Black Owned BnBs, Hotels & Hostels Across the CountryJuly 27, 2020 | By Nafeesah Allen
Travelers supporting the renewed push to “Buy Black” might struggle to identify Black-owned accommodations to throw their dollars behind. Luckily, we’ve scoured social media and pop culture sites to find 5 places around the U.S. that you must book for your next road trip.
Before 2018, YellowBlockBnB was a chop-a-block hostel for price-conscious tour groups seeking great value in New York City. After getting a facelift on Netflix’s “Stay Here,” the beloved Bed-Stuy brownstone was transformed into a chic bed & breakfast that still maintains affordable rates and excellent hospitality. Gordy, the owner, grew up in this neighborhood and lives in the brownstone with his three young sons. Yellow Block is actually named after one of his son’s beloved yellow legos. By investing in his own neighborhood, he has taught his boys work ethic, and exposed them to the joys of cultural exchange – many guests visit from abroad.
Why choose this property?
Nestled on a quiet block near rapper Biggie Smalls’ stomping ground, this bed and breakfast comfortably sleeps 25 people at rates starting around $1,200 night. It is perfect for large groups and families that want to feel at home in the concrete jungle.
Akwaaba Inn also got its start in Brooklyn over 25 years ago, but husband and wife team, Glenn Pogue and Monique Greenwood, now own 5 luxury inns across the northeast. Their show on the OWN network “Checked Inn,” focuses on their flagship property, The Mansion at Noble Lane in the Poconos, but they also have bed and breakfast accommodations in Cape May (NJ), Philadelphia, DC, and New York. The couple turned their fondness for staying in inns to a love for owning and managing them. They couldn’t think of a better way to leave a legacy for their daughter, Glynn.
Why should I stay at Akwaaba Inns?
The word Akwaaba, means “Welcome” in the Ghanaian language of Twi. This name fits this line of mansions that offer an Afro-centric interior design aesthetic, with classic and antique architectural elements. But don’t worry, you won’t be able to stare at the walls too long. Word has it that Monique is always curating cool outdoor activities, like the new Glamping experience in Brooklyn.
You might know Sheila C. Johnson as one of the co-founders of BET or as team president of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. You should know her as the hotelier who founded the Salamander Hospitality group in 2005. The company offers a suite of resort options: the Innisbrook Golf Resort a 72 hole PGA tour golf course in Palm Harbor, Florida, The Salamander Resort & Spa in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the Henderson Beach Resort in coastal Destin, Florida, Hotel Bennett in Charleston, South Carolina, and Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica. All of the resorts are top-notch, but with the most recent 5-star ratings on Tripadvisor, the Salamander Resort & Spa in Virginia ranks top on the must-stay list.
What is so special about the Salamander group of resorts?
Salamander’s resorts are known for classic, high-end luxury. Embedded in nature – beach and mountains – they present a big contrast to the glass office buildings and skyscraper-living most of us are running away from when we go on vacation. These spaces are designed to help you get lost in the resort and to want for nothing.
Instagram was ablaze when the first-Black owned hostel in the U.S., Wanderstay, launched in Houston in late 2018. Forbes lit up with the story of Deidre Mathis, the 32-year-old who turned her love for travel into a business. She wrote a book, Wanderlust: For the Young, Broke Professional, and launched her accommodation site, which Hostel World now ranks as Superb (9.3 out of 10). The hostel has 8 rooms and can house up to 30 people in a combination of group and private rooms. Less than 10 minutes walk to local restaurants and 10 minutes bike ride to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and Natural History, the location is ideal for travelers on a budget.
Why choose Wanderstay?
With stays starting around $50/night, it is hard to find Houston accommodation as centrally located and as affordable. Solo travelers can link up and can visit a hit list of recommended sites from Wanderstay’s self-branded ambassadors. You can go on your own, but not be alone!
Miami is known for glitz and glamour, and some of the most enviable social media flix out there. The Copper Door B&B is nestled in Overtown and its guests are known to flood their feeds with #foodie photos. Jamila Ross and Akino West were originally in the market for a restaurant site, but instead, they stumbled on the Demetree Hotel and decided to add beds to their breakfast. From the wallpaper to the eggs benedict, reviews attest that the owners are a young couple with culinary chops and good taste.
Why is the Cooper Door B&B the place for me?
The Copper Door’s building itself carries historical lore from its original owner and it is now officially part of the Dade Heritage Trust. While it would be easy for the current owners to hang their hat on history, they are making a name for themselves with really outstanding meals. Seasoned guests might only have breakfast, but those who schedule three meals a day – preferably in suite – are in for a treat.