The Best Hotels
hese U.S. hotels have a knack for the particulars. With so many options nationwide to choose from, standout hotels are starting to recognize their guests’ desire for a singular experience and their appreciation for the smallest of design details–from one-of-a-kind vintage art and decor to hand-painted tile mosaics to stained glass skylights. Beyond the standard amenities of pools, restaurants, and bars, this year’s winners have created unique luxuries you won’t find in any standard hotel. Your cocktail garnish might come from the onsite organic garden. Perhaps you’ll spend an afternoon perusing a 3,700-volume hotel library. Or maybe you’ll watch the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed, staring up through domed windows. For these American hotels, it’s all about the little things.
Resting at the foot of two of the country’s most beautiful National Parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, the Anvil Hotel aims to make access to the outdoors more comfortable for visitors, starting with its wide range of lodging options. The Anvil Hotel prioritizes its ADA rooms, and the hotel entrance, parking, and common areas are all wheelchair accessible. Solo travelers are also thought of in the hotel design, as the downstairs sister property Cache House hosts a hostel lodging experience with luxury bunk beds designed to maximize comfort and privacy. Both pets and service animals are welcome at the Anvil Hotel, so furry companions can enjoy the scenery as well.
The Anvil Hotel commits to donating $1 of every room’s nightly booking to community partners, including Teton Science School and Animal Adoption Center. Dining at the Anvil Hotel blends the elegance of handmade pasta with a casual atmosphere at the onsite Italian restaurant Glorietta, where the slogan is “You’re a Stranger Here But Once.” Once guests are ready to explore, the Anvil Hotel can assist in helping guests into the outdoors with their resource of nature guides, white water rafting tours, and other discounted outdoor adventure packages with local companies in the area.
As one of the few hotels where winter is the busy season, Borealis Basecamp is no stranger to providing the ultimate luxury in the middle of Alaska’s arctic tundra. The first type of lodging at Borealis Basecamp is their private igloos, with clear, curved windows stretching across each roof, allowing guests to watch the Northern Lights from the comforts of their warm bed. The second lodging type is the larger cube cabin, with floor-to-ceiling windows giving guests panoramic views. While Borealis Basecamp remains committed to reducing electricity usage, both accommodations offer an enhanced “off-grid” experience with breakfast bars, full bathrooms, hot showers, and vanity sinks.
Latitude 65 is the onsite restaurant and provides guests with a true Alaskan eating experience, serving all sustainable Alaskan seafood and seasonal produce from local farmers. Borealis Basecamp makes it easy to get into the outdoors, whether by dog sled, snowmobile, or ATV, and longer full and half-day guided tours can be booked to witness the unrefined and raw beauty of Alaska. Guests can then warm up in their lodgings or head to the dry sauna to decompress after their adventures.
Palm Springs, California
If you mix the Wild West of the late 1800s with the Silver Screen of the early 1900s, you get Casa Cody, a legendary Palm Springs boutique hotel that’s steeped in history but with a bevy of modern-day creature comforts.
The oldest hotel in Palm Springs, Casa Cody was founded in the 1920s by pioneer woman Harriet Cody as a getaway for the rich and famous. Not only did it strike a chord with luminaries like Charlie Chaplin and opera singer Lawrence Tibbett, it helped put Palm Springs on the map as a winter destination. If the Cody name rings a bell, it should, as she was cousins with the renowned “Buffalo Bill” Cody of Wild West fame.
Today, the 30-room Casa Cody is known for being a discreet hideaway with two separate pools and many doses of privacy. Rooms range from studios and suites to entire standalone houses featuring full kitchens and walk-in showers. All accommodations come with uniquely vintage art pieces alongside giant LCD TVs where you can stream your favorite shows and movies. Mooncloth x Casetta bath products bring an extra tinge of luxury–especially after your third shower of the day to escape the berating Palm Springs heat.
