Jan 19, 2023

THE JOURNAL

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Travel Inspiration

8 Fabulous Black-Owned Hotels and Resorts

Fora Author Henley Vazquez

Co-Founder

Henley Vazquez

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Black-owned hotels

Image courtesy of Spice Island Beach Resort

This time of year can be notoriously difficult — drab weather, post-holiday gloom — but it is a fantastic time to jet off somewhere special. Perhaps you’re craving a charming bed and breakfast for a weekend getaway, or maybe you’re after a more elaborate tropical vacation. Either way, a seasonal reset is in order. 

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Black-owned hotels and resorts, all of which will provide the much-needed mental and physical refresh this time of year necessitates. There’s something here for every travel style — funky, sophisticated, bohemian — meaning I'm certainly ready to get away.

Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, VA

Black-owned hotels

Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Virginia

This charming, sophisticated five-star resort in the Washington DC area is perched on 340 acres of manicured grounds, which serve as the backdrop for numerous activities, including lawn games, putting practice, archery, horseback riding lessons and more. Sheila Johnson, a hotelier and all-around tour de force in the hospitality industry, is the reason Salamander Resort & Spa is what it is today. Here, guests can relax at the property’s holistic spa, and indulge in locally-sourced cuisine at one of its several restaurants (Johnson is serious about gastronomy). Or, opt for a delightful excursion to the lovely town of Middleburg before touring one of the nearby wineries. 

 Fora Perks:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Spice Island Beach Resort, Grand Anse, Grenada

Black-owned hotels

Image courtesy of Spice Island Beach Resort

Think of a tropical postcard, and you’ll envision Grenada, a 21-mile stretch of gorgeous beaches, rainforests and vibrant villages and towns. This all-inclusive resort — founded by Sir Royston Hopkin, whose family owns and operates the resort to this day — on the white-sand Grand Anse Beach features 64 luxe villas. Guests can paddleboard, kayak and snorkel in crystal-clear waters, play tennis or go for a round of golf, enjoy beachside yoga and so much more. The resort is also a fabulous home base from which to explore the island’s extensive natural beauty.

Fora Perks:

  • Complimentary 50-minute massage for two.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Jnane Tamsna, Marrakech, Morocco

Black-owned hotels

Marrakech, Morocco

Twenty-four beautifully-appointed, tasteful rooms dot this bohemian-chic, luxe property, spread across nine acres of lush gardens. Meryanne Loum-Martin, born in the Côte d'Ivoire, worked as a lawyer in Paris before founding this intimate boutique hotel, which exhibits the thoughtful amenities of a five-star resort. In fact, it's Morocco's only Black-owned and woman-owned hotel. Here, guests indulge in meticulously-prepared cuisine, which draws from traditional Moroccan and Mediterranean culinary heritages. Immersive experiences abound: lounge by the sleek pool, ride a camel through palm groves, embark on a sidecar tour, play a round of tennis or take a cooking class. 

Urban Cowboy B&B, Nashville, TN

Black-owned hotels

Nashville, Tennessee

For a 21-and-over, eclectic and unabashedly fun experience, travel to Nashville’s Urban Cowboy. Jersey Banks co-founded the first Urban Cowboy, in Brooklyn, before opening up what seemed like an inevitable additional location: Nashville, of course. The brand's beloved Tennessee property is a funky, delightful retreat housed in a Victorian mansion. Mingle with other guests over expertly-crafted cocktails and fabulous pizza in the stylish Public House Bar & Restaurant. Then, soak in a clawfoot tub in one of the individually-designed, handsome suites.

The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa, Destin, FL

Black-owned hotels

Destin, Florida

The Henderson, also helmed by the Salamander's Sheila Johnson, sits on Florida’s idyllic Emerald Coast, on the Gulf of Mexico. Relax on the hotel's private beach, laze in a poolside cabana, head to the spa or hop on a complimentary bike to explore Destin itself, a beachside town complete with golf, restaurants and ample shopping. 

Fora Perks:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Ivy Hotel, Baltimore, MD

Black-owned hotel

Baltimore, Maryland

A historic mansion in Baltimore's handsome Mount Vernon neighborhood serves as the setting for this elegant, 17-room boutique hotel (Maryland's only Relais & Châteaux property), founded by Eddie and Sylvia Brown, a verifiable power couple. The service is impeccable. Guests feel as though they are welcomed into a home (and indeed, they are). Grab a book from the house’s lovely library, enjoy breakfast in the courtyard, book a personalized treatment at the serene spa and don’t miss a spectacular, locally-sourced dinner at The Ivy’s sophisticated, welcoming and award-winning restaurant, Magdalena. 

The Copper Door B&B, Miami, FL

Black-owned hotels

Miami, Florida

Each of the 25 unique rooms and suites in this vintage-chic, ultra-stylish bed and breakfast features gorgeous amenities and a sleek, tasteful design. Jamila Ross and Akino West founded the hip and intimate gem, which champions local artisans and businesses. Plus, its exceptionally friendly staff can provide all the insider knowledge of where to eat, what to see and what to do in Historical Overtown, the property’s bustling neighborhood.

Blue Apple Beach Club, Cartagena, Colombia 

Black-owned hotels

Cartagena, Colombia 

Portia Hart, a British-Trinidadian, flew to Colombia for a trip and never returned. Blue Apple was founded in 2016. You can party, dine on locally-sourced, sustainable food, lounge by the pool and embark on numerous excursions at this beach-club-meets-boutique-hotel, a converted private home. Its vibrant, laid-back and warm atmosphere reflects the property’s eclectic and upbeat design. Here, the lovely staff become friends, and like-minded visitors and locals enjoy relaxed, carefree days amid the gorgeous island of Tierra Bomba. Blue Apple is also a certified B-Corp, a paragon of sustainability: they are solar-powered and zero-waste.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author - Henley Vazquez

    Henley Vazquez

    Henley Vazquez is the co-founder of Fora and a seasoned travel advisor. She's built her career through fostering meaningful relationships and developing opportunities for her community. A self-proclaimed hotel junkie, Henley is driven by match-making the perfect property to each traveler's unique style.