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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, ensuring that your time spent there is 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 in 15 categories, and the results are in. Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:
Best All-Inclusive Resort: Mustang Monument in Wells, Nevada
Stays at this winning resort go toward protecting Nevada’s wild mustang population — Photo courtesy of iStock / georgeclerk
Proceeds from stays at the Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort in Nevada benefit the wild mustang populations that call the property home. Rates include meals, spa treatments and numerous adventures and activities, like horseback riding, guided hikes, roping lessons, rock climbing and crafting classes.
Best Budget-Friendly Hotel Brand: Motel 6
This affordable brand is known for its affordable, clean and dependable service — Photo courtesy of Motel 6
Well-loved and easily recognized by those traveling America’s roadways, Motel 6 has made a name for itself by being clean, friendly, dependable and most importantly, affordable. Expanded cable TV and pet-friendly rooms make this hotel a good choice for those looking to stay within their budget. Free coffee in the mornings makes getting up and getting going a pleasure.
Best Destination Resort: Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Winning destination resort also took home top honors for Best Hotel Spa and Best Waterfront Resort — 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 Eco-Friendly Hotel: Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass Village, Colorado
Colorado hotel has earned LEED Gold certification for its sustainable practices — Photo courtesy of Viceroy Snowmass
The LEED Gold-certified hotel is 30 percent more energy efficient than similar traditional properties, thanks to improved insulation, high-performance windows and an energy management system. All cleaning products are non-toxic and hypoallergenic, and shampoo and conditioner bottles get cleaned and resealed to limit waste.
Best Family Resort: Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key, Florida
This family resort in the Florida Keys has a pirate pool just for families — Photo courtesy of Hawks Cay Resort
Hawks Cay Resort caters to both families with kids and adults looking for a peaceful escape. Families have plenty of space to spread out, with access to four swimming pools (including the popular Pirate Ship pool) and an enclosed saltwater lagoon. The Coral Cay activity and adventure center caters to families with programs for kids ages 5 to 17. The Hawks Cay Marina serves as a base for aquatic sports of all varieties.
Best Historic Hotel: The Peabody Memphis
This is the third straight win for The Peabody Hotel — Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts
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-timey 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 The Roosevelt New Orleans
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: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu in Koloa, Hawaii
Winning pool is among the largest on Kauai — Photo courtesy of Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu is home to one of the largest single pools on the island of Kauai, the 350,000-gallon Main Pool packed with water slides, swim-through waterfalls, a grotto and an infinity edge. The smaller but equally spectacular Lagoon Pool offers family-friendly fun in the way of a basketball hoop and tidal pool.
Best Hotel Restaurant: The Smokehouse Restaurant at Antrim 1844 in Taneytown, Maryland
Contemporary American fare meets an award-winning wine list at this top hotel restaurant — Photo courtesy of Antrim 1844
The Smokehouse Restaurant, considered one of the best historic hotel restaurants in the nation, features a Contemporary American menu, complemented by a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence-winning wine program. The wine cellar has more than 17,000 bottles from around the globe.
Best Hotel Spa: Acqualina Spa by ESPA in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Acqualina Resort also won in the destination and waterfront resort categories — Photo courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Spa
Amenities at the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond-winning Acqualina Spa by ESPA on the beach of South Florida include separate relaxation areas for men and women, a Finnish sauna, crystal steam room, ice fountains and an experience shower. The oceanfront spa pool deck features a heated jet pool with a Roman waterfall.
Best Luxury Hotel Brand: Auberge Resorts Collection
This is the third win for Auberge Resorts Collection — Photo courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection
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 Pet Friendly Hotel: Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, California
Pets at this winning hotel enjoy easy access to one of the nation’s best dog beaches — Photo courtesy of Pasea Hotel & Spa
This Huntington Beach hotel enjoys its own private dog park, as well as pet-friendly amenities like in-room beds, food and water bowls, welcome swag and pet items in the gift shop. The sandy Huntington Dog Beach, where dogs can go for a swim leash-free, is only a couple miles away.
Best Romantic Hotel: Hamilton-Turner Inn in Savannah, Georgia
Winning hotel puts couples in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District — Photo courtesy of Hamilton-Turner Inn
This romantic inn located 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, Florida
Guests of this luxury hotel enjoy beach access and three pools — Photo courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Spa
Guests at this Miami resort enjoy beachfront luxury in the form of three swimming pools (one adults-only), sprawling waterfront lawns, an award-winning spa and oversized rooms with ocean or Intracoastal Waterway views.
Best Wellness Retreat / Resort: Hilton Head Health in Hilton Head, South Carolina
This is the third 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, South Carolina, H3’s comprehensive programs provide a holistic weight loss approach that incorporates healthy eating, fitness, and mindfulness education.
Guests enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dining at True Dining, and can unwind between activities at The Indigo Spa. The newly released Hilton Head Health ONDEMAND allows guests and those who cannot make it to the resort a chance to experience their programs at home on their own schedule.
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.