I’ve always had a fascination with America’s most unique hotels and resorts. I have nothing against staying at an ordinary Holiday Inn but there’s something magical about visiting a highly themed hotel that’s unlike any where you’ve ever been before. Bigger isn’t always better but you may want to discover America’s 25 largest resorts. You’d be surprised to see how cool of a place you could stay on such a limited budget.
To start with…
- Choice Hotels: These “no thrill” hotels are located all across the country and can be trusted by their well known names. I always like to go with a brand I can trust for great service as well as clean and decent accommodations and any of the Choice hotels are just that. These include: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban, Econo Lodge, and Roadway Inn.
- Priceline Hotels: You get the opportunity to pick your own price when using Priceline’s popular hotel booking services.
- Hotels.com: Featuring over 145,000 properties worldwide, Hotels.com is one of the best places not there to book hotel accomodations.
- Marriott: With 18 different brands and Marriott International’s 3,700 properties around the world, you are sure to find one of their hotels near you.
- LateRooms: This site allows you to find last-minute bargains.
- TripAdvisor: It’s always a good idea to check TripAdvisor, the world’s largest hotel-review site, to discover over 50 million reviews, most of which are from your typical traveler. TripAdvisor doesn’t actually sell rooms from their site, instead they link to partner sites.
- BedandBreakfast: This site shares details and deals on small inns and B&Bs. They also allow you to search for specific ammenities.
- HomeAway: Groups or large families may want to consider getting a spacious vacation home that offers plenty of amenities.
- Hostelz: While there are very few hostels in most large American cities, this site shares over 40,000 hostels located throughout the world, including reviews from professional and regular travelers.
- Hotel Tonight: This incredible iPhone app is well worth checking out for those looking for a last minute booking in a major US city.
Hotels With Water parks
Hotels with indoor water parks have become very popular in the 21st century. Great Wolf Lodge Check out my list of America’s 20 Largest Indoor Water Parks.
-Atlantis Paradise Island is actually located in Nassau, Bahamas but I still added it to this USA travel site because it is one of my all time favorite resorts in the entire world!
Wilderness at The Smokies Indoor Waterpark Resort in Sevierville, TN.
Other Great Places To Stay
The Circus Circus, Las Vegas – This 3 star hotel and casino is located is a little run down but what makes it so unique is that is home to one of the only indoor theme parks in the world!. It is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International. Circus Circus features circus acts and carnival type games daily on the Midway. Circus Circus has the only RV park on the Strip providing additional accommodations in the 399 space park. It is the largest permanent big top in the world. The Lucky The Clown marquee at the entrance was provided by Young Electric Sign Company, and was constructed in 1976.
Gaylord Opryland, Nashville – Of the four Gaylord hotels, which are known for their lavish accomodations and beautiful indoor atriums, Gaylord Opryland stands out as the largest and most interesting. This hotel opened as The Opryland Hotel in 1977 and was expanded multiple times to eventually include 2,881 guest rooms and suites. One of the largest hotels outside of Las Vegas, this resort was chosen for the second spot on the list because of it’s three artiums. The Delta is the largest atrium in the resort and features the Delta Riverboats guided tour of the indoor river. The Delta features a coreographed fountain show twice nightly as well as many dining and retail choices. Free: Admission to the indoor atriums. is the largest non-gaming, in-hotel exhibition space in the world and one of the largest hotels in the US outside of Las Vegas with 2,881 rooms, including 220 suites.
Gaylord Palms, Orlando – Located just 1.5 miles from the grand entrance of Walt Disney World, 1,406 guest rooms are located here, many of which have a private porch overlooking one of the three indoor atriums, which are theemed to the Everglades, Key West, and St. Augustine.
Wynn, Las Vegas – One of the finest resorts in town is Wynn Las Vegas (2005) covering 215 acres, this resort houses 2,716 rooms and suites, a 111,000 sq ft casino, a convention center with 223,000 sq ft of space, entertainment at Le Rêve, the Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati, an 18-hole on-site championship golf course and 76,000 sq ft of retail space, standing at a height of 614 ft with 45 floors. Enjoy the two large pools, The Spa at Wynn Las Vegas, which has 45 treatment rooms, a barbershop and a salon. Upscale shopping can be found at Wynn Esplanade.
Wilderness Lodge, Orlando is not on the monorail track but is the cheapest of the deluxe resort options and offers a close proximity to the four WDW theme parks, incredible theming
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas – It’s no secret that Vegas’ mega resorts are eliminating and revamping the classic, distinctively themed hotels, to have an ultra modern vibe. Fortunately, Caesars greek theme won’t be going away anytime soon.
