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Stunning, historic hotels from every state and the stories behind them

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James Kirkikis // Shutterstock

Stunning, historic hotels from every state and the stories behind them

The sheen on the banister of a century-old mahogany staircase. The patina on a weathered copper gutter. A muted reflection in a slightly silvered mirror. Historic hotels have a unique charm that can’t be reproduced by slick replicas or new construction. Thanks to an increase in tourism brought about by a booming economy and the introduction of railroad lines crisscrossing the country, America’s Gilded Age ushered in a new age in hospitality. Influenced by the grand hotels of Europe, luxury edifices in a variety of architectural styles—Beaux-Arts, Renaissance Revival, Shingle Style, Spanish Colonial—sprung up coast-to-coast. Construction continued through the Jazz Age, fizzling only after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

Post-WWII, many of the nation’s most opulent hotels found themselves crippled by financial downturns and costly, aging infrastructures. Many were shuttered and left to decay. Others took on new identities as office buildings, their interiors radically altered. In the wake of mid-century modernism, however, a new appreciation for historic architecture began to emerge. By the 1980s, Grand Dame hotels that had long been neglected were once again in vogue, the beneficiaries of deep pockets and comprehensive restoration programs—a trend that continues to this day.

Thanks to this movement, many of America’s historic hotels are listed on the National Register for Historic Preservation and are also members of the Historic Hotels of America Program—a collection of more than 260 hotels committed to preserving their architectural and aesthetic roots. Backed by both individual investors and large corporations, these national treasures continue to serve a new generation of discerning tourists.

Stacker trawled through travel websites and consulted preservation resources to compile this slideshow of stunning, historic hotels in every state. Each hotel on Stacker’s list is at least 50 years old and has a unique story behind it. Scroll through the list to find out which hotels are purported to be haunted, served the country during times of war, and ushered in a national dance craze.

You may also like: Most popular museums in America

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David Brossard // Flickr

Alabama: Tutwiler Hotel

- Location: Birmingham
- Year built: 1914

The Tutwiler Hotel has served the city of Birmingham for over a century. Constructed in 1914, it was named for benefactor Major Tutwiler of Tutwiler Coal and Coke and had the distinction of hosting both Tallulah Bankhead and Charles Lindbergh. The original structure was razed in the 1970s and replaced by a bank. In 1986, the hotel re-opened in the former Ridgely Apartments and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Explorer1940 // Wikimedia Commons

Alaska: Inn at Creek Street

- Location: Ketchikan
- Year built: 1924

The Creek Street Inn is a collection of early 20th-century wood-frame structures painted in an array of vibrant colors. While the buildings are charming enough, the main attraction is the stunning view of Thomas Basin Harbor. A former red-light district, the Creek Street Historic District now caters to the bustling tourist trade.

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Charles Lewis // Shutterstock

Arizona: Weatherford Hotel

- Location: Flagstaff
- Year built: 1897

Built by Texas native John W. Weatherford, this elegant hotel was frequented by celebrated artist Thomas Moran and publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Author Zane Gray also wrote his acclaimed novel “The Call of the Canyon” on the premises. Like many turn-of-the-20th-century gems, the Weatherford drifted into disrepair but was saved from demolition by current owner Henry Taylor in 1975. Those wishing to ring in the New Year at the Weatherford and witness the hotel’s famous Pinecone Drop should make reservations well in advance.

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Cynthia Collins // Flickr

Arkansas: Crescent Hotel

- Location: Eureka Springs
- Year built: 1886

Heralded by the Eureka Springs Times as “America’s most luxurious hotel" when it opened in 1886, The Crescent catered to wealthy patrons drawn to the city by its natural springs. The project was financed by a collective of savvy railroad barons eager to ferry tourists via train to the popular vacation spot. Today, the Crescent is popularly known as one of the country’s “Most Haunted Hotels,” cashing in on its reputation with ghost tours and paranormal packages.

