Care to share Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart on this side of the pond? I always find it invigorating to travel and especially to celebrate the annual calendar change in a new location, just to increase the sense of joy and discovery. Using the Conde Nast Traveler magazine list, I found some 19th century hotels who will be celebrating yet another year of enduring charm and splendor. Again this list is hotels that were established during the 1800s, but prior or succeeding and they also caught my interest. In other words the selection methodology is rather subjective and random.
The Oxford Hotel, Denver Colorado 1891
I enjoy the premise of this hotel’s decorating scheme by covering three eras, the French, the Victorian, and Art Deco inspired rooms. I particularly the care that went into furnishing each room differently. As a former design student is no small task, but endless enjoyment nevertheless. As a guest, history lover, and interior design follower, I am tempted to stay in every single room just to see. Yes, all 80 of them. On a more festive note, The Oxford is hosting a roaring twenty themed affair for the new year!
Beaumont Hotel and Spa, Ouray Colorado 1886
This hotel was built during the famous Colorado Gold Rush in the 1800s. It is notable for being one of the first establishments in town to have electricity. This is a rather small hotel with only 12 guests rooms, which lends to the homey atmosphere. Upon researching the website found this curious policy: The Beaumont Hotel and Spa is an adult getaway. Each room is individually temperature controlled and designed with noise-attenuation features for a peaceful and private experience. Due to the historic nature of the building, we cannot accommodate children under the age of 16, and pets are not allowed. The entire property is non-smoking. So do take head, travelers.
The Willard, Washington D.C. 1850
In the heart of nation’s capital is the Willard. Reviews claim it is spectacular during Christmas time with carolers in the lobby and the building festooned with holiday décor. This hotel allows pet, which is always lovely for those with quadrupeds for children. I find it rather informative the website specifies languages spoken by staff are Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Japanese, Tagalog, and Chinese. It is a nice touch in their services.
The Foley House Inn, Savannah Georgia 1896
Located in the middle of Savannah’s historic district, Foley House Inn has history of its own. This pet friendly bed and breakfast is supposedly the best breakfast in town. If that is not enough to entice you to stay in one of its 19 bedrooms, the Inn is haunted. A border mysteriously disappears in the late 1800s. Some claim he was murdered for his wealth, others says the skeleton found in the wall during a 1980s renovation say it is his very bones. The spirit is known as Wally and the house is part of Savannah’s ghost tours. It surely changes the meaning to the spirit of the holidays!
Canyon Ranch Lenox, Lenox Massachusetts 1897
This property is based on the Petit Trianon in Versailles, France. Of course it is. What makes this hotel special aside from the lavish architecture is Canyon Ranch is a health spa. Its main allure is health, spa and fitness. They have 100,000 square feet devoted to the spa alone. All the food is healthy and nutrition conscious and they cater to those with special dietary needs. It is safe to assume traditional 19th century dishes did not make the list. They cater to the mind, body, and spirit with special courses for those women in the family way. It is rather fabulous! They even offer astrology, clairvoyant readings, feng shui, handwriting analysis, numerology and tarot card reading. How Victorian!
Blantyre, Lenox Massachusetts 1901
The current owner is the 8th owner of the property, as her parents bought it for her as a gift. I shall make a note of this to ask my parents for some grand estate for the next gift-giving holiday. The décor is decidedly airy Victorian. What is more they have a wonderful Valentine’s Day event planned. Champagne, chocolate strawberries, wine, winter sleigh ride, ice skating, hot chocolate, and a menu with a suspicious amounts of aphrodisiac inclined foods. The best part? They have a Snow Concierge! I would love to visit just to find out what all this title entails!
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz New York 1869
Victorian castle? 250 acres of unspoiled land? 600 guest rooms in various immersion of antiques? I am so there! Its mission is more altruistic, hosting peace conferences that date back to the 1800s, how to respect the surrounding nature, and dedicated to non-profits. The hotel actually requires dress code for guests. Jackets are mandatory for men 12 years and up, dress slacks and dresses for women to dine for supper in any of the Victorian dining rooms. The cooking staff offers an Allergy Alert, and Gluten Free menu aside from the standard Vegetarian and Vegan fare specialties. The resort offers children and adolescent activities. For adults the naturalist activities of hiking and horseback riding are among the favorites. I shall pack my riding habit!
Lake Placid Lodge, New York 1882
Originally a private residence of a German family, later was opened up as a hotel. It is the only hotel on Lake Placid, any other structures are of private residences. The whole place has a timeless rustic vibe. In addition to the usual nature activities, the lodge offers ice fishing, toboggan rides, dog sledding, and snow bonfires in the winter months. Other seasons allow for gondola rides, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. If you so wish, you have the option to rent out the whole resort. 1
Planter’s Inn, Charleston South Carolina 1844
Nestled in the historic district of Charleston, this hotel has been garnering accolades since its inception. All bedrooms have four-poster beds; a nice Victorian touch. The place exudes Southern elegance. Planter’s is actually famous for its in-house restaurant called The Peninsula Grill.
The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport Rhode Island 1873
Nothing is so iconic to The Gilded Age as Newport, Rhode Island. Newport has a little row of country cottages for the millionaires such as the Astors, Vanderbilts, Carnegies and their ilk. The Chanler is the only hotel on Cliff Walk and it is divine! The pictures show opulent period-inspired décor. It actually was closed down for a three-year, multi-million dollar renovation. They have five restaurants on the property and what a property it is. I could easily envision Victorian ladies strolling through the grounds with their parasols all a twitter from the evening ball.
The real question remains, where shall you stay?