The Great American Hotel

From poolside drinks and afternoon tea to beautifully ornamented guest rooms complete with crystal chandeliers, these are the country's swankiest, most dazzling hotels.

There are hotels that are merely places to lay your head before you trip off to your actual destination. And then there are hotels that are the des­tination. Here, we present four of America’s greatest, grandest hotels, beacons of luxury and nearly vanished grandeur. Each dazzles with its own brand of opulence that goes beyond the gilt, the gracious staff, and the legacy-laden guestbook. These hotels are about a feeling—one that’s hard to find in these days of hurry-up-and-go travel. They bring vacations back to the magnificent basics: Pack, travel, arrive and, simply, stay.

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