Boutique hotels are typically hotels with a unique environment or intimate setting. Some hotels have gained their renown through tradition, by hosting significant events or persons, such as Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany, which derives its fame from the Potsdam Conference of the World War II allies Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin in 1945. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai is one of India's most famous and historic hotels because of its association with the Indian independence movement. Some establishments have given name to a particular meal or beverage, as is the case with the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, United States where the Waldorf Salad was first created or the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, home of the Sachertorte. Others have achieved fame by association with dishes or cocktails created on their premises, such as the Hotel de Paris where the crpe Suzette was invented or the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was devised.
A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, through its association with Irving Berlin's song, 'Puttin' on the Ritz'. The Algonquin Hotel in New York City is famed as the meeting place of the literary group, the Algonquin Round Table, and Hotel Chelsea, also in New York City, has been the subject of a number of songs and the scene of the stabbing of Nancy Spungen (allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious).
The first recorded purpose-built railway hotel was the Great Western Hotel, which opened adjacent to Reading railway station in 1844, shortly after the Great Western Railway opened its line from London. The building still exists, and although it has been used for other purposes over the years, it is now again a hotel and a member of the Malmaison hotel chain.
Frequently, expanding railway companies built grand hotels at their termini, such as the Midland Hotel, Manchester next to the former Manchester Central Station, and in London the ones above St Pancras railway station and Charing Cross railway station. London also has the Chiltern Court Hotel above Baker Street tube station, there are also Canada's grand railway hotels. They are or were mostly, but not exclusively, used by those traveling by rail.
Hefner became known for moving an ever-changing coterie of young women into the Playboy Mansion, including twins Sandy and Mandy Bentley. He dated as many as seven women concurrently. He also dated Brande Roderick, Izabella St. James, Tina Marie Jordan, Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson. Madison, Wilkinson and Marquardt appeared on The Girls Next Door depicting their lives at the Playboy Mansion. In October 2008, all three girls decided to leave the mansion. Hefner soon began dating his new "Number One" girlfriend, Crystal Harris, along with identical twin models Kristina and Karissa Shannon. The relationship with the twins ended in January 2010. After an 11-year separation, Hefner filed for divorce from Conrad, citing irreconcilable differences. Hefner has stated that he only remained nominally married to her for the sake of his children, and his youngest child had just turned 18. The divorce was finalized in March 2010. On December 24, 2010, Hefner presented an engagement ring to Crystal Harris, publicly announcing the proposal the following day. Hefner and Harris had planned to marry June 18, 2011. Harris called off the wedding just 5 days before they were due to be wed. Twenty-six-year-old Harris and eighty-six-year-old Hefner reconciled and were married on December 31, 2012.
In 2012, Hefner announced that his youngest son, Cooper, would likely succeed him as the public face of Playboy.
In January 2016, the Playboy Mansion was put on the market for $200 million, on condition that Hugh Hefner would continue to work and live in the mansion. It was later sold to Daren Metropoulos, a principal at private equity firm Metropoulos & Co, for $100 million. Metropoulos plans to reconnect the Playboy Mansion property with a neighboring estate that he purchased in 2009, combining the two for a 7.3 acre (3-hectare) compound as his own private residence.