From the famous to the most spectacular, these hotels promise a stay full of beauty and elegance. Whether you’re craving a nature escape, a fun city escape, or just a little rest and relaxation on your own, these 13 amazing destinations have you covered. From cottages to luxury resorts, we think there’s something for everyone at our 13 favorite historic hotels in the United States and Canada.
1. Fairmont Empress (Winner)
Victoria, British Columbia
The Fairmont Empress Hotel is one of Canada’s most beautiful hotels and a National Historic Site. The hotel has a lobby, grand Edwardian architecture, and 431 elegant rooms. This beautiful setting is just the beginning of the luxury experience and a reservation to enjoy the hotel’s famous afternoon tea is a must for every Empress visit. Nearby, Victoria’s Inner Harbor (home to the Royal BC Museum), Beacon Hill Park, and Craigdarroch Castle are easy to explore.
2. Hotel Del Coronado
San Diego, California
With its trademark red roof and Victorian architecture, the Hotel del Coronado has elegance. Located on the shores of Coronado Island, this hotel offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. From its pristine beaches and scenic gardens to its fine dining and fine spa, Hotel del Coronado promises an unforgettable experience. This “living legend” of the resort is located near Coronado Beach – a wonderful golden sand that attracts visitors with its beauty and tranquility. Guests can enjoy leisurely strolls along the beach, participate in water sports, or sunbathe.
3. Grand Hotel
Mackinac Island, Michigan
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan is a great place that exudes elegance. In business since 1887, the hotel has 397 uniquely designed guest rooms, each furnished to reflect its rich history and filled with beautiful linens and accessories. The public spaces are impressive, such as the famous balcony which is 660 meters long and holds the title of the longest balcony in the world (with a great view). If you can tear yourself away from this area, Mackinac Island State Park, the Butterfly House, and car tours await.
4. Algonquin Hotel
New York, New York
With Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center all nearby, you can expect the Algonquin Hotel to be a wild place. However, this hotel, which dates back to 1902, is quiet, intimate, and relaxing. However, it knows its loud moments. After all, it was home to the “Round Table,” where literary geniuses like Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley gathered to exchange thoughts and ideas. Be sure to say hello to Hamlet, the hotel’s resident cat – so famous that he has his own Instagram account!
5. Fairmont Banff Springs
Surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, this popular destination is a haven for nature lovers and luxury seekers (and the perfect place to relax after a long day’s travel). Fairmont Banff Springs, which opened in 1888, looks like a Scottish baronial castle and has a beautiful, beautiful atmosphere. Guests can enjoy delicious food, relax at the Willow Stream Spa, or explore the beautiful desert through a variety of outdoor activities. The property is a short drive from Banff National Park (and Lake Louise), Banff Upper Hot Springs, and shopping on Banff Avenue.
6. Saratoga Arms Hotel
Saratoga Springs, New York
The Saratoga Arms is a beautifully restored brick hotel dating back to 1870. Located in the heart of Saratoga Springs, this historic property combines timeless charm with modern conveniences. Each of its 31 elegantly designed rooms and suites offers refined comfort, offering guests a sanctuary of peace. Enjoy a hearty breakfast with local produce and free sweet and savory treats (including chocolate chip cookies made with a secret ingredient: potato chips).
7. The Inn At Little Washington
With only 23 guest rooms, the Inn At Little Washington is a bit more Lilliputian than the rest of the list, but guests don’t come here to find a place to stay (beautiful though it may be). This property is for food and wine. Guests are treated to culinary excellence at the Michelin-starred restaurant, where Chef Patrick O’Connell showcases his passion for local flavors. The Inn at Little Washington’s wine list has won Wine Spectator’s Grand Prize for 25 years and counting, and their cellar holds more than 14,000 bottles.
8. The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Broadmoor Hotel, located in the middle of the breathtaking beauty of Colorado Springs, is a timeless place that attracts visitors with its old school charm. It’s the most consecutive Forbes Five-Star AAA Five-Diamond hall of fame in the world, so you’d expect nothing less. The hotel has 20 restaurants, bars, and lounges – including The Golden Bee, an authentic 19th-century English pub that arrived, group by group, at The Broadmoor in 1961. You also have access to two of the golf, spa, 19 shops, and a list of tourist programs. However, the main attraction here is the great outdoors. The hotel is close to Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
9. Old Faithful Inn
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
One of the most iconic features of any park, the Old Faithful Inn is more than 100 years old. A testament to rustic charm, this tall structure features uneven walls, a large stone fireplace, hand-crafted furniture, and an impressive wooden staircase. Its name – Old Faithful Geyser – is just a short walk away. Some of the park’s most famous attractions, including the Upper Geyser Basin and Yellowstone Lake, are a short drive away. Guests should book their rooms (especially those with geyser view) in advance. Less adventurous travelers will want to check out the “Old House” rooms. Some of these rooms come with powder rooms only, which means sharing a bathroom with a bathroom, but saving 50 percent compared to expensive suites.
10. Equinox Golf Resort & Spa
The word “nestled” is often overused in travel books, but when it comes to Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, it’s about right. This beautiful place is surrounded by green hills and fields and is the perfect escape full of nature. Golfers, hikers and fly fishermen will love the beautiful scenery of the Green Mountains, and all visitors will appreciate the park and restaurant. Close to Equinox Preservation Trust Trails, Manchester Designer Outlets, and Hildene. Also known as the Lincoln Family Home, Hildene is the former home of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln.
11. Casa Monica Resort & Spa
St. Augustine, Florida
Originally built in 1888, this beautiful, Moroccan-style property is located in the heart of St. Augustine’s Historic District. It is within walking distance of several top attractions, including
Lightner Museum, Castillo de San Marcos, St. George Street, and Flagler College – a gem worth exploring. The college has beautiful Spanish Renaissance Revival buildings and a courtyard decorated with Tiffany stained glass windows. Casa Monica also has a gym (you’ll love the deep blue walls), an art gallery, and a Mediterranean-style Costa Brava restaurant.
12. Hotel Monteleone
New Orleans, Louisiana
Since 1886, this classic property has timeless charm, southern hospitality, and plenty of good times. The hotel’s location in the heart of New Orleans’s French Quarter proves it! Famous attractions like Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, The French Market, and Preservation Hall are all just a few steps away, so you’ll never have a dull moment. However, you will want to allow enough time to search for a hotel. It has a unique Carousel Bar (yes, it rotates!) filled with live music and a delicious menu. Book lovers will want to book one of the classics by Faulkner, Hemingway, Capote, and others.
13. Menger Hotel
San Antonio, Texas
Located in the heart of San Antonio, the Menger Hotel has 316 elegant guest rooms and suites. Rooms are filled with historic charm and guests can request to stay in rooms with private balconies, views of the Spanish Steps, or even views of local landmarks: The Alamo; this famous place is just steps away from it. Visitors are invited to learn about the Texas struggle for independence and the famous Battle of the Alamo. Other notable nearby attractions include the San Antonio RiverWalk and the San Antonio Missions – a UNESCO World Heritage Site including four 18th-century Spanish buildings.
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