U.S. News & World Report is bold enough to tell us what the best colleges and universities are so why not give us the low down on the best hotels and resorts in the U.S.?
That’s just what the 2013 Best Hotels report released last week has tried to do.
The report looked at 1,639 U.S. luxury hotels across the United States and evaluated them for this year’s rankings, finding that a whopping 164 properties scored high enough to earn a place on the Best Hotels in the USA list.
According to the national magazine, which publishes this report, the purpose of ranking the hotels is to help take the guesswork out of choosing. Travelers, they maintain, benefit by impartial analysis of luxury hotels.
“This is our third year ranking hotels, and the bar continues to climb for luxury properties,” said Chad Smolinski, Vice President of Rankings and Reviews at U.S. News & World Report. “Desirable amenities and hotel loyalty programs will no longer suffice. People are seeking hotels that go above and beyond to give their guests an unforgettable experience. Hotels that consistently meet the high expectations of experts and travelers are recognized in our rankings.”
So just what hotels made the cut?
Triple Creek Ranch is like an upscale cowboy camp for adults. Guests bunk down in the rustic (yet luxurious) cabins, cast lines into the fishing lakes, and hit the trails on horseback. It is a Relais & Châteaux property with dog sledding in the winter and cattle driving in the summer. Followed by plenty of rest, relaxation, fine dining, and fine wine.
The Waldorf Astoria Chicago offers a lobby of Carrera marble and the guestrooms fitted with fine Italian linens. A new initiative called True Waldorf Service provides authentic, personalized service from the moment guests book their trip through the time they depart. The hotel has the Elysian Spa & Health Club and an upscale European bistro, Balsan, for dining.
Santa Fe, N.M.
In the heart of historic Santa Fe, the Inn of the Five Graces brings ivy-draped courtyards and quarters that date back to the early 1600s. Suites are cast in plush textiles, Far East antiques, and mosaics. Guests breakfast with their stay and can enjoy French dining at Bistro 315.
Big Island, Hawaii
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Kona-Kohala Coast on Hawaii’s Big Island, gets the gorgeous setting in a property that offers seven pools (one is carved from lava rock). Guestrooms have private lanais and deep soaking tubs.
Located within walking distance of Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, the financial district, and the convention center, this stylish Four Seasons hotel is loved by both business and leisure travelers. It features a rooftop infinity pool, a 6,000-square-foot spa, and the ART Restaurant and Lounge. Also, the hotel offers babysitting services.
Occupying 157 acres in a northern Napa Valley canyon, Calistoga Ranch has its own label and vineyard. Its 48 spacious lodges are outfitted with fireplaces, indoor and outdoor living rooms, and original artwork. The Bathhouse spa offers signature treatments, like lavender honey facials and mud and mineral salt baths.
New York City
At the Setai Fifth Avenue’s Midtown location find an 11,000-square-foot spa and the Michelin-rated Ai Fiori restaurant. Guestrooms contain espresso machines with fine-quality beans and beds outfitted with customized Pratesi linens.
The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Just west of Hilton Head on a road canopied by old oak trees, is considered a “Lowcountry” escape. It offers 50 cottages and chic cottage suites with private screened-in porches, fireplaces, and bikes to ride. A full-service spa that offers sweet milk and rose bud scrubs and warm river stone massages.
Four Seasons in this paradise presides as royalty on its own exclusive island — Lanai. A Greg Norman-designed golf course and another designed by Jack Nicklaus are at the ready. Guests are treated to picturesque gardens, rolling countryside, ample estate-like activities that are matched by luxurious accommodations, privacy, and (most importantly) genuine service.
Amangani can be found near the breathtaking East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson Hole. Its redwood ceilings, slate floors, and regional artwork bring a mélange of elegance and naturalism. The heated outdoor pool offers stunning views of the snow-capped Teton Mountains; the spa that offers everything from mud wraps to massages; and certainly staff friendliness and professionalism earns the awards.