Built in 1901 by a consortium headed by Ignacy Paderewski—the concert pianist who served as Poland's prime minister from 1919 to 1920—the Bristol was long at the center of Warsaw's social life. Impressively situated on the Royal Route, next to the Pałac Namiestnikowski (Presidential Palace), the hotel survived World War II more or less intact. It continues to maintain a long tradition of luxury and elegance under the ownership of Le Méridien. Additionally, the hotel
has one of the best cafés in town—no one can resist its pastries.