For centuries world hotels competed for sophisticated travelers by offering the most luxurious, comfortable, and unique features. Some of them still stand out by the extraordinary architecture that made them historic landmarks and national heritage buildings. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
© The Willard
Only two blocks from the White House, The Willard InterContinental Washington is Washington’s gathering place, where from the 1850s the world’s elite, politicians, bankers, industrialists, and socialites would meet and exchange ideas in one of the hotel’s famous restaurants or the even more famous Round Robin Bar. This beautiful luxurious and sophisticated beaux arts hotel was designed by renowned hotel architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. It has 12 floors of pure opulence, with elegantly decorated rooms with courtyard views and many classic details but with all the latest modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, desks, and minibars. Suites also have dining and living rooms. The hotel lounge serves a very popular high tea, and the gourmet restaurant serves seasonal international cuisine. The Round Robin Bar is still a popular gathering place for local power brokers and tourists alike.
1401 Pennsylvania Ave Nw, Washington, DC 20004, Tel. 202-628-9100,
© Arizona Biltmore
Built in 1929 on 39 acres about 8 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona Biltmore is a luxury resort known as the Jewel of the Desert. This landmark legendary hotel has an illustrious past, with an architectural imprint by the famous Frank Lloyd Wright, a colorful history, and a guest list that includes royalties, presidents, and movie stars. The luxurious and elegant hotel has spacious, modern rooms and suites with art deco lighting, mission-style furnishings, free Wi-Fi, HD TVs, balconies, wet bars, fireplaces, and kitchens. There are eight pools, a swim-up bar, a waterslide, seven tennis courts, two golf courses, and five restaurants. It is surrounded by a lush garden and stunning mountains.
2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016, Tel. 602-955-6600,
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© MADE Hotel
MADE Hotel is a trendy new hotel in Manhattan's NoMad district, opened to the public in the fall of 2017 by The Devli Group. The hotel is located within minutes from major New York City landmarks such as Herald Square and Madison Square Park, offering 108 charming guest rooms and suites with design elements by Los Angeles design firm Studio MAI. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the Empire State Building, with amenities included such as Sapira mattresses, smart radios, flat screen televisions, and free wireless internet. Restaurants on site include the all-day Paper Coffee cafe and the Good Behavior rooftop lounge, which serves up tiki drinks and highlights live music performances and DJ sets.
44 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001, Phone: 212-213-4429
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4.The Stanley Hotel
© Courtesy of Alfred Wekelo - Fotolia.com
Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and 5 miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, was built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley to provide accommodation to the American upper class enjoying the beauty of the surrounding mountains. The hotel and its accompanying structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In its long history, the beautiful 142-room colonial revival hotel has hosted a number of famous guests and has developed a reputation for drama and strange paranormal happenings, and it played a major role in the Stephen King novel The Shining. The hotel is spread over a 60-acre campus and offers a variety of different accommodations that range from historic rooms to bed and breakfast style lodging called The Lodge as well as the new Aspire Residences. The hotel offers elegant, luxurious rooms, world-class entertainment, superb outdoor adventures in Rocky Mountain Park, one of the largest whiskey collections in the country, outside fireside dining, and weekly rotating visiting celebrity chefs.
333 Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517-9665, Tel. 970-577-4000,
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© Hotel Americano
Designed by renowned Mexican architect Enrique Norten, Hotel Americano is a ten-story 56-room boutique hotel located on the edge of New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, surrounded by some of the best art galleries in the world. Celebrating the neighborhood’s historic industrial past, the hotel’s façade is covered with stainless steel mesh that turns into a glowing curtain at night. The hotel’s interior, created by French designer Arnaud Montigny, is a mix of influences – Latin, French, Japanese, and mid-century American – reflecting New York’s global vibe. It is minimal and warm at the same time, with black glass, hardwood, marble, and concrete working together. The view from the rooftop deck and pool is breathtaking. Guest rooms have beds on wooden platforms as well as natural materials and warm lighting.
