The Top 15 City Hotels in the Continental United States in 2017

The Vendue
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

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.

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15. Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas

Score: 94.35

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14. The Peninsula, Chicago

The Peninsula Chicago
Courtesy of The Peninsula Chicago

Score: 94.44

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13. Old 77 Hotel & Chandlery, New Orleans

The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
Courtesy of The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery

Score: 94.50

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12. Zero George, Charleston, South Carolina

Zero George
Courtesy of Zero George

Score: 94.52

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11. Hotel Elysee, New York City

Hotel Elysee
Courtesy of Hotel Elysee

Score: 94.67

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10. Roxy Hotel, New York City

The Roxy Hotel
Courtesy of The Roxy Hotel

Score: 94.77

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9. The Vendue, Charleston, South Carolina

The Vendue
Peter Frank Edwards

Score: 94.88

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8. 21c Museum Hotel, Bentonville, Arkansas

21C Museum Hotel Bentonville
Courtesy of 21C Museum Hotel Bentonville

Score: 94.95

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7. Urban Cowboy, Nashville, Tennessee

Urban Cowboy Nashville
Courtesy of Urban Cowboy Nashville

Score: 95.11

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6. Archer, New York City

Archer New York
Courtesy of Archer New York

Scores: 95.13

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5. Thompson, Seattle

Thompson Seattle
Dave Lauridsen

Score: 95.15

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4. The Chatwal, New York City

The Chatwal

Score: 95.57

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3. 21c Museum Hotel, Oklahoma City

21C Museum Hotel Oklahoma City
Courtesy of 21C Museum Hotel Oklahoma City

Score: 95.77

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2. Alfond Inn, Orlando Area, Florida

Alfond Inn
Courtesy of The Alfond Inn

Score: 96.00

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1. The Surrey, New York City

The Surrey
Courtesy of The Surrey

Score: 96.09

There’s no skimping on the details at this Upper East Side retreat — linens are Sferra, amenities are Diptyque, and room service is by Café Boulud — and the result is a hotel that feels like a true escape from the madding crowd in spite of its prime city location. Readers love the “fabulous and attentive staff,” and say the “luxuriously appointed” rooms are “the height of urban elegance.” A stellar art collection that includes works by the likes of Chuck Close and Jenny Holzer will whet your palate before a visit to the Met Breuer around the corner, and the intimate Cornelia Spa stands ready to aid your recovery should you have a little too much fun out on the town.

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