If you want to stay at the best hotel in the United States, head to the French Quarter Inn in Charleston, South Carolina. And if you’re looking for the best bargain hotel stay in the world, it’s in a small town in northern Spain. That’s according to TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, which just shared the best hotel ratings for multiple categories heading into 2019.
The hotel rankings are based on millions of yearly reviews from ordinary travelers paired with the average hotel rates. TripAdvisor compiled separate best hotel lists for the U.S., the world, bargain hotels, and more. For the most part, regardless of price and location, all winners consistently provided the best quality, service, and value in their area—but also stood out more broadly. Accordingly, the best in the U.S. and best in the world are slightly pricey.
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Here are the best hotels across the top categories, starting with bargain hotels, which you don’t often find reliably ranked.
Editor’s Note: TripAdvisor is SmarterTravel’s parent company.
The 25 Best Bargain Hotels in the World
Keep in mind that rates in many tourist areas are highly seasonal, and a “bargain” rate offseason might become much less of a bargain at peak season.
- Hotel Lurdeia: Bermeo, Spain
- Pax Guest House: Dingle, Ireland
- The Elm Tree: Llandudno, United Kingdom
- Doonmore Hotel: Inishbofin, Ireland
- Riverside Oasis Villa: Hoi An, Vietnam
- The Trails Inn: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
- Hotel Villa Sirena: Casamicciola Terme, Italy
- Popular Residence Hotel: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- The Escape Inn: South Yarmouth, Massachusetts
- Dar Hafsa: Fes, Morocco
- Cabo Vista Hotel: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Lazy Lizard Motor Inn: Port Douglas, Australia
- Splash Inn Dive Resort: West End, Honduras
- Kaiya House: Varkala, India
- Posada Margot: Tucacas, Venezuela
- Posada del Sauce: Villa General Belgrano, Argentina
- Falcons View Manor: Knysna, South Africa
- Phocas Cave Suites: Cavusin, Turkey
- Hotel Quero Quero: Gramado, Brazil
- Coconut Row: Hopkins, Belize
- Black Rock Lodge: Black Rock, Belize
- Jade Hotel Hoi An: Hoi An, Vietnam
- Udaya Residence: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- CC’s Hideaway: Karon, Thailand
- Hotel Venus & Suites: Kalamaki, Greece
This is an eclectic mix. Five of the 25 are in Southeast Asia, only two are in the U.S., and most others are spread around areas that are mostly recognized as low-cost visitor destinations. Rates at most are less than $100 a night, less than $50 at many, and in the $20 range for a few. But Belize’s Black Rock Lodge and Coconut Row, South Africa’s Falcons View, Ireland’s Pax Guest House, and England’s Elm Tree are in the higher $125 to $200 range.
The 10 Best Hotels in America
If you’re more intrigued in spending a little bit more for the best of the best, here are the best hotels in the U.S. (and across the globe, further below).
- French Quarter Inn: Charleston, South Carolina: TripAdvisor average annual price $463 per night. This hotel also ranked sixth overall in the world and 12th for Best Service in the U.S.
- The Nantucket Hotel & Resort: Nantucket, Massachusetts: TripAdvisor average annual price $787 per night.
- The Spectator Hotel: Charleston, South Carolina. TripAdvisor average annual price $467 per night.
- The Inn at Lost Creek: Mountain Village, Colorado. TripAdvisor average annual price $403 per night. Also ranked #1 Best Service in the U.S.
- Hotel Jackson: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. TripAdvisor average annual price $587 per night.
- Williamsburg Inn: Williamsburg, Virginia. TripAdvisor average annual price $490 per night.
- Trump International Hotel: Washington D.C., Washington, D.C. TripAdvisor average annual price $594 per night.
- Hotel Emma: San Antonio, Texas. TripAdvisor average annual price $486 per night.
- The Peninsula Chicago: Chicago, Illinois. TripAdvisor average annual price $627 per night. Also ranked #1 Top Luxury Hotels in the U.S.
- Sonnenalp: Vail, Colorado. TripAdvisor average annual price $555 per night. Also ranked #2 Top Luxury Hotel in the U.S.
With room rates starting at $403 to $787 per night, you won’t find these hotels on any “bargain” lists. And several were also in the 10-best worldwide ranking. The list also includes two unexpected clustering patterns: Three of the top 10 are in Rocky Mountain ski centers and two are in Charleston, South Carolina. Among the largest cities, Chicago and Washington got only one entry each and Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco struck out completely.
The 25 Best Hotels in the World
TripAdvisor selected 25 hotels in the world’s best category, but this list does not include average room rates:
- Tulemar Bungalows & Villas: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
- Hotel Belvedere: Riccione, Italy
- Viroth’s Hotel: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Kenting Amanda Hotel: Hengchun, Pingtung
- Hotel Alpin Spa Tuxerhof: Tux, Austria
- French Quarter Inn: Charleston, South Carolina
- The Resort at Pedregal: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Belmond Palacio Nazarenas: Cusco, Peru
- Kayakapi Premium Caves, Cappadocia: Urgup, Turkey
- Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa: Hanoi, Vietnam
- Golden Temple Retreat: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Quinta Jardins do Lago: Funchal, Portugal
- The Oberoi Rajvilas: Jaipur, India
- Hotel Amira Istanbul: Istanbul, Turkey
- Hotel 41: London, United Kingdom
- Ikos Oceania: Nea Moudania, Greece
- Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve: Ubud, Indonesia
- Nayara Springs: La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
- Rosewood Mayakoba: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Valle D’incanto Midscale Hotel: Gramado, Brazil
- Hotel Spadai: Florence, Italy
- Constance Prince Maurice: Pointe de Flacq, Mauritius
- O’Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa: Hanoi, Vietnam
- The Nantucket Hotel & Resort: Nantucket, Massachusetts
- AYADA Maldives: Maguhdhuvaa, Maldives
Surprisingly few big-city hotels made this list, with only one from London and none from Paris, New York, San Francisco, or Tokyo. Although supposedly the word’s “best,” they’re not all the most expensive: Current rates shown for June are $150 a night or less at the Amira, Kayakapi, La Siesta, O’Gallery, and Viroth’s. Clearly, TripAdvisor reviewers place a high value on service and location (which are not necessarily dependent on price category) rather than elaborate features like high-end hotel lobbies and bars.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Remarkable Floating Hotels for Your Bucket List
- 11 Most Beautiful Hotels in the World
- 10 of the World’s Most Famous Hotels
Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.