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Starting with a broad search when planning a resort escape can be a great way to discover your next perfect destination. After all, the best resorts provide everything you need on-site! One could then go as far as to say that the perfect resort is the ideal destination, regardless of location.
What makes the perfect resort for one person could be the opposite of the next. That’s why Trips to Discover analyzed TripAdvisor reviews for over 2,500 resorts in the U.S. to pull the wisdom of the crowd and find the best resorts in the country. See our methodology for a full explanation.
The best resorts in the U.S. are a mix of modern all-inclusive, boutique, family-friendly, and even historic luxury resorts. Although the resorts are rank-listed, the variety of resort types means all of these are top-class, first-rank destinations — this is the cream of the crop!
What is a Resort? “The resort hotel is a luxury facility that is intended primarily for vacationers and is usually located near special attractions, such as beaches and seashores, scenic or historic areas, ski parks, or spas,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
There are many resort sub-categories, including resort spas, all-inclusive resorts, health and wellness resorts, hot springs resorts, adults-only, family, and many more! Each resort type offers something unique, with the primary differences revolving around the degree of inclusivity in your booking price, ranging from just a room to entire packages that include food, drinks, entertainment, and recreation.
The second-most significant difference between resort types is where they sit on a spectrum of health vs. leisure. Most destination resorts sit higher on leisure, offering fun — but not always healthy — amenities. Authentic wellness retreats or resorts sit far on the health side and are less about luxury and more about physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Our research team operates independently to recommend the best destinations using data analysis. Our top recommendations are based solely on data extraction and a ranking formula. Our research is editorially independent, but we may earn a commission for any purchases made through links on this page.
The rankings are based on an analysis of 2529 resorts in the U.S. We used Octoparse and Web Scraper, data extraction tools, to find these destinations on TripAdvisor. We extracted all data between 1/10/23-1/16/23. Resorts are ranked by weighing each resort’s number of TripAdvisor reviews against its average TripAdvisor Review Score. Our scores are on a 5-point scale.
We searched and scraped data for each state individually using TripAdvisor’s property type filter and selecting only resorts, then gathering data for each resort.
Our algorithm is proprietary, but if you want to build a similar project or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact [email protected], and we can walk you through the process. You can download a spreadsheet of our analysis here. We have removed all proprietary calculations from the books. Please feel free to use or share this data with whoever may find this helpful — we ask that your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page so its contributors can receive proper credit for their work.
Boasting sweeping, elegant views of Haystack Rock, the Stephanie Inn at Cannon Beach, Oregon, is a romantic oceanfront escape that is as luxurious as it is intimate. The Inn is a complete experience featuring local seasonally prepared feasts in the Dining Room, a full suite of massage and body treatment options at the spa, and immediate beach-side access any time of day. Guests have several room options, from corner suites to dormer-style oceanfront rooms to an entirely separate carriage house. It’s worth noting that only children 12 and older may stay at the inn.
What Guests Are Saying: “Everything is top-notch, from the second we walk in the door until the sad moment that we leave,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “From the gourmet meals to the lovely rooms to the sights, smells, and sounds of the ocean… it is a delight for the senses! We have been coming here for the past 20+ years, got engaged here, and have celebrated countless occasions here. We cherish every minute of every stay!”
Already ranked a top resort in Hawaii by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, the Prince Waikiki in Honolulu is the #2 resort in the entire U.S., according to our review analysis. This upscale, high-rise luxury resort sits on Ala Wai harbor and is a perfect location for business travel in Hawaii. Hosting expansive ocean and harborfront view guest rooms and swanky suites with floor-to-ceiling views or a private rooftop terrace, your room might be too good to leave and explore the other experiences on the resorts. However, the infinity pool and Hinana Bar pair nicely with the sunset ocean view, according to guests.
