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The hotel, which opened in 1856 and once
hosted Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, is
the epitome of classic establishment swank,
but also beloved of the contemporary arts
and fashion crowd. Claridge's constantly
reinvents - with contributors such as
designer Diane von Furstenberg and artistin-residence
David Downton - while never
losing its core values of luxury and glamour.
In 1945, Winston Churchill famously had
suite 212 temporarily declared Yugoslavian
territory so Crown Prince Alexander II was
born on home soil.
Best room: The Linley suites by David Linley
capture the deco spirit of Claridge's, but
with a modern sensibility.
Signature cocktail: The French Nest is
Laurent-Perrier Brut NV, Tanqueray, lemon
juice and sugar, and served in the intimate
Chef: Fera o ers Simon Rogan's light,
¡ avourful, farm-to-table food and the hotel
hosts regular Champagne-focused dinners.
Guest list: Audrey Hepburn, Aristotle and
Jackie Onassis, The Queen Mother, Kate
Moss, Christian Louboutin, Marc Jacobs.
Double room B�B from £574 per night.
49 Brook St, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR, United
Kingdom; 020 7629 8860; claridges.co.uk
Hotel Maria Cristina,
The renovation of this 1912 Belle Époque
landmark has created a ¡ awless European
palace hotel in this culinary town. The look is
classic, but the rooms are modern and fresh.
The lobby is home to San Sebastián Food, half
foodie tour company, half local speciality deli.
Look out for the annual lm festival.
Best suite: The Bette Davis Suite is named
after the star, who stayed during the 1989
festival. As well as being truly luxe, it's also a
shrine to her career.
Signature cocktail: The Foxtrot ri s on the
G¥T, adding lime cordial.
Chef: Iker González can't compete with the
Basque superstars, but he has a solid dining
room and breakfast is superb.
Guest list: A who's who of the lm world,
including Elizabeth Taylor, Julia Roberts, Terry
Gilliam, Penelope Cruz and Benicio del Toro.
Double room B�B from £206. República
Argentina Kalea, 4, 20004 Donostia,
Gipuzkoa, Spain; +34 943 43 76 00;
REINVENTS WHILE NEVER
LOSING ITS CORE VALUES OF
LUXURY AND GLAMOUR