Newly built with modern facilities may be a drawcard for most hotels, but old hotels can be so much more interesting! When you’re sleeping in a building surrounded in history you can let a few things like bad smells, crumbling walls and even a bit of mould slide. Well, some people can anyway.
Many historic hotels have seen some of the world’s most famous events and can name world leaders, classic Hollywood stars and royalty as past clientele. Who knows, you could sleep in the old room of Marilyn Monroe!
So if you love history or just want to stay somewhere that has hundreds of stories to tell, check out some of the world’s oldest hotels. Oh if only the walls could talk!
1. Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan, Hayawaka, Japan
Founded in 705, it’s no surprise Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan was officially named as the oldest hotel in the world by Guinness World Records – that’s over 1,300 years of guests! The beautiful hotel is built around hot springs and surrounded by luscious Japanese countryside. And if you can’t get a room, the world’s second oldest hotel is also in Japan!
2. Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, India
This impressive hotel, which deserves the name ‘palace’, is one of India’s most historic and famous hotel. Since opening its doors in 1903, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel’s has played host to high-profile guests including The Beatles, Barack Obama, Jackie O and Brad Pitt, to name just a few!
3. Schloss Cecilienhof, Germany
Not many hotels can boast a history as exciting as Schloss Cecilienhof. It gained notoriety for hosting the Potsdam Conference, where allies Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Harry Truman met during World War II in 1945. The now hotel was also the last palace built by Hohenzollern family, who ruled Prussia and Germany until 1918. A UNESCO world heritage site since 1990 and also housing a popular museum, this is a dream hotel for history buffs!
4. Chateau de Goudourville, France
Dating back to the 11th century, it doesn’t get much older than the Chateau de Goudourville in the French Pyrenees, near Toulouse. In what feels like a cross between Hogwarts and a Medieval fairytale palace, the chateau has managed to preserve its history and is a unique place for a kip.
5. Pera Palace Hotel, Turkey
One of Istanbul’s most iconic buildings, the Pera Palace is as luxurious as it is old. The magnificent building first opened as a hotel in 1895 and has seen many high-profile guests come through its doors. Despite it’s rich history, it has had many modern features added to it including a state-of-the-art day spa and fancy cocktail bars!
6. Plaza Hotel, NYC
Built in 1907, the magnificent Plaza Hotel in Manhattan might not be the most affordable place to stay in the Big Apple (rooms start at $700 p/n), but it certainly has an interesting history. Many a glamorous ball and concert has been held in its numerous ballrooms and it is one of only two hotels in New York City to be designated as a National Historic Landmark (the other is the Waldorf Astoria). If you can’t afford to stay the night – there are free tours of the interior available for the public. So you can at least pretend to have stayed there 😉
8. Oude Werf, South Africa
Built in 1805, Oude Werf is the oldest hotel in South Africa. Surrounded by vineyards and with wrought iron features, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were staying in a provincial chateau in rural France rather than in Africa. But nonetheless, this Georgian-era hotel is a chic and charming place to stay.
9. The Ritz, Paris
Fashionistas will love the history of The Ritz Hotel in Paris. Not only is it in the heart of one of the world’s fashion capitals, but it is where the iconic Coco Chanel spent 30 years of her life. She passed away peacefully in 1971 while designing her next Spring fashion collection in a luxurious suite.
10. Hotel del Coronado, California
Walk in the footsteps of more than 10 past U.S. presidents at the Hotel del Coronado in sunny San Diego, California. When the hotel first opened in 1888, it attracted the rich and famous from across the USA – including the president at the time Benjamin Harrison and screen-star Charlie Chaplin. You might also recognise the hotel as the film location for Marilyn Monroe’s movie, ‘Some Like it Hot.’
As well as being a celeb-haven, the hotel is famous for its world-first inventions including hotel-wide electric lighting, looked over by Thomas Edison himself!
What’s the most historic hotel you’ve ever stayed in?