London's Grosvenor hotel names suite after 19th-century courtesan Cora Pearl

LONDON - A high-priced Parisian prostitute on a visit to London in the 1870s was turned down when she tried to book a room at the Grosvenor Hotel. Her reputation had preceded her.

Now she has a suite named after her — which could be the ultimate in making amends to a jilted customer.

The Cora Pearl suite, unveiled Feb. 23 on her birthday, features a decor inspired by the opulent French interior styling of the late 19th century, with glass chandeliers and feather-trimmed lamps, the hotel says.

The bathtub, elevated on a marble tile platform, is a replica of the tub that Pearl had specially made for her in Paris and which she "famously filled with vintage champagne in which to bathe with her suitors."

There's even a half-metre-high oil painting of Pearl over the bed, looking decidedly unscandalous — at least by today's standards — in a moderately low-cut blue dress.

"I'm very confident Cora would have loved the idea of a suite created in her honour," said historian Katie Hickman, author of the book "Courtesans," who collaborated with the hotel to ensure Pearl's "true sprit" was depicted in the rooms.

"It gives her the limelight she truly deserved and brings to the foreground a time in women's history where barriers of class, sexuality and independence were challenged."

To mark the hotel's founding year 150 years ago, the Cora Pearl package is priced at 1,862 pounds (about C$3,000) for a two-night stay for two people.

As well, the hotel's Reunion Bar has created a "Tears of Cora Pearl" cocktail, a mix of, among other things, vodka, fresh strawberries and, of course, champagne.

Located in central London near Victoria station, the Grosvenor — owned by Guoman Hotels, a holding of Singapore-based investment company Guocoleisure — recently completed an 18-month, 20-million-pound (about C$31.6-million) renovation.