With the tremendous amount of Branding hotels are doing today it can be a bit confusing. A great example is the Historic Hotels of America membership; it is based on the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To be a member the buildings must be at the least 50 years old plus listed or eligible the National Register of Historic Places. The hotels must also continually and faithfully preservation of their history, architecture and ambiance. If you’re a history buff or like staying in a place that usually has a unique feel, then you’re on your way.
That said it should also be remembered that the hotels are not under one ownership or brand. For example the Mulberry in Savannah is run by Holiday Inn. The George Washington In Winchester PA by Wyndam so amenities such as Wi-Fi, Food service and such can be drastically different. While all the properties are wonderful, make sure your getting what you want, it makes a huge difference.