One of the oldest businesses in human history is renting a bed out to someone. Of course this is nothing surprising – since people started to walk, they wandered nomadically around the globe, and they always needed a safe place to spend the night. Out of this necessity came an industry valued today at around US $550 billion each year. Quite some feat, eh?
So to celebrate this age-old tradition, I’ve picked out five of the oldest hotels in the world which are all still in business today. These incredible places have managed to keep their history and essence preserved, and by staying there you can experience what it would be like to live there up to thousands of years ago! So, book hotels online right away and find your slice of history.
Rambagh Palace, India
So-called “the Jewel of Jaipur”, the Rambagh Palace is one of the oldest and most beautiful hotels in the whole of India. Built around 1835, the hotel was originally a gift for Kesar Bedaran – the handmaiden of the queen herself, but eventually the palace became the royal residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II.
The palace has over the years built a reputation for having near-perfect rooms and wonderful entertainment. It’s no wonder this hotel was chosen as the temporary residence of Price Charles when he stayed here in Jaipur– Rambagh Palace still amazes guests with lavish luxury and incredible Raj-inspired landscapes.
Blaue Gans, Austria
If you’re a fan of medieval times or even if you love Game of Thrones (yup!) – Blaue Gans hotel in Austria is for you! Opened in 1350, it still has some of the original charm including exposed beams and a dining room which feels like a cave, but still manages to be light and airy.
It’s also the first “art hotel,” in Salzburg, housing almost 100 original works of art. Somehow the hotel manages to effortlessly mix the extreme modernity of its art and furniture with the more classic décor and architecture which made it famous in the first place.
Zum Roten Bären, Germany
Considered to be the oldest hotel in Germany, the Zum Roten Baren Hotel opened its doors in 1311 in the old town of Freiburg. Today’s owner, Wolf Eschger can trace his heritage all the way back to the Bienger family, who occupied the hotel in its earliest days.
Rooms have retained their charm across the centuries, and although are older in style, this just adds to the atmosphere of staying in the oldest ‘Gasthaus’ in Germany.
Villa Orso Grigio, Italy
This intimate, modern-looking hotel might not look like one of the oldest hotels in the world at first glance, but looks can be deceiving. The show-stopping Villa Orso Grigio which looks a little like a castle, only has ten rooms and originated in the 14th century, when was known as the Grey Bear hotel.
It was built to be a temporary shelter for aristocracy and merchants, and you can still see subtle hints from those times – like a cigar room and wine cellar for you to enjoy.
Hoshi Ryokan, Japan
Finally, the oldest working hotel in the world – the Hoshi Ryokan hotel in faraway Japan. The Hoshi Ryokan opened its doors in 718 – a crazy long time ago, and is still actively working in 2016. The inn has been owned by one family for 46 generations and has been accepting guests for over 1200 years, which is pretty impressive, hey?
The Hoshi holds firmly onto its customs and values, and from the moment you check in you’re given a taste of old-world rural Japan with a traditional greeting, tea ceremony and the chance to wear a yukata. You can also take a dip in its ancient wooden hot baths and enjoy delicious locally sourced Japanese food.