On the dining front, the Casa Cody Marketplace uses an array of garden-fresh ingredients to give guests goodies like gem lettuce salads, elaborate charcuterie boards, and mouthwatering prosciutto baguette sandwiches. The drinks round things out with original craft cocktails (try the For Harriet with dry gin, cucumber, lime, lavender, mint, and Topo Chico), natural wines, and California craft beers.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Every detail at The Chloe feels intentional and is meant to give you an unmistakably New Orleans experience. It begins when you enter the 19th-century mansion via the iconic, tree-lined St. Charles Avenue. You’re greeted with a welcome cocktail that can be enjoyed in the front garden as you watch streetcars rumble by.
Inside, you’ll find evidence of the building’s Victorian-era past. Tall ceilings, a grand staircase, dark woodwork, and 150-year-old floor tiles give The Chloe a feeling that is both mysterious and exciting. Each of the hotel’s 14 rooms has its own surprises–a soaking tub in some; armoires-turned-secret-passageways in others–and all are full of treats handcrafted by local artisans: chocolates, bathrobes, vinyl records, bath salts, and even the contents of the minibar.
The Chloe is part of the New Orleans-based LeBLANC + SMITH hospitality group, creator of some of the city’s favorite restaurants. It’s no surprise, then, that the hotel’s restaurant is excellent–a modern take on Creole cuisine with plenty of Gulf seafood. The bar program is similarly memorable. The indoor bar is a charming, relaxing hang, while the outside bar overlooks one of the city’s most sought-after swimming pools. As a guest, you’ll get first dibs, of course, so enjoy.
New York City
There’s a basic expectation when it comes to any New York minute: chic, smart, and sexy. CIVILIAN’s attributes tick all these essentials.
A design hotel, spaces are dreamed up by architect David Rockwell to reflect the city’s creative spirit. This is no more evident than the views from the second floor, where a buzzing cocktail bar dotted with stools showcases Broadway‘s fast-paced theatrical crowd. The energy vibrates from the outside, in part because you’re in the heart of it all—Hell’s Kitchen. You see, down a curtain-draped spiral staircase leading to the lobby, only steps away, is exactly what you came to NYC for: most sought-after seats on Broadway, restaurants that never go out of fashion, and welcoming queer bars to shake even the iciest of Manhattan faces. And when you’re done? Lather those tired heads with Public Goods Organic, then rest them on custom Jim Thompson pillows under platform four-poster beds with drapery panels. These modern boudoirs with vintage notes and views of Hudson Yards and the Theater District will fill you up ready for another delicious day of galivanting.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is the epitome of southern charm, and one of the most immersive ways to experience it is a stay inside the famed Columns. This is no typical 20-room hotel, but an Italianate mansion built in 1883. It’s the last building of its kind by notable local architect Thomas Sully, sitting on the edge of the city’s idyllic Garden District neighborhood.
Guests at the Columns have access to an expansive garden, a private dining room and bar, and a rooftop sundeck. The hotel’s interior incorporates a mix of lighting styles, original artwork, and unique furniture pieces to create an atmosphere that is historic, sophisticated, colorful, and comfortable. A mahogany stairwell is perhaps the most dramatic interior feature, rising to meet a domed, stained glass skylight.
Columns partnered with the James Beard Award-nominated Coquette to create a fantastic South American-inspired restaurant and bar program. Diners can enjoy intimate indoor seating, eat in the gardens, or imbibe under the hotel’s stately, titular columns. It’s not uncommon to find local musicians performing concerts in the hotel, but hopping on a passing streetcar will lead you to the French Quarter and its celebrated array of restaurants, bars, and music venues.
The Goodtime Hotel
Miami Beach, Florida
Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” is the perfect accompaniment to the 266-room Goodtime Hotel that he rolled out in January with biz partner David Grutman. With a color palette of turquoise and perky petal-pink, the décor scheme is layered with patterned and pin-striped wallpaper, thanks to celeb-favorite interior designer Ken Fulk. The property is also snug in South Beach, along Washington Avenue, where Art Deco buildings in icy pastel hues equally rule. This is a party pad, sure, but it’s also a laid-back luxe retreat with daybeds by the pool and Nespresso machines back in the room.
