I occasionally google the Hotel Baron, Aleppo to see how the grand old lady is enduring the war in Syria but did not do so recently. Then I came across this article by chance and I was very sad to hear of Mr. Maziourman's difficulties. He is a very nice man.
The Baron is my favourite hotel in the world and my spiritual home. Laurence of Arabia stayed there and decamped without paying his bill. (If I had done that I would have been arrested, perhaps by the secret police, but in his case they are proud of it.) It still has BOAC posters on the wall from the 1940s. They are just like the reproduction BOAC posters that you used to see everywhere in England in the BOAC except that these are originals which are still there because nobody ever thought to replace them.
I wrote this about my visit to the Hotel Baron back in 2007:
Heavenly - a reason in itself to visit Syria. Hard to book a room even well in advance, shabby, holes in the carpets, run to seed but like stepping into a 1936 film. When I was there in 2007 most rooms were $40 but I paid $70 for the suite where Assad snr stayed in the 70s. Please stay here unless you like modernity and luxury. Awful breakfast. Enormous enormous fun. A. Christie finished Murder on Orient Express here.
My diary of my visit to Syria, a country I love madly, is here.