The 9 Best Historic Hotels in the United States

Book a storied stay at one of these winners of the 2023 Historic Hotels of America Annual Awards of Excellence.

Aerial view of the sprawling Mohonk Mountain House on the shore of Lake Mohonk

The Mohonk Mountain House dates to 1869.

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

One of the best ways to feel a sense of place in a destination is to stay in a hotel with a rich history that can tell stories about the region you’re visiting. Luckily, these hotels aren’t hard to find in the United States, thanks to the Historic Hotels of America Annual Awards of Excellence, the annual hotel awards from Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This year’s winners were honored on October 12 at the Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Arizona, a 331-room Spanish colonial revival–style lodge with its own history that dates back to 1929. Of the 14 awards categories, 4 focus on employees or hoteliers, while the other 9 feature hotels in categories ranging from New Member of the Year and Best Social Media to Best overall, ranked by property size. A nominee must be a member of Historic Hotels of America and demonstrate how the hotel has increased recognition around its own history and how it has contributed in its designated award category. The 2023 awardees were selected from more than 350 nominations by historic hotels, preservation supporters, prior award recipients, community leaders, and leadership from Historic Hotels of America.

For some history-filled travel inspiration, read on for this year’s nine hotel winners, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.

1. JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District

The public spaces of the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District, with exposed brick walls and contemporary sculptures, shown at night with purple lights

The JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District started out as a power plant.

Courtesy of the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District

  • Location: Savannah, Georgia
  • Winning Category: New Member of the Year
  • Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
  • Book now

The JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District began in 1912 as the power plant for the city of Savannah, Georgia. In recent years, it’s been repurposed as a 419-room hotel in three buildings. The design is a mashup of traditional and modern aesthetics, ranging from polished marble and wingback chairs to exposed brick walls, and even a chrome-dipped dinosaur sculpture in the lobby.

2. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, surrounded by deciduous trees in autumn

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is open year round.

Courtesy of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

  • Location: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  • Winning Category: Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel
  • Book now

The history behind the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, comes to life on the property’s social media channels, which won the Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel award for 2023. The 72-room mountaintop vacation retreat in the Ozarks was built with 18-inch-thick limestone blocks, and the interior has been transformed to reclaim its authentic Victorian decor.

3. Mohonk Mountain House

Leisure boaters near a dock at Mohonk Mountain House, with autumn trees in background

Boating is among the activities at Mohonk Mountain House.

Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

  • Location: New Paltz, New York
  • Winning Category: Sustainability Champion
  • Book now

Owned and operated by the same family since 1869, the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, has a long commitment to environmental stewardship through Earth-friendly activities and design features, as well as green initiatives, including locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine. The 259-room Victorian castle resort has a turn-of-the-century ambience with warm wood accents and earth tones that reflect the Hudson Valley’s natural beauty.

4. Hassayampa Inn

The Hassayampa Inn's public spaces feature fireplaces, wingback chairs, and large french doors.

The Hassayampa Inn is located in the downtown historic district of Prescott, Arizona.

Courtesy of the Hassayampa Inn

  • Location: Prescott, Arizona
  • Winning Category: Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (under 75 guest rooms)
  • Book now

Named after a nearby river that flows underground for much of its journey through the desert, the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott, Arizona, has been a celebrated local landmark since 1927. Its red-brick exterior is an eclectic mix of Spanish colonial revival and Italian Renaissance revival, with interior decor featuring etched glass, embossed copper panels, and hand-painted wood-beamed ceilings.

5. Skytop Lodge

Exterior of large Skytop Lodge, surrounded by green lawn

Skytop Lodge in Skytop, Pennsylvania, is located on 5,500 acres.

Courtesy of Skytop Lodge

  • Location: Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
  • Winning Category: Best Historic Hotel (76–200 guest rooms)
  • Book now

Set at the base of West Mountain in the Poconos, Skytop Lodge offers uninterrupted views of sprawling forests, rocky outcroppings, and grassy meadows in every direction. The Dutch colonial–style stone manor in Skytop, Pennsylvania, offers 125 guest rooms, 12 four-bedroom cottages, and 20 additional rooms at the Inn at Skytop, located right next to the resort’s award-winning golf course.

6. The Edgewater

The Edgewater is located on the shores of Lake Mendota.

The Edgewater is located next to the University of Wisconsin in downtown Madison.

Courtesy of the Edgewater

  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Winning Category: Best Historic Hotel (201–400 guest rooms)
  • Book now

Celebrating its 75th year in 2023, the Edgewater in Madison, Wisconsin, is an urban resort set along the shoreline of Lake Mendota in the heart of downtown Madison. This grand hotel’s 202 guest rooms feature varied views—the lake, the state capitol, downtown Madison—and is within walking distance of eclectic shops and restaurants.

7. Hilton Chicago

Exterior of the huge Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue

The Hilton Chicago, which dates to 1927, is located on Michigan Avenue.

Courtesy of Hilton Chicago

  • Location: Chicago
  • Winning Category: Best Historic Hotel
  • Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
  • Book now

On Michigan Avenue overlooking Grant Park, Lake Michigan, and the Museum Campus, the Hilton Chicago is the Windy City’s third-largest hotel by number of guest rooms (1,544). Designed as a “city within a city,” the Beaux-Arts-style property has hosted every U.S. president since its 1927 debut. Today the hotel is a contemporary urban hub with vast meeting and event space, as well as dining options ranging from a gourmet market to a Midwest bar and grill and an Irish pub.

8. Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton

The entrance of the Martinique New York on Broadway features a large black marquee

The entrance to the Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton

Courtesy of the Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton

  • Location: New York City
  • Winning Category: Best City Center Historic Hotel
  • Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
  • Book now

The carefully restored Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton is a fine example of a Beaux-Arts building designed in the French Renaissance style. Built in 1898, the 504-room hotel is located within walking distance of many New York City attractions, including Times Square and the Flatiron District. The hotel also features a PGA Gallery that commemorates the founding of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America at the property in 1916.

9. Grand Hotel

Aerial view of the Grand Hotel and pool on Mackinac Island by the shores of Lake Huron

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a National Historic Landmark.

Courtesy of the Grand Hotel

  • Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan
  • Winning Category: Best Historic Resort
  • Book now

Since 1887, the Grand Hotel has been an icon of American summer resorts. On Michigan’s history-filled Mackinac Island, the property’s Victorian-era charm pairs well with the island’s preferred mode of transportation—horse-drawn carriages instead of cars, which are restricted. Each of the 388 guest rooms was designed individually, but all of them combine bright florals with a classic vibe.

Jill K. Robinson writes about travel and adventure for AFAR, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Outside, Sierra, and more. She has won Lowell Thomas, Society of American Travel Writers, and American Society of Journalists and Authors awards for her work.
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