Legacy and Luxury: Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection

An exploration of the heritage and history of some of the world’s most exceptional hotels

What makes anything legendary? When it comes to a destination, it is more than the ability to simply create a sense of place — it’s the ability to define it. Through decades, centuries, or even more than a millennium, these hotels within the Legend Collection have borne witness to history, a reflection of the past and yet utterly timeless, forging a heritage that only strengthens with time. They were created by visionaries, have hosted royalty, celebrities, and dignitaries, and offer a window into distinct eras. These historic hotels are legendary for all they represent, and the passage of every year only adds to their enduring icon status.

The Fullerton Hotel Sydney
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney - Sydney, Australia

Set in the historic General Post Office building, The Fullerton Hotel Sydney resides in one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city. Designed in the style of the Victorian Italian Renaissance, the building is a regal reminder of the grandeur of the Victorian age, with a sculpture of Queen Victoria herself gracing the hotel’s façade. The structure took an astonishing 25 years to complete and hosted openings over those years as its stages were completed. In keeping with its royal heritage, the celebration of its first stage that was completed in 1874 was attended by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The building made its official debut in 1891 when its clockworks were officially set in motion. The building underwent a full restoration in 2019.

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore - Singapore, Singapore

With similar origins as a former home post office, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a grand waterfront neoclassical masterpiece. Designated a national monument of Singapore, the building was completed in 1928. It housed numerous government offices, and even had a lighthouse erected atop it – now The Lighthouse restaurant. During World War II, it served as a makeshift hospital and even, briefly, the headquarters for the Japanese military during Singapore’s occupation. It returned to its service as home to government offices following the war, and after extensive renovations, it ultimately became The Fullerton Hotel Singapore on New Year’s Day in 2001.

Hotel Casa del Mar
Hotel Casa del Mar - Santa Monica, California, United States

On the other side of the world, Hotel Casa del Mar originally opened as a private beach club, Club Casa del Mar, in 1926 and quickly became the premier club for the area’s elite, including Hollywood celebrities. Its Prohibition Era timing naturally led to the creation of a speakeasy on site that contributed to its success and popularity, in addition to slot machines and gambling. Its popularity waned following World War II, forcing the club to close. Though for a time the grandeur of its past was lost as it became home to other health and wellness facilities, it returned to its full glory when it reopened as Hotel Casa del Mar in 1999. It is featured on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The Hermitage Hotel
The Hermitage Hotel - Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Also featured on the National Register of Historic Places is The Hermitage Hotel, a stunning Beaux-Arts building that sits proudly in the heart of Nashville, just blocks from the state capitol. Opened in 1910, the hotel established its significance almost immediately, becoming the headquarters for the suffragette movement in 1920, when Tennessee cast the deciding ballot giving women the right to vote. It has hosted numerous American presidents since the early 20th century, from its first year in existence, and has also been a natural destination for musicians in a city whose nickname is the “Music City,” home to the world-famous Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo
Grand Hotel Tremezzo - Tremezzina, Italy

Exuding grace and timeless elegance, Grand Hotel Tremezzo also made its debut in 1910. Set against the impossibly picturesque Lake Como and the Alps beyond, the Italian stunner was an instant icon. Not only has it been an enduring beacon for glamorous visitors including some of the most notable names in entertainment, the hotel has also been a star itself in numerous films. Though Grand Hotel Tremezzo briefly served as a military hospital during the First World War, it has otherwise been a lasting symbol of Italian refinement and is protected as a national heritage site.

The Hotel Maria
The Hotel Maria - Helsinki, Finland

Named for Maria Feodorovna, a Russian empress who became Princess Dagmar of Denmark who used to retreat often to Finland, The Hotel Maria is a proud denizen of four buildings in the Finnish capital city of Helsinki that date to the late 19th century. Originally created to serve as military offices architecturally and historically prominent buildings, the neo-Renaissance-style buildings were converted into a hotel for The Hotel Maria’s debut in 2023. Opulent beauty defines every inch of the hotel – its 159 chandeliers outnumber its 117 guestrooms and suites.

Dromoland Castle
Dromoland - Newmarket-on-Fergus, Ireland

For more than a thousand years, Dromoland Castle has been a majestic symbol of Irish prestige in the countryside of Newmarket-on-Fergus. It is the ancestral home of the O’Briens of Dromoland, and from its construction, a branch of the O’Briens lived here for more than 900 years, including royalty. Though it underwent a significant rebuild in the 1820s and was again renovated in 1962 to become a luxury hotel, its exquisite stature, cemented over the centuries, endures.

Castlemartyr Resort
Castlemartyr Resort - Cork, Ireland

South of Dromoland in Cork, Ireland, is Castlemartyr Resort. Though slightly younger than Dromoland, its age is nonetheless measured in centuries rather than decades, consisting of a grand 17th-century country manor house adjacent to the ruins of an 800-year-old castle. Over the course of Ireland’s history, the castle was the target in multiple conflicts and wars and was ultimately left in ruin as a relic of a violent past. More recently, its iterations included a turn as a working farm and even a Catholic boarding school, until it opened as the 108-room Castlemartyr Resort, which also includes 36 residences, in 2007.

Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa
Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa - St Andrews, United Kingdom

A witness to history of a different kind, Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in St Andrews, Scotland, sits along the truly iconic Old Course, known as the Home of Golf, where the game was first played 600 years ago. The hotel overlooks the famous links course, as well as the beautiful West Sands Beach. Originally built as a railway station, its use decreased with the advent of the automobile, and the site was reimagined as a hotel in 1968. Though it's an obvious destination for passionate golfers who seek to play on this hallowed ground, its proximity to the picturesque town of St Andrews, including its historic university, makes it an ideal destination for non-golfers as well.

Sommerro - Oslo, Norway

In keeping with other historic destinations’ origins as municipal buildings, Sommerro sits within the former headquarters of Oslo, Norway’s electric company. This 20th-century neoclassical landmark was commissioned following an architectural contest, and original plans included two structures, though that was later modified to one. After many delays including the First World War, subsequent supply shortages, and budgetary issues, the building was completed in 1932 to much acclaim, even winning an architectural prize. Subsequent renovated to incorporate Art Deco details, the building was reborn as a hotel in 2022, which features unique elements including a private cinema and the Vestkantbadet, an entire floor dedicated to wellness that includes a cold plunge and infrared sauna. A visit to the destinations, and many more within the distinguished Legend Collection, are not simply luxurious hotel stays. They are an opportunity to embrace – and ultimately, become part of – their esteemed heritage.