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Armandoartist // WIkimedia Commons

California: Hotel del Coronado

- Location: Coronado
- Year built: 1888

Affectionately known as “the Del,” California’s iconic beachfront hotel was constructed during the San Diego land boom at the close of the 19th century. A playground for the rich and famous, notable guests have included Britain’s Edward VIII, Charlie Chaplin, and U.S. Presidents Benjamin Harrison and Jimmy Carter. The sprawling Victorian resort has been featured in several films, including the classic 1958 screwball comedy “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

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Amy Aletheia Cahill // Wikimedia Commons

Colorado: The Stanley Hotel

- Location: Estes Park
- Year built: 1909

After being diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1903, Freelan Oscar Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steam Engine, headed west to recover from his illness in the cool mountain air. Stanley was so impressed with the wilds of Colorado he built the eponymous resort for his wealthy East Coast peers—reserving the entire top floor for their children (and nannies). In 1974, author Stephen King visited the hotel—rumored to be haunted—and was inspired to pen “The Shining.” The Stanley stood in for the Overlook Hotel in the 1980 screen adaptation.

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Photo courtesy of the Spa at Norwich

Connecticut: The Spa at Norwich Inn

- Location: Norwich
- Year built: 1929

The charming Norwich Inn opened its doors in 1929. It flourished despite the Stock Market Crash, attracting East Coast elites such as George Bernard Shaw and Frank Sinatra. After WWII, the Inn fell out of favor with the rich and famous and was converted to a boarding house and local jail. The Edward Safdie Group resurrected the Georgian Revival structure in the 1980s, adding state-of-the-art spa facilities. In 1994, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation acquired the Inn and made it a popular destination for well-heeled city dwellers.

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Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

Delaware: Hotel Du Pont

- Location: Wilmington
- Year built: 1913

One of America’s most spectacular icons of the Gilded Age, the Du Pont boasts carved woodwork, terrazzo floors, and gilded chandeliers created by the finest European craftsmen. Prince Rainier of Monaco, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Prince Bertil of Sweden, John F. Kennedy, and Eleanor Roosevelt have all availed themselves of the 12-story, Renaissance Revival hotel’s hospitality. In 2018, the Buccini/Pollin Group completed $400,000 of an ongoing multi-million dollar renovation, updating the lobby and the celebrated Green Room bar.

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Daniel Korzeniewski // Shutterstock

Florida: Biltmore Hotel

- Location: Coral Gables
- Year built: 1926

Americans had already fallen in love with Florida’s stretches of white, sandy beaches when the land developer George E. Merrick and hotel tycoon John McEntee Bowman threw open the doors to their Mediterranean-inspired masterpiece. On 150 pristine, tropical acres, the Biltmore attracted the international jet-set, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby. Johnny Weissmuller, better known as Hollywood’s “Tarzan,” served as the hotel’s swimming instructor before his rise to fame and fortune. During WWII, the hotel doubled as a military hospital, then, after a period of decline, served as both a campus for the University of Miami School of Medicine and a VA hospital. In 1992, Florida’s Seaway Hotels Corporation acquired the hotel, restoring the Jazz Age gem to its original glory.

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Howard Lifschitz // Flickr

Georgia: The Marshall House Hotel

- Location: Savannah
- Year built: 1851

If you’re in the market for some genuine southern hospitality, check in to The Marshall House—one of Georgia’s oldest hotels. Founded by Mary Marshall, it functioned as a hospital both during the Civil War and during later yellow fever outbreaks. By the middle of the 20th century, the hotel lapsed into disrepair and was shuttered in 1957. After an extensive renovation that preserved much of the original structure’s period charm, The Marshall re-opened to rave reviews in 1999.

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commorancy // Flickr

Hawaii: Royal Hawaiian

- Location: Waikiki
- Year built: 1927

Although awash in natural beauty, Hawaii had a shortage of luxury hotels before the construction of the Royal Hawaiian. Financed by Matson Navigation to the tune of $4 million, the resort was promoted as an up-market tropical paradise serviced by the company’s fleet of ocean liners. The opening of the 400 room “Pink Palace” was celebrated with a black-tie gala attended by over 1,200 guests.

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Fargo-Moorhead CVB // Flickr

Idaho: Redfish Lake Lodge

- Location: Stanley
- Year built: 1929

Sixty miles from Sun Valley, Redfish Lake Lodge occupies 16 acres along Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains. Although the spectacular scenery is the main attraction, guests won’t be disappointed by the rustic-chic interiors of the resort’s 21 original log cabins.

