The Best Hotels in Every State 2015
Great hotels can inspire you, pamper you, and give you a much-deserved break from the humdrum routine of daily life. Europe may have hotels in former palaces, but there are plenty of outstanding hotels and resorts in the U.S. too, and in many ways, they tell the story of this country.
Take the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans for example—the legendary grand dame dates back to 1893, survived Hurricane Katrina, and is back and better than ever after a major renovation, complete with a restaurant by acclaimed chef John Besh. In picturesque New England, the Chanler at Cliff Walk is set in one of Newport’s grandest mansions built in 1873, when Gilded Age tycoons turned the ocean-front town into a summer playground for Gatsby-esque parties. At Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, guests can step back in time to the Wild West, ride horses, hike through the mountains with a guide, and cozy up by the fireplace in a luxury cabin. In Oklahoma, you might be surprised to discover the Mayo Hotel, which in its heyday hosted John F. Kennedy, Lucille Ball, and Babe Ruth. Though it suffered a period of decline in the ‘80s, it’s been reborn and reimagined as a gorgeous hotel for the modern day. More recently, hotels like 21c Museum Hotel Louisville and Cincinnati have revived forlorn downtowns by renovating former factories and filling them with art.
These are just some of the fabulous hotels that T+L readers have voted into our hall of fame, known as the World’s Best Awards. Most of the hotels on this list received top scores from readers, who rated everything from the quality of the rooms to the location, service, dining options, nightlife, and value. In the case of a few states that didn’t have any hotels represented on the World’s Best list, we asked for nominations from the people who know best, including the tourism boards in those states. When planning your next American vacation, consider staying at one of these outstanding properties and vote for your favorites in the 2016 World’s Best Awards survey.
Alabama: Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club, & Spa
The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa offers guests a relaxing break on the Gulf Coast. The 550-acre property overlooking Mobile Bay is steeped in history. Built in 1847, it served as a confederate hospital during the Civil War and a training base during WWII. The hotel, which scored 87.5 in T+L’s World’s Best survey, has grown considerably since then, and today has two golf courses, ten tennis courts, and six restaurants.
Alaska: Aleyska Resort
Steeped in the heart of a glacier-carved valley, Alyeska Resort is the only North American ski resort with both mountain and ocean views. For adventure-seekers, the property is a veritable gold-mine—in fact, the town it’s located in played a large role in the gold rush. It got a score of 86.182, and one T+L reader raved about its “great location with easy access to ski and mountain walks.” After a day on the slopes, guests can relax in the saltwater pool or whirlpool, or indulge in a treatment at the spa.
Arizona: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North seems to blend into its surroundings, with adobe-inspired buildings set amid a desert landscape full of cacti. The golf course is one of the best in Arizona, and the spa even offers a golfer’s massage using heated golf balls in place of hot stones. The property scored 90.857 in our World’s Best survey, and readers took note of the beautiful surroundings, phenomenal service, and excellent food. Many suites have a telescope and guests are invited to go stargazing on Friday nights. One reader commented, “I appreciated that the hotel was aware of what a great resource Arizona’s clear skies are.”
Arkansas: Little Rock Marriott (formerly Peabody Little Rock)
California: Farmhouse Inn
Nestled in California wine country amid Sonoma’s excellent wineries, the Farmhouse Inn offers the personalized attention of a B&B combined with five star amenities. The family-run inn has only 25 rooms, some of which are in early 20th-century cottages with charming courtyards, feather beds, and saunas or steam showers. Don’t miss the Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves farm-to-table cuisine incorporating ingredients from the on-site garden. All these details and more earned the inn a score of 96 in T+L’s World’s Best Awards.
Colorado: The Little Nell
A skier’s paradise, the Little Nell boasts Aspen’s best address. The ski-in/ski-out resort offers the utmost in luxurious digs, which earned it a score of 94.667 in T+L’s Worlds Best survey. Spacious rooms have heated marble floors, fireplaces, soaking tubs, and plush goose-down linens. The pet-friendly hotel even has comfy dog beds and in-room pet menus. The Element 47 lounge is perfect for a meal or après-ski cocktail.
Connecticut: Mohegan Sun
With a score of 83.250, Mohegan Sun snagged the title of Connecticut’s best hotel, and if you’re looking for the kind of resort with so many dining options and activities that you never have to leave the grounds, this place is right for you. Famed for its casino, the ginormous resort has 1,200 rooms, 42 dining options (ranging from Starbucks and Krispy Kreme to Todd English’s Tuscany), a 22,000-square-foot spa, and golf club.
