Grand Hotel wins title of Best Historic Hotel
Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, The Peabody Memphis, The Hermitage Hotel and Mohonk Mountain House also winners
In today's travel landscape dotted with sparkling new resorts and ultra-modern skyscraper hotels, these 10 winners for Best Historic Hotel stand out from the crowd for their historic roots and unique sense of place.
The Omni Homestead Resort (Hot Springs, Va.)
In 1764 Capt. Thomas Bullett received a 300-acre land grant containing seven natural mineral springs. The captain and his militia company quickly cleared the land and built an 18-room wooden hotel called the Homestead. While the hotel has undergone some significant changes since then – it now boasts 483 guest rooms and suites – the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va. has managed to maintain its historic charm. Photo courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts
The American Club (Kohler, Wis.)
The prestigious American Club began as a housing unit for single immigrant workers at the Kohler company in 1918 – it included a pub, bowling alley, barbershop and offered English lessons for workers. In 1981, the property re-opened as a luxury retreat, now famous for its world-class golf courses, award-winning restaurants and a Forbes Five Star spa. Photo courtesy of The American Club
The Royal Hawaiian (Honolulu)
An icon of Waikiki, the 528-room Royal Hawaiian
sits amid coconut groves and tranquil pools along Honolulu
's trendiest beachfront. Built in 1927 in the Spanish-Moorish style popular at the time, the "Pink Palace of the Pacific" was leased to the U.S. Navy during World War II for use as a rest and recreation facility before reopening to guests in 1947. It's been helping visitors fall in love with Hawaii ever since. Photo courtesy of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki
The Don CeSar (St. Pete Beach, Fla.)
This historic St. Pete Beach hotel, part of the Historic Hotels of America, is known as the “Pink Palace
,” for its colorful rose exterior. Inside, guests and staff often claim to experience paranormal activity. Some rooms are rumored to be haunted, and visitors can sign up for ghost tours of the area that include the Don CeSar. As the stories go, perhaps the ghost here is the original owner and his forbidden lover, or patients who died here when the hotel was using as a veteran hospital in the ‘40s. Photo courtesy of The Don CeSar
The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs)
The history of The Broadmoor – an iconic hotel in Colorado Springs – dates back to 1918 when it welcomed its first guests. John D. Rockefeller was the hotel's first celebrity guest, staying the night of June 1, 1918. Today, the 5,000-acre resort offers a full-service spa, three golf courses and a stellar hotel restaurant, The Penrose Room. Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Mohonk Mountain House (New Paltz, N.Y.)
The Smiley family founded Mohonk Mountain House in 1869, and today, the Victorian castle resort in New York's Hudson Valley is still owned and operated by the Smiley family and continues to welcome guests. The newest buildings on the property date back to 1910. Famous guests throughout the years have included Andrew Carnegie, the Rockefeller family, Theodore Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Photo courtesy of Jim Smith Photography
The Hermitage Hotel (Nashville)
The historic Hermitage Hotel
was constructed in 1908 as Nashville’s first million-dollar hotel. No expense was spared in adorning the Beaux-Arts building with a grand staircase, mahogany-paneled guestrooms, Italian marble columns, a painted glass skylight and Circassian walnut cabinetwork. Numerous presidents and dignitaries number among the guests of this Nashville icon. Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts
The Peabody Memphis (Memphis)
The grande dame of Southern hotels, the historic Peabody
, is a treat for the senses; opulence abounds, a dynamite restaurant pleases the palate and the famed ducks entertain both adults and children at this hotel dating back to 1869 (it's been at its current location since 1925). The old time-y pool area is a throwback to the glamour days of indoor hotel pools. Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Mission Inn Hotel & Spa (Riverside Calif.)
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, a National Historic Landmark, started out modestly as a 12-room adobe boarding house in the late 1800s when wealthy East Coast residents and Europeans began moving to Riverside, Calif. for the warm weather and growing citrus industry. Today, the charming AAA Four Diamond hotel offers 238 guest rooms and some of the most stunning hotel architecture out there. Photo courtesy of Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island, Mich.)
Guests at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island might find themselves on rocking chairs on the world's longest porch overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. This historic hotel opened in 1887 to cater to summer vacationers from Chicago Montreal and Detroit. In 1895, Mark Twain gave lectures in the Grand Hotel Casino for $1 a ticket. Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel Mackinac Island
The top 10 winners in the category Best Historic Hotel are as follows:
- Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island, Mich.
- Mission Inn Hotel & Spa - Riverside Calif.
- The Peabody Memphis - Memphis
- The Hermitage Hotel - Nashville
- Mohonk Mountain House - New Paltz, N.Y.
- The Broadmoor - Colorado Springs
- The Don CeSar - St. Pete Beach, Fla.
- The Royal Hawaiian - Honolulu
- The American Club - Kohler, Wis.
- The Omni Homestead Resort - Hot Springs, Va.
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Marla Cimini (USA TODAY), Claire Endean-Cance (Luxury Travel Diary), Eric Grossman, Lawrence Horwitz (Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide), Gerrish Lopez, Eileen Ogintz (Taking the Kids), Christopher Parr (Pursuitist) and Nancy Trejos (USA TODAY) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the hotel scene across the nation.
Congratulations to all these winning historic properties!