Posts Tagged ‘historic travel’

Belmond Charleston Place Hotel Offers Hands-on Master Craft Program to Learn Building Arts

March 23, 2014

Belmond Charleston Place Hotel is offering a  rare opportunity to experience the traditional building arts that make this city so special. The exclusive “Charleston Building Arts Package” includes a two night’s stay at Belmond Charleston Place with breakfast for two, a hands-on plaster lesson at American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) and admission for two to the Nathaniel-Russell House to see examples of plaster work and other building arts at their finest.

Guests will begin by touring the college, the only liberal arts college in the U.S. teaching traditional building arts. Participants will learn about each of the trades taught –plasterwork, masonry, stone carving, timber framing, ironworking and carpentry ­– and background on the college. Then, guests will join students for a rare opportunity to create plasterwork as it has been done for hundreds of years. World-renowned instructors will lead guests through making castings (pouring plaster into molds to create beautiful designs), creating and shaping intricate crown molding and even building a plaster souvenir.

Participants also get a “master class” by visiting a magnificent example of traditional Charleston architecture featuring numerous building arts at the Nathaniel-Russell House (51 Meeting St.). Here, guests can observe some of the finest examples of plasterwork, ironwork, carpentry and masonry.

The “Charleston Building Arts Package” is offered starting at $380 per night. Package includes a plaster lesson for one, admission to the Nathaniel-Russell House, two nights accommodation and breakfast for two daily. Additional ACBA sessions available.  ACBA plaster lessons are available Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. until April 17, 2014 (Fall package dates to be announced). To inquire or to book, contact 800-383-2335 or visit and use the promo code “build.”

The American College of the Building Arts is the only four-year liberal arts college in America educating and training artisans in the traditional building arts to foster exceptional craftsmanship. For more information, visit:

Belmond Charleston Place Hotel

Consistently ranked among the best hotels in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines, Belmond Charleston Place Hotel evokes the feeling of a grand, 17th century residence, from its lush personal suites to the Italian marble lobby with its signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier. The staff of the hotel is dedicated to indulging its guests with the finest in Southern hospitality, and has become the choice of celebrities, princes and politicians.  Guests can enjoy the hotel’s full service European-style spa and horizon-edge swimming pool with retractable glass roof. Belmond Charleston Place is centrally located, surrounded by historic homes and buildings, and within strolling distance of the city’s delightful shops, galleries and restaurants. To book, please call 800-383-2335, or for more information, visit

Owned and operated by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., Belmond is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations.  Established over 30 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, its unique and distinctive portfolio now embraces 45 hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations.  From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara.  Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and three river cruises. Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. also operates ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants (

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Mystic Seaport seeks applicants to ‘stowaway’ aboard Charles W Morgan this summer

January 30, 2014
The Charles W Morgan is looking for an adventurer to be a stowaway on its first sea voyage in 80 years, but visitors will be invited to see the ship while it is in port.

The Charles W Morgan is looking for an adventurer to be a stowaway on its first sea voyage in 80 years, but visitors will be invited to see the ship while it is in port.

OMG! What an opportunity for an adventurer: to be a stowaway on 1841 whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan making its first voyage in 80 years! There’s a contest – applications due Feb. 18 – and if you win, you live aboard the ship for 3 months and actually get paid! The rest of us get to visit the ship when it is in port.

To land this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you need to apply to Mystic Seaport, the maritime museum in Connecticut which is home to the Charles W. Morgan and three other landmark vessels, by February 18. To apply, you need to submit a resume, online application including essay, and 60-second YouTube video, by February 18.

The stowaway must be 21 years or older. Prior sailing experience is not required, but curiosity and enthusiasm are a must. It’s probably also a good idea to be should be somewhat well-bodied in being able to move about the ship. The stowaway will receive a stipend.

