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Happy Birthday Ma’am
Queen Elizabeth is a well loved and popular monarch, with plenty of style as well as class, and who better to recommend where to stay when one travels? The Goring Hotel is the only London hotel with a Royal Warrant from the Queen, and this is where Kate Middleton stayed the night before her wedding, but what about when one’s abroad? Here’s a list of some of the hotels the Queen has stayed in over the past 90 years.
The Phoenicia Hotel, Valletta
The Queen stayed here when she was still a Princess, on her first visit to Malta in 1949.
If you're going to stay in one of the big hotels, it should be here. Among the oldest hotels on the island, this attractive art deco building was commissioned by Lady Strickland for society's most cosmopolitan clientèle. Art Deco grandeur still emanates from this five star hotel with its cool marble, arched lead glass windows, a 1930s cocktail bar and a ballroom that once saw the soon-to-be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip dance there. To enjoy your stay to the full, book one of the recently refurbished third or fourth floor rooms with views looking out to The Grand Harbour or the city walls of Valletta, only a stone's throw away from this conveniently-situated property. The facilities are excellent and the magnificent seven-acre garden can be enjoyed on the walk to the bastion pool area which looks straight out onto Marsamxett Harbour.
The Ahwahnee Hotel, California
In 1983 the Queen booked out this whole hotel for her visit to Yosemite.
Built in 1925, this luxury hotel resting in the foothills by Yosemite Falls has a pool and spa, and modern, comfortable rooms with stunning views. The Dining Room offers seasonal, fresh dishes matched with a fine wine list.
Huka Lodge, Lake Taupo
The Queen and Prince Philip stayed here in 2002, just three hundred metres upstream from the magnificent Huka Falls.
There’s a range of super-luxurious sleeping options and rooms are bright, spacious and elegant, with separate dressing rooms, underfloor heating and charming wooden terraces. Characteristic large glass windows bring the outside in and make the most of the unspoilt landscape the river meanders through. There’s a definite Scottish highland lodge feel about the place as rooms are filled with antiques, chandeliers, stag and buffalo heads and tartan rugs. This is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, with over 20 indoor and outdoor private dining venues – a candlelit meal in the wine cellar is particularly atmospheric or under the trees in the 17 acre garden, recognised as a Garden of National Significance.
"While at Raffles, why not visit Singapore?" or so the saying goes.
Entwined in the history of this city, Raffles hosted the Queen and Prince Philip in 2006, and why would you stay anywhere else? Not only was the infamous Singapore Sling (pronounced differently after a few of them) created here, but literary greats and royalty alike have wandered these corridors. From your arrival in the palatial lobby you will be greeted by attentive staff and a level of service that died out years ago elsewhere in the world. Spoilt for choice with dining options (there are six restaurants and several bars, including the notable Long Bar); opt for world class sushi at Shinji by Kanesaka, French contemporary at Raffles Grill and afternoon tea in The Tiffin Room (W. Somerset Maugham favoured a table tucked behind a frangipani tree in the gardens). Suites are spacious and all feature separate sleeping and living areas. Immaculate, the decor appears almost unchanged since the turn of the century with antique dressers and artworks. Book a Palm Court Suite for the veranda, opening out onto manicured lawns. There is a luxurious spa offering a variety of treatments (you could spend the whole day here and not even get half way through), outdoor pool, the Jubilee Theatre and even a Raffles museum. The colonial sense of glamour that this institution exudes shows no sense of slowing in the 21st century as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed here on their most recent tour of Asia.
The Half Moon, Jamaica
Her Majesty and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh stayed here in 2012 on their most recent visit to Jamaica, but Princess Margaret, Prince Charles and Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have also stayed in this luxurious resort named for the white, crescent shaped beach it sits upon. As well as all the luxury you can imagine - four-poster beds, seaside terraces, riding tennis, superb traditional cuisine etc. - guests also enjoy views over Montego Bay.
Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin
The grande dame of Berlin hotels, rebuilt on its old site opposite the Brandenburg Gate. Capable of welcoming a head of state, holding a society wedding reception or a car launch with equal aplomb, it will look stuffy to some, a bit like Harrods (with signs prohibiting photography) to others. But the service is perfect, the rooms are large and luxurious, and the buffet breakfast - a bargain at E34 - is legendary.
But it’s not always glitz and glamour, the best of everything and ‘that new paint smell’, in 1981 when the Queen was delivering Christmas presents near Bristol, she was caught in a blizzard and had to take shelter in the nearest property. But of course the staff of The Crosshands Hotel did their upmost to provide a royal welcome and the Queen stayed the nice in his own flat on the top floor.