The business of finding accommodation for a weary traveler probably began not long after people started roaming far from their home villages. The first people to find lodging were probably soldiers. They were quickly joined by merchants, pilgrims and people who simply wanted adventure.
A Bit of History
At first, travelers were put up in private residences. Religious pilgrims were housed in monasteries. As time went on, inns began to be built for profit. They were built along roads that were well traveled and near river crossings. They not only housed travelers, but fed and housed the traveler’s animals. At first, travelers bought their own food, but after a time innkeepers began to prepare meals for them.
Laws soon came into being to protect both innkeepers and guests. Many of these laws were passed in England. They are still in effect, with some modifications, not only in the United Kingdom but in the United States as well.
Modern hotels developed with improvements in transportation and increased standards of living. People had enough money to demand more comforts and even luxury from their lodgings. The first building that was formally designated as a hotel in the United States was the City Hotel, which opened in New York City in 1794.
The largest hotel in the world used to be Chicago’s Conrad Hilton, which had 3,000 rooms. Now, the largest hotel is the Izmailovo Hotel in Moscow, which has 7,500 rooms and was built in 1979 for the 1980 Olympics. Though this hotel has four rather pedestrian tower blocks, other luxury hotels are spectacular. Azerbaijan, after all, boasts a hotel that looks suspiciously like the Death Star. Proprietors have also become meticulous about hotel interior design and will spend money to bring in designers like Karl Lagerfeld, who did a makeover of the beautiful Alma Schlosshotel in Berlin and Christian Lacroix, who performed similar magic for the Hotel Du Continent in Paris.
Among the hotels with the most beautiful interior designs include Boston’s Eliot Hotel. The elegant lobby is done in neutral colors and is dominated by a crystal chandelier. The chandelier in the lobby of the nearby Ames Boston Hotel is a bit funkier, as it looks like a great shower or lights and crystal falling from the vaulted ceiling of a 19th century building.
The hotel interior design of the Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur, India, is equally sumptuous and harkens back to the days of the British Raj. For an amazing resort hotel experience, there’s the Amangiri resort in Canyon Point, Utah. This resort hotel has 34 suites, each with its own courtyard. Some have spectacular views of the desert. However, if a traveler isn’t interested in such opulence, he or she can find tiny but lovely places like the Pensaõ Favorita in Porto, Portugal. It has only 12 rooms and a garden wing.
With thousands of hotels around the world, there’s bound to be one for everybody’s taste.