Last week U.S. News & World Report released its list of the Best Hotels in the USA. "Best" was determined by such criteria as awards and recognition, number and quality of guest reviews and hotel class. Only luxury hotels – those that consistently receive four- and five-star ratings – were considered.
ABCNews.com spoke with Joel Fineman, travel editor at U.S. News & World Report, for his take on the hotels that made the top 10. Pictured here is the property ranked the No. 1 hotel in the U.S.
Click through the next 10 slides to reveal the winner as well as the other nine properties chosen for the list.
For a look at the best hotels by state, visit US News & World Report.
|No. 10: Waldorf Astoria Chicago|
The Waldorf Astoria Chicago near Chicago's Magnificent Mile provides exceptional luxury without the pretention that accompanies hotels of similar caliber, says Fineman. "The glamorous lobby and delectable in-house restaurant RIA really set the Waldorf Astoria apart."
|No. 9: Calistoga Ranch, An Auberge Resort|
Fineman tells ABCNews.com: "This Napa Valley retreat on 157 acres affords guests ample space to unwind. Whether they're being pampered in the spa or hiding out in their private lodge, visitors enjoy the regal luxury of Calistoga Ranch. The on-site wine cave and Mercedes-Benz Drive Program are particular guest favorites."
|No. 8: Triple Creek Ranch|
Triple Creek Ranch puts a premium on privacy, according to Fineman. "Guests stay in individual cabins with fireplaces and hot tubs. This is also a great place for outdoorsy travelers, as the ranch's grounds feature numerous hiking and horseback trails."
|No. 7: Rancho Valencia|
"As much as Rancho Valenica wins over guests with its oversize rooms and gourmet food, the manicured grounds really exceed visitors' expectations," says Fineman.
|No. 6: Amangani|
According to Fineman, it's hard to trump the Amangani's location in the shadow of the Teton Mountains. "Guests love the floor-to-ceiling windows in the uber-luxurious suites that offer spectacular views of surrounding Jackson Hole."
|No. 5: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu|
"Hawaii has a multitude of luxury properties, but the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu surpasses most with its gorgeous golf course, exceptional dining and numerous pools, including one chiseled out of lava rock," says Fineman.
|No. 4: Four Seasons Hotel Seattle|
It's got a convenient location in the heart of the city, but it's "the friendly staff and striking views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains" that put this hotel in a class of its own.
|No. 3: Wentworth Mansion|
"The Wentworth Mansion is like a living museum," says Fineman. "With hand-carved marble fireplaces, private library, and Tiffany stained-glass windows, the hotel is a treat for the eyes."
|No. 2: Four Season Resort Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele|
The Four Season Resort Lana'i, the Lodge at Koele, is the pinnacle of Hawaiian decadence, according to Fineman. "It has a Greg Norman golf course, delectable food, flawless service, and gorgeous accommodations," he said. What more could you ask for?
|No. 1: Inn at Palmetto Bluff, an Auberge Resort|
"Industry experts and guests agree that the Inn at Palmetto Bluff is exceptional in nearly every aspect," says Fineman. "The resort grounds are dotted with private cottages amidst forests and meadows. It's the epitome of serenity."