How to Find the Best Hotel

best hotel

In this age of instant feedback, the best hotel is one that meets and exceeds your expectations—and then some. Yet the calculus that goes into determining which properties are worthy of a star or diamond rating is fuzzy at best. After all, a hotel that has one bad review from a guest with an odd sensitivity to certain smells may still be considered an exceptional five-star property by another traveler.

Amid this confusion, some reputable organizations have developed a set of criteria and inspection methods that can be trusted to guide travelers in their choices. For example, U.S. News & World Report takes into account reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and whether the hotel belongs to a brand that offers frequent-stay programs that can earn guests free stays and other perks.

The 50 Best organization’s methodology is based on nominations from an international panel of 580 anonymous voters comprising travel journalists, hoteliers and luxury travelers. Its results are a mix of well-established properties and up-and-coming boutique hotels that stand out in their respective markets. In addition to naming the top 10 hotels, the group also awarded winners in specific categories, from eco-tourism and wellness to newcomers and properties that offer “one-of-a-kind experiences.”

With so many options out there, it’s easy to find a hotel that matches your personality and budget. But even after deciding which type of room you’re looking for, it can be challenging to narrow down your selection. If you’re unsure where to start, check out this list of the best hotels in each state and find the perfect place for your next getaway.

While a stay in one of these swanky properties won’t be cheap, you can save money by booking directly through the hotel rather than using a third-party website or app. By doing so, you’ll often get a better deal on room rates and can take advantage of perks like late checkout and complimentary upgrades.

If you’re planning a trip to New York City, be sure to read our guide to the city’s best hotels before you make your reservation. And, don’t forget to book your flight and rental car on Travelocity!

For a stylish Manhattan hotel where you can live out your Kevin McCallister or Eloise fantasies, check into the newly opened Pendry in Midtown. This oasis of blond wood with an exterior ripple of glass is designed to telegraph the brand’s West Coast roots, from its luxe interior decor and curated art collections to its bath amenities produced in partnership with MiN. The rooms themselves are sleek and minimalist, with curved windows and Fili D’Oro linens. The rooftop is the real standout, though, with its sweeping views and seasonal plunge pool.