Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal

Romantic gazebos placed along the lake’s edge are extremely popular for popping the question at Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian jewel in New York’s Hudson Valley (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. –“Every day is Valentine’s Day at Historic Hotels of America,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Historic hotels are the perfect place for celebrating special occasions that create lifelong memories and are the ideal location for a romantic proposal.”

These special milestones celebrated at historic hotels include romantic getaways, the ideal place to propose, the destination for the perfect wedding, the getaway for a memorable honeymoon, and the location to celebrate a special anniversary.

“The most romantic hotels are historic hotels.  These romantic historic hotels range from intimate to grand and opulent. Proposing at a historic hotel is a wonderful opportunity to create an ever-lasting memory and increases the chance that the answer will be ‘yes.’ From historic destination resorts with romantic gardens to city-center legendary historic hotels, each provides the setting, the backdrop, and the ambiance for making and hearing yes to the perfect proposal.” 

Each year, the hotel membership organization of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, publishes its Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal: Here’s the 2021 Top 25:  

The Buccaneer (1653) Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands 
The Buccaneer Resort has a history from centuries ago.  The Danes purchased St Croix in 1733, and installed Governor Von Prock, who lived in the original hilltop Great House.  He turned the property into a sugar factory, including a large sugar mill, still intact.  This structure provides a most romantic and unique location for proposals.  With sweeping Caribbean views and gentle breezes, this setting has been a favorite for romance seekers for generations. The Sugar Mill is located on the hilltop overlooking the resort and Caribbean Sea, which combine to make it the perfect proposal location.  For those looking for an evening proposal, just before sunset is ideal as the special moment can be followed by a private dinner in the Sugar Mill. Or pair this location with The Buccaneer’s Pop the Question package to enhance the experience.  The package includes an upgraded room category, welcome basket, private beachside cabana rental for one day, and prosecco at the site on the day of the proposal.  

The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia 

The Omni Homestead Resort has beautiful, breathtaking views everywhere guests turn. From the gorgeous mountain scenery to the grand and glamorous interior settings, there are numerous places for romantic proposals. The associates at the hotel can accommodate unique proposals on-site. One proposal took place during an archery lesson with a message “Will you marry me” inserted into a balloon on the target. The bride-to-be popped the balloon as the groom-to-be popped the question.  While there are a lot of romantic settings for the proposal, the Dining Room is one of the most popular.  Part of The Omni Homestead experience for more than a century, the elegant Dining Room features custom chandeliers, an incredible domed ceiling, and large windows. Each night there’s music for dancing, a time-honored tradition at the resort. With a little advance notice, The Homestead team can arrange for the band to play the couple’s favorite song while a photographer captures the special moment.   

Inn at Perry Cabin (1816) St. Michaels, Maryland 
The gazebo on The Pointe at Inn at Perry Cabin is the most romantic spot to pop the question. On the shores of the Miles River, the gazebo overlooks a beautiful wide stretch of water often filled with boats of all sizes for a true sense of the place on the Chesapeake Bay. The Inn at Perry Cabin crew will help guests pull off the plan and once they say yes, will help the couple celebrate with a private dinner from an award-winning Chef inside the gazebo before the newly engaged retire to one of their luxurious waterfront guestrooms for the evening. 

The Willard InterContinental (1818) Washington DC 
Throughout the year, The Willard InterContinental is the location for a great number of proposals. Yet the most popular place and time throughout the year to pop the big question, is around The Willard’s iconic Christmas tree in the lobby. Couples enjoy this most festive atmosphere for a proposal, as the hotel shines bright in all its holiday decor. Recently, a groom-to-be worked with the Guest Relations Manager to strategically place a Marry Me ornament on The Willard Christmas tree that the bride-to-be would spot as they came by to view the holiday decorations and have a drink, a holiday tradition they have done each year since moving to Washington DC. In another proposal, the groom-to-be placed a present under the Christmas tree; as the couple was viewing the tree, they spotted the wrapped gift with the name of the finance-to-be that contained the ring that he needed for the proposal.  Coordinating proposals on-site is often a team effort and typically coordinated by The Willard Guest Relations team who will work with the individual proposing in advance to ensure they have the support needed to carry out the proposal and any items required such as rose petals, champagne, chocolates, balloons, and more.  

