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Top 10 US Luxury Resorts

Top 10 Luxury Resorts in the United States

With so many rating criteria to choose from, defining what exactly makes up the top 10 luxury hotels and resorts in the United States is certainly not an easy task. It seems as if every city in every state contains at least one hotel or resort that caters to those with a discerning palate for whom anything but the best is not enough.

However, with the task at hand of selecting a top ten, why not look to the experts? AAA has been rating hotels, resorts and restaurants, assigned with their trademark diamond, for nearly three decades, so they are certainly a trusted source for determining what is luxury…and what is not.

AAA's list of five diamond lodgings numbers 85 throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. This number represents only 0.26% of the 55,000 lodgings and restaurants evaluated each year by AAA. So you know the establishments that have made the cut take luxury very seriously.

This list includes some new faces to the exclusive five-diamond list, and a few that have stood the test of time. However, this is by no means the complete list, which includes 64 other resorts and hotels in the United States, and eleven more in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The first four are the newcomers, 2005 being their first year on the list. They have obviously stepped up to the plate to become some of the "best".

Walden Country Inn & Stables - Aurora, Ohio

Walden Inn

Walden Country Inn & Stables is Ohio's first ever five-diamond hotel. With 25 luxurious suites, Walden Country Inn & Stables is a perfect hideaway for relaxing getaways, weddings and executive retreats. The elegantly proportioned buildings surround a 175-year-old barn and silo located on 32 acres, with horses roaming in the pasture. Glass walls bring in natural light and contrast with the traditional farmhouse feel of the buildings. Guests enjoy a host of recreational activities, world-class dining, unobtrusive service and a wealth of meeting space. For more information go to, or call (330) 562-5508.

The Phoenician - Scottsdale, Arizona

The Phoenician

Guests marvel at the array of pleasures that make this prestigious landmark a one-of-a-kind destination resort, with blue skies, warm sunny days and the rich colors and textures of the great American Southwest. The Phoenician is designed for comfort and enjoyment, brightened by a spirit of easy elegance where you can feel miles away from the rest of the world, yet right at home.

Known for its lavish decor and breathtaking surroundings, The Phoenician also provides the caring, exceptional service you would expect from a fine private club.

Unparalleled elegance is artfully expressed through the resort from beautifully appointed accommodations, including an $8 million dollar art collection, the most stunning golf course in the Southwest, and the gilded lobby which commands one of the best views of the Valley of the Sun. The Phoenician combines the elements of nature, landscaping, architecture and fine art into a striking masterpiece. More of what the Phoenician has to offer can be found at, or by calling (800) 888-8234.

Grand America Hotel - Salt Lake City, Utah

Grand American

In the center of Utah, at the heart of the scenic West is the extraordinary Grand America Hotel, an oasis of pampering amidst rugged outback adventures. Whether your travel is business, leisure, skiing or a family vacation, The Grand America is your home away from home.

This Utah Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City provides a luxurious and convenient hub to Utah's great outdoors. The 775 guest rooms and suites combine comfort and European-style furnishings, many featuring magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains.

A stay at this hotel offers guests and meeting attendees: first-rate accommodations, with the services and amenities you'd expect from a world-class hotel and meeting facility; state-of-the-art, expansive meeting and convention space, designed with the meeting planner in mind; the most prestigious world-class spa in Salt Lake City and a leading edge fitness center with both indoor and outdoor pools; and comprehensive in-house audio-visual department with the latest in technology and communications systems. Visit, or call 801-258-6000 for more details.

The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown - Washington, D.C.

The Ritz-Carlton

Located in Washington, DC's famous and fashionable Georgetown district; The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Built in the historic Georgetown Incinerator, merges contemporary appointments with historic architecture for an unforgettable combination. It has 86 guestrooms, which includes 29 executive suites, The Ritz-Carlton Suite, The Royal Potomac Suite, The Ambassador Suite, The Georgetown Suite and The Presidential Suite. The Ritz-Carlton is also within walking distance to a myriad of shopping destinations, unique boutiques, fine dining, nightlife, the picturesque waterfront, and is minutes from the Kennedy Center. Other deluxe features include meeting facilities for up to 90 people, and a fourteen screen Loews Cineplex movie theatre. To reserve a luxury suite at the Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, visit, or call (202) 912-4100.

