Asia’s Legendary Hotels – the romance of travel 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       June 9, 2013

 

Author  William Warren & Jill Gocher ( photographer)

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-0-7946-0736-4
Publisher:         Periplus Editions
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.newsouthbooks.com.au 

Iconic Hotels such as the Raffles in Singapore, immortalised by Somerset Maugham, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower (created to show the British how to do it) and many others, have seen more Royals and Grand figures than most, more history pass the grand entrances than ever imagined and so much more on life and living than can ever be documented.

From the first words of the Introduction to the very last picture of the Tjampuhan Hotel in Bali we are plunged into the times past; when travel was something which was undertaken with much thought and consideration. You did not just go for a moment in time, you relocated and lived wherever your chosen destination was for at least a month but more often longer – much, much longer.

You not only packed the china, the linen, the servants and outfits suitable for all occasions, you booked suites in opulent hotels in exotic places such as Bombay (Mumbai) Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. You mostly travelled by train or boat, calling at exotic ports or towns on the way.

The destinations offered sumptuous living, a great social life and escape from the European winters.

So many of the wonderfully  appointed hotels of this era have sadly made way for the capsulated, turnkey hotels known by modern tourists but thankfully some have survived: mostly due to good fortune and in some ways a desire by a certain sector of the travelling public to stay somewhere where luxury is hallmark of  a holiday well enjoyed.

As you turn the pages of this “coffee table” collection you will definitely step back in time and enjoy the hallmarks of an era we can only marvel at but give thanks that someone, somewhere has seen fit to restore and renovate a segment of this history along with the traditions created by opulence in travel in a bygone era.

The destinations offered sumptuous living, a great social life and escape from the European winters.

So many of the wonderfully  appointed hotels of this era have sadly made way for the capsulated, turnkey hotels known by modern tourists but thankfully some have survived: mostly due to good fortune and in some ways a desire by a certain sector of the travelling public to stay somewhere where luxury is hallmark of  a holiday well enjoyed.

As you turn the pages of this “coffee table” collection you will definitely step back in time and enjoy the hallmarks of an era we can only marvel at but give thanks that someone, somewhere has seen fit to restore and renovate a segment of this history along with the traditions created by opulence in travel in a bygone era.

Each Hotel featured is carefully photographed and documented which gives a sense of time and place to more than just a magnificent building.  This is a great collection of Grande Dames ( If you can call Hotels such) which makes this a more than just a fascinating picture book, but one that brings life and fine  detail to not only the Hotels, but the people who built them, the people who stayed in them and their place in modern day travel.