In October 1789 George Washington set forth on a presidential tour of all 13 United States. The excursion was a success, but the accommodations were lousy. Public houses and inns were simple, often dirty — nothing to write home about.
The American hotel has come a long way since, from country inns to extravagant palaces like The Waldorf-Astoria, The Willard Hotel, The Tremont House. Not to mention the great American motor lodge and the triumph of standardized hospitality.
This hour, On Point: how America invented the hotel, and how the hotel invented America.
A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, assistant professor of history at the University of New Mexico and author of “Hotel: An American History.”