What do these hotels have in common? Well, they’re not cheap, for one. It is safe to assume that they all have Wi-Fi, room service, fitness centers, flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers, and event facilities. Some of them boast award-winning restaurants, stellar spa treatments, and impeccable service. Several have a hot tub and swimming pool, and a couple even have a white sand beach!
Here are the best luxury hotels according to our readers.
1. Fairmont Banff Springs (Winner)
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Overlooking Mount Rundle, the world-famous luxury Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is a historic landmark of Banff. Previously and most commonly known as the Banff Springs Hotel, it was opened in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” has 757 guest rooms that range from small and cozy rooms to suites with incredible views of the Rocky Mountains.
After a day on the slopes, head to the Willow Stream Spa for rejuvenating luxury therapeutic bathing. Guests can book treatments and enjoy the cold, warm, and hot pools. Other hotel activities include geocaching, creativity evenings, music trivia contests, and castle treasure hunts. There’s also a golf course and an outside skating rink!
2. The Adolphus
A Beaux-Arts masterpiece, The Adolphus is decked out with carved Roman soldiers, Greco-Roman gods, and mythical animals. Standing where City Hall once was, the luxury hotel was originally built by Adolphus Busch, the German-born co-founder of Anheuser-Busch. Its exterior was modeled after a German castle and the building was completed in 1912.
Inside, you’ll find European charm with Flemish tapestries and an ornately carved Victorian Steinway owned by the Guggenheims. A 2018 remodel added a rooftop pool, wheelchair-accessible rooms, and a spa.
Close to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, The Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Dallas World Aquarium, The Adolphus is in a great location for walking around downtown Dallas. It also offers a free shuttle to attractions within a 2-mile radius.
These Dallas digs were good enough for the queen of England back when she and Prince Philip came to Dallas on an official state visit back in 1991. You can even stay in the same suite as Queen Elizabeth II (price available upon request).
Pro tip: Even if you’re not staying, make reservations for high tea at The French Room.
3. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada
If you are familiar with Sin City, no doubt you are familiar with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and its infamous lobby bar, The Chandelier, named for the multi-story crystal chandelier that surrounds it. Just a couple of miles from McCarran International Airport, this chic casino hotel lies across the Strip from Planet Hollywood and boasts views of the beautiful Bellagio fountains. In addition to the casino, the hotel has multiple bars and restaurants, an outdoor performance venue, a spa with a hammam, and three outdoor pools.
Floor-to-ceiling windows in rooms give guests great views of Las Vegas. Some rooms have balconies while others offer terraces, private pools, and/or butler service. A digital concierge service can arrange hotel services, dinner reservations, and more.
Fun Fact: The Cosmopolitan recently gifted its employees $5K in appreciation for working throughout the pandemic.
4. Koʻa Kea Hotel & Resort At Poipu Beach
Located in the South Shore area of Koloa on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Koʻa Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach is a popular oceanfront retreat. Known for sheltered Poipu Beach, golf courses, and shaved ice spots, this is a great home base from which to access other island attractions such as state parks, artisanal markets, the shopping village, and more.
With great food, water sports, a great pool, and friendly and accommodating staff, this intimate, romantic boutique hotel is popular with honeymooners. With the exception of the cozy garden rooms, all of the guest rooms boast lanais and ocean views. Open the door and fall asleep to the waves — and sign up to learn some hula moves.
Serving locally sourced Hawaiian seafood and produce, Red Salt Restaurant offers resort dining at its finest. For breakfast, enjoy Poipu-inspired fare such as lobster benedict and lemon-pineapple soufflé pancakes.
The resort’s pool and whirlpool are just steps away from the Garden Isle’s sunniest beach, where you can surf, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or just relax. After a long day of hiking, golfing, surfing, or other various adventures, schedule a seaside cabana massage.
Pro tip: This Hawaiian resort is also pet-friendly, allowing two dogs under 25 pounds per room for a fee.
5. White Barn Inn
Part of the luxe Auberge Resorts Collection, White Barn Inn can be found in quaint Kennebunk, Maine, about an hour and half north of Boston and half an hour south of Portland, Maine. Made up of charming coastal cottages, rustic restored barns, and a former boarding house that was built in the 1800s, this refined inn makes for a romantic spot to spend an anniversary.
Airy, country-style rooms suites are decked out in antiques and feature wood-burning fireplaces and jetted whirlpool tubs for two. Select from guest rooms, suites, and private waterfront cottages.
Enjoy homemade ice cream sandwiches by the stone swimming pool, schedule a spa treatment, or sign up for one of the inn’s bespoke experiences, such as a nature walk, bike ride, poolside yoga, gourmet picnic, or traditional Maine lobster bake.
