15 Stunning Historic US Hotels to Visit Before You Die
Traveling across the 50 states is a great way to experience the beauty and history of the United States. Here are some gorgeous hotels that give you some of the best hospitality America has to offer — along with beautiful architecture steeped in history.
Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, SC
Charleston's Wentworth Mansion has true Southern charm! It was built in 1886 in the Second Empire style and its design, both inside and out, still harkens back to the Gilded Age. The Wentworth Mansion still has many of the original features, including hand-carved marble fireplaces, intricate woodwork, and custom chandeliers.
Average Price Range: $438-$538 per night.
Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, NH
The Mount Washington Hotel, now known as the Omni Mount Washington Resort, was built at the turn of the 20th century. The Renaissance Revival-style building, with a huge colonnaded veranda, sits against a staggering backdrop of the New Hampshire countryside and has been featured in two episodes of Ghost Hunters!
This hotel has seen a lot of history, including Prohibition and both World Wars. In fact, within the hotel, there's a Prohibition-era speakeasy.
Average Price Range: $285-$511.
The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, RI
Think of the typical Rhode Island seaside hotel or mansion, and you're probably picturing the Chanler at Cliff Walk. This European boutique hotel is the only hotel on Cliff Walk, and has individually decorated guest rooms with different historical inspirations.
The Chanler was built in 1873 by John Winthrop Chanler and his wife, Margaret Astor Ward. Originally their vacation home, it was turned into a hotel in 2003. Over its history, the Chanler has been a school for girls, an apartment building for naval officers, and a museum. The interior still incorporates some of the museum artifacts.
Average Price Range: $497-$1,248 per night.
The Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY
The Brown Hotel is a massive 600-room building in downtown Louisville. Home to the Hot Brown sandwich, its history goes back to 1923 when it was first built. Among its past guests are British royalty, Elizabeth Taylor, and even Barack Obama. It was built in the English Renaissance style and the interior features elaborate ceiling decorations, making it a popular choice for visitors during the Kentucky Derby.
Average Price Range: $180-$359 per night.
The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV
This luxury West Virginia resort was originally built in 1858 and has seen a total of 26 presidents stay in its rooms. The Classical Revival-style hotel sits on about 11,000 acres and boasts 20 restaurants.
World-famous interior decorator Dorothy Draper was the hotel's decorator from 1946 to some time in the 1960s, and the guest rooms and public areas are still decorated with her timeless style in mind.
Average Price Range: $253-$438 per night.
Miami Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, FL
The Miami Biltmore Hotel is a beautiful Mediterranean Revival-style building built in 1926. It was designed by the same architects who designed New York's Grand Central Terminal, who designed the main tower to mimic the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain. Because the hotel was used as a hospital from 1942 to 1968, it was never modernized, so it still has a lot of the original features.
This hotel hosted European and Hollywood royalty, from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Judy Garland, and was considered one of the most fashionable resorts in the country. When President Roosevelt took fishing trips to Miami, he stayed at the Biltmore.
The best reason to visit: the stunning lobby.
Average Price Range: $220-$543 per night.
Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside, CA
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is one of the most architecturally interesting buildings on this list. The architecture is a mixture of Spanish Gothic, Spanish Colonial, and a handful of others, making it one of the most unique buildings in America. It has a stunning interior courtyard and hundreds of architectural features that make you feel like you're in Barcelona, Spain.
The Mission Inn originated in 1876, but the building we see today wasn't built until 1902. Ten presidents have stayed at the hotel, including Richard Nixon (who got married there!) and Ronald Reagan, who honeymooned at the Mission Inn with Nancy. It's also seen its fair share of celebrities pass through, including Cary Grant, Barbra Streisand, and Drew Barrymore.
Average Price Range: $144-$346 per night.
Plaza Hotel, New York, NY
No list of historic hotels would be complete without The Plaza Hotel. Built in 1907, this Manhattan landmark was built to look like a medieval French chateau. Historically, it has been a major meeting place for politicians, and Liza Minnelli and Miles Davis are some of the famous voices to have performed or recorded in the Plaza's Persian Room.
Not only is the building a designated landmark, but some of its interiors were designated as landmarks in 2005, including the Palm Court, the Grand Ballroom, and both the 59th Street and 5th Avenue lobbies. One of the guest suites, named the Eloise Suite, was decorated by Betsey Johnson.
Average Price Range: $673-$1,310 per night.
Castle Hotel & Spa, Tarrytown, NY
The Castle Hotel & Spa is located in the breathtaking Hudson Valley, a world away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Its location is stunning, set atop a cliff looking over a river valley.
The Norman-style building dates back to 1910, with all of the architectural elements you'd expect from a castle: stone exteriors and dozens of towers. Inside, the theme carries through with rich woods and stained glass windows.
Average Price Range: $380-$982 per night.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, CA
The has been a popular resort destination since it opened in 1923. It was used as a military barracks and training ground during World War II before it was returned to private ownership.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has a long history of hosting celebrities, politicians, musicians, and more, and continues to do so today. It was recently renovated in 2003, but the exterior remains in the original Spanish Colonial style that's popular in the area.
Average price range: $400-$657 per night.
Southernmost House, Key West, FL
Southernmost House is a colourful boutique hotel in Key West built in 1896. It's a classic Victorian mansion painted in not-so-classic colors, perfectly blending Victorian architecture with the tropical vibe that Key West is known for. It was originally a one-bedroom house and is now an 18-room hotel with gorgeous interiors and unlimited character. In 1939, Southernmost House was converted from a private residence into a Cuban nightclub after spending the '30s as an illegal speakeasy during Prohibition.
Average Price Range: $220-$410 per night.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island, GA
Jekyll Island Club Hotel is a sprawling resort set amongst the Spanish moss and oak trees of Jekyll Island. Built in 1888, its famous guests have included the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, and the Morgans. It was also the site of the first transcontinental telephone call!
The main building is Queen Anne style with a signature turret, and the property has many other buildings, cottages, and a clubhouse. The original fireplaces, woodwork, and windows have recently been restored. Jekyll Island is protected by development, leaving miles of beaches and and forests ready for you to explore.
Average Price Range: $244-$344.
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO
If you want a grand historic hotel nestled in the Colorado Mountains, here it is. This Italian Renaissance-style building was built in 1918. The landscaping was designed by the landscape architect of Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted.
Though some of the buildings are more modern, the main and original building still retains its original moldings, embellishments, and paintings.
Average Price Range: $361-$639 per night.
Omni Bedford Springs, Bedford, PA
The Omni Bedford Springs is the oldest hotel on this list by far, built in 1806 as a retreat for people looking to heal themselves with the area's natural spring water. It's a perfect example of the Colonial Revival style that was popular at the time.
The property was President James Buchanan's "Summer White House" in the late 1850s, and many other politicians have visited since. Though it fell into disrepair in the 1980s, it's since been restored to the "resort gold standard" it originally set in the 1870s. The restoration included the fully restored colonial-style tavern, which features original stonework and exposed beams.
Average Price Range: $212-$565 per night.
Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
If you don't like ghosts, this one might not be for you. The Hotel del Coronado is rumored to be haunted!
This sprawling beach resort first opened in 1888, and was the biggest hotel in the world at the time. You might recognize from the countless movies, TV shows, and books it's been featured in. It's built in Queen Anne and Late Victorian architecture styles, and was made a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
The height of the Hotel del Coronado's popularity was in the 1920s, and it was touted as the place to stay by celebrities like Rudolph Valentino and Clark Gable!
Average Price Range: $380-$907 per night.