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Recommended Reading 1
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Black Tie International - Recommended Reading
London's Grand Hotels

London's Grand Hotels, Ward Morehouse III


Luxury Travel from Your Chair


Ward Morehouse III has long had a love affair with grand hotels of the world. The first he wrote about, that historic gem on Park Avenue, where royalty, presidents, and stars have stayed, was chronicled in The Waldorf-Astoria: America's Gilded Dream. Morehouse was indoctrinated into the glam life of luxury hotels as a youth traveling with his father, the late drama critic Ward Morehouse, who loved the hotel life to the degree that he requested
"Room service, please!" on his grave marker.

In London's Grand Hotels -- Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Service, in the World's Cultural Capital [BearManor Media; 308 pages, softbound, 16-page B&W gallery; Index; SRP, $25], Morehouse goes beyond fine linens and fancy uniforms and exposes the escapades of A-List celebrities [Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and Liz and Dick, to name a few] who made Brown's, the Claridge, Savoy, May Fair, Grosvenor House, and the Dorchester their home away from home.

Published on Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ellis Nassour
International Arts Media journalist
Associate Producer: Drama Desk Awards;
Author: best-selling Patsy Cline biography

Honky Tonk Angel;

and the International Hit Musical revue
Always, Patsy Cline.

William Wolf, former film cirtic of New York Magazine, on his popular 
website NEW YORK CALLING Dec. 31, 2010

By William Wolf 
LONDON HOTELS IN DEPTH Send This Review to a Friend 
Send a Review to a Friend 
Ward Morehouse III has had a love affair with London Hotels, as evidenced by his entertaining and informative new book, “London’s Grand 
Hotels: Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Service in the World’s Cultural Capital” (BearManor Media). Although I’m not sure about 
calling London the “Cultural Capital”—I might give the title to New York—Morehouse’s book is unusual in the sense that it isn’t an ordinary travel guide. His take is to get behind the scenes and talk about the 
hotels in terms of history, tradition, the executives who run them and the flow of celebrities who have stayed in their and his particular favorites. Previously Morehouse’s hotel concentration was New York with 
his books “TheWaldorf-Astoria: America’s Gilded Dream,” and “Inside the Plaza.” 

The London biggies are all included, such as the Savoy, Claridge's, The Connaught, Brown’s, The Dorchester, The Ritz, The Hilton Park Lane etc. 
He includes the famous May Fair in Stratton Street, where I have enjoyed staying during my last few visits to London. I have also at various times bedded down at the Savoy, The Connaught, The Ritz, The 
Dorchester and the Hilton Park Lane, so I have a familiarity with the institutions covered. 
The reason I’ve been enjoying The May Fair Hotel is its friendly service, its great Green Park location, the modern facilities in its re-decorated and re-furnished rooms under its recent modernization, and 
such amenities as a 24-hour computer room at no charge. The hotel also serves generous buffet breakfasts attended by a congenial, friendly 
staff. Morehouse writes much about various aspects, such as the theater in the hotel that is used for movie screenings and other events. 
Recently, I found in seeing Clint Eastwood’s film “Hereafter” that the May Fair lobby was used for an important sequence. For a few moments, 
it was like personally being back there. The May Fair looked great and up-to-date on screen. 
Apart from the years in which he visited London staying at select hotels, in researching his book Morehouse spent two weeks of one-night 
bookings at an assortment of what he regards as London’s finest. That’s a hectic feat. 
His general approach is to encompass a hotel’s history as one of the important reasons one might chose it. Take The Ritz. That has long been 
regarded as a great hotel, as is the case with The Ritz iin Paris. Tea at the Ritz in London has become something of an institution in itself. 
When my wife and I returned to the Ritz a second time after a few years our same room was awaiting us. Such is the attention one gets. 
The Savoy, which has been undergoing renovation, was a favorite of Charlie Chaplin. It has great rooms overlooking the Thames. My wife and 
I had such a vista on one occasion. 
The Dorchester on Park Lane became especially popular when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton stayed there in the midst of their 
internationally publicized liaison. Photographers camped outside. I stayed there during one trip to do movie interviews, and later my wife 
and I also enjoyed the hotel’s comfort. It also has the advantageous Park Lane location. 
Morehouse writes reverentially about the Connaught, where my wife and I stayed on one occasion, when there was a danger from Irish rebels. We 
had brought a cake from New York on the request of a friend, who wanted one from his favorite bakery, and the box had to be opened and examined—gracefully, of course—when we arrived. What I remember most about the Connaught is the incredible service. It seemed that one just had to think about calling for a service employee and he or she was 
already outside the door. 
I stayed at the Hilton Park Lane when it was first built. In the beginning it was scandalous because it was a towering hotel unusual for London. One could see Buckingham Palace from a high floor room, and 
there was concern about invasion of royalty privacy. I recall one magazine editor who snobbishly looked down his nose at the new giant, but when we made an appointment for drinks, where did he want to go? He was curious about the hotel’s bar with a view. The Hilton rapidly earned its respect as a prime location. 
Morehouse discusses such other hotels as Dukes, The Stafford, The Goring, Grosvenor House, the Berkeley
( I interviewed director John Huston there), The Millennium Hotel Mayfair, as well as some of the 
newcomers reflecting development in various London areas, such as the Four Seasons Canery Wharf. 
He approaches the hotel scene as a romantic, enamored of a hotel’s past, the anecdotes associated with it and the famous. Accordingly, the 
book is filled entertainingly with name-dropping and an array of stories. There is also information about cost, but not in the thorough sense of an ordinary guide. The book is peppered with celebrity photos 
by Rose Billings. 
Morehouse himself has an interesting background, which probably helps explain his fascination with past as well as present. His father, Ward 
Morehouse, was a famous New York drama critic, and as the writer’s son, he had the early opportunity of spending time with his father at the 
hotels he frequented in New York and abroad. The fascination continues as Morehouse III pursues his own writing career. 