Omni Royal Orleans (1843) New Orleans, Louisiana  
At the highest point of the hotel is the famous Observation Deck which has a panoramic view of the city with a backdrop of the mighty Mississippi, riverboats, and a view of the infamous Jackson Square.  It truly captures the essence of what makes New Orleans, New Orleans.  It is easy to lure the unsuspecting fiancé up to that area with an invitation from a family member or friend to join them for a cocktail at La Riviera, the Rooftop Pool Bar.   Then a suggestion of “come see the view of the city” brings the intended up the stairs of the Observation Deck.  Sometimes family members are hiding up there and others have a few friends.  Shortly after the intended gets up the stairs, the proposer comes following behind and dropping to their knee to ask the big question. The hotel’s ensures for a memorable event that the area be temporarily closed to the public and provide Champagne with flutes for a congratulations toast.  Others have enhanced their experience by having dinner for two afterwards in a private dining room in the award-winning Rib Room.    

Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama  
As the sun starts to set into Mobile Bay, the romantic couple sits in one of the swings under giant oak trees and pops the question. Named the best large historic hotel in 2019 by Historic Hotels of America, couples have been getting engaged at the Grand Hotel since 1847. After a massive transformation, the resort has even more places for proposals. Private beach and pool cabanas offer a quiet setting for proposals. A very memorable setting is to get down on a knee at Julip Point and make the proposal as the sunsets and majestic pelicans fly above to salute the lovebirds.  Once they say yes, it is time to stroll over to Southern Roots for a delicious meal. A full team of wedding and event experts is available to help in proposal planning and all wedding aspects thereafter. 

Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle perched over a private lake, is among the Top 25 most romantic Historic Hotels of America members for proposing (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York 
Mohonk Mountain House is a Victorian Castle perched at the top of a mountain with a private lake. The hotel has 120 “summerhouses” which are rustic gazebos designed for two people to share special moments together; taking in stunning views during or after a hike on 85 miles of trails- all of which provide the perfect romantic backdrop for someone to get down on bended knee. The Sky Top Tower is a hiking destination with panoramic views of the Shawangunk Cliffs and Catskill Mountains and a very popular engagement site, along with the boat dock, which provides amazing views of serene Lake Mohonk.  

Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan 
For 135 years, Grand Hotel provides the charm and beauty of a variety of romantic settings for a grand gesture. The World’s Longest Front Porch, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, provides an enchanting backdrop. At the very top of Grand Hotel, the Cupola Bar offers breathtaking panoramic island views, ideal for that special moment. The picturesque Main Dining Room is an elegant setting with the instrumental background of the Grand Hotel Orchestra. Grand Hotel’s lush gardens provide an intimate opportunity that some couples prefer. Woods Restaurant, an opulent Tudor mansion with Bavarian charm, offers private candlelit dining experiences and is just a short, romantic horse-drawn carriage ride into the wooded interior of Mackinac Island.  Request the Grand Proposal Package and assistance with behind-the-scenes reservations and arrangements. The Grand Proposal Package includes a select location for the proposal, one-hour private carriage tour, 30 minutes of professional photography, VIP dinner reservations with a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a bottle of Grand Hotel Sparkling Wine on the table upon arrival.  

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Georgia exudes Southern charm and has various settings for a romantic proposal (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia  
Built in the Queen Ann style, the Jekyll Island Club Resort is like a castle surrounded by Southern charm. With sweeping Spanish moss and hundred years old live oaks, Jekyll Island is one of the most romantic spots in the South.  From the top of the turret to quiet moments in Crane Garden, its little slice of Heaven is perfect for any romantic proposal. The three top romantic spots include The Turret, Crane Garden, and The Grand Dining Room.  The Turret of the Clubhouse is the second tallest structure on Jekyll Island and the tallest structure in the Jekyll Island Historic District with a panoramic view of the Historic District and Jekyll River, most romantic at sunset. The manicured grounds of Crane Cottage, especially Crane Garden, offers couples the perfect romantic garden to sneak away to on property. The sunken garden features a lush lawn, sweeping ivy covered trellis, a running fountain, and an abundance of flowers. The sunken garden allows for a private moment between the blooming flowers with the Italian Renaissance style Crane Cottage framing the background. The historic Grand Dining Room offers the timeless charm of years long ago.  A private candlelit dinner experience can be arranged in advance. Special delivery of the ring can be arranged with the Catering team.  From a special toast to an extra sweet dessert moment, team members are ready to help enhance this special moment. 

