There's no substitute for a grand old hotel, preferably one that predates the Great Depression, appoints its public rooms with senatorial gravitas, and keeps a fleet of comfortable chairs on its veranda. This list is far from comprehensive.
Arts and Entertainment in Bolton Landing, NY, United States
They don't get any grander, and in summer you can't beat the locale — its own 70-acre island. (It closes in winter.) Opened in 1883 and thrice rebuilt in the next 50 years, this 381-room family-friendly retreat has had many ups and downs.
It's best known for the promenade of ducks between the lobby fountain and the elevator (at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily), but even when the ducks are in their upstairs penthouse, the Peabody lobby feels like the center of Southern civilization.
The mother of all park lodges, built in a rustic style of logs and shingles in 1904. Massive fireplace in a jaw-dropping lobby. The oldest guest rooms can be tiny and some share a toilet, but newer wings have more spacious units.
Opened in 1928, it stands across Lafayette Square from the White House with 245 rooms and suites. It closed over the summer for elevator improvement and roof enhancements but is expected to reopen this month.
Set in the middle of redwood country at the edge of the Eel River, this 1926 hotel ($99-$605 a night) might be a bit younger and smaller than others on this list, but as its Tudor design and dignified lobby signal, it aims high, with a fancy tea service.