Strawberry Moon is the hotel restaurant, convenient to the pool, with indoor/outdoor seating, its riot of plants and midcentury-modern colors paired with wicker furnishings for the ultimate swim-club vibe. Never-seen-this-anywhere-Mediterranean-eats like Moon Bread (Yemenite-style bread with fig-tahini butter) and plant-based “chicken” kabob are on the menu, but what gets people talking is the daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Spa services in the room or poolside help guests further unwind. Will it be “Rose All Day” (a signature massage infused with rose) or “Strawberry Moon” (strawberry mist and a killer reflexology treatment)?
The Green O
Named after Paul Greenough, farmer and founder of the town of Greenough, The Green O is an adults-only retreat nestled among the tall fir trees of Montana. Twelve private luxury accommodation rentals, from two-story treehouses to step-free cabins with skylights, are spread throughout the property. The accommodations are equally priced and inclusive of three meals with beverages throughout the day, roundtrip airport transfers, a luxury SUV rental, and a $500 activity credit. Speaking of, The Green O has more activities and excursions than hours in the day, especially for those who crave adventure alongside their relaxation. In all seasons, guests have a range of both guided and self-led adventures such as horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, and even hot air ballooning. On the relaxation side, the green o has a spa and fitness center open to guests and hosts daily yoga, barre, and stretch classes. Spa services can also be done in-room for the ultimate level of privacy without moving an inch. To refuel, the Social Haus is the onsite restaurant curated by award-winning Executive Chef Brandon Cunningham and boasts a locally-sourced tasting menu that brings the beauty of the great outdoors to the plate.
Nantucket is home to gorgeous architecture, fine food and wine, and abundant hospitality—all of which can be encountered firsthand during a stay at the Greydon House. Imbued with an effortless stylishness, the hotel boasts 20 rooms adorned with flourishes like custom-made beds and hand-painted tile mosaics imported from Portugal—and the European themes don’t stop there.
The on-property restaurant Via Mare blends Venetian cuisine with New England charm, offering dishes like hot chicken Milanese, crispy brussels sprouts, and mushroom risotto accompanied by a truly massive wine menu with bottles sourced from across the globe. While it may be tempting to stick around the property all day with a glass of Etna Bianco in hand, Greydon House is perfectly positioned for exploring the abundant charm of downtown Nantucket, with the iconic Whaling Museum located just a couple of steps past the front door.
The High Line Hotel
New York City
Located in Manhattan’s buzzing Chelsea neighborhood, The High Line Hotel feels especially historic amongst the high-rise skyscrapers that have become synonymous with New York City. Designed by architect Charles Haight in the mid-1800s, this former seminary dormitory turned boutique hotel retains the best parts of its original layout—think stained glass windows and a sprawling courtyard lit by gas lamps—with modern touches. All 60 rooms are furnished with one-of-a-kind pieces sourced from Brimfield Antique Show, eBay, Stickley Furniture, and the estate of Ingo Swann. There are also vintage relics like working typewriters, rotary dial phones, and embossers, the latter of which features five of the seminary emblems that you’ll see scattered throughout the entire hotel. There are even original fireplace mantles in 40 of the guestrooms.
The bathrooms are stocked with plush towels and products from C.O. Bigelow, and morning coffee can be picked up at Intelligentsia, the swanky lobby cafe. There’s also just as much to do outside on the hotel grounds: there’s a London double-decker bus called Daisy, complimentary bicycles, and a cocktail garden called Remote View inspired by Ingo Swann (he’s the father of remote viewing, and select furniture was sourced from his estate sale).
