Five Best Hotels for Music Lovers
Beatles and baby grands: Mark Caswell finds the suites that really hit the top notes
Saturday 10 December 2005
Grand Hotel Europe St Petersburg
Classified as a national and cultural landmark by the Russian government, the Grand Hotel Europe hosted composers from Tchaikovsky to Stravinksy during its illustrious past. Built in 1824, the hotel's art nouveau decor and neo-classical façade were restored to their former glory when the hotel re-opened in 1991.
The Grand Hotel Europe, Nevsky Prospect, Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa 1/7, St Petersburg, Russia (00 7 812 329 6000; www.grand-hotel-europe.com). Doubles start at $413 (£234), room only.
Alexis Hotel, Seattle
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the Alexis has dedicated two suites to late-greats of the music world. The John Lennon suite contains hand-written lyrics and limited-edition prints of his artwork, all signed by Yoko Ono. The Miles Davis suite has numbered prints by the jazz musician and artist, including a self-portrait and a piece entitled Bebop. If you tire of looking at the walls, both rooms have a selection of the performers' music, as well as related literature. To top it all off, there's a funky Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the hallway - very rock'n'roll.
Alexis Hotel, 1007 First Avenue, Seattle, US (00 1 206 624 4844; www.alexishotel.com). Doubles start at $175 (£97) room only, rising to $285 (£158) for the John Lennon and Miles Davis suites.
The Carlyle, New York
Former presidents Truman, Carter and Reagan have described the Carlyle as their unofficial New York home. For music lovers though, the draw is the Steinway or Baldwin baby-grand piano in 23 of the suites. The hotel's musical links began when Richard Rodgers became the hotel's first tenant in 1930. Since then, Café Carlyle has hosted performances from Eartha Kitt to Woody Allen, who jams with Eddy Davis's jazz band on Monday evenings. And for guests who can't bear to be parted from their baby-grand, each room has a direct line to Sothebys, for discreet bidding.
The Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street, New York, US (00 1 212 744 1600; www.thecarlyle.com). Doubles start at $450 (£250) room only, rising to $1,600 (£889) for deluxe suite.
Moog Hotel, Sydney
Fancy recording a masterpiece in your own suite? Then check into the hip Moog Hotel. Designed by Australian music moguls Simon and Susanah Page, the Moog has just one lavish suite, with a recording studio attached. When you've finished laying down your tracks, you can find out what they sound like underwater, via the speakers built into the private plunge pool. Luxuries such as the option of a personal butler and use of the hotel's Jaguar XJR 100 are thrown in for good measure.
The Moog Hotel, 43 Bourke Street, Sydney, Australia (00 61 1300 554330; w ww.moog hotel.com). The suite starts at A$990 (£418) per night, including limousine transfer.
Aria Hotel Prague
Each floor of the Aria, close to the Charles Bridge, is dedicated to a different genre, from opera and jazz to pop. The rooms are named after artists such as Louis Armstrong, Puccini and Mozart, who was a regular visitor to Prague. Each features related music, books and artwork and is decorated in a subtle interpretation of the musician or composer. The entrance hall features Italian tiles, forming the score of an ancient Gregorian chant. There is also a music library and winter garden with grand piano to complete the experience.
The Aria Hotel, Trziste 9, Prague, Czech Republic (00 420 225 334 111; www.aria.cz). Doubles start at €215 (£154), including breakfast.
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