Historic hotels offer a peek into a bygone era. Here are our five top picks.
1. The Cavalier Virginia Beach, An Autograph Collection — Virginia Beach, VA
This AAA Four Diamond-rated oceanfront icon was completed in 1927, quickly becoming a luxurious hot spot for East Coast visitors. The Cavalier has played host to 10 presidents, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and other notable guests.
2. The Duke Mansion — Charlotte, NC
This hotel was built in 1915 by Zeb Taylor and expanded by its most notable owner James Buchanan Duke. The AAA Four Diamond-rated bed and breakfast is one of the finest examples of Colonial Revival architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel operates as a nonprofit and all proceeds used to preserve and protect the historic hotel.
3. Francis Marion — Charleston, SC
At the time it opened in 1924, it was the largest hotel in the Carolinas with 312 guest rooms. Ideally situated in the heart of downtown Charleston, the 12-story hotel provides impressive views of the city’s harbor, church steeples and antebellum mansions.
4. The Eliza Thompson House — Savannah, GA
This grand historic home dates back to 1847 and is part of the Historic Inns of Savannah Collection. It was built for cotton merchant Joseph Thompson and his family. Each of the main house’s 12 rooms feature period furnishings and artwork.
5. The Hermitage Hotel — Nashville, TN
Built in 1920 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel boasts mahogany paneled guest rooms and lobby floors of Tennessee marble. It served as headquarters of both anti-suffragist and suffragist groups meeting to lobby the Tennessee legislature.
(Traveler Summer 2020)