Whether you’re traveling for work or play, checking in to one of America’s best city hotels is a vacation unto itself.
The frenetic energy of city life demands a careful choice of hotel. A great location is a must — too far from the action and you’ll waste half your trip schlepping, too touristy and you’ll miss out on a glimpse at local life. You’ll want an in-the-know concierge, a room that feels like an oasis, and above all, a real sense of place.
Luckily, the T+L reader is a discerning guest, and the following 15 picks have all of the above and more. Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as City or Resort based on their locations and amenities.
Despite ticking all the requisite boxes, these hotels couldn’t be more different, and even those that share a hometown have each carved out a unique niche. Take the Charleston properties. The Vendue is a sleek art hotel with a buzzing rooftop bar. The Zero George, meanwhile, is all Southern charm. Set within five refurbished 19th-century townhouses, the rooms are chic but never prissy, their original architectural elements made fresh with streamlined versions of classic furniture and décor.
But a charming local isn’t the only thing T+L readers are after. Cultural capital is the draw in the case of several of our winners. The Orlando area’s Alfond Inn is a sleek little boutique hotel with a vast collection of contemporary art. The 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City, a sister hotel to the fellow winner 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas, opened last year in an old Ford assembly plant. In addition to the 135 guest rooms, the hotel boasts 14,000 square feet of exhibition space; permanent installations include Woozy Blossom, a 16-foot-high perforated steel tree that mists passersby.
Together, the 15 spots on the list ahead are a testament to the eclectic, but always impeccable, tastes of the T+L reader. Read on for the complete rundown of America’s best city hotels.