Historic Hotels Worldwide Announces the Top 12 Magnificent Gardens
Historic Hotels of America® and Historic Hotels Worldwide® have some of the most magnificent and beautiful storybook gardens. Numerous life-long memories of special occasions celebrated in the gardens of historic hotels include romantic getaways, romantic proposals, honeymoons, anniversaries, and family reunions. Multigenerational guests select a historic resort to explore, experience, and grow their own ever-blossoming memories in beautiful gardens located at historic hotels.
Here is a listing of the 2020 Most Magnificent Gardens:
The Inn at Montchanin Village (1799) Montchanin, Delaware
The Inn at Montchanin Village has a full-time horticulturist and its own off-site greenhouses, which provide exquisite colorful landscaping on the grounds. Plantings help define spaces and create private garden nooks for guests to enjoy. The restaurant at the Inn, Krazy Kat’s, offers dishes with herbs and vegetables grown in the gardens of this historic hotel. Guests can access the historic buildings via a maze of ornate gardens featuring beautiful flowers and fragrant herbs.
Inn at Perry Cabin (1816) St. Michaels, Maryland
This historic Inn is built on 26 acres of gardens, orchards, wildflowers and lawns where guests love to spend their time. The gardens feature all types of hydrangeas, crape myrtle trees, boxwoods, native plant species, and much more. From the outdoor areas to the in-room flower displays and the herbs adding to the flavor of guests’ dining experience, there is beauty at every corner of the Inn. The Inn at Perry Cabin’s main lawn stars as the picturesque wedding venue in the movie hit, Wedding Crashers, during the Cleary wedding reception scene. In the fall of 2019, 65,000 bulbs of tulips and daffodils were planted which will beautifully bloom this spring.
Antrim 1844 Taneytown, Maryland
With over 80 varieties of English Tea Roses, the gardens at Antrim 1844 are among some of the most stunning on the East Coast. The Formal English Tea Rose Garden is a primary location for wedding ceremonies. It’s the perfect place for afternoon tea and a beautiful distraction from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For a more secluded garden location, guests can enjoy the Secret Garden, which features lovely annuals throughout.
French Lick Springs Hotel (1845) French Lick Springs, Indiana
The gardens at French Lick Springs Hotel were originally built in a Japanese style dating back to the early 1900s. Thomas Taggart purchased the hotel in 1901, and cultivating green parks was a major initiative of his. The Japanese gardens gave guests a beautiful landscape with a peaceful setting, with blue spruce and pine trees, manicured flowerbeds and immaculate brick-lined walkways, and foot bridges over a small man-made pond.
Grand Hotel Golf Club & Resort (1847) Point Clear, Alabama
Located along Mobile Bay and 173 years young, the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa is an iconic, historic hotel in Point Clear, Alabama. More than 140 massive live oak trees dripping in Spanish moss are featured throughout the resort’s lush landscape. Surrounded by brilliant Southern azaleas, roses, camellias, colorful annuals and lush vegetation, the Grand’s oaks are legendary. The oldest oaks are more than 200 years old. From a secret garden for customized meals for couples to the chef’s garden with more than 70 kinds of edible plants, the Grand’s 550 pristine acres feature a stunning selection of color.
Stagecoach Inn (1852) Salado, Texas
The Central Texas landmark, once a stop on the Chisholm Trail, is shaded with lush heritage trees and sits on seven acres adjacent to the south bank of the Salado Creek. The thoughtful selection of flowers and foliage is evident at the turn of every corner and all the walking paths, including the gardens that surround the swimming pool which spans the back half of the property. The attention to detail is what makes these gardens unique. There is a 175-year-old oak tree that wraps around the Stagecoach Inn’s restaurant.
Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York
One of the outstanding features of the Mohonk gardens is the combination of sweeping lawns and open vistas with stately trees as focal points, surrounded by spectacular rocky cliffs. Various paths invite guests beyond the formal area and into the rose, herb, and cutting gardens. Cedar-made pergolas, arbors, benches, and summerhouses handcrafted by Mohonk’s rustic carpenters, enhance the natural aspects of the Mohonk landscape.
La Posada de Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa (1882) Santa Fe, New Mexico
The gardens at La Posada de Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa trace their history back to one of the original owner’s, Julia Staab, and the garden she planted in the late 1800s. There are many walkways for guests to explore a variety of fruit trees, walnut trees, hickory trees, elm trees, aspen trees, and cherry blossom trees and some of these historical trees are over 130 years old. Guests can view the beauty of natural grasses with a variety of roses, all shades of lilacs, butterfly bushes, and daffodils. The best time to see the most vibrant blooms is from May to September.
