The 2024 Top 25 Historic Hotels Worldwide® Most Magnificent Gardens List Is Announced


Grand Hotel Tremezzo (1910) Tremezzo, Italy. Credit: Historic Hotels Worldwide and Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

WASHINGTON--()--Historic Hotels Worldwide® is pleased to announce The 2024 Top 25 Historic Hotels Worldwide Most Magnificent Gardens list. This semiannual listing is a guide to where and how travelers can experience the finest gardens at the world’s finest historic hotels and resorts. Representing four continents, the legendary hotels featured highlight many diverse and varied gardens from around the world, including estate gardens of medieval Irish castles and Mexican haciendas, and lush UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China, France, and Italy. These destinations are guaranteed to delight the senses, from the soft rustling of centennial trees and explosions of colorful flowers in springtime, to aromas of jasmine or roses and the fresh flavor of just-picked herbs. Guests are invited to explore these tranquil spaces and make lifelong memories during romantic getaways and proposals, honeymoons, weddings and anniversary celebrations, solo adventures, or family vacations. This list is an invitation to discover the bounty of travel in the beautiful gardens of Historic Hotels Worldwide, a prestigious collection of the world’s finest historic hotels.

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Dromoland Castle Hotel (1014) Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare, Ireland

No small part of the magic at ancient Dromoland Castle are its 450 acres of magnificent, landscaped gardens. Dating to 1014 and inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2011, Dromoland Castle has been welcoming guests for centuries. The gardens that visitors see today are based on designs by André Le Nôtre, who planned the Gardens of Versailles. Dromoland Castle’s gardens feature a picture-perfect lily pond and sundial, a beautiful walled garden, and a dramatic yew tree gallery that dates to 1740. In the early 1990s, Head Gardener Dorothea Madden restored the walled garden, which had become overgrown. At the same time, the lawns had fallen into grassland and the pathways were barely visible. The roses were in situ but needed attention. The lawns and rose gardens were also brought back to their former glory by Madden. To preserve the walled garden’s stone arches and keep the walls intact, the only machinery that could be used within the garden was a small tractor. Much of the hard labor was done by hand, pulling and digging out briars and other pernicious weeds. The brick for the repairs to the outer walls came from a demolished Georgian-style house in the city of Limerick. Repairs took two years to complete. The beauty and fortitude of the walled gardens in the 21st century is very much a testament to the careful work by the gardening team, supported by hotel management, and a testament to the previous generations of designers and gardeners whose hard work and creativity shaped the gardens at Dromoland Castle.

Kilkea Castle (1180) Castledermot, County Kildare, Ireland

Kilkea Castle in Castledermot, Ireland, is set on 180 acres of its own woodlands, gardens, and golf course. With a history dating to the 12th century, Kilkea Castle captures the mystical charm of a 12th-century majestic castle and combines it with the overwhelming allure of timeless sophistication and style. The castle’s beautiful architecture is matched by its lovely gardens, lawns, and wildlife. The castle's rose garden dots the 12th-century castle with red and pink blossoms in the spring. Geometrically exact, manicured topiary shrubs and rose bushes create a European-style garden right off the main keep. A square, impeccably maintained grassy lawn lies below it. Parallel to the lawn, hidden by shrubs and trimmed topiaries, is a vegetable garden. Around all these gardens is a historic stone wall, naturally covered by Ireland’s iconic lichens, mosses, and vines. Enjoy a view of the Castle gardens from the Dining Room of Kilkea Castle or the outdoor patio, a favorite choice of event planners. Walking through the paths throughout the estate, guests can discover the joy of the abundant springtime bluebells. Trees on the grounds are a mixture of native oak, ash, holly, and elder. There are also buttercups, ground ivy, lords and ladies, and ferns carpeting the grounds of the estate. Kilkea Castle was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2020.

Hotel Hacienda de Abajo (1493) Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

A member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2021, Hotel Hacienda de Abajo on the isle of La Palma in the Canary Islands is rich in both history and agriculture. The estate dates to the founding of the town of Tazacorte in 1493, and Hotel Hacienda de Abajo’s landscaped, European-style gardens date to the 1500s. It was during this early era that the Spanish estate in the Canary Islands grew into a successful sugar cane plantation. The first cultivated gardens—other than the sugar cane fields—were located at the center of the plantation and contained mostly fruit trees. The first banana trees to arrive at the island were cultivated at Hacienda de Abajo around the start of the 16th century. The descendants of those first trees still exist at the hotel today, residing in the estate’s walled garden. The hotel restored the nearly 500-year-old garden in 2012, updating it with new pathways and a traditional pond featuring a 19th-century French fountain. The garden that guests see today has an untamed atmosphere, full of rare botanical specimens both from all over the world and unique to the archipelago. Guests are encouraged to linger in the gardens and relax, and the hotel can provide a tour of the gardens upon request. Many of the guestrooms feature a garden view, some with a terrace overlooking the gardens.

