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Best Hotels by Brand

Best Hotels by Brand 2014

Booking websites, travel magazines, guest reviews — with so many resources out there vying to help you plan your vacation, selecting a hotel often feels overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be that way. Frequent travelers know that there's a simple way to ensure a hotel will live up to your standards: Find a brand that offers the amenities, style and services that suit your needs, and choose from one of the hotels on its roster.

Best Hotels by Brand 2014

Opting to stay in a brand-name hotel means you can rely on the consistent experience and customer care that makes the chain successful. (You can also earn free stays and other perks should you join the rewards program.) That said, finding the best of the brand-backed bunch is a challenge in and of itself. That's where our Best Hotels by Brand rankings come in. After sifting through guidebooks, magazines and scores of expert and guest reviews, we've come up with a list of exemplary hotels throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada that not only reign supreme among their affiliated chain, but also hold their own among hundreds of other contenders on our 2014 Best Hotels rankings.

The properties on this list rank No. 1 in some of the hospitality industry's leading companies. They best exemplify the values and guest experience their chains hope to provide.

Park Hyatt Chicago (Hyatt Hotels & Resorts)

Chicago

The Chicago branch of Hyatt's luxury brand, Park Hyatt, earns consistent praise from travel professionals and guests for its seat along the Magnificent Mile, which puts this hotel within easy reach of some of the Windy City's best things to do. Many recent visitors are loyal to the Park Hyatt Chicago, insisting that it's one of the most enjoyable places to stay in the city due to its large rooms and friendly service staff. (The property's participation in the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program probably doesn't hurt either.) Some of the highlights of this hotel include the acclaimed NoMI Kitchen restaurant and the high-end NoMI Spa — both of which offer an inviting setting in which to kick back and relax.

Ritz-Carlton, Montreal (Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts)

Montreal

Ritz-Carlton, Montreal

Mont-Royal Park and McGill University provide the backdrop for this member of the Ritz-Carlton brand. Sitting in the heart of Montreal, this hotel earns high marks for its style and amenities. The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal houses a gourmet restaurant (owned by celebrity chef, Daniel Boulud), a greenhouse and a pool. Meanwhile, guests — who have in the past included heads of state and famous artists — appreciate the rooms' unique touches, like heated floors, steam showers and decor reminiscent of the early 1900s. Travelers are equally impressed by the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal's staff members, who work to meet every need.

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle (Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts)

Seattle

Compared to its counterparts across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle best showcases the characteristics of the prominent Four Seasons brand: high-end amenities, keen attention to detail and quality customer service. Located in downtown Seattle, this hotel makes a convenient home base for both business and leisure travelers. Guest rooms are sleek in design and equipped with complimentary Internet access. The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle routinely earns praise from travel experts and guests for the Pacific Northwest cuisine served at the ART Restaurant and the city views found by the rooftop infinity pool and terrace.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Rosewood Hotels & Resorts)

Vancouver, British Columbia

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Since the late 1970s, the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts group has strived to provide travelers with experiences unique to their destinations. At the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, British Columbia, concierges can help guests organize hiking and skiing trips or set up a tour of the nearby Gastown district. This Rosewood hotel also earns praise from visitors for its guest rooms, many of which offer desirable views of the city. And like its sister hotels, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia impresses guests with its Sense spa; the long list of massage therapies and skin treatments help the Rosewood's clientele relax after a day on the slopes, the trails or the town.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago (Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts)

Chicago

Although it's only been part of the Hilton group's luxury brand for a few years, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago outshines even the landmark Waldorf Astoria New York when it comes to winning over discerning travel experts and guests. This Gold Coast neighborhood property invites visitors to bed down in Italian linens, dine on bistro-style cuisine at Balsan and relax at the acclaimed Elysian Spa — all while racking up rewards points through the Hilton HHonors program. And like its fellow Waldorf Astoria properties, this Chicago hotel impresses guests with its customer service: Travelers say that the staff meets every special request with enthusiasm.

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort (St. Regis Hotels & Resorts)

Punta de Mita, Mexico

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

For the second year in a row, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort retains its reputation as the highest-rated hotel among U.S. News-ranked St. Regis properties. A member of the Starwood hospitality group's luxury brand, this resort on Mexico's Pacific coast showcases its locale through its design: Accommodations feature polished clay floors, handcrafted tiling, wooden furniture and views of the shoreline. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort boasts the makings of a relaxing Mexican getaway, including a pool, a spa and access to two nearby Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses. And because of its brand affiliations, the resort allows members of the Starwood Preferred Guest rewards program to earn and redeem points.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort (Viceroy Hotels & Resorts)

Soufrière, St. Lucia

Surrounded by the towering Pitons and sandwiched between the island's verdant jungle and golden coastline, this Viceroy resort allows Caribbean vacationers to experience the best St. Lucia has to offer. But scenery is just the half of it: Sugar Beach also houses a full PADI scuba diving facility, not to mention opportunities to go hiking, windsurfing and boating. For those who'd rather relax, the resort boasts a world-class spa, a scenic oceanfront pool and complimentary yoga sessions. Meanwhile, Sugar Beach's accommodations earn high praise from guests and travel experts alike: Guest rooms and suites are dressed head-to-toe in white and feature private plunge pools, four-post beds and personalized butler service.

Sandals Royal Plantation (Sandals Resorts)

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Sandals Royal Plantation

The Sandals brand caters to vacationers in search of all-inclusive lodging without an overbearing, cheesy atmosphere, and the Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica lives up to expectations. With only 74 suites and a no-kids-allowed policy, this Caribbean resort feels intimate and exclusive. Accommodations at the Royal Plantation come with private balconies and butler service, while room rates cover meals, rounds of golf and unlimited use of water sports equipment. Add to the mix the resort's ocean views and beach access, and it's easy to see how the Sandals Royal Plantation claimed the highest rating among all U.S. News-evaluated Sandals hotels for the second year in a row.

RiverPlace, A Kimpton Hotel (Kimpton Hotels)

Portland, Ore.

The Kimpton brand is known for its quirky decor, but RiverPlace isn't as extravagant as other hotels associated with this hospitality company. This waterfront hotel in Portland, Ore., is more demure, with guest rooms dressed in browns, blues and grays. But fans of Kimpton hotels will find the usual offerings here, including evening wine receptions, pet-friendly accommodations and benefits for InTouch loyalty club members. RiverPlace earns the No. 1 rank among Kimpton properties for its facilities, like the Three Degrees Restaurant and in-room spa services. Guests also say that the customer service here can't be beat.

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa (JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts)

Cancún, Mexico

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

A member of the Marriott Hotel Group's leading international brand, the JW Marriott Cancun offers guests a prime location along Cancún, Mexico's resort strip and a very short commute to the beach. Like at all JW Marriott properties, guests of the Cancún branch can expect the staff to be attentive and the rooms to be well-appointed. Travelers will find their accommodations equipped with private balconies, ocean views and Marriott's signature Revive Bedding. The hotel also houses a spa and nine restaurants, not to mention several pools. Plus, Marriott Rewards members can use points to pay for their stay.

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