If you’d rather enjoy a deep sense of place over the shiny and new, check out our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the best historic hotels, from Shanghai to Beverly Hills.
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund officially opened in 2010, but the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel is partially housed in a beautifully restored neo-classical building built in 1911. Once the exclusive Shanghai Club, the Bund-front building (which connects to a modern tower) now holds 20 suites with a style reminiscent of 1920s Shanghai, yet each is equipped with modern amenities such as plasma TVs and touchpad room controls.
In Richmond, Va., you’ll find the Five-Star Beaux-Arts gem, The Jefferson Hotel. This 117-year-old beauty boasts rich, opulent décor, plasterwork and fireplaces in some guest rooms and a stained-glass dome in the ornate lobby. Fun fact: The main grand staircase is said to have been the inspiration for the one Scarlett O’Hara fell down in Gone With the Wind.
Even though its location is rather remote, Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island has managed to stay in business for more than 125 years, no doubt due to its majestic perch above Lake Huron, its charm and its relaxed Midwestern vibe. The luxury hotel’s grand front porch — which the property claims to be the world’s largest — is lined with white rocking chairs to take advantage of the vistas, and each of the 385 guest rooms is decorated differently.
The West Coast, too, has a few historical spots, but none are as famous (and have seen more famous faces) than The Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. In fact, the Five-Star hotel itself is older than the city of Beverly Hills and has recently been named the town’s first official landmark. Throughout the Pink Palace’s 100-year history, Tinseltown luminaries have lunched at The Polo Lounge and lounged on the iconic green-and-white striped poolside chairs.
Photo Courtesy of BHilton Worldwide