The InterContinental story started back in 1946 when airline Pan American World Airways decided to open their own chain of luxury hotels throughout Latin America to encourage business trips and tourism to the area. The Grande Hotel in Belém, Brazil became the first InterContinental hotel to open in 1949 and soon the brand expanded across Latin America. Since then, InterContinental has grown worldwide to become one of the finest hotel brands on the globe and has always had its hand in landmark moments in history.
Planning a hotel and looking for a little spice to keep those history buffs interested? Not only have InterContinental Hotel Group’s stunning properties hosted a Who’s Who of royalty, movie stars, and heads of state, but they have also played as the background to some of history’s greatest moments.
After several assassination threats, detective Allan Pinkerton smuggled Abraham Lincoln into the Willard; Lincoln lived there for a month until his inauguration, holding meetings in the lobby and carrying on business from his room. Since this all United States’ Presidents have stayed at The Willard InterContinental Washington D.C the night before their official intronisation.
In January 1922, InterContinental Carlton Cannes hosted the first League of Nations conference to try to maintain peace in Europe after the end of World War I.
In the wee hours of the morning of August 28, 1963, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was holed up in his guest room at The Willard InterContinental Washington D.C, putting the finishing touches on a speech that was to be delivered that same afternoon during the March on Washington. This oration, better known as the “I Have a Dream” speech, would become one of the most iconic and important addresses given in our country’s history.
Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier at InterContinental Carlton Cannes, whilst filming To Catch a Thief. Key scenes of the film were shot in Room 623, Room 625, and the hotel’s private beach.
On February 22, 2012 Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd gave a dramatic resignation speech in The Willard InterContinental Washington D.C’s Douglas Room.
In 1869, James Gordon Bennett, Jr. publisher of the Paris Herald, met with explorer Henry Moron Stanley in the Grand Hotel’s Imperial Suite to convince him to make his famous journey to Africa in search of David Livingstone.
The Queen lived at InterContinental Park Lane hotel during her childhood. She lived in a suite of rooms at the top of the house, consisting of a day nursery, a night nursery and a bathroom linked by a landing, with wide windows looking down on the park. To this day, the florist who prepares the floral arrangement at the hotel, also prepares all the flowers for Buckingham Palace.
It’s time to start planning your holiday, because those hotels are a must-visit for any of the history fanatics in your family!