The historic, iconic Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, California
Hotel del Coronado is lucky to be the “go-to” proposal spot for San Diego. Its enchanting Victorian architecture and beachfront location lend an air of romance to any proposal. While many have popped the question at the holiday ice skating rink and even surprised their intended with a flash mob on the oceanfront Windsor Lawn, the two most popular proposals ideas are both on the sparkling beach. What could be more romantic the dropping down on one knee on the beach at sunset next to a roaring private beach bonfire? The hotel team is happy to assist with reserving the private beach bonfire experience and can also provide a full menu of fireside treats and cocktails to lead up to the big moment. Some proposers even go the extra mile and arrange for family and friends to join them at a neighboring bonfire after the big moment. Another romantic proposal idea is to end a romantic beach stroll with a proposal in front of a custom sandcastle. One of the highlights of the Hotel del Coronado beach resort is the sandcastle man, a talented local artist who builds custom sandcastles daily. Potential proposers can contact him directly, or through the help of hotel team, and he will create a custom sandcastle for the magical moment. With the help of a local photographer, the sandcastle proposal will be a memory that the couple can cherish for years to come. 

Ledges Hotel (1890) Hawley, Pennsylvania  
Ledges Hotel was created from a repurposed 1890s era glass factory. Thoughtful, modern design and a commitment to historic preservation offer a unique atmosphere. Every aspect of the hotel was designed to be in harmony with nature. Gathering spaces and guestrooms boast adaptive reuse furnishings, environmentally friendly amenities, and stunning views of the river gorge waterfall. The historic Bluestone building situated atop Paupack High Falls provides a dramatic backdrop for proposals. The tiered decks overlooking the natural waterfall and river gorge are one of the most romantic spots to pop the question at Ledges Hotel. It is a popular destination for engagements no matter the season. During winter, the frozen falls offer a stunning backdrop. Budding trees and rushing waters are a hallmark of spring. Summer by the waterfall is lush and cool while fall foliage creates a vibrant landscape in autumn. Seasonal specials afford special romantic touches such as a couple’s massage, in-room wine and cheese, a private yoga class, chocolate covered strawberries and split of prosecco. 

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) (Waikiki Beach) Honolulu, Hawaii 
The First Lady of Waikiki, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean, offers either a beachfront table at the hotel’s bar, or on the sand very near the bar. It all depends on how much privacy the couple would like during the proposal. Along the beach or at the bar under the famous Banyan Tree, especially during sunset is the busiest time. If a couple does not mind an audience, something can be pre-arranged with the hotel’s food and beverage department and the nightly entertainer –such as making an announcement to direct attention to the proposal. The Beach Bar located beneath the famed Banyan Tree at the Banyan Courtyard is the most romantic location. If a couple prefers to be engaged in private, a tower room facing the ocean at sunset would be ideal. 

Southern Hotel (1907) Covington, Louisiana 
The Southern Hotel has many romantic spots. Its restaurant, Ox Lot 9, offers a farm-to-table Southern cuisine experience, sourcing from local producers and suppliers to create inventive, seasonal menus. Its ballroom is perfect for a fairytale dance, and its courtyard is the perfect place to share a cup of coffee at sunrise. The most favorite romantic spot is its garden path.  Tucked away beyond the hedge of the courtyard, this quaint little path leads to the pool. Moss covered bricks meander under a trellis—a small, verdant universe. The splashing of the trickling fountain is majestic and musical. Each season brings with it a host of new blooms. Camellias blossom and welcome guests in winter and sleep in summer when the hydrangeas’ vibrant colors illuminate. In spring this garden path truly comes alive when the imperial jasmine blooms and gently perfumes the air. The hotel team can make the moment more special by lighting a few candles, coordinating with a photographer, or picking out just the perfect spot, including finding the right time and spot at sunset for the perfect moment to hear yes. 

Hotel Boulderado (1909) Boulder, Colorado 
For more than one hundred years, Hotel Boulderado has been a beloved place for proposals and weddings in Colorado. One of the most romantic locations at the luxury property is the charming balcony landing of the original grand cantilevered cherrywood staircase in the historic lobby. Couples who say “I Do” on the landing are surrounded by their loved ones lining the cherrywood railing of the mezzanine with the beautiful stained-glass ceiling above. The historic property is the perfect backdrop for memorable wedding ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, and receptions of up to 240 guests.   

Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, is the epitome of elegance, storied history and southern hospitality (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Hermitage Hotel (1910) Nashville, Tennessee  
The Hermitage Hotel provides the epitome of undisputed elegance, storied history, southern hospitality all while offering the quintessential backdrop for a romantic proposal. As Tennessee’s only Five Star hotel and designated as a National Historical Landmark, The Hermitage’s legendary grand lobby offers lovers a special place to hear the answer “Yes” to one of life sweetest questions. This stunning space is adorned with soaring columns of original Italian marble, ornate chandeliers, and light filters into the sundrenched space through a magnificent painted glass skylight, which, since the building’s erection, remains the crown jewel of the lobby. To ensure memories from this special day never fade, The Hermitage offers an engagement photoshoot package to capture the life-changing moment. 

Bear Mountain Inn (1915) Bear Mountain, New York 
Built in 1915, the historic Bear Mountain Inn is located within the beautiful Bear Mountain State Park that spans 5,025 acres located on the West Bank of the Hudson River (in Rockland and Orange Counties, New York). Many proposals have been made on these beautiful grounds, from the top of Perkins Memorial Tower, by Hessian Lake, along the Hudson River by the Bear Mountain Boat Dock, to the grand fireplace of Restaurant 1915. And countless other nooks in this luscious park and within the walls of this great historic building to ask the question Many couples who have said “Yes!” to a lifetime of love on the grounds of the Bear Mountain State Park, return to the Bear Mountain Inn to celebrate their wedding with their family and friends. Because it is in a state park and open to the public, many couples return year after year to celebrate their anniversary with a stroll through the zoo, a hike, or a romantic dinner at Restaurant 1915 by the roaring fire. 

La Fonda on the Plaza (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico 
There is no more romantic place to propose than Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the city’s historic La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel sets the perfect scene with its “Blingarita” proposal package.  The engagement experience, orchestrated by the hotel’s expert concierge staff, starts with luxury accommodations in the historic hotel’s exclusive Fireworks Suite.  The deluxe suite has a romantic fireplace and for the popping of the question, its private wrap-around balcony will be festooned with farolitos – the traditional small candles that cast a romantic glow on the adobe.  At the appointed time, a server will arrive at the suite with a pair of La Fonda’s exclusive, ultra-premium “Blingaritas,” one of them bedazzled with an engagement ring provided by the proposer and slipped secretly to staff upon arrival. Arguably the priciest margarita in town and certainly the prettiest, the Blingarita is crafted with Don Julio 1942 tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, Grand Marnier, and a 24-karat gold flake rim. The drinks are served in exquisite keepsake glasses by Southwestern designer Jan Barboglio that the couple will take home to kickstart their barware collection.  Following the proposal, a sumptuous Southwestern dinner for two will be served in the Fireworks Suite.   

Francis Marion Hotel (1924) Charleston, South Carolina 
Located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Francis Marion Hotel is in one the South’s most romantic cities. It offers so many romantic opportunities to pop the question; from a horse drawn carriage ride to a romantic walk under moss-covered oak trees. The hotel is home to historic charm, romantic details and years of love being celebrated within its walls. Offering a beautiful backdrop in the lobby or even overlooking the view in one of the penthouse suites, a proposal at the Francis Marion is sure to be met with a yes. Including the historic and grand lobby, a few popular places in the hotel that couples have gotten engaged include the penthouse suites overlooking the city of Charleston or in one of the classic and elegant ballrooms. Its concierge can help coordinate details to in-suite amenities like champagne to celebrate saying ‘yes!’

The Terrace Hotel (1924) Lakeland, Florida 
The most popular romantic spot, the Terrace Grille, offers fine dining in a historic setting. The romantic couple can have a candlelight dinner with white linen, fine-dining service. The restaurant features a beautiful cypress ceiling with antique chandeliers, massive arched windows throughout, and a view of downtown even featuring Lake Morton.  Nearby special spots for the question include an area steeped in history, the Lake Mirror Promenade where the happy couple can enjoy sweeping views of the lake and the historic buildings. Another perfect spot is Allen Kryger Overlook Park, a half-acre commemorative park that is beautiful in design and features dramatic columns in an open, flowing space. 

