Patricia Schultz's Five Favorite Hotels in the U.S.:

When you've written (and rewritten) the world's #1 travel guide/bucket list '1,000 Places to See Before You Die' and traveled to literally thousands of hotels, national parks and other landmark destinations, being asked to pick your top five of anything probably seems like an exercise in futility. Yet I asked anyway, and bestselling author Patricia Schultz happily complied.

Here's are her five favorite U.S. hotels:
Blackberry Farm - Walland, TN - "We had the best romantic and culinary weekend at this well-known rural hideaway in Tennessee, but I dream of coming back with my three generations of family for a longer stay. With 4,200 acres of serene countryside that is gorgeous in every season (and electric golf carts that don't disturb the vibe) abutting the Great Smokies National Park, there is truly something for everyone - and plenty of old-timey Appalachian hospitality. Much of what is served in the handsome barn-turned-restaurant at this gastronomic mecca is grown, raised or made on the grounds. I think I would call ahead and make sure my horse Harley is available -- I think they keep him on standby for us NYC folks."
Hay-Adams Hotel - Washington, DC - "Embodying the very essence of our nation's capital, the stately Hay Adams Hotel sits just across the street on Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. In fact, a few choice guestrooms overlook our nation's most prestigious address. This is as close as you'll get to a personal invitation from the First Lady to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. The 1927 hotel lobby is always abuzz with prominent politicos, their entourages and visiting heads of state (the not-so-invisible secret service proof that someone of import has checked in and it isn't you). Impeccable service treats every guest equally, further proof that you are in the capital's hostelry of choice."

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Mohonk Mountain House - New Paltz, NY - "New Yorkers simply refer to it as "Mohonk," the rambling Hudson Valley retreat that they all long to escape to -- just 90-minutes and as many light years away from the City's stress and concrete. One of the country's few remaining great 19th-century mountain houses and on the shores of a small glacial lake, it has been owned by the same Quaker family since 1869, who have kept the rooms TV-free and the emphasis on slowing down and recharging. The state-of-the-art spa blends seamlessly with the forested surroundings, and is always busy -- once you've spent the day ice-skating or taking to the 40 miles of biking trails (and twice as many for hiking) from their doorstep. It is a blissful place to be."
The Inn at Shaker Village - Harrodsburg, KY - "Kentucky's rolling, Blue Grass beauty deserves to be seen and The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (half an hour from Lexington) is the perfect overnight base to sample the region's timeless, historic charm. The Inn's 70 rooms are spread across 13 handsome 19th-century buildings sprinkled across the 3,000 acres that make up America's largest and most completely restored Shaker community. Guests dine by candlelight on Shaker specialties with many of the ingredients coming from the village's organic garden, mimicking the time when there were once some 500 religious members dwelling here in the 1800s. Simplicity and peacefulness were their way of life, and one can imagine their life here, on what they considered a little bit of heaven on earth."
The Post Ranch Inn - Big Sur, CA - "California's Pacific Coast Highway is America's Dream Drive, and as the designated driver, I felt like I had missed out on some of the drama and thrill -- until we checked into the Post Ranch Inn. Stunningly situated 1,200 feet above the Pacific, you needn't leave your spacious guestroom (most with indoor spa tubs) for vast vistas and pretty much guaranteed sunsets not to be missed. Charming Carmel and Monterey are an easy drive away, but we stayed put for memorable dinners at Sierra Mar and the chance to sample their great wine cellar -- without having to navigate the twists and turns of the coastal highway."
Post Ranch Inn
Patricia Schultz is a veteran travel journalist, who has written for The Wall Street Journal, Everyday with Rachel Ray and Travel Weekly. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel TV show based on her New York Times bestseller '1,000 Places to See Before You Die'.

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