The Best Hotels
If there’s one thing we do right in the United States, it’s extravagance. That doesn’t necessarily mean opulence in the traditional sense, just that we wholeheartedly go all out. Our selections flaunt the range of incredible and unique hotel offerings across the country. From themed rooms at hidden hideaways to retro-chic luxury, from magnificently integrated natural settings to over-the-top amenity indulgence, these American hotels showcase the best of what the country has to offer: full dedication to bringing the very best of their features.
Cheap & Chic
New Orleans, Louisiana
Sure the rooms are nice—chic, sparse decor, retro Smeg refrigerators and a curated selection of records. But honestly, the best part of the Ace is not that it’s a hotel—and that’s okay. While still maintaining a boutique feel, this Art-Deco building in New Orleans’ Warehouse District (a 10-minute walk from the French Quarter) includes three restaurants, a rooftop pool and lounge, an art gallery, music venue, coffee shop, barber shop, private dining room, and local storefronts. They even have a cultural coordinator on staff in charge of making sure the latest local drag performers, DJs, poets, and artists fill the art and performance spaces. The Ace knows you came to New Orleans to experience New Orleans—and it provides.
Canyon Point, Utah
Like much of the world’s best architecture, structures at the sprawling Amangiri resort pay homage to their natural surroundings, blending into the high desert rather than sticking out. In fact, everything about this resort respects the unique landscape of Southern Utah, with its glowing swimming pool built into rock; walls of glass and outdoor decks for easy viewing of the mesas, deserts, and ancient rock formations; and extensive work with Navajo artists. In the area’s incredible, otherworldly beauty, you’ll quickly realize its sacredness: rock formations of the Grand Escalante light up in an unbelievable range of colors depending on time of day, and the rolling arid acres of slot canyons, hoodoos, arches, and gorges call back a million years of life and a desire for exploration.
New & Noteworthy
Asbury Park, New Jersey
The Asbury Hotel is the new kid on the block in ultra-hip Asbury Park, making this once-seedy seaside destination a popular weekend trip for New Yorkers in the know. Locals have always known about the gritty allure of the Asbury Park boardwalk, but this design-y hotel has turned into a hotspot. The décor is simple and functional—like an extremely chic college dorm—and the hotel is one of the coolest places to see and be seen in Asbury Park. Come for the rooftop cinema, stay for the fluffy white beds and the chill vibes that make this hotel like no other place on the Jersey Shore.
Shelter Island, New York
Both style and location factor in at The Chequit: the simplistic, refined choices–from local cuisine to selectively-placed antique rocking chairs and clawfoot tubs–create a smart yet humble harmony. It has the feeling of a bed-and-breakfast stay, but a dreamy one (perhaps in the movie version of your life) with cleaner, more contemporary style. Likewise, its location on Shelter Island, one of the quietest, most “untouched” places in the area, creates what a Hamptons getaway looks like in our imaginations (and more rarely reality): exclusive yet understated, rustic yet luxurious, and far from beach traffic or a crowded train car.
Chicago Athletic Association
Details of the former club are indulgent: boxing robes in each room, cozy leather armchairs, wood panelling, crown moldings, and original windows looking out onto Michigan Avenue and Millennium Park across the street. The restaurant, The Cherry Circle Room, upholds a sense of grandeur and privacy: a wood-paneled cove, inspired by the club’s original restaurant, tucked way in the back of the main floor. But despite its history, this hotel is definitely young: the original billiard room still hosts group games of pool, shuffleboard, and bocce played through the night, as crowds of friends order fresh soft pretzels and local beers. Cindy’s cocktail bar on the roof is full of hip guests and locals on any given night. And another (not insignificant) detail: rooms are affordable.
Cape Neddick, Maine
As its namesake suggests, the hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and you can watch the white crests smash the craggy bluffs below from nestled in your hooded flannel robe on your balcony. Take a steamy dip in the outdoor hot tub underneath whirling snowflakes or starry summer skies, sit by the fire pit with a hot chocolate, and gobble up all the freshly-caught local seafood and seasonal treats you can eat in one of four eateries on-site. Don’t want to leave your room? Cozy up by the fire and watch the storms come in–there’s no other view like this anywhere.
Big Sky, Montana
Surrounded by nature in Moonlight Basin, an hour from Yellowstone National Park and 10 minutes to epic fly fishing on the Gallatin River, this is the premier Big Sky Country experience—especially for the outdoorsman who feels no need to rough it. Instead of laboring over your own campsite, sleep in heated canvas tents, each adorned with antler chandeliers, real wood floors, and oversized king beds. Enjoy deliciously prepared meals in the lodge, a packed picnic lunch, or extravagant multi-course dinners under the stars. All this pampering allows more energy for a wealth of other activities: fly fishing, mountain biking, rafting, horseback riding, and in-tent massages.
