What makes a great hotel room? Why do some stand out from the rest? What makes a room truly special? To answer those questions, I compiled a list of my top hotel rooms. I decided to present a month of my favorite hotels to showcase some of the ones that have made my travels memorable. January 2011 will be devoted to what I consider the best hotel rooms I have visited. Granted, I have a lot more to visit, but these are a good start.

Frog house bedroom at Emerald Iguana

Frog House Bedroom at Emerald Iguana. Photo courtesy Emerald Iguana

How did I arrive at my list? Some of the hotel rooms are obviously luxurious, but others are not. In fact, some are outwardly quite ordinary. Yet each one stands out because of something special that made me say “wow”. Often it’s the overall experience I had while I was staying in the room or at that property. Usually, it had a lot to do with the people. In almost every case, I can look back and realize that the people in the hotel helped make that place truly exceptional.

Here’s the complete list. Click on each one to read about the hotel and why it made the list:

  1. Arizona Biltmore’s Ocatilla rooms
  2. Auberge Ripplecove and Spa, Quebec
  3. Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, Riviera Maya, Mexico
  4. Breezes Grand Negril in Jamaica
  5. Houseboat at Calville Bay Resort and Marina at Lake Mead
  6. Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara
  7. Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, Scottsdale, AZ
  8. The Capital Hotel, London
  9. Chateau de la Messardiere, St. Tropez, France
  10. Emerald Iguana, Ojai, CA
  11. Encantado, Santa Fe, NM (Now a Four Seasons property)
  12. Enchantment Resort, Sedona, AZ
  13. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ
  14. Firesky Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, AZ
  15. Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Scottsdale, AZ
  16. Gordon Lodge, Door County, Wisconsin
  17. Hermosa Inn, Paradise Valley, AZ
  18. Hidden Meadow Ranch, Greer, AZ (Just announced they are closing to the public)
  19. Honor Mansion, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, CA
  20. Hotel Le Germain, Toronto
  21. Hotel Negresco, Nice, France
  22. L’Auberge du Lac Resort Casino, St. Charles, LA
  23. Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
  24. Rancho de San Juan, Santa Fe, NM (No longer open)
  25. Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, AZ
  26. Shorebreak Hotel, Huntington Beach, CA
  27. Sunrise Springs Resort and Spa, Santa Fe, NM
  28. Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, Tucson, AZ
  29. Vineyard at Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire, England
  30. Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
  31. Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa


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