10 of the best luxury hotels in the Americas

Looking for the best hotels in the US or the wider Americas? Whether you want to cruise the East Coast or sip mezcal in Mexico, these luxury hotels in the USA, North America and South America are worth stepping ashore for this winter. If you're heading to Florida, make sure to read our roundup of Miami's best hotel spas.

White Elephant Palm Beach

Florida, US
Credit: Chi-Thien Nguyen / Elkus Manfredi Architects

Old Florida vibes mesh with Mediterranean revival-style architecture at this 32-room boutique gem. The stately property was built in the 1920s and has been brought back to vibrant life after a full overhaul that finished late last year. A sister hotel to its much-loved namesake on Nantucket, the four-storey property has a two-metre white elephant statue – designed by Santa Fe-based artist Fredrick Prescott – to greet arrivals. Once inside, hardwood floors, Carrara marble, woven rugs and original features including the lobby fireplace create the aura of a grand private residence. Continuing this vibe at the heart of the property is a U-shaped outdoor courtyard, with a sparkling pool and al fresco dining area. The hotel’s Lola 41 restaurant serves up an eclectic menu, with plates ranging from sushi and sashimi, to beef bulgogi, and duck and waffles. It sits bang in the middle of the island, just two blocks from the Atlantic, so an exclusive partnership with Barton & Gray Mariners Club ensures access to a fleet of yachts available for charter. Alternatively, the hotel also offers guests access to a fleet of BMWs to explore terra firma.


Ocean House

Rhode Island, US

Located in the affluent coastal village of Watch Hill, the buttercup-yellow Ocean House has been the centre of social life for this exclusive New England community since 1868. Entering the hotel you feel a sense of the life that was captured when the hotel featured in the Douglas Fairbanks silent movie American Aristocracy (1916), albeit with a modern twist. Croquet players in white still do battle on the pancake flat lawn but sunbathers now recline in beachside cabanas decked out with the latest Bose speakers. Afternoon tea is still served on the balcony but guests can also sip chilled Veuve Clicquot at the Secret Garden champagne lounge.

With the harbour of Watch Hill a five-minute stroll down the hill, Ocean House also acts as a perfect jumping off point to explore the surrounding coastline. If you aren’t visiting on your own yacht, you can take advantage of the hotel’s partnership with Barton & Gray, which allows guests to use its fleet. Alternatively, you can hope to be invited on board the private yacht of the owner of Ocean House, 22.5 metre Aphrodite. Launched in 1937, she was commissioned as a Coast Guard auxiliary vessel in 1942 and has carried dignitaries including President Franklin D Roosevelt and Hollywood celebrities such as Spencer Tracy, Sir Laurence Olivier and Katharine Hepburn.


The Setai Miami Beach

Florida, US

East meets West and old meets new at The Setai. Architect Jean-Michel Gathy and designer Jaya Ibrahim brought Asian influences to their restoration and update of this 1936 landmark building. Their Asian-American fusion concept extends to everything from the grey bricks used in the lobby – saved from crumbling art deco buildings in Shanghai – to the pan-Asian menu at Jaya restaurant. Fitting, considering that setai is a contraction of selatan pantai, which means “south beach” in the Bahasa Indonesia language. The result is a peaceful haven in a busy city – no wonder it has attracted everyone from Malia Obama to Jay-Z and Bella Hadid. Book the 930-square-metre, four-bedroom penthouse suite for privacy – it also has five bathrooms, wrap-around balconies with 180-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean, South Beach and Miami, and its own lap pool. Just before sunset, head down to the three temperature-controlled garden pools, which have been laid east to west for prime views of the sun dipping below the horizon. To finish off your stay, book in to the recently opened Valmont for The Spa at The Setai for its signature $1,000 Master of Time treatment developed specifically for this hotel, which features top-tier products and specialised techniques promising a new-found feeling of youth.


Rosewood Mayakoba

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Built along winding lagoons and a mile-long arc of pristine beach, the Rosewood Mayakoba takes its eco responsibilities seriously. The hotel was recently awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certification, but that’s not to say there’s any shortage of indulgence on offer. Moor out or drop your yacht at nearby Puerto Aventuras Marina, which can take boats up to 45 metres, and jump in a chopper to the hotel.

When you’re not chilling in one of the two-person hammocks in the new family-friendly Beachside Lagoonview Suites, you can kick back in the Sense Spa, built on a sacred water well of the ancient Mayans, or join the kids on a boat Eco Tour with a biologist who will explain the awe-inspiring flora and fauna.


Four Seasons at The Surf Club

Florida, US

American tyre mogul Harvey Firestone was on his yacht off Miami Beach when he spotted the perfectly private strip of sand to build a prohibition-era hideaway. Tucked beneath the palms, the Surf Club opened to a roaring crowd on New Year’s Eve 1930 and soon became synonymous with glamour, attracting guests from Frank Sinatra to Winston Churchill.

