Welcome to the South, where hospitality reigns supreme, sweet tea is flowing, and lounging on your front porch is considered a daily activity. Whether you want to visit the city or the country, the beach or the mountains — or are craving some comfort food, vibing some live jazz music, or just want to relax underneath rows of giant oak trees (dripping in Spanish moss, obviously) — you'll find a hotel for you on this list. We're sensing a lot of weekend trips coming up in your future.
Checking into this feels like staying at your super chic friend's house. The small, boutique property rarely feels like a hotel — you won't find a spa or gym or any amenities larger hotels offer, but if you really want to feel like you live in Charleston, this is the spot. Start the day with a European continental breakfast in the drawing room, ride the complimentary blue bikes downtown, then enjoy wine and cheese on the expansive Southern porch in the evening. The service is simultaneously always attentive, yet never intrusive. You're left on your own to make the property what you want it to be — but the moment you need any direction, you'll find them there to make it happen.
Zero George Street
If you want to totally check out, this is the place. This resort is so remote, you can only access it by seaplane or boat. There are no TVs or cell phones, but there are white sand beaches, scuba diving, sailing, kiteboarding, dolphin encounters, and more. Not to mention, the bungalow decor is TDF.
Little Palm Island
Set on a pastoral 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is an idyllic experience you'll never forget. The cuisine is renowned, a mix of rugged and haute rooted in what comes from their farm, there's no end to adventures and activities — horseback riding, archery, and carriage rides, to name a few — and if you want the ultimate secluded, luxurious experience, book a Farmstead Cottage. It comes with an enclosed-glass living porch, kitchen, gold cart, and shiplap for days.
Though this 24-room inn is tiny, it's well worth adding to your hotel bucket list. Every detail is impeccable, from the ornate furnishings to the 17th-century wooden floors, the James Beard-winning chef sources local ingredients, and the living room in the Main Inn serves a proper afternoon tea, cocktails, and coffee and dessert after dinner.
The Inn at Little Washington
A weekend at this sprawling property only begins to scratch the surface of it. If you're the type who enjoys activity after activity on vacation, you'll never be bored with the never-ending list: boat rides, kayaking, biking, pools, shooting, tennis, golf, and fishing, to name a few. For the ultimate luxury experience, book one of the waterfront cottages. You'll get the feeling of actually having a home down South, rather than feeling like a hotel guest. Warning: You may leave an actual home owner as a result.
Montage Palmetto Bluff
The rooms in this New Orleans hotel are traditional and luxurious, the rooftop pool offers a panoramic view of the city, and it's been designated a literary landmark. But! Arguably the best part of this hotel is the Carousel Bar. It's an actual spinning 25-seat bar that was frequented by William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway. All eyes on me in the center of the ring!
Head to the Georgia coast for the ultimate in Southern hospitality, relaxation, and outdoor activities. The historic hotel spans five miles of private beach and is home to three championship golf courses. If you're not hitting the green or the sand, you can visit the tennis center, yacht club, shooting school, spa, or dine at one of the seven (!) restaurants. They even have an on-property ice cream shop (Psst ... The gold brick sundae will change your life).
The Cloister at Sea Island
Head to the Old Edwards Inn & Spa when you're in the mood for a mountain retreat. On top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it offers luxury rooms, suites, cottages, and vacation homes, as well as a farm-to-table restaurant, spa, golf course, and three pools. And if you're worried about getting cabin fever, it's right near downtown's shops, music venues, and art galleries.
Old Edwards Inn & Spa
This Louisville hotel is truly one of a kind. It's part hotel, part museum, and is one of the most well-done unions of art and hospitality in the industry. You'll find plenty of contemporary art to peruse in the lobby, common spaces, and rooms (the curated exhibits rotate), and the award-winning restaurant supports regional farmers and producers. You don't want to leave without trying the bison burger — just saying.
21c Museum Hotel Louisville
This sprawling resort spawns 550 acres. In addition to the one-of-a-kind golf experience, the hotel also offers bike rentals, water sports, tennis, a cooking school, a top spa, and more.
Grand Hotel Marriott Resort
Even though this Rosewood resort is in the heart of Dallas, it feels like a secluded retreat. The former private residence has been transformed into a world-class hotel. The restaurant is one of the best in Dallas, the pool is surrounded by magnolia trees, and the interiors boast hand-carved fireplaces, marble floors, and stained glass windows.
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek
Like Louisville, this museum hotel boasts an on-site contemporary art gallery and an esteemed restaurant, but the building itself is also notable: It was once the site of a Ford Motor Company assembly plant. The guest rooms resemble NYC-style lofts, complete with high ceilings, steel windows, and tons of natural light.
21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City
This 19th-century antebellum mansion in Natchez, MS feels like stepping back into a bygone era. Wander the gardens filled with magnolias, azaleas, and roses, sip mint juleps with complimentary hors d’oeuvres in the study, or dine in the award-winning restaurant.
Monmouth Historic Inn
Located on Lake Hamilton, this luxury inn is the ultimate spot for relaxation and romance. The inn features craftsman-style architecture, while the property has gorgeous gardens, boat cruises, rockers and hammocks perfect for enjoying the lake views, and a "foodie"-focused breakfast (featuring things like Tito's Bloody Marys and lemon ricotta pancakes).
Lookout Point Lakeside Inn
This world-class resort dates back to 1778 and is designated a National Historic Landmark. The 11,000-acre retreat is surrounded by mountains and offers championship golf, fine dining, and more than 55 activities, such as tennis, shooting, bowling, carriage rides, off-roading, and white-water rafting. So you can get as wild as you want.