20 hotels that are soaked in history

If the walls of historic hotels could talk, they would tell you about the battles that have happened within earshot, the slew of legendary people who have spent the night, and the businesses of yesteryear that once operated within. When you travel, you might seek out a significant place to spend the night, and fortunately you can revel in the charm of bygone eras without missing out on modern comforts. Stay at any of the historic hotels on our Fodor's 100 list for a vacation you won't need a time machine to experience.

1. Hartwell House

Hartwell House

Hartwell House (Courtesy of Hartwell House)

Where: England

With a history of almost a thousand years, Hartwell House and its property have hosted the likes of John Earl of Mortaigne, who succeeded Richard the Lion Heart as King of England in 1199, and Louis XVIII, the exiled King of France, not to mention a slew of knights, nobility, and government officials.

2. Hotel d'Inghilterra

Hotel d'Inghilterra

Hotel d'Inghilterra (Andrea Getuli)

Where: Rome

Since its opening in 1845, Hotel d'Inghilterra has boasted one of the most prestigious and historically compelling properties in all of Rome. The 16th century building was once a guesthouse for a nearby palace, and when it became a hotel, it saw such famous faces as John Keats, Ernest Hemingway, and Mark Twain.

3. Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa

Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa

Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa (Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa)

Where: Uruguay

This iconic French-inspired building, originally a Jazz Age waterfront escape for the Uruguayan elite, got completely renovated and revived to become the Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa. The elegance from yesteryear permeates each of the hotel's lavish-yet-fresh guest rooms.

4. Cliveden House

Cliveden House

Cliveden House (Courtesy of Cliveden House)

Where: England

Suits of armor, tapestries, and abundant wood paneling lend to the Edwardian charm of Cliveden House, which dates back to the mid-19th century. The estate has hosted virtually every British monarch since George I, and The Beatles even filmed part of Help here in 1965.

5. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Bangkok)

Where: Bangkok

For more than 135 years, travelers have dropped their bags at the legendary and timeless Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, this hotel is the place to be if you're a president, monarch, or celebrity, or if you want to experience the best service in all of Thailand.

6. The Savoy

The Savoy

The Savoy (Courtesy of The Savoy)

Where: London

The stately lobby and glamorous guest rooms at The Savoy remain much the same as they looked when Elizabeth Taylor stayed here on her first honeymoon. Throughout the 125 years the hotel has been open, it only ever closed once for a three-year, 220 million restoration project.

7. Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate

Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate

Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate (Courtesy of Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country EstateAshley Morrison)

Where: Ireland

Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate has structures dating back to the 11th century, when it was a stronghold of the O'Briens, the descendants of a High King of Ireland. In the years since, the legendary estate has seen countless historical events and escaped demolition through several wars.

8. The Merchant Hotel

The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

The Merchant Hotel, Belfast (Courtesy of The Merchant Hotel)

Where: Belfast

Formerly the headquarters of the Ulster Bank, The Merchant Hotel is notable for its Italianate architecture and ornate details, making it one of the best-loved buildings in Belfast, both in its bank days and as a luxury hotel. The surrounding neighborhood, Cathedral Quarter, has as much historical allure as the hotel.

9. Auberge du Vieux-Port

Auberge du Vieux-Port

Auberge du Vieux-Port (Alexi Hobbs)

Where: Montreal

Back when the St. Lawrence River was the main artery of Montreal, the buildings that were to become the Auberge du Vieux-Port were warehouses; now they constitute a luxury 45-room hotel with brick walls, exposed beams, and views of the port and nearby cobblestone streets.

10. Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral, Rocco Forte Hotels

The Balmoral, Rocco Forte Hotels (Rocco Forte Hotel's The Balmoral)

Where: Edinburgh

Bathed in Edwardian splendor, the historic Balmoral Hotel has long been recognized as one of Britain's great railway hotels. A slew of famous guests like Paul McCartney and Elizabeth Taylor have stayed here, and the Queen Mother used to enjoy lunches of roast lamb at the restaurant.

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