Whatever type of travel you're craving — be it a weekend away at a charming bed and breakfast, or an elaborate tropical vacation — you're in luck. Below, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Black-owned hotels and resorts, from Nashville to Cartagena. There’s something here for every travel style (funky, sophisticated, bohemian). Who's ready?
Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, VA
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.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Spice Island Beach Resort, Grand Anse, Grenada
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 great home base from which to explore the island’s extensive natural beauty.
Complimentary 50-minute massage for two.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Jnane Tamsna, 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
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.
African Bush Camps, Zimbabwe, Zambia & Botswana
African Bush Camps is deeply connected to their natural environment and community. The company was founded by Beks Ndlovu, a professional Zimbabwean guide, who sought to meaningfully connect guests with the unique nature and culture of southern Africa. African Bush Camps hires locally, and all of their camps and lodges are designed with sustainability in mind. Even better, the African Bush Camps Foundation, funded by the company's safaris as well as donations, combats issues like food scarcity and low school attendance in their lodges' respective communities.
The Ivy Hotel, Baltimore, MD
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 veritable 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.
Blue Apple Beach Club, Tierra Bomba, 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.