The Best Resort Hotels in the Midwest in 2016

Big Cedar Lodge Branson Missouri
Photo: Art Meripol

For many travelers, the Midwest conjures images of farms, cheese curds, and cities like Chicago, St. Louis, and Milwaukee. But, as these storied resorts showcase, there’s much more to the middle of the country than cornfields. 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 lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotels on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Properties were categorized as city or resort based on their locations. Nearly all of the hotels on our Midwest list — a new category for the World’s Best Awards — are large, family-friendly destinations offering activities like golf and horseback riding. Top-five property Grand Hotel, on Mackinac Island in Michigan, was named one of the best hotels for families last year. Since its opening in 1887, the Grand Hotel has hosted countless famous guests, including Mark Twain and five U.S. presidents. Even today, visitors can feel as if they're stepping back in time, enjoying lawn games and elegant dining facilities. The No. 1 resort hotel in the Midwest, Big Cedar Lodge, boasts rustic cabins and lodges throughout the 800-acre property. When the weather is cold and snowy, families bundle up next to the wood-burning fireplaces and sip hot chocolate. In the summer, guests can relax in the pool and lazy river after a day hiking the trails. Read on for the full list.

01 of 05

No. 5: West Baden Springs Hotel, West Baden Springs, Indiana

West Baden Springs Hotel
Courtesy of West Baden Springs Hotel

Score: 86.42

02 of 05

No. 4: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Grand Hotel Mackinac Island
Courtesy of Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

Score: 88.78

03 of 05

No. 3: American Club at Destination Kohler, Kohler, Wisconsin

American Club at Destination Kohler
Courtesy of American Club at Destination Kohler

Score: 91.05

04 of 05

No. 2: Sundara Inn & Spa, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Sundara Inn & Spa
Courtesy of Sundara Inn and Spa

Score: 92.18

05 of 05

No. 1: Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri

Big Cedar Lodge Branson Missouri
Art Meripol

Score: 93.59

Perched high in the Ozark Mountains and overlooking Table Rock Lake, this property is a hit with outdoorsy families from around the country. With 800 acres of reserve land, Big Cedar Lodge offers horseback riding, hiking, biking, golf, and world-class fishing. There are plenty of things to explore for the less adventurous, too, like the 18,000-square-foot spa with saunas, steam rooms, fireplaces, and private open-air showers. Additionally, guests can embark on a sunset cruise on Lady Liberty, a 65-foot luxury yacht, while enjoying live music and hors d’oeuvres.

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