The Big Six: Century-old sleeps


Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles

Since this hotel opened, a century ago this month, all manner of starlets have slinked in. Marlene Dietrich forced the Polo Lounge to ditch its "no slacks" policy for women in the 1940s; Liz Taylor brought glamour in the 1950s; Marilyn Monroe coveted bungalow No 7 in the 1960s; Faye Dunaway lounged poolside in the 1970s.

Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, US (001 310 276 2251; Doubles from US$495 (£330), room only.

Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg

This Baltic beauty marks its centenary on 23 December, as one of the finest buildings in a city that has changed from Petrograd to Leningrad to St Petersburg over the last century. It received a 1990s makeover by the Rocco Forte group and endures as a testament to Russian fortitude.

Hotel Astoria, 39 Bolshaya Morskaya, St Peters-burg, Russia (007 812 494 5757; thehotelastoria. com). Doubles from R8,500 (£179), room only.

Manila Hotel, Manila

Built during US occupation and inaugurated on Independence Day in 1912, this hotel later flew a Japanese flag during the Second World War. The 1950s saw actors Marlon Brando and John Wayne hang their hats here, before The Beatles checked in on their final world tour in 1966.

Manila Hotel, Bonifacio Drive, Manila, Philippines (00 63 2 527 0011; Doubles from P9,600 (£140), B&B.

Copley Plaza, Boston

This grand Beaux-Arts building replaced the city's Museum of Fine Arts on 19 August 1912 and is named after the painter John Singleton Copley. It has since hosted a string of US presidents, along with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Richard Burton. In 1979, a disgruntled former employee set fire to the building, but today it strides forth with a $20m renovation, due to be unveiled on 1 July. Additions will include revived bedrooms and ballrooms, a rooftop gym and a new restaurant. The hotel's "Peacock Alley" remains – so called for the well-plumed ladies who once strolled the corridor.

Copley Plaza, 138 Street James Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, US (001 617 267 5300; fairmont. com/copleyplaza). Doubles, US$264 (£176), B&B.

Normandy Barrière, Deauville

This grand hotel started life serving the Parisian elite during twilight years of the belle époque, who flocked to the coastal Normandy commune for weekend escapes away from the capital. Today, the hotel retains an imposing half-timbered exterior and thatched roof, with dark wood panelling, ornate marble and rich fabrics testifying to its veteran status.

Normandy Barrière, 38 rue Jean Mermoz, Deauville, France (00 33 2 31 98 66 22; Doubles starts at €280, room only.

Château Laurier, Ottawa

This hotel boasts a fairy-tale façade that harks back to the Canadian capital's Gallic roots. Named after prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, it debuted with a room rate of just $2 on 1 June 1912. It had actually been due to open months earlier, but the ceremony was delayed when the visionary behind it perished on the Titanic. In the 1980s it underwent a renovation and today retains a prime position on the Rideau canal.

Château Laurier, 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Canada (001 613 241 1414; Doubles from C$278 (£185), including breakfast.