Wow effect of the past:interesting facts from the history of hotels

The advent of heated hotel rooms was a breakthrough. The invention of the minibar is a sensation. How else did things familiar to us serve as a wow-effect of their time?

The hotel business as such appeared two thousand years ago in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. The first hotels did not look like five stars at all: a large house with a common hall, separate bedrooms and a stable. Sometimes a diner was located in the common hall.

So their appearance remained until the nineteenth century. But then, with the growth of industry and the establishment of international relations, there are more and more hotels, competition is growing, and hoteliers begin to think about the comfort of guests. Tourism is developing, and hotels are appearing in resorts and coasts. In 1906, the "International Union of Hotel Owners" was organized, uniting 1,700 hotels in different countries of the world.

First ensuite bathrooms
Surprisingly, such a familiar thing as a bathroom in hotel rooms first appeared only in 1927 in London, at the Goring Hotel, opened by the German Otto Richard Goring. Prior to this, even the most respectable hotels used shared bathrooms. Another exclusive from the London hotel was central heating, which was also a novelty then. This hotel is still operating today, it is a favorite of the royal family. It was there that the Queen Mother appeared in public for the last time, it was there that Kate Middleton and guests from her side were located during the wedding with Prince William.

First radio in the room
It is now in most rooms of even inexpensive hotels that there is a TV, and in the same 1927, equipping it with radios was a real breakthrough in the hotel business - this was done by the Boston hotel of the Park Plaza Hotel & Towers network. The guests were so delighted with this idea that the owners of the network purchased receivers and installed them in all 7.7 million rooms of their hotel empire.

First tree in the lobby
In almost every self-respecting hotel, a luxurious spruce is set up for Christmas, but the first to think of this were the Hotel del Coronado in California. Luxurious Christmas performances are staged every year in the hotel lobby. This is a place with history. The author of The Wizard of Oz, Lyman Frank Baum, wrote his work here, and was inspired by the place, creating a magical land. And “ghost hunters” come here from all over the world, as it is believed that evil spirits live in one of the rooms. This story inspired the "king of horror" Stephen King so much that he wrote the story "1408" about him, which was later made into a film of the same name.

24 hour service and phone in the rooms
This was thought of in New York at the end of the 19th century, when the new Waldorf Astoria hotel was opened. In every room - oh, a miracle, there was a telephone! But most importantly, for the first time the hotel began to work around the clock. Prior to this, check-in time and the time when you can contact the staff with a request was limited to their working day.

First minibar
In 1974, the Hong Kong Hilton became the first hotel to stock all of its 840 rooms with minibars, generating a solid profit: beverage sales skyrocketed 500% and the company's overall revenue increased 5%. Inspired by this success, Hilton's executive team has stocked all of its hotels with minibars. By the end of the decade, refrigerators were installed in most 4- and 5-star hotels, and the popularity of this device reached its peak.

First air conditioner in the room
The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas is best known for its wandering bride ghost. They say that on the day of her wedding, the groom ran away, and the girl committed suicide. Since then, guests have repeatedly stated that they saw her ghost. This has always fueled interest in the hotel, which is a local landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was in this hotel that air conditioning was first installed in the rooms. But against the background of ghost stories, this achievement remains much less known.

First toiletries
Putting small bottles of shampoo, small bars of soap and tubes of toothpaste in the rooms was first invented in London, at the Four Seasons Hotel, in the 70s of the last century - it turned out that traveling people come in very handy.

Of course, today, all these things are commonplace for any traveler. Times go by, guest preferences and hotel trends change at the speed of light, but one thing remains the same - at all times hoteliers have sought to provide good service, impress guests and create that unique atmosphere that only a hotel has.

14 July 2022