Many of the country’s best resort hotels aren't what most people think of when they hear "resort" — you won’t find bikini-clad women sipping piña coladas at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana, for example. Still, the properties that were recognized in this year’s World’s Best Awards all have an approach to relaxation that is traditionally and unabashedly American.
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 lines, 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.
Whether guests bed down in log cabins or shingled cottages or a vintage manse, they're getting thoroughly looked after.
The top 15 properties ranged from opulent mansions in the American South to ranch-style resorts overlooking the Santa Cruz Mountains. Some showed the country’s wilder side, including Triple Creek Ranch, which T+L reader Richard Gill called “one of the jewels of the American West,” and the No. 1 resort, the 1,500-acre Lodge at Glendorn in Pennsylvania.
At the Château du Sureau, in Oakhurst, California, visitors are treated to the best of the Old World (afternoon tea, interiors furnished with antiques, and tiles reclaimed from European castles) and the New World. Think hikes through Yosemite, one of the country’s most striking national parks.
And don't forget about classic beach getaways. The Gasparilla Inn is a wonderfully preppy property on Florida's Gulf Coast, where you can golf, play tennis, or lounge on the sand, then don a jacket for dinner. Wequassett Resort and Golf Club offers wholesome, upscale fun on beloved Cape Cod. "The gardens are magical, the rooms, food and beverage outstanding, but the service is nothing short of perfection," one reader raved.
A high standard of service is something all our winners share, no matter where they are located. And that really makes it a vacation.