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James Kirkikis // Shutterstock

Illinois: The Drake

- Location: Chicago
- Year built: 1920

Along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, The Drake was designed by renowned architect Benjamin Howard Marshall and financed by brothers John B. and Tracy Corey Drake. A roaring 1920s hotspot, the hotel was popular with the rich and famous and was frequented by Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, George Gershwin, and Charles Lindbergh. Noted for its extravagance, The Drake’s legendary Palm Court replaced its signature fountain with a colossal fireplace during the holiday season. Acquired by Hilton International in 1990, The Drake continues its long-standing tradition of afternoon tea.

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Genevieve Borden // Shutterstock

Indiana: West Baden Spa

- Location: West Baden
- Year built: 1855

Named for Europe’s premier mineral spa, West Baden began life in 1855 as the Mile Lick Inn, catering to tourists eager to partake in the region’s freshwater springs. In 1888, Lee W. Sinclair set out a new vision for the hotel, adding a host of new amenities, including an opera house, casino, and baseball field. After a fire razed the hotel 13 years later, Sinclair rebuilt the West Baden on an even more impressive scale. The Crash of 1929 hit the resort hard, forcing it to close in 1932. After a stint as a Jesuit college, the Cook Group of Bloomington acquired the National Historic landmark and after extensive renovations, reopened the hotel to the public in 2007.

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Farragutful // Wikimedia Commons

Iowa: Blackhawk Hotel

- Location: Davenport
- Year built: 1915

The opening of Davenport’s Blackhawk Hotel was marked with a gala dinner for 500 and a floor show by one of Chicago’s most prominent exotic dancers. Financed by local businessman W.F. Miller and designed by the firm of Temple and Burrows, the Blackhawk boasted an array of modern amenities, including rooms with ice water on tap.

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Photo courtesy of the Aladdin Holiday Inn, Kansas City

Kansas: Aladdin Hotel

- Location: Kansas City
- Year built: 1925

A favorite of Greta Garbo and Mickey Mantle, the Aladdin retains much of its original character—including the spectacular tiled lobby floor and blue terracotta roof. A secret stairway to the infamous Zebra restaurant provided anonymity for the bookies and mistresses of Prohibition-era mobsters. In 2007, the Aladdin underwent a significant renovation that paid homage to the hotel’s Art Deco roots.

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Derek.cashman // Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky: The Brown Hotel

- Location: Louisville
- Year built: 1923

Home of the celebrated Hot Brown Sandwich, Louisville’s Georgian Revival gem exudes Southern charm. Built by lumber baron James Graham Brown, The Brown is a perennial favorite with Kentucky Derby enthusiasts and has hosted a star-studded array of guests over the years, including Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, Eva Marie Saint, Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Carter, George H. Bush, and Barack Obama. The stalwart hotel had survived floods and financial downturns, closing only briefly in the 1970s, when it served as an office for the Jefferson Board of Education. Purchased by Hilton a decade later, the renovated hotel continues to serve visitors to Louisville in style.

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Britt Reints // Flickr

Louisiana: Hotel Montelione

- Location: New Orleans
- Year built: 1886

The Hotel Montelione has been a family affair since it was founded by patriarch Antonio Monteleone in 1886. Monteleone—an Italian nobleman—left Sicily for an American adventure, purchasing a 64 room hotel nestled in New Orleans’ bustling French Quarter. The preferred haunt of Southern authors, including Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner, Truman Capote, and Anne Rice, the Montelione may be haunted by some ghostly guests as well—in 2003, the International Society of Paranormal Research claimed to have made contact with the spirits of several former guests and hotel employees.

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Bart Hanlon // Flickr

Maine: Cliff House

- Location: Ogunquit
- Year built: 1872

The Cliff House occupies a magnificent setting on Bald Head Cliff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1872 by Elsie Jane Weare, wife of a local sea captain, the hotel was constructed with planks produced in the family sawmill. The resort became a favored destination of the old money elites; it foundered, however, after WWII, and was saved only by the devotion and industriousness of Elsie Jane’s descendants. After several renovations and the addition of a spa, the Cliff House is once again a favorite destination for those who prefer to summer in Maine.