InterContinental Mark Hopkins (1926) San Francisco, California 
The Top of the Mark sky-lounge has become a popular venue for romantic proposals and other celebratory occasions, including weddings and anniversaries. Located on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, the world-renowned sky-lounge affords a near 360-degree visit of San Francisco with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, as well as Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California  
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the only comprehensive luxury destination resort in Sonoma Wine Country, boasting championship golf, geo-thermal pools, world-class spa, and fine dining. Every guest receives a complimentary bottle of wine as well as champagne upon arrival ensuring that the stage is set for romance.   Mission Suites at Fairmont Sonoma feature a four-poster king bed, wood-burning fireplace, and oversized Jacuzzi tub. All suites have a balcony or patio.  Or lovebirds may prefer a private cabana poolside at the world-famous geo-thermal Willow Stream Spa at the Wine Country resort. The destination expert concierge team at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn can assist in creating the ultimate lavish proposal which may include hot air balloon adventures, bespoke wine blending sessions, private dining options, or decadent couples massage options. 

The famed Don Cesar of St. Pete Beach, Florida, was built as a wedding present to rsemble a Mediterranean-style castle (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Don CeSar (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Built as a wedding present in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle, The Don CeSar was once the playground for distinguished celebrities, such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Don CeSar continues to charm and impress guests today with service preserved from the Great Gatsby era of pampering. Blending European grandeur, seaside elegance, and sweet sunsets with the enchantment of yesteryear, the romantic legend exemplifies the grandness of America’s traditional beach resorts.  Favorite spots to propose are on the beach, in the gardens, or on a boat with the picturesque Don CeSar in the background. 

The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania 
Known for its refined elegance, signature services and abundant amenities, The Hotel Hershey is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway with beautiful locations to get down on one knee. The Formal Gardens behind the hotel are a popular spot for proposals. There, guests can find a quiet, romantic, picturesque area with beautiful flower beds, pergolas, fountains and reflecting pools. Inside the Hotel, the Fountain Lobby is another picturesque location worthy of popping the question. It was designed to look like a Spanish-style courtyard with palm trees, a beautiful fountain, and a painted sky on the ceiling. 

Royal Palms Resort & Spa (1948) Phoenix, Arizona 
With lush greenery, vibrant florals, and rustic accents throughout, there are several locations at the Royal Palms Resort for the perfect, romantic setting to propose. The resort grounds have a few favorite locations that are tucked away off the main pathways for a romantic setting, including Camelback Mountain Vista and Cervantes Patio. They are framed with landscape to accent the focal points, allowing for a romantic dinner for two, or a cozy setting to share a glass of wine and focus on one another. Sunset and evenings are the most ideal time to set the mood, with candles and patio lights. The  Via Cappello dining experience is the perfect opportunity for a proposal.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (1965) Kohala Coast, Hawaii 
As a long sought-after romantic destination on the big island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel provides special touches. There are three standout locations at the hotel that have been favorites for more than 50 years. The first is the grand staircase fronting the enormous, ancient 12th century Buddha. The original historic third tee at Mauna Kea’s golf course, perched above the ocean’s edge, secluded and dramatic, particularly at sunset. And lastly, the Vista Decks.  For an over-the-top proposal, sunset from the hotel’s Vista Deck overlooking the soft white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, with views to the ocean’s far horizon, is a popular romantic spot. Offering privacy, views of the white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, and the ocean’s horizon beyond, the Vista Deck can be staged for a romantic torchlit dinner for two or an intimate gathering of cocktails and pupus (appetizers) with family and friends. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s professional team of romance specialists will help arrange for a photographer (who have been known to hide in the bushes until the moment is right), florals, champagne and more to make certain all goes without a hitch and the couple’s future launches spectacularly. The shores of Kauna‘oa Bay provide the perfect backdrop to pop the question. Another option, the stunning venue above the ocean’s edge on Mauna Kea Resort’s golf course, is one of the most popular wedding locales!  The rolling blue surf of the Pacific Ocean and vibrant hues of a setting sun complete this dramatic setting.  From the sand beneath their toes to the sounds of the waves rolling onto the shore, Kauna’oa Bay sets the scene for every romantic proposal.      

Historic Hotels of America is the membership official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. The 300 members have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.  

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal”

  1. Finding Love in All the Right Places | Going Places, Far & Near Says:

    […] See the full list of 2021 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: