The Top 15 City Hotels in the Continental U.S.
This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.
There's no doubt the past year has been challenging for the hospitality industry — especially for hotels in urban areas. But it's clear that the best city hotels in the continental United States rose to meet the moment, welcoming guests graciously while going above and beyond to protect the health of staff and visitors alike.
Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L invites its readers 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.
The standout hotels this year, which ranged in size from 316 rooms to just 18, impressed T+L readers with exceptional service. This year's No. 3, The Lowell in New York City, was a prime example. "They not only upgraded us to a fabulous room with terrace and fireplace — but also brought us champagne," raved one voter. Another guest praised the tony hotel for two other qualities that travelers prized this year: "It's low-key and private, which are two things that I find stand out among the rest of the Upper East Side hotels. The staff are at the highest level."
Similarly, the No. 5 Peninsula Beverly Hills has an "accommodating, friendly, and anticipatory" staff, one voter said. "Just absolutely gorgeous," wrote another. "Love the lobby and areas that segue to the outside. Rooms do not disappoint — large and fabulously decorated." Also earning high marks for design: No. 9 the Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City. "The hidden gem of the Midwest," wrote one reader. "Everything from the service to the rooms feels unique. Even during the pandemic, quality of service was never altered. I truly felt personalized attention."
But the Viceroy Chicago claimed the No. 1 spot this year. Among all the stellar hotels across the U.S., the four-year-old property set the standard for excellence with its contemporary design, ideal Windy City location, and superlative service. Read on to see what readers had to say.
1. Viceroy Chicago, Chicago
Located in the upscale Gold Coast neighborhood, this majestic hotel — which incorporates a landmark building from the 1920s into its facade — didn't miss a step, even during a tumultuous year. "Service is amazing and rooms are well-appointed and luxurious," wrote one reader, who praised the Viceroy's "superb" location and "wonderful" restaurant and rooftop bar. "It's right in the middle of one of the best neighborhoods in the city, with shopping, dining, and nightlife just steps away." Another reader echoed the praise for the food and drinks at the hotel, saying that the property's "cool vibe" is best enjoyed at the rooftop lounge, which has stunning views of Lake Michigan.
More information: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
2. Inn of the Five Graces, Santa Fe, New Mexico
More information: fivegraces.com
3. The Lowell, New York, New York
More information: lowellhotel.com
4. The Georges, Lexington, Virginia
More information: thegeorges.com
5. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California
More information: peninsula.com
6. The Langham, Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
More information: langhamhotels.com
7. Hotel Emma, San Antonio, Texas
More information: thehotelemma.com
8. Windsor Court Hotel , New Orleans, Louisiana
More information: windsorcourthotel.com
9. Crossroads Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri
More information: crossroadshotelkc.com
10. Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California
More information: dorechestercollection.com
11. Oceana Santa Monica, Santa Monica, California
More information: hoteloceanasantamonica.com
12. John Rutledge House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina
More information: johnrutledgehouseinn.com
13. The Alida Hotel, Savannah, Georgia
More information: thealidahotel.com
14. Viceroy Santa Monica, Santa Monica, California
More information: viceroyhotelsanresorts.com
15. The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York, New York
More information: thechatwalny.com
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.