On the trail of America's Historic Hotels
By Jean Shea on Jul 13, 2010
Any plans for the summer? If you haven't already booked something, here's an idea. Why not explore some of America's historic hotels. Many of them are both spa resorts and hotels so you not only can relax, you also have an opportunity to find out about new special spa treatments that you may want to incorporate into your own service offering.
You'd be amazed how many historic hotels there are. In fact, there is an organization exclusively dedicated to them, called Historic Hotels of America (HHA). The program - part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation -- has identified 200 quality hotels that have maintained their historic architecture and ambience. Historic Hotels of America must be at least 50 years old and listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or have historic significance.
The backgrounds of these hotels are fascinating. The Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, was a former Carmelite Convent dating back to 1651, for example. The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass., dates to 1773. This inn originally was a stagecoach shop.
More than 50 of the HHA hotels are listed as spa resorts. We have one right here near BIOTONE - The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe holds a special place in my heart since a female architect designed the original property - a small village and guesthouse - in order to entice prospective land buyers to the area, which was a Eucalyptus forest. The property opened in 1923, and now offers a full service spa with massage and facial treatments and manicures and pedicured. (I wonder if they use Eucalyptus in any of their treatments)
There are historic hotels in 27 states. You can see the entire list here. Are there any near you?
I plan to visit The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe soon and report back. Let us know what you find out on your exploration of one of the Historic Hotels of America near you.