Best Small Hotels

Top 20 U.S. Small Hotels: Andrew Harper's Picks (Photos)

Too many hotels to choose from? Andrew Harper rounds up the best luxury, small hotels in America.

I edit Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, a luxury travel newsletter that first appeared in 1979. We review hotels, restaurants, shops, and worthwhile attractions for a busy and selective audience. My editors travel anonymously and pay full rate. In other words, we are treated exactly as you might be.


Each year, we conduct a survey of our subscribers' favorite small hotels. Hideaway Report readers are some of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable luxury travelers in the world; they vacation an average of 35 days a year, and 33 percent plan to travel more in the coming year. Their favorite countries are Italy, France, and England, but I hear about travel plans ranging from Bhutan to Botswana. Every year, the survey offers some surprises in addition to perennial favorites. 


Check out our list of the top 20 U.S. hideaways. This year, perhaps the most astonishing result was that California’s Post Ranch Inn was voted No. 1 U.S. Hideaway for the sixth time in a row! And as was the case in 2012, the favorite new discovery was Amangiri in Utah.  


Also, please enjoy this free download featuring the best beach resorts, city hotels, family escapes, food and wine properties, golf destinations, and spas.

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn - Big Sur, California

This remarkable coastal resort (and perennial Harper favorite) is set along a dramatic bluff directly above the Pacific in Big Sur. 

Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm - Walland, Tennessee

An exceptional country house hotel, which has been owned by the Beall family since 1976, Blackberry Farm is set on a 9,200-acre estate bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Twin Farms

Twin Farms - Woodstock, Vermont

Twin Farms is an intimate country retreat set amid 300 acres of meadows and woodlands in an unspoiled valley, 15 minutes north of Woodstock.

San Ysidro Ranch

San Ysidro Ranch - Montecito, California

This sophisticated 500-acre cottage-style resort is set in the leafy foothills of Montecito, just outside Santa Barbara.

Auberge du Soleil

Auberge du Soleil - Rutherford, California

This cosmopolitan resort terraced into a hillside overlooks Napa Valley vineyards in Rutherford, 90 minutes north of San Francisco.

The Inn at Little Washington

The Inn at Little Washington - Washington, Virginia

This smartly appointed country inn and gourmet sanctuary occupies an unassuming dark-blue and white building on the main street of Washington, a rural village in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Triple Creek Ranch

Triple Creek Ranch - Darby, Montana

The 23 log cabins of this romantic mountain resort in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana overlook a rushing creek and fir forest.


Amangiri - Canyon Point, Utah

Amangiri is an exceptional resort of minimalist but luxurious concrete structures set amid 600 acres of dramatic desert landscape.


Amangani - Jackson, Wyoming

A stylish resort set atop the 7,000-foot East Gros Ventre Butte, Amangani is just 15 minutes from downtown Jackson.


Blantyre - Lenox, Massachusetts

Blantyre is a stately Tudor-style mansion set on 100 acres of grounds near Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Ventana Inn & Spa

Ventana Inn & Spa - Big Sur, California

This recently refurbished coastal inn artfully blends into 240 acres of meadows, canyons, and redwood groves in Big Sur.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff - Bluffton, South Carolina

The 50 distinctive cottages in this residential resort outside of Savannah, Georgia are trimmed by wonderful screened porches.

Rancho Valencia

Rancho Valencia - Rancho Santa Fe, California

The lush grounds of this hacienda-style resort enclave contain 53 lodgings with colorfully tiled baths and private garden patios.

The Swag

The Swag - Waynesville, North Carolina

The Swag is a high-country sanctuary set on a 5,000-foot ridge overlooking Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Lowell

The Lowell - New York City, New York

The Lowell is a refined, 72-room hotel with a serene residential atmosphere, set along a tree-lined street between Madison and Park avenues.

The White Barn Inn

The White Barn Inn - Kennebunk Beach, Maine

A sophisticated hotel in colorful Kennebunkport, The White Barn Inn has 27 stylishly appointed rooms, suites, and waterfront cottages.

Lake Placid Lodge

Lake Placid Lodge - Lake Placid, New York

This classic waterfront hotel, restored following a catastrophic fire in late 2005, features wood floors, stone fireplaces, and Hudson River School paintings.

Little Palm Island

Little Palm Island - Little Torch Key, Florida

The 30 thatched bungalow suites here are spread across a lush, five-acre private island a half-hour north of Key West.

Meadowood Napa Valley

Meadowood Napa Valley - St. Helena, California

The serene clusters of dormered cottages of this distinctive resort in the heart of the Napa Valley contain 99 guest quarters.

Poetry Inn

Poetry Inn - Napa, California

This dramatic sanctuary in the Stags Leap District is perched on a hilltop providing spectacular views of the pastoral valley below.