A hotel room is more than just a place to throw your bags, change your clothes, shower and sleep. On a recent visit to Blantyre Resort in the Berkshires, I found myself enamored with the little, historical finds I happened upon while walking around the Scottish mansion. It wasn't my first time at Blantyre, and it certainly won't be my last, so I was well aware of the history that sits on this land. One of the best things about this Berkshires resort is the many stories that seep from the walls, and with each visit I guarantee you'll learn something new.
On this particular visit, I stumbled upon a piece of history that would make any pop culture fan shrill with excitement. Among the centuries-old artifacts, million-dollar oil paintings, antique tea pots and ancient china dishes is a small wicker commode once owned by the queen of the big screen. In the Paterson Suite, named for the original owner's of Blantyre, you'll find the a white wicker commode that once belonged to Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. On the commode (pictured right) is a small, gold plaque that simply states: "Marilyn Monroe sat here."
CNN Travel recently named 10 hotel rooms that are steeped in history. Here are a few of them:
Andaz West Hollywood: It was here that Keith Richards threw a TV off his 11th-floor balcony, Jim Morrison hung from a window by his fingertips and Axl Rose tossed steaks to crowds of fans on the Sunset Strip. In case you're getting any cute ideas, know that the hotel's renovations included removing the famous balconies, and replacing them wiht glassed-in den areas.
Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana, Cuba: This little gem in Cuba saw the likes of Fidel Castro and a few U.S. mobsters. Castro set up a cell in the building that turned out to be the epitome of pre-revolutionary decadence in Cuba. In 1946, the hotel was occupied by the heads of all the major U.S. mafia families, and it was here that Meyer Lansky is said to have authorized the execution of Bugsy Siegel.
GoldenEye, Jamaica: Fans of James Bond stories will want to flock to this Caribbean haven for some inspiration. It was here that Ian Fleming spent nearly 20 winters penning several James Bond thrillers. You can sleep in the room where Fleming wove stories around 007 and write at the same desk (turned away from the sea-view to avoid distraction).
Mamaison Pachtuv Palace, Prague, Czech Republic: This was the building Mozart called home in 1788 (he slept in room 218). Mozart dedicated six sonatas to the owner of the property in lieu of rent, but these days the hotel takes cash or credit.
Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal, Canada: John Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous week-long bed-in took place here, in an effort to promote peace around the world. You can still book suite 1742 at the hotel (where they wrote and recorded "Give Peace A Chance" in 1969).
Beverly Hills Hotel, California: The site of many Hollywood trysts and triangles, the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows is still one of the most historic hotels in the U.S. Marilyn Monroe slept in Bungalow No.1 and No.7, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor stayed in No.5, and other bungalows were said to be occupied by Warren Beatty to pursue his many romances.
Readers: Have you stayed at a historic hotel? Which one, and what made it so special?
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