10 Top Historic Hotels Across the U.S.

These retreats offer a throwback to the grandeur of yesteryear.

10 Top Historic Hotels Across the U.S.
10 Top Historic Hotels Across the U.S.
Businessman and bellhop walking up stairs.
The Jefferson, Washington, DC
The Hawthorne Hotel.
The Inn at Laguna Beach.
Ducks walk near a fountain in the lobby of the Peabody Memphis.
The "Red Lacquer" room of the Palmer House hotel.
The King's Daughters Inn.
The Wigwam Hotel at night.
The Southernmost House.
The exterior of the French Lick Springs Hotel.
The Colony Hotel.
|

Discover vintage properties across the country.
When it comes to planning an aspirational trip, many people dream of far-flung, international hot spots, rather than the history-filled enclaves found in America's backyard. But the truth is, while places across the U.S. might be young compared to storied destinations overseas, America features its fair share of historic cities and hotels filled with old-world grandeur and timeless charm. So, if you want to get away for a quick weekend and get transported to another time, head to one of the country's top historic hotels. Here are 10 U.S. haunts that are steeped in history and nestled in some of the nation's most influential neighborhoods.
(Getty Images)

The Jefferson, Washington, DC
Washington, District of Columbia

Just blocks from the White House and a slew of historic landmarks, The Jefferson leaves an impression on its guests. This 95-room property, built in 1923, was converted into a hotel in 1955. History lovers will appreciate the property's historical artifacts, including art, paintings and documents signed by Thomas Jefferson and other significant national figures. And though the hotel retains its opulence, thanks to renovations in 2009, which included upgrades to guest rooms, meeting spaces and restaurants as well as the addition of two specialty suites, the property doesn't compromise on contemporary comforts. Rooms start at around $400 per night, and special packages are available.
(Courtesy of The Jefferson, Washington, DC)

Hawthorne Hotel
Salem, Massachusetts

It's impossible to think of Salem without remembering the Salem witch trials. Yet, the Hawthorne Hotel has a history of its own, not only as the site of epic Halloween parties and the backdrop for a memorable episode of the hit television series "Bewitched," but also as a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Since opening its doors in 1925, the Hawthorne Hotel has become renowned as a destination for grand ballroom dances, weddings and a famed Halloween party. Guests at the Hawthorne Hotel do much more than stay at the hotel for the night; they bring a piece of Salem and its history home with them. Rooms start at $129 per night, but book early to secure your reservation.
(Courtesy of John Andrews/Hawthorne Hotel)

The Inn at Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach, California

History lovers who crave a beach vibe should head straight to the historic Inn at Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach was built as an artist colony and the inn holds much of its original charm despite having gone through massive renovations to become the luxury property it is today. Guests can enjoy the best location in Laguna Beach, next to a public beach and just steps from art galleries, shopping and some of the area's finest restaurants. Sit out on the rooftop terrace at night for complimentary wine and cookies, then sit back and enjoy one of the world's most beautiful views. Rooms start at just $279 per night.
(Courtesy of the Inn at Laguna Beach)

The Peabody Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

With an original building dating back to 1869, The Peabody reflects the opulence and glamour of a bygone era. A newer and grander property was erected at its present Memphis location on Union Avenue, but the hotel never lost its grasp on its historic roots. The Peabody also boasts time-honored traditions, such as its Peabody Duck March, a spectacle that continues to delight visitors today. If you want a slice of history in Memphis, rooms at The Peabody start at just $165 per night.
(Courtesy of Trey Clark/The Peabody Memphis)

Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel
Chicago, Illinois

Located in Chicago's Loop district, the Palmer House offers both historic charm and modern conveniences. Built by wealthy business magnates and socialites, the property first opened its doors in 1873. The hotel's former owner, Bertha Palmer, even befriended Claude Monet while in France, which helped influence the property's artistic flair. Today, you'll find garnet-filled chandeliers and a ceiling fresco created by the French painter Louis Pierre Rigal. What's more, as a Chicago landmark, the hotel has hosted many prominent figures, from U.S. presidents to world-renowned entertainers, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Rooms start at $169 per night, and special offers are available for couples and groups.
(Courtesy of Bill Huber, Huber Photography/Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel)

The King's Daughters Inn
Durham, North Carolina

Across the street from the prestigious Duke University, the King's Daughters Inn packs plenty of culture into its historic property. Formerly serving as retirement housing for elderly women in 1903, the property evolved into a two-story Colonial Revival style brick building and hotel. The home served 34 women and housed nine full-time staff members at its peak, yet it waned in popularity and ultimately closed in 2006. However, by 2009, the building was purchased and artfully restored to its former grandeur, showcasing elegant rooms and suites. Rooms start at $200 per night.
(Courtesy of the King's Daughters Inn)

The Wigwam
Litchfield Park, Arizona

After first opening its doors on Thanksgiving Day in 1929, Litchfield Park's Wigwam began its rein as one of Arizona's most famous and unique hotels. Set on 500 gorgeous acres, The Wigwam wows guests with amenities, such as a world-class Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, several top-notch restaurants and bars and championship golf courses. Despite its large size, The Wigwam remains quaint and inviting, with only 331 guest rooms available on the property. Plus, a renovation in 2010 helped revitalize The Wigwam and improve its functionality. Rooms start at around $130 per night.
(Courtesy of the Wigwam)

