Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Lifestyle

There are quite a few Black-owned resorts and hotels across the country, and some have become absolute go-to’s for travelers. However, their prevalence is not as extensive as one might wish. According to data from the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD), only 2% of hotels in the United States are Black-owned, with less than 1% owned by Black women. NABHOOD is dedicated to advocating for increased representation of Black entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and promoting economic growth within the community. They offer valuable resources and a digital directory of Black-owned establishments for travelers.

Black-owned Hotels

Black people have been making their mark in hospitality since the late 18th century. Rachael Pringle Polgreen, born into slavery around 1753, achieved a significant milestone during the 1770s to 1780s. This was when she became the first woman of color to own a tavern-hotel, the Royal Navy Hotel in Bridgetown, Barbados. In 1871, the Wormley Hotel emerged as one of the early Black-owned hotels in the United States. Its founder, James Wormley, established a successful hospitality business, although it catered to affluent and influential white men.

During the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, only a limited number of Black-owned hotels in the United States were part of major hotel chains. One example was a Holiday Inn in Tuskegee, Alabama, which opened in the early 1970s and later transitioned to the Tuskegee Inn before closing its doors. Then there was the Benchmark Hotel, started by Mabra Holeyfield and Frank Banks in 1983, which turned into a Days Inn in 1988. In 2008, this hotel was acquired by Mike Roberts, then Chairman of NABHOOD, and was transformed into a Clarion Collection property, according to the organization.

Supporting Black-owned hotels provides a simple yet effective means to empower African-American entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and encourage greater diversity within this industry. Here is a list of six Black-owned hotels in the United States that you might want to check out.

  • Hilton Cabana Miami Beach, Miami, Florida

    The Hilton Cabana Miami Beach is part of the RLJ Lodging Trust’s hotel collection, which includes properties associated with BET founder Robert Johnson. It was acquired in 2012 for $71.6 million. Located along the Atlantic Ocean, the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach offers a beachfront location with direct access to the shore. Guests can take advantage of amenities like outdoor pools, poolside cabanas, and access to a private beach.

     

  • La Maison in Midtown, Houston, Texas

    The seven-room bed-and-breakfast is operated by owners Sharon Owens and Genora Boykins. It is conveniently located within walking distance of Houston’s various restaurants and entertainment venues. All guest rooms offer a range of amenities, including a private spa bath featuring options like a walk-in shower, couple’s rain shower, or Jacuzzi tub.

  • The Oak Bluffs Inn. Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

    Rhonda and Erik Albert own a 10-room Victorian inn in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. This inn, designed by architect Mark Hutker, features an iconic lighthouse that has been a point of interest for both locals and tourists. According to their website, some notable guests who have stayed at the inn include film director Spike Lee and jazz musician Wynton Marsalis.

     

    Family staying at a hotel, walking with luggage in lobby

    Rawpixel/ Getty Images

  • Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Virginia

    Sheila Johnson, a co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, owns the 168-room Salamander Resort & Spa. This resort features a 23,000-square-foot spa and offers various outdoor activities like zip-lining, hiking, and horseback riding. Guests can also enjoy biking on the property, exploring the nearby town, and visiting wineries in the area.

  • Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens, Spartanburg, South Carolina

    The Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens, located in Upstate South Carolina, is owned by Pontheolla and Paul Abernathy. This inn comprises four rooms: the Ohana Suite, The Wren, The Westmoreland Bridal Suite, and the MackRail Cabin Car. The MackRail Cabin Car is a vintage 1947 Southern Rail Caboose that has been converted into a queen-bedroom suite and is positioned near Clevedale’s English Knot Garden and Courtyard.

    Smiling african woman lying on bed in bathrobe with laptop surfing the internet. African woman relaxing on the bed after bath and looking at her laptop

    stefanamer/ Getty Images

  • The Hamilton Howell House, Atlanta, Georgia

    The Hamilton Howell House is a bed-and-breakfast located in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic District in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. Constructed in 1893 by Alexander Hamilton, Jr., a prominent African-American contractor and builder in Atlanta, this historic residence was purchased and restored by the Howell/Youngblood family in 1984, becoming the second family to inhabit it. Guests have the choice of reserving one of the four bedrooms: the W.E.B. Du Bois, the Elizabeth Catlett, the Maya Angelou, or the John Coltrane, each featuring a private bathroom. The recently updated home also includes a modern kitchen, a business center, a sunroom with a built-in spa, and a deck and patio.

    Friendly young African American female receptionist standing at hotel reception greeting tourists. Positive black girl front desk agent wearing uniform smiling to arriving guests

    Dragos Condrea/ Getty Images

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