Delaware: Hotel du Pont
Delaware hotels weren’t represented on the World’s Best list, but between Wilmington and the coast, the state has several great properties. The Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington is the best of them, with a rich history, luxurious accommodations, and an opulent restaurant serving classic dishes like foie gras, lobster bisque, and filet au poivre.
Washington D.C.: The Hay-Adams
With a score of 93.333, the Hay-Adams placed second on T+L’s list of World’s Best Hotels in the continental U.S. The elegant, five-star hotel sits just across from the White House and boasts rooms with views of some of the city’s most famous landmarks, which guests can be transported to via luxury sedan service. If you go, be sure to have a drink at the hotel’s Off the Record bar.
Florida: Sunset Key Cottages, a Luxury Collection Resort
Florida has no shortage of hotels and resorts, but the Sunset Key Cottages tops them all with a score of 96. It’s no surprise—the resort occupies its own private island off of Key West. Luxury cottages range from one to four bedrooms with a breezy, beachy aesthetic, some of which have wraparound porches and oceanfront views. A spa, pool, and private white-sand beach make for lazy days relaxing, swimming, and enjoying the scenery.
Georgia: The Cloister at Sea Island
Located on Georgia’s southern coast, the Cloister at Sea Island has long been a relaxing retreat. The 1928 hotel channels the glamor of a Mediterranean mansion both inside and out, with Turkish rugs, wood-beamed ceilings, and landscaped gardens. The Georgian Room restaurant is considered one of the best restaurants in the state and the property received a score of 94.489 in our World’s Best Awards. A recent expansion added a pool overlooking Black Banks River and will introduce 63 new rooms in 2016.
Hawaii: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea received nothing but praise from T+L readers, who gushed over everything from the “gorgeous ocean view” to the “great tennis teacher and facilities.” The resort scored 92.245 and was especially popular for honeymoons and anniversaries. With three salt-water pools, swim-up bars, plush cabanas set on a Hawaiian island paradise, and a staff ready to cater to your ever need, it’s no wonder this hotel continues to enchant guests. One reader added, “I think the staff made the difference between great and the best.”
Idaho: Sun Valley Lodge
Though Idaho didn’t have any hotels on the World’s Best list, Sun Valley is the clear winner. The 80-year-old lodge underwent a massive renovation, which added 94 new rooms, a 20,000-square-foot spa, a fitness center, yoga studio, a glass-enclosed outdoor pool, and redesigned restaurants, lounges, and lobbies. Guests have access to a veritable smorgasbord of dining options. The resort has what you need to keep the entire family entertained, with activities including skiing, skating, horseback riding, tennis, golf, fly-fishing, and sport shooting.
Illinois: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Chicago has plenty of excellent hotels, including several standout properties that opened this year, but the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago tops them all with a score of 92.143. The elegant hotel just steps from the Magnificent Mile welcomes guests into a marble lobby with crystal chandeliers. Rooms have colorful artwork, fantastic views of Lake Michigan or the downtown skyline, and bathrooms stocked with Malin +Goetz products. The restaurant Allium serves regional farm-to-table dishes and you can even order homemade ice cream sundaes right up to your room.
Indiana: West Baden Springs Hotel
A former Jesuit seminary, the West Baden Springs Hotel is an architectural marvel in the middle of rural Indiana. The National Historic Landmark’s defining feature is a grand domed atrium spanning 200 feet. Rooms have Egyptian-cotton sheets and artwork created from vintage postcards. A complimentary shuttle will transport guests to the golf course and casino. The property scored 85.263 in T+L’s Worlds Best survey.
Iowa: Hotel Blackhawk, an Autograph Collection Hotel
Iowa didn’t have any hotels represented in the World’s Best Awards, but the Iowa Tourism Office nominated Hotel Blackhawk as the state’s best. The historic property was built in 1915 and received a $46 million renovation courtesy of Marriott—it’s part of the brand’s prestigious Autograph Collection. Paintings by local artists hang in the rooms and suites. Amenities include a restaurant, bar, pool, spa, and bowling alley.
Kansas: Ambassador Wichita, an Autograph Collection Hotel
Though it didn’t appear on T+L’s World’s Best List, the Kansas Tourism Office recommended the Ambassador Wichita, an Autograph Collection Hotel. The property sets itself apart with 117 luxurious rooms and all the modern conveniences sophisticated travelers expect, including free Wi-Fi and iPod docks. The hotel is home to the Siena Tuscan Steakhouse and offers guests complimentary car service to and from the airport and destinations within a five-mile radius.
