Black women are currently having a moment. From the powerful femininity in the blockbuster film Black Panther, to the rise of up and coming talent such as Cardi B and Tiffany Haddish, to Tarana Burke leading the #MeToo movement, to Ava behind the lens of the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time, to black women using our political power to create change in office (hello Keisha Lance Bottoms?!), it’s safe to say that the spotlight is shining brightly on our magic.
But behind all of our magic, sometimes we need a break. Black History Month may be over, but every day is a great day to put the spotlight on Black women doing big things –like owning their own hotels, where we can go and relax to let our hair down.
Check out these five boutique hotels you didn’t know were owned and operated by Black women.
There’s nothing we can’t do when we decide to work together. That’s exactly what happened when two friends, Genora Boykins and Sharon Owens, came together to open an urban bed and breakfast in the heart of Houston. Offering a slice of worldly flavor in the heart of Houston, La Maison in Midtown is a peaceful, relaxing environment within walking distance of Houston’s finest restaurants and lively entertainment venues. The next time you’re in this city, skip the typical hotel chains and support these two sistas and their three-story haven, which offers seven luxurious guest rooms, each with its own unique décor and amenities. You’ll get a personalized touch with breakfast cooked fresh each morning.
La Maison in Midtown, Houston, TX
The Ivy is a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of historic Mount Vernon, Baltimore. This spot features 18 guest rooms and suites, charming public spaces, a small luxury spa, and their renowned Magdalena eatery. Guests are also fans of their afternoon tea service. Opened by Sylvia Brown and her husband Eddie, they are not only active philanthropists but also the visionaries behind this magnificent 19th-century mansion in the heart of the Baltimore. True to its history, visiting The Ivy feels like staying at the home of a generous friend and as a guest, the property is yours to enjoy. Together, Sylvia and Eddie Brown also launched a youth initiative called Turning the Corner on Achievement Program to help inner-city middle school students get a rigorous academic education.
Most people would be thrilled to succeed with just one successful hotel property, but Sheila Johnson has triumphed with multiple ventures. Her NOPSI Hotel opened in New Orleans last summer, and it’s safe to say it’s already a gem. The 217-room luxury property is housed in the landmarked New Orleans Public Service Incorporated building, a former utility and transit facility built in 1927 that had been out of use since the ’80s. As you walk through the property’s grand lobby, you’ll be nothing short of stunned.
NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans, LA
Situated on the famed Platinum Coast of Barbados’ western shores, a quaint, yet luxurious spa resort, La Maison Michelle, awaits. Villa La Maison Michelle ushers in a new era of elegance in villa vacation leisure for those who want to skip the traditional hotel resort, and experience redefined luxury. Equipped with a butler and a private chef, prepare to have all your needs met as soon as you step through the villa doors. Developed by husband and wife team, and named appropriately after the wife, Michelle Jenkins, (because, happy wife, happy life) Villa La Maison Michelle is a must-visit escape when spending time in Barbados.
Villa La Maison Michelle, Barbados
Less than an hour from downtown Washington D.C. you’ll find Sheila Johnson’s luxury spa retreat, the Salamander Resort & Spa resting on a 340-acre estate in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Taking the scenic drive through the heart of Virginia’s wine country, you will arrive in the historic village of Middleburg for a home away from home escape. Perfect for romantic retreats, weekend staycations or wine getaways, there are plenty of reasons why this makes for a visit – besides the obviousness of wanting to “root for everybody black.” As CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, a hospitality company she founded in 2005, Sheila Johnson oversees this property, in addition to a growing portfolio of luxury properties.
Salamander Hotel, Middleburg, VA