The Elgin Fairlawn hotel in Kolkata, India has played host to many famous and notable guests throughout its history. One of the longest staying families were the Kendal (Bragg) family, who owned a traveling Shakespearean theatre company called Shakespeareana. Geoffrey Kendal and his wife Laura Liddel stayed at the hotel for nearly 30 years whenever they were in Kolkata, while their daughter Felicity Kendal went on to become a famous British actress.
During the 1950s, the hotel was also home to a famous professional wrestler known as ‘King Kong’, who had a legendary appetite and strength that often resulted in broken furniture and the consumption of enough food to suffice a small army. The hotel also welcomed some of the world’s most respected travel writers, including the late Eric Newby and his wife Wanda Skof, who stayed at the Elgin Fairlawn a number of times.
The hotel has also been the temporary home to various film and television personalities. Patrick Swayze and the cast of the ‘City of Joy’ stayed in the hotel, which was also featured in the movie. The famous journalist and writer, Tiziano Terzani, organized his son’s wedding here in 1997.
Some of the other notable guests who have spent a slice of their life at the Elgin Fairlawn include director and producer Ishmail Merchant and James Ivory, British playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard, British actress Julie Christie, British musician Sting, French author Dominique Lapierre and his wife Dominique, British television actor Clive Anderson, Royal Artist Late Norman Hutchinson and his wife Gloria, Landscape Artist Julian Barrow, British art historian Dan Cruikshank, British journalist and writer Ian Hislop, German novelist Gunter Grass, and British film and television actor Michael Palin.