Kentucky: 21c Museum Hotel Louisville
The art-focused 21c Museum Hotel Louisville is a clear standout in Kentucky. New York architect Deborah Berke renovated five 19th-century brick buildings, transforming them into an industrial chic hotel with exposed brick walls. The impressive collection of rotating paintings, sculptures, videos, and installations makes a stay here a must for art lovers. It scored 90.222 on T+L’s World’s Best Awards and one reader even said, “I would live here if I could.”
Louisiana: The Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans
It’s no wonder this grand dame was featured on our World’s Best list with a score of 88. The Roosevelt Hotel has been operating since 1893, and received a major renovation post-Katrina in 2009, which restored the property to its former grandeur. The luxurious lobby features 1920s mosaic-tiled floors, huge crystal chandeliers, and potted palms. In addition to the plush rooms and suites, the hotel boasts a Guerlain spa and the fabulous restaurant Domenica, helmed by acclaimed chef Alon Shaya in partnership with chef John Besh.
Maine: Camden Harbour Inn
Situated along Maine’s iconic coast equidistance from Portland and Bar Harbor, the Camden Harbour Inn is one of Maine’s few truly design-focused properties. The elegant 1864 building received a thoroughly modern makeover, complete with graphic wallpaper, Asian antiques, Art Deco accents, and silk comforters. Even the doors to the restaurant were made using century-old convent doors from France. Guests can expect gracious service at this Relais & Châteaux property. The concierge can arrange anything from hikes with a private guide to cooking classes or a tour in the ocean with a lobsterman. The hotel scored 91.733 on our World’s Best survey.
Maryland: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina
Relaxation and recreation are the focal points at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina. Perched on the banks of the Choptank River, the resort has a renowned golf course, tennis courts, a volleyball court, and access to the marina, where guests can dock their boats. Five restaurants and a self-serve general store offer plenty of culinary choices, including Eastern Shore specials like smoked oysters and Maryland crab cakes. The resort scored 86.933 in our World’s Best survey and was featured as one of America’s best family hotels.
Massachusetts: The Langham, Boston
The Langham, housed in Boston’s former Federal Reserve Bank, scored 91.238 on our World’s Best list thanks to its sophisticated style, excellent dining options (in addition to the Reserve and the Bond Restaurant & Lounge, it boasts a Chocolate Bar with a famed Saturday buffet), and superb service. One T+L reader noted, “No question or request is too small, and staff arrive at your door with a smile, dressed very professionally.”
Michigan: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
Generations of families have summered at the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island on the shores of Lake Huron, which scored 89.280 in our World’s Best survey. The 1887 hotel is known for its rich history—Mark Twain lectured in the casino—and the simple pleasures it offers, like lawn games and after-dinner dancing. One T+L reader called it “a step back in time to an era when quiet elegance was celebrated.” Indeed, there are no cars on the island, only horse-drawn carriages.
Minnesota: The Saint Paul Hotel
Midwestern politeness is just one part of the Saint Paul Hotel’s charm. Doormen in top hats greet guests at this historic luxury hotel in the Twin Cities, where chandeliers and a fireplace in the lobby create a classic ambiance. The building dates back to 1910 and was designed by Reed and Stem, the architects behind New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. One T+L reader noted, “This is a grand dame of a hotel with creative programming and excellent food.” It scored 88.267 in the World’s Best survey.
Mississippi: Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi was voted Mississippi’s best hotel with a score of 84.40. It’s a massive resort, with 1,740 rooms and suites, ten restaurants, four lounges and bars, twelve shops, a spa, pool, and convention center, not to mention the casino.
Missouri: Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch (formerly the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Waterfront)
Smack dab in the heart of St. Louis, the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch took the title of Missouri’s best hotel with a score of 82.783. Some of the 910 rooms have views of the Arch and the Mississippi River; others have views of downtown. The pet-friendly hotel has plenty of amenities, including a gym and fitness concierge, self-serve check-in kiosks, and free Wi-Fi. Dining options include Starbucks and a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
Montana: Triple Creek Ranch
If you harbor fantasies of escaping to a luxury dude ranch in the mountains, Triple Creek Ranch in rural Montana is the place to go. Twenty-three luxe cabins are set on 600 acres and feature hot tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, and locally woven blankets. The all-inclusive Relais & Châteaux property organizes activities ranging from hiking and horseback riding to helicopter tours. The hotel scored 97.333 on T+L’s World’s Best survey, with readers praising its personalized service, wonderful amenities, world-class activities, and exceptional attention to details.
