One of the best ways to explore this country is to take a step back in time and visit some of the most historic hotels on the East Coast. We love these five hotels that take us through the history of the Eastern Seaboard.
Omni Mount Washington Resort – Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
The Omni opened in 1902 as one of the most luxurious hotels of the time, boasting its own private telephone system and post office. The building is decorated with Tiffany stained glass and crystal chandeliers in renaissance style. The resort features indoor/outdoor pools, jacuzzis, fireplaces, retail outlets, and a spa. Don’t miss on-site golf, tennis, horseback riding, fly fishing, and mountain biking. The Four Diamond Dining Room serves four-course meals with orchestra music nightly.
Jekyll Island Club Resort – Jekyll Island, Georgia
In 1888, the Jekyll Island Hunting Club reopened as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and immediately became a retreat for one-sixth of the world’s wealth. Ten years later, the building was recognized as one of the world’s first condominiums. Today’s resort features the floors, leaded art glass, stairway, and skylight of the original building. The island was evacuated during WWII, opened as a park in 1948, and then in 1987 became the Jekyll Island Club Resort. The resort now offers rooms and suites in the Island Club, Ocean Club, and Island Cottages, each with its own unique features. There are multiple dining options, from beachside to formal dining rooms. The Jekyll provides bike rentals, a croquet lawn, golf courses and on-site shopping.
Oheka Castle – Long Island, New York
Built in 1919, the castle was the second largest private residence in the U.S. in its time. Oheka was originally designed for the owner to host extravagant parties, and is known to this day as one of the most prestigious wedding and event venues in the world. The castle has 117 rooms and 32 luxury suites all featuring authentic furnishings and artworks. On-site amenities include a fitness center, formal gardens, a library, and in-room massages.
The Willard Hotel – Washington D.C.
Originally built as six two-story houses in 1816, the Willard became Washington’s first skyscraper by 1904 and in 1925 one hundred more rooms were added. This building holds great significance in literary history: Walt Whitman talked about it in his writings; Mark Twain wrote two books at the hotel; and the Battle Hymn of the Republic was written there. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue down the street from the White House, the Willard has become a destination for business meetings and now features 18 meeting rooms. A popular afternoon activity is an exquisite high tea spread. The hotel also offers bistro dining at the Cafe Du Parc. Guest rooms are available in Executive or Suite options and can include concierge service.
Natural Bridge Historic Hotel – Natural Bridge, Virginia
Thomas Jefferson owned the Natural Bridge and surrounding property from 1774 to 1833, hosting guests from all around the world. The first inn at the bridge was built by a new owner in the late 1830s and the current hotel was built in 1890. The hotel has historic colonial rooms, premium balcony rooms, and private cottage rooms separate from the main building. The Colonial Dining Room offers authentic southern cuisine. And for those who are history buffs, there are historical tours of the grounds and the bridge daily.