To apply and submit your video entry, visit

“This is for someone with a sense of adventure,” said Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport. “The word stowaway brings to mind a romantic image. To take a chance. To not know what you’re getting into until you’re already in it, and to go to places you’ve never been before, or go to places you’ve been, but seeing them in a whole different perspective.”

While on the 38th Voyage from May to August, the Charles W. Morgan will stop at historic ports of call throughout New England including visits to New London, Conn.; Newport, R.I.; and Vineyard Haven, New Bedford, and Boston, Mass., where she’ll dock next to the USS Constitution. She will also anchor off the coast of Provincetown, Mass. for day sails to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, where the Morgan will team up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to observe whales in their natural environment.

The stowaway will watch, inquire, learn, participate, and use their creative energy to share the voyage experience with the general public through blogging, videos, social media, and activities in the port cities. The stowaway must be 21 years or older. Prior sailing experience is not required, but curiosity and enthusiasm are a must.

The stowaway will be immersed in all aspects of the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage while living on board the ship with the crew. The stowaway will learn and take on any jobs associated with living and working on a 19th-century vessel including handling the sails and lines, steering the ship, and scrubbing the decks. The stowaway will be a key player during events and exhibits at each port of call with an opportunity to explore and meet new and interesting people. The stowaway will receive compensation in the form of a stipend for their work.

“This is a unique opportunity, a moment in time that won’t come around again,” said Funk. “This person will go into record as the stowaway on board this voyage. This is going to be the Morgan’s most documented voyage ever.”

The Stowaway program has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport is one of the nation’s leading maritime museums. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-17. Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free. For more information, visit

See more at:

Mystic Seaport seeks ‘stowaway’ for historic Charles W Morgan voyage this summer and slideshow

See our stories on sailing with Capt. Kip on the Maine Windjammer, Victory Chimes and sailing in the Great Schooner Race:

A Maine Windjammer Cruise Aboard ‘Victory Chimes’ and slideshow

Onboard Maine Windjammer ‘Victory Chimes’ for the Great Schooner Race and slideshow

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Historic Hotels of America Announces its Top Six Vacation Packages

May 28, 2013

Selected from more than 3,000 packages and unique experiences on


Admission to novelist Edith Wharton's The Mount is included in Cranwell Resort's Culture in the Country Package , in the magnificent Berkshires of Massachusetts, a mecca for culture and nature enthusiasts © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Admission to novelist Edith Wharton’s The Mount is included in Cranwell Resort’s Culture in the Country Package , in the magnificent Berkshires of Massachusetts, a mecca for culture and nature enthusiasts © 2013 Karen Rubin/

This summer, Historic Hotels of America offers travelers more than 3,000 packages many including special rates, overnight accommodations, historical tours, Civil War Sesquicentennial packages, and so much more. Six of the travel packages below were handpicked from more than 3,000 offers featured on Here travelers can discover and explore hotel offers, specials, historical fun facts and much more.

In addition to these special featured packages, Historic Hotels of America is offering travelers summer specials and packages from more than 240 hotels across 46 states on

Featured packages and promotions from Historic Hotels of America:

Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club (1894) Lenox, Massachusetts

Culture in the Country Package

Celebrate the Berkshires this summer at the Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club. The Cranwell boasts a world-class spa, historic golf course, indoor pool, and three restaurants. The Culture in the Country package includes:

  • · Classic resort accommodations
  • · $20 dining credit for any of the Cranwell’s restaurants (including the Music Room, The Wyndhurst and Sloane’s Tavern)
  • · Full use of the Spa at Cranwell with heated indoor pool, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and fitness center
  • · Two tickets per package to your choice of cultural venues, including Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, the Berkshire Botanical Garden, Chesterwood (a National Trust site), Hancock Shaker Village, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Edith Wharton’s The Mount, and the Norman Rockwell Museum
  • · Additionally, reserve a Culture in the Country Package midweek in July and August and receive two complimentary lawn tickets per package and a Maplewood parking pass for the Tanglewood performance on that date.*

Rates start from $240 per night midweek with double occupancy, exclusive of room tax. *Tanglewood tickets and parking pass only available with midweek hotel reservations on the following dates: July 7, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, and 31; August 4, 7, 11, 14, 15, 18, 20, 22, and 25.