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Elvert Barnes // Flickr

Maryland: Lord Baltimore Hotel

- Location: Baltimore
- Year built: 1928

Designed by architect William Lee Stoddart, the Lord Baltimore Hotel welcomed its first guests in 1928. Noted for its impressive lobby, the 22-story structure pays homage to French Renovated and restored by Radisson, the hotel reopened in 2014. Like many historic hotels, the Lord Baltimore Hotel is said to be home to several ghosts, including the spirit of a young girl bouncing a ball on the 19th floor.

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Andrewrabbot // Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts: Fairmont Copley-Plaza

- Location: Boston
- Year built: 1912

Step back in time at Boston’s Fairmont Copley-Plaza—the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s pick for 2019’s Historic Hotel of the Year. Designed by celebrated architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, the Copley Plaza is a tour de force of Gilded Age extravagance, boasting coffered ceilings painted with trompe-l'œil scenes soaring over the 5,000 square foot lobby. The hotel’s grand opening was marked by a gala celebration hosted by JFK’s maternal grandfather, Mayor John F. Fitzgerald, and attended by over 1000 guests.

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Pixabay

Michigan: Grand Hotel

- Location: Mackinac Island
- Year built: 1887

Michigan’s Mackinac Island is famous for its tranquility, thanks to a ban on motorized vehicles. Guests traveling to the Grand Hotel—managed by three generations of the Musser family—frequently arrive at the resort by horse and carriage. The hotel overlooks the Straits of Mackinac, and visitors can admire the view from the world’s longest porch. The romantic Victorian served as the setting for the 1980 sci-fi historical romance, “Somewhere In Time,” starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve.

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David Wilson // Flickr

Minnesota: St. Paul Hotel

- Location: St. Paul
- Year built: 1910

The elegant St. Paul Hotel, next to Rice Park and its charming gardens, was erected on a site occupied by the hospitality trade ever since St. Paul resident John Summers opened his home to travelers in 1856. Convinced of the city’s need for a new luxury hotel, Lucious P. Ordway challenged his neighbors to match his $1 million pledge. His fellow residents did, and the new hotel opened to great fanfare in 1910. After a prolonged period of mid-century neglect, it underwent an extensive renovation in the early 1980s.

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Brian Hancill // Flickr

Mississippi: White House Hotel

- Location: Biloxi
- Year built: 1895

Hotelier Cora White entered the hospitality trade at the close of the 19th century, taking in boarders to make ends meet while her husband tended to his fledgling legal career. Business boomed, and the couple expanded their empire, purchasing several more Victorian homes, and eventually adding two Spanish Colonial additions in the 1920s. The hotel passed into the hands of several other owners, the last of whom shuttered the hotel and filed for bankruptcy in 1988. After an extensive renovation, the boutique beachfront institution re-opened in 2014.

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David Wilson // Flickr

Missouri: Hotel Frederick

- Location: Boonville
- Year built: 1905

The Hotel Frederick was financed by Charles A. Sombart and named for his son. It remained in possession of the Sombart family until 1973, at which time it ceased to operate as a hotel. In 2004, Bill and Maggie Haw purchased the Romanesque Revival building, restoring it to the tune of $4 million. Three years later, the Hotel Frederick welcomed guests once again.

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Lehoot // Wikimedia Commons

Montana: Grand Union Hotel

- Location: Fort Benton
- Year built: 1882

Fort Benton’s Grand Union is the oldest, continuously operating hotel in Montana. At the time of construction, it was hailed as the finest hotel between Chicago and Seattle, the last gasp of luxury for wealthy passengers heading west. Like many grand hotels of the era, the Grand Union lost favor and lapsed into disrepair as the 20th century progressed. Thanks to Jim and Cheryl Gagnon, who purchased the derelict building, the Grand Union reopened in 1999 after a multi-million dollar restoration.

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Yelp Inc. // Flickr

Nebraska: Hotel Deco

- Location: Omaha
- Year built: 1930

Originally an office building known as the Redick Tower, this art-deco masterpiece designed by local architect Joseph G. McArthur became a full-service hotel in the late 1980s. It was subsequently acquired by the White Lotus Group in 2010 and rechristened Hotel Deco after a stylish and sensitive renovation.

