A quick glance at travel expenses from your last trip will likely reveal that one of the biggest line items is accommodation. A hotel is typically a travel necessity, but it’s also a whole lot more than just a place to stow your bags, take a shower and catch some ZZZs.
Hotels around the country are competing for travel dollars by offering a variety of amenities and creature comforts to make time spent in the hotel an enjoyable and relaxing part of your vacation or business trip. Some have even become destinations in their own right.
We asked 10Best readers to vote for their favorite hotels and hotel amenities, and the results are in. Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:
Best All-Inclusive Resort: Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Mich.
Winning resort is home to the world’s longest porch — Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel Mackinac Island
Guests at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island might find themselves on rocking chairs on the world’s longest porch overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. This historic hotel opened in 1887 to cater to summer vacationers from Chicago, Montreal and Detroit. Room rates are inclusive of three daily meals.
Best Budget-Friendly Hotel Brand: Red Roof Inn
This is the second win for Red Roof Inn — Photo courtesy of Red Roof Inn
Red Roof Inn is proud to be a leader in the game of economy hotels and motels. Spacious standard rooms feature free Wi-Fi, desk workspace and extra outlets for charging devices. Their upgraded Red Roof Plus rooms are outfitted with Serta mattresses, wood-like flooring and sleek furnishings. Upgraded linens and towels make all the difference as do the extra inches on the flat screen TV.
Best Destination Resort: C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, Colo.
Winning resort offers four seasons of outdoor adventure — Photo courtesy of C Lazy U Ranch
The traditions of the American West are alive and well at C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado. This luxury guest ranch offers 43 rooms of varying sizes, including three bedroom cabins ideal for families. Visitors to this four seasons property can go horseback riding, practice cattle pushing, hike, mountain bike, cross country ski or go snowshoeing between hearty, family-style meals.
Best Eco-Friendly Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is a repeat winner in this category — Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, a LEED Gold certified property, offers luxury and sophistication with sustainability laced throughout. The hotel opened in 2009 and became the first Ritz-Carlton in the world to attain Gold status. Back-of-the-house conservation efforts mean the hotel uses about 30 percent less energy than comparable conventional hotels.
Best Family Resort: Woodloch Resort in Hawley, Pa.
This Poconos hotel wins with kid-friendly amenities — Photo courtesy of Woodloch Resort
The Woodloch Resort welcomes families to the Poconos with accommodations ranging from single rooms to two-bedroom suites. Meals are served family-style, and guests enjoy access to a range of activities daily, with amenities like a rock climbing wall, indoor and outdoor pools, go karts, bumper cars and boats, kayaks, and in the winter, snow tubing.
Best Historic Hotel: The Peabody Memphis
This is the second straight win for The Peabody Hotel — Photo courtesy of Historic Hotels of America
The grande dame of Southern hotels, the historic Peabody is a treat for the senses; opulence abounds, a dynamite restaurant pleases the palate and the famed ducks entertain both adults and children at this hotel dating back to 1869 (it’s been at its current location since 1925). The old time-y pool area is a throwback to the glamour days of indoor hotel pools.
Best Hotel Bar: The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt New Orleans
Winning bar gets its name from one of the first mixed drinks — Photo courtesy of © 2019 Hilton
Named after the world’s first mixed drink (according to some), The Sazerac Bar has been quenching New Orleans‘s thirst for decades. Located within The Roosevelt New Orleans, this classic space features an African walnut bar and murals by Paul Ninas; it was once a popular haunt of politician Huey P. Long.
Best Hotel Pool: Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu
This is the second win for the Sheraton Waikiki pool — Photo courtesy of Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
The Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu offers a family-friendly activity pool with all the bells and whistles: a water slide, two large whirlpools and an interactive fountain area. But the real star at this Hawaiian resort is the heated oceanfront infinity pool – one of the longest in the U.S. – with its stunning views of Waikiki and Diamond Head.
Best Hotel Restaurant: Jack Rose at Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans
Winning restaurant gives European fare a Louisiana twist — Photo courtesy of Christian Horan / Jack Rose
Jack Rose, situated within the historic Pontchartrain Hotel in the Garden District, celebrates NOLA’s love of food with a menu of Italian, French and Spanish dishes with a Louisiana twist. Standouts include duck and andouille gumbo, crawfish bisque with bay leaf cream, housemade pimento cheese and roast duck with grits, black kale and hunter’s sauce.
Best Hotel Spa: The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Charlotte
This winning spa is also one of the country’s most environmentally friendly — Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte is a LEED-certified eco-friendly facility. This green hotel removes stress with their Vitality Lounges, including a pink Himalayan salt room, a dry sauna and experience showers. Also not to be missed, the Zen-inducing Aqua Lounge, which includes a pool, whirlpool and refreshments.
Best Luxury Hotel Brand: Auberge Resorts Collection
This is the second win for Auberge Resorts Collection — Photo courtesy of Auberge Resorts
The Auberge Resorts Collection of hotels includes luxury boutique gems throughout the world, including properties in the U.S. like the Auberge du Soleil and Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley and Hotel Jerome in Aspen. No matter the location, guests at Auberge resorts can expect an authentic sense of place, menus featuring fresh and locally sourced ingredients, indulgent spas and specially crafted experiences.
Best Romantic Hotel: Hamilton-Turner Inn in Savannah
Winning hotel puts couples in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District — Photo courtesy of Hamilton-Turner Inn
This romantic inn in the already romantic city of Savannah sits just off Lafayette Square in the heart of the historic district. A former private home built in the French Empire style, the hotel offers daily breakfast, complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres in the evening and a cozy fireplace for a nightcap.
Best Waterfront Hotel: Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Guests of this luxury hotel enjoy beach access and three pools — Photo courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Spa
Located on the Florida Riviera, this award-winning Miami resort‘s setting resembles an all-inclusive villa, with a vast tropical beachfront and luxurious extras like fresh fruit and homemade biscotti delivered to the rooms, a marine biology-based children’s program and heavenly spa access. Lavish accommodations boast stunning views, while three pools add to the appeal.
Best Wellness Retreat / Resort: Hilton Head Health in Hilton Head, S.C.
This is the second win for the South Carolina resort — Photo courtesy of Hilton Head Health
Hilton Head Health is nationally recognized as the leading health and weight loss resort. Located on beautiful Hilton Head Island, S.C., H3’s comprehensive program provides a holistic weight loss approach that incorporates healthy eating, fitness, mindfulness and wellness education. Guests enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dining at True and unwind between activities at The Indigo Spa. H3 guests leave with the strategies and knowledge to continue their weight loss journey at home.
Congratulations to all these winning hotels and resorts. Keep this list handy for future travel planning, and remember to vote in more Readers’ Choice contests daily on 10Best.