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America's Best Hotels 2010

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu

Susan Seubert / Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts, Hualalai

Across the street from the well-manicured Rittenhouse Park, Philadelphia’s luxurious Rittenhouse hotel features large rooms, great views, and top-notch service—qualities that have helped this hotel become one of America’s best.

At least, that’s the opinion of Travel + Leisure readers, who voted it No. 11 in the U.S. (and No. 54 in the world). Every year, we ask our readers to share their favorite spots with us. The result? Our annual World’s Best Awards, which highlight the top players in the travel industry around the globe.

And this year, almost a third of the world’s top 100 hotels are right here in America. What is it that makes a hotel worthy of the title “World’s Best”? It’s no one thing, but rather the right combination of location, décor, service, and attention to detail. And the very best places have an almost indefinable quality that makes each guest feel truly special.

Sure, you’ll find some of the usual suspects on this list. The Little Nell, for example, has long been Aspen’s go-to place for discriminating travelers. And it hasn’t lost its charm, coming in at No. 21 in the country. It remains the quintessential marriage between nature and luxury—perfect for those looking for a ski retreat (it’s Aspen’s only ski-in/ski-out hotel) and amazing cuisine in the same location.

But the America’s Best Hotels list sports some surprises as well. San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara jumped from No. 64 in the world last year all the way to No. 4 (and No. 2 in America). Its spacious cottages—with fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs—certainly didn’t hurt its ranking, but perhaps it was our voters’ increased need for seclusion this year that helped catapult this resort up the charts.

And while San Ysidro has been around for years, it doesn’t take long for travelers to recognize great new properties. Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, which opened in 2008, made an impressive debut on the World’s Best List, at No. 20 overall and No. 3 in the U.S. Shooting up 92 stories, the polished steel and glass building features floor-to-ceiling windows to take advantage of the great views.

With such stiff competition, it’s not easy to crack this list, much less claim the title of America’s Best Hotel. So which came in at No. 1? Read on to find out.


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