We’re all about a funky hotel or two, but there’s something to be said for the grand dames. They celebrate their storied histories and iconic statuses with classic, timeless decor — that’s almost always tres chic and just a bit over the top, dahhhling. And whenever you step into one of these hotels, you feel like you’re in the presence of greatness — at least, great decor and design. So today we’re giving a photo tour of our favorite hotels that have that classically elegant (and dare we say, old money?) look down pat. From gilded pillars to floral patterns, from dainty tea sets to regal portraits, these hotels keep their spaces feeling timeless. Get inspired — and get the look!
The Fairmont combines the amenities, technology, and corporate-dominated clientele of a large, modern property with the history, cachet, and decor of a turn-of-the-20th-century grand old dame. Upon entering the lobby, guests are wowed by the sweeping ceilings, gilded accents, intricate wrought ironing, and massive marble columns, under which guests can recline on plush velvet sofas in rich golds and browns. The overall effect is stunning, and exudes a glamorous 1920s vibe. Rooms, many with stunning views, are equally elegant with warm gold and green accents, antique mahogany furniture, and cozy beds.
The St. Regis may be over-the-top, but it’s French rococo vibe is glamorous, yet livable — particularly in the rooms — and we want to bring the look right back to our homes. While the lobby’s ceilings are covered with cherubic murals and massive chandeliers, the rooms combine old-fashioned style with modern comforts: Picture (more subtle) crystal chandeliers, frame molding, and marble bathrooms with brass fixtures, coupled with personal fax machines, surround-sound speakers, and flat-screen TVs. Details such as silk-covered walls, canopied beds, and gilded antique furniture add to the elegant look.
The Milestone is perhaps the most famous boutique hotel in London, and certainly lives up to its expectations, with exceptional service and exquisitely designed rooms. Many rooms are themed, such as the Matisse Studio, Safari Suite, and the Venetian Suite, and are simultaneously elegant and creative, incorporating beautiful period furnishings without coming across as too dated. The lounging and dining areas follow suit with rich mahogany wall paneling and comfortable antique furniture — a style that feels inspired by that of a luxurious English country home.
This elegant, 98-room luxury property right on Rittenhouse Square Park has the largest rooms in the city, featuring classic decor such as framed flower prints, rich red and gold accents, and dark wood furniture and bed frames. The hotel even features impressive original artwork (including drawings by Mary Cassatt, whose father’s house once stood on the site), and well-heeled families and business travelers can be found in the wood-paneled lobby and column-surrounded tea room.
The Hotel Adlon Kempinski is an elegant, classic hotel with a rich history (Charlie Chaplin, Josephine Baker, Michael Jackson and even President Obama have stayed there). Luxurious rooms have heavy drapes, four-poster canopy beds, plush couches, and fresh cut roses. Marble bathrooms offer soaking tubs and heated floors. These inviting rooms, combined with the hotel’s impressive amenities — an indoor pool, full spa, fitness center, and variety of restaurants — make this one of the best picks, and most classically elegant spots, in Berlin.
After a massive renovation in 2009, this boutique reopened, and regained its place among DC’s elite hotels. While rooms feature up-to-date technology, colonial charms — an intimate, wood-paneled library, a working dumbwaiter, black-and-white tiled floors, intricate crown molding, beautiful landscape murals, and of course, busts of T.J. himself — lend the hotel’s common spaces an elegant vibe. Rooms also feature classic decor, with pretty chandeliers, floral curtains, and soft colors.
The Merrion is Dublin‘s most exclusive luxury hotel, and has a convenient location across from the Government buildings in four 18th-century townhouses. Period furniture and artwork in the common spaces add to the beautiful elegance the hotel exudes, and rooms also have classy decor that reflects the 18th-century Georgian history of the townhouses. Decor varies by room type, but most rooms have charming features such as crown molding, picture frame molding, delicate white wood furniture, and handsome cushioned armchairs. Italian marble bathrooms have bidets as well as separate showers and tubs.
The Beverly Hills Hotel has been setting the standard on style in Los Angeles for over 100 years. It’s classic look has that Beverly Hills pizzazz, featuring hallways and common spaces with glamorous chandeliers, gilded accents, and over-the-top wall motifs, and rooms decked out in pink — pink marble, pink curtains, pink headboards, you name it. Even the more casual areas by the pool have a classic look with striped loungers and stately columns.
The 88-room Hotel Le Bristol opened its doors in 1925 during the Roaring Twenties, and today continues to exude retro elegance. Epicure, the hotel’s three Michelin-starred restaurant, features elegant place settings, fringed tablecloths, a gorgeously ornate chandelier, floral curtains, and even a classic fireplace. But the classic look runs throughout the hotel, from the marble lobby, with antique tapestries, to the rooms, where the floral motif is also present.
The 230-room Boston Harbor Hotel is among the city’s most luxurious hotels. It’s massive facade, complete with an archway to the harbor, is impressive enough, but the lobby impresses guests as well, with marble archways, plush velvet furniture, and classic touches such as gilded mirrors and mahogany antiques. Besides gorgeous views, rooms feature a classic color scheme — with a nod to the nautical — of red, yellow, and blue, as well as tasseled curtains and dark wood furnishings.