Basin Harbor (1886) Vergennes, Vermont
Basin Harbor features over 15,000 square feet of gardens on site with more than 12,000 annuals planted each year making a lovely backdrop for weddings, family portraits or morning tea. Basin Harbor’s original gardens date back to 1911, when second generation host, Allen Penfield Beach completed his senior thesis at the University of Vermont on “How to Landscape a Resort” and took the thesis literally, laying out the blueprint for the gardens at Basin Harbor. Guests can enjoy the beautiful gardens May through October from many cottages on property, an Adirondack chair or with fourth generation host Pennie Beach on one of her beehive tours.
Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan
Grand Hotel’s grounds consist of over 25 planted gardens that account for over one and a half acres of maintained garden beds. Most of the gardens and surrounding areas have matured over the 130 years Grand Hotel has been established as America’s Summer Place. There are a variety of gardens to visit while at Grand Hotel including the Tea Garden, home to the beautiful historic English stone fountain, life-sized horse and carriage topiary, recently renovated stone wall, lined with cedars and gardens. The Wedding Garden is adjacent to the Tea Garden, where Rose Walk lines the west path to the pool and wooded areas. The Triangle Gardens are viewed walking up the hotel and are the most photographed gardens, featuring colorful patterns of uniquely arranged blooms. In late spring, Grand Hotel’s 10,000 tulips come into full bloom followed by lilacs in summer, and fall foliage ushering in cooler temperatures.
Jekyll Island Club Resort (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia
Crane Cottage’s Sunken Garden is one of the most notable and lush locations on the resort with Wisteria trellises making the garden stand out even in the dead of winter. Crane Cottage was designed in 1916 and constructed in 1917. Historically, the Sunken Garden was anchored with boxed orange tree that the resort then later replicated in the late 2000s. The orange trees have long been a part of the charm of Crane Cottage. Today the anchored orange trees are planted both the garden and the front of the house.
Airlie (1899) Warrenton, Virginia
Adjacent to Airlie House, the formal gardens at this hotel are 120 years old and have remained untouched by time since their initial plantings. Located in a secluded corner of Airlie’s front lawn, guests can find the Peterson Butterfly Garden. With the organic air of a cottage garden, the quiet babbling of a small stream, natural stone fences, and tranquil surroundings, the butterfly garden has become a favorite backdrop for wedding ceremonies and photo shoots. The garden features 46 varieties of butterfly-attracting plants native to the region. There is also an organic garden onsite that provides produce, flowers, and herbs as a commitment to the environment and to serve in the hotel’s signature restaurant, Harry’s.
West Baden Springs Hotel (1902) West Baden, Indiana
The formal gardens at West Baden Springs Hotel are in a European style, which presents nature in a controlled and ordered view. These gardens dates to the hotel’s massive redesign in 1917 by Lillian Sinclair, the daughter of former hotel owner Lee Sinclair. With small gateway arches at the garden entrance, mineral spring pavilions dotting the grounds and a symmetrical layout to the gardens, guests were treated to unique and serene views when strolling the gardens.
Castle Hill Resort & Spa (1905) Cavendish, Vermont
This elegant resort in Vermont is surrounded by beautiful gardens and the majestic pine forests of the Green Mountains. Upon arrival, guests are first greeted by the beautiful gardens which have been maintained, as designed, in the original landscape blueprint. The resort’s landscaping was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., son of legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
Castle Hotel & Spa (1910) Tarrytown, New York
Castle Hotel & Spa is perched majestically atop one of the highest points in the region overlooking the historic Hudson River in the lower Hudson Valley in New York. This historic castle sits on 10 tranquil wooded acres that provide a respite of refinement and luxury. The manicured grounds provide a magnificent backdrop for the numerous celebrations, events, and weddings held at this historic hotel. The garden room, available for private events or meetings offers views of the manicured gardens and Hudson River.
The Saint Paul Hotel (1910) St. Paul, Minnesota
The English Garden at The Saint Paul Hotel is a 25-year-old sustainable oasis of year-round natural beauty making it a landmark in the downtown St. Paul area. Diners in the St. Paul Grill enjoy panoramic views of the English-inspired garden, complete with vines that drape the walls of the building. Not only is the garden beautiful, but sustainable also, winning numerous awards for both. The Saint Paul Hotel won the 2014 Environmental Initiative Award for Sustainable Business, thanks to the composing that the hotel and restaurant does on site.
