A price comparison has been made of luxury hotels operating today in the US that were once the lodgings of choice of famous figures in the mid-20th Century. Luxury travel flash deals site, Secret Escapes, compiled the report, and says that swanky hotels have always been staples of old-school glamour, where the rich, famous and even presidential came to mingle, drink and stay. All of these hotels are still sought-after today, serving a whole new generation of luxury seekers.
The Snapdragon Inn
The Snapdragon Inn in Vermont, New England, used to be the residence of Maxwell Perkins, editor at Scribner’s publishing. He was, famously, a mentor to Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Hemingway often passed afternoons relaxing on Perkins’s veranda.
Today, you can look out onto the beautiful backyard of the Snapdragon Hotel for $300 per night, which translates to about $17 in 1935, a few years before Hemingway’s book, To Have and Have Not, was published. This book was said to be highly influenced by Perkins.
The Colony Palms Hotel
Frank Sinatra first visited Palm Springs, California, in 1947, and built his former home, Twin Palms, there. Prior to that, he was a frequent guest at the Colony Palms Hotel, and the hotel named a suite, the Sinatra Suite, after him.
Today, an average stay in the Colony Palms costs $300 a night, or $27.27 in 1947. That would have been pocket change for Sinatra though, as his net worth was around $100 million by the time of his death in 1998.
The Biltmore Hotel
The Biltmore Hotel in Miami was one of the most fashionable resorts in the entire country in its heyday. It has housed the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Al Capone.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt also stayed there, and he was nearly gunned down while vacationing in Miami before he took office in 1933. Today a suite at the Biltmore costs upwards of $400 a night, which equates to around $22 a night in 1933.
The Hollywood Roosevelt
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller are said to have met at the iconic Roosevelt hotel in Hollywood. Marilyn also lived at the hotel for two years very early in her career. She posed for her first commercial shoot by the rooftop pool, and legend has it that her ghost haunts the hotel.
You can stay at the Hollywood Roosevelt for approximately $320 dollars, but in 1951, when Marilyn and Arthur met, it would have cost around $33 a night. No extra charge for any ghost sightings!
The Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans originally opened as a luxury apartment building in 1927. In the 1940s, it was refashioned as a luxury hotel called the Pontchartrain. People who stayed there included Frank Sinatra, The Doors, Rita Hayworth, and presidents Gerald Ford and George Bush.
Most notably, New Orleans’ favourite son and playwright, Tennessee Williams, wrote part of his Pulitzer prize-winning drama, A Streetcar Named Desire while staying there in 1947. The Pontchartrain is located directly on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. An average night at the Pontchartrain costs $112, but was a mere $10 dollars out of Tennessee’s pocket in 1947.
The Warwick in New York was established in 1926. Elvis Presley was a frequent guest and Cary Grant was a long-term resident at one point. The Beatles stayed at the Warwick in 1964 when they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.
A room at The Warwick costs around $500 today, which would have translated to about $63.42 in 1962. Can’t buy me love – or a luxury room in NYC – for that price these days.
The Claridge Hotel
Since it opened in 1930, the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has housed legends such as John F. Kennedy and Al Capone. Marilyn Monroe also stayed there when she was grand marshal of the Miss America Pageant in 1952.
Today, a night at the Claridge Hotel averages around $164 a night, but Marilyn would have only shelled out around $18.37 in 1952 for a stay at luxurious establishment.