This 20th-Century Landmark Hotel in Delaware Is a Glimpse Into the Gilded Age

For over a century, Hotel Du Pont has welcomed travelers and locals alike in search of some respite with its gilded halls and posh rooms. A landmark in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, this bastion of opulent luxury soars 12 stories high, maintaining its early 20th-century splendors while boasting modern updates that make this a must-stay hotel in the Brandywine Valley. 

Previously the headquarters of the Fortune 500 DuPont company, no expense was spared upon the initial building of the hotel. The lobby is a clear reflection of the Gilded Age, with imported European chandeliers hanging from the highly decorative ceiling. The polished marble floor practically begs for the click clack of heels headed to a grand ball, while the hand-carved wooden surroundings accentuate the old world grandeur of this 1913 hotel. That said, the lobby was most recently renovated in 2018 to keep up with modern sensibilities — to that end, plush leather sofas dot the expansive area, offering plenty of space for a morning coffee and newspaper read, or even a business meeting. 

Indeed, with over 25,000 square feet of event space, the hotel is an ideal place for either work or pleasure; there are a number of meeting spaces, conference rooms, and private dining rooms, but the real crown jewel is undoubtedly the Gold Ballroom (added to the original property in 1918). As the name suggests, the ballroom is indeed shimmering in metallic hues, capable of providing quite the backdrop to weddings or other special events where more is, in fact, more. 

Credit: Chris Sanchez

Rooms at the Hotel Du Pont have hosted Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Aerhart, and nearly a dozen presidents; today, they’re available to a wider range of clientele. Spacious and airy, the rooms reflect the European theme of the broader hotel, with yellow color schemes reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside and soothing green and burgundy accents. Some larger rooms offer both a sitting room and a bedroom, which is ideal for entertaining your own guests while hosting in Wilmington. Bathrooms feature gilded mirrors, marble floors, and spacious jacuzzi tubs that encourage further luxuriating. 

Credit: Jason Varney

When it comes to dining, guests will stay in Europe – specifically, in France. Le Cavalier, a modern brasserie, offers unique takes on French classics in a newly restored space. Of course, there’s Soupe À L’oignon (French onion soup) on the menu, topped with a combination of gruyère, comté, and raclette cheese, but then there’s also a Tunisian-inspired lamb dish, complete with chickpea fries. Indeed, Le Cavalier was recently recognized as the winner of Food + Wine’s inaugural 2023 Global Tastemakers Award, so whether you’re joining the team for brunch, lunch, dinner, or cocktails, you won’t go wrong. For dessert, head to Spark’d, offering both savory and sweet baked goods right in the midst of the DE.CO food hall, adjacent to the hotel. 

At the end of a long day (or a long meal), don’t miss the spa treatments at Currie Hair, Skin & Nails.  The facilities offer massage, sauna treatments, facials, manicures, hair services, and thermal mud wraps (among others). There’s also a state-of-the-art fitness center if your r&r is a bit more of the active flavor. 

Whether for business, pleasure, or a combination thereof, the Hotel Du Pont is a beautifully elegant place to call home away from home, whether for a short while or an extended stay. 

Top Takeaways

Location: Wilmington, Delaware

Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: Old school European luxury where all that glitters is gold. 

Food + Drink: Check out Food + Wine-honored Le Cavalier for all your dining needs. 

Amenities: 24-hour fitness center, day spa, Cadillac Escalade courtesy vehicle for guests, ample meeting and event space, complimentary shoe shine service  

Any neighborhood recs? Check out the DE.CO food hall right next door for a wide range of creative food concepts. 

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: It’s hard to find a bad place to take a picture at this architectural hotel, but the grand double staircase is a must-see (and must-photograph). 

What’s Nearby? Delaware Art Museum, Brandywine Zoo, Nemours Estate, Hagley Museum, DuPont Environmental Education Center of Delaware Nature Society

Rooms: 217 rooms 

Pricing: Rooms start at $239/night  

Closest Airport: Wilmington Airport

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