Our Favourite Historic and Iconic Hotels

We look for historic hotels to add richness to your visit and enhance your experience of the destination without leaving your hotel!

August 2020 • Jules Verne

Our Favourite Historic and Iconic Hotels

Our innovative small group escorted tours offer authentic travel with a twist for people who love to see the world. To enhance the experience of Jules Verne travellers, we often include historic or indeed iconic hotels, illuminating the country and peoples you are visiting. We’ve selected from our tours some favourite historic/iconic hotels, often former noble residences or classic hotels of note or landmark hotels where you follow in the footsteps of the world’s great travellers and personages. On average you may stay 50% of your time in or around the hotel, so we look for historic hotels to add richness to your visit and enhance your experience of the destination without leaving your hotel!

Irish Castle & Manor House Hotels

A selection of authentic residences in classic cities and on private estates and loughs.

Tours: Majestic Castles of the Emerald Isle

The Balmoral Hotel

Edinburgh’s original railway hotel from 1902 is a landmark of Scottish heritage with the highest standards, with views of Edinburgh castle. Enjoy afternoon tea, Scottish malts, fine dining and the Balmoral tartan.

Tour: Highland FlingThe Flying Scotsman

Grand Hotel Menaggio

Lake Como has welcomed British visitors since the late 19th century and the classic Grand Hotel Menaggio, overlooking the blue waters of Lake Como, has been a favourite of Jules Verne guests for more than 25 years.

Tours: Grand Hotel on Lake Como, Villas and Gardens of the Italian Lakes, Secret Lake Como

Villa Matilde

An 18th-century aristocratic family residence in Piedmontese countryside maintaining the charm of a warm, unique and welcoming private residence in a century-old park. The unique restaurant is converted from stables and rooms are furnished with original period pieces.

Tour: Peaks, Ports & Palazzi

Villa Favorita

Our favourite countryside hotel is the 18th-century villa of the Di Lorenzo barons of Granieri marquis of Castelluccio, still run by the original family with wonderful cuisine. The manor entrance leads through an almond tree boulevard to the original mansion and the restaurant overlooks a citrus grove running down to the sea.

Tours: Secret Sicily, Treasures & Secrets of Sicily

Hotel Phoenicia

A 5-star hotel in historic Valletta with classical tradition, built in the 1940s and recently refurbished. Formerly the British Officers’ Club, afternoon tea, drinks and fine dining continue in the Palm Court Lounge, Club bar and Phoenix restaurant.

Tour: Heritage of Malta

Hotel Amadeus

A 16th-century townhouse boutique hotel in the Old Town of Krakow.

Tour: Krakow Restored

Hotel Lomnica

Dating back to 1893 and built as the first hotel in the High Tatras, recently restored with many original features preserved, reflecting the many dramatic changes of fortune due to wars, trends and regimes.

Tour: The Tatras and Beyond

Taleon Imperial Hotel

Situated on Nevsky Prospekt in the heart of St. Petersburg, this 5-star hotel is housed in an 18th-century palace dating from the time of Catherine the Great and always a scene of noble, intellectual and political intrigue.

Tour: Russian Capitals


In dramatic countryside settings, the selected historic Pousadas in former monasteries and palaces offer a welcome retreat serving regional cuisine and Portuguese wines.

Tour: Pousadas of Portugal

Quintinha de São João

The perfect example of an old Madeiran Quinta with a history passed on through the generations and reflected in the various corners and gardens of the hotel.

Tour: The Garden Isle of Madeira

Hotel Mangaleni

A small hotel built over Turkish mansions in the historic centre of Mangalem Quarter of Berat.

Tour: Classical Tour of Albania

Hotel Yusuf Yigitoglu Konagi

A special category cave hotel in Cappadocia, created by the restoration of three 19th-century houses carved into the rocks in an old Greek neighbourhood.

Tour: Grand Tour of Turkey

Hotel Arena

A former Ottoman Pasha residence still family-run in old Istanbul with period furnishings.

Tour: Turkish Delights, Secret Istanbul

Hotel Mövenpick Petra

Petra’s premier hotel at the entrance to the site, a 5-star hotel with oriental architecture and intricate interior design, authentic antiques and artworks.

Tour: Discover Jordan, Treasures of Petra

The Colony Hotel

Originally the Appinger Hotel in the 1920s, this 4-star boutique hotel in a restored building is well located in the German Colony area of Haifa.

Tours: Treasures of the Holy Land, From Jerusalem to Petra

Hotel Kasbah du Toubkal

A dramatically situated mountain retreat, voted as the best view in Africa’ was built by a dictatorial Caid and carefully restored and run by an English company in cooperation with the Berber community.

Tour: Secret Morocco

Governors' Camp

The original and pioneering camp, created in 1972 in the area previously reserved for the Governors of Kenya, is under canvas with the comforts of a luxury hotel. Tents and public areas have amazing views of the Mara river or the sweeping plains of the Mara.

Tour: Wild Masai Mara

Victoria Falls Hotel

One of the world’s great hotels, known as ‘The Grand Old Lady of the Falls’ and a member of the exclusive ‘Leading Hotels of the World’, built over 100 years ago by the British and steeped in history and tradition – enjoy afternoon tea on the Stanley terrace or fine dining in the Livingstone room.

Tours: Victoria Falls to the Okavango, Indian Ocean to Victoria Falls by Shongololo

Mantis St. Helena Hotel

A central hotel in the original East India Company’s residential buildings built in 1774 on the remote island British Overseas Territory where time has stood still.

Tour: Airlink to St. Helena

Hotel Clarkes/Oberoi

Mr Oberoi worked at The Cecil Hotel in Shimla, Queen of Hill Stations for Mr Clarke and in 1934 took over the hotel, renaming it Clarkes. In 1948 he acquired the Cecil, a celebration of colonial elegance amidst majestic Himalayan ranges as well as the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata that features in many of our programmes.

Tours (Oberoi Cecil): Images of India, Grand Tour of Northern India, Grand Tour of India

Tours (Clarkes): Sikhs & Exiles, Secret Himalayan India

Taj Hotels

The first Taj Hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace, opened in 1903 at the Gateway to India in Bombay after the founder was refused entry to a hotel - this landmark hotel was featured in BBC’s ‘Hotel India’ and in the film ‘Hotel Mumbai’. In Jaipur, Taj Hotels created from homes of the Maharaja, the first palace hotel at Rambagh and later the classic Jai Mahal Palace hotel - other Maharajas’ residences followed later.

Tour: The Taj Tour, Rajasthan Royals

Iberostar Heritage Grand Hotel

This boutique 5-star hotel offers Trinidad’s most sought-after accommodation in a colonial 16th-century building.

Tours: Hemingway's Cuba, The Best of Cuba