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago – Trump’s biggest, badest hotel ever stands out in the winds city. It opened on January 30, 2008 and was completed in 2009. This is the highest residence above ground-level standing tall at 98 stories, giving it the title of second tallest building in the United States after Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly named Sear’s Tower). It’s 1,362 feet high and has 2,600,000 sq. ft. of floor space, 339 guest rooms, retail space, 486 condominiums and a parking garage. The Spa at Trump is a 23,000 sq. ft. spa. Free: look around the lobby and admire the height of this huge building.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando opened on April 16, 2001 and was later expanded to include 1,307 rooms and suites. This African themed resort was ranked number one on our list because of it’s very own authentic African Savanna. Guest can observe African animals right from their very own room. African style cooking is served at the two major restaurants, Jiko: The Cooking Place and Boma: Flavors of Africa. Free: Come see the animals.
A taste of Africa in the heart of Florida.
The Bellagio, Las Vegas – In a city with 197,144 slot machines, the Bellagio continues to stand out. Gambler or not (87% of visitors say they end up gambling). The Bellagio is a 30-story hotel and casino themed to Bellagio, Italy. Home to The Fountains of Bellagio (see above), Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, 3,933 rooms and 512 suites & 116,000 sq ft casino. Step into the 1,800-seat showroom which is home to “O” from Cirque du Soleil. Amenities include five pools and four Jacuzzis, Spa Bellagio, a 65,000-square-foot spa offers multiple types of massages and services in its 56 treatment rooms. The spa also offers a 6,000-square-foot fitness facility, 1,000-square-foot exercise room and salon. Via Bellagio offers upscale shops within the hotel.
The Grand Floridean, Orlando – I will never forget the day-October 18,2010-when I took my first step into the lobby of Walt Disney World’s) flagship resort. Even if you are not staying here (prices typically start around $400), I highly recommend driving or taking the monorail (which runs from Epcot, The Magic Kingdom, The Contemporary or The Polynesian) to dine at this magical palace. We always like to plan an off day from the parks to head to Downtown Disney, Disney’s Bordwalk, and check out a few of the resorts that we’d consider staying at on future vacations.
*I have eaten at some very good restaurants throughout WDW and The Grand Floridian Café remains one of my favorites. I got the Cobb salad for $14.49 with all my favorites.
The lobby of The Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando, FL.
Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Drum roll please….and the NUMBER ONE hotel in the entire US of A is….The Aria (2009) at CityCenter in Las Vegas. This clean, modern retreat, rises a breathtaking 61-stories out of the ground, showcasing clean lines, and located in a prominent location. Affluent or not, you have no excuse not to splurge on a night at this trendy five star hotel. Since its opening on December 16, 2009 with 4,004 rooms, including 568 suites, in two towers. It’s the largest hotel in the world to receive LEED Gold Certification, its smart rooms automatically adjust curtains, turn off unused lights and electronics, and regulate the temperature when a guest enters or leaves a room! This development is part of a massive 76 acre mixed-use devopment called CityCenter. Prominently located in the heart of the strip, CityCenter is practically an attraction within itself with attractions including the 500, 000 sq. ft. Crystals retail and entertainment district, along with four other hotel and residential developments. 150,000 square feet of gaming area, an 80,000 sq. ft. 2 level spa, a three-story 300,000 sq ft. convention center.
Near The US
Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau – One of the most extraordinary, awe inspiring my favorite places in the world. No, it’s not located in the US but it’s very close, being located in Nassau, Bahamas. The rich and famous love it here and I know you will too, but be prepared because they are ready to take your last dime. With the right tactic, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get to visit this place. Just imagine… sitting outside your balcony door, overlooking beautiful beaches and a water park unlike any other. The state of the art waterpark opened in 2007 and As a child I can remember seeing the commercials for this place and continued to get in the buzz about ti until I finally started to plan a trip their. I was a little uneasy about it though because I didn’t know where to start out. Come to find out you must have a passport and if you want to stay in the main building (Royal Towers) you‘re looking at paying $500 or more a night, which seemed outrageous. But I knew that this was a once in a life time, must-see experience, so soon after I was exploring the Disney Cruise Line (another experience we had been considering for a while but weren’t sure when to go) and found out that their two newest ships, Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy, only go to the Bahamas, which was tops on our bucket list! If you want to see Atlantis on a budget, get your own feet into the sand of the Bahamas and go on a Disney cruise (or any cruise to the Bahamas for that matter) then book a three night cruise to the Caribbean on the Disney Dream, a brand spank ‘n new luxury cruise ship that welcomes, but is not limited to, families of every age. Both cruise ships feature an innovative, one of a kind experience, called the Aqua Duck, which is a clear waterslide that takes you out over the side of the ship. The entire complex is just breathtaking because it’s unlike anything else on the planet (Well…upon visiting their site you’ll find out that they have another location in Dubai that opened in 2008 and features a similar concept). Any who… every family should visit Atlantis. AtDon’t compromise on such an exclusive experience and consider taking part in Atlantis Live, a concert ceries that brings in top performers of every music genre. Past performers include Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Lady Antebellum, and Taylor Swift. Read my blog post on Atlantis paradise Island for my complete review.
Who wishes they could stay here at the Tower of Terror at Disney? Oh well!