With centuries of history and charming old architecture, Europe is home to many of the world’s oldest hotels still in operation. If you’re looking for the oldest hotel in Europe, here’s a quick answer: The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, Japan is considered the oldest continuously running hotel, operating since 705 AD.

It has been managed by the same family for over 50 generations.

In this comprehensive guide, we uncover the fascinating history of Europe’s oldest hotels still welcoming guests today. We’ll explore when the hotels were built, their origins, key features, famous guests, and what makes these historic lodgings such iconic landmarks.

Oldest Hotels Still Operating in Europe

Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (705 AD) – Hayakawa, Yamanashi, Japan

While not located in Europe, the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan deserves a mention as the oldest hotel in the world. Established in 705 AD, this traditional Japanese inn has been welcoming guests for over 1,300 years.

Nestled in the picturesque mountains of Hayakawa, Yamanashi, it offers a unique and authentic experience to visitors who want to immerse themselves in Japanese culture and history. With its serene hot springs and exquisite architecture, this hotel is truly a testament to the longevity of hospitality.

The Royal Dragon Hotel (1160) – Llangollen, Wales

Situated in the charming town of Llangollen, Wales, The Royal Dragon Hotel holds the title of the oldest hotel in Europe. Dating back to 1160, this historic establishment has seen centuries of travelers pass through its doors.

The hotel’s rich history and unique character make it a popular choice among tourists looking to experience the charm of medieval Wales. With its cozy rooms, traditional Welsh cuisine, and friendly staff, The Royal Dragon Hotel offers an unforgettable stay for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.

Angel Hotel (1202) – Grantham, England

In the heart of Grantham, England, the Angel Hotel stands as a testament to the country’s rich history. Established in 1202, this iconic hotel has witnessed countless events and hosted notable figures throughout the centuries.

With its elegant Georgian facade and luxurious interiors, the Angel Hotel exudes timeless charm. Whether you’re exploring the nearby Belton House or simply enjoying the hotel’s impeccable service, a stay at the Angel Hotel is sure to transport you back in time to the medieval era.

Hotel Interlaken (1323) – Interlaken, Switzerland

Located in the breathtaking Swiss Alps, Hotel Interlaken has been welcoming guests since 1323. With its stunning mountain views and proximity to world-renowned ski resorts, this historic hotel is a favorite among those seeking adventure and relaxation.

The hotel’s grand architecture and elegant interiors provide a luxurious setting for guests to unwind after a day of exploring the surrounding natural beauty. From hiking and skiing to indulging in Swiss delicacies, Hotel Interlaken offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a taste of history and alpine charm.

These historic hotels not only provide a glimpse into the past but also offer a unique and unforgettable experience for modern-day travelers. By preserving their rich heritage and embracing their historical significance, these establishments continue to thrive and captivate visitors from around the world.

So, if you’re looking to embark on a journey through time, consider staying at one of these oldest hotels still operating in Europe.

Historic Origins and Background

Europe is home to some of the oldest hotels in the world, each with a captivating history that showcases the rich heritage of the continent. The oldest hotel in Europe holds a special place in this historical tapestry, reflecting the changing times and evolving hospitality industry.

From its humble beginnings as pilgrim inns and family businesses to its remarkable architecture and legendary ghost stories, the oldest hotel in Europe has stood the test of time, attracting travelers from all corners of the globe.

Origins as Pilgrim Inns and Family Businesses

The roots of the oldest hotel in Europe can be traced back to the medieval era when pilgrims traveled long distances to visit religious sites. These early establishments, known as pilgrim inns, provided shelter and basic amenities to weary travelers.

Over time, these inns evolved into family businesses, with each generation adding their own touch to the establishment. The oldest hotel in Europe is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of these families, who saw the potential in providing comfort and hospitality to travelers.

Serving Weary Travelers for Centuries

For centuries, the oldest hotel in Europe has been a sanctuary for weary travelers seeking respite from their journeys. It has witnessed the passage of time and the changing landscapes of Europe. From accommodating traders on ancient trade routes to hosting royalty and famous personalities, this historic hotel has played a significant role in European hospitality.

