Announcing My 2016 #A to Z Blog Challenge THEME – Begins April 1st

atoz-theme-reveal-2016 v2


I renewed my interest in hotel architecture and architects after discovering the vital part the Poinsett Hotel played in the reimagining of Greenville, SC.  The hotel had survived almost 20 years of neglect; a symbol of what was not working in the core of the downtown district. The reopening of this hotel was key to Greenville’s past, present and future. Across the country there are countless cities in decline that are trying to find a way to reinvent themselves. The historic significance of Main Street USA architecture is playing a part in the rebuilding of these cities. Their are always naysayers who find a problem for every solution that make revitalization difficult. It is hard for the old guard families, who’s history they feel will be forgotten, to find a way to connect to a new vision for the place they call home. In 2016, people are making decisions about where to live based on a sense of place, and the availability of a significant architectural inventory they can afford and give new life. The romance of historic hotels, the part they play in the life of a community, an architect like W.L. Stoddard of New York, who designed the Poinsett, this was a subject I have throughly enjoyed researching and writing for this year’s blog challenge.

left-side-bar-imageFrom A to Z, join me in April to enjoy hotels, inns and spas. Where possible, I have written from personal experience.  Saving the Poinsett was key to further growth in Greenville. All of the places I have written about are important to their locations, the citizens and to the guests who pass through their doors.


             Here is a sampling of what’s to come with photographs, youtube videos, and notes

The Francis Marion Hotel – Charleston, SC.

Mayflower Hotel – Seattle, WA.

The Evanston Orrington Hotel – Evanston, IL.

The Hotel Raffaello in ‘Monti’ – Rome Italy

O Henry Hotel – Greensboro, NC

“I do not think that when in a hotel you have to feel “at home,” on the contrary, you have to get the feeling that you are definitely elsewhere…”
― Aurelio Vazquez Duran

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge April 2016 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Announcing My 2016 #A to Z Blog Challenge THEME – Begins April 1st

  1. Looking forward to your posts. Interesting photographs so far.

  2. Linda Meyer says:

    Great thing to do. Will be anxiously
    Awaiting your writings.

    • One of the hotels I write about is the Orrington in Evanston, a place that was a part of our growing up. Hope you will have time in April to join me on this hotel tour. LOVED researching and writing about these interesting places.

  3. johnvic8 says:

    Looking forward to your posts on what will undoubtedly be an interesting tour of hotels grand and not so grand but memorable.

    • I have the clearest picture in my mind of being in France, looking up to a window where the garden club was staying and seeing you and Tucker smiling and waving down at me. This arm chair travel hotel tour does include places I hope everyone will enjoy. Especially you!

  4. Carrie-Anne says:

    That’s a great theme1 I’ll be particularly interested in reading about any hotels with stories about hauntings.

  5. Zeljka says:

    What an interesting theme! I’ll make sure I keep on reading 🙂 All the best,

  6. patgarcia says:

    I look forward to reading your posts.
    All the best for the challenge.

  7. What an interesting theme. I’m looking forward to it and lots of pictures I hope.

  8. Debbie D. says:

    History and architecture; two of my favourite subjects. 🙂 Looking forward to your posts! Thanks for visiting The Doglady’s Den earlier.

    • Hope you do have time to take the hotel tour with me in April. Deciding on a theme of interest to new readers is difficult, don’t you agree? I’m pleased the “sound” of history and architecture might cause you to join me.

      • Debbie D. says:

        I’ll do my best to check out your posts. History and architecture are favourite subjects. 🙂 I do agree that it’s difficult to pick interesting themes year after year. First time out, I used “Travel & Culture” and it’s hard for me to top that one.

  9. claowue says:

    That’s a brilliant theme. Did you chose them from all over the world or will you be focused at a certain region? Well, I will find out and I am looking forward to it!

    • Arm chair travel has many advantages if you can’t afford the time or the place. This hotel tour is in the US, southern, with other wonderful destinations like Seattle, even Italy. I hope you will have time in April to join me.

  10. Jean Davis says:

    Oh fun! Looking forward to your posts!