What Guests Are Saying: “This hotel is a bit less beachy and touristy than its Waikiki neighbors, which I liked,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “It is the closest Waikiki hotel to the town, a quick walk to Ala Moana shopping center (great food court). The Japanese restaurant on-site is almost always overbooked, but you can bring take-out to your room. There’s an ABC two blocks away, so avoid the overpriced sunscreen etc., at the gift shop.”
The second Cannon Beach resort on our list sits on the quieter southern end of this Oregonian city. The small Inn at Cannon Beach is the perfect Northwest getaway with cozy, welcoming, and discreet cottages one block from the beach and only one mile from Haystack Rock. One of the best parts about the Inn is they are not just pet friendly but rather pet enthusiastic with specifically designated beach-access rooms, welcome goodies, and dog wash!
What Guests Are Saying: “The staff, service, rooms, location, and amenities were wonderful at the Inn at Cannon Beach,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “We had such a perfect vacation with family who brought their new puppy. The Inn even provided an entire basket just for her! The fireplaces in the rooms, the beautiful grounds with a firepit outside our door and the friendly staff made sure that our vacation was excellent. The cookies were delicious! Great place and has reasonable rates. Thanks so much!”
Choose from sprawling apartment-style suites with spa-like amenities or bi-level suites with balconies and patios at this all-suite resort in Key West, Florida. The Santa Maria Suites Hotel is an island on an island to relax in contemporary charm while still only steps away from either Duval Street or the beach. But you may prefer to stay in your ‘little’ (900 square feet+) home away from home that has a fully equipped kitchen, 48” TV, and quick access to two garden-enclosed pools.
What Guests Are Saying: “Santa Maria Suites is in a great location for walking and exploring Key West, according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “A block from Duval Street and just a few from the Southernmost Point and Whitehead Street. Shopping entertainment and restaurants are nearby. The water excursions are on the opposite side of Old Key West, but walking is manageable. No real need for a car rental as cabs and Ubers are abundant for a trip to the airport and New Town.”
When it opened in 1902, the locals anointed the West Baden Springs Hotel as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Just roughly one hour south of Bloomington, Indiana, sits this opulent, European-inspired architecture marvel that is the crown jewel of the French Lick Resort. While the 243 elegantly historic rooms of the Hotel with its impressive 200-foot atrium are the main attraction, the resort hosts three golf courses, two spas, another hotel, a casino, and close access to Hoosier National Forest.
What Guests Are Saying: “Our handicapped-accessible room was spacious, richly decorated, and comfortable,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “We had a room overlooking the Atrium area and enjoyed the view and activity below. We had dinner at Ballard’s Thursday night (very good) and took the trolley over to French Lick Springs for dinner at the 1875 Steakhouse (excellent!) on Saturday night. We grabbed coffee and a pastry each morning at Xanadu and enjoyed their ice cream on a lazy Friday afternoon. We had a fun and relaxing stay-definitely will go back.”
Back to Cannon Beach, Oregon, once again for a refined yet unpretentious inn, The Ocean Lodge. Next door to the Stephanie Inn, the lodge is more accommodating of families and kids of all ages. While The Ocean Lodge is less luxurious, it is also cheaper but sits on the same beach with near identical views of Haystack Rock. In addition, The Ocean Lodge is pet friendly, while the Stephanie Inn is not!
What Guests Are Saying: “We traveled with our 1-year-old and had such a great time at The Ocean Lodge,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “We were able to bundle up on the porch and watch the ocean, the bunnies and all the birds. It was very relaxing for my husband, and our little guy and I were entertained. The hotel staff is very accommodating, and the hotel is beautiful and clean!”
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar, 20 miles north of downtown San Diego is a sweeping, expansive luxury spa resort stretching 400 acres alongside Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. Choose from guestrooms, suites and villas over 5,000 square feet. Each is uniquely designed in a perfect combination of Spanish, Portuguese, Moroccan, and Venetian styles that reflect the same elegant Mediterranean exterior. Multiple dining options are available at the resort, including San Diego’s only Michelin three-starred restaurant and Southern California’s only Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star restaurant — Addison.
