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The world’s ultimate... hotel staircases

Move over Bellinis on the beach and swimming-pool selfies. When it comes to Instagram-winning holiday pics, there’s only one true hotspot: the hotel staircase. Ally Wybrew rounds up the finest flights of fancy for making an entrance


Nervi Staircase at Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hollywood

This elegant twin set from Italian starchitects Pier Luigi Nervi and Franco Albini offers beautiful views no matter the angle thanks to the intertwining staircases and lavish concentric marble fountain. A dazzling crystal chandelier dominating the central vacuum only adds to the impressive artistic vision. Definitely do look down.

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Photograph: Adam Lynk


Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé, Loire Valley, France

This set of 42 extra-wide limestone and oak stairs was designed by bridge architect Mathieu de Bayeux in the late 1700s with the goal of helping ladies traverse them gracefully when wearing expansive dresses. Punctuated by ancient tapestries and paintings, and transforming from limestone to oak after the first floor, this staircase exudes antiquity and character, taking visitors on a journey through history with each step.

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Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka

Bronze and copper warriors vie for supremacy in the 1630 Battle of Randeniwela on a journey up this unique set of steps. Designed by Sri-Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa and artist Laki Senanayake, the stairwell is designed to focus a shaft of light across the wall throughout the day, bringing the fight to life with affecting chiaroscuro.

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11 Cadogan Gardens, London

Originally four separate 19th-century townhouses, this luxury hotel oozes aristocracy: it’s flush with gilded mirrors, sumptuous fabrics and oil paintings of memorable visitors. Ascending its 250-step staircase will see guests embraced by deep blue panelled walls, dark oak bannisters and heavily framed faces watching from the walls. A multi-storey candle chandelier adds to the atmosphere, casting eerie shadows throughout.

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St Pancras Renaissance, London

No credible list of stunning staircases would be complete without the sweeping double aspect of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Made famous in the 1990s by the video to Spice Girls hit single Wannabe, its richly patterned carpet, generous width and ornate bannisters make it memorable in its own right. Be warned: you may have to queue for photos…

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Photographs: Alex Moling


Aman, Venice

There’s a way to do ‘grand’ and this fresco-adorned, lantern-lit, 16th-century marble masterpiece from architect Giangiacomo dei Grigi has it down. Previously the Palazzo Papadopoli, this Aman hotel retains all the Baroque grandeur of its heyday, ensuring guests are only a mask and ballgown away from reliving the Carnival of Venice, The Wings of a Dove-style.

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Hotel Bristol Palace, Genoa

When legend has it that you inspired one of film history’s most memorable moments, you’re probably on to a good thing. This dizzying 145-step white marble, red carpet-lined elliptical staircase in Genoa holds that accolade, having reputedly given frequent hotel guest Alfred Hitchcock the idea to include a similar view in his 1958 thriller Vertigo.

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Photographs: Fani Kurti


Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy

To sample the best view of Lake Como from this centuries-old estate, guests must first traverse the hotel’s mesmerising marble staircase. All geometric patterns, sculpted balustrades and softly curving arches, it’s an imposing set of steps perfectly suited to its history of glamorous visitors from old Hollywood, including Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles.

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