The word "iconic" gets thrown around by hotels almost as often as the words "$34.95 overnight parking." But unlike charging your car its own AARP room rate, the term is pretty hard to define. Hotels that opened in January will be calling themselves "iconic" by March if something as crazy as the Bad Girls Club film crew shows up. What we're saying is, the word has gotten a little diluted.
But in each state there's at least one hotel that can legitimately call itself an icon. Whether it's historic, famous from movies and TV, or just enduringly emblematic, if you're going to stay in that state, this is the quintessential place to do it. Turns out that some are grand, Gilded Age structures, some are Art Deco masterpieces, some are wilderness lodges. All are worth checking out, or even parking yourself at for a spell.
The Battle House Renaissance
Opened: 1852 (the original)
Perhaps a more accurate name for this institution would be the "out-of-battle house," as its most historic use was during the Civil War as a confederate hospital. The building, on the grounds of Andrew Jackson's War of 1812 headquarters, was opened by James Battle in 1852. The original burned down in 1905, and was reconstructed four years later. Since then it has housed such luminaries as Woodrow Wilson when he gave his first public address as president.