Famous Firsts

Famous Hotels became Famous for many “Firsts”

First Passenger Elevator

USA: The Fifth Avenue Hotel, built in 1859 at 200 Fifth Avenue, had the first passenger elevator ever installed in a U.S. hotel. 

First Grand Hotel

London, UK: In January 1774 Mr Low opened the Grand Hotel. He invited the Duke of Bedford’s chief agent to the opening. The hotel was intended for residence by a wealthy clientèle, with a top price of 15s. a night for a suite of two rooms. The full story

First Hotel Management Companies (Chains)

The Savoy group was certainly among the first - read the ongoing blog

First Movies at Hotels

Often hotels used to be the best places to present movies. They offered the infrasturcture needed.
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First Aircondition

USA: First air-con was built in the 1930s for the yeast-rich Fleischmanns’ Edgewood (USA).

USA / 1950: The Adolphus (the tallest building in Texas at the time) was the first hotel in America to offer central air conditioning powered by electricity.

First Electronically lit Outdoor Christmas Tree

USA: Hotel del Coronado, this scenic beachside resort made jaws drop back in December 1904 when it unveiled the world’s first electronically lit, outdoor Christmas tree.

First en-suite bathrooms

Until the mid 20th century, it was quite common that hotel guests had to share bathrooms.

Since the end of the 19th century, hotels had started to add bathrooms to their more expensive rooms  and suites. London’s Goring Hotel lays claim to having been the first UK hotel in 1910, where each bedroom was fitted with en-suite bathrooms.

First Radios in Rooms

USA: The Boston Park Plaza Hotel was the first hotel back in 1927 to provide guest radios in each room, a feature that had never been offered on such a wide scale before.

First Minibars in Rooms

Siegas, the German company that invented the refrigerated minibar in the 1960s, inspired Egon Steigenberger to equip all his hotels with minibars (Frankfurter Hof leading) in the late 1960s.

First Reservation Systems

The fist global reservation system housed in Europe was installed by Egon Steigenberger in 1971 at the Frankfurter Hof. It became eventually famous (and the most accepted one) as SRS.