Hotel Villa Cipriani (1550) Asolo, Italy

Located in the rustic town of Asolo, Italy, this magnificent historic hotel first opened as a beautiful Italian villa during the Renaissance. Hotel Villa Cipriani and its first formal gardens were designed by Italian architects of Andrea Palladio’s school of architecture in the 16th century. Palladian villas were originally built as second homes, where wealthy Venetians would spend summers away from the heat of the lagoon. The gardens were where social life was conducted, conspiracies were plotted, and romances blossomed. The idea of an English-style garden (as opposed to Palladian) was conceived and established in the 1960s, when Rupert Guiness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh, acquired the villa and preserved it as a country house. The garden’s current plantings date to the time when the villa was the home of British poet Robert Browning. He introduced tulips, roses, cypresses, laurels, maple trees, and oleander to the estate in the late 19th century, and guests can still see these throughout the estate today. The stunning terraced garden overlooks the surrounding woods and the mountains, the "hundred horizons" for which the town of Asolo is famous. Visitors walking the grounds will come across persimmons, cypresses, laurels, maple trees, and many flowering bushes. Fragrances to note include tulips and roses in the springtime, and fruits from the pomegranate tree in autumn. Famous figures who have enjoyed the beauty of the garden include actors, such as Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio De Sica, and Orson Welles, as well as royal families and tycoons. Converted into a luxury hotel in the early 1970s and named Villa Cipriani, Hotel Villa Cipriani was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2016.

Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam (1578) Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Garden Terrace is the gem of the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, the beautiful courtyard garden of a luxury hotel inside a building dating to the early 1400s. Before the historic structure was transformed into a hotel in 1578, it consisted of two convents for the orders of St. Catherine and St. Cecilia. The religious sisters founded the first garden, and it was kept throughout the centuries as the building evolved around it. Renovated and restored significantly in the centuries since, the garden today owes its beauty and architecture to Marion Faver, a well-known French garden architect, who updated the garden in 2016. The Garden Terrace features plantings that offer color and beauty year-round, including cherry trees, yew trees, camellias, rhododendrons, thyme, and fragrant boxwood. The terrace is surrounded by historic red brick walls and retains many of its authentic Amsterdam School-style architectural features. The location lends itself perfectly for a relaxing drink, a fresh cup of coffee, a business lunch, an intimate dinner, and even The Grand Afternoon Tea. When the weather permits, table service restaurants Bridges and Oriole Garden Bistro extend out to the Garden Terrace. Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam also keeps a rooftop garden to supply its restaurants with fresh vegetables and herbs. Furthermore, in partnership with De Mokumse Stadsimkerij, the hotel keeps 30,000 honeybees in their own five-star luxury accommodations. The bees produce The Grand Honey, lightly colored and strongly aromatic in flavor due to the linden trees that line Amsterdam’s streets and canals. Guests can enjoy the honey in the hotel’s dining service and even purchase a jar to take home. Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2018.

Walaker Hotell (1640) Solvorn, Norway

One of the most historic hotels in Norway, the Walaker Hotell was founded in 1640 and has been managed by the same family for more than 330 years in the storybook setting of Lustrafjord, the innermost tributary of Sognefjord, Norway's longest and deepest fjord. The hotel is only steps from the water's edge in the quaint village of Solvorn, and the main building is surrounded by beautiful historic gardens, which encompass 4–5 acres of verdant grounds. The most historic part of the garden is a cottage-style garden, with a border of lilacs and hawthorn. Many different types of perennials and berry-producing plants surround the main hotel building. There are also fruit trees, which date to 1926, close to the hotel. The most striking feature seen when approaching Walaker Hotell is a large, historic ash tree that dates to 1880. There is also an over-100-years-old Bryonia alba plant growing by the main building and gallery. The original rose garden was designed around 1930 by the seventh generation of Walaker Hotell’s family of hoteliers. The other parts of the gardens were designed by today's hostess, over the past 15 years. Today, the hotel’s ninth-generation hostess oversees the gardens. In addition to being decorative, the gardens provide the kitchen with edible flowers and herbs, as well as fruit and berries, and guests are invited to enjoy meals or libations outside during warmer months. Both the current monarchs of Norway, King Harald and Queen Sonja, have stayed at the hotel and eaten lunch in the garden on several occasions. The gardens can be reserved for weddings and other celebrations. The hotel gardener is also available during the day to talk to guests and answer any questions. Walaker Hotell was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2023.

Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa (1660) Cape Town, South Africa

Tucked away within the historic Cape Winelands of South Africa, the gardens at Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa are truly a hidden gem, offering guests a tranquil oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Recently, the resort transformed its 3,000 square meter central courtyard into a lush haven featuring winding cobblestone paths, native plantings, green lawns, and a soothing water feature. A vegetable garden and small vineyard were also added to provide fresh produce for the kitchen. Southern magnolias, majestic camphor trees, English oaks, London planes, and sweetgums, create a lush tree canopy that keeps the garden cool and shady. These selections were chosen not only for their aesthetic appeal, but also for their historical significance and ability to thrive in South Africa's wine country climate. The garden was designed and installed by Alan Dawson Gardens, with five permanent gardeners now ensuring its upkeep and maintenance. Their meticulous care has shaped the serene environment that complements the hotel's historic charm. When the resort was closed to guests during the pandemic, Erinvale Estate embarked on a major landscaping project to further upgrade its gardens. Parking areas were repurposed to create green pathways, lawn areas were introduced around the guestrooms for guest enjoyment, and water features were strategically placed throughout the garden. Around the guestrooms there is a mixture of native plants, Mediterranean perennials, and grasses. The revitalization of the resort’s historic gardens is a testament to the dedication and creativity of the team at Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa, which was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2018.

Hacienda de los Santos (1685) Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

Discover the luxurious Hacienda de los Santos in Alamos, Mexico. Set in the foothills of the western Sierra Madre, this unique boutique hotel is situated within the charming city of Alamos, which was designated as a National Historic Monument of Mexico. Family-owned and operated, the "House of the Saints" is comprised of three Colonial-style mansions that date to the 17th century. In 1989, the new owners began a project to redesign the gardens. In previous centuries, there was a large, formal European-style geometric garden as the focal point. These gardens were unsustainable for environmentally conscious management, and the new garden was designed and constructed with plantings that would do well in the desert or tropical zone of Mexico. Today, the estate features an extensive collection of various palms, succulents, at least ten types of cacti, bougainvillea, plumeria, mango, tangerine, papaya, banana, Mexican lime, and important deciduous trees, including eucalyptus, nacapul, and camochi (similar to Banyan or 'Strangler fig'). The hotel plants flowering or seasonal plantings throughout the year to add color. Walkways, lined with grasses, flowers, and art, meander through the estate and lead guests on a tour of the region’s horticultural diversity. Every summer, the kitchen staff prepares enough marmalade to take care of the hotel's needs for a year. The homemade mango marmalade is served with every breakfast at Hacienda de los Santos and also sold by the jar. Hacienda de los Santos was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2015.

Carton House Hotel, A Fairmont Managed Hotel (1739) Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland

Established as a private country estate in 1739, Carton House Hotel, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, is set on 1,100 acres of parkland in the heart of County Kildare, Ireland, with many gardens and woodlands for visitors to explore amidst stunning scenery. In the mid-eighteenth century, Robert FitzGerald, 19th Earl of Kildare, established a beautiful Georgian-style manor house. His son, James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare, married Lady Emily Lennox in 1747. Lady Emily FitzGerald oversaw many improvements to the manor and the grounds, including the creation of many manicured gardens throughout the estate, such as the rose garden. Other portions of the estate were more recently designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), where the estate has been able to protect non-native or otherwise exotic flora brought to Carton House throughout the centuries by adventurous botanists. Non-native plantings include Oriental planes, Persian ironwoods, tiger spruce, and yellow oak. The groundskeepers have also planted acres of native Irish species such as beech, oak, and ash trees. Around 100,000 trees were planted as part of the estate’s woodland regeneration project. Each season brings its own beauty to the woodland and glades, with carpets and scatterings of snowdrops, crocuses, bluebells, and pungent wild garlic. The resort also keeps an herb garden and apiary to support food and beverage service with fresh ingredients. Visitors are welcome to meet with the beekeeper to learn about the Carton House beehives and to sample Carton House honey. Famous historical figures have also visited the estate’s gardens: Queen Victoria knew them well. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier came for a holiday. Peter Sellers and Marianne Faithfull lived at Carton House for years. Now, one of Ireland’s most historic resorts is open to the public to stay and enjoy. Carton House Hotel, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2023.