The Four Seasons moved in in 2018, opening a luxurious new hotel with 72 rooms, five cabana suites and a residence tower with one-to four-bedroom suites. By day, bask in the sun on the wide beach or swim in one of three sparkling pools. As the sun sets sip a speciality champagne cocktail at Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar – formerly the ballroom where some of the most famous parties of the 1930s were held. Don’t leave without trying the spa – sample the tropical hammam experience with hydrating coconut and orange, giving your body a reviving taste of Florida before heading home.


The White Elephant

Massachusetts, US

The White Elephant has been a feature of the Nantucket waterfront since the 1920s. The hotel was the passion project of Nantucket socialite Elizabeth T Ludwig, who decided to buy a collection of ramshackle houses and buildings clustered on the shoreline. Her intention was to create a fine harbour-side hotel but her fellow islanders were doubtful and, predicting its failure, nicknamed the project “Ludwig’s White Elephant”. The name stuck but Ludwig had the last laugh. The now celebrated White Elephant consists of the main hotel, the White Elephant Village (a 20 room inn and 25 one, two and three bedroom residences) and two spacious lofts in the centre of town.

The cosy rooms, with harbour views, fireplaces and a sheet thread count to die for, are booked months in advance during peak periods. Highlights include a luxurious spa, the dedicated sunbathing lawn, and an elegant library which serves complementary cheese and port to guests. the hotel looks out to the Nantucket Boat Basin marina, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Nantucket summer regulars include popular charter yacht 49 metre Zoom Zoom Zoom, and 50 metre Westport Annastar.


Nobu Hotel

Florida, US

The powder-white sands of Miami Beach are already packed with ultra-luxurious hotels, but there is always room for another – especially when the latest addition is chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro’s Nobu. Decked out in cream tones with understated Japanese-inspired oral touches, the stylish pied-à-terre is just a short hop along the oceanfront from Miami’s superyacht marinas, among them One Island Park.

It goes without saying that foodies are well catered for here. The hotel’s David Rockwell-designed signature restaurant serves up Matsuhisa’s greatest hits – including black cod miso and Miami-exclusive Glacier 51 sea bass with yuzu kosho aïoli and truffle honey – to diners in softly lit, high-backed booths. Alternatively, American classics with a healthy twist are on the menu at the hotel’s whitewashed, seafront Malibu Farm, where chef Helene Henderson’s dishes include cauliflower-crust pizza and blue corn nachos.

To ensure that, after eating so well, you can still keep up with the city’s svelte artistic crowd, the gym, with views out to palm-tree-lined terraces and the ocean beyond, offers complimentary exercise classes, including radical kick-boxing and cardio dance. Alternatively, bike down to the beach and harness your inner Floridian with one of its al fresco yoga sessions in the sand. Later, take a dip in one of the hotel’s four pools or enjoy a sip from a whole fresh coconut, its water infused with pineapple rum, amid the tropical garden’s fountains and cherub statues.


Puyuhuapi Lodge

Patagonia, Chile

Slowly but surely, venturesome superyachts are straying off well-worn paths and discovering the dramatic fjords and hanging glaciers of Chilean Patagonia. Nestled in emerald vegetation around Dorita Bay, Puyuhuapi Lodge is an exclusive haven accessible only by boat. The lodge’s protected anchorage has hosted well known yachts, such as 85 metre Vibrant Curiosity and 63 metre SuRi, and its main dock can host tenders up to 18 metres to drop off guests to visit its lush waterfront hot springs and spa. Try the Queulat (“waterfall sound”) massage, and sample the bar’s exceptional pisco menu, from rhubarb to traditional sour.

The restaurant serves a fusion of Patagonian, Chilean and Mediterranean dishes, featuring homegrown produce and fresh king crab and salmon caught in the fjords. For a night onshore, stay in the captain’s suite – its balcony opens out to dazzling fjord views and, with no television, phones or internet, you can totally disconnect.


Faena Hotel

Florida, US

Perched on Miami’s beachfront, Faena is a fantastical vision in ruby and turquoise with glittering chandeliers and even a golden unicorn. It’s a wonderland for the art-inclined: a gilded Damien Hirst sculpture of a woolly mammoth dominates the garden; director Baz Luhrmann consulted on the jaw-dropping interior and the Faena Theatre puts on spectacular shows.

Dedicated butlers service every floor and doting pool attendants wash the sand off your feet while you lounge. Indulge in the Tree of Life Vibrations therapy at the Tierra Santa Spa – a blend of sound healing and massage – then take in ocean views and award winning Asian fusion fare at chef Paul Qui’s Pao restaurant, where fresh fish and meats are seared at your table over Japanese binchotan charcoal. Beyond the hotel an art gallery and a high-end shopping bazaar await.


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