole, Egyptian actor Omar Sharif and French actress Brigitte Bardot were among the most prominent stars to visit this hot spot in the Middle East.

However, the hotel was destroyed during the 1975-1990 civil war, and a long-running legal dispute with government-backed development and construction giant Solidere halted reconstruction efforts.

Chelsea Hotel, New York

Chelsea Hotel, New York
Chelsea Hotel, New York , plain_textCredit: Araya Doheny/Getty Images

The legendary Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan reopened earlier this year after undergoing renovations that revived the 134-year-old building, without losing any of its bohemian spirit.

And with the opening of a bar adorned with antique chandeliers, original mosaic floors, and wood-paneled walls – anyone can soak up the atmosphere of this legendary spot, which has seen celebrities such as Bob Dylan and Madonna visit.

Of suspicious interest was room 100 of the hotel where Nancy Spungen, the American girlfriend of the English punk band Sex Pistols, who was later accused of her murder, was stabbed.

The fourth floor of the hotel also witnessed the meeting of two lovers, the American singer Janis Joplin and the American singer Leonard Cohen, who inspired one of Cohen’s most influential songs.

Cliveden House & Spa Hotel, Berkshire, England

Cliveden House & Spa, Berkshire, England
The hotel is best known for its key role in the Profumo Affair, a political scandal that shook England in the 1960s, plain_textCredit: Cliveden House

This award-winning five-star luxury hotel is located on 376 acres of British National Heritage grounds. “Our story is one of more than 350 years of powerful personalities, famous parties, and scandalous cases,” he proudly declares on his website.

The most famous of these is the “Profumo Affair” of the 1960s, when a prominent British politician began an affair with a then 19-year-old model, who was rumored to have links to a Russian spy, after they met at a hotel pool.

Watergate Hotel, Washington, D.C

Watergate Hotel, Washington, D.C
Watergate Hotel Room 214 – now called the Scandal Room, is where the orchestrators of the 1972 Watergate break-in communicated by radio with the burglars at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, plain_textCredit: Will Oliver/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Watergate Hotel Room 214 is known as the “scandal room” and is where the orchestrators of the June 1972 Watergate break-in stayed and kept in radio contact with the burglars at the Democratic National Committee headquarters across the road.

Undergoing a redesign in 2017 by fashion designer Lynn Paolo, the room is an elegant homage to the 1970s, a testament to America’s greatest political upheaval.

Casa Malca Hotel, Tulum, Mexico

Casa Malca Hotel, Tulum, Mexico
This artsy boutique hotel is best known as the former seaside retreat of drug lord Pablo Escobar, plain_textCredit: Design Hotels

Located in the popular Caribbean coastal town of Tulum, Casa Malca is an elegant boutique hotel that houses many contemporary artworks from the personal collection of owner and art dealer, Leo Malka.

It is believed that the mansion was once owned by a very different kind of dealer. Famous as a seaside getaway for drug lord Pablo Escobar, the place was abandoned after Escobar’s death in 1993.

With Persian rugs, bark-covered walls and meditation spaces, the hotel has an eclectic mix of 71 beach rooms and suites to choose from.

The Ritz Hotel, Paris

The Ritz Hotel, Paris
The Ritz Paris, plain_textCredit: The Ritz Paris

Princess Diana had her last meal here in the Imperial Suite. When the Germans occupied the French capital, Paris, during World War II, these landmark hotels were seized – like many other sought-after places – by members of the Nazi Party, including Hitler’s second-in-command, Hermann Göring.

Famous fashion designer Coco Chanel also lived in the hotel for 34 years.

Europa Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Europa Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Europa Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland, plain_textCredit: Jack Hardy/Hastings Hotels

Hotel Europa in Belfast celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021 and had more to celebrate than most, as this brave survivor is known as one of the most bombed hotels in the world.

The hotel opened at the height of the 30-year national conflict known as The Troubles or the Northern Ireland conflict, during which many Northern Ireland hotels were bombed or forced to close, and the hotel was targeted 33 times between 1970 and 1994.

Then-US President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, chose the Europa Hotel as their residence during their visit in the 1990s to encourage the peace process, and the suite they stayed in bears their name ever since.

Hotel de Mille Collines, Kigali, Rwanda

Hotel de Mille Collines, Kigali, Rwanda
Hotel de Mille Collines, Kigali City, Rwanda , plain_textCredit: Majority World/Shutterstock

This luxury hotel in the Rwandan capital became a refuge for about 2,000 people, during the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi people during the Rwandan civil war.

This rapidly growing tourist destination in Rwanda is known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” and the poolside rooms at this hotel offer wonderful views of the enchanting countryside.

Chateau Marmont Hotel, Los Angeles, California

Chateau Marmont Hotel, Los Angeles, California
Chateau Marmont Hotel, Los Angeles, California , plain_textCredit: Araya Doheny/Getty Images

Described as a ‘forever safe haven’, the hotel is considered to be the place where Hollywood stars go for a quiet getaway.

The Marmont Hotel came to prominence in 1982, when American comedian John Belushi died there of a drug overdose.

Villa Casa Casuarina, Florida

Until 1997, this luxury Miami Beach boutique hotel in Miami Beach served as home to famed fashion designer Gianni Versace, who was shot dead on the steps of his mansion by Andrew Cunanan.

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