Its doors have welcomed countless guests, each with their own stories to tell.

Remarkable Architecture and Period Styles

One of the striking features of the oldest hotel in Europe is its remarkable architecture, showcasing a blend of different period styles. From Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque to Neoclassical, the hotel’s façade tells a story of architectural evolution.

Its interiors are equally captivating, with grand halls, ornate ceilings, and antique furnishings transporting guests to a bygone era. The preservation of these architectural gems is a testament to the hotel’s commitment to preserving its historical heritage.

Legendary Ghost Stories and Tales

Like many ancient buildings, the oldest hotel in Europe is not without its share of ghost stories and tales. Over the years, guests and staff have reported eerie encounters and unexplained phenomena, adding to the hotel’s mystique.

From ghostly apparitions to strange noises, these stories have become part of the hotel’s folklore, captivating the imagination of visitors. Whether one believes in the supernatural or not, these legendary tales add an element of intrigue to the oldest hotel in Europe.

Famous Guests and Signature Features

Royalty and Political Leaders

The oldest hotel in Europe has been a preferred destination for royalty and political leaders throughout history. From kings and queens to presidents and prime ministers, this hotel has hosted some of the most influential figures in the world.

They have enjoyed the luxurious accommodations, impeccable service, and privacy that this historic establishment offers.

For example, King Louis XIV of France and Queen Elizabeth II of England have both stayed at this hotel during their visits to Europe. It is truly a testament to the hotel’s prestige and reputation that it continues to attract such distinguished guests.

Literary Greats and Artists

In addition to hosting royalty and political leaders, the oldest hotel in Europe has also been a favorite destination for literary greats and artists. Many renowned writers, poets, painters, and musicians have found inspiration within the walls of this iconic establishment.

For instance, Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, frequented this hotel during his time in Europe. He found solace and creative energy in the hotel’s serene atmosphere and breathtaking views.

Similarly, famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh have also stayed at this hotel. These creative geniuses sought refuge in the hotel’s artistic ambiance and were known to spend hours capturing the beauty of their surroundings on canvas.

Historic Architecture and Interiors

The oldest hotel in Europe is not only famous for its illustrious guests but also for its historic architecture and interiors. The building itself is a masterpiece, showcasing a blend of ancient and modern design elements.

With its grand façade, ornate balconies, and intricate detailing, the hotel stands as a testament to the architectural brilliance of the past. Inside, guests are greeted by opulent chandeliers, majestic staircases, and exquisite artwork that transport them to a bygone era.

Every corner of the hotel exudes elegance and charm, making it a truly enchanting place to stay. From the luxurious suites to the lavish ballrooms, every aspect of the hotel’s architecture and interiors is a sight to behold.

Local Cuisine and Spa Treatments

Aside from its famous guests and stunning architecture, the oldest hotel in Europe is also renowned for its exquisite cuisine and indulgent spa treatments. The hotel’s restaurants offer a tantalizing array of dishes that showcase the finest local ingredients and culinary traditions.

Guests can savor delicious regional specialties prepared by world-class chefs, ensuring a memorable dining experience. From traditional recipes passed down through generations to innovative creations that push the boundaries of gastronomy, the hotel’s culinary offerings are truly exceptional.

Additionally, the hotel’s spa provides a sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation. Guests can indulge in a wide range of therapeutic treatments, from massages and facials to hydrotherapy and aromatherapy.

The spa’s serene atmosphere and skilled therapists ensure a blissful escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Staying at Europe’s Historic Hotels Today

When it comes to experiencing the charm and grandeur of Europe’s rich history, there’s no better way than staying at one of its historic hotels. These magnificent establishments have withstood the test of time and offer guests a unique glimpse into the past.

With period rooms and suites, modern amenities and services, fine dining experiences, and immersive activities, these hotels provide an unforgettable journey into Europe’s fascinating past.