Harry Haun column PLAYBILL 
January 2011

Names normally found on the entertainment pages of New York’s city papers seem to be Christmas-holidaying on bookstore shelves nowadays. 
Author, author--indeed! 

Eric Grode, New York Sun’s chief theatre critic before it lamentably set, has chronicled the coming, going and Tony-winning coming-again (in 
2009) of Broadway’s first pop-rock musical in “Hair: The Story of the Show That Defined a Generation” (Running Press). Think tie-dyed jeans, 
beads and Vietnam War protests. 

Nudity at a park protest prompted the authors, James Rado and the late Gerome Ragni, to include that in the show—a symbolic way of flipping 
the finger to the existing social mores—and controversy dogged its every step to the bank. 
The tome is handsomely punctuated with the lyrics to Galt MacDermot’s landmark music, interviews with the surviving creatives and 200-plus 
photos (some nekked). 

The Newark Star-Ledger’s theatre guy, Peter Filichia, puts the accent  on the last syllable of showbiz in his nifty new tome, “Broadway  Musicals: The Biggest Hit & The Biggest Flop of the Season” (Applause), 
separating the two by money made and not made, but his affection allows him a little wiggle-room if it’ll lead to a good story. 

Filichia makes it a fascinating, fun ride—plus you learn a lot along the way. For instance, who’s the only composer-lyricist to have three shows last longer than 430 performances? Here’s a hint: his initials 
are S.S., and his first name is Stephen. 

No, not Sondheim. Schwartz! (“Pippin,” “The Magic Show,” “Wicked”). Sondheim had three of the biggest flops (“Anyone Can Whistle,” “Merrily 
We Roll Along,” “Wise Guys”)—so, to make amends, Filichia does a deep bow to Sondheim by granting him “the 11 o’clock number” (a.k.a. the last chapter). Money isn’t everything, you know. 
 Filichia also did the foreword to Laura Frankos’s “Broadway Musical Quiz Book.” 

Ward Morehouse III, who used to report on theatre for the New York Post, had a drama-critic dad who educated him about the glamorous life 
of luxury hotels (his tombstone request, in fact, was “Room service, please!”), so it’s not surprising the son has written “The Waldorf-Astoria,” “Inside the Plaza” and, now, “London’s Grand Hotels” 
(BearManor Media), which stops at and inspects 27 of its swankier joints. 

Did you know Bing Crosby and Bob Hope used Claridge’s carpeted corridors for putting “greens”? Well, did you evah! 
Attention Avid Travelers,
Active or Armchair! 
London's Grand Hotels Is a
Must-Read for You 
By Beatrice Williams-Rude 

"London's Grand Hotels," by Ward Morehouse III is more than a description of the glorious hostelries in a fascinating city; it is a cultural and social romp through history. Like the work of the eminent French historiographer Fernand Braudel, it is a compendium of the lives of people who inhabit these commercial palaces. And like Braudels books, anyplace one opens them the material will be riveting and comprehensible, no matter that one hasnt read what came before. 
This is a book to read again and again, at leisure.
To savor. 
The hotels chosen range from traditional English, such as Browns, the most venerable of this selection having opened in 1837 and which Queen Victoria used to frequent for tea, to Millennium Gloucester which has a super-modern world-class convention center with the latest technology on the planet. The Haymarket Hotel is the newest, having opened
 in 2007 
The book is as much about the people who stay in them and staff them as about the hotels themselves. Of course there are meticulous physical descriptions, and attention to the amenities offered; there are even menus from hotel restaurants. But above all, this book delights in people. 
It should be noted at the outset that this is a chatty book, a fun one, and throughout the charm, wit and joie de vivre of Ward Morehouse III are in evidence. This tome took tons of research – lovingly pursued by the author. Historic names abound, Winston Churchill and Lady Nancy Astor among them. 
A potential purchaser has to but peruse the index to be hooked. 
The reader discovers wonderful tales about people of whom much is known – Lindberghs report on the Luftwaffe and its bloody consequences – and about those of whom little is known, such as the goodness of Colonel John Blashford-Snell who managed to get a much-desired grand piano (as well as medical supplies) to the Wai Wai tribe in the jungles of South America. 
There are anecdotes about royals, pretenders, the famous and infamous. Stories about writers abound, Somerset Maugham, for example. Theres an astonishing letter that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his daughter about Zelda and their miserable relationship. (Sheila Graham would have been delighted.) 
And, of course, theres plenty on performers: Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, both Hepburns, Katharine and Audrey. Van Johnson, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and so on. 
Its hard to imagine austere President Woodrow Wilson reveling in luxury, but he stayed at the Ritz in London. Both Teddy Roosevelt and FDR bedded down at Browns. Oscar Wilde stayed at the Savoy. Walter Cronkite was at the Savoy during WWII and returned to visit 40 years later, pointing to what had been his seat at the American Bar. Charles de Gaulle resided in the "down to earth" Connaught during WWII. . 
The hotels in addition to those in this review include the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park; Hilton Waldorf Hotel; Dukes Hotel; One Aldwych; The Stafford Hotel; The Goring Hotel; The May Fair Hotel; Grosvenor House; The Dorchester; Hilton Park Lane; The Berkeley; Four Seasons Canary Wharf; The Milestone; "41"; The Chesterfield; The Metropolitan Hotel; The Halkin; The Lanesborough; The Soho Hotel; The Piccadilly and The Gore. 
As Samuel Johnson noted: "When a man is tired of London hes tired of life." Agreed! 
The book has 308 pages, a section of fascinating photographs, is being published by BearManor Media. 
January, 20011 in The Resident
(by Lee Fryd)

For centuries, L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris produced the best architects in the world. Today, the French Heritage Society preserves their work. In the past 28 years of its existence, the Society has spent $18 million restoring

the best examples of French architecture in France and the United States as well as providing architecture scholarships. After Hurricane Katrina, they donated $400,000 towards the rebuilding of New Orleans. Their gala at the elite Metropolitan Club, co-chaired by CeCe Black, Margo

Langenberg and Jean Shafiroff, upped the glamour quotient in a glamorous town.

It honored the region of Gascony and its native Chef Ariane Daquin, who founded D’Artagnan, the standard bearer of gourmet organic game, and Les Nouvelles

Meres Cuisinieres, the international association for women chefs. Anyone, like me, who has ever enjoyed the guilty pleasure, owes a debt of gratitude to Daquin for

introducing domestic foie gras to the States. Hudson Valley duck and geese, on the other hand, may feel otherwise.

Across the pond, Ward Morehouse III celebrated his latest book, London's Grand Hotels, published by BearManor Media at -- where else – a London hotel, the Millennium May Fair.

The celebrity-driven tome begins with Brown’s, established in 1837, and includes Claridge’s, Bailey’s, The Savoy, and The Ritz in its roster. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Queen Elizabeth, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Woody Allen, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton are just some of the characters whose London stories no longer remain between four walls.

One story comes from Ward Morehouse Sr., the author’s drama critic father. He hosted a party at the Savoy attended by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, on their way to Africa where Bogart was making The African Queen. “Africa was no place to take a lady,” a guest told Bogie. "She's going, pal!” was the reply. "But," the guest interjected. Insisted Bogart, "She's going!"


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