518 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001, Tel. 212-216-0000,
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6.HOTEL DU PONT
© HOTEL DU PONT
When it opened its door in 1913, Wilmington’s HOTEL DU PONT instantly became one of America’s most opulent hotels of the Gilded Age. Its gleaming woodwork, terrazzo and mosaic floors, gilded hallways, and handmade chandeliers were made by Italian and French craftsmen. The DuPont Theatre is located in the hotel lobby. An extensive renovation brought the hotel to its former glory, with modernized rooms and contemporary amenities but with many original features carefully preserved. The rooms are elegant in a traditional style. There is a gourmet French restaurant, a lobby bar, a café, a hair salon, a fitness club, and a gift shop. The historic theatre is still operating. The hotel is located near Wilmington’s Rodney Square, a mile from the Amtrak station.
42 W 11th St, Wilmington, DE 19801, Tel. 800-441-9019,
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7.Swan and Dolphin Resort
© Swan and Dolphin Resort
Spread over 87 acres of beautiful Lake Buena Vista property, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is located in the heart of the magical Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando . The walls of the resort’s main buildings perfectly reflect Florida’s wonderful tropical landscape, with hand-painted colorful murals of the lush Florida nature. The façade was designed by Michael Graves and painted in coral and teal colors with multi-story statues of swans and dolphins in many public spaces. In the lobbies there are huge, dramatic chandeliers from the Mediterranean while the service desks are made of golden onyx from Asia and there is a huge collection of art pieces scattered all over the resort. The views from the modern, comfortable rooms are spectacular. There are 17 restaurants and lounges and special dining options for the kids in Garden Grove.
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, Tel. 407-934-1609
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8.The Cloister at Sea Island
© The Cloister at Sea Island
The Cloister is one of the two resorts on the privately owned Sea Island off the coast of Georgia. Designed in 1928 by renowned architect Addison Mizner, famous for designing Palm Beach, the Cloister has long been a favorite destination for the rich and famous who want privacy, seclusion, comfort, and easy-going Southern hospitality. A massive recent renovation brought the hotel to the 21st century with modern amenities, while preserving the elegant, ornate Spanish revival architecture. The Turkish rugs, wood-beam ceilings and many other classic details are still there. Rooms and suites are lavishly decorated and have soaking tubs, rainfall showerheads, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi, while all suites have balconies and living rooms. The resort has three championship golf courses, tennis courts, stables for horseback riding, tennis, a fitness center, an indoor pool and a spa as well as a range of gourmet restaurants.
100 Cloister Dr, Sea Island, GA 31522-1503, Tel. 844-490-8629,
9.The Commodore Hotel
© The Commodore Hotel
Located in the historic 1925 Lewis Building in downtown Astoria, a block away from the Astoria Riverwalk, the Commodore Astoria started its life as the Barton Inn, designed and built by local architect John E. Wicks after most of Astoria’s downtown burnt down in a fire. The hotel changed its name to The Commodore in 1928. It was renovated by Paul Caruana and Brian Faherty in 2007 with meticulous care, preserving the historical architectural features and winning a Dr. Edward Harvey Historic Preservation Award for it. The three-story elegant boutique hotel has 18 rooms and cabins, which are equipped with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi and a large DVD library, a flat-screen cable TV, a DVD player, and an iPod docking station.
258 14th St, Astoria, OR 97103, Tel. 503-325-4747,
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© The Langham
Designed by world-famous architect Mies van der Rohe, who died before the building started construction, the Langham Hotel is located in a striking 52-story skyscraper in downtown Chicago, with spectacular views of the city, Lake Michigan, and the Chicago River, near The Loop, Magnificent Mile, Grant Park, and Millennium Park. The hotel has 268 guest rooms and 48 suites painted in warm caramel colors with rich textiles and gleaming dark woods that create inviting spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of Chicago. The hotel occupies 13 floors of the former IMB building, now named AMA Plaza. The minimalist lobby has retained much of the building’s corporate feel, now warmed up by large-scale modern paintings and colorful Czech glass light fixtures.
330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, Tel. 312-923 9988
11.The Liberty Hotel
© The Liberty Hotel
The Liberty Hotel is located in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood in the restored and transformed former Charles Street Jail, an 1851 architectural gem and a National Historic Landmark. Once home to Boston’s notorious criminals, The Liberty is today a luxury hotel with 298 rooms and suites and magnificent views of the Charles River and the city skyline. After the last prisoner left in 1990, the building’s fascinating Renaissance and Romanesque forms inspired a total transformation with careful thought to preserving its unique features. The jail’s granite outside walls and spacious light-filled interior spaces are the same and the magnificent 90-foot-high atrium became the core of the hotel. The former exercise yard for prisoners is now a secluded, beautiful courtyard. The elegant, contemporary suites and rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, luxury bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs, and suites have dining and living areas and views of the river. The hotel has six restaurants and bars, a ball room, a gym, and meeting rooms.