Hotel Emma at Pearl
San Antonio, Texas
Though some luxury establishments in Texas consistently struggle to contend with national big wigs, Hotel Emma offers serious hope in breaking barriers on the hotel front. San Antonio’s tastes, after all, are some of the most refined in the state—these locals forgo heat limitations and dress to the nines for Sunday brunch, so a meeting point like Emma’s is absolutely necessary.
Once a 19th-century brewery that was resuscitated into a boutique hotel in 2015, it sits in the area’s hippest of districts, part Pearl-side, part River Walk. Inside there are 146 rooms, including seven top-floor suites. Rooms come with eclectic interiors with rich wooden tabling, leather sofas, and embroidered cushions; glass showers and Dos Carolina’s robes; and welcome treats in an Ice Box (translation: warm Southern welcome). Standout social spaces include a 3,700-volume library peppered with club chairs for your perusal (guests can also check books out using a vintage card system), a clay-tiled rooftop pool shaded with cabanas, and a trio of acclaimed restaurants (Supper, Larder, and Sternewirth) that’ll transport you into San-An-elite territory.
The Inn of the Five Graces
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Close your eyes and picture peach adobe walls, Tibetan antiques, and intricate Oriental carpets. Open, and you’re sitting in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, specifically The Inn of The Five Graces. This dreamlike hideaway is set in the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in America, and these Pueblo surroundings explode with color at every turn.
Rooms and suites are beautifully outfitted in a way that inspires without overbearing the senses of those vacationing. Every guest retreat features tall beds with vibrant throws, wood-burning kiva fireplaces (only operable from November to April), and some come with private balconies or secluded patios from which to bask under the Santa Fe sun. The bathrooms are outrageously decadent: a hand-tiled top to bottom mosaic from the bathtub to sink countertops—ideal for runaway hours savoring and soaking in peace. For those keen to keep the dial on slow, wander through the corridor to their Tibetan-inspired spa for a restorative treatment, or be serenaded with blissful live-string sounds in the courtyard with a large glass of wine in your hand.
Maison de la Luz
New Orleans, Louisiana
In the middle of the city’s Arts/Warehouse District, and just blocks from the French Quarter, the luxurious, 67-room Maison de la Luz is a gateway into New Orleans’ famously vibrant culture. The hotel’s French-style Bar Marilou is a great place to begin, offering weekly live music events, an expert slate of cocktails, wine tastings, themed parties, and delicious food. Guests at Maison de la Luz also have access to amenities at the hotel’s adjacent sister properties. Swim in the Ace Hotel’s rooftop pool, eat oysters at Seaworthy, and dance the night away at Three Keys.
But a great New Orleans hotel should also be a sanctuary of calm when visitors need a well-deserved break. Maison de la Luz delivers on that front, too. Designed in partnership with award-winning Studio Shamshiri, the property is a marriage of its 115-year history with modern details ranging from original artwork and custom furnishings to hand-embroidered linens. The guest rooms are classic and beautiful, and the common areas are as charming as you’d find in a Wes Anderson film. Enjoy the Living Room, for example, where a guests-only bar and complimentary wine and cheese are the perfect start to any New Orleans evening.
Hudson, New York
New York’s Hudson Valley is best known for its celebration of local artists and creators, antique shops, farmer’s markets, and restaurants that prioritize local produce—and The Maker has very clearly drawn inspiration from that celebration. The property offers 11 rooms spread across three separate buildings, each of which embraces jewel tones, textured furniture, and intricate wallpaper that pay homage to the eclectic vibe of the Hudson Valley. The walls are covered with captivating artwork, and there’s even a library packed with 100 books curated in tandem with the Strand Bookstore.
