Six Luxury Hotels in Historic Landmarks

Lauren Hill

Senior Contributor

Delve into local history as you travel to these extraordinary locations across Asia and Europe. It’s here that you’re able to spend the night in historically significant landmarks now providing the setting for some of the world’s most enthralling luxury hotels.

InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu, France

Hôtel-Dieu, which in French translates to hostel of God, was the name given to the original hospitals in cities across France. The Hôtel-Dieu in Lyon operated as a hospital for more than eight centuries before eventually closing in 2010. Since then, this landmark in the Presqu'ile neighbourhood has undergone a complete renovation. The historic complex is now home to a collection of high-end restaurants, boutiques and a yoga studio and spa, but it came to completion earlier this year with the launch of Intercontinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu. This grand hotel spans the building’s 360-metre river-facing façade, with interiors combining the site’s original architecture with modern design. The jewel in the crown is Le Dome Bar, which now hosts guests in the space beneath Hôtel-Dieu’s soaring Soufflot dome.

The Dome at the InterContinental Lyon

Credit: Eric Cuvillier

Alila Fort Bishangarh, India

Taking up residence in an 18th-century fort, this Alila property amid the Aravalli Hills outside Jaipur is a hotel in which the history of the building is tangible. The site was sensitively restored to honour the history of the 230-year-old site with all arches, columns, latticed window patterns, turrets and walls kept true to the original structure. Two of the fort’s royal quarters are now home to the main restaurant Amarsar, a library is now set amid the pillars of marble and Spa Alila is atmospherically set in the carved granite rock of the old dungeons. As well as paying homage to the building’s history, the hotel provides an array of modern amenities. 

Alila Fort Bishangarh Exterior

Credit: Alila Hotels

Palace Elisabeth, Croatia

This historic landmark and five-star heritage hotel sits within the heart of Hvar, with a prime position overlooking the harbour and main square. Venetian and Austrian architectural detail tells the story of its long history, which goes back to the 13th century with a rebuild in 1899. The hotel now has 45 rooms and suites, the San Marco restaurant and lounge bar, a spa, indoor pool and a number of terraces. You can use this hotel as a base for further exploration of Hvar and its surroundings. Step into the 15th-century Franciscan Monastery, take in the views of the town’s Spanish fortress and visit what’s said to be the oldest public theatre in Europe.

Palace Elisabeth Dock

Credit: Suncani Hvar Hotels

Tenuta di Murlo, Italy

The Murlo Estate’s story is thought to have begun more than two millennia ago when the estate was home to the mountaintop fortification, Murlo Cerchiaia. The private estate — which covers 18,000 acres of mountainous landscape, olive groves, vineyards and woodland — has now been in the same family for many generations. In recent years, this family has been gradually renovating the estate’s medieval farmhouses, turning them into luxury villas with breath-taking views, landscaped gardens and infinity pools. Il Caldaro Restaurant serves Umbrian dishes made using seasonal ingredients, and activities on the estate include wine tasting, cooking classes, hiking and lake paddling boarding. Excursions such as truffle hunting and horse riding take in the surrounding countryside.

Tenuta di Murlo's Outdoor Pool

Credit: Tenuta di Murlo


Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, France

The spring 2020 opening of this Airelles hotel means you’ll soon be able to stay within the grounds of Chateau de Versailles with exclusive access to the site as a part of the experience. With architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer behind its design, the 14-bedroom luxury hotel will exhibit an 18th-century style, with features including a wellness centre, indoor swimming pool and signature restaurant by internationally acclaimed chef, Alain Ducasse. By staying here, you’ll be moments from the historic site’s decorative French gardens and just steps from the famous Hall of Mirrors.

Château de Versailles Gardens

Credit: Mason Rose

Six Senses Fort Barwara, India

A 14th-century fort is to become Six Senses Fort Barwara in 2020, and lies around three hours outside of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Positioned directly opposite the temple Chauth ka Barwara Mandir, this fort was originally the property of the Rajasthani royal family. Retaining this regal ambience, the site has been sensitively restored with the introduction of 48 suites, two restaurants serving both classic and modern dishes, a lounge and bar, two swimming pools and a 30,000 sq ft Six Senses Spa with Ayurveda and meditations programs as well as wellness programs created by the wellness-focused hotel brand.

Six Senses Fort Barwara Exterior

Credit: Six Senses Press Release

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