The next three selections are the hotels and resorts that have been deemed luxurious enough to remain on the five-diamond list for twenty or more years.

The American Club - Kohler, Wisconsin

Grand American Hotel

The American Club provides country elegance in the charming Village of Kohler, less than an hour north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The resort offers a host of diversions year-round, including award-winning golf courses Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits; the Kohler Waters Spa; and special events such as the Kohler Food & Wine Experience, Christmas Kohler and a Spring Garden Market.

If you're looking for a relaxing retreat, The American Club's spa packages include rejuvenating services at the Kohler Waters Spa, or the winter Taste of Kohler Packages offer guests an opportunity to experience cooking and wine demonstrations at The American Club. To find out more about The American Club, go to, or call (800) 344-2838 x700.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel - Seattle, Washington

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel

The Fairmont Olympic is Seattle's premier luxury hotel. Since opening in 1924, The Olympic has been the region's destination for prominent civic and social events, as well as honeymoons, birthday celebrations and in-city getaways. Boasting impeccable service, splendid Italian Renaissance architecture and two award-winning restaurants, The Olympic, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, well deserves its reputation as Seattle's Grand Dame hotel.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is located in the heart of Seattle, footsteps from many of the city's attractions, including the famous Pike Place Market, Seattle Waterfront, and Space Needle, plus a multitude of museums, theatres, shops and restaurants. In addition to 450 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, The Olympic also offers more than 26,000 square feet of stunning meeting space and countless amenities; including a full service fitness center, spa, and indoor swimming pool. By delivering luxury, timeless style, and unparalleled service in unrivaled surroundings, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel aims to gain a place in the heart of each guest who passes through its doors. Check out, or call (800) 257-7544 to reserve a room.

Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa - Scottsdale, AZ

Camelback Inn

Where luxury comes naturally…this landmark Scottsdale resort is located on 125 acres of naturally landscaped desert. Guests can enjoy an authentic Southwestern experience, secluded casitas, 36-holes of championship golf, the signature Spa at Camelback Inn and 40,000 square feet of meeting space.

Accommodations here are everything one would expect and more. 453 comfortable, spacious, Pueblo-style casitas with thoughtful touches everywhere. Included are 27 suites that range from grand to grandiose, some with private swimming pools. But no matter where our guests retire for the evening, they enter a luxurious, amenity-rich guestroom with French doors leading to a private patio or balcony and the glorious vistas of Camelback Inn. For more information about the Camelback Inn, call 800-24-CAMEL, or visit

The Greenbrier - White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier is built on the site of sulphur springs where, in 1778, a Mrs. Amanda Anderson is said to have been miraculously cured of her rheumatism by being immersed in the waters there.

Word of the spring's restorative powers spread quickly and soon modest accommodations for eager visitors were built at the site. In 1835 the first grand "cottage" appeared. It became known as The President's Cottage for the succession of U.S. Presidents who spent their summers there.

From elegant estate houses to individual rooms, our 803 guest accommodations offer luxurious amenities and an explosion of color in true Dorothy Draper style.

All guest accommodations are MAP (Modified American Plan), and include breakfast daily in the Main Dining Room and dinner daily in the Main Dining Room or Sam Snead's at The Golf Club. Children also receive complimentary breakfast and dinner daily. Many of the guest rooms are non-smoking, and there are handicapped accessible rooms available.

All accommodations feature televisions and radios, refreshment bars, hairdryers, terry cloth robes, lighted vanity mirrors, guest controlled heating/air conditioning and the latest in dual line accessory compatible telephones. All guest rooms and cottages also have access to high-speed, wireless Internet. To experience the curative qualities of the sulphur springs for yourself, go to, or call (800) 453-4858.

(Courtesy of AAA)