1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs Four-Day Three-Night Historic Vacation
Treat your family or friends to a mini-vacation in the Ozark Mountains this summer. Enjoy overnight accommodations, historic attractions (including a ghost tour of America’s Most Haunted Hotel), massages, and more. This escape includes:

  • Four days / three nights in Premium Double / Double Room (based on availability)
  • Four tickets to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum per stay
  • Four tickets to a ghost tour of “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” per stay
  • Two one-hour massages in the hotel’s New Moon Spa & Salon per stay
  • Four tickets to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge per stay
  • Self-guided history tour of the hotel, including a souvenir guidebook

Rates start from $654 for a 3-night stay (Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance of stay. Offer expires December 28, 2013 and is subject to availability.)

Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama

Bellingrath Gardens & Home Package

Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and Successful Meetings named the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa among their best hotels for 2013. Come experience exceptional Southern Hospitality with a modern twist. Book the Bellingrath Gardens & Home package, which includes:

  • · Deluxe guestroom accommodations
  • · Two one-day tickets to historic Bellingrath Gardens & Home per stay
  • · Daily Breakfast buffet for two

Rates start from $278 per night

Mimslyn Inn (1931) Luray, Virginia

Civil War Sesquicentennial Package

Enjoy a self-driving tour, Discover and explore 24 historic sites and battlefields within two hours of the Inn. The Civil War Package includes:

  • · A packaged lunch prepared for two (per stay) by the culinary staff at the Mimslyn Inn
  • · A bottle of wine made from grapes grown in vineyards near The New Market Battlefield
  • · Dinner for two per stay at Circa ‘31 with the menus and recipes created from the same foods that were available during the 1860’s
  • · Historic Guestroom for two nights

Rates start from $450 per night

Hacienda del Sol (1929) Tucson, Arizona

Breakfast with a Side of History Package

Explore the Southwest and book the “Breakfast with a side of History” Package at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, which includes:

  • Nightly accommodations
  • Daily breakfast for two (inclusive of tax and gratuity)
  • Guided historic walking tour of Hacienda del Sol

Rates start from $204 per night (Valid April 1 – Dec 31, 2013 Two night minimum stay on weekends. Based on availability.)

French Lick Springs Hotel (1901)French Lick, Indiana

Historic Experience Package

Book the three night Historic Experience package, which includes:

  • · Historic guestroom for 3 nights
  • · One souvenir DVD highlighting French Lick Resort
  • · One Guided Historic Landmarks Walking Tour per person
  • · $30 Breakfast Credit per day

Rates start from $183 per night (Rate code is HHA3)

Travelers can select from over 3,000 dynamic hotel packages, extraordinary historic experiences, and hot deals found exclusively on For more information about Historic Hotels of America’s specials and deals, including summer specials and packages, please visit

Historic Hotels of America is committed to providing guests with the lowest published rates online, as a part of the Price Match Guarantee. If a lower rate is found on another website within 24 hours of booking a reservation, simply submit a claim form and the lower rate will be honored. For terms and conditions, please refer to When booking on, you’ll never pay a booking fee and rates are clearly marked with cancellation policies and few pre-booking or deposits. If you prefer to book your reservation by phone or if you have questions about hotels or an existing reservation, call 800-678-8946.

Special Offer

If you book before August 31, 2013 on, you’ll also receive a complimentary one-year family membership (a $30 value) to the National Trust for Historic Preservation*. In addition to the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to protect places that matter, your family will enjoy a savings of up to 50% at participating Historic Hotels of America, a subscription to Preservation magazine, and discounted admission to over 600 historic places worldwide.

