Andrew Harper members are a loyal bunch. Once they find their favorite hotel, they tend to book it repeatedly. So it's always exciting when new reader favorites enter the list. Here are the 20 most popular hotels of 2016, along with reader comments on what they liked most.
Selected as an Andrew Harper Readers' Choice winner six years in a row (2010–2016), Blackberry Farms is renowned for its signature—and award-winning—"Foothills Cuisine," impeccable grounds, breathtaking views and luxurious spa. This country house hotel of 68 rooms is set on a 4,200-acre estate bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cottages, suites and multi-bedroom homes are enhanced by fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and porches. Amenities include a spa, gym, outdoor pool, tennis, cooking classes, fly-fishing and riding stables.
Reader comments: “This was a wonderful, pastoral, special place. We enjoyed taking advantage of the courtesy car to visit the National Park.”
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The Resort at Pelican Hill
Newport Coast, California
The Resort at Pelican Hill is great for families, golfers or spa-goers. Set on 504 acres south of Los Angeles, this lavish resort has 204 bungalow rooms and suites, about half with sea views. Also, 128 villas offer two-, three- or four-bedroom configurations with full kitchens and butler service. The fine formal restaurant at Pelican Hill offers Northern Italian cuisine.
Reader comments: “Dinners and venues were excellent, as was the bungalow suite.”
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New York City, New York
The Upper East Side has never felt more comfortable. This refined hotel is set along a tree-lined street between Madison and Park avenues close to notable museums, galleries and shops. The 47 suites are among the finest in the city, and it now offers a recently refurbished lobby with new Majorelle restaurant and garden terraces. Attentive service complements a peerless location.
Reader comments: “THE BEST NYC Hotel I have ever stayed in. This was my 11th stay at the Lowell and the front desk manager presented me with a gift candle and boxed macaroons to express his appreciation for my loyalty.”
“Love the 'small' hotel. A refuge from the street and all the craziness.”
Read more about The Lowell
The Stafford London
London, United Kingdom
The Stafford is a consistent winner of our Readers' Choice Awards and it's no surprise why. This ideally located 105-room hotel consists of three structures surrounding a 17th-century courtyard next to Green Park. Its convivial ambience is further exemplified by the celebrated American Bar and The Lyttelton restaurant.
Reader comments: “Excellent service by everyone that works at the hotel. Best location, walking distance to many places. Wonderful bar and lovely outside area.”
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Windsor Court Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana
The distinguished 316-room Windsor Court Hotel is near the French Quarter but just far enough away from it to offer guests serenity. Guest rooms and suites are decorated in a traditional English style with French accents to reflect the city’s heritage. They feature Italian marble baths, and many suites have private balconies and separate living areas.
Reader comments: Being that this is New Orleans, the bar, of course, is really cool. They have a variety of distillers to choose from.
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The Breakers Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Florida
Set amid 140 acres, The Breakers Palm Beach is a legendary oceanfront resort. The 538 bright guest rooms and suites are decorated in a tropical palette and provide lavish marble baths. Amenities include two golf courses, a spa, 10 tennis courts, new Ocean Fitness center and a Mediterranean-style beach club.
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Voted a Best Spa Resort and Best Golf Resort in 2016, Enchantment lives up to its name. The 70-acre resort is secluded in a box canyon surrounded by sensational red rock formations. The 218 lodgings come with appealing Southwest-inspired décor, and guests can take cooking classes and indulge in wine tastings. They also have exclusive access to the Tom Weiskopf-designed Seven Canyons golf course.
Reader comments: “Stunning location!”
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This oceanfront 453-room enclave has it all: a quiet beach, prime shopping, neoclassic French cuisine and a freshwater pool. Generous rooms include twin or king beds, desks, large lanais with chaises longues and separate sitting areas with love seats, coffee tables and occasional chairs; most offer ocean views.
Reader comments: “I was surprised to find such a beautiful and peaceful property in a very busy and popular location. Wonderful service and delicious food!”
“Everything about this hotel is outstanding. I still think it is the only place to stay in Waikiki.”
Read more about Halekulani
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Set on the tranquil northern slope of Camelback Mountain is the sophisticated Sanctuary Resort & Spa. This distinctive contemporary boutique property is five miles from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and seven miles from the Desert Botanical Garden. Truly a retreat, it is centered on a huge infinity-edge pool and chic spa featuring a 75-foot outdoor lap pool and an array of Asian-inspired treatments. Many of the 105 lodgings have marvelous views of the desert valley landscape.
Reader comments: “Andrew Harper benefits and rating made this hotel worth a visit. Services and treatment were first-rate.”
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The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Voted a Best Beach Resort in 2016 by our readers, this beautifully appointed resort is set along a 10-mile beach on private Kiawah Island. The four-story hotel contains 255 casually elegant accommodations outfitted with every conceivable amenity. Ocean View units at the end of each wing directly face the sea.
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Canyon Point, Utah
Mr. Harper calls Amangiri's architecture "austere but appropriate" to its stupendous desert setting. A winner of our Readers' Choice Awards for six years in a row, Amangiri is an exceptional resort. Its principal amenity is a serene 25,000-square-foot spa with gym. But if you leave the property, there are many activities to choose from, including guided hikes, national park excursions, boating and fishing.