If you prefer a true staycation, The Maker offers excellent on-site eateries that are a feast for both the appetite and the eyes. Eat fresh bread and classic patisserie fare at The Cafe, which draws inspiration from classic European coffeehouses. The Restaurant is housed in a glass conservatory and serves American dishes with locally-sourced ingredients. Order a unique cocktail in The Lounge, a swanky bar converted from a 19th-century carriage house, and opt for the Juice Bar if you’re feeling a freshly-made smoothie. The Maker Gymnasium also draws inspiration from acrobats and bodybuilders of the past with retro artwork and older (but still effective!) exercise equipment. There’s also a heated outdoor pool!
National Exchange Hotel
Nevada City, California
National Exchange Hotel is a 166-year-old historic landmark in the once-bustling gold rush town of Nevada City. Under new ownership, it recently underwent a meticulous three-year renovation project that brought back Victorian opulence and fused it with unobtrusive modern luxuries. Each of the 38 guest rooms has a distinctive character with William Morris’ naturalistic wallpapers and antique furnishing, some of which are original, and all come with the finest Italian linens and robes.
As one of the first hotel ventures of culinary-focused Acme Hospitality Group, the hotel’s restaurant and bar are some of the region’s best. The main restaurant, Lola, serves a French-influenced menu served in a bright and elegant dining room. The centerpiece of the National Bar is the bar itself, partially built using the hotel’s old radiators that glow golden in the warm lighting. The hotel is conveniently situated at the edge of downtown Nevada City, a historic district that has preserved its charm with Gold Rush-era buildings that now house restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and boutique shops. National Exchange Hotel also partners with Kind Traveler, where travelers can unlock perks with a $10 donation that goes toward natural land preservation through Bear Yuba Land Trust.
Charleston, South Carolina
In a city as historic as Charleston, The Pinch soft-opened in April and is already breathing new life into the pair of 19th-century Victorian buildings it occupies on the corner of George and King Streets. That’s thanks in part to the high-design touches this stylish 25-key boutique brings to the table, from pops of modern art, patterned wallpaper, and cozy reading nooks in the guestrooms right down to the gas-lit, cobblestoned walkway that leads to the alfresco living room courtyard just off the main lobby.
What really sets this stay apart are the washers and dryers, full kitchen, SONOS sound system, and walk-in showers in every room that make this look and feel more like you’re staying in your trendiest friend’s apartment right in the heart of town. Ideal for long-term stays, groups of friends, and solo travelers alike, three residences have been set aside for 30-day stays and longer. Guests will enjoy the complimentary bikes and house golf cart to whip around town, along with the self-service and spa-suite on the ground floor. Plans for two new restaurants, including an oyster bar and cocktail den helmed by chef Nicolas Quintero is slated to open this fall, followed by seasonal soul food and French restaurant in the adjoining carriage house later this year.
Puertas at el Quenepo
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Mornings at Puertas at El Quenepo start with breakfast served in a picnic basket, delivered to your room by the owner herself. You’ll dine on the outdoor terrace, complete with a hammock and the hum of waves crashing against Esperanza Beach.
Kate Cole and her husband and chef, Scott Cole, run El Quenepo, a popular fine dining restaurant on the first floor of the property. Mid-pandemic, they opened Puertas at El Quenepo, a small guest house consisting of four rooms with plans to grow to six total. There is no substitute for the personal touch guests receive. If you can’t get reservations at the always-packed restaurant, Kate will set up your own private dining experience upstairs. Puertas means doors in Spanish, and each door is named after a local ingredient or plant. The rooms boast luxurious walk-in showers, antique wooden furniture, and Puerto Rican artwork. Puertas at el Quenepo is located on the main strip of the island but feels worlds away from your worries.
Located in the heart of Baltimore’s historic Mt.Vernon neighborhood, this downtown boutique hotel feels more like a gathering place. Revival is a cornerstone in the area intentionally designed to be a space for creativity, community, and culture–and it shows. With one step into the reception area, you’ll find a shop curated with locally-made goods like hand-poured candles, and most items are also Black or woman-owned. The walls are covered in art from local artists, and they host rotating exhibitions.