The American Club (1918) Kohler, Wisconsin
The Gardens of Kohler were planted in 1913 after Walter J. Kohler, Sr., traveled to Europe to study garden cities. He worked with the Olmsted Brothers to plan the green spaces that beautify the Village of Kohler and Kohler Co. campus – including a comprehensive 50-year landscape master plan. A second 50-year plan of growth, under guidelines established by The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, was completed in 1977. In 1981, following the restoration and conversion of what was once a home for immigrant workers of Kohler into The American Club, a luxury hotel, the gardens were developed further. There are over 7,500 annuals planted on the grounds of the hotel each year. All the annuals are grown on the Kohler Campus by the gardening staff at the Kohler Landscape Greenhouses. There are a variety of gardens on site, including The Wisconsin Room Courtyard. This garden’s focal point, a grand cedar arbor, supports a variety of decorative vines and casts its majestic shadow upon the bluestone terrace and its surrounding perennials. Another notable feature of the grounds at The American Club is the Fountain Courtyard. This courtyard offers outdoor seating to guests of The Greenhouse, a charming antique solarium from Chorley, Lancashire, in the north of England.
The Broadmoor (1918) Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Broadmoor total 5,000 acres and the landscape encourages guests to experience several different types of scenery while staying with the original European theme throughout the grounds. As guests enter the property, the first thing that is noticeable are the formal gardens with the hedged boxwoods and junipers. A nearby water feature with water lilies blooming on top of the water completes the tranquil setting which can be found throughout the resort.
OHEKA CASTLE (1919) Huntington, New York
This historic castle features French inspired formal gardens with fountains, 10 reflecting pools, classic statuary, and tree-lined paths of London Planes, designed by the world-renowned Olmsted Brothers. Original gardens back in the 1920s also included English style walking gardens designed by prominent landscape designer, Beatrix Ferrand. Hollywood has used the backdrop of OHEKA’s gardens in the classic movie, Citizen Kane, as well as being featured in a popular Taylor Swift music video and on the television series, Royal Pains.
Ojai Valley Inn (1923) Ojai, California
Margaret Sears, celebrated landscape architect created the original gardens for Ojai Valley Inn, dating back to the 1930s. Sears also was responsible for the landscaping in the classic movie, Gone with the Wind. In 2008, Leland Walmsley, grandson of Sears followed in her footsteps and created an expansion to the Inn’s original gardens. Six gardens were added, creating a tropical oasis. Included in the expansion was an organic vegetable garden for the Chef whose restaurant overlooks the restored native creek-side habitat and two outdoor wedding sites. One of the most noted herbs at the Inn is the lavender that is found throughout the resort. Often used in wedding bouquets, lavender can be found planted in numerous places on the grounds and perfuming the air in the award-winning spa.
The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park (1927) Hawley, Pennsylvania
Muriel’s Garden at Settlers Inn took root 39 years ago with plantings and descendent plants from its namesake’s garden in Philadelphia. Muriel was co-founder of the hotel and an avid gardener who earned numerous awards at flower shows in Philadelphia and Maine. Muriel’s is an intimate cottage garden for the senses. In 2019, the Inn added a Chef’s Demonstration Garden. The plantings help illustrate the farm-to-table commitment that’s been a priority at The Settlers Inn since its inception. These vegetable beds grow a variety of organic produce. Muriel’s garden was designed to have interest and feature colorful blooms throughout the season, from late spring through early fall.
Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort (1929) Tucson, Arizona
When entering the 34-acre Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort guests will see beautiful flora and fauna all around. The walkway up to the historic archway features stunning, desert flowers frequented by hummingbirds, butterflies and lizards. The grounds feature botanical gardens with varieties of Agave, Yucca, cactus and multitudes of annuals that bloom seasonally. The resort also includes a chef’s garden and a bartender’s garden, filled with herbs, spices and citrus fruits to be used at both award-winning restaurants. The property is also home to many saguaro cacti, a unique cactus that only grows in the Sonoran Desert, many of which tower over guests and are over a hundred years old.
The Wigwam (1929) Litchfield Park, Arizona
The Wigwam is widely known for beautiful, vibrant, flourishing plants and gardens and is home to over 8,000 rose bushes, offering endless gorgeous views. With the expansive, verdant green grounds, The Wigwam naturally lends itself perfectly for a tranquil and calming experience. Many events and weddings take place at The Wigwam’s Rose Garden, featuring tall palm trees and perfectly landscaped rose gardens. The Historic Wigwam Arch is situated within a bed of seasonal flowers & Arizona native cacti.