Tivoli Palácio de Seteais (1787) Sintra, Portugal

Built on the orders of the Dutch consul Daniel Gildemeester, Tivoli Palacio de Seteais in Sintra, Portugal, was built between 1783 and 1787 on lands granted by the Marquis of Pombal. The diplomat chose to build his house on an elevation, so that he could enjoy the gorgeous landscape of the Sintra mountains. Among the first decorative plantings at the new Seteais Palace were fruit trees. After changing hands several times, the Seteais Palace has been used as a luxury hotel since 1954, and many of its original features have been meticulously preserved for future generations to admire. This grand historic destination underwent a massive renovation in 2009, and Tivoli Palacio de Seteais was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2016. The gardens evolved over the centuries to meet the needs and preferences of the people living there. The estate’s topiary maze dates to the 19th century, and guests can navigate the maze today. The edible garden that was added in the 21st century offers the hotel’s chefs a variety of herbs and over 20 lemon trees with which to craft a cocktail or meal for visitors. Guests are welcome to stroll the grounds and may even spot the hotel chefs finding the right ingredients for that day's menu. Among the most magnificent flowering plants in Tivoli Palacio de Seteais gardens are white and pink camellias. Sintra is famous for camellias, which grow abundantly due to the region’s high rainfall, acidic soil, and mild climate. This destination is also home to a large nursery that provides the hotel with lush greens and blooms.

The K Club (1832) Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland

Nestled on over 550 acres in the pastoral countryside of County Kildare, Ireland, and only 30 minutes from bustling Dublin, The K Club is a perfect retreat for guests seeking a rural and luxurious stay. The resort offers award-winning dining, a spa, golf, and beautiful formal gardens. Shrubs and flowers grow in abundance here, including the Straffan snowdrop, a white spring flowering bulb first tended to in the 1880s by the head gardener, Frederick Bedford. The K Club’s contemporary gardens are similar to the ones that were laid out upon the completion of the main house in the 1830s. The main gardens, located behind the hotel, overlook the River Liffey. The formal flower garden at the base of the steps leading from the hotel is surrounded by a 200-year-old yew hedge, and the path leading from the hotel to the river is lined by 10 Irish yew trees of a similar age. A stone path through the manicured lawn and gardens ends at a pool featuring a fountain dating to 1853 by the Parisian fountain makers Val d'Osne. There are several trees recorded in the Tree Register of Ireland in the arboretum: a cedar tree that is an Irish Champion for girth; as well as two County Kildare Champions for height, a tulip tree and a magnolia tree. Under the parkland trees, the gardeners plant anemones, snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils in the springtime. The landscape of the gardens has continued to evolve under the different owners throughout the years, but always following the original landscaping style that was laid out at the beginning. Garden tours with the head gardener are available and can be booked through the hotel’s reception. A pamphlet guide to the walks and flora of note in the vicinity of the hotel is available for self-guided tours, and many of the noted trees have identifying plaques attached to them. The K Club was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2015.

Hotel Le Louis Versailles Château - MGallery by Sofitel (1854) Versailles, France

Hotel Le Louis Versailles Château - MGallery is situated before the resplendent Château de Versailles, the magnificent palace and gardens of the French royal court throughout much of the 17th and 18th centuries. During that time, the land that the hotel now occupies belonged to the estate, with beautiful sprawling gardens covering the area and mesmerizing the countless guests who traveled to visit the king. The building containing Hôtel Le Louis Versailles Château - MGallery by Sofitel dates to 1854. A segment of the gardens was set aside for a new military building, which was later transformed into a luxury hotel for visitors eager to explore Versailles. Restored in 2017, the facade's modern design took direct inspiration from Château de Versailles itself, and the Versailles gardens influenced the interior: hues of gold and emerald green—emblematic of the colors in the Gardens of Versailles—define the hotel’s lobby. Other design elements reinforce the notion that guests are traversing the vegetation of Versailles’ brilliant landscape. The hotel is a mere 200 meters from the UNESCO World Heritage Site that set the bar for magnificent gardens for centuries to come. Designed by legendary landscape architect André Le Nôtre, who created the classic French-style garden now seen around the globe, the gardens at Versailles feature an “open system of axial pathways extending as far as the eye can see and punctuated with flowers and low hedges, flower beds, small streams, large lakes and fountains” (UNESCO Description). Hôtel Le Louis Versailles Château - MGallery by Sofitel was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2018.

The Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor (1886) Luxor, Egypt

The story of the gardens at Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor begins in 1886, when the hotel was built by Italian businessman J.S. Crozzo. Perched on the Nile River amid luxuriant tropical gardens and ancient temples, the hotel in its early days was supplied with vegetables and fruits from its own gardens. Ducks and chickens, bound for the kitchens, could also be seen meandering in the gardens. Guests throughout its history include illustrious figures, such as Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, and King Albert I of Belgium. Today, this 10 acre garden is kept for its beauty as well as its fruit, and features over 50 species of trees, some of which are over 100 years old. The trees in the gardens have been documented, and each tree is tagged, stating its species and the year it was planted. An ished tree, a sacred Egyptian tree, was planted close to the Pavillon entrance in the summer of 2009. According to some myths, the end of the winter solstice rituals included the splitting of the ished tree. Walking through the hotel grounds, guests will also encounter banana, orange, and lime trees, as well as a variety of exotic flowers. This vast variety of flora attracts many species of birds, and there is even a family of eagles that delight guests. The garden invites guests to relax and explore the rich culture and lush, natural beauty of the Nile. Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2014.

Fairmont Banff Springs (1888) Banff, Alberta, Canada

Fairmont Banff Springs is a luxury destination located within the awe-inspiring Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and nicknamed the “Castle in the Rockies.” This grand hotel has provided guests with incomparable access to the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and all it has to offer since it opened in 1888. On the majestic garden terrace, the verdant flora of this magnificent space radiates through the bucolic majesty of the surrounding Banff National Park. Guests will adore the fresh mountain air that wafts throughout the terrace grounds, as they stroll amongst the colorful flowers. Countless weddings are frequently held within the gardens, for its picturesque setting is nothing short of spectacular. Its inherent natural beauty has even inspired the Canadian Directory of Federal Heritage Designations to recognize it as a “character-defining element” of Fairmont Banff Springs. Beyond the hotel, guests can look for wildflowers, including the prairie crocus, western wood lily, yellow lady's slipper, Indian paintbrush, and wild rose. Fairmont Banff Springs was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2018.

Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese (1890) Rome, Italy

Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese in the historic center of Rome—a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes Vatican City and the Colosseum—derives its name from the historic public park that is located just steps away. Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese was constructed in 1890. The magnificent Villa Borghese gardens are located just across the street, and extend for 198 acres. The history of this magnificent garden dates to the early 1600s, when Cardinal Scipione Borghese of the powerful Borghese dynasty wanted to construct an impressive manor and landscaped estate atop the famed Pincian Hill. The nobleman specifically hoped that the villa’s grand architectural appearance would emphasize the family’s prestige. After hiring leading architects to design the palazzo, the cardinal partnered with a renowned landscaper named Domenico Savino da Montepulciano to transform the surrounding grounds into a gorgeous series of lavish gardens. At first, Borghese had operated the site as his own private vineyard, but he envisioned its future as a tranquil nature preserve where he could both hunt and relax. Montepulciano, the landscape architect, manifested the cardinal’s vision magnificently, installing a series of extravagant fountains, sculptures, and hedges around the palazzo. Today, Villa Borghese is a spectacular park that is open to the public and is only a short walk from the historic Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese. Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2018.

Dalen Hotel (1894) Dalen, Norway

Dalen Hotel in Telemark County, Norway, is a destination that appears to come straight out of a children’s fairy tale. Designed by Haldor Larsen Børve, a German-educated architect well-versed in Swiss-style architecture, the hotel exhibits architectural details plucked from traditional medieval churches. Dalen Hotel is adorned with opulent details like dragonheads and soaring spires. This beautiful architecture is set upon equally elegant gardens, which benefit from a warm spring and summer climate that is rare throughout the rest of Norway. While warmer climates may allow for more extensive gardening projects during the spring and summer, the long, cold winters of the Nordic region still reach Dalen Hotel. The garden at Dalen Hotel is unique in this context, featuring the perfect balance between cultivated exotic plants and wild local fauna. The hotel's gardener is charged with caring for 55 varieties of flowers and trees. The most historic planting at the estate is a grand sycamore maple, which was planted at the grand opening of Dalen Hotel on September 8, 1894. The hotel's beautiful garden undulates toward Lake Bandak and the spectacular Soria Moria Sauna. Steep mountainsides delve into deep waters, creating a dramatic backdrop for Dalen Hotel's gardens. Guests can enjoy the gardens by relaxing on the terrace overlooking the garden and Lake Bandak, or strolling through the estate. The gardens provide a range of outdoor activities including playing croquet or “Dalen Dragon Edition” cornhole, and by making friends with the hotel’s most popular residents, the ducks of Dalen. The ducks enjoy free rein of the castle gardens and can be seen gallivanting around the estate throughout the warmer season. Dalen Hotel was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2012.

