Southern Living is getting into the hotel business. Sort of.
The Time Inc. magazine that highlights culture and travel in the South has selected independent hotels that exemplify the best of Southern hospitality to form the Southern Living Hotel Collection. The magazine said in an announcement that "hotels in the collection are vetted according to the same criteria editors use to determine editorial coverage."
The invitation-only group starts with 15 hotels, including the restored former plantation Monmouth Historic Inn in Natchez, Miss., the 4,200-acre Blackberry Farm estate in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, and the 21-room Wentworth Mansion in downtown Charleston, S.C. The list features high-end resorts and hotels, many with historic pedigrees.
The magazine plans to launch a hotel collection website Monday that will allow travelers to search for style and amenities, and make reservations.
It also seeks to expand the number of hotels up to 100, and add branding touches, such as bringing some of its signature recipes to hotel menus.
Meanwhile, there are hotels in eight states to sample.