What Guests Are Saying: “Physically, the property and buildings are beautiful, especially the attention to detail in the stonework. A truly exceptional hotel for this part of the world, according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “Our bathroom was spectacular. Beautiful marble shower and a very deep soaker tub… There are multiple outdoor pools and hot tubs/spas. I really liked that one area was adult-only. The tennis and golf facilities are very close by, 100 and 500-meter walk respectively. We didn’t use them, but they looked quite good. The golf clubhouse also houses the upscale restaurant once property.”
Overlooking Scripps Park at the northern end of the Village of La Jolla lies the Pantai Inn — a chic, intimate, boutique yet classic California coastal resort. Recent guests rave about the charming accommodations, but some mention that cleanliness and maintenance could use improvement. The proximity to the beach and immediate access to some of the best shops and restaurants in the village, combined with a uniquely Polynesian style, makes the Pantai Inn an excellent destination for anyone visiting the rugged coastline of La Jolla.
What Guests Are Saying: “My family and I wanted to stay in very specific rooms since we have stayed here many times and know which ones we like,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “They provided beach equipment, which was a big deal since we traveled from AZ. They even had family games like Jenga and Monopoly! We will definitely keep coming back! Staying at The Pantai Inn has become a family tradition.”
Hotel Wailea is the only genuinely adults-only resort in Hawaii and often makes best-of lists for one of the most romantic resorts in the nation. The sprawling tropical hillside resort is nestled at the southern end of Maui, one mile from the beach, but 300 feet above sea level, creating an unobstructed peaceful ocean view that is more private and secluded than other resorts in the area. Only 72 suites on the 15-acre zen-inspired resort add to the intimate experience.
What Guests Are Saying: “The staff was exceptional, the views breathtaking, the food delicious, and the cocktails exquisite, according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “We loved the luxury shuttle available at a moment’s notice to pop us down to the beach, shopping and restaurants, but we were always happy to escape the business of the beachfront and return back to the exclusive, cool vibes of Hotel Wailea. Chic decor, a great music vibe and the most stunning sunsets – there is no better hotel in Hawaii for a couples escape, a girls’ trip or an adult family vacation.”
The Hotel Drisco Pacific Heights balances traditional elegance, comfort, and charm with world-class, modern amenities, service, and luxury. It ranks #1 out of 244 hotels in San Francisco on TripAdvisor, and guests constantly mention the comfort, location, food, and service as the top reasons to stay at the Drisco again. The resort is exclusively located among preserved Victorian mansions of Pacific Heights, with quick access to parks and scenic bluffs. The rooms reflect the traditional prestige and modern comfort that the Drisco balances with grace.
What Guests Are Saying: “Hotel Drisco not only met the expectations but exceeded 110%,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “Yes, the amenities were outstanding; the bathroom had everything you could ask for, the shower was excellent, the beds more than comfortable, and you had a choice of the type of pillow you wanted. Breakfast is included and is outstanding, well beyond anyone’s expectations. There is a wine hour with snacks every evening, also part of your stay. Then here is the best part all the staff were magnificent, friendly and made me feel as if I was staying with my family (the ones I like).”
To the first and only Colorado resort on our list! The Sonnenalp Vail brings superior European Alpine hospitality to the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The resort is centrally located in Vail Village and only a seven-minute walk from Gondola One. Choose between over 100 luxury suites or 15 hotel rooms to base your mountain adventures. Unwind the day at the Sonnenalp Spa or soak up the vibes in one of the heated indoor or outdoor tranquility pools. Multiple dining options await you, including the Swiss Chalet offering traditional European cuisine like fondues and raclettes.
