From Montana to Colorado, the properties that appear on this year’s list lured readers with their spectacular natural surroundings.
A vacation out West should be all about engaging with the great outdoors, according to Travel + Leisure readers. The 10 resort hotels that our audience voted to the top this year have plenty of activities in their arsenal (skiing, horseback riding, and fishing, among them), along with energetic staffers who make adults and kids feel equally at home.
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. Hotels were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Colorado earned the most accolades of any state, locking down three places on the list, with the elegant Sebastian in Vail (No. 9), the posh ski-in/ski-out Little Nell in Aspen (No. 6), and the ruggedly charming C Lazy U Ranch near Rocky Mountain National Park (No. 3). Skijoring, a more offbeat option where a skier is pulled along by horses, is among the signature pastimes at Montana’s sweeping Resort at Paws Up (No. 8), which one reader visited during a Winter Fest celebration. “We went horseback riding in the snow, and the local curling team came to give us lessons at the Paws Up ice rink. This is a must visit!”
Another Big Sky Country escape, the “majestic” Triple Creek Ranch (No. 4), impressed readers at every turn, from “world-class” year-round activities and “plentiful” wine and whiskey to the way the staffers “take the time out to know all their guests and make sure their needs are met.” As another fan wrote enthusiastically: “it combines rustic Western Americana with the utmost in luxury.”
Just as effusive were guests of the No. 2 property on this year’s list, Wyoming’s 41-room Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch. “Cares melt down the river as you stay busy with numerous activities,” said one fan of the dude ranch, which is set on 30,000 acres and offers fly-fishing, archery, hunting, and clay shooting. “Everything is carefully thought out.” The “dreamworld setting,” as another visitor described it, keeps people coming back “year after year after year.”
For the complete list and rankings, as well as the reveal of this year’s top choice as voted by readers, scroll down the page.