The Peninsula Hotel, Chicago
Best Urban Spa
The 339 guestrooms and suites at this Magnificent Mile hotel are spacious and swank, with all sorts of cool electronics, but the lofty 15,000-square-foot spa, occupying the entire top two floors, steals the show. What better way to take in the Windy City’s imposing skyline than while soaking in a whirlpool tub or getting a stone massage? Afternoon tea in the lobby, where service “pages” run back and forth to assist guests, is also a treat.
For more information, visit www.chicago.peninsula.com.
Bel-Air Hotel, Los Angeles
Best Urban Hideaway
Nestled in the canyons of Los Angeles, the Mission-style Bel-Air Hotel has offered a discreet getaway for the rich and famous for decades. Lush with ancient trees, fragrant flowers and gurgling fountains, the hotel is known for its impeccable service and its French-country rooms, which are fancy without being precious. Some rooms have Jacuzzis, and most have private patios and wood-burning fireplaces. All exude the California good life.
For more information, visit www.hotelbelair.com.
Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah
Best Ski Hotel/Lodge
This luxurious, full-service lodge opened under the direction of Stein Eriksen, the Norwegian 1952 Olympic gold medalist–and guests definitely get the gold-star treatment. The sidewalks connecting the main lodge to nearby units are heated. Ski valets warm your ski boots for you and then have hot chocolate at the ready after your last run. Best of all: There’s an oyster bar available for après-ski hour.
For more information, visit www.steinlodge.com.
Mandarin Oriental, New York City
Best Hotel For Foodies
Located high above Columbus Circle, the Mandarin Oriental offers breathtaking views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline from many of its posh 248 rooms and suites. Beyond that, the hotel has the unique distinction of being within an elevator ride to not one but two of the best restaurants in the world: Per Se and Masa. You have to cross the street to get to Jean Georges.
For more information, visit www.mandarinoriental.com.
Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Fla.
Best Place To Luxuriate–With Kids
Here, you get to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico views, the world-class spa, the crisp Frette linens and the beach and pool cabana service while your kids participate in the Ritz Kids activity program, hang out in the game room or use the paddle boats. Now that’s a vacation.
For more information, visit visit www.ritzcarlton.com.
Lodge at Pebble Beach, Calif.
Best For Golfers (And Golf Widows)
Here, there are four championship courses, as well as many features for the non-golfer in your life: a deluxe spa, the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, the Tennis Club and the meandering 17-Mile Drive. With so many activities, you may not want to stay in your room. That would be a shame: They have stirring ocean views and wood-burning fireplaces ready to crackle and roar.
For more information, visit www.pebblebeach.com.
Four Seasons Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, North Kona Coast
Best Place To Dine Surfside
Some of the dining tables here are so close to the water you won’t need to bother with a salt shaker. Much more village-like than its Maui counterpart, many of this resort’s cabana-style rooms open right onto one of the most beautiful white-sand beaches in Hawaii. Service is peerless: Pool attendants distribute chilled towels for your brow; scuba lessons are complimentary. And one of the resort’s five pools is a saltwater pond carved out of black-lava rock filled with reef fish.
For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/hua