A bucket-list hotel could be bucket-list worthy because of the incredible location it’s in, the iconic history, or the upscale architecture. Many hotels have very unique histories that make staying there that much more note-worthy. The interesting history of the hotel might involve stories of what the hotel used to be, past famous celebrity guests and what occurred at the hotel, or stories of iconic unions that began at the hotel.
Personally, we love a hotel with a great story to tell. It makes the stay more meaningful, and it’s always entertaining to hear the stories of the hotel’s history from one of its staff members. Here are a few bucket-list hotels in incredible locations, with interesting histories:
Concord Hotel New York
Historically, Concorde Hotel New York served as a hotel for British Airways. For over 20 years, this exclusive partnership between Concorde Hotel New York and British Airways meant that guest rooms of the hotel were reserved exclusively for British Airways staff and crew.
In February of 2018, Concorde Hotel New York decided to open its doors to the public for the first time in over 20 years. Their stylish and comfortable guest rooms are now available to the general public, and hotel guests will enjoy the story of the hotel’s interesting history.
Concorde Hotel New York first opened its doors in 1984. Another interesting piece of history about the hotel is that it was originally intended to be condominiums – not a hotel. This development, where the hotel stands today, was one of the last silver-style buildings erected in Manhattan. Barclays Hotel Group bought the building in 1984, shortly before its completion, and that put a halt to the plan of residential condominiums. Barclay contracted architects to transform the building into a 107-room hotel with a restaurant and bar. The hotel was sold to British Airways in 1990, and until this year, the hotel was operated solely for the benefit of British Airways staff and crew. Because of the airline’s sheer volume of flights to New York City, it made sense to have an entire hotel at their disposal.
This year, in 2018, the hotel has started a number of luxury renovation projects to upgrade the guest rooms and enrich the hotel itself, to celebrate being open to the public once again. If you like history, know that Concorde Hotel New York is also close to several National Historic Landmarks, such as the Empire State Building, the American Stock Exchange Building, and Rockefeller Center.
Aleph Rome Hotel
Aleph Rome Hotel, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, is a stunning 1930s Italian bank repurposed into a luxury hotel with an Arabian spa. This hotel’s historic palazzo in Romewas Italy’s first Cassa di Risparmio central bank headquarters.
Keeping with its history, the hotel has done a few things to honor its legacy. 1930s inspiration warms the hotel. The lobby shimmers with the original green Cipolino marble, first imported from Greece to Rome in ancient times. This marble lobby will cause your jaw to drop, it’s that stunning.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of this hotel that honors its history is the bank vault. The original bank vault door from the early 1900s is still in place, being used as a door to the hotel fitness center. Aleph Rome Hotel’s contemporary fitness center is housed in the original 1900s bank vault, and the massive armoured door is still in its original place in all of its glory.
In keeping with the theme, you’ll also enjoy an old-fashioned Cognac lounge. A small, ventilated Cognac lounge with oversized, retro-style leather armchairs is a unique spot in this hotel where guests can smoke cigars. It is one of Rome’s only indoor smoking rooms, so it attracts plenty of outside visitors.
The hotel itself was renovated by the Italian architect Roberto Romano, who transformed the Cassa di Risparmio central bank headquarters into this 88-room luxury hotel. By retaining several original elements of the 1930s bank, this hotel has made headlines all over Italy as one of the most beautiful and most successful transformation projects in Italy.The historic city of Rome has over 2,500 years of history to offer if you’re someone who loves history, but this hotel is definitely the one to stay at.
Royal Hawaiian Hotel
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii opened on February 1, 1927 and it was the largest construction project in the Pacific at that time – costing millions and gathering plenty of attention.
The opening of The Royal Hawaiian brought with it a new era of luxurious resort travel to Hawaii. The Honolulu Star Bulletin Newspaper called it “The first resort hostelry in America.” The six-story, 400-room structure was designed Spanish-style, in a colour we would now call Millennial Pink. Today, this pink palace is a welcome pop of color along the strip of Waikiki Beach, and it is known as one of the most iconic and luxurious hotels to stay at (if you can afford it.)
Today, the Waikiki strip, where the Royal Hawaiian is primely located, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. However, long before Waikiki was developed as a tourist destination, it was a favorite residence and recreational center for Hawaiian kings and chiefs.
A very interesting piece of history about this hotel is that King Kamehameha I had his home where The Royal Hawaiian Hotel stands today, and Queen Kaahumanu’s Summer Palace was previously located on what is now the resort’s Coconut Grove.
After World War I, the development of Waikiki into a tourist destination began to accelerate. This was referred to as the “Waikiki Reclamation Commission” in the early 1900s. During the times of the Charleston and Prohibition, a Matson steamship was the primary mode of transportation to Hawaii, a method of travel for the wealthy who could afford overseas adventures to the island of Hawaii. The Royal Hawaiian was made to be a luxurious resort for Matson steamship passengers. It should come as no surprise that Matson companies was the prime investor.
On the morning of December 7, 1941,the surprise military attack of the Japanese on Hawaii (Pearl Harbor) happened. The Navy personnel of Hawaii were in peril. The Navy recreation and morale office leased The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, transforming the beautiful pink resort into a Pearl Harbor crisis center for the Navy personnel. With a rich history that consists of royalty, the Royal Hawaiian is one of the most historically interesting hotels in the world.