No doubt there are plenty of nice hotels in the world, but when you go away, you don't just want nice—you want special, you want amazing, you want spectacular.
That's why every year, Condé Nast Traveler invites readers to vote for the most outstanding hotels and resorts they've visited. This year, we celebrate our 25th Annual Readers' Choice Awards with a record number of opinions: 46,476 to be exact.
And those combined votes have boiled down to a list that covers the best places and properties anywhere on earth—including these top 10 right here in the U.S.
1. Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Readers' Choice Rating: 97.9
"From the decor to the service, this is one of the greatest hotels I’ve stayed in." The top-scoring Gold List property in the United States, this "oasis of luxury" (opened at the end of 2009) is in the Gold Coast neighborhood, steps from the lakefront.
Designed to emulate the grand hotels of Paris in the 1920s, it is set in a 60-story tower that has colonnades, spires, and a motor court. The "fantastic, spacious rooms," 10 per floor, have fireplaces, furnished terraces, Italian linens, and white Carrara marble bathrooms with soaking tubs.
"Staff make you feel welcome, like they’re really excited that you chose their hotel." "Epicurean paradises" include the European-style bistro Balsan and Ria, which focuses on sustainable local ingredients. "I’d like to move in—now."