Historic Hotels of America  is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation® with 32 charter members. In 2007, Preferred Hotel Group partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to grow and enhance Historic Hotels of America. Historic Hotels of America has more than 240 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties. 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, listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit, call 800-678-8946.

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Historic Hotels of America® Commemorates the Civil War Sesquicentennial With New Website Featuring Packages, Deals, Experiences

July 13, 2011
Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel
The Chattanooga Choo Choo, a Historic Hotels of America member, lets you stay in the actual railroad cars, now converted to accommodations. The Chattanooga railroad figured prominently in the Civil War; near the hotel, visit the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, the first military park in the nation © 2011 Karen Rubin/

To commemorate the four years of observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, Historic Hotels of America® has unveiled enhancements to its new interactive website featuring over 100 Civil War hotel packages and Hot Deals plus 500 Experiences.

Whether taking a journey to a Civil War event in South Carolina or experiencing a Civil War getaway to Pennsylvania, Historic Hotels of America’s Civil War Hot Deals section features packages closely linked to this important period in history.

When searching through the Experiences section on, visitors will find Civil War packages at hotels near more than 100 Civil War Battlefields, including Antietam, Maryland, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; 180 Civil War Programs with topics such as art and music; 150 Civil War Tours through Manassas in Virginia or Fort Sumter in South Carolina; 140 Civil War Re-Enactments from battles to living history demonstrations; and 60 Civil War Lectures ranging from clothing to weapons.

“These website enhancements allow travelers to have fun navigating and exploring Civil War packages while learning more about battlefields, historic homes, the Underground Railroad, and more,” said Thierry Roch, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America.

Guests who book on through September 30, 2011, will receive a one-year family membership to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Benefits include: 10 percent discount at participating Historic Hotels of America, discounted admission to over 600 historic places worldwide, subscription to Preservation magazine, and advance notice of special offers and historic experiences.*

Historic Hotels of America’s Civil War website enhancements are constantly expanding. Travelers are invited to check back often to find exciting journeys in history. Learn more on

About Historic Hotels of America®

Historic Hotels of America® was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation® with 32 charter members. In 2007, Preferred Hotel Group partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to grow and enhance Historic Hotels of America. With more than 235 hotels that have faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties. 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, listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, or recognized as having historic significance. Historic Hotels of America partners with Historic Hotels of Europe, a federation of 21 hotel associations in 21 countries, and with Historic Hotels of Mexico, an association of hotels and restaurants located in buildings of historical significance including haciendas, palaces, monasteries, convents, fortresses, country estates. For more information, visit

See also:

 Tennessee launches Civil War Heritage Trail in time for Sesquicentennial and slidehosw

 Chattanooga is key stop on Tennessee’s Civil War Heritage Trail and slideshow

Civil War comes home to Spring Hill on Tennessee’s Heritage Trail and slideshow

Battle of Franklin: Bloodiest 5 Hours of Civil War marks death of the Old Southand slideshow

 Carnton Plantation and ‘The Widow of the South’ on Tennessee’s Civil War Trailand slideshow

 Women Play Dramatic, if Unheralded Roles in Civil War and slideshow

Battlefield, Manor and Boyhood Home Frame Civil War Heritage in Murfreesboro, TN and slideshow

For more travel features, visit


Historic Willard Hotel in Washington DC offers Year of Civil War Programming

May 25, 2011

The lobby of the Willard Hotel, where President Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “Lobbyist." The Historic Hotels of America member hotel was also where Abraham Lincoln stayed before his inauguration and figured prominently during the Civil War. Close to the White House and the Smithsonian Institution museums, the Willard is hosting a year-long Civil War Sesquicentennial series of lectures and programs © 2011 Karen Rubin/

As America marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War in 2011, the Willard InterContinental, a member of Historic Hotels of America, is highlighting its significant history of the period with Willard Hotel and the Civil War, featuring special lectures and events, as well as a special lodging package.