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Ethan Miller // Getty Images

Nevada: The Tropicana

- Location: Paradise
- Year built: 1957

There’s no shortage of luxury hotels on the Las Vegas strip, but few are as fascinating as The Tropicana. Designed by architect M. Tony Sherman, the hotel was the brainchild of Miami hotelier Ben Jaffe and, notably, was conceived of primarily as a resort, as opposed to a casino with guest rooms tacked on as an afterthought. The Tropicana was infamous as a mafia hotspot overseen by Frank Costello of the Luciano crime family.

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James Kirkikis // Shutterstock

New Hampshire: Wentworth by the Sea

- Location: New Castle
- Year built: 1874

On the exclusive island of New Castle, the sprawling Wentworth by the Sea enjoys commanding views of the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel was designed to resemble a luxury cruise ship and thereby attract a similarly well-heeled clientele. The Treaty of Portsmouth—which ended the Russo-Japanese War—was negotiated at the Wentworth in 1905 under the direction of President Theodore Roosevelt. Despite its impressive history, the hotel lapsed into decline in the latter half of the 20th century. Saved from the wrecking ball by the National Trust of Historic Places, the “Grand Dame by the Sea” underwent a sensitive and extensive renovation in the 1990s and thrives as a Marriott resort.

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Marge Sudol // Shutterstock

New Jersey: Congress Hall Hotel

- Location: Cape May
- Year built: 1879

Discovered in the 19th century by wealthy Philadelphians eager to trade the searing summer heat for cool Atlantic breezes, Cap May remains a favorite destination for East Coast beach lovers. The Congress Hall Hotel started out as a modest boarding house in 1816 and like so many of its neighbors, was rebuilt on a grand scale after being reduced to ash in the great fire of 1878. The new brick resort was a favorite of many U.S. presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Benjamin Harrison. Some of the hotel’s original china was discovered during an extensive renovation and reproduced for the enjoyment of future guests.

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Heritage Hotels and Resorts // Flickr

New Mexico: Hotel St. Francis

- Location: Santa Fe
- Year built: 1924

Originally the De Vargas Hotel, the St. Francis claims to be Santa Fe’s oldest hotel. Erected in 1924, the impressive Spanish Colonial structure replaced an earlier building after a fire that left only its brick chimney intact. In recent years, the hotel has been sensitively remodeled, with custom furnishings that pay homage to the city’s distinctive architectural heritage.

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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

New York: The Plaza

- Location: New York City
- Year built: 1907

The crown jewel of New York City’s hotel circuit, The Plaza, was designed by esteemed architect Henry James Hardenbergh, who was also responsible for Boston’s Copley-Plaza. Evocative of a French chateau, the hotel—notably the clubby Oak Room and the iconic Palm Court restaurant—has serviced Manhattan’s high society for over a century. The Plaza’s most famous guest may be Eloise, the fictional heroine of Kay Thompson’s 1950s classic children’s book thought to be inspired by a young Liza Minnelli. Fans of Eloise can book the bubblegum pink Eloise suite, modeled on Hilary Knight’s illustrations.

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steviep187 // Flickr

North Carolina: Grove Park Inn

- Location: Asheville
- Year built: 1913

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville’s Grove Park Inn was built by pharmacist-turned-developer Edwin Wiley Grove. When he couldn’t find an architect who could articulate his vision for the resort, he turned to his son-in-law, Fred Seeley. Although Seeley wasn’t a trained architect, he designed the colossal resort, which was built from local, rough-hewn granite. Eleanor Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John D. Rockefeller, and F. Scott Fitzgerald are just a sampling of the illustrious guests who have stayed at the hotel. In 2001, the hotel added a luxurious spa to the complex.

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Fargo-Moorhead CVB // Flickr

North Dakota: Hotel Donaldson

- Location: Fargo
- Year built: 1893

Rising out of the ashes of the great fire of 1893, which leveled downtown Fargo, The Donaldson emulated the great hotels of Europe and was financed by the International Society of Oddfellows. A victim of an economic downturn in the 1970s, the Donaldson survived as a workman’s hotel. Entrepreneur Karen Stoker bought the ailing structure in 2000, re-opening its doors after a multi-million dollar renovation.

