The best hotels offer the perfect combination of comfort and upscale amenities. These accommodations have the power to enhance your vacation experience with awe-inspiring views, over-the-top service and luxurious spaces where you can escape from the day-to-day rigors of life at home. But deciding which hotel is right for you can be daunting. There are countless options, and the calculus for determining star rankings doesn’t always add up. One reviewer’s three-star property may be another’s five-star, and there is no universal rating system that can be relied upon.
Luckily, there are expert travel companies that can help. The travel experts at the American Automobile Association (AAA) have been ranking hotels since 1917 and started field inspections in 1937. The first stand-alone hotel directory and formal ratings (outstanding, very good, good, and so on) appeared in 1963, and AAA’s five diamond rating was introduced in 1977. The designations appear on the AAA Web site, TripTik and TourBook travel guides, as well as on some hotel booking engines.
In addition to its stellar hotel ratings, AAA’s yearly Luxury Awards 2023 honors hotels that “represent the very best in a specific category.” The winners are chosen by AARP members who vote for their favorite properties from among those nominated by readers. This year, the Luxury Award winner for best luxury hotel is Passalacqua in Lake Como. Other winners include Rosewood Hong Kong, Four Seasons Chao Praya River, The Upper House, and Aman Tokyo. Marrakesh’s La Mamounia is also a five-star hotel, but it didn’t make this year’s list because it’s still rebuilding after last month’s devastating earthquake.
The Big Apple also has its share of five-star hotels. While locals will tell you to stay away from Time Square’s soulless, tourist-trap monstrosity, the city has plenty of other options that will provide the perfect home base for your NYC adventure. These boutique hotels and historic grande dames have all the luxuries you need to feel pampered in the heart of the city that never sleeps.
In a region that spans from Maine’s rocky coastline to the sugar-sand beaches of Florida, it can be challenging to find the right luxury hotel for you. The best luxury hotels in the East Coast feature everything from opulent décor to incredible restaurants and are situated in cities that are rich in history, amazing food, and unique culture.
To make it easier to decide on the best place to stay in the United States, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite luxury properties across the country and beyond. From opulent palaces in the heart of major cities to rustic retreats in secluded national parks, these luxurious accommodations will leave you wanting more.