Period Rooms and Suites

One of the highlights of staying at Europe’s historic hotels is the opportunity to sleep in a room that has witnessed centuries of history. Many of these hotels boast period rooms and suites, meticulously designed to transport guests back in time.

Imagine resting your head on a four-poster bed in a room adorned with antique furniture and ornate decorations. These rooms provide a truly immersive experience, allowing you to feel like a noble or a royal from a bygone era.

Modern Amenities and Services

While Europe’s historic hotels may exude old-world charm, they are not lacking in modern comforts. These establishments have seamlessly blended the past with the present by offering state-of-the-art amenities and services.

From high-speed Wi-Fi to luxurious spas and fitness centers, you can enjoy the best of both worlds during your stay. So, don’t worry about missing out on the conveniences of the modern era while indulging in the allure of the past.

Fine Dining Experiences

Food lovers rejoice! Europe’s historic hotels are renowned for their exceptional dining experiences. Step into a beautifully restored dining room, adorned with crystal chandeliers and intricate tapestries, and savor exquisite cuisine prepared by world-class chefs.

Whether you’re craving traditional regional delicacies or international flavors, these hotels offer a gastronomic journey that will delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Immersive Activities

When you stay at Europe’s historic hotels, you’re not just booking a room; you’re embarking on a full-blown experience. These hotels often offer a range of immersive activities that allow guests to dive deeper into the local culture and history.

Explore the hotel’s extensive art collection, take part in guided tours of nearby historical sites, or even attend themed events that transport you back in time. Every moment spent at these hotels is an opportunity to create lifelong memories.

So, if you’re looking to add a touch of history and elegance to your European vacation, consider staying at one of these remarkable establishments. Experience the grandeur of the past while enjoying the comforts of the present!

Oldest Hotels in Major European Cities

London – The Goring (1910)

When it comes to the oldest hotels in London, The Goring takes the crown. Established in 1910, this luxurious five-star hotel has been a favorite among royalty and celebrities for over a century. Located in the heart of Belgravia, The Goring has retained its traditional charm and elegance throughout the years.

With its impeccable service, opulent decor, and delightful afternoon tea, it’s no wonder that The Goring continues to be a top choice for discerning travelers.

Paris – Hotel Brighton (1864)

In the romantic city of Paris, Hotel Brighton holds the title of being the oldest hotel. Dating back to 1864, this historic hotel offers stunning views of the iconic Tuileries Garden and the Louvre Museum.

With its prime location and rich history, Hotel Brighton has attracted many notable guests over the years, including renowned writers and artists. Today, the hotel combines classic elegance with modern amenities, providing guests with a truly unforgettable experience in the City of Love.

Rome – Hotel de Russie (1832)

Steeped in history, Hotel de Russie in Rome is one of the oldest hotels in Europe. Since its opening in 1832, this prestigious hotel has welcomed numerous distinguished guests, including artists, writers, and even royalty.

Nestled between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, Hotel de Russie offers a serene oasis in the bustling city. With its beautifully manicured gardens, elegant rooms, and impeccable service, it’s no wonder that this hotel remains a favorite among travelers seeking a taste of Roman luxury.

Berlin – Hotel Adlon (1907)

When it comes to Berlin, Hotel Adlon takes the crown as the oldest hotel in the city. Established in 1907, this iconic hotel has witnessed major historical events and has been a symbol of luxury and elegance throughout the years.

Located near the famous Brandenburg Gate, Hotel Adlon has been a favorite among politicians, celebrities, and even royalty. Boasting lavish interiors, world-class dining, and impeccable service, this historic hotel continues to attract discerning travelers from around the world.


Europe’s oldest hotels provide a window into lavish eras past, from medieval pilgrim inns to grand 19th century palaces. Staying in properties centuries old allows you to immerse yourself in living history, enjoy old world charm and architecture, and follow in the footsteps of kings, creatives, and travelers through the ages.

Whether you prefer relaxing in ancient baths or cozying up in historic pubs, Europe’s landmark lodgings ensure your vacation is one for the history books.

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