Historic Artifacts at Hotels

Like antiques? These hotels have them.

The world is full of historical artifacts, many housed in museums or private collections. There are, however, a few hotels that boast rare collections of history.

Stay in such a hotel and you can enjoy the exclusive opportunity to see history up close.

Located on a 30-acre coffee plantation, Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose boasts tables in its lobby that were once beds used by nuns in Guatemalan convents. In addition, the hacienda’s front courtyard features stones that originally covered the streets of Cartago in 1910.

Costa Rica Marriott Historic table 2

The Normandie Lounge of Hilton Chicago is curated with chandeliers, custom mahogany panels, built-in bars and seating from the Normandie – a ship used by the U.S. Army during World War II. After a French cruise liner caught fire in the New York harbor in 1945, the remaining parts were sold to the hotel in an auction and converted into a WW II ship.

Hilton Chicago - Normandie Lounge

In 1971 at New York Hilton Midtown, John Lennon and Yoko Ono took up residence. Here, Lennon penned the lyrics to “Imagine” on hotel letterhead. You can stay in the hotel that is home to where the song originated.

Matching the décor of this 1800s stone castle, Belhurst Castle features a full suit of armor. Purchased by the castle’s previous owner, the refurbished suit of armor is 200 years old.


The lobby of Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids turns 100 this year. The most notable item is a wooden-gilded “sunburst” which hung for more than 150 years in the ballroom of the Palazzo Morosini, the palace of a wealthy merchant in Venice, Italy built in the 17th Century.

Amway Grand Plaza

The historic wine country villa Geneva on the Lake features a mid-17th Century English carved oak box in the property’s dining room. Once used to store religious texts, the box has since been repurposed as a table that supports an 18th Century Portuguese planter box.

Geneva on the Lake

Located steps from St. Stephen’s Basilica, Aria Hotel Budapest was rebuilt in limestone to replicate the architecture of its original 19th Century bank building. Its original Neoclassical spiral staircase was preserved and reaches the hotel’s rooftop, now topped with a glass surface creating a stunning visual centerpiece.

Aria Hotel Budapest - Spiral Staircase

Henry Flagler, the founder of the famed Seven Mile Bridge that connects Marathon to the Keys, was also the founder of the historic Casa Marina in Key West. Merging two passions, he used the same concrete foundation imported from Germany to build the hotel and bridge. To this day, the resort boasts historic 1982 concrete.

Casa Marina

The Inns of Aurora in the Finger Lakes, New York features four oil paintings by Charles Loring Elliott created in 1842. The portraits, found behind a radiator during the Inn’s restoration in 2003, were inspiration for the property’s décor and now hang above a fireplace in the lobby.

Aurora Inn Fireplace

The Waldorf Astoria New York’s Presidential Suite, host to every U.S. president since Hoover, features one of President John F. Kennedy’s rocking chairs and the personal desk of General Douglas MacArthur. Presidential gifts also include a gold oval mirror and eagle-base table from President Reagan as well as an eagle desk set from President Carter.

JFK Rocking Chair in Presidential Suite

– Text & images courtesy Quinn PR

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