The Southernmost House
Key West, Florida

Sightseers who want to experience the history of Duvall Street in Key West should consider a stay at the Southernmost House. This elegant beach hotel originally opened its doors in 1896, and has served as both a night club and a private residence over the years. As you step inside, you can grace the same spots as some of the property's famous guests, including Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote and even John F. Kennedy. Set on the quieter end of Key West's most famous street, the Southernmost House offers an unmatched beachfront vacation, plus the modern amenities you would expect at a top-tier property. Rooms start at around $370 per night.
(Courtesy of the Southernmost House)

French Lick Springs Hotel
French Lick, Indiana

If you want to experience some history while you travel, the French Lick Springs Hotel will help you step back in time. After originally opening its doors in 1845 and hosting thousands of guests for more than a hundred years, the property has been renovated inside and out, beckoning to history-seeking guests. With an on-site casino, a 27,000-square-foot spa, a championship golf course and an array of high-class eateries, French Lick Springs Hotel guests have plenty to keep them busy. Rooms start at around $160 per night.
(Courtesy of the French Lick Springs Hotel)

The Colony Hotel
Kennebunkport, Maine

Built in 1914, the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport sits on a prime spot near the Atlantic Ocean. As Maine's first "environmentally responsible hotel," the Colony Hotel offers a bit of luxury, but with a nature-oriented approach. As part of its dedication to the environment, the Colony Hotel takes special care to recycle worn bedspreads and linens into usable items for both staff and the hotel gift shop. Guests can enjoy ocean views, access to a heated saltwater swimming pool, organic gardens and blooming flowers in every direction come spring. Rooms start at $169 per night.
(Courtesy of the Colony Hotel)

Businessman and bellhop walking up stairs.
The Jefferson, Washington, DC
The Hawthorne Hotel.
The Inn at Laguna Beach.
Ducks walk near a fountain in the lobby of the Peabody Memphis.
The "Red Lacquer" room of the Palmer House hotel.
The King's Daughters Inn.
The Wigwam Hotel at night.
The Southernmost House.
The exterior of the French Lick Springs Hotel.
The Colony Hotel.

Discover vintage properties across the country.
When it comes to planning an aspirational trip, many people dream of far-flung, international hot spots, rather than the history-filled enclaves found in America's backyard. But the truth is, while places across the U.S. might be young compared to storied destinations overseas, America features its fair share of historic cities and hotels filled with old-world grandeur and timeless charm. So, if you want to get away for a quick weekend and get transported to another time, head to one of the country's top historic hotels. Here are 10 U.S. haunts that are steeped in history and nestled in some of the nation's most influential neighborhoods.
(Getty Images)

The Jefferson, Washington, DC
Washington, District of Columbia

Just blocks from the White House and a slew of historic landmarks, The Jefferson leaves an impression on its guests. This 95-room property, built in 1923, was converted into a hotel in 1955. History lovers will appreciate the property's historical artifacts, including art, paintings and documents signed by Thomas Jefferson and other significant national figures. And though the hotel retains its opulence, thanks to renovations in 2009, which included upgrades to guest rooms, meeting spaces and restaurants as well as the addition of two specialty suites, the property doesn't compromise on contemporary comforts. Rooms start at around $400 per night, and special packages are available.
(Courtesy of The Jefferson, Washington, DC)

Hawthorne Hotel
Salem, Massachusetts

It's impossible to think of Salem without remembering the Salem witch trials. Yet, the Hawthorne Hotel has a history of its own, not only as the site of epic Halloween parties and the backdrop for a memorable episode of the hit television series "Bewitched," but also as a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Since opening its doors in 1925, the Hawthorne Hotel has become renowned as a destination for grand ballroom dances, weddings and a famed Halloween party. Guests at the Hawthorne Hotel do much more than stay at the hotel for the night; they bring a piece of Salem and its history home with them. Rooms start at $129 per night, but book early to secure your reservation.
(Courtesy of John Andrews/Hawthorne Hotel)

The Inn at Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach, California

History lovers who crave a beach vibe should head straight to the historic Inn at Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach was built as an artist colony and the inn holds much of its original charm despite having gone through massive renovations to become the luxury property it is today. Guests can enjoy the best location in Laguna Beach, next to a public beach and just steps from art galleries, shopping and some of the area's finest restaurants. Sit out on the rooftop terrace at night for complimentary wine and cookies, then sit back and enjoy one of the world's most beautiful views. Rooms start at just $279 per night.
(Courtesy of the Inn at Laguna Beach)

The Peabody Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

With an original building dating back to 1869, The Peabody reflects the opulence and glamour of a bygone era. A newer and grander property was erected at its present Memphis location on Union Avenue, but the hotel never lost its grasp on its historic roots. The Peabody also boasts time-honored traditions, such as its Peabody Duck March, a spectacle that continues to delight visitors today. If you want a slice of history in Memphis, rooms at The Peabody start at just $165 per night.
(Courtesy of Trey Clark/The Peabody Memphis)

Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel
Chicago, Illinois

Located in Chicago's Loop district, the Palmer House offers both historic charm and modern conveniences. Built by wealthy business magnates and socialites, the property first opened its doors in 1873. The hotel's former owner, Bertha Palmer, even befriended Claude Monet while in France, which helped influence the property's artistic flair. Today, you'll find garnet-filled chandeliers and a ceiling fresco created by the French painter Louis Pierre Rigal. What's more, as a Chicago landmark, the hotel has hosted many prominent figures, from U.S. presidents to world-renowned entertainers, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Rooms start at $169 per night, and special offers are available for couples and groups.
(Courtesy of Bill Huber, Huber Photography/Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel)

The King's Daughters Inn
Durham, North Carolina

Across the street from the prestigious Duke University, the King's Daughters Inn packs plenty of culture into its historic property. Formerly serving as retirement housing for elderly women in 1903, the property evolved into a two-story Colonial Revival style brick building and hotel. The home served 34 women and housed nine full-time staff members at its peak, yet it waned in popularity and ultimately closed in 2006. However, by 2009, the building was purchased and artfully restored to its former grandeur, showcasing elegant rooms and suites. Rooms start at $200 per night.
(Courtesy of the King's Daughters Inn)

The Wigwam
Litchfield Park, Arizona

After first opening its doors on Thanksgiving Day in 1929, Litchfield Park's Wigwam began its rein as one of Arizona's most famous and unique hotels. Set on 500 gorgeous acres, The Wigwam wows guests with amenities, such as a world-class Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, several top-notch restaurants and bars and championship golf courses. Despite its large size, The Wigwam remains quaint and inviting, with only 331 guest rooms available on the property. Plus, a renovation in 2010 helped revitalize The Wigwam and improve its functionality. Rooms start at around $130 per night.
(Courtesy of the Wigwam)

The Southernmost House
Key West, Florida

Sightseers who want to experience the history of Duvall Street in Key West should consider a stay at the Southernmost House. This elegant beach hotel originally opened its doors in 1896, and has served as both a night club and a private residence over the years. As you step inside, you can grace the same spots as some of the property's famous guests, including Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote and even John F. Kennedy. Set on the quieter end of Key West's most famous street, the Southernmost House offers an unmatched beachfront vacation, plus the modern amenities you would expect at a top-tier property. Rooms start at around $370 per night.
(Courtesy of the Southernmost House)

French Lick Springs Hotel
French Lick, Indiana

If you want to experience some history while you travel, the French Lick Springs Hotel will help you step back in time. After originally opening its doors in 1845 and hosting thousands of guests for more than a hundred years, the property has been renovated inside and out, beckoning to history-seeking guests. With an on-site casino, a 27,000-square-foot spa, a championship golf course and an array of high-class eateries, French Lick Springs Hotel guests have plenty to keep them busy. Rooms start at around $160 per night.
(Courtesy of the French Lick Springs Hotel)

The Colony Hotel
Kennebunkport, Maine

Built in 1914, the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport sits on a prime spot near the Atlantic Ocean. As Maine's first "environmentally responsible hotel," the Colony Hotel offers a bit of luxury, but with a nature-oriented approach. As part of its dedication to the environment, the Colony Hotel takes special care to recycle worn bedspreads and linens into usable items for both staff and the hotel gift shop. Guests can enjoy ocean views, access to a heated saltwater swimming pool, organic gardens and blooming flowers in every direction come spring. Rooms start at $169 per night.
(Courtesy of the Colony Hotel)

×

By Holly Johnson | Contributor April 6, 2016, at 3:06 p.m.


Recommended Articles

The 14 Most Exotic Black Sand Beaches in the World

Jan. 14, 2019

Explore unusual shorelines across the globe.

30 Great Girls Weekend Getaways

Dec. 21, 2018

See which amazing locales around the globe are ideal for a girls-only vacation.

How to Find Cheap Flights

Holly Johnson | Dec. 13, 2018

These tips can help you see the world at prices you can afford.

5 Ways to Save Money on Honeymoon Travel

Nicola Wood | Dec. 11, 2018

Create priceless honeymoon memories without breaking the bank.

9 Small Towns That Go All Out for Christmas

Dec. 4, 2018

You don't have to travel to a big city to experience nonstop Christmas fun.

17 Family Ski Vacations to Take This Winter

Nov. 26, 2018

These family-friendly mountain resorts offer exceptional snow sports and activities for all ages.

The 50 Most Scenic Mountain Resorts

Nov. 19, 2018

Get away to enjoy the views and activities at these properties around the world.

The 5 Top Health and Wellness Trends in Cruising

Nicola Wood | Nov. 13, 2018

Find out how taking a cruise can support your health, fitness and nutrition goals.

10 New Cruise Ships and Amenities to Check Out

Nov. 13, 2018

See how cruise lines are raising the bar with tech-savvy touches and improved luxury experiences.

The 2019 Best Cruise Lines for the Money

Nov. 13, 2018

Find out which lines will help you save big on your next cruise vacation.