The Oldest Hotels In The World
You’ve probably been to some of the most modern and luxurious hotels in various parts of the world but have you ever thought of finding the oldest ones to stay in?
More often than not, when we book our vacation itinerary, we always tend to choose more modern hotels to stay in. It is a fact that a huge part of our entire vacation relies on the quality of our accommodation so we feel that the more modern our hotel is, the more comfortable we will be. However, that is not always the case.
Whether or not you are a history buff, it is undeniable that the charm of the vintage and classic world creates a nostalgic feeling that is almost magical. In this post I’ll be presenting some of the oldest hotels in the world. Read on and you’ll be surprised about the amount of history and artistry they bring to the modern world. From the thousand year old hotel in Japan to the 14th century hotel that became temporary home to some of the world’s greatest European artists and royalties, these amazing hotels tell more stories and hide more secrets than many of the history books you’ve read.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan – 705 AD
This Guinness World Record holder Hotel has been in operation for more than 1,300 years and has been managed by 52 generations of the same family. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a hot spring hotel located at the foot of Aikaishi Mountains in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.
Fujiwara Mahito opened the doors of the hotel in 705 AD that has welcomed emperors and samurai within its walls. 1,312 years later, the hotel, together with its authentic Japanese culture and hospitality, still caters to guests who crave a taste of Japan’s history.
The nearest attractions, Mount Fuji and Jigokudani Monkey Park, are approximately 4 hours drive from the hotel. Its strategic location and 6 natural hot spring baths make for an exceptional experience and continue to attract guests from all over the world.
Although it has existed through 52 generations and a renovation in 1997, the family kept the Japanese tradition sacred. All 37 rooms are still equipped with traditional Japanese minimalist interior, from tatami mats to classic Japanese art.
At 52,000 yen or approximately $450 a night, you will be treated to an ultimate Japanese relaxation. Take note that there is no wifi so you will be totally detached from the virtual world for a while. Here you will savor the view of the remote valley and mountains while being immersed in the hot spring baths. That in itself is priceless.
Hoshi Ryokan – 718 AD
The second oldest hotel in the world is also a Japanese treasure. Located in Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture, Hoshi Ryokan is run by 46 generations of the same family. 100 rooms that can cater up to 450 guests come fully equipped with traditional Japanese interior.
Upon arrival, each guest is given a Japanese kimono known as yukata and treated to a tea ceremony. Hoshi continues to uphold Japanese hospitality since its foundation. Just like Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, Hoshi also invests in its natural hot spring baths which are its biggest attractions.
Zum Roten Baren – 1120
Hotel Zum Roten Baren which translates to ‘the red bear’ is known as the oldest hotel in Germany and in all of Europe. It is even said to be older than the town it is located in!
51 generations have been operating the inn ever since. The quaint hotel which was first built as a family home now has 25 rooms to accommodate its guest. Although the original structure had been destroyed during World War II, the cellar retained its solid architectural foundation together with artworks that date back to the early 12th century.
The building still has the original facade but a very comfortable interior and lodgings welcome the guests. A step inside the inn is an ultimate step back in time. Its walls have seen Germany transform through time and bears with it the rich history and the blood, grit, grime, and grace that go with it.
Angel and Royal – 1203
The oldest hotel in the UK, Angel and Royal, was built as a hostel by the Knights Templar back in 1203 and was under their operation until their dissolution in 1312. Over the years, its walls have hosted several royalties including King John, Edward III, and Charles 1 to name a few.
This 14th century architecture holds some treasures of the old England. Originally named The Angel, “Royal” was added to it in 1866 after the visit of King Edward VII who was then the Prince of Wales. Although England is home to many centuries of architecture bearing the Kingdom’s rich history, a night at the Angel and Royal Hotel will not only give you a glimpse of the past but also a dash of royalty.
Goldener Adler – 1390
Considered one of the oldest hotels in Europe, Goldener Adler or Golden Eagle offers first class service despite being more than 600 years old.
Run by generations of the same family, Goldener Adler upholds authentic Tyrolean hospitality. Its strategic location in the heart of Innsbruck, Austria allows guests to explore the nearby attractions such as museums and art galleries. Guests can also easily visit the Alpine Mountains to enjoy skiing or hiking.
As a plus, the Vonn Trapp family has stayed here as well as Mozart and the world renowned German writer Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. Who would not want to spend a night in a room where these legendary individuals have stayed in?
The Peabody – 1869
The Peabody is the ‘youngest’ hotel on this list. Located in Memphis, The Peabody Hotel originally opened in 1869 and is dubbed the oldest hotel in the USA.
The 464 room hotel boasts not only classic history but grand sophistication. Most notably known for its duck parade, the March of the Peabody ducks started when ducks were originally placed in the hotel’s lobby fountain way back in 1933.
The hotel is also not the cheapest you can find but if sophistication and grandiosity is your thing, then you will be very glad to spend a night where Elvis Presley had his prom and where the elites have slept in one of the elaborately furnished suites.
If you ever visit one of these countries, these striking structures offer a unique opportunity to take advantage of great accommodation with a truly historic experience. And while there are many newer and bigger hotels out there that offer more modern services, technologies, and facilities, others still outlast the test of time. In this sense, old doesn’t always mean outdated.