Saturday, 20 August 2016

Cigar box from New York Bristol

This has just popped up on eBay. The 145-room New York Bristol, on Manhattan's West 49th Street near Radio City, was a landmark hotel in the city, and its Pink Elephant Bar a popular hang-out. There's lots of stuff that come ups on eBay from the hotel -- matchbooks, ashtrays, beer mats, keys, brochures, postcards. This is the first time I have seen a cigar box. The hotel features in 'The Lonely Doll and the Castor Oil King', a story in High Times at the Hotel Bristol

Monday, 15 August 2016

Karachi Bristol and the Avari family

The Bristol Hotel, pictured here, was one of the best-known hotels in Karachi. It was built in 1904 for the Raj and was known for its parties and good food. In 1941 it was bought by Dinshaw B Avari, a Parsi, but after partition it was requisitioned, as no business was allowed to be run by an Indian. His son, Byram D Avari, is now chairman of the Avari Group, whose top-class hotels include Avari Towers, one of Karachi’s tallest buildings and the only five star hotel in Pakistan. He is also Social Head of the city’s Parsi community, who practise the Zoroastrian faith. In an article on minorities in today’s Express Tribune, he recalls his father's treatment: 
Today in Pakistan, we as a minority don’t experience any such discrimination.The honour, the respect and the equality we as a Parsi minority enjoy with the majority community has today made us shine out because Pakistan acknowledges the Parsi contribution."
The Bristol was bought in 1960 by Rizvi Sahab, who ran it until 1994, when it closed.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

New Hotel Bristol for Bristol

A bottle of Champagne was smashed last week on the side of the former Executive Plaza building in downtown Bristol VA, to christen the new 55-bedroom Bristol Hotel. Built in 1925, the 7-storey block is listed, but the $20million renovation will gut the place, leaving a few interior features such as the elegantly decorated lobby. The proposed rooftop bar will have views across the town, which straddles the Tennessee/Virginia border, to the Appalachian Mountains. The Hotel is being developed by McCall Capital, for Charlestowne Hotels, and is scheduled to open in August 2017. 

Many of the town’s visitors come for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, opened in 2014. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, it holds events and concerts, and centres on recordings made here in 1926–7, before Nashville, 300 miles away, got going.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Bristol Hotel in New Jersey beach resort

This postcard of the Hotel Bristol in Asbury Park, New Jersey, has just gone up for sale on eBay. The Bristol was one of several grand Victorian resort hotels described by Janet H. Burgents in her book Reflections of Asbury Park. They offered saltwater baths, touring cars and theatre performances, with separate meal hours for children and their nannies. This picture is dated 1922, the year before a 'mysterious' fire wiped out the hotel. 'Closed for the season, it went up in flames in half an hour taking with it the Garden Theatre, the Edgemore, Keswick and Victoria Hotels,' writes Burgents.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Top dogs at Vienna Bristol

The Bristol in Vienna is offering a luxury, €50-a-day deal to pamper pets, with choice menus, comfortable bedding and walks. We like this picture, from a report in 'The Local', which brings news about Austria in English. No matter that it's an unashamed publicity-seeking pooch.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Bristols are big in Karlovy Vary

The Bristol Group in Karlovy Vary has eight top hotels in the celebrated spa town. Once known as Carlsbad, after it was founded by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1370, it was one of the most glamorous spas in late 19th-century Europe, and today it has been revitalised. The complex is divided into two areas. Bristol Royal is in the West End by the English Park. It comprises the Bristol Hotel, the Bristol-Palace, Tereza, Kralovska, Vila Livia and Gregory House, while Bristol Riverside in the centre of town is made up of the Kolonàda and Pavlov hotels. The Vila Tereza is the former residence of the Austrian Empress ‘SisI’ Elizabeth, wife of Franz Josef I. 
The original Bristol was the Bristol-Palace (in the background of the picture above), which dates from 1890. Its many famous and glamorous guests included Sigmund Freud who met his nephew, Eddie Bernays, founder of public relations, here, and they are the background to ‘Freud’s Enema’, a chapter in High Times at the Hotel Bristol.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tourist board celebrates the Colombo Bristol

The Ceylon Tourist Board is 50 years old this month. To mark the occasion the Sunday Times of Colombo, Sri Lanka, published a piece about the great days of travel when holidaying was “a genteel affair”. Its main photo is a postcard of the Hotel Bristol, seen here, which is included in a round-up of the grand Victorian hotels. Its first managing director was William Tudor Stephen Saunders, who had arrived in Ceylon in 1868 and worked as a planter before he sold his plantation and settled in Colombo. He left the Bristol Hotel in 1901 to become managing director of the Grand Oriental Hotel. 

The Hotel Bristol in Columbo is the setting for Postcard from Mark Twain, a chapter in High Times at the Hotel Britsol