 This yearlong event in conjunction with Destination DC’s regional Civil War to Civil Rights commemoration highlights various aspects of the Willard’s history during this period through exhibitions, lectures, tours, concerts, discussion panels and related events. The Willard’s programming includes partnerships with such cultural and historic entities as Lincoln at the Crossroads Alliance, The International Spy Museum, Ford’s Theater, the Civil War Preservation Trust and The Washington National Opera.  Events will include presentations by actors Stephen Lange (Avatar) and Sam Waterston (Law & Order.) Further underscoring the anniversary, the Willard is offering a history-related package.

Among the upcoming events this summer:

Civil War Spies: A Three-Part Exploration of Union and Confederate Intelligence Operations, June-July, offered In collaboration with Ford’s Theatre, National Historic Site, National Park Service; The Willard InterContinental Hotel and the International Spy Museum.

The North and the South both had their share of intelligence successes (and failures), but neither the Blue nor the Gray were strangers to intrigue and espionage.  Society ladies carried secret messages, runaway slaves re-crossed the Mason-Dixon Line as undercover agents, and couriers worked covert operations in the life or death climate of wartime.  In this series, a distinguished group of historians and espionage experts will introduce you to some of the most amazing spies and spy cases of the War Between the States.

Spy Rings, Covert Action, and Deception: Spies and their Tactics (Tuesday, June 21 at the International Spy Museum): Civil War intelligence operations ranged from the dazzling to the preposterous. How close did Southern covert action come to rendering New York City a Confederate holding?  How did music lend deception to the battlefield?  Join International Spy Museum historian Mark Stout,  James A Davis, Prof. of Musicology at State University of New York, College at Fredonia, (invited), and other experts impart the value of intelligence and deceptive measures during the Civil War.  Explore the key role that intelligence played in the North’s victory at Gettysburg, Pinkerton’s intelligence network and counterintelligence operations for the Union, and the “spy” gadgets available to the Civil War era James Bond.

The Lincoln Assassination Conspiracies (Tuesday, July 19 at Ford’s Theatre): Why did a handsome, successful actor murder President Lincoln? Examine the Lincoln assassination anew—at the scene of the crime—during this eye-opening adventure.  On one fact alone do scholars agree: President Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre on April 14th, 1865.  All else is suspect!  This program is presented in the very theatre where the tragedy occurred.  Learn the true facts of the event and also the key conspiracy schools of thought.  Was Booth acting as a lone gunman?  A player in an internal Union scheme?  A tool of the Confederacy?  A cog in an insidious global plot?  The evening will include a surprise appearance by “Booth.”

Civil War Sisterhood of Spies (Tuesday, July 26 at The Willard InterContinental) Discover the secret work of key Civil War operatives of the fair sex.  Meet three of the most successful female Civil War spies: Wild Rose Greenhow, a charming high society widow who sweet-talked top-flight Union officials and lowly Union clerks alike, encoded their intelligence, and smuggled messages south—with the help of her own spy ring!  Antonia Ford, a confederate spy who married one of the Willard Hotel’s 19th century proprietors and Virginia-based Civil War Union spy Elizabeth Van Lew.  Ann Blackman (invited) author of Wild Rose will cover Greenhow, Amanda Ohlke, director of adult education at the International Spy Museum will trace Van Lew’s espionage career, and historical impersonator Emily Lapisardi (invited)  will portray Confederate spy Antonia Ford.

