Boone Tavern Nominated for “Best” in Historic Hotels of America Awards

Boone Tavern, the historic hotel owned by Berea College, has been nominated for the Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence as Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel in the category for hotels with less than 75 guest rooms. Boone Tavern’s Dining Room also has been nominated as Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel. The Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence recognize and celebrate the finest historic hotels and hoteliers across the nation.

Boone Tavern is one of 11 nominees in the Best Small Historic Inn category for hotels with 75 rooms or less. Other nominees include: Castle Hotel & Spa (1910) Tarrytown, New York; Cork Factory Hotel (1865) Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Green Park Inn (1891) Blowing Rock, North Carolina; Hotel Brexton (1881) Baltimore, Maryland; Hotel El Convento (1631) San Juan, Puerto Rico; Kelley House of Martha’s Vineyard (1742) Edgartown, Massachusetts; Mast Farm Inn (1792) Banner Elk, North Carolina; Nottoway Plantation (1859) White Castle, Louisiana; The Smith House (1899) Dahlonega, Georgia; and Timberline Lodge (1938) Mount Hood, Oregon.

Eighteen historic restaurants were nominated for Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel. In addition to Boone Tavern, nominees include: Bix Bistro at the Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection (1915) Davenport, Iowa; Café du Parc at The Willard InterContinental, Washington DC (1901) Washington, DC; Chestnut Grill at the Green Park Inn (1891) Blowing Rock, North Carolina; The Circular at The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania; Cork & Cap Restaurant at the Cork Factory Hotel (1865) Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Diamond Belle Saloon at The Strater Hotel (1887) Durango, Colorado; The Dining Room at The Nittany Lion Inn of the Pennsylvania State University (1931) State College, Pennsylvania; English Grill at The Brown Hotel (1923) Louisville, Kentucky; Equus Restaurant at Castle Hotel & Spa (1910) Tarrytown, New York; French Kitchen at Lord Baltimore Hotel (1928) Baltimore, Maryland; Penrose Room at The Broadmoor (1918) Colorado Springs, Colorado; Plume at The Jefferson, Washington, DC (1923) Washington, DC; Station Grill at St. Louis Union Station- a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (1894) St. Louis, Missouri; 1886 Steakhouse at 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas; 1741 on the Terrace at Historic Hotel Bethlehem (1922) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; The Terrace Room at Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh (1916) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Woods Restaurant at Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Boone Tavern Hotel was built in 1909 at the suggestion of Nellie Frost, the wife of the College president, William G. Frost, to serve as a guest house for the College. From its prominent location on College Square in Berea where the old Dixie Highway intersected with the campus, Boone Tavern has become one of the most famous Kentucky hotels and has been known as a popular destination for travelers of business and leisure alike. Named for Appalachian hero Daniel Boone, the historic hotel, which is staffed largely by Berea College students, has hosted notable guests such as the Dalai Lama, Henry Ford, President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Robert Frost.

The building, made of bricks manufactured by students in the College’s brickyard, was constructed by the College’s Woodwork Department. As Boone Tavern approached its centennial, Berea College implemented an 11 million dollar renovation that achieved the gold standard of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, giving Boone Tavern the distinction of being the first LEED Gold-certified hotel in Kentucky. The comprehensive renovation preserved historic features while providing the modern technologies and ecologically sustainable amenities that today’s travelers expect.

Winners of the Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence will be announced at the Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner to be held at West Baden Springs Hotel (1902) at French Lick Resort in West Baden Springs, Indiana on Thursday, October 8 at 7 pm, before an audience of owners, senior management, industry leaders, and representatives from fine historic hotels across the United States.

As an official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America provides travelers, civic leaders, and the global cultural, heritage, and historic travel market the recognition that member hotels are among the finest historic hotels across America. The member hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.

Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide, says, “The nominees exemplify the finest historic hotels and their hoteliers from across America.”

For more information about Boone Tavern Hotel, visit:


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Categories: News, Places
Tags: Accolade, Boone Tavern, LEED, sustainability

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.