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Cincinnati // Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: The Cincinnatian

- Location: Cincinnati
- Year built: 1882

Originally known as The Palace Hotel, the Cincinnatian was built to rival the grand hotels of Europe—complete with a mansard roof, marble floors, and a carved walnut staircase. Like many grand Victorian hotels, the Cincinnatian fell on hard times in the mid-20th century and narrowly escaped demolition. In 1987, it reopened after a $25 million make-over.

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Kool Cats Photography over 2 Million Views // Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma: The Skirvin Hotel

- Location: Oklahoma City
- Year built: 1911

Billed as “the finest hotel in the Southwest,” the Skirvin was named for its founder, oil tycoon, and property developer William Balser Skirvin. Skirvin lived in a suite at the hotel and made it a point to greet guests in the lobby. Frequented by presidents, gangsters, and movie stars, the Skirvin’s fortunes—along with those of Oklahoma City—took a dive post-WWII and sat vacant for almost 20 years. Acquired by Hilton, the Skirvin underwent a $50 million restoration. Restored to its former glory, the Skirvin opened for business once again in 2007.

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Steve Morgan // Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: The Heathman Hotel

- Location: Portland
- Year built: 1926

As quirky as its home city, the Heathman stations a Beefeater at the main entrance to welcome guests and boasts a library stocked with books signed by their authors. Financed by hotelier George Heathman, the hotel housed the radio station KOIN from the 1930s through the 1950s. The Heathman received a top-to-toe makeover in 1984 and another refresh in 2018.

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Beyond My Ken // Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania: Hotel Fauchere

- Location: Milford
- Year built: 1852

Milford’s Hotel Fauchere started out as a summer project for Swiss-born chef Louis Fauchère, who worked his magic at New York City’s Delmonico Steakhouse for the rest of the year. Fauchère’s Pike County venture was so successful, Fauchère razed the original premises and erected a larger, Italianate building in its place. Fauchère’s descendants managed the intimate 18-room hotel until it was sold in 1974 and subsequently became a law office. In 2001, after a multi-million dollar restoration, the Fauchere awoke from a 30-year slumber and welcomed guests to the renowned Delmonico Room once again.

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Jenna Rose Robbins // Flickr

Rhode Island: Hotel Viking

- Location: Newport
- Year built: 1926

Famous for its Gilded Age mansions overlooking the rocky Atlantic Coast, Newport emerged as the summer destination of choice for wealthy families such as the Astors and the Vanderbilts. Recognizing the need for a large, luxury hotel, Newport financed the Viking Hotel through the sale of common stock. Newport remains a popular destination for summer tourists, and the freshly renovated Viking continues to welcome guests to the “City by the Sea.”

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Ron Cogswell // Flickr

South Carolina: Francis Marion Hotel

- Location: Charleston
- Year built: 1924

In 1996, Charleston’s award-winning Francis Marion Hotel was restored thanks to a $12 million grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Named in honor of the Revolutionary War hero, New York architect W.L. Stoddard designed the elegant hotel. The hotel witnessed the birth of the Charleston—the dance craze that swept the nation—during its Jazz era heyday.

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Tony Webster // Flickr

South Dakota: Hotel Alex Johnson

- Location: Rapid City
- Year built: 1928

Railroad executive Alex Carlton Johnson was so smitten with the Black Hills and the culture of the Lakota Sioux, he founded his eponymous Tudor style hotel as a “Showplace of the West.” Johnson paid homage to his German heritage. Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan have all checked in to the luxurious Presidential Suite. The iconic illuminated Hotel Alex Johnson sign continues to serve as a beacon for visitors to Rapid City.

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Adam Jones // Flickr

Tennessee: Hermitage Hotel

- Location: Nashville
- Year built: 1910

The opulent Hermitage Hotel was designed by architect James Carpenter—born in Tennessee, trained in Paris, and best known for his many New York City apartment buildings. This Beaux-Arts gem fell on hard times in the 1960s and 1970s and shuttered its doors. Pool legend Fats Waller called the hotel home after it reopened the following decade.

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Ted Ernst // Wikimedia Commons

Texas: The Menger

- Location: San Antonio
- Year built: 1859

Purported to be the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi, San Antonio’s Menger is rich in history as well as style. Founded by William Menger, a German immigrant who made it big in the brewing industry, local architect John M. Fries designed the hotel's cut-stone structure. In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt gathered his group of Rough Riders—the first U.S. volunteer cavalry—at the Menger’s cherry-wood bar. Although the Depression hit the Menger hard, it rebounded after WWII and was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Alamo Plaza Historic District in 1975.

