More than a century after it first opened its doors, elegant HOTEL DU PONT remains one of America’s finest examples of gilded age glamour. Festooned with sweeping staircases, bronze balustrades, and 100-year-old European chandeliers, Wilmington, Delaware’s gracious historic landmark transports guests back to an era of Old World grandeur while providing contemporary amenities and service.
Opened in 1913, HOTEL DU PONT continues to deliver timeless luxury. Originally the headquarters for the DuPont Company, the building is a well-preserved example of Italian Renaissance architecture. The 12-story Italian Renaissance building debuted after a two-and-a-half-year construction process that was a true labor of love by the French and Italian craftsmen who carved, gilded, and painted this finely detailed architectural gem.
The hotel earned instant fame, rivaling the finest hotels in New York and Europe while serving as the financial and social epicenter for the Wilmington elite. Expansion of the property in 1918 brought the additions of the Du Barry Room, the Gold Ballroom, and the theatre, now known as the Playhouse on Rodney Square.
With such fineries as European chandeliers and hand-laid terrazzo floors, HOTEL DU PONT is the epitome of grandeur. The French neoclassic Gold Ballroom is one of Delaware’s most magnificent wedding and event destinations. The 25,000 square-foot space features two 12-foot-high walnut doors engraved with peacocks and urns, and textured walls showcasing sgraffito, a “scratching” technique that was popular during the Italian Renaissance. Hand-carved medallions and the gilded ceiling are detailed with bas-reliefs of famous women, including Pocahontas and Cleopatra.
The Federal-style du Barry Ballroom is adorned with white pillars, parquet floors, elegant sconces, and a magnificent crystal chandelier from Yugoslavia. Honoring the Brandywine River Valley’s equestrian roots, Le Cavalier is a French brasserie that evokes the grand European traditions. The chef-driven menu from Chef-Partner Tyler Akin is influenced by the flavors of Provence and highlights the seasonal bounty of Delaware’s foodways.
Throughout its century-old history, HOTEL DU PONT has undergone renovations and mindful updates that stayed true to the hotel’s past and earned its place as a member of Historic Hotels of America. In 2018, the lobby and Green Room Bar received a nouveau Victorian-inspired makeover to create a welcoming grand public space.
About Historic Hotels of America®
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.