The programs are at 7 p.m.; series tickets are $60; Individual Tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 202.654.0932 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202.654.0932      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Another program this summer, 1861: The Civil War’s First Year in 3D, is a free exhibit presented by the Civil War Preservation Trust, on view June 24 to July 15 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Willard InterContinental. In 1861, America was torn apart and thrust into civil war.  States seceded from the Union, armies were raised, battles were fought, leaders emerged and the nation began an inextricable series of changes. This upheaval was not only captured by the lenses of a growing army of photographers, but was recorded using 3D, stereoscopic cameras.  This exhibition will present more than three dozen Civil War-era photographs in the manner in which they were meant to be seen – in 3D.  From secession to civil war, from Abraham Lincoln to Jefferson Davis, and from Fort Sumter to Bull Run, see the Civil War in depth and how the art of photojournalism was born!  Developed in association with the Center for Civil War Photography and HISTORY (formerly called the History Channel), the exhibition will include a multimedia documentary-style program focusing upon the Civil War’s first, but bloodless battle, Fort Sumter.

The Willard was a center for political and social life in Washington DC throughout the Civil War.  Located close to the White House, the six-story building upon which the New Willard Hotel was later built in 1901, was at the crossroads of society and politics. According to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Willard’s was “much more justly called the center of Washington and the Union than the Capitol, the White House or the State Department.”

In addition to the calendar of special events marking the occasion, the hotel will offer a Willard Hotel and the Civil War package available throughout the year. The Willard is also issuing a new edition of its complimentary Willard history brochure for guests.  The brochure, designed by Jeanne Krohn of Krohn Design, and written by Cindy Gueli, PhD, who together created the Willard’s comprehensive history gallery, will be a compilation of historic anecdotes and evocative imagery.   “We hope the new Willard history brochure will provide guests with an enhanced sense of place,” said Jim Veil, General Manager of the Willard InterContinental and Regional Director of Operations for Baltimore and Washington, D.C., “the Willard InterContinental is so much more than an architectural gem, it is a true microcosm of American history centered as a vital establishment through some of our nation’s most dramatic chapters,” Veil continued.   A new series of Willard and the Civil War “history bytes” compiled by Professor Gueli will be included in the hotel’s guest and media communications throughout the year.

The Willard InterContinental is located in the heart of the nation’s capital on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, the Smithsonian museums and the downtown business and theatre districts.   The Willard epitomizes world-class hospitality as the hotel of choice for heads of state and leaders of the world’s business, cultural, social and political elite.  The hotel’s 335 well appointed guestrooms include 41 elegant suites.  Dining options include Café du Parc, the popular French bistro with seasonal outdoor seating, the Occidental Grill & Seafood, traditional Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley and the classic Round Robin Bar.  The luxurious Red Door Spa offers a wide array of pampering treatments.

An American institution, the Willard has hosted nearly every U.S. president since 1853. Abraham Lincoln stayed at the Willard before his inauguration in 1861.   It was at the Willard that Julia Ward Howe wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic, where President Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “Lobbyist,” and where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King finished his renowned “I Have a Dream” speech.  The Willard is also noted for its 100% wind power, recycling and charitable initiatives including Anacostia River clean-up, the hotel’s “Adoption” of a Pershing Park, and support of a school prom for disabled youth.   The classic Willard InterContinental combines heritage and luxury with contemporary comfort and the latest technology.

 The Willard Hotel and the Civil War package for two includes a weekend night in a Deluxe King Room, Breakfast in Café du Parc, Valet Parking and Tickets to the Lincoln Cottage.  Price starts at $369 per room per night and is offered Thursdays to Sundays through May 31, 2011. Package must be booked at least seven days prior to arrival. Based on availability.   Bookings can made by calling 202-628-9100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-628-9100      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or by visiting

Willard Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008, 202-628-9100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-628-9100      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 800-827-1747 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            800-827-1747      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or Web site:  Twitter: ; Facebook:

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Alva Vanderbilt Belmont’s Marble House Marks 90th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, Aug. 26

July 25, 2010
Marble House Celebrates 90th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage

Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, a noted suffragist, called Marble House her "temple to the arts," and used the house as a setting for suffrage rallies. On Thursday, August 26, there will be a free event to mark the occasion © 2010 Karen Rubin/

Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, a noted suffragist, called Marble House her “temple to the arts,” and used the house as a setting for suffrage rallies. On Thursday, August 26, there will be a free event to mark the occasion © 2010 Karen Rubin/

On Thursday, August 26, Marble House, on Newport’s tony Bellevue Avenue, will be the site of a commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. The festivities will begin at 11 a.m., and the event is free and open to the public.

