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  1. In an age of stripped-down modernism, the new Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a glorious throwback to well-appointed comfort. While the five suites and 21 rooms feature giant plasma-...
  2. Turn-of-the-20th-century Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is said to have seen music in shapes and colors. This may explain why, when he needed inspiration, Sibelius retired to the Hotel Kämp in...
  3. Ahu Aysal, owner of the new Hôtel Les Ottomans in Istanbul, Turkey, claims to have spent more than $80 million transforming this 18th-century pasha’s summer home on the Bosporus into a 10-suite...
  4. During winter’s aqua alta, or high-water season, Venetians forgo designer shoes and instead slosh around their city in rubber boots. Sirens warn residents and visitors to move to higher ground as...
  5. It may be a stretch to suggest that the course of World War II changed in the spring of 1944 when General Eisenhower, unhappy with the decor at Claridge’s, checked out of the hotel and took a stroll...
  6. In the late 1880s, Dresdner Bank AG, one of Germany’s Big Three financial institutions, moved its headquarters from Dresden to a new building built by master architect Ludwig Heim in Berlin. Rich...
  7. After arriving by rail with trunks and suitcases—and a parade of servants carrying parcels, packages, and monogrammed silver—early visitors to Zagreb’s Regent Esplanade were swept directly from the...
  8. Brussels, capital of Belgium and of the European Union, should never be described as stodgy; the city flaunts its eccentricities like an art- house film. Comic-strip murals decorate old brick...
  9. When César Ritz opened Rome’s Le Grand Hotel in 1894, the Swiss hotelier introduced new levels of luxury and sophistication to the Italian capital. Indulgences such as private baths—and innovations...
  10. When in 1981 Lord Charles Forte attempted to acquire the Savoy Group, a most prestigious collection of London lodgings, the firm declared his company, Trust House Forte, “not at all suitable to run...

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