What Guests Are Saying: “The quality of service and facility is easily in my top 10 of all time,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “The ski valet is second to none. Vail can be challenging, as it is a busy place, and it is hard to get near the gondola with equipment. The ski valet handles that and then some. I traveled with two kids (10 and 8), and they both had a blast too. The breakfast deserves its own review, as it is very good. We really appreciated the ambiance of the older rooms combined with modern amenities and service. We can’t wait to go back!”
Located on 4.5 acres of beachfront beauty, the Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach was selected as the #1 Best Destination Resort in the U.S. by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards in 2022. The accommodations are luxuriant, with no expenses spared; the spa is enormous and state-of-the-art; the three oceanfront swimming pools are as sublime as they are tranquil; the dining — is acclaimed, vibrant, worldly, and unparalleled. This elegant Mediterranean-style resort is a true destination on its own in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.
What Guests Are Saying: “I can see why so many people take up residency here; by the end of our 4th day, we didn’t want to leave,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “The hotel and experience were top class, more than we could have imagined celebrating and cherishing our last vacation for a while. Their attention to detail in every aspect of the hotel is impeccable, and the best part is that it did not even feel like a hotel — no large crowds at check-in or elevator or unable to get a lounge chair. It felt like our own slice of paradise. From the spa to the restaurants to the housekeeping, it all lived up to perfection.”
Experience, watch and play in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip at The Venetian Resort, a classic suite-only Vegas hotel. What’s not traditional is the size of the rooms — all start at 650 square feet, far above the average. At the Venetian, you are at the center of the attractions, within walking distance of everything you need! The resort hosts over 60 dining options between the Venetian and Palazzo towers and the Grand Canal Shoppes. The resort hosts any entertainment you could want, from shows to casinos and clubs, pools, and spas. You might find yourself not leaving the resort once!
What Guests Are Saying: “This was our second time at the Venetian,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “You can’t beat the location or the suites. I really liked how there was a separate living room, so if someone wanted to sleep and someone else wanted to watch TV or just enjoy the incredible views (from the upgraded view), this was easily accomplished. The bathrooms are wonderful — shower and bath separated from the toilet, two sinks, make up table with stool and lit up mirror.
The Wynn Las Vegas is one of the largest 5-star resorts in the world, and Wynn Resorts as a whole hold the most Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) Five-Star awards of any independent hotel company in the world. The Encore at Wynn Las Vegas is a towering all-suite hotel with spacious, recently redesigned 745 square feet+ rooms. Guests frequently define the Encore as the epitome of Vegas experiences, citing the unbelievable luxury behind every aspect of the resort, from the food and beverages to the rooms and suites to the spas and casino.
What Guests Are Saying: “There is no need to look at other hotels,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “If Wynn is on your list, this is the place to stay on the strip. The dining, bars, gambling, room, and location are top-tier. The hospitality and service are that of a high-level 5-star resort. The room has automated drapes and lights. We ate at Casa Playa, went to XS, the dueling piano bar, used the spa, and sat at the Lake of Dreams. There is no reason to even leave the resort; there is so much to do — will stay again!”
With immediate access to everything Universal Studios, the Loews Royal Pacific Resort rounds out our list of the 15 best resorts in the U.S. At over 85,000 square feet, including 1,000 guest rooms and 51 luxury suites, this resort in Orlando, Florida, is a South Seas-like escape right in your backyard. Guests often cite the friendly hotel service, spacious rooms, and immediate park access for reasons they intend to return; many even claim it is the only real way to experience Universal Studios!
What Guests Are Saying: “I like how you can check in early online, so when you go to the lobby, just show your ID and pick up your room keys,” according to a recent review on TripAdvisor. “It was cool to get a text early at 2 pm saying my room was ready and not have to wait till 4 pm for a regular check-in. I like how this resort you get complimentary express passes which you use on your room key! The room was nice and clean, and I like how spacious the shower is! I love the multiple outlets around the room! They do have free transportation from the resort to the city walk either by water taxi or you can walk, which is only a 7 min walk!”