As humans, we have been traveling for many decades – even centuries. Hotels are scattered worldwide, welcoming visitors regardless of their business. Though many have folded or turned into different establishments, some old hotels are still standing. This article takes you on a journey through time as we reveal the world’s oldest hotel that is still up and running.
You’ll find many luxurious hotels that promise an unforgettable experience. But staying at one of the oldest hotels in the world means you’re experiencing part of history. It’s like immersing yourself in a different world you’ve never seen before. Compared to modern hotels, you can’t really describe the experience with words. Sure, modern hotels are generally more advanced and convenient. But the oldest hotel the world offers mostly comes with a strong character you’ll never see in the modern ones.
It’s crazy to think that these hotels are still operating until this day. Even after hundreds of years, they still stand strong. Authentic hospitality transfers through generations. So where is the oldest hotel in the world located? We have not only one but 11 answers here. The good news is that all of these hotels are still available to book!
Table of contents
- Gastagwirt in Eugendorf, Austria
- Al Cappello Rosso in Bologna, Italia
- Hotel Elch in Nurnberg, Germany
- Hotel Interlaken in Interlaken, Switzerland
- Hotel Sanct Peter in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany
- Angel and Royal Hotel in Grantham, England
- Old Bell Hotel in Malmesbury, England
- Zum Roten Bären in Freiburg, Germany
- The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, England
- Hoshi Ryokan in Komatsu, Japan
- Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, Japan
Gastagwirt in Eugendorf, Austria
Gastagwirt is the world’s oldest hotel located in Austria. While other classic hotels mainly focus on the grandest experience, this hotel is different. Gastagwirt emphasizes more in simplicity and minimalism. The history dates back to 1390. This hotel was initially built for travelers who wander around the area and need a homey place to rest. Now it’s still doing the job even more than 600 years later.
This beautiful minimalist hotel is located on an important trading route in Austria. Since the hotel was catered toward wanderers, the design is super cozy and simple. The homey atmosphere truly embodies the Hygge lifestyle. Travelers keep returning to Gastagwirt because it provides an ideal mix of value and comfort.
Besides the cozy atmosphere, this beautiful little hotel also offers hearty food at the on-site restaurant. This is an all-in-one place to enjoy tranquility, warm hospitality, and fantastic traditional Austrian food. They serve delicious traditional food like schnitzel wiener and orientalische schnitzel. But if you love Pizza, the iconic Pizza Per Tutti sits only a few steps away from the hotel’s front door.
Al Cappello Rosso in Bologna, Italia
Al Cappello Rosso is a superb hotel in a strategic location in Bologna, Italy. The history of this charming hotel dates back to 1375. This hotel sits next to the Ufficio Delle Bollette, a government office. Even though this hotel is more than 600 years old, they continuously renovate the hotel to keep up with the new era. However, they never change the original structure because that’s the most iconic part of the hotel.
As the world’s oldest hotel in Italy, Al Cappello Rosso truly represents the true essence of Bologna. This hotel combines the classic Italian design with a modern touch for a more friendly and welcoming atmosphere. You’ll find historic and iconic photos around the building as you walk in. This hotel worked with local artists and designers to create a strong theme. Then, there’s the cozy lounge. It’s an inviting place with a warm atmosphere and comfortable sofas. When it’s time to relax, just head to the lobby.
Now, what about the rooms? This beautiful hotel boasts 33 thematic rooms that give an authentic Italian experience. It’s not just generic rooms like other hotels in Bologna. In fact, they update the room’s design every year to keep it fresh. Due to the historic nature of the building, all rooms are spacious. You have plenty of space to roam around.
Hotel Elch in Nurnberg, Germany
Hotel Elch is a fantastic old hotel. We have to be honest. There’s no information about how old the building actually is. But the hotel has been operating since 1342. 600 years have passed, and it remains authentic. It’s close to Germany’s main attractions. You have the classic feeling here, yet you’re only steps from fun activities.
Travelers love Hotel Elch because it feels like you go back in time. The timeless experience makes this the oldest hotel the world has in Germany that history buffs love. This small but cozy hotel is family-owned and operated. You can expect the warmest welcome when you stay at Hotel Elch. You also can enjoy the on-site Engelhardts Bio-Restaurant. This exceptional restaurant serves traditional German food with the freshest local ingredients.
