The 10 Best Hotels in the American Southwest
The vast, rugged expanses of the American Southwest are among the country’s most unique and beautiful landscapes, so you can bet the hotels that set up shop there make good use of their surrounds. Here, 10 of our favorite stays in the region.
1. Amangiri, Utah
There’s a steep price to be paid for the chance to stay at Amangiri, a hyper-modern escape in a desolate corner of Utah desert, but trust us—it’s worth every penny. Here, you’ll find just 34 cement suites, tricked out with soaking tubs, twin rain showers, and glass doors that open out onto private patios with their own fireplace and sweeping, sandy views. The central pool is an architectural draw of its own, carved right into the base of a mesa. If your hunger for views still isn’t satiated, book a hot-air balloon ride over the landscape, followed by a Navajo-inspired spa treatment and some belly-warming wood-fired cuisine at the restaurant. Like we said—oh so worth it.
2. Hotel Emma, San Antonio, Texas
Like San Antonio’s hip Pearl District, this 1800s brewhouse turned boutique offers history and charm in spades. And, from the well-stocked in-room pantries to homemade macarons at turndown to its three restaurants that put a refined spin on farmhouse cooking, you’ll never go hungry here, either. Try the braised oxtail stew and sticky toffee pudding at Supper; pick up fine provisions at pantry-café Larder, which occupies the old fermenting cellars; or settle into a banquette with your craft cocktail at Sternewirth—the perfect way to end a day, whether you spent it exploring the city, swimming in the rooftop pool, or immersing yourself in one of the 3,700 books picked from the hotel’s two-story library.
3. Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colorado
This 1889 Victorian icon and onetime Hunter S. Thompson haunt remains one of Aspen’s most storied hotels. Today, it still draws in mountain town elite, though old details like J-Bar’s tin ceiling and landscape oil paintings now share space with luggage trunks turned dressers and flatscreen TVs hidden in gold picture frames, and the Living Room steals the après-ski show thanks to its cushy sofas and roaring fire. Come nightfall, crowds make their way into farm-to-table restaurant Prospect for hearty alpine dinners (meatballs with polenta, squash and curried lentil soup, Berkshire pork chop) courtesy of Noma co-founding chef Mads Refslund.
4. The Lodge at Blue Sky, Utah
Our new favorite nature-lover’s getaway is The Lodge at Blue Sky, a 46-room, 3,500-acre all-inclusive outside Park City that takes ranch life to the next level. Along with horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing, and heliskiing, you’ll have run of The Tavern—the remote 1800s cabin turned saloon cooks breakfasts and dinners over an open campfire—as well as the High West Distillery, which produces its own whiskey. There’s also a 7,500-square-foot spa with open-air soaking pools and an exclusive ski-in/ski-out lounge at the base of the mountain where tune-ups and gear storage are supplemented with hot drinks and fireside snacks. And let’s not forgot the rooms: The Sky Lodge and Earth House are built into a hillside with grass roofs and feature outdoor fireplaces overlooking Alexander Canyon.
5. Enchantment Resort, Arizona
We’ll say it: Enchantment Resort, which is surrounded by the cottonwood trees and red rocks of Boynton Canyon, features one of the most spectacular hotel settings in the American Southwest. It helps that it’s blissfully remote, miles from downtown Sedona. Low-slung casitas house 218 rooms, which take their heritage to heart with their kiva fireplaces and handwoven rugs. All are just steps (or a golf-cart ride) away from the resort’s legendary amenities, which include tennis and croquet courts and a clutch of dining and drinking options like View 180, where you can take in sunset from its outdoor terrace. Hanging by the pool is practically required here, but don’t forget to set aside at least one afternoon so you can take advantage of the resort’s exhaustive on-site activities like gardening, guided meditation, and local hikes.
6. Parker Palm Springs, California
This one-time ranch of American performer Gene Autry is now a stylish, mid-century modern hotel kitted out to the colorfully eclectic taste of Jonathan Adler. We’re talking funky shag rugs, knights in shining armor, and even a massive, seven-foot-tall bronze banana in the main garden. The 144 rooms are just as whimsical, but truthfully, you won’t be spending much time in them. Instead, guests while away their hours playing croquet and pétanque on the lawn, grabbing pick-me-ups from the pop-up lemonade stand, catching rays by the legendary pool, and digging into brassiere fare at Mister Parker’s—if you still have room after brunch at Norma’s, that is.
7. The LINE Austin, Texas
Austin’s hotel boom continues—last year welcomed a wellness-focused Miraval and industrial-chic ARRIVE—but none have changed the style game quite like the Line Austin. A complete redo of the 1965 Crest Inn expanded guest rooms, which now feature topographical headboards, Texas history books, and stunning views of Lady Bird Lake. Another major highlight is restaurant Arlo Gray, where Top Chef winner Kristen Kish conceptualizes ingredient-driven dishes inspired by her childhood and travels like crispy chicken with rice porridge and prawns and grits with Calabrian chili butter. More not-to-miss amenities: the hotel’s rooftop bar, lobby pool, and monthly yoga in the ballroom.
8. Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Santa Fe, New Mexico
With its woven textiles, kiva-style fireplaces, adobe walls, and potted cacti, the three-story Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi has got Southwest style down pat. In its 58 guest rooms, you’ll find pillows sewn from Pendleton blankets and hand-carved wooden furniture, and their collection of Native American art is particularly impressive—keep an eye out for Arlo Namingha’s bronze sculpture “Hano Mana” as you wander the hallways. Hungry? Dive into seasonal Southwestern dishes like salmon on green chili polenta and Apache strip steak at The Anasazi Restaurant, or grab a more casual bite and drink—margarita, anyone?—at the courtyard bar.
9. Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Arizona
It’s all in the name: each of Sanctuary’s 105 Sonoran-style guest rooms are terraced directly into the north side of Camelback, affording sweeping views of the desert and Paradise Valley from their windows and balconies (many of which are outfitted with fireplaces and soaking tubs). It’s no wonder so many celebs retreat here; the place was absolutely made for seclusion and relaxation. There’s a Zen meditation garden and infinity pool, Asian-inspired spa and ingredient-focused meals at Elements. Looking for a little more action? Play a round on five tennis courts or schedule your poolside dips around happy hour at Jade Bar, which also holds mixology classes and live music on weekends.
10. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Boredom is an impossibility at this lakeside landmark, which has served as a year-round escape for families, celebrities, and presidents ever since it opened back in 1918. The Italian Renaissance-style pink stucco façade and manicured grounds are just two indications that this remains one of Colorado’s grandest stays, and with 3,000 acres to work with, you can bet outdoor pursuits are its specialty. Go ahead, take that horseback ride, go fly-fishing, golf on one of Broadmoor’s three courses, or try your hand at rock climbing—you’re in the Rocky Mountains, after all. In your downtime, pop by the bowling alley, take in the owner’s impressive western art collection, or take your pick from the 19 restaurants, bars, and lounges on property.