Everybody loves a great hotel. And we all love that moment of discovery: walking into an elegant lobby or stepping into our luxurious room with a view out the window that reminds us we're somewhere special--whether it's a sweeping seascape or a snowcapped mountain peak. I've been fortunate to stay at some truly amazing hotels while leading trips for Backroads in North America, and here are six that stand out.
1. Your Own Oasis in the Desert
What happens when you juxtapose the striking red rock of dry Southern Utah with blooming native gardens and lush grass? You find yourself in your own desert retreat in Zion National Park at the Desert Pearl Inn. After a day spent exploring towering canyons and the picture-perfect precipices of Angels Landing, return to your oasis and take a refreshing dip in the tree-lined Virgin River, which runs right through the backyard of the hotel. Stay here on our Bryce & Zion Walking & Hiking Tour.
2. Rustic Comfort in Denali
Have you ever been to a place so remote that you don't even know where the nearest town is, or in what direction? Enter Denali Backcountry Lodge, located in the farthest part of Alaska's Denali National Park accessible to visitors. Getting to the Denali Backcountry Lodge is a journey itself, one that only one percent of the park's visitors ever experience. A scenic six-hour shuttle ride from the edge of the park and into its heart allows for wildlife sightings of all kinds, and even a view of the majestic Mount Denali on a clear day. From the comfort of your own little cabin, with the sound of mighty Moose Creek rushing through the property, experience true tranquility. Stay here on our Alaska's Prince William Sound to Denali Multi-Adventure Tour.
3. Relaxed Elegance on Martha's Vineyard
After a cruise along the bike paths and beaches of Martha's Vineyard, pull your bike into the Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa in historic Edgartown on the Vineyard. With a familiar comfort that makes you feel at home, but a charm and elegance that is quintessentially New England, it's the perfect spot to hang your helmet after a relaxed day biking the island's mellow terrain. It's a short walk down to the docks to watch the yachts come in and out, or just kick back on the Hob Knob's expansive porch in a rocking chair and watch the world go by. Stay here on our Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket Bike Tour.
4. The Grandest National Park Lodge
Standing resolutely in the very heart of Yosemite Valley, the Majestic Yosemite Hotel--formerly known as the Ahwahnee Hotel--is felt by many to be the grandest national park lodge of them all. Surrounded by the towering cliffs and waterfalls of Yosemite Valley, the rustic elegance of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel harkens to a bygone era of the American West. Gaze up from your window at the world-famous granite face of Half Dome, enjoy a meal in the magnificent dining hall, then take a moonlit stroll through the valley meadows frequented by foraging deer. Reservations to stay here are booked out well over a year in advance, which is why a guaranteed room with Backroads makes our Yosemite trips that much more enticing--as if you needed any more reasons to come explore this epic national park. Stay here on our Yosemite Walking & Hiking Tour.
5. The Heart of Key West
Join the party at the United States' southernmost point at the Ocean Key Resort & Spa. Watch the sunset over the ocean from the pool or head out on the deck with a mojito in hand for the nightly celebration. After a week of making your way down the coastline on our Florida Multi-Adventure trip, the Ocean Key Resort & Spa puts you in the center of it all: Cuban-infused culture, yachts lulling in the distance, dolphins dancing on the waves and street performers putting on a show. Stay here on our Florida Keys Multi-Adventure Tour.
6. A View with a Room in Glacier National Park
What could beat a pristine, glacier-carved lake at your backdoor? How about a welcoming wine reception just beneath it? Dreams do become reality on our Glacier National Park tours. With Swiss-chalet inspired architecture, not one but three lakeside hotels--Many Glacier Hotel, Lake McDonald Lodge and Prince of Wales Hotel--let you soak in the sunrise over the mountains in the morning and bask in the alpenglow on the surrounding valley at dusk. Stay here on our Glacier & Waterton Lakes Biking, Walking & Hiking and Family Multi-Adventure tours.