Like many dwellings in the area, the hotel is a restored mansion with a 19th-century past and a contemporary design. The 107 rooms are simple yet curated and art-led. Deep blue paints the walls in the Miss Mary Suite, and the canopied bed features a caramel leather headboard. In the junior suites, oak dressers and bed frames meet floral floor-length drapes and bold paisley carpeting. Many of the hotel’s rooms have spectacular views of Baltimore’s skyline. Everything here is local, down to the Lor Tush toilet paper, which is tree-free and sourced from a Baltimore-based sister duo.
One of the best parts of Revival is its rooftop restaurant, Topside. Pull up a seat for 360-degree views, a seafood lover’s menu, and classic cocktails made well. Outside its doors, there’s a lot to explore, like Mt.Vernon Place Park, The Walters Art Museum, and beloved eateries at Mt. Vernon marketplace.
Turtle Bay Resort
Staying beachfront in Oahu is an experience limited to a few choices properties, one of them being the eco-friendly Turtle Bay Resort that’s set on a sprawling 1,300-acre plot (650 acres are allocated for conservation) on the island’s famed North Shore and fresh from a $45 million renovation. They’ve added a new adults-only pool, transformed the lobby with large-scale artworks by Hawaii-based artists, refurbished all 408 ocean-facing rooms, and reconfigured 42 new spacious Ocean Bungalows with vaulted ceilings and waterfront lanais that are the epitome of barefoot luxury.
Refurbishments aside, Turtle Bay’s naturalist setting and low-key community vibe is what makes this picturesque resort so unique. There’s excellent snorkeling beachside, hidden coves, and tide pools to uncover, and rugged mountain bike trails (the hotel provides bicycles as part of the resort fee) to roam. For guided experiences, there’s no shortage: sign up for a hike with Pono, the resort dog; learn to surf under the tutelage of pro surfer and North Shore resident Jamie O’Brien; and if you dare, environmentalist Ocean Ramsey will take you on an adrenaline-raising shark snorkel where you can adopt and name your shark. In the resort, dining experiences like the cultural paniolo paina dinner series with local Kuilima Farms offer a taste of true Hawaiian cuisine, while the more formal Alaia focuses on sustainable Hawaiian produce. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth trip to Hawaii, one thing is for certain, you’ll feel the aloha spirit here, truly and authentically.
About 90 minutes from Burlington is Vermont’s most exclusive luxury getaway. Twin Farms is set in an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by lush mountains once owned by Nobel-Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis. The property now houses 20 rooms and cottages as part of an adults-only, all-inclusive experience geared towards lovers of the outdoors, art, and fine dining. There are museum-worthy artworks throughout the property from artists such as David Hockney and Jasper Johns. Each room has its own fireplace and bathtub, although a visit to the cedar-clad Japanese bathhouse should not be missed.
Twin Farms is inarguably a splurge, but a stay at this Relais & Châteaux resort includes locally-sourced tasting menus with wine pairing and enough activities to never leave the 300-acre property until checkout time. Picnic by the pond in the summer, hike the surrounding forest in the fall, or ski down their private groomed trails in the winter–in true pampering fashion, the resort has a utility vehicle to drive guests back up the hill for another run. For guests who want to go further, Twin Farms has a fleet of mountain bikes as well as two Volvo vehicles available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Planning a road trip across the Beehive State? Don’t miss out on Yonder Escalante, a cozy campground located in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. While the property is equipped with rows of RV sites, a motorhome is far from a requirement around here, offering restored airstreams and cozy cabins for guests to use. During daylight hours, patrons are welcome to enjoy the board games, books, and snacks located in the property’s clubhouse, while the nearby lounge pool offers some much-needed relief from the hot midday sun.
While amenities abound throughout Yonder, one of the property’s most interesting features is the drive-in movie theater, which comes complete with a fleet of restored vintage cars from which to enjoy the show. Post-film, guests can take advantage of the minimal light pollution across Escalante and take part in some truly spectacular stargazing in the dead of night.