We can think of hotels as ordinary places where many people stay for a short time. But a hotel can be much more than just an ordinary place where we stay for a few days while away from home! Especially if its history goes back hundreds of years! Because some of the oldest hotels in the world have been serving weary travelers for a really long time. Moreover, these places witness many important events as well as the stories of people! In some cases, hotels can even become the most important figures of historical events. On the other hand, the world’s oldest hotels also bear the traces of cultural and social changes in their geography. So these old buildings have many stories to tell. Therefore, think twice before choosing your hotel on your next trip! Here are the 10 oldest hotels in the world…
1. Parador Santiago de Compostela, Spain
This hotel in Spain claims to be the only place in the world with uninterrupted accommodation since 1499! This claim is somewhat controversial, but it does not lose anything from the hotel’s deep-rooted history. In addition, the unique architecture and interior design of the hotel building is quite remarkable even today. On the other hand, Parador Santiago de Compostela was built as part of a very important mission. The hotel was the last resting point on the pilgrimage route of the Christian pilgrim candidates at the time it was built! For this reason, it was built to provide accommodation and health services to pilgrim candidates.
2. Hotel Interlaken, Switzerland
This historical hotel at the foot of the Alps has hosted many people since 1323! However, at that time, there was no sense of hotel management as we understand it now! For this reason, Hotel Interlaken is mentioned as a “guest house” in the records of that period. In fact, one room of this guesthouse was used as the town’s courtroom! However, by 1491 the guesthouse was renovated and became a hotel as we know it today. On the other hand, Hotel Interlaken was among the favorite hotels of 2 great artists! German composer Felix Mendelssohn and famous poet Lord Byron often stayed in this hotel. Today, the hotel has rooms named after both artists.
3. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, Japan
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is officially the oldest hotel in the world! In 2011, it was registered as the oldest hotel in the world by Guinness World Records. The date the hotel was opened dates back to 705 BC! The hotel is named after Keinkan, which is also the name of a period in Japan! The oldest hotel in the world has another interesting feature. The hotel has been run by the same family for 52 generations…
4. Hotel de la Soledad, Mexico
This imposing building has been used as a hotel since the middle of the 18th century. The building was purchased in 1735 and turned into a hotel by its owners. Thanks to this deep-rooted history, Hotel de la Soledad is considered one of the oldest hotels in Mexico. On the other hand, Hotel de la Soledad was also an important part of the Mexican War of Independence, which lasted from 1810 to 1821. However, during the war, the hotel was on the verge of closing due to the increasing debt burden. Fortunately, the financial problems were resolved in the 1830s. However, the name of the hotel was changed to Hotel de Michoacan. Despite this, the locals always referred to this important hotel as Hotel de la Soledad…
5. LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata, India
In 1830, the building belonging to the East India Company, which ruled India under British colonial rule, later began to provide accommodation services under the name Auckland Hotel. This hotel, which became known as the Great Eastern after a while, is claimed to be the most luxurious hotel in Asia that provides uninterrupted service. It is difficult to be sure whether this claim is true. But over the years, the hotel has had many guests to support its claim! Many important names, from Mahatma Gandhi to Queen Elizabeth, from Nikita Khrushchev to Mark Twain, preferred to stay in this hotel during their Asian travels.
6. Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn, United States
The Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn is one of the oldest hotels in the United States. The building, which was a small tavern in 1704 and called the Bogardus Tavern, was expanded in 1766 and became a hotel that has been in service ever since! On the other hand, this hotel is very important in terms of US history. It is thought that some of the important names of the American War of Independence and some of the founders of the USA stayed at the hotel for a while. George Washington, Benedict Arnold and Alexander Hamilton are some of them. It is even thought that the debate that led to the death of Alexander Hamilton in a duel started in this hotel…
7. Hoshi Ryokan, Japan
Hoshi Ryokan, which was opened in 718 AD, had the title of the oldest hotel in the world. Until in 2011, another Japanese hotel, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, took over the title! However, Hoshi Ryokan also has a history of approximately 1300 years. Moreover, the hotel, which has a history of thousands of years, contains very interesting stories behind it.
Legend has it that the hot springs around Mount Haku were a gift from the gods to heal people! The gods on Mount Haku asked the Buddhist monk Taichou Daishi to build an accommodation near the hot springs. So Daishi built the Hoshi Ryokan with instruction from the gods. Even today, it is possible to benefit from the healing of hot springs in Hoshi Ryokan.
8. Zoom Roten Baren, Germany
The hotel in Freiburg, Germany is the oldest hotel in the city, Germany and Europe! So much so that even before the city of Freiburg existed, the hotel stood where it is now! The roots of this rather old hotel go back to 1000 years! Moreover, it is possible to see the first foundations of the building in the cellar of the hotel! This incredible history means that the hotel has witnessed almost every event in Europe. Of course, this includes wars and destruction! In fact, Zum Roten Baren was seriously damaged in a war in 1713. Fortunately, Andreas Pflug, the owner of the hotel at that time, ensured that the destroyed parts were restored. In addition, the golden bear statue at the entrance of the hotel, one of the most important symbols of the hotel, is from the time of Pflug.
9. Orso Grigio, Italy
This historical hotel in Italy also has a long history. Opened in 1303, this hotel was used by merchants passing through the region at that time. The hotel was badly damaged during the 30 Years’ War in the 17th century, but it survived! During World War I, it was converted into a hospital for Austro-Hungarian soldiers. Orso Grigio, whose history is full of wars and destruction, continued to serve the passengers far from home, the job he knew best after the war…
10. The Olde Bell, England
The Olde Bell was built in 1135 for visitors to the Benedictine Abbey. In fact, the monastery bell hangs on the hotel door even today! It is also a common myth that a tunnel was built from the hotel floor leading to the monastery, although its existence has not been proven. Moreover, this tunnel was built in 1688 by the King of England II. It is also alleged that it was used by the conspirators who overthrew Charles.