The Top Resort Hotels in the Midwest in 2018

Exterior of Big Cedar Lodge
Photo: Courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge

No, you won’t be sipping a piña colada under a palm tree at these resort hotels, voted best in the Midwest by T+L readers. But one thing is for certain: you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied, whether it’s riding horseback in the Missouri countryside, playing golf in the Wisconsin Dells, or simply relaxing by a pristine, cobalt lake in Michigan. 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. Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards Back on this list for the third consecutive year is the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island, which opened its doors in 1887. T+L readers love this property, because it transports them to a bygone era with its afternoon tea service, formal dinners, and performances by a full staff orchestra. Indeed, all of Mackinac feels like a time warp. Automobiles have been banned since 1898, so the streets are filled with bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. Located about a half a mile down the road from the Grand Hotel, the Hotel Iroquois has also been in operation for more than a century. The property sits right on the water and is surrounded by Victorian-style gardens filled with hydrangeas, petunias, and begonias. “This hotel always brings back childhood memories,” said one reader, while another one wrote in: “Attention to detail is excellent.” T+L readers also continue to return to Wisconsin for some of the best wellness offerings in the region. “Hands down the best spa,” said one fan of the American Club at Destination Kohler, where guests enjoy waterfall massages and hydration wraps after settling into their rooms. A couple of hours west is the Sundara Inn & Spa, set in a pine forest on the outskirts of the Wisconsin Dells. “You go here to relax in the wooded setting,” said one reader. “The spa is awesome and so is the staff.” But, while spas and historic charm go a long way with our audience, it’s outdoor adventure that continues to reign supreme in this category. Big Cedar Lodge, a Missouri hotel offering everything from kayaking to archery, won again this year — read on for more on it, and to see how the other hotels scored.

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5. Hotel Iroquois, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Exterior of the Hotel iroquois, on Mackinac Island
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Score: 85.86

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4. Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Interior of the Sundara Inn & Spa
Courtesy of Sundara Inn & Spa

Score: 86.95

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3. Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Colorful room at the Gran Hotel Mackinac Island
Sara Wright/Courtesy of Grand Hotel

Score: 87.23

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2. American Club at Destination Kohler, Kohler, Wisconsin

The American Club at Destination Kohler
Courtesy of Kohler Co.

Score: 87.47

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1. Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri

Interior of Big Cedar Lodge
Courtesy of Big Cedar Lodge

Score: 89.89

Everything about this sprawling, family-friendly resort — which has more than 260 accommodations, including rustic log cabins — is centered on the outdoors. Activities include hiking, canoeing, fishing, and more. At night, you can curl up around a bonfire and roast marshmallows with other guests. For those looking to simply relax, there’s an 18,000-square-foot spa. “Big Cedar Lodge is my family’s favorite destination,” said one reader. “We’ve been everywhere from Disney to multiple national parks, but if you ask them where they want to go next, it’s always Big Cedar.”

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2018.

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