Hacienda Santa Rosa, A Luxury Collection Hotel (1897) Santa Rosa, Yucatán, Mexico

Hacienda Santa Rosa, A Luxury Collection Hotel on the Yucatán Peninsula, was formerly a private estate and features uniquely carved columns, ornate gardens, and evening campfires. The estate was once one of the most successful fruit plantations in the region. It was fully restored in 1998 and opened as a luxury hotel. Today, there is a botanical garden located within the grounds of the historic fruit plantation, with over 200 species of plants, several of which are native to the Yucatán Peninsula. These ornate gardens are beloved by guests looking for a beautiful stroll, and the onsite vegetable garden includes ingredients used in the hotel’s restaurant. The hotel's signature cocktail, “The Last Cocktail,” is an exquisite mix of gin, pear nectar, lime juice, sparkling wine, and a unique syrup infusion made with rosemary grown in the hotel’s own botanical garden. Along with fruit production, the Hacienda also once produced sisal, which was used in the manufacturing of strong textiles, such as rope. Guests today can visit the areas where sisal production once took place, as they now constitute the grounds of the hotel’s gardens. The open patios and garden guestrooms mean that the fragrances and colors of the hacienda’s blooms surround visitors. Beyond the estate, Hacienda Santa Rosa is surrounded by other beautiful natural wonders—such as the Calcehtok Caves—as well as the rich archeological sites of Oxkintok and Uxmal. Hacienda Santa Rosa, A Luxury Collection Hotel was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2016.

Haaheim Gaard (1907) Uggdal, Norway

The estate grounds of the historic Haaheim Gaard hotel were first permanently settled around A.D. 400, when early Norse settlers began to build and change the landscape. While gardens and cultivation have been part of the hotel grounds since human settlement there, the first formal garden was laid out in the 1600s. While it is unknown what plants were grown in this first garden, medicinal plants can be found growing wild on the hotel’s lawns today, and it is presumed that these are descendants of the first garden. Also left in the Haaheim Gaard gardens by earlier settlers is a fallosstone—an ancient pre-Christian fertility monument common throughout the region—that has been standing proudly for around 1600 years. The hotel opened in 1907 to welcome guests to this special place. In the late 1800s, Kari and Kristoffer Haaheim laid out a fruit and berries garden and a vegetable garden. The bounty of the garden they designed still provides fresh produce for the hotel kitchen today, and many of the current plantings are descended from the original seeds. The current owner is an avid fan of gardening, having studied it for eight years abroad, and redesigned the grounds in 2000. His influence gave the gardens its many hideaways. The grounds around the garden include a small chapel that is a popular wedding venue, a greenhouse, an orangery, and a teahouse. The hotel offers daily garden walks on the grounds during the summer. Volunteers are welcomed to the hotel to help maintain the garden, and Haaheim Gaard occasionally sells seedlings, so guests can take a piece of the garden home. Planning a trip and wondering what the garden will look like? At Haaheim Gaard, guests will see lilies in April, rhododendrons in May, roses in July, and an explosion of big blooms in August. Haaheim Gaard was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2013.

Fairmont Empress (1908) Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Fairmont Empress sits on eight acres of beautifully manicured lawns and gardens, located on Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The hotel is well-known for its vibrant blooms and lush greenery, which provide a sprawling oasis in British Columbia’s capital city, also known as the “ City of Gardens.” The stunning gardens were developed soon after the hotel’s opening in 1908. The first head gardener, Fred Saunders, joined the gardening team that year as an assistant, and devoted his career to perfecting the gardens. The gardens he developed for the Empress were reminiscent of the grounds of an English country estate, with climbing wisteria and pergolas entwined with perfumed roses. Every season, six full-time gardeners rejuvenate the grounds with new blooms and foliage. Over 30,000 tulips blossom in the spring, adding a burst of vibrant colors across the property. During the summer until the end of fall, hydrangeas, dahlias, and geraniums overflow the planters and flowerbeds. More than 30 varieties of roses are on display from April to the end of November in the Rose Garden. In the winter, twinkling white lights provide an extra layer of magic amidst the winter greenery. The gardens, spanning 4.5 acres, include a variety of trees, plants, flowers, and herbs—all carefully chosen for their presentation, fragrance, and ability to attract pollinators. In the Centennial Garden, located on the northwest side of the hotel, the honeybee apiary produces 700 pounds of honey annually, which can be sampled onsite at the hotel’s restaurants and bar. A rooftop herb garden also produces herbs like rosemary, lavender, and thyme, which are included in dishes. The historic gardens have witnessed significant moments in history and hosted many special guests, including royalty, adding to its allure and charm. Many garden and tea parties, croquet tournaments, and weddings have taken place in the gardens. Fairmont Empress was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2017.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo (1910) Tremezzo, Italy

