We bestow the title "oldest hotel in the world" not on a grand hotel in our sense (there weren't any at that time), but to a hospitable place dating back to the 8th century.
In the year 705AD (the 2nd year of the Keiun era), Fujiwara Mahito founded the inn. Because it was founded in the Keiun era, the inn was thus named Keiunkan. Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan (西山温泉慶雲館) is a hot spring inn (self description) in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Founded in 705 AD, it is according to our listing and recoreds the oldest hotel (and one of the oldest companies) still in operation. In 2011, the hotel was officially recognised by the Guinness World Records as the oldest hotel in the world. It has been continuously operated by 52 generations of the same family (including adopted heirs) since the year 705 A.D.
For long we had supported the fact that Hōshi (法師) ryokan in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan could claim the title "Oldest Hotel in the World". Founded in 718, it was thought to be the oldest operating hotel in the world until the realization that Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, Japan, had claim to this title. The Hoshi Ryokan, by the way, has been operated by the same family for 46 generations. Keiunkan beats Hōshi (法師) ryokan by 13 years.