What Makes the Best Hotels?

best hotels

The best hotels offer a blend of luxury, comfort and convenience. Whether you’re looking for a five-star hotel in an iconic city, or a family resort surrounded by azure waters, there are plenty of options to choose from. But what makes a hotel good? Aside from the obvious amenities like a cozy bed and high-speed internet, what other factors should you consider when choosing a hotel? We’ve rounded up some of the top-rated hotels that provide all the bells and whistles.

The East Coast has a lot to offer—from Maine’s rocky coastline to Florida’s sugar-white beaches. And while the region is a bit spread out, it’s home to a wealth of luxury hotels that cater to every traveler. These luxe properties offer everything from first-class luxury to a sumptuous spa retreat.

There’s a lot to love about New York City, from the old-world elegance of The Carlyle and The Plaza to the sexy sophistication of The Dominick in SoHo. These top-rated hotels are conveniently located near the city’s most storied attractions, including Central Park, world-class shopping on Fifth Avenue and all the flashing lights of Times Square.

It’s a common misconception that there’s only one type of hotel in the United States, but there are hotels that fit many different tastes. The same goes for hotel ratings: what one traveler views as a four-star might be considered a five-star by another. This is partly because there isn’t a universal standard for judging hotels. Instead, different entities—from professional travel organizations to travel websites—have formulated their own methods for evaluating hotel quality.

AAA’s Traveler’s Choice Awards are the most coveted hotel ratings in the industry. The company began issuing its own stand-alone hotel directory in 1917 and started field inspections in 1937. Today, AAA rates hotels based on their overall guest experience and uses crowns or diamonds to denote quality. The ratings are licensed for use by major travel companies, but because of confidentiality agreements they can’t be named.

Guests flock to the Philippines for its beautiful beaches, but this understated utopia is more than just sunshine and sand. Whether you prefer to trek through the country’s dramatic mountainous landscape or kayak through the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, there are countless adventures to be had in this tropical oasis. The country’s 7,641 islands also offer a variety of accommodations for every traveler. From a historic hotel in the heart of Manila to a luxurious property overlooking Boracay, here are some of the best hotels in the Philippines.

Amid the lush forests, limestone cliffs and lagoons of Caramoan Island, visitors will find seven bamboo villas, an open-air restaurant helmed by one of the island’s top chefs and a spa with a yoga pavilion. The hotel’s pristine setting, unique chocolate hills and natural wonders will leave you wanting to come back again.