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.