  11. That is a cool theme. The most interesting hotel I’ve ever been to was the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island. It was huge and fancy.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  12. I wonder if I’ve ever visited any of the hotels on your list. I’ll have to check back often to see.

  13. What a fun theme – can’t wait to follow your posts.

  14. Deb Atwood says:

    An interesting theme. I love old hotels, and your photos are lovely.

  15. stephie5741 says:

    Cool! Why do I have a feeling I’m going to wish I’d read your post on the hotel in Charleston before we visited last summer? We stayed at a nice hotel downtown but it was nothing worth writing about!


  16. Elizabeth says:

    That’s an interesting theme and beautiful pictures! I like that quote at the end. I haven’t stayed in very many fancy hotels, but the few I have been to were excellent!
    Elizabeth @ Liz’s Random Ponderings

  17. ann bennett says:

    I love older homes. I always wonder who lived there, etc. You’ve a great theme. I’ll be visiting.

  18. pbmgarden says:

    Hi Stepheny, I’m glad to know I haven’t missed your a-z challenge. Great theme idea. Hope you’re doing well.

  19. Tarkabarka says:

    Oooh now that’s a unique theme! When I was in Jonesborough, TN, the historic inn was the center of the town. I found it fascinating.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

  20. Marquessa says:

    Looking forward !

  21. Cynthia says:

    I love hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts too and I love a good spa. So I’d be very curious to see what you’d share here in April.

    • I should have consulted with you about what hotels etc. you would recommend. The usual difficult letters remain undone, but otherwise, I’m ready! Do come to see me in April. We’ll have tea along the way. If I remember, at The Washington Duke Inn.

  22. Robyn Engel says:

    I’m excited about all the virtual travel I’ll be doing here. Nice!
    Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy the Challenge.
    See you soon.

  23. Interesting theme, and I’ll be reading. Where I work in Binghamton, New York, we have some sad, crumbling historic buildings I pass on the way to work every day,. There is a wonderful history behind them. I may focus one of my posts on two of them.

    • If only I could join you to see your historic buildings. PLEASE do write about them. If all else fails in your research, give them a new story, crediting your imagination. In the revitalization of places like Binghamton, the architectural inventory can be an asset. Do join me in April for the hotel tour. At least we can spend time together then. If possible, I would want to hear about “your” buildings.

  24. Jen says:

    I’m looking forward to your posts! I’ve always loved traveling and staying in new places, places that feel homey but yet decidedly NOT home. Gorgeous pictures so far. I’m definitely intrigued 🙂

  25. Gail says:

    Thanks for stopping by; have you actually visited each of the hotels/spas you will highlight? Awesome theme! Will take notes for future travel experiences.

  26. Good work and theme.
    Good to visit your site as a part of my A to Z visits. My theme Blog Promotion
    Welcome to A to Z April Blogging Challenge 2016 – Co-Participant – Nrao – NRao Blogs
    NRao Blogs – 2016 A to Z Challenge Blog Posts
    Management Theory Review

  27. Diane Coto says:

    Sounds like a great theme. I expect I’ll learn a lot from your A to Z posts. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  28. Ooh, this sounds fabulous.
    Hotels, inns and spas with photos and youtube videos…interesting and therapeutic.
    Sounds like a great armchair adventure awaits…
    See you around on the A to Z circuit!
    Writer In Transit

  29. Great idea, Stepheny! I’m hoping to retire to Greenville one day!

    • Greenville is like the poster child for revitalization of downtown historic core areas. On my second blog, I have written about this great success story. I recommend the book I mention in my post to gain a new appreciation for all they have managed to accomplish. I had to write about the hotel for the letter P. Do come back in April and join me on the tour. Let’s visit Greenville together.

  30. inGeniousty says:

    Good Idea Steph… I will be back soon to read your April posts 🙂

  31. Jemima Pett says:

    I’m just ready for a luxurious hotel with a spa, maybe up in the mountains somewhere, and hopefully where the guinea pigs can come too. 😉
    Great theme, Steph!
    Jemima Pett

  32. Nilanjana Bose says:

    Hi, that’s a very unique theme. Historic is good always, gets a lot of interest. All the best for a great challenge
    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016

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