- Secret conference of the global liberal elite held in luxury hotel on police lockdown for three days
- Elusive annual ‘Bilderberg Conference’ is always protected by anti-terror police, military and a no-fly zone
- Attended by figureheads of politics, business, banking, academia, royalty, telecoms, technology
- For the first time in its 66-year history a journalist penetrated security to go undercover at the hotel
- 2018 agenda items included Populism, where populist political parties threaten to withdraw from EU
- Conspiracy theories have surrounded Bilderberg for years, such as claims that it selects world leaders to impose a ‘New World Order’
On the first day of my new job as a hotel waitress — before I have a chance to polish a glass or proffer a canapé — I’m primed in detail about how to enter the building. Not via the front foyer, but circuitously through a ‘secret staff entrance’.
It is imperative I memorise the route, I’m told by the briskly efficient restaurant manager, who steers me through it, via an obscure door by a KFC outlet in a low-rent shopping mall.
We then travel up two floors in a shabby service lift, past a phalanx of security men, through an underground delivery area, past bins, a staff canteen and along a harshly lit subterranean corridor that smells of urine.
Another staff lift disgorges us into the hotel kitchen, through two swing doors and finally into the light and bustle of its restaurant and gleaming lobby.
It is vital that I take this labyrinthine route in and out of the hotel for the next five days, I’m told, as there is a ‘top secret event’ taking place. ‘The whole hotel is closed to the public,’ says my boss. ‘It’s very important you remember you cannot go in and out of the main entrance. You must use the secret one.’