Whether by a lake or the sea, there’s something special about vacationing on the waterfront. These top 10 best hotels sit right on the water and offer their guests stellar views to go along with aquatic adventures, culinary delights and luxurious amenities. Awarded the Pursuitist Platinum badge for the “best of the best” in luxury, these are the Top 10 Best Waterfront Hotels For 2020.
10. The Chanler at Cliff Walk – Newport, R.I.
This opulent 19th century mansion located in Newport offers a peek at the Golden Age while delivering 21st century comfort. Perched on the famous Cliff Walk, the Chanler is a European-styled boutique hotel with 20 exquisitely appointed guest rooms, each unique to itself. Rooms feature fireplaces, wet bars, luxurious stone bathrooms with heated floors and a six-jetted shower system, or rain shower.
9. Castle Hill Inn – Newport, R.I.
A classic New England retreat, Castle Hill Inn sits atop a peninsula on the westernmost tip of Newport, with stunning views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and East Passage. The historic inn was the original summer home of naturalist Alexander Agassiz, who commissioned the “cottage” in 1874.
8. Stephanie Inn – Cannon Beach, Ore.
According to the folks at the Stephanie Inn, the 41 luxury guest rooms are just 28 steps from the beach. The exact number may vary, but Cannon Beach’s iconic Haystack Rock looks like it’s just outside the windows. Bonus amenities include gas fireplaces in every room and Jacuzzi Pure Air Baths, some of which enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean.
7. Fairmont Kea Lani – Maui, Hawaii
Home to one of Maui’s best spas (and one of Hawaii’s best restaurants), Fairmont Kea Lani sits on 22 lush acres of the Wailea coast as the state’s only all-suite and villa oceanfront resort. Resort amenities include three swimming pools, a kids club, wellness classes, beach activities and nearby championship golf.
6. Four Seasons Resort Lanai – Lanai City, Hawaii
The Four Seasons Resort Lanai sits on a red-lava cliff, perched above a white sand beach near a marine preserve on the quiet island of Lanai. Guests learn about local heritage through the Hookipa Cultural Program between rounds of golf on the resort’s award-winning courses, tennis clinics or meals at one of eight bars and restaurants, included NOBU.
5. Lake Pointe Inn – McHenry, Md.
Maryland’s Lake Pointe Inn sits along the 65-mile shoreline of Deep Creek Lake. Guests are invited to relax lakeside next to an outdoor fire pit or in a rocking chair on the wrap-around porch. The luxury bed and breakfast provides daily pontoon cruises (weather permitting), kayaks, canoes and bicycles for exploring the surrounding natural beauty.
4. Acqualina Resort & Spa – Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Located on the Florida Riviera, this award-winning Miami resort’s setting resembles an all-inclusive villa, with a vast tropical beachfront and luxurious extras like fresh fruit and homemade biscotti delivered to the rooms, a marine biology-based children’s program and heavenly spa access. Lavish accommodations boast stunning views, while three pools add to the appeal.
3. Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa – Lake Placid, N.Y.
Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa sits directly on the banks of Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, just one block away from Main Street, making it an ideal base for exploring the Upstate town’s Olympic heritage. Guests have free reign of indoor and outdoor pools, a private sandy beach, tennis court, fitness center and a boat house equipped with paddle boards, kayaks, row boats and canoes.
2. Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel – Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Located in the heart of New York’s scenic Finger Lakes Wine Country, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel offers upscale accommodations on the shores of Seneca Lake. The hotel features a fitness center, indoor heated pool, nightly turn down service and patio dining with views over the lake (weather permitting).
1. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island – Amelia Island, Fla.
The luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is situated on a barrier island just thirty minutes from the Jacksonville International Airport, with miles of untouched beaches just steps from each room’s private balcony. Add to that an award-winning spa, championship golf, a kids program and numerous ocean sports, and you have one blissful waterside retreat.
What’s your favorite waterfront hotel? Share your preferred water-based destination in the comments below.
Christopher Parr, is the Editor and Chief Content Creator for Pursuitist, and a contributing writer to USA Today, Business Insider — and the on-air host of Travel Tuesday on Live at 4 CBS. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. USA Today has named him one of the “Top 10 Luxury Travel Bloggers” — and Madison Magazine honored him as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison.”