Here is the list of my top 15.5 hotels in America with their best quality(s):
(In no particular order)
1. Royalton Hotel. New York, New York.
The phone answered on the second ring. From the minute you arrive until the minute you depart — every single person is at your service. And they also win the award for the best men’s restroom and their hidden champagne bar. Shhh, it’s a secret.
2. Hotel Monaco. San Francisco, California.
First-class service. First-class food. First-class location. First-class rooms.
(NOTE: Kimpton Hotels (all locations) are superior — with superior restaurants.)
3. Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza. Chicago, Illinois.
Get the “Q Room” — it has the best view of any hotel room in America.
4. Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. Dallas, Texas. http://www.fourseasons.com/dallas/
Best breakfast buffet in America.
5. W New Orleans and W New Orleans French Quarter. New Orleans, Louisiana.
I’m partial to W hotels. Everywhere from Los Angeles to New York City, the accommodations are consistently classy. Both New Orleans properties are excellent examples of their superior accommodations and their accommodating staff — not just willing to serve, but also happy to serve. And in these post-Katrina times, they seem to be taking it up a notch to help invigorate the economy and the tourism.
6. Wynn Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Wynn is a winner. Best in-hotel shopping. Nicest beds in Las Vegas. Excellent views. And great food.
7. Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
All around the world, Four Seasons Hotels are dripping with class and excellence. But in Las Vegas, this is most evident in that their accommodations, high above Mandalay Bay, protect you from the city’s indifference and matter-of-fact treatment.
8. The Boca Raton Resort and Club. Boca Raton, Florida.
This place is so exclusive that you have to be on the guest list before they even allow you through the private gates. If the line is too long at check-in, you have a choice of fresh-squeezed orange juice or a mimosa while you wait your turn in line. The food is not excellent; it is superior, and the seasoned staff caters to its guests with superior friendliness.
9. Neamcolin Woodlands Resort. Farmington, Pennslyvania.
The best art display in any hotel in America. It’s not just a hotel; it’s also a museum. And a sought-after meeting space with a very high rate of returning customers year after year.
10. The Fleur-de-Lys Mansion. St. Louis, Missouri.
Hidden among the streets of St. Louis is an oasis of personal service and luxury. As the name might suggest, there are fleur-de-lys everywhere. Not just purchased by the owner, but gifts from guests fortunate enough to have stayed there (including me).
11. Grand Hyatt DFW. At the Dallas International Airport, Texas.
Whatever you were hoping for an in airport hotel, you’ll find it at this brand-new facility. The last couple of times I made a late connection in Dallas, I almost hoped I would be stranded there and forced to stay at the Hyatt (after dining at Dickie’s Barbeque).
12. The Pfister Hotel. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This is where I met Mark Macguire. It’s an old world, gorgeous hotel with a great steakhouse. It’s also where I met the father from Happy Days.
13. The Greenbrier. White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Out in the middle of no place, The Greenbrier stands as the example of the word resort. Everything is at your service. Everything is excellent. And everything on the entire property is luxury that leads to relaxation.
14. Hilton Harrisburg. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Bill Kohl rivals Eric Long as one of the best hoteliers in America. But he has no rivals when it comes to the excellence of the cuisine in the golden sheaf, a restaurant that is so good, that most of his customers live in the city. A true rarity for hotel restaurants. The rooms are great. The concierge floor is great. The meeting rooms are excellent. And the staff is not only long term, they’re loyal.
15. The Townsend Hotel. Birmingham, Michigan.
Boasting as the only 5-star hotel inMichigan, The Townsend Hotel lives up to its promise and over delivers in every area of accommodation. Starting at t he top with Peter Wilde — not just an excellent hotelier, but also a first-class person. The hotel accommodates and serves in a way that you will want to return.
15.5 The Waldorf Astoria. New York City, New York.
It’s the Waldorf. Get a suite in the towers, where elevators are run by friendly people wearing white gloves, where the rooms look like a magazine photograph with every appointment from fresh flowers to fluffy towels, old world tile bathrooms and a bed that will make you regret your wake up call. The hotel caters to every foreign dignitary and American president. The restaurant was at one time run by Oscar, the inventor of the Waldorf salad and, of course, veal oscar. Their $22 chicken potpie is under priced. And every element of the hotel is a reflection of Eric Long, America’s model hotelier.
I’ve stayed in more than 1,000 hotels in the U.S. about half of which I would consider excellent and above. That would leave half — below excellent. I don’t judge hotels by how much they cost. Rather, I judge them by how much they’re worth, how the accommodate, how they serve, and the quality of everything from the bed and the shower, to the food and the friendliness. There are others who could have made this list. I’m certain I’ll hear from some of them. My intention was not to omit them, but rather highlight those that immediately came to mind because of my personal experience. If you ever go to one of these hotels because I referred you there — please call the general manager and let them know. It would make them, and me, feel good.
And wherever you go. I wish you a safe journey.