Glamour, diverting anecdotes, intriguing stories, and enthralling views behind otherwise closed doors: Who were the visionary founders, the pioneering spirits of these hotels? What family histories, or tragedies, played themselves out behind these walls, behind the back of the guests? What feats of architectural mastery, which ingenious design features are concealed within these edifices?
Virtually every metropolis, every sought after ‘place in the sun,’ can boast a legendary hotel, a place steeped in tradition. The very words “Grand Hotel” emanate a special kind of magic. Such hotels are more than architecture, family history and tradition: they are chroniclers of our times.
At a time when travel was still celebrated, grand personalities entered and exited Europe's grand hotels on a regular basis. For the upper classes, hotels were the hubs and pivotal points of social life. Weaving themselves around these hotels – surrounded by an aura of glamour, as well as by a web of little anecdotes – were the most extravagant legends. In these palaces, people lived, loved, and suffered; there were celebrations, but also deaths. Taboos and hearts were broken, far-reaching political decisions were taken here, and from time to time, world-famous works of literature were composed. The grand hotels survived two world wars, have witnessed democracies and despotic regimes come and go, and they provided the stage scenery for the dramatic societal transformations of the 20th century.
Season 1: 4 x 60'
Season 2: 4 x 60'