Where Luxury Meets Legacy: The World's Most Prestigious Historic Hotels

While we all appreciate a modern marvel, there is something to be said for relaxing in the luxurious surroundings of a hotel steeped in history. With enduring charm, endless elegance, and oodles of stylish sophistication, these illustrious institutions have been capturing the attention—and hearts—of the who’s who for generations.

From the bright lights of Beverley Hills to the vibrant boulevards of Buenos Aires, we’ll explore the world’s most iconic grande dames, promising to infuse your summer vacation with unparalleled splendour.

San Dominico Palace - Taormina, Sicily

With a history that dates back to the 14th century, this former convent perched high above the glistening Ionian Sea is as mesmerising and timeless as Taormina itself. Since being transformed into a hotel in 1896, it has been a magnet for A-list guests, welcoming the likes of Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, and Oscar Wilde. More recently, it was the stunning location for HBO’s second season of The White Lotus. Today, the hotel is operated by the famously lavish Four Seasons group, which gave it a dazzling facelift in 2021.

It offers impeccable service, Michelin-starred dining, an impressive clifftop infinity pool, and breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the spectacular Sicilian coast. Guests can arrive by private jet at Catania-Fontanarossa Airport.

The Beverly Hills Hotel - Los Angeles, US

Affectionately known as the “Pink Palace,” this legendary hotel in Los Angeles has been a Hollywood icon since 1912. With its pink façade, lush tropical gardens, red carpet entrance, plush private bungalows, and renowned Polo Lounge, it is one of the city’s most eye-catching and sought-after destinations.

Once inside, it is famously discreet, providing a stylish sanctuary away from the lights, cameras, and action of Tinsel Town. Eternally popular with high-society and celebrity guests, it boasts a long list of movie features and a reputation for being one of the best VIP party venues in the city. If its walls could talk, there would certainly be some tales to tell! Van Nuys Airport is only a short chauffeur ride away. 

Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel - San Sebastián, Spain

Nestled in the picturesque Basque city of San Sebastián and easily reached from San Sebastian Airport, Hotel Maria Cristina has been a beacon of refined elegance since its opening in 1912.

This grand Belle Époque beauty has played host to luminaries, royalty, and Hollywood stars from Elizabeth Taylor to Julia Roberts. Designed by the architect behind the Ritz Paris and fully refurbished for its centenary, it perfectly combines old-world opulence with contemporary glamour.

When they aren’t enjoying a lesson at the on-site cookery school or relaxing on golden sands, guests can unwind in palatial suites, enjoy the hotel’s choice of trendy restaurants and bars, and admire the far-reaching views of this chic city. 

Mandarin Oriental - Bangkok, Thailand

Not only one of the oldest hotels in Thailand but one of the most revered hotels in the world, the mighty Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (then called the Oriental Hotel) first welcomed guests in 1876.

Over the years, it has charmed countless dignitaries, celebrities, and discerning travellers with its unparalleled luxury, world-class service, and historical allure. Located on the Chao Phraya riverbank, just a short journey from Don Mueang International Airport, it is a five-star extravagance at its brilliant best.

You’ll find a sumptuous spa and twelve on-site restaurants and bars, including Alain Roux’s Michelin-starred Le Normandie and the famed cocktail and jazz haunt Bamboo Bar, amongst its offerings. 

Alvear Palace Hotel - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Situated in the upscale La Recoleta area of buzzy Buenos Aires, the Alvear Palace Hotel opened its doors in 1932 and quickly became one of the city’s most coveted spots.

Taking influence from his trips to Paris, founder Rafael de Miero adorned the hotel with marble details, crystal chandeliers, gold leaf wall décor, and exquisite French furniture. The result is just the right level of decadence, and the Alvear Palace is now cemented as one of South America’s finest establishments. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that it has hosted everyone from presidents to rock stars over the past ninety years.

Recent upgrades include exclusive 10th and 11th-floor suites, a state-of-the-art rooftop pool, and a high-end rooftop bar. Access this Argentinian powerhouse from Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport.

The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel - New York, US

New York’s Upper East Side is synonymous with wealth and sophistication, so there is no better location for arguably the city’s most prestigious historic hotel. This 35-story art-deco masterpiece first opened in 1930 and, after facing some tough years during the Great Depression, bounced back to quickly become the chosen stomping ground of Manhattan’s elite.

With an endless list of high-profile guests, from presidents to royals and cultural legends, the hotel has earned the moniker “The Palace of Secrets” thanks to the discretion and privacy it affords its guests. Influential designers have painstakingly renovated it over the years, and its undeniable quality puts it in a league of its own. While New York offers multiple airports, Teterboro is a convenient choice. 

Fly Privately with Air Partner

No matter where your next adventure takes you, arrive in style with Air Partner.

Fly on your schedule, enjoy service of the highest standard, and access local or private airports closer to your dream destination. Ready to explore the world’s most exclusive historic hotels? Our expert Private Jets team is here to help. 


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