By John Wogan
July 08, 2020
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This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

Travel + Leisure readers were enthusiastic about this year’s top resort hotels in the Western United States. What is it about this part of the country that’s so magical? To start, it’s those wide open, endless expanses of sky and land in sparsely populated areas of Colorado, Montana, and Utah. It’s the fresh air, the lack of light pollution, the sense of quiet, and the elevated rusticity at places like No. 9 Triple Creek Ranch, in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, and the seaside tranquility at No. 13 Stephanie Inn, set on Oregon’s pristine Cannon Beach.

Credit: Courtesy of Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection

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.

Colorado was well represented this year, with five resorts making the list, including No. 12 Dunton Hot Springs. “It’s the most charming resort, with rustic elegance and mystique,” said one reader. The property occupies the site of a 19th-century mining town in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies, and while guests can go fly-fishing and horseback riding, many prioritize the restorative natural hot springs on site.

Farther west, on the banks of Oregon’s Rogue River, No. 5 Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge is a “fabulous getaway,” said one reader. While there’s plenty of hiking and fishing available here, readers also praise the simple pleasures of being in the great outdoors.

Read on to see the full list of the best resorts in the Western United States and the myriad reasons the Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch took first place.

1. The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming

Credit: Courtesy of Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection

Score: 98.00

More information: brushcreekranch.com

“It’s the best place I have ever stayed,” said one reader, who summed up a common feeling about this year’s winner on the Wyoming prairie in the shadow of the Sierra Madres. Set on 30,000 acres, the Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch consists of log-cabin-inspired buildings that might look simple from the outside but have modern, elegant interiors. Stone fireplaces, leather armchairs, huge slate showers, and views of the wild Wyoming landscape are all part of the experience. Activities range from archery and ATV rides to rock climbing, mountain biking, and yoga in a yurt deep in the forest. “I’d move here if I could,” said another reader. “It's one of the few places where I can truly relax.”

2. The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, Park City, Utah

Credit: Courtesy of The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 96.40

More information: aubergeresorts.com

3. C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colorado

Credit: Courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch

Score: 96.28

More information: clazyu.com

4. Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail, Colorado

Credit: Courtesy of Sonnenalp Hotel

Score: 96.00

More information: sonnenalp.com

5. (tie) The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

Credit: Courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

Score: 94.50

More information: theranchatrockcreek.com

5. (tie) Tu Tu' Tun Lodge, Gold Beach, Oregon

Credit: Courtesy of Tu Tu' Tun Lodge

Score: 94.50

More information: tututunlodge.com

7. The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana

Credit: Courtesy of Resort at Paws Up

Score: 94.37

More information: pawsup.com

8. The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado

Credit: Courtesy of The Little Nell

Score: 94.00

More information: thelittlenell.com

9. Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Montana

Credit: Courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 93.79

More information: triplecreekranch.com

10. Under Canvas Moab, Moab, Utah

Credit: Bailey Made/Courtesy of UnderCanvas

Score: 93.50

More information: undercanvas.com

11. Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection, Aspen, Colorado

Credit: Courtesy of Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 93.12

More information: aubergeresorts.com

12. Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores, Colorado

Credit: Courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs

Score: 92.75

More information: duntondestinations.com

13. Stephanie Inn, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie Inn

Score: 92.24

More information: stephanieinn.com

14. Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Credit: Courtesy of Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

Score: 91.87

More information: sanctuaryoncamelback.com

15. Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance, Utah

Credit: Courtesy of Sundance Mountain Resort

Score: 91.83

More information: sundanceresort.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.