What would the perfect hotel stay in Charleston, SC, include? How about a white-gloved doorman welcoming you into an antebellum mansion, where you can relax in period-style rooms furnished with four-poster beds? The Planters Inn in Charleston delivers this experience—and best of all, it’s not as expensive as it seems.
With its central location and overflowing southern charm, it’s no surprise that Planters Inn is a favorite of travelers. But its affordable rates have catapulted the 64-room property to No. 6 on the list of America’s Best Affordable Hotels, as voted by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards Survey. (Vote now in this year’s survey!) And all the winning hotels deliver stellar service, luxurious amenities, and rates of $250 a night or less.
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So where can you find the highest concentration of these affordable gems? Las Vegas, of course: five of the top 20 properties are located on the Las Vegas Strip. Stay at The Palazzo (No. 4), a smart choice for those who love to shop, as Barneys department store is located on the ground floor. Or choose Encore at Wynn (No. 16); you can enjoy the sun’s rays from an oversize lounge chair at the 60,000-square-foot beach club, or even while playing blackjack (the tables abut floor-to-ceiling windows).
It’s easy to find travel deals in Las Vegas. Sin City is still absorbing more than 6,000 hotel rooms added by the opening of CityCenter and the Cosmopolitan. This saturation of hotel options, along with higher gas prices, will keep the city’s room rates down, according to a recent report by Moody’s Investors Service. So if you’re looking to save money, head to the desert: Las Vegas will be a great value for travelers straight through the hot summer months.
For those who prefer history to hedonism, there’s The Greenbrier (No. 17), in West Virginia. This quintessential American retreat in the Allegheny Mountains was the setting of a Cold War fallout shelter for the House of Representatives and the Senate; the bunker is now open to tours. Meanwhile, Dorothy Draper interiors still draw design aficionados, and active types love the property’s adventure zone, bowling lanes, and indoor ice rink. And it’s all just $249 a night.
But what’s America’s Best Affordable Hotel? Read on for the winner.