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Luxury Hotels

Luxury hotels in the U.S. range from historic big-city names to stately retreats in the countryside.

© Jupter Images, 2009
The "Hotel Del" is also a movie star, of sorts.

There is no need to leave the United States to experience some of the world's most unique luxury hotels. With a luxury type for every taste, the United States boasts historic, record-holding, famous, one-of-a kind hotels throughout.

Oldest Luxury Hotel

Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston, Mass., holds two historic U.S. titles. According to Omni Hotels, it was not only the country's first luxury hotel, but it is now the oldest operating luxury hotel in America with more than 150 years of service. Located on the Freedom Trail at Boston's oldest intersection of Tremont and School Streets, the Omni Parker House has serviced such characters as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ho Chi Min, John Wilkes Booth, Malcolm X, Judy Garland and Joan Crawford over the years.

This hotel was originally known as the Parker House after its founder, Harvey D. Parker, but now operates under the Omni Hotels name. After a recent $30 million renovation, there are 551 luxury accommodations for those who want a taste of Boston history.

Tallest, Largest and Most Expensive Hotel

The Westin Peachtree Plaza in downtown Atlanta, Ga., with its 73-story landmark tower, is the tallest hotel in the western hemisphere. All 1,068 guest rooms are equipped with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the heart of Atlanta. A revolving luxury restaurant tops the tower for a unique dining experience.

MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev., is the country's largest and most expensive hotel. The MGM Grand is so large that it houses four 30-story towers, live lions, nine restaurants, 5,690 guest rooms, 51 two-story skylofts and 29 private villas. Room rates begin at $5,000 per night for a stay in the most recent addition to the property -- a 576-suite hotel, The Signature at MGM Grand.

Home to the world's largest hotels, Las Vegas prides itself in being home to the next 14 out of 20 largest hotels in the U.S. Hotels include:

  • Luxor -- 4,408 rooms
  • Mandalay Bay -- 4,341 rooms
  • The Venetian -- 4,027 rooms
  • Excalibur -- 4,008 rooms
  • Bellagio -- 3,993 rooms
  • Circus Circus -- 3,774 rooms
  • Flamingo Las Vegas -- 3,565 rooms
  • Palazzo -- 3,443 rooms
  • Caesar's Palace -- 3,349 rooms
  • Mirage -- 3,044 rooms
  • Monte Carlo -- 3,002 rooms
  • Las Vegas Hilton -- 2,956 rooms
  • Paris -- 2,916 rooms
  • Treasure Island -- 2,885 rooms

Most Recognized Hotel

The most-filmed hotel in the U.S. is easily The Plaza Hotel at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, New York, N.Y. As distinctive as it is prestigious, The Plaza has been seen in such films as  "Barefoot in the Park", "Funny Girl", the first two "Crocodile Dundee" movies, and "Home Alone 2." The Plaza offers guests an indulgent stay in any one of its private residences, 282 guestrooms or 102 suites. The Champagne Bar maintains the same charm it had more than a century ago when The Plaza first opened its doors. 

Other historic luxury hotels made famous by Hollywood include the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, which was the backdrop for "Some Like it Hot" and "My Blue Heaven." The Beverly Hills Hotel was featured in "The Sting," "Ghostbusters," "Beverly Hills Cop," "Independence Day," and "Dare Devil," and Colorado's Stanley Hotel terrified viewers in "The Shining."

Hotels with Truly Unique Experiences

Travelers looking to enjoy more than just a luxurious hotel stay, something along the lines of an over-the-top vacation, should consider one of these four high-end, extreme, mind-blowing hotels named by the Travel Channel.

The Madonna Inn of San Luis Obispo, Calif., features uniqueness in the décor of its 109 guest rooms. Décor themes range from African safari and Amazon jungle to caveman and western. The Yosemite room offers a rock wall shower and the Swiss Belle room features a waterfall. Guests are warned to book early because there is at least a one-month waiting list.

Dunton Hot Springs is nestled in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies in a long-abandoned mining town. Guests enjoy a one-of-a kind stay in this old west, rehabilitated ghost town complete with a restored original saloon that was visited by Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. The cabin accommodations also feature use of the natural hot springs and local wintertime activities.

Winvian in Morris, Conn., touts 18 guest cottages designed by 16 different architects for an exclusive choice of accommodations. Selections include the golf cottage, with its own putting greens; the music cottage, with its tree-stump drums and xylophone walls; a tree house, 35 feet above ground; and the helicopter cottage, a 17,000-pound U.S. Coast Guard helicopter with a bedroom, bathroom, bar, couch and plasma television.

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