Hotel is a relatively new word used for the establishment which provides lodging and usually also meals for people. Actually, it is from the French word “Hôtel” which means “hospital”. And it is the right definition as when you go to a new country or just somewhere new all you need is a little hospitability, care, some hot meal and a place to sleep.
Hotels have a long story. First, they were called an inn, tavern, hostelry, caravansary, etc. In books describing ancient times, you can meet the word “inn” a lot. As you can read in those books people usually traveled with horses and after hours on the road, they needed somewhere to stay, to have a little rest, to eat or drink something, and also, which is very important they needed accommodations for their horses and some food also.
There are a lot of old hotels in the world. History lovers prefer to stay in such hotels instead of modern hotels with smart technologies. If you can afford it is a really good idea to stay at least one day in such hotels. You can imagine how people were living some hundreds and sometimes 1000 years ago. You can feel the atmosphere and feel a little bit near to your ancestors.
Also, every hotel has its stories and legends, and also myths. You can take a book to read in a such hotel. Like a book about phantoms, or some old romantic story of a couple that died in one room promising each other eternal love.
Let’s see what are some old hotels in the world and in the end, you will find out which one is the oldest.
Zum Roten Baren, Germany
Zum Roten Baren is known as the oldest inn in Germany and Europe. The walls of this inn are the oldest inventory of the city of Freiburg. So, it was founded even before the city did. It dates back to 1120.
Nowadays this oldest inn still works. You can book a room and stay there. It is really near to the center.
The Beekman Arms, Rhinebeck, N.Y.
Europe is really rich in ancient things, such as hotels, churches, castles and so on. But let’s not forget also the USA. This beautiful hotel is located in New York’s Hudson Valley. It is really beautiful, old, of course not as old as you may think it started regularly working in 1766.
It may give you the impression of pre-revolutionary war times. You can go there and book a room, then you go downstairs to have something to drink and you can imagine George Washington sitting next to you. Talking about the future of the USA.
Hotel Interlaken, Switzerland
Now, let’s go back to Europe. You will never believe that a town can be that beautiful but after you visit Alpine town you will be amazed. Glorious mountains, fresh nature, but this is not just it, you have to see the oldest hotel in Switzerland, the hotel Interlaken. This hotel is located in the heart of mountains and nature.
It started working in 1491 when renovated by the local government, but even before that in 1323, there was a working guest house. It is really interesting but at those times the first floor of the inn was used as a courtroom and the guilty were sentenced. Nowadays they are used as conference rooms.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, Japan
Now, let’s see the oldest hotel in the world. Do you imagine? This hotel was run by the same family for more than 1300 years. It was run approximately by 52 generations.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a hot spring hotel, it was founded in 705 AD by Fujiwara Mahito.
In 2011, this hotel was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest hotel in the world. In 1997 the hotel was renovated but even after the renovation, it kept the architectural onsen style.
It is always a good idea to spend your rest in historical places, surrounded by ancient things. Nowadays people prefer club rooms and luxury hotels equipped with the newest technology. When you ask your friends where are they going to rest, they say “In Santorini”, or “In luxury beach resort & spa in RAK”, of course, not bad options, but sometimes you have to change something in your life in order to experience new emotions.