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A palm court is a large atrium with palm trees, usually in a prestigious hotel, where functions are staged, notably tea dances. Examples include the Langham Hotel (1865), Alexandra Palace (1873), the Carlton Hotel (1899), and the Ritz Hotel (1906), all in London; and the Alexandria Hotel (court added in 1911) in Los Angeles, California, Palace Hotel, San Francisco and the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Capitalizing on their popularity, some ocean liners also had palm courts, notably the RMS Titanic (1912).
The concept of the palm court orchestra, a small orchestra playing light classical music, comes from this root.