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Ricardo630 // Wikimedia Commons

Utah: The Bigelow

- Location: Ogden
- Year built: 1927

Originally known as the Reed Hotel, The Bigelow has undergone several incarnations, including a complete remodel in 1927. They have preserved much of the Jazz Age decor that continues to impress hotel guests. Known as the Ben Lomond from 1933 to 2017, The Bigelow name was restored after an extensive renovation.

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David Fulmer // Flickr

Vermont: The Woodstock Inn

- Location: Woodstock
- Year built: 1892

In 1967, Laurance and Mary French Rockefeller purchased the dilapidated Woodstock Inn and set about restoring it. One of New England’s earliest winter playgrounds, they constructed the hotel on the grounds of the former Eagle Hotel, which began life as a tavern in 1783. The hotel has undergone several more renovations in recent years, the latest in 2018.

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Mr.TinDC // Flickr

Virginia: The Jefferson Hotel

- Location: Richmond
- Year built: 1895

New York City native Lewis Ginter moved to Richmond when he was 18-years-old and made (and lost) several fortunes. At one time, one of the city’s richest—and most colorful—characters, Ginter financed the building of the lavish Jefferson Hotel. Named in honor of the local boy Thomas Jefferson, a lifesize statue of the founding father dominates the lobby. Plagued by fires and eventually shuttered, The Jefferson rose from the ashes in 1986 after a $34 million cash injection, which restored the hotel’s original mahogany paneling and marble columns.

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Adam Jones // Flickr

Washington: Davenport Hotel

- Location: Spokane
- Year built: 1914

Named for benefactor Louis Davenport, Spokane’s finest hotel was designed by architect Kirtland Cutter and boasted hand-painted frescoes, gold leaf accents, and ornately carved woodwork. Amelia Earhart, Dionne Warwick, and Henry Winkler are just a few of the illustrious guests who have checked into the Davenport over the years. After a downturn in fortunes and a sustained period of neglect, the hotel was at risk of demolition. Benefactors Karen and Walt Worthy, however, saved the hotel from the wrecking ball, purchasing the ailing hotel and restoring it to its former glory with a multi-million dollar restoration.

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia: Greenbrier

- Location: White Sulphur Springs
- Year built: 1858

Tourists have flocked to White Sulphur Springs since 1778. By the middle of the 19th century, the spa town had become one of the most popular vacation destinations in the nation. Greenbrier was constructed to meet the needs of the well-heeled guests wishing to take the waters. With the arrival of the railroad in 1913, Greenbrier expanded, adding a large central section to the hotel complex and a large, indoor pool and an 18-hole golf course. Thanks to local support, Greenbrier rebounded from the deadly floods of 2016 that inflicted approximately $300 million worth of damage to the resort.

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Jeff Bukowski // Shutterstock

Wisconsin: Pfister Hotel

- Location: Milwaukee
- Year built:

Dubbed “The Grand Hotel of the West” when it first opened in 1893, businessman Guido Pfister and his son, Charles, founded the impressive Romanesque Revival hotel. Acquired by the movie theater mogul Ben Marcus in the 1960s, the Pfister was given a much-needed facelift. The hotel boasts an extensive collection of Victorian art—much of it the personal collection of the Pfisters—and an artist-in-residence program. No doubt, the Pfister will take center stage in 2020 when the Democratic National convention rolls into town.

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Jim Peaco // Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming: Old Faithful Inn

- Location: Yellowstone National Park
- Year built: 1904

Over 4 million people visited Yellowstone National Park in 2018, but few were lucky enough to stay at the Old Faithful Inn, which overlooks the park’s most famous geyser. The asymmetrical building was designed by architect Robert Reamer and is believed to echo the chaos found in nature consciously. The Inn’s signature fireplace is built from rhyolite—the stone produced by the same volcanic eruptions responsible for Yellowstone’s prismatic caldera. Rooms at the Inn fill up quickly, and they advise interested parties to book over a year in advance.

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