Nik Fes - Dec 13, 2021
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Hotels have been around for as long as we can remember, but where in history is the origin of this core sector of the tourism industry? While it might come as a surprise for many, the three oldest hotels in the world are all located in Japan and have been operating for hundreds of years. While Japan can boast this very interesting fact, the real champion of historic accommodation facilities is Europe with a large variety of old hotels. In this context, Tourism Review presents the top 10 oldest hotels on the Old Continent – each country represented by only one hotel.

Hôtel Cour du Corbeau (France), est. 1528

Located in the heart of Strasbourg and a stone's throw from the cathedral, the Cour du Corbeau is one of the oldest hotels in Europe, being in operation since the beginning of the 16th century. At the same time, it is also one of the most beautiful architectural ensembles of the Renaissance period. The city-owned hotel offers 63 luxurious rooms to its guest, guaranteeing top-notch comfort and an experience to remember.

Hostal dos Reis Católicos (Spain), est. 1499

Owned by the Paradores chain (in the ownership of the Spanish government), the Hostal dos Reis Católicos was built as a royal hospital to accommodate pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela. Today, it continues to welcome visitors from all parts of the world in more than 100 rooms and boasts incredible luxury in the heart of one of Spain’s most important cities.

Hotel Damier (Belgium), est. 1398

Located on the Grote Markt square in Kortrijk, Damier boasts an impressive history. The first mention of the hotel dates back to the 14th century, with the building boasting an astonishing Rococo façade from 1769. Today, the hotel offers 65 luxurious rooms that will certainly impress even the more demanding individuals.

Hotel De Draak (Netherlands), est. 1397

Founded in 1397 and located in the historic center of Bergen op Zoom, Hotel de Draak is the oldest hotel in the Netherlands. It is possible that the hotel is even older, but a huge fire destroyed the city archives in the same year. It is currently owned by the Hazen family and boasts an impressive 62 rooms which provide the guests with fine comfort and luxury.

Zum Roten Baeren (Germany), est. 1387

Labelled as the oldest hotel in Germany, the first mention of the Zum Roten Baeren hotel in Freiburg dates to 1387, with the building itself being one of the oldest ones in the city. The guesthouse has been a social center of the city for years and today it has 25 rooms, 20 employees and the ambition to appeal more to the public with its historic charm.

Hotel-Gasthof Löwen (Lichtenstein), est. 1380

The Löwen has been offering its services in the hospitality industry since 1380, thus being the oldest hotel in the country. Today the hotel offers elegantly furnished rooms, organization of events and conferences and provides its guests with a gastronomic experience in the form of a restaurant to top it all off.

Gastagwirt (Austria), est. 1380

The family led Gastagwirt hotel has been firmly rooted in Eugendorf, in the Salzburg region, for over 700 years. As early as 1380, the "irrevocable, indispensable and forever hereditary liquor license" was awarded to the guesthouse with a letter and a seal. In the present day, the hotel provides fine accommodation services, but especially some of the best seminar and meeting services and facilities in the country.

Hotel Interlaken (Switzerland), est. 1323

Hotel Interlaken in Switzerland is also among the oldest hotels in Europe. It was opened in 1323 and was initially meant to be a guesthouse for visitors of the local monastery, while later it was a part of the administration of the region. Today, the family led hotel offers 55 rooms, event organization and much more in the heart of Switzerland.

Hotel Alte Goste (Italy), est. 1142

The Alte Goste hotel has been in operation since the 13th century, although the first innkeeper known by name was Gild Stainer in 1557. The region itself served as one of the most important connections between the Holy Roman Empire and Italy. Today the hotel offers a large variety of rooms and apartments for a carefree stay in the Puster Valley.

The Olde Bell Hotel (UK), est. 1135

The Olde Bell, located in the small town of Hurley in England first opened almost 900 years ago in 1135. Initially, it operated as a guesthouse for visitors to the nearby Benedictine Priory, but throughout the time it gained even more importance up to the point when Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower met there during World War II. Today the hotel offers 48 rooms that guarantee the guests a historic experience not to be forgotten.

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