There are no limits to luxury, no matter where one is on this large and diverse planet. America’s got tons of luxury hotels, and they don’t all reside in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas or Miami. For a little slice of the high life in a low key, unique and friendly small-town locale, scan this list. Thick and cozy linens and scenic views guaranteed.
At the turn of the century, Jekyll Island was one of the most coveted vacation destinations for America’s jet-set luminaries. Today, the resort has opened its ranks to a much wider variety of holiday makers, with golf courses, year-round festivals and accommodation options to boot. Perhaps the most enduring and iconic image of Jekyll Island’s historical place at the forefront of America’s vacationing elite is the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Stately and elegant with broad wrap-around verandas and wide windows overlooking a sprawling green grounds and pristine beaches, the five historic buildings that make up the club hotel all vary in architectural styles and accommodation types – suites, guestrooms, villas, and private apartments are all available. For a taste of the crème de la crème of classic Southern elegance, there’s only one place to go.
Estes Park is a perfectly picturesque mountain town hidden among the pine forests of Colorado’s Estes Valley. It is also the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park, 415 square miles of wild and varied terrain that is home to a dense concentration of wildlife and the site of some of the best hiking in the United States. For luxury accommodations amidst all of the lush greenery, The Stanley is a beautiful old hotel backdropped by mountain crags, with a grand façade and an unusual yet elegant interior. It offers boutique hotel rooms as well as one, two and three-bedroom condos, all with mountain views. And if you sense something a little eerie as the dusk creeps through your room, don’t dismiss it too quickly – The Stanley was the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining and has long had a reputation for being haunted.
Bartlesville is just a small city in Oklahoma, but its skyline is decidedly big city. It’s here that Frank Lloyd Wright designed his only skyscraper, the Price Tower. Completed in 1956, this gorgeous 19-story building graces its visitors with its imposing architectural design, rotating exhibits and a permanent collection of works from Bruce Goff, Dennis Oppenheim and others. For a unique experience, visitors can even spend a night in this iconic building at the Inn at Price Tower. Impeccably designed inside and out, the furniture in each room and suite were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s original designs, copper trim to mirror the copper trim on the exterior of the building, triangle-shaped light fixtures, organic material, angled staircases to get from the suites’ living rooms to their respective sleeping quarters, and a red and green color palette.
Perfect for families as well as couples on a romantic holiday, Geneva on the Lake is a resort village, a carnival town, a swing city and a wino’s retreat. Evoking the buzz and whirr of arcade games and the theme parks of the ‘50s, Lake Erie comes truly alive in the summer. However, guests who would prefer to sleep away from all the neon excitement will find a personal sanctuary at the Lakehouse Inn. A bed and breakfast, winery, day spa and restaurant all rolled into one gorgeous lakeside complex, this inn is truly a package deal! They offer intimate suites, secluded cottages and a family-friendly Beach House above the wine cellar that has a two-person jacuzzi tub overlooking the lake.
Experience fantastic coastal scenery, art galleries, wine tasting and historic sites in the small but cosmopolitan city of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Great food and drink play a large role in the tourism to Carmel-by-the-Sea owing to its local wineries, gourmet markets and diverse array of restaurants. Many artists use this inspirational location as a workplace, and as a result you can see the work of painters, sculptors, writers and photographers dotted throughout the city. For a touch of Hollywood and a lotta Western hospitality, the Mission Ranch Hotel and Restaurant, owned by Clint Eastwood, makes for an elegant and romantic weekend away. There are 31 hotel rooms in 10 buildings set into 22 acres of land with fantastic views of Point Lobos and Carmel River Beach. On the premises, visitors can read and unwind on the large porches or work up a sweat before dinner time in the onsite tennis and fitness club.
In Orange County, roughly an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach is famous for its artistic community and its beautiful beaches and vistas. In the ’20s and ’30s, Hollywood stars would head to Laguna Beach to relax and seek artistic respite. In the ’60s and ’70s, it was a hub of alternative culture. Hotel Laguna has been welcoming guests to Laguna Beach for over 100 years. The key to its continued success has been a combination of its beachfront location and its extraordinary service. Though the hotel has a long and storied history, its 65 guest rooms are modern and airy, many with large windows overlooking the resplendent beaches. But even if your budget only allows for a garden view room, all guests of the Hotel Laguna receive access to the hotel’s private beach club.
Glenwood Springs has been dubbed "America’s Most Fun Town." It’s a family friendly destination 2.5 hours west of Denver in the Colorado Rockies. Travelers of every niche will find some adventure, whether it’s hiking, rafting, cycling and fishing the Rocky Mountains, or checking out the thrill rides and natural wonders of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. A large and unique place to stay is the Hotel Colorado, which borrows aesthetic influences from 19th-century Italian palazzos as much as it does from traditional American mountain lodges. All the guest rooms adhere to that theme, from the imported Italian wallpaper to the specially selected artwork.
The oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, Astoria, Oregon, is rich in maritime history, breathtaking natural scenery and historical landmarks. The streets in town are spotted with cafes, charming boutiques and unique eateries, set to a background of tall evergreens and the blue waters of the Oregon coast. Nestled at one end of the iconic Astoria Bridge is the striking Cannery Pier Hotel. Built on the site of the old Union Fish Cannery and located 600 feet into the river, this themed hotel combines history and luxury. All rooms have a private balcony, fireplace and hardwood floors. Their area-renowned spa features an authentic sauna as well as a state-of-the-art fitness room. Retaining touches of yesteryear while providing a modern, comfortable environment is the special charm of Cannery Pier Hotel.
People often visit the historic, scenic and action-packed Mackinac Island, Michigan, as a multi-day trip to spend some quality time enjoying the island’s relaxed, resort atmosphere. Equally popular for its famous fudge shop, Joann’s Fudge, as it is for its historically significant Fort Mackinac, which frequently holds live re-enactments of battles reminiscent of the War of 1812, the island’s cozy town is lined with charming Victorian buildings surrounded by lush greenery. The Grand Hotel, self-described as "America’s Summer Palace," is a seaside mansion with large, airy rooms and the world’s longest porch. Established in 1887, this hotel evokes turn-of-the-century splendor in its columned white porch, bright awnings, uniquely designed guestrooms and cottages and exquisite coastal views.
Located a 2.5-hour drive from New York City and only 1.5 hours out of Philadelphia, Cape May is a great day trip or weekend getaway for those looking to escape from the city and visit a quaint coastal destination. Built in 1817, Congress Hall is a sight to behold in itself, as well as a comfortable place to lay one’s head. This sprawling bright yellow Victorian-era structure – the oldest seaside resort in the country – is host to wedding parties, conferences and resort tourists relaxing at the sea spa. Rated as one of the "Top 45 Hotels in the Northeast" by Condé Nast Traveler, Congress Hall is an excellent choice for Cape May visitors.
This waterfront community has all you need for a fun family trip: warm weather, the seaside and a huge aquarium. Monterey is two hours south of San Francisco by car, but it also has it’s own airport too, the Monterey Peninsula Airport. There are tons of charming and luxurious accommodations in Monterey, but a top-class inn is the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa. Situated right at the edge of Monterey Bay, the views from this elegant, European-style hotel are stunning. Expect plush armchairs, fireplaces and marble floors. Guests will especially enjoy the hotel’s private beach and its water sports offerings. There are a number of restaurants and bars within the hotel complex, including the Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar, which is suspended right over the water with 180 views of the bay.
Located on the North Fork of Long Island, Greenport is about two hours from New York City. With boats, beaches and a port, it sure is an idyllic, historic harbor village. For those who are staying the night in Greenport, it doesn’t get much better than the Harborfront Inn. This luxurious hotel houses 35 oversized guestrooms and suites classically designed with modern amenities, with breathtaking views of Peconic Bay. The main selling point, however, is that it’s conveniently located in the heart of the village, close to the area’s best restaurants and wineries.
Balancing the gorgeous natural expanse of the hills of Berkshire County and a bustling art scene, North Adams offers riches for the eyes. Lovers of the outdoors can hike the Vermont Long Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the white marble Natural Bridge in its namesake state park, while fans of the finer things in life can discover new art at North America’s largest contemporary art museum, MASS MoCA, and enjoy a meal at Gramercy Bistro. People who fall into either or both camps will love the artistic and rustic atmosphere of The Porches, a trendy reflection of the artistic spirit that has replaced manufacturing as the engine of the town’s economy. The hotel’s rooms are located in a row of pretty Victorian houses, renovated from their previously dilapidated state. Accommodation is spacious and stylish, and the owners are tuned into the town’s active art scene.
Located in the southwest corner of New Hampshire, Keene provides visitors a glimpse of life in a picturesque New England town. The historic downtown area is bustling with boutique shops and eateries and even a classic theater – once vaudeville and burlesque, now Broadway musicals and film festivals. Also situated downtown, The Lane Hotel dates back to 1891, but it has been updated and restored with modern comforts: warm exposed brick walls, climate controls, in-bath whirlpools and hot tubs in some rooms and more.
Hershey is definitely a must-see for every family in America that likes to get in cars and drive long distances. From its humble beginnings as a small farming town called Derry Church in the sleepy soil of Pennsylvania to a fragrant, thriving chocolate-making community revitalized by its very own enterprising native son. Hotel Hershey is a testament to this. Built in 1932 and commissioned by Milton S. Hershey during the Great Depression, the hotel has enjoyed decades of prominence as the leading luxury hotel and spa in this tourist town. Its architecture borrows details from Spanish and Mediterranean-style mansions, and its large property contains four golf courses, five eateries, an award-winning chocolate spa that features specialty treatments such as the whipped cocoa bath and chocolate fondue wrap, and specialty boutiques.