Hotel Elch’s elegant rooms feature a historic urban style. Since the building dates back to the 14th century, everything about this hotel is charming. This hotel brings a solid historic character with a longstanding tradition of hospitality. Besides, the friendliness of the Horka family is unmatched. Yet, Hotel Elch is still equipped with the latest technology to make your life easier. All in all, it makes a great alternative to other hotels in Nuremberg.
Hotel Interlaken in Interlaken, Switzerland
Hotel Interlaken is the definition of timeless elegance. However, it has a long history through many different lives. It’s the world’s oldest hotel in Switzerland. This hotel was first opened as a hotel in 1323. But before it was a hotel, the building was used as a tavern, a cloister, and even a hospital. After a few years, the ownership was transferred to a family. Then, they converted the building into the cozy hotel that it is today. Yet, the most significant renovation was in 1491. This was when Hotel Interlaken received its own coat of arms.
Until this day, they still preserve the original building’s structure. You can still see the original walls and décor throughout the building. In fact, the remnants of the original design can still be seen in the restaurant and the lobby. Travelers aren’t only coming here for its historic building. But this hotel sits next to an enchanting Japanese garden.
Hotel Interlaken boasts chalet-chic rooms that include access to a breakfast buffet at the on-site restaurant Taverne. Every second you spend at this hotel is a special moment you will cherish. There are 55 elegant rooms with state-of-the-art amenities designed to enhance your stay.
Hotel Sanct Peter in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany
Suppose you’re asking where is the oldest hotel in the world located that’s best for a romantic getaway. In that case, the answer is Ahrweiler, Germany. Hotel Sanct Peter is perfect for it because of its intimate vibe. But there’s more to it.
While the hotel has been operating since 1246, the building is actually way older than that. In fact, it was built in the year 600. Before it was a hotel, it was part of a cathedral court.
Besides romantic settings, Hotel Sanct Peter offers a spectacular service in a strategic location of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. You will immerse yourself in German’s rich culture when you stay here. Besides, the hotel can still maintain its cozy atmosphere despite a significant renovation that turned it into the modern hotel that it is today.
And if you love wine, you’re going to love it here. Hotel Sanct Peter has excellent proximity to vineyards within the red wine section. You get to spend time with your partner at this hotel while relaxing and learning all about Germany’s history and sipping a glass of wine.
Angel and Royal Hotel in Grantham, England
Before it was called the Angel and Royal Hotel, this hotel was previously named the Angel Inn. But, the hotel has transformed into more than just an inn. It used to be a basic hostel. Now it has become one of the most famous historic hotels in the world since it was first opened in 1203.
At that moment, it was run by the Brotherhood of the Knights Templar. That’s why history is solid here. However, it doesn’t get the “Royal” title for nothing. This fantastic hotel has hosted the elites such as Richard III, Edward III, and George IV. Edward the Prince of Wales stayed over at the Angel and Royal Hotel in 1866. This is the oldest hotel the world used to host the kings and queens.
Angel and Royal Hotel is a beautiful English hotel that’s also the oldest in the country. But until this day, the hotel has kept the original features. You will see the original carved wood fittings, stone ceilings, and fireplaces throughout the building. If you want to know why the kings decided to stay here, you should try it yourself and discover the beauty inside.
Old Bell Hotel in Malmesbury, England
As the name suggests, Old Bell Hotel is a charming hotel with a classical vibe. It was first opened in 1220, and it’s the world’s oldest hotel you can find in Malmesbury, UK. Old Bell Hotel was a famous hotel then, but it still is one of the most famous historic hotels in England to this day. In the 13th century, this hotel was initially built for travelers visiting Malmesbury Abbey. At that moment, people come to Malmesbury Abbey to see the second-largest library in Europe. This area was also an important place for learning and education in the country.
While the hotel has been modernized, you can still find traces of its past. The hooded stone fireplace and wood beams are some of the original structures they still keep until this day. Also, you’ll find eight stone coffins in the basement. This beautiful and cozy hotel has been looking after travelers since 1220. Yet, the hospitality remains authentic today. The high interior design and warm ambiance make this the most comfortable and the oldest hotel the world has in England.