Taking place on the terrace of Marble House, where Alva once hosted rallies to raise funds for the suffrage movement, the celebration will include poetry, music, and readings from historical documents.   Participants will include Rhode Island State Senator June Gibbs; the state’s Poet Laureate, Lisa Starr;  Amber Rose Johnson, the 2010 Poetry Out Loud National Champion from Classical High School in Providence, RI; and Lt. Colonel Jayme M. Sutton, Naval War College Military Professor of National Strategy Decision Making.

Why would a Gilded Age mansion in Newport be the scene to mark Women’s Suffrage? The House, so opulent in its architecture and decoration, was built by Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, as her “temple of the arts.” But Alva was a pioneer feminist – the decorations are loaded with imagery of goddesses and feminine symbols of learning and art. She became a vigorous sponsor of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and held suffrage rallies at the House, attended by women of all classes (there are some wonderful photos and audio about them as you tour the house). Visiting the house, you can sense Alva’s frustration and longing for a society in which women had the right to pursue their talents and ambition, but in her day, the way to power was to marry wealth.

“Alva Vanderbilt Belmont was a rebel right from childhood, and despite becoming one of the leaders of Newport and New York high society, she never lost her independent spirit,” said Preservation Society CEO and Executive Director Trudy Coxe.  “Alva used her position in society to raise money and lobby for the right of women to vote, so she would be very proud to see her beloved Marble House hosting this celebration today.”

“Women got the vote through struggle, by organizing themselves, talking with politicians and marching in the streets.  The League of Women Voters continues the struggle by telling all that voting is the mainstay of democracy,” said Joanne DeVoe, President of the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island.  “We also work out consensus positions on issues and then publicize and lobby for these positions.  The League thanks the Preservation Society for opening the grounds of Marble House to remember the women who were part of the struggle. Could there be a better place in Rhode Island for this celebration?”

“The example that Alva Vanderbilt Belmont set for women of her day, and the women of ours, is unmatched,” said Marcia Coné, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. “The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island is so pleased to be a part of this important event and to celebrate her legacy.”

“Alva Vanderbilt Belmont was a force who championed the cause for the 19th Amendment’s passage. Imagine what our lives would be like today if the passage had not been won,” said Deborah L. Perry, Executive Director of YWCA Northern Rhode Island. “It is an honor for the YWCA to be part of this celebration.”

“We sometimes forget that Newport in the 19th century was a stage for more than just social entertainment, but was also a backdrop for many dramas of national consequence,” said Pieter Roos, Executive Director of the Newport Restoration Foundation. “Alva used Newport’s glamour and prestige to advance one of the most important social movements of the era, and this event will highlight that for contemporary audiences.”

Marble House was the summer cottage built for Alva Vanderbilt in 1892 to cement her place in high society.  But in later life, she moved from socialite to social reformer, using Marble House as a stage from which she rallied women to the cause of equal rights.  In 1921, Alva was elected President of the National Woman’s Party, and was the founder of the Political Equality League.  She is credited with the original advice, “Pray to God.  She will help you.”

Alva even partnered with songwriter and columnist Elsa Maxwell to write a light-hearted, one-act operatta entitled Melinda and Her Sisters to convince New York and Newport high society that the time had come to grant women equal rights. The play was performed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in 1916, and was re-staged by the Preservation Society at Marble House in 2003.

The Suffrage event is free and open to the public at Marble House, 596 Bellevue Avenue.  Call 401-847-1000, ext. 169 or visit

For more about the Women of Newport, Gilded Age Mansions and visiting Newport, visit

–Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate