US President Franklin Roosevelt wrote one of his most famous lines ever, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” at the The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, on the eve of his 1933 inaugural address.
The Inn at the Presidio in San Francisco is located at historic Pershing Hall, which was built by the US Army in 1903 to house unmarried officers.
The corner where La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe now stands goes back even further. It’s where the town’s first inn, established when Spaniards created the town in 1607, was located.
These hotels have historic significance in the USA, and these three were among the winners of the 2016 Historic Hotel Awards of Excellence.
“Historic hotels allow travelers to discover, explore, and connect with the past,” Lawrence P. Horwitz, executive director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide, told CNN Travel. “The 2016 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence winners represent the finest historic hotels and hoteliers. We congratulate them and thank them for their continued dedication to preserving these iconic historic hotels and their legendary histories for future generations.”
A program of the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America will only accept hotels that have been designated by the US Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The hotels also have to be recognized as having historic significance and be at least 50 years old.
Arizona’s White Stallion Ranch is 2016’s new member of the year; it began life as a cattle ranch at the turn of the 20th century and has been run as a hotel by three generations of the True family.
San Francisco’s Palace Hotel claims that when it was built in 1875, it was San Francisco’s first luxury hotel and the largest in the world – it’s still going strong and this year it won best historic hotel (over 400 guestrooms).
International hotels also get a mention, with Switzerland’s Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern named best in Europe. Famous guests to have stayed here include Mark Twain and Winston Churchill.
Best historic hotels in the United States
Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (under 75 guestrooms): Inn at the Presidio (1903), San Francisco, California
Best Historic Hotel (76-200 guestrooms): La Fonda on the Plaza (1922), Santa Fe, New Mexico
Best Historic Hotel (201-400 guestrooms): Mission Inn Hotel & Spa (1876) Riverside, California
Best Historic Hotel (over 400 guestrooms): Palace Hotel (1875), San Francisco, California
Best City Center Historic Hotel: The Mayflower Hotel (1925) Washington, DC
Best Historic Resort: The Omni Homestead Resort (1766), Hot Springs, Virginia
Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion: The Boar’s Head (1834) Charlottesville, Virginia
Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year: White Stallion Ranch (1900), Tucson, Arizona
Best historic hotels worldwide
Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel: Circa 1886 at Wentworth Mansion (1886) Charleston, South Carolina
Best Historic Hotels Worldwide Hotel (Europe): Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern (1845), Lucerne, Switzerland
Best Historic Hotels Worldwide Hotel (Asia/Pacific): Hotel New Grand (1927) Yokohama, Japan
Best Historic Hotels Worldwide (Americas): Hacienda Xcanatún (1789) Merida, Mexico