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For a domestic vacation beyond urban skylines, nothing compares to the sweeping vistas and seemingly inexhaustible range of activities at a top resort in the United States. This year, Travel + Leisure readers cast their votes for an exceptional selection of properties, set in destinations from the slopes of Aspen to the beaches of Nantucket.
How Voting Works
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Nearly 165,000 T+L readers completed the 2023 survey, an increase of nearly 25 percent over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).
Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:
For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.
What Readers Loved
The hotels in this list are varied in terms of style and location, but their dedication to hospitality is universal. Some of the qualities that most impressed Travel + Leisure readers: personalized service, attention to detail, sense of place, and a connection to the local community. For a perfect example, look at No. 4 winner Quisisana Resort in southwestern Maine, and No. 3 winner, Hotel Walloon in northern Michigan — both quintessential lakeside summer havens. “Our family comes back year after year to enjoy getting together,” shared one voter of the former. “Rain or shine, the staff creates a welcoming place for us to enjoy a well-deserved respite together. The nightly entertainment is first-class.”
Readers couldn’t get enough of resorts in the Western U.S., including mountain retreats like Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado (No. 3), which one reader said “treats you like family from the time you arrive at the airport.” California properties took the greatest number of spots on this year’s list of reader favorites, with four resorts in the Golden State making the cut. Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection (No. 2), which opened in April 2022 on an estate that was established in the 1850s, brings a fresh option to travelers looking to experience Napa Valley, while Rancho Valencia (No. 7) down near San Diego makes it easy for guests to connect to their healthiest selves through its varied wellness offerings.
But it was a resort in the Beehive State that earned the No. 1 ranking for 2023. Read on to find out which mountain escape was named this year’s top pick.
Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection: Park City, Utah
“Gorgeous” is how multiple voters described this ski chalet, which is located at the base of Silver Lake Express chair lift at the Deer Valley resort. A collection of 68 rooms, suites, and residences gives guests the option of staying in either a chalet with old-school Bavarian touches, like antique furniture, or a more contemporary, minimalist building where your room might include a private balcony. The food was also outstanding, according to one reader: “Chef Nicolas has created a wonderful inventive menu that still includes my favorite fondue.”
At Goldener Hirsch, chef Nicolas has created a wonderful inventive menu that still includes my favorite fondue.
— T+L Reader
The Full List
1. Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection: Park City, Utah
This Mountain West property maximizes its all-season appeal with outdoor fun like trail biking and hot-air ballooning, plus hands-on activities like pretzel-making and pottery classes.
Reader Score: 98.67
2. Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection: Napa, California
Stretching across 712 acres of Northern California wine country, this serene ranch wowed readers with its setting. “The gardens and grounds blew me away,” wrote one voter. “This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever stayed at.”
Reader Score: 98.61
3. Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection: Aspen, Colorado
Guests come here to partake in everything from fly fishing on the Roaring Fork River to sampling nibbles and cocktails at the annual springtime Aspen Food & Wine Classic. “This is an exceptionally operated gem,” shared one reader.
Reader Score: 98.51
4. Quisisana Resort: Lovell, Maine
This lakeside darling hosts nightly musical and theatrical entertainment, plus daytime activities including tennis, shuffleboard, golf, fishing, water skiing, and sailing.
Reader Score: 98.38
5. Hotel Walloon: Walloon Lake, Michigan
Built in 1900, this hotel retains a sense of charm with just 32 rooms, each with a balcony or front porch.
Reader Score: 98.37
6. Madeline Hotel and Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection: Telluride, Colorado
Stylish renovations to this ski-in, ski-out resort in the Rocky Mountains include the new Recovery Ski Lounge, where guests can try tailored post-workout therapies, and the Timber Room, an après-ski lounge, which one reader said not to miss.
Reader Score: 97.71
7. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa: Rancho Santa Fe, California
Wellness offerings shine at this hacienda-style retreat, where guests can book stretch classes at the Yoga Pavilion, meditate to Tibetan singing bowls, or work out with a personal trainer, and more. One reader enthused, “Each time we go we say, “We’re going to our favorite getaway!’”
Reader Score: 97.40
8. Wylder Windham: Windham, New York
This resort in New York’s Catskill Mountains began a second act under new management last year, with new suites and renovated rooms — but original favorites, like the on-site Babblers restaurant, remain.
Reader Score: 97.33
9. Triple Creek Ranch: Darby, Montana
This Western favorite — an adults-only property that stretches across 800 acres — has delighted travelers for decades with its log cabins and such all-inclusive outdoor activities as cattle herding and dog-sledding.
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 97.21
10. The Wauwinet: Nantucket, Massachusetts
On the northeast shore of Nantucket, this boutique oceanfront hotel has cozy, nautical-themed rooms, suites, and stand-alone cottages perfect for summering families and tranquility seekers. “I could write a book, read a book, and not be affected by the rest of the bustling island,” said one reader.
Reader Score: 97.20
11. Candleberry Inn: Brewster, Massachusetts
Where to go for whale-watching, lighthouse visits, and or the best dinner on Cape Cod are just a sampling of recommendations provided by the concierges at this welcoming bed-and-breakfast. One reader also said that the owners “go above and beyond to accommodate and ensure careful memorable stay.”
Reader Score: 97.17
12. Pickering House Inn: Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Known to locals as “The Yellow House,” this 10-room boutique hotel was built in 1813 as the private home of businessman Daniel Pickering. Readers come for its proximity to Lake Winnipesaukee (a five-minute walk away), plus luxurious in-room touches, warm service, and welcoming B&B atmosphere.
Reader Score: 97.00
13. The Madrona: Healdsburg, California
This resort, which opened last year, consists of a renovated mansion and carriage house that date back to the 1880s, plus eight acres of picturesque grounds. “The recent remodel was tasteful; it’s definitely a romantic place to stay and a gift to the area,” wrote one reader.
Reader Score: 96.80
14. Farmhouse Inn: Forestville, California
Epicureans and nature enthusiasts find a magical homebase in the 52 rustic-chic rooms, cottages, and barn suites of this Sonoma County resort, which one reader called a “hidden gem.”
Reader Score: 96.46
15. San Ysidro Ranch: Santa Barbara, California
Privacy is plentiful at this romantic retreat, where several of the cottage accommodations are decorated with Persian rugs, stone fireplaces, and outdoor rain showers.
Reader Score: 96.22