Grand Hotel

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Exterior view of the Grand Hotel Dolder in Zurich
Grand Hotel Astoria , Brussels, (architect Henri van Dievoet , 1909)

A Grand Hotel (also Grand Hotel or Grand Hotel , after the French grand , dt. "Large", colloquially also luxury hotel ) is a particularly large, usually also particularly luxurious hotel .


There are no internationally standardized criteria that grand hotels have to meet. Some four-star and, in some cases, even three-star hotels call themselves grand hotels . There is also a lack of a generally applicable definition. The term includes both size and grandeur .

A grand hotel is a large and very well equipped hotel that meets higher structural, architectural and culinary demands; it should differentiate it from standard hotels and emphasize its exclusivity (both in terms of size and in terms of furnishings). The Grand Hotel underlines its internationality also through the language, because English and French are compulsory for the staff in addition to the national language . It is exclusive in terms of price and sociology and integrates national and international dimensions in terms of architecture and cuisine.


The first Grand Hotel was probably the Grand Hotel in Covent Garden , which was opened by David Low on January 25, 1774. The Tremont House in Boston , which opened in October 1829, is the first five-star luxury hotel with 170 rooms and a dining room with French cuisine. In the 19th century, a grand hotel was a hotel with high levels of comfort, such as running water and a telephone, as well as room design and furniture that was based on European palace architecture and aimed at an educated public. There was still no star classification .

In the Belle Époque at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a large number of grand hotels were built - not only in metropolises, but also at other meeting points of affluent society. These were mainly health resorts ( seaside resorts , climatic health resorts ), and often in particularly scenic locations (alpine passes, lake shores, sea coasts, etc.). In the course of developing such regions through railway construction, a number of grand hotels were built as railway hotels by the mostly private railway companies at the time.

Around 1900, the then world spa town of Wiesbaden had the highest density of grand hotels in the world (approx. 30 with approx. 100,000 inhabitants).

Examples of grand hotels

Today's Hotel Adlon, Berlin (2004)
Beau-Rivage in Geneva

In a panel study by Forbes Magazine from 2008, the Forbes Traveler 400 ranking was created from almost 800 suggestions from various sources , which are said to be among the best hotels worldwide.

The hotels located in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are examples of the "Grand Hotels" class:


  • Silke Behl, Eva Gerberding: Revolving door to the big world - The 50 most beautiful grand hotels in Europe. DuMont, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-7701-4384-1 .
  • Elaine Denby: Grand Hotels. Reality & Illusion. Reaction Books, 1998, ISBN 1-86189-010-9 .
  • Catherine Donzel, Marc Walter: Grand Hotels of North America. Mcclelland & Stewart, 1989, ISBN 0-7710-2855-5 .
  • Heinz Horrmann: The best of the best. Grand Hotels. Ullstein, Munich, 1993, ISBN 3-548-35265-0 .
  • Christian Gargerle, Herbert Lachmayer : The world of grand hotels. Preissler Otis, 1990.
  • Willi Frischauer (Translator: Heide Mayer): European Grand Hotels (Original title: A hotel is like a woman ... The Grand Hotels of Europe. ) Mvg, Munich 1966.
  • Habbo Knoch: Grandhotels. Luxury rooms and social change in New York, London and Berlin around 1900. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2016. 495 pp. ISBN 978-3-8353-1911-0 .
  • Cordula Seger: Grand Hotel. Theater of literature. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-412-13004-4 . (At the same time dissertation at the Technical University of Berlin )
  • Stefania Pitscheider: Alpine grand hotels in the open countryside with a special focus on South Tyrol (1870–1914). Diploma thesis. University of Vienna, 2005.
  • Roland Flückiger-Seiler: Hotel palaces between dream and reality: Swiss tourism and hotel construction 1830–1920. here + now, Baden 2003, ISBN 3-906419-68-1 .
  • Roland Flückiger-Seiler: Hotel dreams between glaciers and palm trees: Swiss tourism and hotel construction 1830–1920. here + now, Baden 2001, ISBN 3-906419-24-X .
  • Du palais au palace: des grand hôtels de voyageurs à Paris au XIXe siècle. Carnavalet Museum, 21 octobre 1998 - 24 janvier 1999 / [commissariat: Jean-Marc Léri]. Exhibition catalog. Paris-Musées, Paris 1998, ISBN 2-87900-375-X .
  • Michael Schmitt: Palace Hotels: Architecture and Demands of a Building Type, 1870–1920. Mann, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-7861-1363-7 .
  • Isabelle Rucki: The hotel in the Alps: the history of the Upper Engadine hotel architecture from 1860 to 1914. Ammann / Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture gta, Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-250-50108-5 (also dissertation at the University of Zurich 1988) .
  • Jochen Philipp Ziegelmann: Waldhaus Vulpera: Secrets of a Grand Hotel. BoD, Norderstedt 2020, ISBN 978-3-750425-69-9 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Luxury hotel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Andreas Odenwald, Günter Schöneis: Lexicon of Lifestyle: Live in style and enjoy with spirit and taste. 2009, no p.
  2. a b Eckart Goebel: Beyond the uneasiness: "Sublimation" from Goethe to Lacan. 2009, p. 217f.
  3. Patrick Robertson: What was the first time when? 1974, p. 125.
  4. Forbes Traveler 400 - Methodology ( Memento April 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Grandhotels - luxury in the laboratory of modernity , review in the FAZ on January 27, 2017.