The South's Best Hotels 2023

Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards

Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards

Like a good recipe, there are many ingredients that make a hotel outstanding. Is it the look and feel of the lobby when you walk in? The thread count of the sheets and the fluffiness of the pillows? Is it the in-house bar or restaurant? A feeling of warmth and hospitality? Maybe it’s the location of the place, or the history behind it. We asked our audience to share their favorite hotels in the South, and the following list covers all of the above, and more. Some are perfect for soaking up the sun and sand (The Breakers, Palm Beach; The Cloister at Sea Island), others are fantastic city stays (W Hotel, Nashville; The Peabody Hotel, Memphis), some offer dazzling amenities (The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, Point Clear, AL) and some are simply legendary (The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Asheville; Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans). Consider this your ultimate bucket list of places to stay in our region, or at least dream about.

10. The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort ocean view

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

St. Simons Island, Georgia

Whether you’re traveling for a family reunion or a romantic getaway, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort has elegant yet relaxed accommodations for every type of traveler. The only beachfront resort on St. Simon’s Island, King and Prince offers guest rooms and suites and beach villas as well as standalone residences with all of the amenities of the resort. However you choose to stay, you won’t want to leave the property, with its five swimming pools, golf and tennis course, elegant surfside restaurant, and more. There is even a charming cottage where you can buy frozen custard and coffee., 912-638-3631, 201 Arnold Rd., St. Simons Island, GA 31522

9. W Hotel

W Nashville

W Hotels

Nashville, Tennessee

The glitz and glamor of Nashville is no more apparent than at the W Hotel. Located in The Gulch, the modern glass tower is a bit removed from the noise and hustle of Broadway, and offers unparalleled views of the city from its spacious rooftop bar, Proof, and pool area. Catch live music in the lobby (called the Living Room), enjoy a meal at two restaurants run by chef Andrew Carmellini, or get some fresh air and take a fitness class on the yoga lawn. The hotel offers seven different types of suites, all of which are as sleek as the building itself., 615-379-9000, 300 12th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37203

8. The Cloister at Sea Island

The Cloister (Sea Island, GA)
Peter Frank Edwards

Sea Island, Georgia

At this unique private island off Georgia’s Atlantic Coast, you can spend time outdoors and also enjoy all of the benefits and elegance of a luxury resort. Go paddleboarding on a salt marsh or ride a horse on the beach by day, then head to dinner in cocktail attire at night. While you could spend hours exploring The Cloister’s Spanish-revival architecture and gorgeous grounds, there’s also a bowling alley, a spa, six swimming pools, sunset cruises on a yacht, five miles of private beaches, an atrium with a man-made creek, and sports including squash, basketball, and shooting, among other activities and amenities. All of these things are dazzling, and worth traveling for, but nothing compares to the breathtaking beauty of Sea Island itself., 866-966-5983, 100 Cloister Dr., Sea Island, GA 31561

7. Hotel Monteleone

43. Celebrating Milestones: Hotel Monteleone Turns 130

New Orleans, Louisiana

This landmark French Quarter hotel has been owned by the Monteleone family for five generations, since 1886. Perhaps most famous for its Carousel Bar, a merry-go-round-turned watering hole dating back to 1949 that is open to hotel guests and the public. Take a spin on the carousel and enjoy a classic Sazerac while listening to some live jazz for a true New Orleans experience. With 522 guest rooms, a glittering lobby, a rooftop pool, and in-house restaurant Criollo, there are many reasons to spend  a night here, in addition to the hotel’s fascinating history. Plus, it’s a block from Bourbon Street, so you’ll be close to all of the action., 504-523-3341, 214 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130

6. The Greenbrier

Greenbrier Hotel exterior

Courtesy of the Greenbrier

White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia

Since 1778, visitors from around the world have traveled to this resort in West Virginia’s breathtaking Allegheny Mountains. The Greenbrier, which calls itself “America’s Resort,” is a National Historic Landmark and a fixture on “best hotel” lists, including our own. The sprawling 11,000-acre property has 710 rooms, a championship golf course, mineral spa, casino and entertainment venue, chapel, tennis courts, and the list goes on. Originally designed by famed interior designer Dorothy Draper, the hotel is still an homage to her bold, colorful style, with modern updates by designer Carleton Varney. You could stay at The Greenbrier dozens of times and still find new things to discover with each visit., 844-837-2466, 101 W Main St., White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986

5. The Inn on Biltmore Estate

The Inn at Biltmore Estate Exterior
Robbie Caponetto

Asheville, North Carolina

Live like a Vanderbilt—if only for a day—at this legendary chateaux-style estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Originally conceived in the late 1800s as George Vanderbilt’s country home, the breathtaking property spans 8,000 acres that now include a winery, historic gardens, shops and restaurants, a pool, art exhibits, and more. Staying at the Inn, or even visiting the property, is like stepping back in time, but with all of the modern-day comforts you could imagine., 800-411-3812, 1 Antler Hill Rd., Asheville, NC 28803

4. The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa

The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa


Point Clear, Alabama

A jewel on the Gulf Coast, the Grand offers guests luxurious yet comfortable stays, whether you’re in a cozy Bayside Room, the Nall Suite (named for one of Alabama’s finest artists, Fred Nall Hollis), or the Presidential Suite overlooking the marina and Mobile Bay. There are plenty of other reasons to visit, too: Play a round of golf on a Robert Trent Jones course, enjoy a day of pampering at the spa, or have a meal at one of the property’s many restaurants, including the elegant Southern Roots., 251-928-9201, One Grand Blvd., Point Clear, AL 36564

3. The Peabody

The Peabody Memphis
Robbie Caponetto

Memphis, Tennessee

You’ll know you’re in “The South’s Grand Hotel” as soon as you enter the Peabody’s ornate lobby. Yes, the famous ducks are there in their flower-filled fountain, but don’t forget to look up and take in the gorgeous ceiling with its stained glass and inlaid wood. The Peabody has wowed visitors and locals since 1869, and continues to do so today. With 464 rooms and suites, an in-house spa, and several options for drinking, dining, and even afternoon tea, it’s always bustling here, and that’s part of its charm., 901-529-4000, 149 Union Ave., Memphis, TN 38103

2. The Omni Grove Park Inn

The Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville, North Carolina)
The Omni Grove Park Inn

Asheville, North Carolina

Guests have traveled to the Blue Ridge Mountains for more than 100 years to stay at this beloved resort with its legendary architecture and grounds. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Inn is also famous for its cavern-like underground spa, 18-hole golf course, and stunning mountain views from the Sunset Terrace. Even with more than 500 rooms, the Omni still maintains a charming boutique hotel experience., 800-438-5800, 290 Macon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804

1. Nicewonder Farm and Vineyards

Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards

Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards

Bristol, Virginia

This 450-acre property in the scenic Virginia Highlands has a fishing pond, hiking trails, and an infinity pool, but the real draw is its vineyard and winery. Enjoy a bottle or glass in the cozy tasting room or with a meal at in-house restaurant Hickory, which features chef Travis Milton’s modern take on Appalachian food. The inn offers 28 rooms, plus nine yurts. More like tiny homes than tents, staying in a yurt is far from roughing it—each one comes with a rainfall shower, TV, and patio. Although Nicewonder just opened in 2022, it’s quickly becoming a destination for travelers who want to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in luxurious surroundings., 276-644-4466, 22010 Nicewonder Dr., Bristol, VA 24202

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