Love history? Staying and visiting historical hotels should be added to your bucket list. Hotels are considered to be one of the important components in the tourism sector for every country as they count up to the desirability of a specific tourist destination. The establishment of hotels has been supported as far back as biblical times when they were referred to as inns.
Do you have any idea what’s the oldest business in the world? Clue: it dates back 1,000 years and is located in Japan. Don’t know the answer? The answer to that question is the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan hotel! But before you try to book that hotel accommodation, here are 8 historic hotels in the world that were never shut down ever since they established which are definitely worth your visit.
1.Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (Yamanashi Japan)
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This Japanese hotel began welcoming samurais to its hot springs in 705 and named as the oldest hotel in the world cited by Guinness World Records. It is also the world’s oldest nonstop-operating business. This traditional Japanese inn or also called as ryokan has been owned by 52 generations of the same family. Just for a background, it opened a massive 1,083 years prior when the American constitution was signed. Crazy right?
One interesting fact, Japan’s first shogun, Tokugawa leyasu, and the 46th emperor, Kouken, were famous patrons taking soaks in its hot spring baths before.
- Zum Roten Baeren (Freiburg, Germany)
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Zum is the oldest hotel in Europe and in fact older than the town it’s located in, having been constructed before Freiburg was even a plus to its founder. This hotel has lived through the Black Plague, witch hunts, farmer revolts, the Thirty Year’s War, WWI, and WWII. About 51 landlords and dozens of reconstructions later, the hotel holds the original name that first appeared in documents in 1387, and its basement still boasts original artwork and architecture.
- The Olde Bell (Hurley, UK)
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The Old Bell is an interesting one as it opened its doors in 1135 as a guest and carriage house for those making the pilgrimage to St. Benedict, a close by the priory. At its peak, the hotel accommodated as many kings as commoners and served as a meeting house for Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower during WWII.
Did you know that it has a secret tunnel that leads from the hotel to the priory which can still be seen today, was reportedly where schemes invented in the 17th Century to dethrone James II. Today, TOB is considered a precious gem that integrates history with modern design, having been refurbished by the folks behind the trendy Soho House.
- Orso Grigio (San Candido, Italy)
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In 1300, it was located in a picturesque spot in Austria as this hotel in the Dolomites opened as Grauer Bär (grey bear). But today, it’s in Italy; the province was conquered after WWI but the name remained the same, just in Italian. This hotel provides rooms to a plenty of merchants, travelers, and noblemen that were gathering to the city of Ronzone, then a popular market town, it temporarily served as a military hospital during WWI.
- Hotel Interlaken (Interlaken, Switzerland)
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This hotel was initially a hospital, then a monastery, and after some time a bar. It became a guesthouse in 1323 then got renovated in 1491, at which point it received its own coat of arms, which is still visible on the facade. You can still see the remnants of the original walls in the lobby, the bar, and the restaurant.
- Blaue Gans (Austria)
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If you want to know how it feels during the medieval period, the Blaue Gans should be on your list. It is the oldest inn in the Austrian city of Salzburg. It is also nearby prime historic sites in the city, including the birthplace of Mozart, which is just a couple of minutes of walk away. In Salzburg, Blaue Gans is considered as the first “art hotel”, showcasing around 100 original works of art scattered in its hallways, reception, and other areas. Just imagine having a private art gallery show!
Most tourists are impressed with how stunning the atmosphere is by mixing the modernity and medieval in one place. They also have a remarkable bar and restaurant, and hosts celebrations.
- Rambagh Palace (India)
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Also called the “Jewel of Jaipur”, was built in 1835 for the queen’s favored handmaiden, Kesar Bedaran. Later on, the building was renovated and reconstructed, in due course became the royal residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II in 1925. Prior to that, the mansion had been a hunting lodge and a school.
How it turned to be a hotel was because of Jaipur’s charismatic royalty and the guests they entertained. In 1957, it officially became a hotel and was greatly recognized by hosting well know and respected guests such as Prince Charles and Jackie O., and the like. Until this day, Rambagh Palace continues to live up to its name and its history by gravitating more travelers who want to taste an experience of luxury travel.
- Hotel Balzac, France
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We know how luxurious hotels and Paris seem to go hand in hand, just as how true as Hotel Balzac is. Built in the early 19th century by banker Nicolas Beaujon, was admired by many for its exotic style. However, following the death of Beaujon, the building changed hands several times, prior to turning to a salon for epicureans and champagne aficionados. Then it was bought by Honore de Balzac in 1846, one of the founders of realist literature and author of over 100 novels and plays during the post-Napoleonic France.
Balzac’s works are featured in the hotel such as collection of book, scenes from Balzac’s work and lithographs that depict the author. And if you do love food, the hotel’s restaurant is famed for contemporary French cuisine.