by Jonathan Vatner | December 01, 2005

Peabody Hotel

The Historic Hotels of America class of 2006 has been announced. Nine properties have earned their stripes as sufficiently historic (and high-quality) to join the club. Here are three of the most impressive. (800) 678-8946;

The original Peabody Hotel (right) debuted in 1869 in Memphis, Tenn., and has been the social center of the city pretty much ever since. If you liked March of the Penguins, you’ll love the twice-daily parade of real ducks into the lobby fountain. (901) 529-4000;

In the Sonoran desert, an hour outside of Phoenix, Rancho de los Caballeros originated as a guest house in the 1930s. Now it’s a larger affair, an elegant hacienda with 79 casitas and a golf course on 20,000 acres. (800) 684-5030;

Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa was born in 1865 (without the spa), when uninvited guests to the Dodge home in Whitefield, N.H., kept wanting to return. A 2002 restoration will keep everyone coming back for more. (603) 837-2100;