These New England hotels have earned the highest praise from T+L readers.
By Aimee Tucker
May 19 2023
The Chatham Bars Inn on Cape CodPhoto Credit : Courtesy of Chatham Bars Inn
It’s no surprise to us that New England is home to some of the best hotels in the world, but we always love to see which ones make it onto mega-lists like Travel + Leisure‘s 500 Best Hotels in the World, the result of their World’s Best Awards survey. Nineteen outstanding New England properties made the list, and we were extra-pleased to see so many Yankee“Best of New England” champions included. Here’s a complete list of the winners. We’ve noted Yankee “Best of New England” wins from the past decade, plus a few lines of why we agree that these properties make the grade. How many of these New England hotels have you visited? Which ones did they miss? Let us know!
Brenton Hotel – Newport, RI
Best of New England Winner: 2022
What we said: Newport’s picture-ready harbor got the hotel it deserved when this boutique beauty opened in 2020. Located just steps from the water, the Brenton’s 57 cozy but upscale rooms and suites include many that are oriented to the sea.
Chatham Bars Inn – Chatham, MA
Best of New England Winner: 2017, 2020, 2021
What we said: Cabanas on the inn’s quarter-mile private beach jut up like sand castles, and once you’re sequestered inside or supine on a lounger in the sun, you’ll have food and beverage service at your beck and call.
The Claremont Hotel – Southwest Harbor, ME
Best of New England Winner: 2022
What we said: You’ll be impressed by the stylish, extensive, year-old makeover that’s reawakened this 1884 hotel…The spa, pool, cabanas, and restaurant deck are new, and the decor, taking a cue from Mother Nature, stimulates and soothes.
Faraway Nantucket – Nantucket, MA
Featured: Best New and Updated New England Hotels for 2023
What we said: It’s not that far away—at least not from downtown Nantucket, where it’s located just three blocks from the harbor—but Faraway, occupying a complex of historic homes, keeps its distance from the usual boutique hotel experience.
Hammetts Hotel – Newport, RI
A modern, upscale boutique hotel opened in 2020, Hammetts has quickly earned a spot on the Newport “must-stay” list thanks to its prime waterfront location, 85 industrial-chic guestrooms, and on-site art gallery.
Harraseeket Inn – Freeport, ME
Best of New England Winner: 2013
Featured: Top Inns for Winter Getaways, 10 Best Merry New England Inns for the Holidays.
What we said: A Freeport mainstay ever since it was built around a 19th-century Greek Revival house in 1984, lets you stash purchases and recharge over afternoon tea between shopping expeditions to L.L. Bean and Freeport’s outlet bonanza.
Kimpton Marlowe Hotel – Cambridge, MA
Best of New England Winner: 2018, 2020
What we said: A completely refreshed look for its guest rooms is only the latest reason to love this family- and pet-friendly boutique hotel. Located a hop, skip, and a jump from the Museum of Science, this __ caters to kids with welcome toys, pint-sized robes, and gourmet menus of their very own.
The Nantucket Hotel and Resort – Nantucket, MA
In 2012, owners Mark and Gwenn Snider marvelously renovated this longtime landmark, which first opened its doors in 1890. Today, guests enjoy luxury accommodations in their choice of one- to four-bedroom suites and one- and two-bedroom private cottages. It’s also the setting (and inspired the title) of island mega-resident Elin Hilderbrand’s latest novel, which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list, and the gathering spot for her annual Elin Hilderbrand Bucket List Weekend.
The Newbury Boston – Boston, MA
Just steps from Boston Public Garden, this renovated luxury hotel (the building was originally the first-ever Ritz Carlton Hotel) is a stylish Back Bay jewel. Its restaurant, Contessa, earned a Best of New England nod in 2022 for its glamorous interior and “menu of Northern Italian–inspired dishes like lobster capellini and Bistecca Fiorentina for two, plus buzzy cocktails.”