Speaking of food, White Barn Inn Restaurant is one of the region’s most acclaimed restaurants, boasting both a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star endorsement. Enjoy New England cuisine like a buttery lobster roll by candlelight within the confines of a rustic restored barn. At 5 pm, the ringing of the dinner bell signals the start of happy hour at the Barn.
Pro tip: The inn adds a daily $35 to $40 fee to the room rate for Wi-Fi, a continental breakfast, afternoon tea, and access to the pool and bikes.
6. Dromoland Castle Hotel
County Clare, Ireland
Have you ever dreamt of staying in a real-life castle? Dromoland Castle Hotel in County Clare, Ireland, offers you the opportunity to do just that. Surrounded by rolling hills, this stately, storied 16th-century castle is about an hour from The Cliffs of Moher. It’s decked out with classic furnishings, and four levels of accommodation are available, some of which boast a lakeside view.
Enjoy a complimentary full Irish breakfast and head to the lounge for afternoon tea. A restaurant and a bar offer onsite dining. Take advantage of the spa’s sauna, steam room, and hot tub.
Other amenities on the 450-acre estate include tennis courts, a golf course, a go-kart track, and a swimming pool. Activities for all ages include horseback riding, fishing, clay shooting, falconry, and archery. Tour the grounds in a carriage and take an afternoon stroll around the walled garden. This fairytale locale becomes even more magical during the holidays, making guests feel like they are starring in their very own Hallmark Christmas movie.
7. Hotel Chaco
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Just a couple of miles from downtown Albuquerque, Hotel Chaco is within walking distance of the zoo, botanical gardens, and the aquarium at ABQ BioPark. Hotel Chaco is part of Heritage Hotels & Resorts’ collection of culturally and historically influenced stays in the Southwest.
Indigenous art gives this upscale Old Town hotel a zen vibe. Modern and spacious rooms feature balconies, while some upgraded suites offer outdoor fire pits as well as terraces with panoramic views. Get up early to see the spectacular sunrise.
Take advantage of the seasonal outdoor pool and hot tub. There is a chic rooftop restaurant, lobby lounge, and cafe on the premises, but it is also just across the street from Sawmill Market, an artisanal food hall that offers an array of locally inspired eats.
8. The Inn At Little Washington
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Inn at Little Washington is just a couple of miles outside of Shenandoah National Park. Dotting the main street of colonial Washington, Virginia, Victorian buildings house this double Five Star, double Five Diamond Award-winning hotel’s 23 opulent, ornate guest rooms and suites and its celebrated stellar restaurant.
Stay in a room at the main inn or one of the five annexed suites, which include fireplaces, patios, and/or private gardens. Reservations include a welcome cocktail, afternoon tea, continental breakfast, loaner bikes, complimentary valet parking, and a guaranteed table at the renowned restaurant.
Words cannot describe the impeccable dining experience you’ll have at The Inn at Little Washington. The prix fixe menu includes amuse-bouche selections such as caesar salad ice cream — and will only set you back about a few hundred bucks per person, or double that when paired with wine.
Its expansive wine cellar boasts upwards of 14,000 bottles that span the greatest wine regions in the world. In fact, The Inn at Little Washington’s wine list has received the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award for more than 25 years running!
Pro tip: If you really want to break the bank in the name of tastebud tantalization, book one of the two kitchen tables available by the baronial fireplace.
9. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Magical and mesmerizing, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is a luxurious, Mediterranean-style beachfront hotel in Abu Dhabi. Attractions such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, the Abu Dhabi Mall, Emirates Palace, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center are all conveniently located nearby.
Immaculate rooms boast custom-designed furniture and private balconies. Upgraded rooms offer views of the sea, while some suites include terraces and treatment rooms with whirlpool tubs. Sprawling across the two top levels, the Royal Suite even has its own little theater and private pool.
In addition to its three outdoor pools and spa, the resort is surrounded by Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the Arabian Gulf’s first beachfront golf course, and one of the most stunning white-sand beaches in Abu Dhabi. This amazing white, wide beach has clear, fairly shallow waters that are perfect for kiddos. In fact, with a large kids club and plenty of other pint-sized guests, the whole place is pretty kid-friendly.
Breakfast is a massive buffet with delish pastries. There are also six excellent internationally inspired restaurants that all have kids’ menus.
Valet parking is included and St. Regis butler service is available at your beck and call. Enjoy coffee and tea service in your room upon arrival. In the morning, the butler service will draw your shades, deliver coffee or tea as well as the newspaper, and tell you the forecast after your wake-up call.
They even offer to unpack, fold and pack, and press your clothes. Now that’s service! An eButler is also available via email for guests both inside and outside the hotel at any time of day.
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