Southern Living Magazine Names Boone Tavern as One of the Best Hotels in the South

The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel has been awarded recognition by Southern Living magazine as “One of The South’s Best Hotels and Inns.” The honor is part of the magazine’s annual “Best of the South Travel Awards” that cites top destinations for lodging, dining and other travel-related entertainment across the South.


The honor puts Boone Tavern among a select group of boutique hotels, such as the Greenbrier in West Virginia and the Peabody in Memphis, that Southern Living calls its “favorites.”

Southern Living stated, “In the early 1900s, Nellie Frost, wife of Berea College president William G. Frost, thought the area needed a great hotel to welcome visitors. In 1909, Boone Tavern was built, and it has since hosted guests including Henry Ford, Calvin Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Dalai Lama. A recent $11 million renovation made it the first LEED Gold-certified hotel in Kentucky.”

“We are pleased that Historic Boone Tavern has been recognized by Southern Living as one of the Best Hotels in the South for 2015,” said Gary McCormick, general manager of Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant. “This is a tribute to our entire staff and for their hard work and dedication in making sure that every guest has a great hospitality experience.”

Boone Tavern Hotel, which is located at 100 Main Street, was built in 1909 by Berea College to serve as a guest house for visitors to campus. Its strategic location on the old “Dixie Highway” and its reputation for fine food, comfortable accommodations and gracious hospitality made it a popular spot for travelers from the dawn of the automobile age.

The hotel’s dining room features well-known historical favorites, such as “spoonbread” – a signature item of Boone Tavern – and “Chicken Flakes in a Bird’s Nest” that was developed by Richard Hougen, the innkeeper for more than three decades. Contemporary classics on the menu include a delightful array of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts created from Kentucky Proud® products, many of which are grown on the Berea College Farm.

The College’s students are an important part of Boone Tavern. Students help staff the hotel and restaurant, working 10-15 hours per week as part of the Berea College Labor Program that provides employment at the hotel and more than 120 other departments and work areas across campus. Through the Labor Program students earn money for books, room and board. Those are their primary costs, because each Berea student receives a “Tuition Promise Scholarship” (a full scholarship valued at nearly $100,000 over four years). Berea College is able to provide a no-tuition education to its students due to the generosity of donors who support Berea College’s mission of providing a high quality education for students primarily from Appalachia who have high academic potential but limited financial resources.

In 2009, to coincide with its centennial year, Boone Tavern was extensively renovated to meet the changing needs of the traveling public by including modern amenities to ensure comfort without infringing on the historic beauty of the hotel. Guest rooms feature handcrafted cherry furniture made by Berea College Student Crafts. Boone Tavern, a member of the Historic Hotels of America, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

See the Southern Living feature at:

For more information visit:


Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea, Kentucky

Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea, Kentucky


Categories: News, Places
Tags: Accolade, Boone Tavern, Southern Living

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 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 to earn 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.