When you travel, where you spend your money, is just as important as where you go. Across the country there are Black owned business and services that need your travel dollars to flourish. Especially the Hotels and Resorts that are owned by African Americans. Currently there are just under 1100 hotels in the United States that are AA owned and that number is expected to dramatically grow over next 3 to 4 years. It is also projected that in the next seven years African Americans will own more hotel rooms than any other minority group. Before we reveal 10 of our favorites let’s lay out the history for you.
For over 150-years, African-Americans have been building generational wealth – or not – by opening hotels, motels, lodges and bed and breakfasts. James Wormley was believed to be the first black hotel owner in this country, when he opened The Wormley Hotel, in 1869 in Washington D.C. The Hotel catered to Washington’s White Elite and was run by Wormley and his family until the 1890’s. After the D.C., others would follow in other parts of the country, welcoming Black travelers in Atlanta, New York, Chicago and even San Diego.
Right around the time that the Wormley’s were getting out of the business, Albert Robinson and his wife, Margaret Tull Robinson, built and opened The Hotel Robinson in 1897 in California. It was one of the first business of any kind, in San Diego, to be owned and operated by an African-American. That property, since renamed the Julian Hotel, is open today making it the oldest continuously operated hotel in Southern California.
Now that you have a little background, here are Ten African American Owned Hotels and Resorts that we believe you should check out if you end up in one of these locations.
Black businesses maybe drying up on Martha’s Vineyard, but there are a few proprietors still holding out on the once popular African-American holiday destination. The Oak Bluffs Inn was purchased by its third and current proprietors, Rhonda and Erik Albert in 1998. Since then, Spike Lee has stayed there and legendary jazz musician Wynton Marsalis gave an impromptu concert in the living room
The “majestic Victorian home” was built In 1870 before being turned into an inn over a hundred years later. The Oak Bluffs Inn has nine uniquely decorated rooms and a penthouse. All guests receive owner Erik’s famous breakfast of “Mighty Leaf Tea, gourmet coffee, orange juice, cereal, soy milk, bagels and croissants, fresh fruit, organic yogurt, hard-boiled eggs and one of Erik’s signature baked dishes!”
Oak Bluffs Inn
64 Circuit Ave
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts 02557
The Hubbard Mansion is located in New Orleans. Privately owned by Don and the late Rose Hubbard, the bed and breakfast is located inside a mansion with two apartment units for executive guests. The interior suites are exquisitely furnished and “recall the grandeur of 19th century New Orleans.” Hubbard Mansion Bed and Breakfast is centrally located on historic St. Charles Avenue, with direct access to the interstate, Central Business District and the French Quarter.
Hubbard Mansion Bed & Breakfast
3535 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Billionaire Entrepreneur Michael V Roberts is the owner of Detroit’s Roberts Riverwalk Urban Resort Hotel. The upscale boutique features 106 elegantly designed guest rooms, including six unique room types and multilevel penthouse suites.
Roberts owns over a dozen properties, and as one of the wealthiest men in America, understands the hospitality business and travel. Most of the Riverwalk property guest rooms feature “12-foot high ceilings, spectacular Detroit River and Canadian views, business center, fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, room service, high-speed wireless internet, and parking.” The hotel contains over 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting banquet space and is conveniently located minutes away from downtown Detroit’s entertainment and sports attractions.
Roberts Riverwalk Hotel
1000 River Place Dr.
Detroit, Michigan 48207
With hotels in Austin, Hollywood, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans and San Francisco, RLJ Lodging Trust is a beast in the Black-owned hospitality space. The company’s portfolio consists of 103 hotels with approximately 22,570 rooms located in 23 states and the District of Columbia and an ownership interest in one unconsolidated hotel with 171 rooms. One of those properties includes the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach.
The “MiMo-style hotel on the famous Collins Avenue at 63rd Street “boasts cabana-style buildings, 119 feet of beachfront property with direct ocean access. 231 modern guest rooms, including 12 suites, plus two pools with ocean views, an oceanfront bar and a modern fitness center.”
