From historic landmarks to breathtaking settings, these hotels promise luxurious stays filled with charm and elegance. Whether you’re craving a serene nature retreat, an exciting city escape, or just some luxurious rest and relaxation on your own, these 13 captivating properties have got you covered. Ranging from small inns to sprawling 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 elegant properties as well as a National Historic Site. The hotel features an opulent lobby, majestic Edwardian architecture, and 431 lovely rooms. The charming accommodations are just the beginning of the luxurious experience and making reservations to enjoy the hotel’s renowned afternoon tea is essential to any Empress visit. Nearby, Victoria’s Inner Harbour (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 exudes grandeur. Located along the shores of Coronado Island, the hotel offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. From its pristine beaches and vibrant gardens to its fine-dining restaurants and exquisite spa, the Hotel del Coronado promises an unforgettable experience. This “living legend” of a resort is just steps away from Coronado Beach — a stunning stretch of golden sand that entices visitors with its beauty and tranquillity. Guests can enjoy leisurely walks along the shoreline, engage in water sports, or soak up the sun.
3. Grand Hotel
Mackinac Island, Michigan
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan is a majestic landmark that exudes elegance. In business since 1887, the hotel boasts 397 uniquely designed guest rooms, each meticulously furnished to reflect its rich history and filled with colorful linens and accessories. The public spaces are just as noteworthy, as the famous front porch stretches 660 feet and holds the title of the longest porch in the world (with one heck of a great view). If you can tear yourself away from the property, Mackinac Island State Park, the Butterfly House, and carriage tours await.
4. The Algonquin Hotel
New York, New York
With Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center all nearby, you might expect the Algonquin Hotel to be a wild place. However, this hotel, which dates to 1902, is quiet, intimate, and relaxing. However, it has known its fair share of rowdy times. After all, it was once home to the “Round Table,” where literary greats like Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley gathered to exchange witty banter 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 breathtaking mountain vistas, this legendary property is a haven for nature enthusiasts and luxury seekers alike (and the best possible place to relax after a long day of hiking). The Fairmont Banff Springs, which dates to 1888, looks like a Scottish baronial castle and is filled with elegant, luxurious touches. Guests can indulge in delicious dining experiences, unwind at the Willow Stream Spa, or explore the pristine wilderness through various outdoor activities. The property is just a short distance from Banff National Park (and Lake Louise), Banff Upper Hot Springs, and the shops on Banff Avenue.
6. Saratoga Arms Hotel
Saratoga Springs, New York
The Saratoga Arms is a beautifully restored brick hotel that dates to 1870. Located in downtown Saratoga Springs, this historic property seamlessly blends timeless charm with modern amenities. Each of its 31 meticulously designed rooms and suites exudes a sense of refined comfort, offering a peaceful sanctuary for guests. Enjoy made-to-order hot breakfasts featuring local produce and even a free pantry of sweet and savory snacks (including homemade chocolate chip cookies made with a secret ingredient: potato chips).
7. The Inn At Little Washington
With just 23 guest rooms, the Inn At Little Washington is positively Lilliputian compared to the rest of this list, but guests don’t come here for the accommodations (charming though they may be). This property is all about food and wine. Guests are treated to a culinary masterpiece at the Michelin-starred restaurant, where Chef Patrick O’Connell’s innovative dishes showcase his passion for local ingredients. The Inn at Little Washington’s wine list has received the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award for 25 years and counting, and their cellar comprises more than 14,000 bottles.
8. The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Broadmoor Hotel, located among the breathtaking beauty of Colorado Springs, is a timeless property that captivates visitors with its old-school elegance. It is the world’s longest-running consecutive Forbes Five-Star AAA Five-Diamond resort, so you’d expect nothing less. The hotel is home to 20 restaurants, cafés, and lounges — including The Golden Bee, an authentic 19th-century English pub that arrived, panel by panel, at The Broadmoor in 1961. You also have access to two golf courses, a spa, 19 retail outlets, and an array of guest programs. Still, the big draw here is the great outdoors. The hotel is near the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
9. Old Faithful Inn
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
One of the most iconic properties in any national park, the Old Faithful Inn is more than 100 years old. A testament to rustic grandeur, this towering log structure has uneven walls, a massive stone fireplace, handcrafted furniture, and a spectacular log staircase. Its namesake — the Old Faithful Geyser — is just a short walk away. Other popular park sites, including the Upper Geyser Basin and Yellowstone Lake, are a short drive away. Visitors should book their rooms (especially those with a view of the geyser) well in advance. Frugal travelers will want to check out the “Old House” rooms. Some of these rooms come with only powder rooms, which means sharing a bath and shower room, but saving 50 percent compared to more expensive suites.
10. Equinox Golf Resort & Spa
The word “nestled” is often overused in travel literature, but when it comes to the Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, it really is accurate. This gorgeous property is indeed nestled next to green hills and fields and is the perfect nature-filled escape. Golf lovers, hikers, and fly fishers will love the idyllic setting in the Green Mountains, and all guests will appreciate the spa and restaurants. Nearby are the Equinox Preservation Trust Trails, the Manchester Designer Outlets, and Hildene. Also known as the Lincoln Family Home, Hildene is the former residence of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln.
11. Casa Monica Resort & Spa
St. Augustine, Florida
Originally built in 1888, this gorgeous, Moroccan-style property is located in the center of St. Augustine’s Historic District. It’s within walking distance of several top attractions, including
Lightner Museum, Castillo de San Marcos, St. George Street, and Flagler College — a stunning architectural gem worth exploring. The college boasts magnificent Spanish Renaissance Revival-style buildings and a rotunda adorned with exquisite Tiffany stained-glass windows. Casa Monica is also home to a luxurious spa (you’ll love the deep peacock blue walls), an art gallery, and the Mediterranean-inspired Costa Brava restaurant.
12. Hotel Monteleone
New Orleans, Louisiana
Since 1886, this luxurious property has exuded timeless charm, southern hospitality, and plenty of good times. The hotel’s location in the heart of New Orleans’s French Quarter makes sure of it! Iconic 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’ll want to reserve ample time to explore the hotel. It boasts a unique Carousel Bar (yes, it does rotate!) complete with live music and a delicious menu. Book lovers will want to reserve one of the themed literary suites inspired by the works of Faulkner, Hemingway, Capote, and others.
13. Menger Hotel
San Antonio, Texas
Located in the heart of San Antonio, the Menger Hotel offers 316 elegant guest rooms and suites. Rooms are infused with historic charm and guests can request to stay in rooms with private balconies, views of the Spanish courtyard garden, or even views of the area’s star attraction: The Alamo; this hugely popular site is just steps away from it. Guests are invited to learn about Texas’s struggle for independence and the famed Battle of the Alamo. Other popular nearby attractions include the San Antonio RiverWalk and the San Antonio Missions — a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing four 18th-century Spanish Colonial mansions.
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