The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania
The formal gardens at The Hotel Hershey® date back to 1915 before the hotel was built. Then the gardens were known as Highland Park. The beds that hold The Hotel Hershey’s Formal Gardens were laid out following construction of the Highland Park Reservoirs. The grounds were extensively landscaped with flower beds and hundreds of rose bushes cascading down the slopes of Highland Park. In addition to the formal gardens, just across the street from the hotel are the Hershey Gardens located on one of Milton S. Hershey’s legacy properties. This 23-acre botanical display features 11 themed gardens, including a Historic Rose Garden that has 3,500 rose bushes representing 175 cultivars. The Hershey Gardens feature a Seasonal Display Garden, which serves as the venue for gorgeous displays of 20,000 tulips in the spring, colorful annuals in mid-summer and vibrant mums in fall. All overnight guests of the hotel receive complimentary admission to Hershey Gardens.
Royal Palms Resort and Spa (1948) Phoenix, Arizona
The grounds at the Royal Palms Resort feature whimsical stone walkways, manicured courtyards, hidden gardens and fountains. There are many lush gardens that can be found at this historic resort, including the Alegria Garden. This private outdoor garden is enclosed by four stone walls and surrounded by vibrant flowers and fragrant citrus trees, making it a great location for celebrating significant milestones. The Jardin D’Amore (Garden of Love) is a sumptuous garden nestled in a quiet, intimate area of the resort with gorgeous views of Camelback Mountain.
Here is a listing of the Historic Hotels Worldwide Top 12 Most Magnificent Gardens:
Dromoland Castle Hotel (1014) County Clare, Ireland
Part of Dromoland Castle’s magic is its magnificent estate. With over 450-acres, there are grand gardens to behold. The garden is based on a design by Andre Le Notre, who planned the Gardens at Versailles. In this garden, guests will find unexpected features at every turn, from the picture-perfect lily pond and sundial, to the beautiful walled garden and dramatic yew tree gallery that dates to 1740.
NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi (1212) Amalfi, Italy
Spring and summer are the best seasons to enjoy a fantastic natural spectacle at the hotel. The most memorable and tranquil part of its garden is the Relaxation Terrace: overlooking the Amalfi Gulf, this terrace is located just above the Monk’s Walk. Here, guests can enjoy an amazing view on Amalfi and the blue sea, read a book in complete relaxation and sleep on the white hammocks placed under the lemon trees. The ancient vegetable garden of the Convent has been restored to provide the “Dei Cappuccini” Restaurant with natural fresh products. Guests can have a unique food experience in the hotel, created by the famous chef Natale Giunta, based on the exaltation of Mediterranean flavors with real gourmet creations that reinterpret the classics of Italian cuisine with the use of fresh ingredients, taken directly from the vegetable garden of the Convent. It is almost impossible to list all the varieties of flowers and plants present at the hotel: the hotel is completely immersed in terraces and gardens typical of the Amalfi Coast, rich in lush vegetation and varied species of beautiful flowers.
Barberstown Castle (1288) Kildare, Ireland
This 13th century castle has beautiful landscaped gardens surrounding it. With over 20 acres of gardens located on the castle grounds, there is no shortage of landscape to view. Guests taking respite in the Castle’s Elizabethan Conservatory have the perfect view overlooking the manicured gardens.
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam (1578) Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Garden Terrace is found in the beautiful courtyard garden of Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, dating back to the 15th century. One of Amsterdam’s best kept secrets; it is an oasis of peace and tranquility situated in the heart of the city. The courtyard is a perfect place for a relaxing drink, cup of coffee, business lunch or intimate dinner. The terrace is surrounded by historical walls and has a view on the balcony of the Marriage Chamber. The courtyard garden has retained many of its authentic Amsterdam School style features, from the time that The Grand served as the City Hall of Amsterdam.
The K Club (1832) Kildare, Ireland
The formal gardens at The K Club were created by the Barton’s in the 19th Century. The gardens have many unusual species of trees, including Lawson Cypress and a Tulip tree, as well as Elm, Pedunculate Oak (also known as The English Oak or Common Oak) and White Willow. Several of the specimen trees on the resort are either county or Irish champions for either their height or girth. Shrubs and flowers grow in abundance along the walkway, including the Straffan Snowdrop, a white spring flowering bulb unique to the estate and discovered in the 1880s by the then head gardener, Frederick Burford. A new breed of narcissus, Cill Dara, was also introduced in November, 1992. The Garden Walks continue across Inis Mór Island, on to the arboretum and the hidden pond. Among the arboreal pleasures is a Weeping Beech tree, planted along the 16th green of the Ryder Cup Course to mark the accession to the throne in 1901 of King Edward VII of England. Other distinguished tree species in the area of the arboretum include a Giant Redwood, the largest growing tree in the world.
