When deciding on where to stay, travelers are often guided by hotel star ratings. While the star system is a useful indicator of a hotel’s level of service, it doesn’t tell the entire story. To determine the best hotels, Travel + Leisure editors use a more rigorous process that includes onsite evaluations and guest reviews. Using this method, the Travel + Leisure Hotel Index ranks the top hotels in the United States and beyond.
In addition to the hotel’s rating and location, the index looks at the amenities offered, including on-site restaurants and bars, spas and fitness centers, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Those with the highest scores make the list of best hotels. This year, Acqualina Resort & Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, took the top spot with its world-class pools and on-site restaurants. Pendry West Hollywood in Los Angeles followed with its sleek rooms and swanky spa.
While many luxury hotels tout their opulence, not all are created equal. The Mark, located on 42nd Street in the heart of Times Square, is one of the most iconic hotels in New York City. This art deco stunner is a 1920s landmark that seamlessly blends character with contemporary comforts. The hotel is currently offering a winter exclusive that includes 20 percent off the rate and access to its stunning High Line Suites.
The Burj Al Arab in Dubai is arguably the most luxurious hotel on earth. The dhow-shaped property is instantly recognizable thanks to its curved walls covered in 24-karat gold leaf. Inside, guests are treated to six high-end restaurants, a rooftop helipad, and a Rolls Royce shuttle from the airport. In addition, each room comes equipped with an iPad preloaded with all of the hotel’s information and services.
A good hotel experience begins at the front desk. The way the staff treats you when you arrive and depart can leave a lasting impression of your stay. A welcoming and friendly attitude goes a long way. To improve customer service, the most successful hotels know how to listen to their customers and take action accordingly.
As with any type of business, customer feedback is important. In order to keep your customers happy and coming back, the best hotels always respond to positive and negative reviews. This shows your customers that you care about them and value their opinion.
Choosing the best hotel can be difficult, but with a little research, you can find the perfect place to stay. Whether you want to be near the action of Times Square or escape to the tranquility of the wilderness, there is a hotel out there that is right for you.
The Travel + Leisure Hotel Index is a resource to help you plan your next getaway. The index is compiled by professional inspectors on a 12- to 18-month cycle that includes surprise facility evaluations and anonymous service evaluations of four-and five-star candidates. The index is based on responses to more than 500 questions, plus supporting data.