Old Bell Hotel boasts 33 welcoming rooms with a warm atmosphere. The minimalist spaces are designed thoughtfully to enhance your stay and make you feel at home. Yet, the pastel colors make it feel like you live in a fairytale. The rooms are individually furnished with a unique character.
Zum Roten Bären in Freiburg, Germany
Can you believe that Zum Roten Bären is actually older than the town it’s located in? Yep, it’s the world’s oldest hotel located in Freiburg, older than Freiburg itself. This historic hotel has been there through many world events. Zum Roten Bären has witnessed the Black Plague, witch hunts, revolutions, and world wars. Previously, this hotel belonged to the French. However, after many landlords and renovations, this hotel was finally documented and officially opened in 1387.
The old Bavarian style makes Zum Roten Bären so unique. It’s the oldest hotel in Freiburg, Germany. Even though it was documented in 1387, the building itself dates back to 1120. Until this day, it still has the original architecture and artwork it always preserves. This is the perfect spot if you want to witness the real Bavarian experience.
Today, Zum Roten Bären is still on par with most luxurious hotels in the area. Even though they preserved the original structure, the interior is continuously updated. Also, they keep bringing in new technology to improve the guests’ experience. This is a place with an unrivaled history and tradition. Also, the proximity to main attractions makes it a great place to stay in Germany.
The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, England
The Maids Head Hotel has a bold claim; this is the world’s oldest hotel in the United Kingdom. This charming hotel was established in the mid-1090s by Herbert de Losinga. There’s no complete information about the year the building was actually built. However, this hotel has been the center of hospitality since the 11th century. This building underwent a lot of renovations, yet the owner always maintained the original structure of the building. The Maids Head Hotel is a landmark on its own.
The Maids Head Hotel boasts 84 elegant rooms with unique artwork. No room is the same. This is where you get to immerse yourself in the historic boutique experience in Norwich, England. As a historic hotel in England, it offers an unmatched experience. The Tudor exterior is what makes this hotel look so unique.
This was a very famous hotel throughout the 1700s. But today, it remains one of the most popular hotels in Norwich. This beautiful hotel features elegant rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling wall art. Then, you have a fantastic on-site restaurant. The double AA Rosette serves top local produce.
Hoshi Ryokan in Komatsu, Japan
Japanese hotels give a different experience compared to American or European hotels. The same goes for this one. Hoshi Ryokan is a legendary hotel you should visit at least once in your life. This is the oldest hotel the world has in Komatsu, Japan.
The story of Hoshi Ryokan is very unique. Instead of a businessman, this hotel was built by a Buddhist monk. But since the monk was too busy to pursue a spiritual journey, he had no time to run the hotel. Thankfully, the monk had a disciple that helped him build and run the hotel operation. Until this day, this hotel is still family-owned and operated.
Hoshi Ryokan has been operating for almost 1300 years. This beautiful hotel was built in 718 and continues to become the icon that it is today. What makes Hoshi Ryokan so special is its natural hot springs. After a long day of exploration, taking a dip in a hot spring will be an incredible experience. This is where your weariness is washed away.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, Japan
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is truly the world’s oldest hotel you could ever find. If there’s a competition for the most iconic historic hotel in the world, this would be the winner. Can you believe that the Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan has been welcoming guests since 705? Obviously, the guests weren’t the typical travelers they are today in that era. This charming hotel was initially built to accommodate the samurais. Now, it has been welcoming guests for more than 1300 years. That’s just insane!
If you’ve been wondering where is the oldest hotel in the world located, then this is the answer. What makes this hotel so special is its onsen. The hotel was built on the site of a natural hot spring. It’s the perfect mountain retreat to enjoy the tranquility and calm your mind. Also, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan received a certification of the World’s Oldest Inn by the Guinness World Records in 2011.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan is a stunning four-story hotel that has 35 inspiring rooms. And the best thing is, the rooms are equipped with spring-supplied baths. Moreover, the hotel features an on-site restaurant that serves regional delicacies made with fresh local ingredients.