Palm Beach, Florida
The most incredible design and chic decor make up the utterly fabulous Colony Hotel, where every room is a still-life worthy of a #nofilter Instagram. Bold colors and lux fabrics will enchant you at every turned corner, from the pastel poolside Bimini Bar to the fine dining with live piano music at CPB. The hotel is so gorgeously fabulous, you’ll never want to leave–and with wild and flamboyant entertainment and dinner shows from blues and jazz to cabaret and the high-end shopping of Worth Avenue right outside your door, you don’t have to go far for entertainment.
Dunton Hot Springs
Sitting on top of active hot springs by the Dolores River and steps from hiking trails through the San Juan Mountains, this former ghost town was delicately updated to become a resort. With stays in the original log cabins, dining on feasts of foraged goods in the old saloon, and soaks in its natural resources, it’s a pleasant offering of authenticity and rustic comfort. Summer and winter visits are equally pleasant, but diverse experiences, with trail rides, fly fishing, and mountaineering through the summer and fall, and snowshoeing, skiing, and horse-drawn sleigh rides in the festive winter season. The hot springs, both outdoors and housed, are always enjoyable.
Rich & Famous
The Gramercy Park Hotel
New York City, New York
There’s something about the Gramercy Park Hotel that makes you feel like you’re getting a glimpse into a side of New York City just beyond your reach. Maybe it’s because there’s a celeb-studded roster involved with this property, from hotelier and hospitality guru Ian Schrager to restauranteur Danny Meyer; or perhaps it’s the fact that the artwork of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Damien Hirst have graced the walls. No matter the reason, it’s spectacular. Individually-decorated rooms have a vintage vibe, with jewel-toned velvet fabrics, tufted leather furniture, and romantic lighting. When you’re a guest here, it can feel like the center of the universe, but it’s worth a visit even if you’re not spending the night—the super-exclusive Rose Bar has seen more than its fair share of famous faces, and Maialino is one of the city’s best Italian restaurants, open for boozy brunches, decadent lunches, and late-night dinners.
Weird & Wonderful
The attention to detail in this immaculate and wildly creative “motel” pays homage to icons like Dolly Parton, John Waters, and Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLaughlin) of Twin Peaks fame. Each chalet is themed and decked to the nines, from ’70s Honeymoon Kitch to Christmas to Haunted Mansion to Geek Culture. There’s even a 420 Room where you can partake in California’s recreational marijuana culture, then sleep in a sunken bed under blacklight posters. With 10 suites, each in an A-frame cabin nestled in the idyllic pines and cedars of the San Jacinto Mountains, choose your theme and be transported.
San Antonio, Texas
In the best renovations, necessary upgrades and style choices don’t let you forget the original charm of the place. Built against the San Antonio River north of downtown, the gorgeous details of this towering stone building and former 19th-century brewery remain. High ceilings with rows of windows let in plenty of light, and the original bricked walls, beautifully tiled floors, and old brew tanks and equipment are all utilized in sophisticated design. Beside chic guest rooms, modern upgrades include the 3,700-volume library housed inside a romantically-lit vaulted room, a rooftop pool, and a restaurant renowned for using fresh local produce for big American and Southern flavors.
Tried & True
Palace Hotel San Francisco
San Francisco, California
There’s something to be said for an urban hotel that provides an escape from its own surroundings. To enter the doors of The Palace, just minutes from Chinatown and Union Square, is to return to San Francisco’s Gilded Age—though the modern amenities of its suites, fitness center, and indoor heated pool won’t have you missing the present. Perhaps most impressive is the Garden Court, with its ceiling of intricate glass panes, marbled columns and walls, and crystal chandeliers, famous for brunch, tea time and many a photo opportunity. At the time The Palace opened, it was the biggest and most expensive hotel in the world (though the original building was gutted after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake), and memories of its heyday still echo through its opulent halls.
Denali National Park, Alaska
It’s rare these days to truly feel isolated in nature—but take a helicopter transfer over Denali National Park and the Alaska Range to arrive at Sheldon Chalet, a mountain house perched on top of a nunatak and surrounded by glaciers, and you’ll believe again. At this remarkable location is something perhaps equally hard to find: a family-run luxury hotel, steeped both in history and heart. Just the chance to view the Aurora Borealis from every room and panorama seems worth the high bill of stay here, but the five-star meals of freshly flown-in seafood, fur throws on every bed, and arranged activities of mountaineering, rappelling, and plane tours, all add more to making it a once-in-a-lifetime stay.
Weird & Wonderful
Ten Thousand Waves
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ten Thousand Waves began in 1981 as a tiny bathhouse, toting the benefits of hot water bathing and beauties of Japanese customs. Since then, the property, equally close to downtown Santa Fe and National Forest, has expanded to a luxury Japanese inn and izakaya restaurant. Each simplistic room is a little different, but even the basic choice has a private courtyard and a daybed with a view. The izakaya uses sustainably-raised protein to create upscale offerings and omakase (a chef’s choice multi-course menu). And then there are the spa offerings: private and communal tubs, cold plunges, saunas, Thai and deep stone massage, and Japanese organic facials—to name just a few.