Historic Hotels and Recipients Honored at the 2015 Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner

West Baden Springs, Indiana – October 9, 2015, Historic Hotels of America 2015 Awards of Excellence winners were announced at West Baden Springs Hotel (1902) at French Lick Resort in West Baden Springs, Indiana on Thursday, October 8. Awards were presented before an audience of more than 200 owners, senior management, invited media, industry leaders, and representatives from the finest historic hotels across America. Honors were given in multiple categories ranging from Hotelier of the Year and Hotel Historian of the Year to Best Historic Resort, Historic Hotelier of the Year, and others.

Each year, these awards honor, encourage, and recognize the most exemplary historic hotels, hoteliers, and leadership practices. The Awards of Excellence are presented to historic hotels demonstrating the highest contribution to furthering the celebration of history and demonstrating leadership and innovation.

From more than 200 nominees, the following Historic Hotels of America hotels and hoteliers were honored with these prestigious awards:

Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year

  • Hilton Chicago (1927) Chicago, Illinois

Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (Under 75 Guestrooms)

  • Green Park Inn (1891) Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Best Historic Hotel (75-200 Guestrooms)

  • The Jefferson, Washington, DC (1923) Washington, DC

Best Historic Hotel (201-400 Guestrooms)

  • Loews Don CeSar Hotel (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida

Best City Center Historic Hotel

  • Hawthorne Hotel (1925) Salem, Massachusetts

Best Historic Hotel (Over 400 Guestrooms)

  • The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee

Best Historic Resort

  • Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan

Hotel Historian of the Year

  • Michaelene Lusk Norton, The Lancaster Hotel (1926) Houston, Texas

Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year

  • The Lusk Family, The Lancaster Hotel (1926) Houston, Texas

Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel

  • Plume, The Jefferson, Washington, DC (1923) Washington, DC

Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel

  • French Lick Resort (1845) French Lick, Indiana

Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion

  • Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Historic Hotels of America Ambassador of the Year (Quarter Century Service)

  • Bill Ott, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas

2015 Historic Hotelier of the Year

  • Dean Lane, Palmer House®, A Hilton Hotel (1871) Chicago, Illinois

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Gayle Cook

2015 Historic Hotels of America Historian of the Year Award

  • Stanley Turkel, Author and Consultant

2016 Historic Hotels of America Journalist of the Year Award

  • Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor for CBS News

“Historic Hotels of America is proud to congratulate the 2015 Awards of Excellence winners,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “These historic hotels and hoteliers represent the pinnacle in historic hotels and their achievements from Portland, Oregon to St. Pete Beach, Florida.”

The hotels were nominated by fellow members, past award recipients, and honorees. A panel of experts judged and weighed the nominees in each category in order to determine a winner. As the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America provides the recognition to travelers, civic leaders, and the global cultural, heritage and historic travel market that the members’ hotels are among the finest historic hotels across America.