Travelers have a lot to consider when selecting the best hotel for their next trip. Certainly cost and location play major roles, but a hotel’s amenities, reputation and service are also important factors to keep in mind when making your choice. In addition, there are different types of hotels (as well as motels, resorts and short-term rentals), and each may offer perks and drawbacks depending on your travel needs.
Getting the best rate on a hotel stay is crucial, so it’s wise to book a room several months in advance of your planned departure date. That allows you to take advantage of pre-season and shoulder season discounts, when prices are lower than during peak periods, or off-peak rates when demand is low. During these times, you can often find savings of up to 30 percent.
Many hotels will also offer bundled packages that include airfare and car rental, along with hotel accommodations. These deals tend to be cheaper than booking them separately, and can even save you the hassle of having to secure these separate reservations.
Another way to get the most value from your stay is by joining a hotel loyalty program, which rewards frequent travelers with benefits like free stays, discounted dining and spa services, and room upgrades. These programs are generally free to join, and can be very rewarding.
While it’s great to see independent hotels faring well in the 50 Best awards, there’s also something to be said for a well-known name when it comes to choosing a luxury stay. In fact, the top 10 properties in the list were all from branded hotels.
Aside from the aforementioned New York City offerings, the rest of the spots in the list were located in Asia (with Hong Kong’s Aman and London’s Equinox earning top honors), Europe (the Four Seasons took home three nods, while the Maybourne Hotel Group and Oetker Collection each earned two) and South Africa (where the Singita Lodges in Kruger National Park won the Eco Hotel award 2023).
Of course, no single hotel chain suits every traveler. Some, such as the Ritz-Carlton, have a reputation for luxury that far exceeds their price points, while others, such as Microtel Inn & Suites and Days Inn, have budgetary limitations that keep them from scoring highly in our survey. However, it’s important to note that in our most recent survey, satisfaction scores among the top chains rose significantly, while the worst performers dropped. The good news is that you can find the hotel that’s right for you with a little research.