Why stay in a standard hotel this spring break, when you can spend the night steeped in history? From in-house historians to immersive, period decor and self-guided tours, these seven spring-break-worthy hotels go the extra mile when it comes to showcasing their rich history.
The Jefferson boasts an in-house historian who has crafted three city itineraries for the hotel’s Discovering American Democracy program—“How Women Shaped Life and Culture,” “Famous Dogs and Animals in American History,” and “America: The Pursuit of Justice.” Every Saturday, the historian is stationed in the lobby, which displays original period artwork and Jefferson-signed documents.
British Colonial Hilton
Sitting on the Old Fort of Nassau site dating back to 1695, British Colonial Hilton Nassau is the island’s oldest resort operating in a historic building. Demolished in 1873, the Old Fort was built to protect the Nassau Harbour’s western entrance. The hotel’s western wing was built on these ruins.
Hilton Barbados Resort
Home to Needham’s Point Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Barbados dating back to 1855, Hilton Barbados Resort also boasts the island’s sole UNESCO World Heritage site—Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison. Guests can find remnants of Charles Fort, which was built in the 17th century and remains an important part of Barbados’ military history.
French Quarter Inn
Charleston, South Carolina
While the entire city of Charleston is known for historic-yet-sophisticated southern charm, history buffs will be especially delighted to stay at French Quarter Inn. Rare fragments of Charleston’s history including bone tobacco pipes, cannon balls, spectacles and one of the most highly-prized auction items from the pre-Civil War era—an authentic slave tag—are on display.
The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens
St. Augustine, Florida
A set of historic homes dating back to 1790, The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens (located in St. Augustine, FL—the nation’s oldest city!) offers complimentary history tours three times a week from the resident historian. Guests can also find the property’s historical marker, which indicates where Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was read to slaves after the Civil War.
Located on Michigan Avenue, Hilton Chicago housed the U.S. Army during WWII and served as the venue for President Obama’s acceptance speech. Guests can enjoy a private tour through the historic corridor telling tales of past presidents’ visits and artifacts from WWII, including seating from the Normandie—a ship used by the U.S. Army.
The Inns of Aurora
Aurora, New York
The Inns of Aurora boasts a rich history prior to becoming a collection of four luxurious inns in the Finger Lakes. In 1833, Aurora Inn was constructed by Colonel Edwin Barber Morgan, an original investor in The New York Times. To be near Aurora Inn, he built his home next door, which today stands as E.B. Morgan House replete with original etched-glass front doors and seven original marble fireplaces.