United States

THE BACKSTORY: When the slopeside Four Season Resort Jackson Hole opened in December 2003, the smart money said the hotel would have trouble making the cut in this hardcore ski town. After all, a brand that epitomizes all that is luxe had the temerity to build on a mountain that

THE BACKSTORY: It’s hard to believe that there’s another U.S. resort quite like this one. It was begun in 1928, by an industrialist named Howard Coffin, the man responsible for designing Hudson motorcars. He built The Cloister on Sea Island, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia, a place

THE BACKSTORY: If you’ve looked at Manhattan hotel prices lately, you know that a weekend in the city has become a pricey proposition. Spending $300, $400 or even $500 a night for less than thrilling digs is not uncommon. Then there’s the Marmara Manhattan. While not exactly a household name,

  The Backstory: Palm Springs is a desert oasis defined by kidney-shaped swimming pools, memories of the Rat Pack, and houses of concrete and glass that look like they were built for the Jetsons. Hollywood types discovered it back in the 1920’s, but it wasn’t until the late 40’s and

THE BACKSTORY: A few weeks ago, I went to sleep in utter silence in an 18th century house and woke up the next morning to find a place still so quiet that it was like experiencing a new sensation. That is, until a donkey named Ebenezer announced the morning with

THE BACKSTORY: About 20 minutes from the slopes of Big Sky's slopes, you'll find this gastronomic oasis on the banks of the trophy waters of the Gallatin River. The former fishing camp has been lovingly refurbished in the past decade by proprietor Patrick Hurd. It’s now a 21-room lodge with

By Tom Passavant THE BACKSTORY: Long before the term "eco-resort" was co-opted by any hotel with recycled note pads and a few compact fluorescent light bulbs, there was Sea Ranch. Back in 1963, a development group from Hawaii purchased nearly ten miles of Pacific Ocean coastline 105 miles north of

THE BACKSTORY: When I first drove through the gates of The Greenbrier, the fabled 6,500-acre resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, I thought I was approaching a rural version of the White House. With its far-reaching wings, columns and impeccably manicured grounds, it’s presidential indeed. As early as 1778,

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: Seattle’s Grand Dame delivers, with clubby, old-fashioned rooms, and a central downtown location that’s within walking distance to most everything. The public rooms are vast yet welcoming, with plenty of grandeur. It’s a faux Italian Renaissance palace, with gilt, crystal chandeliers, marble and moldings. So it’s

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: A case can be made that Grand America, a hyper-elegant hotel that’s like a Ritz-Carlton on steroids, is one of the best ski hotels in the US. The kicker is that the hotel is located in the middle of Salt Lake City, a good 40 minute