About Our Berea, Kentucky Hotel
Boone Tavern History & Features
A historic Berea hotel, Boone Tavern was built in 1909 at the suggestion of Nellie Frost, the wife of the College president, William G. Frost. As the reputation of Berea College grew, so did the number of guests that Mrs. Frost received, reaching a total of 300 guests in one summer. Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant– named for Appalachian hero Daniel Boone – has been hosting visitors of Berea, Kentucky, ever since, including the Dalai Lama, Henry Ford, President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Robert Frost.
Construction of Boone Tavern began in 1909 based on designs by the New York architectural firm of Cady & See at a cost of $20,000. The building, made of bricks manufactured by students in the College's brickyard, was constructed by the College's Woodwork Department. The "Tavern" portion of the name is derived from the historic definition that refers to a public inn for travelers rather than the modern definition related to the sale of alcohol.
Built at a prominent location on the College Square in the heart of Berea where the old Dixie Highway intersected with the campus, Boone has become one of the most famous Kentucky hotels and has been known as a popular destination for travelers of business and leisure alike.
Boone Tavern began humbly with 25 guestrooms, now, the guest room tally is at 63, and an $11 million renovation has upgraded many elements of the property, laying the foundation for another successful century. Our award-winning Berea, Kentucky hotel is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We promise to uphold the ideals and standards that earned us this recognition, as well as the green practices that earned us the distinction as a LEED Gold Certified Green Hotel.
Boone Tavern is owned by Berea College, and its students are a vital part of our staff. Part of Berea College’s requirements is that students are required to work at least ten hours per week at any one of the 140+ college departments and work areas across campus. Boone Tavern is one of these establishments. Students earn money for books, room, and board at the College – but pay no tuition – thanks to the generosity of donors who support Berea College's mission of providing a high-quality education for students primarily from Appalachia who have high academic potential and limited financial resources.
Parking, Biking, and Fitness at Boone Tavern:
- Parking at Boone Tavern is complimentary. We have reserved parking for handicap and for “Green” vehicles. We also have two plug-in stations for electric vehicles.
- Complimentary bicycles are available for guest recreation and for shopping. Please stop by the front desk for details and to make a reservation.