215 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114, Tel. 617-224-4000
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© The Saguaro
Located in Coachella Valley at the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, about 3 miles from downtown Palm Springs, The Saguaro is colorful and fun. It is painted in 14 different colors, the colors of California’s native wildflowers, and local architect William Kopelk, who designed the gardens, made sure that the flowers planted in the garden matched the colors of the hotel. The Saguaro started its life in 1977 as The International, then became a Holiday Inn before it was transformed into The Saguaro after a major renovation. The hotel has an outdoor pool, one of the largest in Palm Springs, as well as two restaurants and a spa. The bright, light rooms are furnished with handmade Mexican furniture and art and have HD TVs and free Wi-Fi. Suites also have living rooms.
1800 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92264-1617, Tel. 760-323-1711,
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Located in downtown historic Healdsburg, a 15-minute walk from the beach, h2Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel in the heart of Northern Sonoma Wine Country not far from the banks of the Russian River. The hotel is LEED certified and has a range of earth-friendly features, starting with its live roof covered in thriving succulents and a solar-heated pool. The hotel rooms have all modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, balconies or patios, and elegant, understated décor with bamboo floors and organic linens. The hotel’s lobby has a large fireplace, a popular gathering spot for the guests and locals, the Spoonbar restaurant, a spa, the 24-hour Receptobar store, and the curious Hand Fan Museum.
219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, Tel. 707-431-2202
14.West Baden Springs Hotel
© West Baden Springs Hotel
The West Baden Springs Hotel is an historic landmark hotel in West Baden Springs, Indiana, best known for the magnificent 200-foot dome over its atrium. Part of the French Lick Resort Casino and built in 1902, the hotel’s spectacular beauty gave it the nickname “8th Wonder of the World.” The hotel is surrounded by lush Indiana forests and landscaped gardens and has access to the famous healing mineral water baths. The hotel has 243 luxury suites and guest rooms that have elegant decor and all modern amenities. Guests can enjoy a casino, nightly live shows, movies, bowling, horseback riding, billiards, golf, biking, and much more.
W Baden Ave, West Baden, IN 47469, Tel. 888-936-9360,
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15.Dream Downtown Hotel
© Dream Downtown Hotel
Designed to resemble an ocean liner with a stainless steel façade and porthole windows, what is today the grand Dream Downtown hotel in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood was built in the 1960s by New Orleans-based architect Albert Ledner as an annex to the National Maritime Union headquarters. In 2006, the building was converted by Handel Architects into the Dream Downtown Hotel, preserving and enhancing the original quirky design. The sloped façade was covered in tiles made from stainless steel, and more porthole windows were opened, some the same size and some smaller, creating a sense of verve and controlled chaos. The metallic tiles reflect the blue sky, sun, and moon, and the round windows appear to be floating like bubbles. The hotel has 316 rooms and suites on 12 stories as well as two restaurants, VIP and rooftop lounges, an outdoor pool with a glass bottom, a gym, event space, and a pool bar. The loft-style rooms have Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minifridges, and iPod docks. Suites have extra living space, surround-sound systems, HDTV projectors, and some even landscaped terraces and hot tubs.
355 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011, Tel. 212-229-255,
15 Best Hotels with Fascinating Architecture
- The Willard, Photo: The Willard
- Arizona Biltmore, Photo: Arizona Biltmore
- MADE Hotel, Photo: MADE Hotel
- The Stanley Hotel, Photo: Courtesy of Alfred Wekelo - Fotolia.com
- Hotel Americano, Photo: Hotel Americano
- HOTEL DU PONT, Photo: HOTEL DU PONT
- Swan and Dolphin Resort, Photo: Swan and Dolphin Resort
- The Cloister at Sea Island, Photo: The Cloister at Sea Island
- The Commodore Hotel, Photo: The Commodore Hotel
- The Langham, Photo: The Langham
- The Liberty Hotel, Photo: The Liberty Hotel
- The Saguaro, Photo: The Saguaro
- h2Hotel, Photo: h2Hotel
- West Baden Springs Hotel, Photo: West Baden Springs Hotel
- Dream Downtown Hotel, Photo: Dream Downtown Hotel
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of gevans - Fotolia.com
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