Reader comments: “One of our favorite properties; beautiful place, personable management, staff very accommodating.”
“We loved our stay here. The hotel was incredibly beautiful, and if we were golfers, it would have been an even better location. The beach was lovely, and the little buggy to take you there was great.”
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The handsome 49-room Hôtel d’Aubusson occupies a converted 17th-century townhouse in Saint-Germain-des-Prés (yet it is only a short walk from the Louvre and other Right Bank landmarks across the Pont Neuf footbridge). The oak-beamed grand salon just off the reception lobby contains genuine Aubusson tapestries, fine antique furniture, an exposed-beam ceiling and a mammoth stone fireplace.
Reader comments: “Excellent hotel, great location and amazingly quiet inside despite the buzz of St. Germaine de Pres. Absolutely loved the jazz bar and the longtime head waiter in the bar.”
“The location of this hotel is perfect for walking to almost everything you'd want to see and do in Paris. Front desk will arrange for a taxi if needed. Discovery Package (4-night minimum) is an excellent value and includes VIP passes for 2 people for 2 consecutive days. Jazz lounge is excellent for evening entertainment. Loved the breakfast dining room, and the staff was so friendly and accommodating! Would definitely return and recommend.”
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Breathtaking. Stylish. Impressive. Those are all words Mr. Harper has used to describe Amangani. This resort atop 7,000-foot East Gros Ventre Butte is a mere 15 minutes from downtown Jackson. A low-profile sandstone structure houses 40 guest suites featuring sitting areas with fireplaces, large redwood baths (two vanity alcoves, soaking tubs, slate showers) and covered decks. Guests enjoy a 115-foot year-round heated outdoor pool, health spa and gym.
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Baccarat Hotel New York
New York City, New York
Opened in March 2015, the Baccarat is a sophisticated and elegant property that makes a notable addition to New York’s roster of hotels. In fact, Mr. Harper calls it "a significant achievement." Set in the first 12 floors of a 50-story tower, it is located directly opposite the Museum of Modern Art. The Grand Salon is extravagantly decorated with massive chandeliers, beautiful display cases and a mica-flecked vaulted ceiling. The 114 rooms and suites, designed by Gilles & Boissier, are just as impressive, with floor-to-ceiling windows and custom-made furniture.
Reader comments: “The Baccarat is a beautiful hotel and is worth a visit."
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San Ysidro Ranch
Santa Barbara, California
Rated a rare 98 by Mr. Harper, San Ysidro Ranch has also won Readers' Choice Awards for the last five years. A sophisticated 500-acre cottage-style resort in the leafy foothills of Montecito, just outside Santa Barbara, it offers 41 handsome lodgings amid impeccably landscaped grounds. Dining venues include the award-winning indoor/outdoor Stonehouse restaurant and a bistro-bar.
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Four Seasons Hualalai
Consistently a Readers' Choice award winner, this grand resort is set on a half-mile rocky shoreline on the north Kona Coast. Four lodging crescents house 243 stylishly appointed rooms featuring lanais and lavish baths. The Four Seasons Hualalai features a spa, gym, seven pools, tennis courts, manicured Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
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The Peninsula Chicago
Steps from the world-class shopping of the Magnificent Mile stands this sophisticated luxury hotel. The 331-room property on North Michigan Avenue offers elegant, high-tech guest accommodations that have been redesigned to feature a more contemporary style. Four dining and bar venues include the indoor/outdoor Shanghai Terrace for distinctive Chinese selections.
Read more about The Peninsula Chicago
Hotel Plaza Athénée New York
New York City, New York
The distinguished Hotel Plaza Athénée is set along a quiet, tree-lined residential street on New York’s Upper East Side. The overall aesthetic is that of a European townhouse. The 143 guest accommodations are furnished with French antiques and handpainted murals. Dining options include the charming Bar Seine and the lovely restaurant Arabelle, serving inventive American cuisine.
Reader comments: “Plaza Athénée did not disappoint! We were in a beautiful suite with balcony overlooking New York City skyline! Service was very good and concierge was excellent!!!”
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The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
New York City, New York
Go for the history, stay for the charm. Built in 1930, The Carlyle is a renowned 193-room hotel located in the most desirable quarter of the Upper East Side, a block from Central Park near museums, galleries and specialty shops. The Carlyle Restaurant is decorated in a manor-house style and provides an opulent setting for a menu comprised of local seasonal ingredients. Be sure to visit Café Carlyle where classic cabaret and jazz come alive every night.
Reader comments: “We are longtime customers and love the hotel”
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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Kohala Coast, Hawaii
With beautiful grounds and an extraordinary art collection, this 252-room resort, founded in 1965 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, is located in an idyllic setting, overlooking an exquisite white-sand beach on the Kohala Coast. Beachfront Wing features a mid-century modern décor. Guests can enjoy a revitalized 18-hole Robert Trent Jones golf course, plus clubhouse, tennis club, fitness center and a new spa.
Read more about Mauna Kea Beach Hotel