By Steve Winston, World Property Journal -- Beautiful old American hotels speak to us. They speak with the echoes of earlier guests in earlier times, and, often, those earlier times saw great historical events. They speak with an Old-Time elegance and dedication to customer service sometimes not found in more-contemporary hotels. They speak to us of great charm and intimacy, and of times when we perhaps weren't as rushed. They speak of personal service and time-honored tradition. And of architectural touches outside, and design touches inside, that still retain their regal appearance.

Here are my 5 favorite old hotels in America:


This gray lady in downtown Salt Lake City dates back to 1910, when two brothers named David and Joseph Peery opened up a grand hotel. But their approach was somewhat different. They built their hotel using Prairie-style old-brick architecture, and classical motifs both inside and out, and it immediately became the buzz of Salt Lake. The hotel's interior and exterior design stayed pretty much the same until 1999, when it was remodeled as a luxury boutique hotel. The new owners, thankfully, were meticulous about retaining the aura and the styling of the early-1900's. In fact, the guest rooms still include some of the original art pieces from 1910. And everywhere you look, you'll also find pieces from the old railroad and mining industries in the area, each of which played major parts in local history. At the Peery Hotel, you can walk up grand staircases under hanging chandeliers, or walk on old-fashioned tile or wood floors or thick antique carpeting. You can dine in the evocative surroundings of Christopher's Prime Tavern & Grill or the Sonoma Grill & Wine Bar. And you can work off your meal at the fitness center. This classic gray hotel with white trim was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Adding to the legend, the Peery also has things that go bump in the night. Many guests, over the years, have heard a woman moaning in the hallways in the wee hours. And some guests have reported seeing an apparition of a man standing in a doorway. Proof-positive that, at this hotel, the Old Days are still here.

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