London has the Ritz, Paris has the de Crillon, and Warsaw has the Bristol. This is one of Warsaw’s oldest hotels. During the Second World War only the German Nazis could stay in this hotel. The building survived the war as one of the few in the area.
The hotel was built between 1898 and 1901 just next to the Namiestnikowski Palace which is today the headquarters of President of Poland. It was designed by Władysław Marconi in Neo-Renaissance style with Art Nouveau interiors.
The Bristol Hotel has hosted such famous guests as John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II, the Emperor of Japan, Sofia Loren, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Woody Allen, Placido Domingo and Bill Gates. Maria Skłodowska-Curie celebrated her second Nobel Prize here, even though it was rumored that she was looking forward to the party to be over. Polish tenor, Jan Kiepura who achieved international fame during the period between the wars, once sang from Bristol`s balcony.
You should visit the legendary Cafe Bristol which was opened in 1901 and quickly became the capital`s most popular place visited by Warsaw intelligentsia. The cafeteria is known for its great coffee and delicious cakes based on seasonal ingredients. Check out Marlene Dietrich`s autograph on the wall signed while visiting Cafe Bristol in 1964. The entrance is on the corner of the building. Here in the entrance hall you can see the hotel`s Wall of Fame. It`s a very impressive collection of world famous celebrities.
The Column Bar is another treasure you cannot miss. It`s the oldest cocktail bar in Warsaw where you can try exquisite coctails in breathtaking surroundings, designed by Otto Wagner the Younger in 1901. It`s a true Art Nouveau masterpiece. Wagner was an Austrian and he designed numerous buildings in Vienna at the time. The bar was painstakingly restored in 2013 with respect to its original style and design.