“We are seeing more and more requests for adventure. Guests want to do something different, out of the box,” said Dennis Lesko, the Broadmoor’s marketing vice president. “If it’s not in our repertoire, we’ll improvise.”
For some, like North Carolina’s Inn on Biltmore Estate, where a new exhibit focuses on the Vanderbilt family who built it, sense of place is a birthright. This year the Beverly Hills Hotel highlights its centennial with historic photos in the remodeled lobby and cocktails inspired by celebrity guests like Marilyn Monroe. But younger competitors aim to cultivate authenticity, too. New initiatives at The Boulders resort near Scottsdale, Arizona, capitalize on the desert locale with stargazing sessions, astrology-themed wine dinners, night bicycle rides, photo tours, and guided walks through the 12-million-year-old namesake rocks.
Top 10 U.S.Business Hotels
1. Four Seasons Hotel Miami
(800) 819-5053, fourseasons.com/miami
2. Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
(800) 468-3533, hoteldel.com
3. The Waldorf=Astoria, New York
(800) 925-3673, waldorfnewyork.com
4. Park Hyatt Chicago
(877) 875-4658, parkchicago.hyatt.com
5. Rosewood Crescent Hotel, Dallas
(888) 767-3966, rosewoodcrescent.com
6. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco(800) 819-5053,fourseasons.com/sanfrancisco
7. The Peninsula Chicago
(866) 288-8889, peninsula.com/chicago
8. Las Vegas Hilton Hotel & Casino
(888) 732-7117, thelvh.com
9. Grand Hyatt New York
(800) 233-1234, grandhyattnewyork.com
10. Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida
(800) 915-1926, biltmorehotel.com
Food and beverage programs delve deepest into local culture. At the JW Marriott Camelback Inn resort & spa in Scottsdale, guests can take a new tour of the culinary garden and pick herbs to shake up in a farm-to-glass cocktail. Tequila dinners highlight the mingling of Texan and Mexican cultures at Cibolo Moon in the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, helping the restaurant earn unique-to-Texas certification by the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico. The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas just released a cookbook, and Auberge du Soleil in California’s Napa Valley is newly retailing its chef’s acclaimed pastries and candy.
Sensitive to the time-crunch most travelers experience, the Four Seasons Hotel Boston pioneered a 15-minute room-service menu that has recently been adopted brand-wide. Last winter, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado launched a beer tent next to the lifts for brats and house-made pretzels between runs.
Exclusivity emerged as another front-running trend, epitomized by private cooking classes with chef Jacob Anaya of Azul, the signature restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Miami.
Wellness, too, remains important to guests, a focus of The Phoenician in Scottsdale, which recently renovated its fitness center and expanded it to 24 hours daily. New York’s the waldorf=Astoria introduced a “Wellness Lounge” at its Guerlain Spa, featuring light, locally sourced ingredients plus a signature seasonal cocktail, all available to order on iPads, blending localism, tech-savvy, and health.