Photo courtesy of Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Spend the night in a historic space
From jailhouses and schoolhouses to posh palaces, these historic landmarks have been artfully preserved and given a new life as modern hotels welcoming travelers from around the globe.
Photo courtesy of Hotel Figueroa
Hotel Figueroa | Los Angeles, California
Originally opened in 1926 by the YWCA as an exclusive women's hostel, Hotel Figueroa was a safe haven for solo female travelers who were prohibited from checking into most hotels without a male chaperone. In the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Hotel Figueroa attracted professional women from all over the world and gave them freedom and the opportunity for economic mobility.
The building's curves and arches, ornamental iron work and wooden ceiling beams were designed in Spanish Colonial style. Today, the facade has been restored with original wrought iron balconies overlooking Figueroa Street and the lobby's original skylights.
Photo courtesy of Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul | Turkey
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul is the only hotel in Turkey that can be reached by private helicopter, yacht and limousine. It's fitting for the grand Ottoman Imperial palace on the Bosphorus.
Sultan Abdülaziz completed the palace in 1871 and it was used to hold parliament meetings during the second constitutional monarchy before a fire in 1910 destroyed the interior, including priceless antiques, books and art pieces. The sultan's private hammam is the only original room that survived.
After WWI, French military field corps engineers occupied the ruined palace, and in the 1930s, Beşiktaş Football Team used the garden of the palace as a stadium. After massive renovations in the 1980s, Çırağan Palace was restored once more to its former glory as a five-star luxury hotel welcoming international jetsetters.
Photo courtesy of Clayton Hauck
Chicago Athletic Association | Illinois
Opened in 1893 amid the boom surrounding the World’s Columbian Exposition, this Venetian Gothic landmark was originally an exclusive sport and social club for Chicago’s most influential businessmen like Marshall Field, William Wrigley, Jr., AG Spaulding and Cyrus McCormick.
After closing as a private club in 2007, the building underwent a massive renovation and reopened as the Chicago Athletic Association hotel in 2015. There's free Wi-Fi in the gorgeous Harry Potter-like lobby and the once elitist institution is now open to everyone – and is just steps from Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Photo courtesy of The Eliza Jane
The Eliza Jane | New Orleans, Louisiana
Originally built in the 1860s, The Eliza Jane is a new boutique hotel in New Orleans that was formerly the newspaper office of The Daily Picayune. Namesake Eliza Jane Nicholson was the publisher of The Daily Picayune in the late 1800s and the first woman publisher of a major metropolitan newspaper in the U.S.
Just two blocks from the French Quarter, the hotel's original brick walls and ceiling beams were incorporated into the new modern design.
Photo courtesy of Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht | Netherlands
Overlooking Amsterdam's famous canals, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht was the city's public library from 1977 to 2007. Marcel Wanders designed the hotel incorporating themes of Alice in Wonderland, Delft blue and the Dutch Golden Age. And the hotel still has a massive library, home to the largest private video art collection in Europe.
Photo courtesy of Jose Ruiz Photography
Hotel El Convento | San Juan, Puerto Rico
This former convent in the heart of historic Old San Juan dates back to 1651 as the first Carmelite Convent in the Americas. Now, Hotel El Convento is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and the oldest member of Historic Hotels of America.
Black-and-white marble floors, original frescoes, stained glass windows and a lush courtyard with century-old nispero trees preserve the property's rich character and charm.
Photo courtesy of Hyatt House Jersey City
Hyatt House Jersey City | New Jersey
Hyatt House Jersey City opened in 2018 in the First National Bank of Jersey City building, established in 1868. According to legend, wealthy families who arrived on Ellis Island deposited their valuables in private vaults within the bank for safekeeping. The bank's bronze gate and original tiled marble imported from Italy remain.
Don't miss the rooftop restaurant and lounge, which has a retractable glass ceiling that offers sweeping views of the New York City skyline and Statue of Liberty.
Photo courtesy of Washington School House
Washington School House | Park City, Utah
In the heart of downtown Park City, this boutique hotel with just 13 suites is a sharp contrast to the grand ski resorts nearby. Washington School House is one of the last surviving original school houses in the United States. It was built in 1889 just a few years after Park City was incorporated and in the midst of its silver mining heyday.
The original quarried limestone exterior respects the building's historical integrity while the living room's antler chandelier layered with Swarovski crystals adds a touch of modern bling.
Photo courtesy of Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort | St. Lucia
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort sits within more than 100 acres of pristine rainforest in the UNESCO World Heritage Val des Pitons. Although St. Lucia stopped producing sugarcane commercially in the 1960s, Sugar Beach's 96 rooms, cottages, bungalows and villas with private plunge pools sit on the site of an old sugar plantation.
Guests interested in the island's history can take a half-day tour of the 18th century Morne Coubaril Estate, including visits to the working Balenbouche plantation, sugar mill and house. Then return to the Rainforest Spa at Sugar Beach for a Caribbean glow body polish with sugar, sea salt and raw coconut.
Photo courtesy of The Liberty Hotel Boston
The Liberty Hotel Boston, A Luxury Collection Hotel | Massachusetts
Located at the foot of Beacon Hill in Boston, The Liberty Hotel is an imaginative transformation of the Charles Street Jail, a national historic landmark built in 1851. Some of Boston’s most notorious criminals, including James "Whitey" Bulger, were once locked up here.
Today, the hotel blends history with high-style luxury and homegrown warmth for a quintessentially Boston experience. The 298 rooms and suites offer views of the city skyline and Charles River through original wrought-iron windows.
The jail’s granite exterior and expansive interiors remain largely unchanged and the original atrium is still the heart of the hotel with its historic catwalks.