Send a postcard from the canteen of a 1922 ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, or attend a history lecture during happy hour in the nation's capital. The world's most charming hotels are often also its most historic — here are TripSavvy's favorite historic hotels for 2018.
The Willard Hotel: Washington, D.C. — featured in Historic Hotels in Washington, D.C.
Since 1818 the Willard Hotel has been a Washington, D.C. establishment. It was here where the Mint Julep was served for the first time outside of Kentucky. It housed the first ever Japanese delegation to the United States. And it continues to evolve for the next generation. This year, on its 200th birthday, it renovated all 355 rooms and suites and modernized its French fine-dining restaurant. It also offers history happy hours where the legendary bartender teaches guests how to make cocktails while regaling them with stories of American history.
Upcoming topics include the history of women espionage and the untold stories behind presidential speeches. –Alyson Krueger
- Hotel El Convento: San Juan, Puerto Rico — featured in The Best Hotels in Puerto Rico
- Le Bristol Paris: Paris, France — featured in The Best Hotels in Paris
- Widder Hotel: Zurich, Switzerland — featured in The Best Hotels in Zurich
- Hotel De Russie: Rome, Italy — featured in The Most Romantic Hotels in Rome
Zero George Street: Charleston, S.C. – featured in The Best Charleston Hotels
Zero George Street knows the importance of preserving Charleston’s old school charm. The hotel is located in restored buildings built in 1804 and a private courtyard that surrounds them. Inside the period furniture and fine-dining brings guests back to a slower time when people savored their food and laughed all night over great conversation (and wine!). There is even a cooking school so guests can learn to recreate the hotel's most memorable meals when they go home. Zero George Street provides everything you need to explore Charleston’s alluring streets: complimentary bikes, neighborhood guides, and an uber-comfortable bed to lounge in after a full day’s adventure.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm: Albuquerque, N.M. — featured in The Best Hotels in Albuquerque
Designed in 1932, Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, with 25 acres of lavender fields, is on the New Mexico and National Registers of Historic Places list. Guests here can indulge in fine dining at Campo, with a true farm-to-fork experience, while watching resident guinea hens, alpacas and a peacock roam around. The land has produced chile, corn, wheat and grapes for hundreds of years and now lavender is the mainstay, going strong for nearly 20 years. Pick up a signature Lavender Salve in the Farm Shop, handmade onsite weekly on a 1930’s Garland stove.
The Peninsula Hong Kong: Hong Kong — featured in The Best Hotels in Hong Kong
The Peninsula Hong Kong has remained a global icon of excellence for nearly a century, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The legendary “Grande Dame of the Far East” has had nine decades purely devoted to the hotel’s brand of classical grandeur and timeless sophistication. The hotel is also famous for its record-breaking fleet of luxury vehicles, including 14 Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase vehicles. But there is nothing more quintessentially iconic of Hong Kong than experiencing the acclaimed Peninsula Classic Afternoon Tea which is served daily in the lobby.
A stay at the hotel allows you to re-live the glamour of travel of a by-gone era. –David Duran
Phantom Ranch: Grand Canyon National Park — featured in The Best Grand Canyon Hotels
The hottest and driest weather can be experienced at Phantom Ranch—built in 1922 and on the Historic Hotels of America list—due to abrupt changes in elevation at Grand Canyon National Park. Native Americans used the original site, where the ranch now sits, for ceremonial and political purposes—a kiva was found there, dating circa 1050. Now, you can wander where Theodore Roosevelt went hunting and stay in a cabin or dorm. There’s a mule corral, a ranger station, the Bright Angel Campground (half a mile away), and a cool (icy, really) beach.
The best part, though, is the canteen where you can order a Bright Angel IPA and mail post cards to your loved ones—a mule will bring the mail up and out of the canyon in a saddlebag. –Wendy Altschuler
The Hay-Adams: Washington, D.C. — featured in Historic Hotels in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. has its landmarks: The Capitol, the Smithsonian museums, the White House, and the Hay-Adams Hotel. This five-star hotel was originally the home of John Hay and Henry Adams, and the modern day clientele is just as distinguished. Ambassadors, businessmen, and politicians from around the globe stay here because of its exceptional service, discretion, and close proximity to The White House. The gilded hotel has a renowned series where authors share their work and lead conversations.
It also makes the environment a priority, and prides itself on showing luxury hotels how to reduce their carbon footprint. –Alyson Krueger
Hotel Emma: San Antonio, Texas — featured in The Best Historic Hotels in San Antonio
A riverfront boutique hotel inside a former brewery-turned-mixed-use space called the Pearl, Hotel Emma is named after the formidable Emma Koehler, who became CEO of Pearl Brewery in 1914. The design-forward hotel incorporates its history in unique ways, making a stay there full of fun surprises — expect modern southwestern design peppered with salvaged factory equipment — and details like a culinary concierge and a 3,700 volume library. And they don’t skimp on the amenities either: a rooftop pool, fitness center, spa, three restaurants, and complimentary bikes await.