Though Nebraska lacked a World’s Best-winning hotel, the Nebraska Tourism Commission nominated the Magnolia Hotel in Omaha, which occupies a historic building close to the city’s major sites. Constructed in 1923, the architecture was inspired by Florence’s Bargello, with marble floors, a limestone façade, and cherry wood lobby. Rooms are comfortable and nightly cookies and milk provides a nice perk.
New York: The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
With a score of 94.727, the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park was voted not only the best hotel in the state of New York, but also the best hotel in the continental U.S. Often touted for its superb service, the hotel boasts a multi-lingual staff and an award-winning concierge team that can fulfill even the wildest requests. Indeed, one T+L reader commented, “the GM is fantastic and has an incredible eye for detail and hospitality.” Anyone can dine at the Auden bistro and enjoy afternoon tea, but guests get the added perk of access the Ritz-Carlton club lounge.
New Hampshire: Wentworth by the Sea, a Marriott Hotel & Spa
One of those grand New England resorts that date back to the 1800s, Wentworth by the Sea was taken over and restored to its former glory by Marriott. Its coastal location near Portsmouth makes it an easy getaway from Boston. Some rooms have balconies and many have views of the ocean or the harbor. Two restaurants serve local seafood and on weekends, Salt Kitchen & Bar has a build-your-own Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar. It scored 90.933 in our World’s Best survey.
New Jersey: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
The 2,002-room, over-the-top Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was voted the highest-ranking hotel in New Jersey with a score of 85.083. For travelers looking for a typical Atlantic City experience, the Borgata provides a renowned casino, a spa, a nightclub, several bars, and restaurants by celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, and Geoffrey Zakarian. One reader noted, “the Gypsy Bar is by far the most fun entertainment area. The atmosphere is always fun and the bands that they book have high energy.”
Nevada: Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas was the city’s first hotel without a casino attached, and T+L readers took note. It received a score of 91.040, and one reader called it “a nice oasis from the din of Vegas when you need a vacation from the vacation.” Another reader commented that it’s great for business travelers. Guests can expect all the usual Four Seasons touches—elegantly decorated rooms with marble baths, attentive service, and great dining options.
Ohio: 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati
A newcomer to the World’s Best list, the 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati scored 90.4. The art-focused property is credited with revitalizing the city’s historic center. A top-to-bottom renovation by the husband-and-wife team behind the 21c Museum Hotel Louisville turned the once neglected century-old building into a chic, eclectic hotel with rotating art exhibits.
North Carolina: Old Edwards Inn & Spa
Originally a boarding house known for its hospitable owners, the Old Edwards Inn & Spa honors its legacy while ensuring its quality. The Relais & Châteaux property in the Blue Ridge Mountains welcomes guests with champagne before they check in to one of the plush rooms. A major renovation added pools, shops, a restaurant, and upgraded the accommodations. The property scored 91.259 in T+L’s World’s Best survey.
North Dakota: Hotel Donaldson
Originally built in downtown Fargo in 1893, the Hotel Donaldson suffered a period of decline in the 1960s and ‘70s, when it became a workingman’s hotel offering daily and weekly rates. Though it didn’t appear on the World’s Best List, the North Dakota Tourism Division nominated it as the state’s best hotel. In 2003, entrepreneur Karen Stocker bought the hotel and gut-renovated it, filling the 17 rooms with bespoke art by local artists, adding the award-winning HoDo restaurant, a lounge, and a rooftop hot tub. Little touches, like a wine and cheese hour, truffle turndown service, and complimentary pastry baskets delivered to the suites, make a stay at the hotel extra special.
Oregon: Allison Inn & Spa
You might think Oregon’s best hotel would be in Portland, but T+L readers voted the Allison Inn & Spa the state’s top hotel, with a score of 95.250. The sprawling eco-friendly property, situated in the idyllic Willamette Valley wine country, is home to seven acres of grapevines, fields, and gardens. The property certainly makes use of the land’s bounty—the Jory restaurant serves farm-to-table dishes and offers forty wines by the glass. The spa even uses local berries, roses, wine, and honey in its treatments. If all that wasn’t enough, the luxurious inn is LEED-gold certified.
Oklahoma: Mayo Hotel
Though there were no Oklahoma hotels represented in the World’s Best Awards, the state has several fine options. The best of the bunch is the Mayo Hotel, as nominated by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. The hotel was the tallest building in Tulsa when it was constructed in 1925 and Babe Ruth, Lucille Ball, and John F. Kennedy were all guests during its heyday. Though it fell into disrepair in the ‘80s and remained vacant for decades, it was reborn in 2009 following a $42 million renovation. Today guests will find stylish, modern rooms and suites, a restaurant, and a rooftop bar.