Hilton Cabana Miami Beach
6261 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33140
Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Resort and Spa is a 340-acre paradise located in Middleburg, Virginia. Guests can access indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a complimentary putting green, full equestrian center, and lawn games including croquet, bocce ball, corn hole and life-sized chess. “As a hotel company, our approach to hospitality is the same as it is to family: you will always belong, always feel welcome, respected, appreciated, and special,” Johnson says of her Virginia property and other luxury hotels in Florida, South Carolina and Jamaica.
Starting at $450 a night, a stay at The Salamander isn’t a cheap. But would any reservation at a Forbes Five-Star resort be? No.
Salamander Resort and Spa
10 N Pendleton Street
Middleburg, Virgina 20117
According to TripAdvisor, the #1 bed and breakfast in Houston, Texas is operated by Genora Boykins and Sharon Owens. La Maison in Midtown has seven rooms, and took more than 10 years of dreaming, research and planning before greeting travelers in 2009.
“Whether someone local is checking in for a weekend getaway or staycation or an anniversary or birthday celebration or whether they are coming from the UK or Australia, or Japan, we do all that we can to make everyone feel right at home and we want them to feel that they are the most important guest to us,” Genora explained in an interview with VoyageHouston. Room prices range from $169 for a queen to $329 for a suite.
La Maison in Midtown
Houston, Texas 77006
Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns are owned by husband and wife team Glenn Pogue and Monique Greenwood. Monique serves as president and CEO of the company which has glamorous inns in Brooklyn, DC, Philadelphia, The Poconos and in a romantic twist … the same inn the couple first visited together back in 1999, Buttonwood Manor in Cape May, New Jersey.
The Brooklyn property is located in Stuyvesant Heights inside a 1860s landmark mansion. “The meticulously restored Italianate villa features exquisite architectural details, including 14-foot ceilings and ornate fireplaces, while the décor is a blend of antiques and Afrocentric elegance.”
Akwaaba Mansion – Brooklyn, NY
347 MacDonough Street
Brooklyn, New York 11233
Howard University alum Eddie and Sylvia Brown own The Ivy Hotel: one of Baltimore’s most luxurious hotel: The Browns acquired the property in 2010 and spent several years renovating the space making sure to preserve the historical landmark’s charm.
The mansion which houses guests today was first built in the late 1800s. The Ivy Hotel retains many of the property’s original historic features, including “the green marble mined from local quarries, the parquet floors, pocket doors, the three-story Grand Staircase capped off with original skylights, carved wood wainscoting, 23 individual fireplaces, and the numerous leaded glass (stained glass) windows.”
In addition to rich history, the Ivy today contains eighteen beautiful guest rooms and suites, charming public spaces, a small luxury spa, and Magdalena, one of Baltimore’s most outstanding restaurants, and nightly tea at 6 p.m.
205 E Biddle St
A Cincinnati home built for abolitionist Zebulon Strong in the 1850s is now a minority-owned bed and breakfast called Six Acres.
Owner Kristen Kitchen first visited the home as partying teenager where she learned about its history. What makes Six Acres unique is that it was a safe house on the Underground Railroad. Documents in the Ohio Historical Library speak of Strong having a “false bottom” in his farming wagon where he would pick up his “passengers” along the Mill Creek which runs along the side of property. He would hide the runaways in the bottom of his wagon and put his crops on the top and take them up to the house for a safe respite before moving them further up Hamilton Pike to the next safe house along the route.
The owner believes this house was created to hosts travelers and to give them a nice of safe, peaceful sleep.
Six Acres Bed & Breakfast
5350 Hamilton Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45224
Check out this link to the Black Owned Hotels in every state and also overseas, before you hit the road again. There is power in how you spend those vacation dollars, as J.Cole says, “Choose Wisely”.