Remember when I promised a list of the U.S. hotels* I want to stay at when I win the lottery? This is it. I chose hotels I am personally familiar with; there are many just as exclusive places -- certainly much more expensive ones -- to stay in this country, but I was not going to go hunt down lists of the most select hotels just for this post. For example, I really want to go back to Hawaii, but I don't have a particular resort I dream about.
Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California.
Really, I could just stop here. I have loved this building since the first time I saw it. For some reason it reminds me of some older Florida architecture -- The Grand Floridian at Disney World is modeled on the Hotel Del and looks completely at home in its surroundings. I want to stay at this hotel more than any other in the country. Maybe any other in the world. And it's right on the beach! How can it be more perfect?
Vinoy Renaissance, St. Petersburg, Florida.
The Vinoy is a wonderful addition to downtown St. Pete, and I remember just how close it came to being demolished. I always love historic preservation efforts that succeed -- in Florida there are too many cases where they don't.
It's the freakin' Waldorf, dude. (Although I would love to hang out at the restaurant in the Algonquin, inspired by the ghost of Dorothy Parker.)
The Bellagio, Las Vegas.
I love the Bellagio's refinement in contrast to some other Vegas casinos (at least those that were around when it was built -- the Venetian looks pretty good, as well) -- and, of course, there are the fountains.
The Breakers, Palm Beach.
Doesn't every Floridian want to stay at The Breakers? In addition to the luxury and the architecture, oil and railroad magnate Henry Flagler made South Florida, for good or ill.
Hay-Adams, Washington D.C.
I had the good fortune to eat at the restaurant at the Hay-Adams; The Rocket Scientist and I had our tenth-anniversary dinner there. It would be great to actually sleep there.
Little Palm Island, Little Torch Key, Florida.
Just look at the pictures.
Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island, Georgia.
I have to admit, the main reason I want to stay here is that I love Cumberland Island, but I am completely over camping, and the Greyfield Inn is the only other option. The fact that it is a) historical and b) luxurious, does not hurt.
Ahwhanee Hotel, Yosemite National Park.
See my comment about the Greyfield Inn, above. I have seen the lobbies of several National Park hotels, but Ahwhanee is the best. Gorgeous. And it's in Yosemite.
Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Once again, history has its attractions: Greenbrier was founded in 1778 and has a long and storied past.
I am sure that I might get a chance to stay in a couple of these sometime down the line (although as long as we are paying college tuition, that's pretty unlikely).
So I have my U.S. tour all mapped out, with National Parks and resort hotels. I think that covers everything.
*There is another list of international hotels I want to stay at -- starting with the luxury hotel located on Easter Island.