Hotels

Presidential suites: Hotels that have actually hosted commanders-in-chief

Nov. 5, 2012 at 4:13 PM ET

Image: Thomas Jefferson suite
Courtesy Jefferson Hotel
The Thomas Jefferson suite at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va., has five balconies and views of the Washington Monument and the White House.

The commander-in-chief checks in and out of rooms across the globe, but only a few stateside properties have made the White House staff repeat customers.

And while many hotels claim to have a "Presidential Suite," they can't truly hold the title unless a POTUS has actually slept there. Of course, those guys rarely sleep, no matter how luxurious the hotel room. Instead, you might catch them writing soon-to-be-legendary speeches, or even enjoying their honeymoon.

Slideshow: See hotels and suites fit for the president

The Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club, St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Vinoy Park Hotel—which opened in 1925 and was later used as an Army facility during World War II—has attracted the presidential set for some time. Elaine Normile, the Vinoy’s resident historian, says Calvin Coolidge paid the hotel multiple visits during the 1930s—and that he preferred simple dishes from the employee dining room to the rich, elaborate entrees served inside his guestroom. More celebrated guests: President Barack Obama stayed inside the presidential suite during his 2008 campaign tour and Mitt Romney has dropped by.

Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, Ariz.
Marilyn Monroe's favorite pool was reportedly here and Irving Berlin penned "White Christmas" poolside, but the property isn't all about show business. In March 1952, a newly married Ronald and Nancy Reagan celebrated their honeymoon here—not too far from Nancy's parents, who lived on the nearby Biltmore estate. Plus, Herbert Hoover and John and Jackie were said to be fans.

The Mayflower Renaissance, Washington, D.C.
This is where Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote his inspirational inaugural address (his "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" quote comes from that speech). But there's more presidential pedigree in these walls: The ballroom played host to each president’s inauguration ball (from Coolidge to Reagan), Harry Truman lived here during the first 90 days of his term in office, and the Snakebite Cocktail (a mix of stout and apple cider) is said to be a Bill Clinton favorite.

The Homestead, Hot Springs, Va.
The Homestead dates back to the American Revolution (it opened in 1766) and has hosted 22 presidents since opening day. Appropriately, its five presidential suites are named after past commanders-in-chief—McKinley, Eisenhower, Madison, Taft and Wilson—and overlook the Allegheny Mountains. Fun facts: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson visited the Homestead in its heyday, and Jackie Kennedy also vacationed here as a child, long before her first lady years.

The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, Va.
When presidents stay at the Jefferson Hotel (opened in 1895), the Thomas Jefferson Suite is the obvious choice. It’s 1,900-square-feet, boasts five balconies, has stunning views of the Washington Monument and the White House, and is named after Jefferson himself. And though there’s also a statue in honor of Jefferson, he’s not the only president who’s visited: Obama, Taft, McKinley and Harrison have all rested their heads here; in 1988, George H.W. Bush chose his cabinet members inside and stayed here during his inauguration.

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