Great Southern Killarney (1854) Killarney, Ireland
Surrounded by six acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, fountains and pathways, the gardens at Great Southern Killarney offer guests a tranquil setting for a family picnic, an evening stroll or exquisite outdoor wedding celebration. The age range in these gardens runs from early 1800s to present day. There are many trees in this garden which date back to before the hotel was built in 1854. It is very unusual to have such a large gardens in an urban area. Great Southern is the only hotel in the area with such extensive gardens.
Fairmont Banff Springs (1888) Alberta, Canada
One of Canada’s most prestigious holiday destinations, the Fairmont Banff Springs possesses an incredibly gorgeous terrace garden. The verdant flora of this magnificent space radiates through the majesty of the surrounding Banff National Park. Guests will adore the fresh mountain air that wafts throughout the terrace grounds, as they stroll among its wealth of colorful flowers. Countless weddings are frequently held within the gardens, for its picturesque setting is nothing short of spectacular. Its inherent natural beauty has even inspired the Canadian Directory of Federal Heritage Designations to recognize it as a “character-defining element” of the Fairmont Banff Springs.
Dalen Hotel (1894) Dalen, Norway
The gardens at Dalen Hotel are 126 years old and the most historic planting, is the Acer psedoplantanus, planted in front of the hotel in 1894. The tree was planted on the day of opening of the hotel and remains today as an iconic grand tree. The garden at this hotel is in a climate that makes gardening exceptionally complex. While warmer climates may allow for more extensive gardening projects, climate in the Nordics limit gardening efforts tremendously due to cold and long winters. Keeping this in mind, the garden at Dalen hotel is unique in this context, featuring the perfect balance between cultivated exotic plants and wild local fauna.
Hacienda Santa Rosa (1897) Yucatán, Mexico
Originally, this Hacienda was located on one of the best fruit plantations in the region. Today, there is a botanical garden located in the old fruit plantation grounds with over 200 species of plants, several of which are native to the Yucatán Peninsula. These ornately furnished gardens are beloved by all guests and the onsite vegetable garden includes ingredients used in the hotel’s restaurant.
Hotel Villa Cipriani (1899) Asolo, Italy
The gardens, as well as the villa, date back Palladian times, XVI century. The gardens have been carefully designed in every detail, and they are a place where to rediscover inner harmony, a story of colors and fragrances that accompany guests in every season. The garden, undoubtedly Villa Cipriani’s crowning glory, has been included in the American Horticultural Society’s Garden of Excellence circuit since the middle of the nineties. The colors and fragrances of the garden change according to seasons: tulips in spring, jasmine and roses in May, olea fragrance in September and the orange shades of the persimmon trees in the winter. Century old cypresses and everlasting greenery have through centuries provided guests of the villa a place where to unwind.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo (1910) Lake Como, Italy
Grand Hotel Tremezzo is immersed in a beautiful century-old park, a blaze of flowers and plants that give a sensation of harmony and tranquillity in all. The large park has footpaths and steps that wind gently up the hill to the Belvedere, where it adjoins the botanic garden of Villa Carlotta, the hotel’s aristocratic neighbour. In the past part of the garden belonged to Villa Carlotta garden. Typically grown on the hills surrounding the Lake, olive trees have been part of the Palace landscape for centuries. With over 300 trees in our grove, there’s amble space to wander under the shade of the silvery leaves and soak up the truly Italian atmosphere.
Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows (1923) Yucatán, Mexico
The Mayaland Gardens are in the heart of the archeological park in Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico. They have been nurtured by six generations of Barbachano Family members since 1923, occupying an area of over 10 acres, of the 550 acres of tropical forest the hotel possesses. The original plantings came from Hacienda Uxmal in the 1920’s, consisting of native palm trees and flowering trees of the region. Most predominantly were the plantings of Royal Poinciana trees, known in Yucatán as the “Flamboyan,” although of African origin, since the XVIII century have been the flowering trees most associated to local landscapes depicting Mayan and colonial villages of Yucatán. There are over 100 varieties of flowering trees, flowers and ornamental plants found in these gardens. The southeastern area of the tropical forest is the most tranquil.
“A visit to Discover, explore, and stroll through each of The 2020 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Most Magnificent Gardens and The 2020 Top 10 Historic Hotels Worldwide Most Magnificent Gardens should be on everyone’s bucket list,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Whether a guest wants to walk alone, take a romantic stroll with a loved one, enjoy a perfect setting for long un-interrupted conversations, or just take a restful quiet stroll, these iconic historic gardens are truly magnificent and create wonderful long-lasting memories.”
Copyright 2020 Historic Hotels of America (HHA). All rights reserved. From https://www.historichotels.org.