Pickering House Inn – Wolfeboro, NH
Best of New England Winner: 2019, 2022
What we said: Since opening in 2018, the inn has come out of the gates strong—so strong, in fact, that it was recently tabbed by Travel & Leisure as New England’s top resort hotel (and #3 in the whole country). It also appears in the seventh episode of the current season (the seventh!) of our TV series, Weekends with Yankee.
Rabbit Hill Inn – Lower Waterford, VT
Best of New England Winner: 2010, 2020
What we said: A Greek Revival gem overlooking the White Mountains, this 19-room country inn defines romance. Most rooms have fireplaces, and many feature double whirlpools and/or canopy beds. The inn also offers a farm-to-table menu in an elegant dining room.
Twin Farms – Barnard, VT
Think of Twin Farms as the ultimate all-inclusive country escape. Each room, suite, and freestanding cottage comes with a wood-burning fireplace, and some cottages also include a screened-in porch, natural-stone hot tub, or 18-foot-high cathedral windows. Farm-to-table gourmet meals are individually prepared, and activities on the resort’s 300 acres span every season. It’s no surprise Twin Farms earned the Vermont spot on our list of The Ultimate Luxury Suite in Every New England State, and it also appears in a season 4 episode of our TV series, Weekends with Yankee.
The Wauwinet – Nantucket, MA
Best of New England Winner: 2017, 2020, 2021
What we said: With its cobblestoned streets, deeply rooted maritime history, scenic lighthouses, and beautiful landscape, all framed by the Atlantic, (Nantucket) has been a travel magnet for generations. And so has the Wauwinet, which has welcomed guests to its location at the edge of a wildlife sanctuary since the 1870s. Today a Relais & Châteaux property with 32 boutique guest rooms, four cottages, and a three-bedroom house rental, it boasts an understated elegance.
Weekapaug Inn – Weekapaug, RI
Best of New England Winner: 2014, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023
What we said: The accommodations and the cuisine celebrate a sense of place at the Weekapaug Inn. In-suite views of Quonnie (Quonochontaug) Pond, the cove, and the ocean are paired with an inspired menu that incorporates the best of the region and season, from fresh-caught day boat cod to Narragansett lobster fricassee.
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club – Hardwick, MA
Best of New England Winner: 2017, 2018
What we said: Imagine: You’re soaking in the rays as your kids paddle around this resort’s main pool overlooking the ocean when a 1950s-style Good Humor truck pulls up, doling out free ice cream for all. It’s this kind of amenity that makes the Wequassett so memorable for young guests. Other highlights for wee ones and their families include a free shuttle to a secluded Cape Cod National Seashore beach, a nautical-themed playground, and movie nights.
West Street Hotel – Bar Harbor, ME
From its prime location on the downtown Bar Harbor waterfront, the 85 rooms and suites at this boutique hotel offer incredible views of Frenchman’s Bay and Bar Island, and it’s home to Maine’s only rooftop infinity edge pool.
White Elephant Nantucket – Nantucket, MA
Featured: “10 Best Seaside Inns in New England”
Expect luxury in a waterside setting at this sophisticated hotel, which first opened its doors in the 1920s. The White Elephant hotel features 67 guest rooms, garden cottages, and in-town lofts that cater perfectly to large families. Don’t miss the afternoon port and cheese tastings, and cocktails at the property’s Brant Point Grill are a must.
Winnetu Oceanside Resort – Martha’s Vineyard, MA
One of our favorite spots for beachside lodging, this Martha’s Vineyard resort is about as good as it gets for families. The 11-acre property includes two heated pools and a spa and fitness center. Organized activities, ranging from a toddler program to yoga on the lawn, are included in the accommodations, all furnished with an eye toward easy access to magnificent three-mile-long South Beach.
XV Beacon Hotel – Boston, MA
Best of New England Winner: 2017, 2018, 2020
What we said: Between drinking in views from the roof deck and draping yourself in a cashmere throw before a gas fireplace, you might start pretending this art-filled boutique hotel near Boston Common is your very own posh pied-à-terre. Even Fido will feel right at home at this four-time Best of New England winner, as well-behaved pups of all sizes are welcomed with homemade biscuits and turndown service.