Darkness and neglect at Le Balmoral

On the wayto dinner at Le Saint-Benoit, we pass the dark and shuttered hulk of the formerBalmoral Hotel, looming darkly over the bay. This was a haven to pastgenerations from Shell, Integra and then ICIS, famed for its 1950s wallpaperand candlewick bedspreads and fondly referred to as the “Immoral”. It plays aproud part in petrochemical industry history.



It came toprominence amongst Shell travellers who were on per diem allowances and couldpocket the difference, according to one Shell retiree still well-known to ICIS.



We used tosay we were getting the same view as the Hotel de Paris for a quarter of theprice.



It closedits doors forever in October 2006, the day after the EPCA conference, and accordingto the long-time concierge, Mr Ferreyrolles, it was to be redeveloped within its historic shellas luxury apartments. Clearly nothing has happened in the two interveningyears, which looks very suspicious. I wonder what the story is here.

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