Immersed in the beauty of Italy’s idyllic Lake Como and offering a spectacular view of the surrounding Alps, the historic Grand Hotel Tremezzo is a treasured example of the finest authentic Italian palazzos. The original building was established in 1910 as a private home. The hotel is located inside a beautiful park developed a century ago. The more than 20,000-square-foot park features many footpaths and steps that wind gently up the hill to the Belvedere, where it adjoins the neighboring gardens of Villa Carlotta. In the past, part of the garden belonged to the Villa Carlotta’s botanic garden. Rare ancient magnolias stand among a profusion of palms in the Riviera-like climate. Blankets of azaleas, tulips, and geraniums, hedges of rhododendron and beds of hydrangea, provide an alternating color palette, with expanses of pinks and reds, and purples and blues that accent breathtaking glimpses of the lake below. There are hundreds of ornamental plantings, such as the creeping fig, covering the palace’s facade. A few centennial trees tower majestically. The abundance of fragrant flowers inspired the hotel to design and market a fragrance through its Sense of Lake boutique: Aqua Como. It is the signature scent of the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, which blends the floral fragrance of its lush gardens with the fresh notes of the Lake Como breeze. The flowers can also be found indoors, decorating guestrooms and lounges, and guests are welcome to wander in the garden and pick flowers to create their own bouquets. Grand Hotel Tremezzo was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2012.

Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows (1923) Chichen Itza, Yucatán, Mexico

The historic Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows is in the heart of the pre-Hispanic city of Chichén Itzá, one of the best-preserved treasures of the Mayan culture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows is known for its luxury and Mexican-style architecture, including the rich ornamentation of local timbers carved by local artists that harmonize with the lush tropical environment. The hotel is surrounded by coconut and banana palm trees, flowering from the resort’s beautiful gardens. These trees tower over the pools, paths, patios, and spa, giving shade to travelers and staff alike. The gardens of Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows have been nurtured by six generations of the Barbachano family since 1923, and occupy over 10 acres of the 550 acres of tropical forest on the hotel’s grounds. There are over 100 varieties of flowering trees, flowers, and ornamental plants found in these gardens. The southeastern area of the tropical forest is the most tranquil. The original plantings came from Hacienda Uxmal in the 1920s, including native palm trees and flowering trees of the region. The most predominant of the plantings are royal poinciana trees, known in the Yucatán as the flamboyan (“flame tree”). Although originally from Madagascar, these flame-red flowering trees have been associated with the colonial villages of the Yucatán since the 18th century. Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2015.

Garden Hotel Suzhou (1930) Suzhou, China

Located mere minutes away from the renowned Master of the Nets Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Suzhou, China, Garden Hotel Suzhou has its own fascinating history and magnificent gardens. The hotel estate was originally developed during the early 1930s as the personal residence for Chiang Kai-shek’s second wife, Yao Yecheng. Garden Hotel Suzhou features a traditional Chinese garden, installed in 1952. That year, Garden Hotel Suzhou became an official state guesthouse for Communist Party leaders, foreign dignitaries, and privileged travelers. The garden is an example of treasured, ancient Chinese architecture—a kind of environmental art, which combines artificial mountains, rivers, plants, and structures with the natural landscape. Traditional plantings include maples, laurel trees, camphor trees, pines, lotuses, and plum blossoms. The flora changes continually with the seasons and provides a sensory experience for visitors. Guests can take a stroll around the gardens and appreciate the delicately sculpted ponds and rockeries, elegant beams and pillars, and carefully organized trees and flowers. Within this magical garden setting, the heritage villas feature classic Suzhou-style architecture and elegantly designed guestrooms equipped with the latest contemporary comforts. For a classic Suzhou experience, this tranquil retreat is truly set apart. Garden Hotel Suzhou was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2022.

Fairmont Le Château Montebello (1930) Québec, Canada

Taste and explore the Chef's Gardens at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. Situated on the Ottawa River in Québec, Canada, the grand cedar structure of Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello greets guests, and the historic resort features buildings that date to 1930. The grand Chef’s Gardens were planted over 25 years ago between the historic log structure and the Ottawa River. The gardens feature more than 15 varieties of herbs, 10 varieties of edible flowers, and 12 varieties of vegetables. Most of the additional produce is provided by a local certified organic farm. The gardens are enriched with the resort’s own homemade compost and are sustained with water from the Ottawa River. Guests are invited to wander the gardens, especially throughout the summer when the garden is in full swing. Visitors are invited to approach the resort’s chefs, identifiable by their tall white hats, and ask about the fresh produce and food at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. As culinary artisans, this historic resort’s kitchen team is enthusiastic about fresh produce and happy to speak with guests about the garden. Inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2017, this outstanding historic destination is an escape into nature that will not require guests to give up their creature comforts.

Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel Xian (1953) Xian, China

Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel Xian and its gardens are located in the ancient city of Xian, China. The beautiful hotel grounds feature 40,000 sq m of lush gardens, with over 10,000 trees and plants and 4,000 birds—an oasis within Xian’s urban center. Water features include sparkling clear streams and formal fountains. Guests can enjoy walking through the gardens or sitting in them. The swimming pools and fitness center feature lush, colorful settings as well. Among the thousands of plants are 12 olive trees that were grown from the seeds that were presented to the first Premier Zhou Enlai during an official government visit to Albania. The hotel and its magnificent garden date to 1951, when the land upon which the current hotel stands was designated for the State Guesthouse of Xian. Construction commenced immediately thereafter and lasted for two years. Designed by the Chief Architect of the Northwest Institute of Architectural Design, Hong Qing, the hotel’s iconic building was influenced by French, Sino-Russian, and Art Deco architectural styles. Ever since, the stunning hotel and gardens have been enjoyed by leaders from around the world. As the only licensed State Guesthouse in Xian, this hotel has hosted visiting dignitaries and heads of state such as Chinese Marshal Chen Yi, United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, French President François Mitterrand, and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel Xian was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2018.

Half Moon (1954) Montego Bay, Jamaica

Located along the tranquil coastline of Jamaica’s picturesque North Coast, Half Moon resort on Montego Bay is among the most exciting places to visit on the island. The entire Half Moon resort is essentially a magnificent garden, spanning 400 acres of exquisitely manicured grounds and two miles of private beachfront, with the Caribbean Sea to the north and lush hillsides to the south. The accommodations and event spaces blend seamlessly with the natural beauty of the tropical gardens, creating a sense of serene luxury. Jamaica is home to a wide variety of native plants and herbs, and many can be found on the resort’s grounds, including royal palms, coconut trees, heliconias, bamboo, and other indigenous species and medical herbs. In the spa garden, the resort cultivates several herbs that are deeply rooted in Jamaican culture and used in treatments, such as hemp, lemongrass, aloe vera, and cerasee. The onsite gardens provide at least 20 percent of the resort’s herbs, vegetables, and fruits. On the resort’s guided botanical tours, visitors can learn about local flora and its significance in Jamaica’s traditions, medicines, cuisine, and sustainability practices. From majestic palms to tropical fruit trees like the otaheite apple tree, banana tree, breadfruit tree, mango tree, and coconut tree, to national treasures like the lignum vitae and ackee trees, the variety of trees is remarkable. Guests can learn about the history and cultural significance of native plants and herbs, along with their applications in food, medicine, and traditional crafts. The tour ends in the plant nursery and concludes with the chance to sample freshly picked coconuts. The resort also keeps bees, as part of its sustainability and education initiatives, and visitors can purchase honey at the resort’s gift shop. Half Moon was inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide in 2023.

“Discovering, exploring, and experiencing the gardens of Historic Hotels Worldwide should be on everyone’s bucket list,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Whether a guest wants to walk alone, take a romantic stroll with a loved one, enjoy a perfect setting for uninterrupted conversations, or just take a restful quiet stroll, these historic gardens are truly magnificent and create wonderful long-lasting memories guests will want to share.”

About Historic Hotels Worldwide®

Historic Hotels Worldwide is a prestigious and distinctive collection of historic treasures, including luxury historic hotels built in former castles, chateaus, palaces, academies, haciendas, villas, monasteries, and other historic lodging spanning ten centuries. Historic Hotels Worldwide represents the finest and most distinctive global collection of more than 320 historic hotels in 47 countries. Hotels inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide are authentic historic treasures, demonstrate historic preservation, and celebrate historic significance. Eligibility for induction into Historic Hotels Worldwide is limited to those distinctive historic hotels that adhere to the following criteria: minimum age for the building is 75 years or older; historically relevant as a significant location within a historic district, historically significant landmark, place of a historic event, former home of a famous person, or historic city center; hotel celebrates its history by showcasing memorabilia, artwork, photography, and other examples of its historic significance; recognized by national preservation or heritage buildings organization or located within UNESCO World Heritage Site; and presently used as historic hotel. For more information, please visit


Katherine Orr
Historic Hotels of America® │ Historic Hotels Worldwide®
Director, Marketing Strategy & Communications
Tel: +1-202-772-8337

Release Summary

The 2024 Top 25 Historic Hotels Worldwide® Most Magnificent Gardens List Is Announced


Katherine Orr
Historic Hotels of America® │ Historic Hotels Worldwide®
Director, Marketing Strategy & Communications
Tel: +1-202-772-8337