BLOWING ROCK, N.C. — When guests stay at the Jefferson in Washington, the Peabody Memphis or Michigan’s Grand Hotel, they know they are supporting a hotel of historic significance.
Come Thursday night, they are also staying at a hotel that has won one of the Historic Hotels of America’s 2015 Awards of Excellence, which were announced Thursday evening.
A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Historic Hotels of America will accept only member hotels that have been designated by the U.S. secretary of the interior as a National Historic Landmark or that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The hotels also have to be recognized as having historic significance and be at least 50 years old.
The National Trust founded the group with 32 charter members in 1989, and it now has more than 260 historic hotel members in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The members are mostly (but not all) independently owned properties.
The 2015 Annual Awards were announced October 8 at an awards ceremony at West Baden Springs Hotel (1902) at French Lick Resort in West Baden Springs, Indiana.
Historic hotels, historic preservation supporters, and Historic Hotels of America leadership nominated the properties.
The 2015 award winners
1. Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (under 75 guest rooms)
Green Park Inn (1891) Blowing Rock, North Carolina
2. Best Historic Hotel (75-200 guest rooms)
The Jefferson, Washington (1923)
3. Best Historic Hotel (201-400 guest rooms)
Loews Don CeSar Hotel (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida
4. Best City Center Historic Hotel
Hawthorne Hotel (1925) Salem, Massachusetts
5. Best Historic Hotel (Over 400 guest rooms)
The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee
6. Best Historic Resort
Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan
7. Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year
Hilton Chicago (1927) Chicago
8. Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel
Plume, The Jefferson, Washington (1923)
9. Hotel Historian of the Year
Michaelene Lusk Norton, The Lancaster Hotel (1926) Houston
10. 2015 Historic Hotels of America Historian of the Year Award
Stanley Turkel, author and consultant
11. Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year
The Lusk Family, The Lancaster Hotel (1926) Houston
12. Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel
French Lick Resort (1845) French Lick, Indiana
13. Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion
Xanterra Parks & Resorts
14. Historic Hotels of America Ambassador of the Year (Quarter Century Service)
Bill Ott, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas
15. 2015 Historic Hotelier of the Year
Dean Lane, Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel (1871) Chicago
16. 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award