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The 2019 Historic Hotels of America’s “Top 25 Most Magnificent Gardens” Includes California Favorites

Historic Hotels of America have some of the most magnificent and beautiful storybook gardens. Numerous life-long memories of special occasions celebrated in the gardens of historic hotels include romantic getaways, romantic proposals, honeymoons, anniversaries, and family reunions. Multigenerational guests select a historic resort to explore, experience, and grow their own ever-blossoming memories in beautiful gardens located at historic hotels. 

Some of these spectacular favorites happen to be based in California. They include:

Claremont Club & Spa (1915)

Berkeley, California

The historic Claremont Club & Spa has 22 acres of landscaped gardens. Included throughout the grounds are sumptuous rose gardens. Wild bees are welcomed at the Claremont, with a ‘bee hotel’ on the grounds, designed in organization with ‘Pollinator Partnership’ to encourage bees in the area and pollination in the gardens. 

Ojai Valley Inn (1923) Ojai, California

Margaret Sears, celebrated landscape architect created the original gardens for Ojai Valley Inn, dating back to the 1930s. Sears also was responsible for the landscaping in the classic movie, Gone with the Wind. In 2008, Leland Walmsley, grandson of Sears followed in her footsteps and created an expansion to the Inn’s original gardens. Six gardens were added, creating a tropical oasis. Included in the expansion was an organic vegetable garden for the Chef whose restaurant overlooks the restored native creek-side habitat and two outdoor wedding sites. One of the most noted herbs at the Inn is the lavender that is found throughout the resort. Often used in wedding bouquets, lavender can be found planted in numerous places on the grounds, and perfuming the air in the award winning spa. 

Some other favorites, outside of California include:

La Posada de Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa (1882) Santa Fe, New Mexico

The gardens at La Posada de Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa trace their history back to one of the original owner’s, Julia Staab, and the garden she planted in the late 1800’s. There are many walkways for guests to explore a variety of fruit trees, walnut trees, hickory trees, elm trees, aspen trees, and cherry blossom trees. Some of these historical trees are over 130 years old. Guests can view the beauty of natural grasses with a variety of roses, all shades of lilacs, butterfly bushes, and daffodils. The best time to see the most vibrant blooms is from May to September. 

The Broadmoor (1918)

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Broadmoor’s gardens cover 35 acres. The landscaping and flowering gardens encourage guests to experience several different types of landscape, and the original European theme throughout the resort. As guests drive up the entrance to the main hotel, they view a formal garden with the hedged boxwoods and junipers and a water feature with water lilies blooming on top of the water surrounding the 10 acre lake. In the spring time, over 18,000 daffodils and 25,000 pansies are planted. In the summer there are over 35,000 annual and 12,000 plants scattered in pots and hanging baskets around the resort. In addition to the flowers throughout, Broadmoor Farms grows organic vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and fruits for the award winning Penrose Restaurant and other restaurants. Honey is produced on-site by the Broadmoor bees. 

Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort (1929) Tucson, Arizona

Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch was first established in 1929 as a school for girls. Many of the cacti and trees in the historical photos can be seen today, taller and fuller. From the first moment guests enter the 34-acre Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort beautiful flora and fauna surrounds. The walkway up to the historic archway features stunning, desert flowers frequented by hummingbirds, butterflies and lizards. The botanical gardens feature varieties of Agave, Yucca, cactus and multitudes of annuals that bloom seasonally. The resort also features a chef’s garden and a bartender’s garden, filled with herbs, spices and citrus fruits to be used at both of award-winning restaurants on site. Because of Tucson’s mild climate and hearty desert plants, there are beautiful blooms in season year-round. 

Royal Palms Resort and Spa (1948)
Phoenix, Arizona

The grounds at the Royal Palms Resort feature whimsical stone walkways, manicured courtyards, hidden gardens and fountains. There are many lush gardens that can be found at this historic resort, including the Alegria Garden. This private outdoor garden is enclosed by four stone walls and surrounded by vibrant flowers and fragrant citrus trees, making it a great location for celebrating significant milestones. The Jardin D’Amore (Garden of Love) is a sumptuous garden nestled in a quiet, intimate area of the resort with gorgeous views of Camelback Mountain. 

For a complete listing of iconic historic hotels with beautiful historic gardens for you to view and stroll through, visit HistoricHotels.org/Gardens.

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. To learn more, please visit HistoricHotels.org. 

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