The second I saw a photo of the Amangiri in Utah pop on my feed, I knew I had to stay there one day.
And then I looked up the nightly price and immediately marked it as “for the future when I’m rich AF” category. I’ll get there, one day. It’s one of the top bucket list resorts in the United States.
But, thankfully, there are many other stunning and utterly unique bucket list hotels in the USA for us mere peasants to visit without spending 3 months rent on a single night.
These are all the best hotels in the USA and Canada that are on my bucket list, and should be on yours.
20 Coolest Bucket List Hotels In The USA To Visit Before You Die
Ross Lake Resort
This is less of a bucket list unique find and more of a bucket list gotta hit kind of place. Ross Lake Resort is without a doubt the absolute best place to stay in the North Cascade Mountains.
It’s not a lake view. You just are literally on the lake. All of the amazing hotel rooms are situated in one of the fifteen floating cabins that look out directly at the Cascades.
The resort offers fishing, hiking, boating and paddling, so you definitely won’t be bored. Just be sure to book quickly– the on-season only lasts from mid-June to October, so they book up quickly.
The Inn at Newport Ranch
The Inn at Newport Ranch is advertised as “Where Land Ends,” while I get it sounds pretty cheesy, it’s totally accurate. We stayed a few years back, and absolutely loved our experience.
If you're looking for luxury hotels, this Mendocino boutique inn is one of the most luxurious hotels in North America and is a totally unique experience. The rooms are beyond gorgeous and homey, but aren’t why people save their dollar to stay here.
It’s all about the views. This inn is located on 2,000 acres of property that stretches towards a dramatic California coast. They have wine tastings, a farm-to-table restaurant, and arts and craft activities that make this among one of the cooler hotels for couples.
Plus, if this past Valentine’s Day was especially special, The Inn at Newport makes for a stunning wedding venue.
But seriously - my FAVE hotel in one of my favorite coastal towns in Mendocino.
The World Famous Clown Motel
Okay, just hear me out. This is one of the most unusual hotels in the US! It’s an easy bucket list addition! Even if it is beyond creepy.
The World Famous Clown Motel certainly isn’t a Four Seasons Hotel, but then again, that’s what makes it awesome. The, you guessed it, clown themed decor fills all rooms, the outdoor space, the lounge, and the front desk.
Plus, Tonopah, NV (where the motel is located) is only about a three hour drive from Vegas. Think of it as a sideshow attraction, or a great stop for photos. Just don’t watch It beforehand.
Fairmont Banff Springs
To start off the Canadian hotel bucket list, let’s hit the prestigious Fairmont Banff Springs first. Located square in the middle of Banff National Park, there isn’t an ugly view to look at.
This is super romantic. Beyond just the exterior views, the place is littered with tiny fireplace nooks and gorgeous leather upholstery.
And there’s tons to do. What makes this hotel most special is the activities. Golf, the spa, skiing, and tons of dining options means a packed trip no matter what season you visit.
Hotel de Glace
Just outside Quebec City, Hotel de Glace will round out Canada to make this a well-rounded list of some of the best hotels in North America, not just the US.
Still, Hotel de Glace is definitely a different type of experience. Chillier, if I had to put it in one word. Guests spend their nights in the fanciest ice huts known to mankind.
Don’t worry, you won’t freeze to death. All rooms come with top of the line heated sleeping bags and the real mattresses sit on top of wood slats. The more premium rooms come with private hot tubs.
Enjoy the ice bar, hot tubs, ice carving, and of course, plenty of snow. There's so many fun things to do in Quebec City in the winter and this hotel is the most unique!
Post Ranch Inn
This is the one of the hotels to visit when you need a break from the grind culture. The Post Ranch Inn has neither televisions nor alarm clocks so you can fully lock into your relaxation. Plus, some reviews report cell service isn’t that great so high up in Big Sur.
Post Ranch is on here for the bougie AF luxury resort experience. This is the ultimate unwind station, and guests are encouraged to enjoy spa treatments, wellness activities, delicious food, and plenty of beautiful views.
The suites are super individualized and large, which means a higher rate than some of the other hotels on this list. Try to book during the off-season in order to get better rates, especially if you can easily road trip from San Francisco anytime of the year.
Jules' Undersea Lodge
Unique hotel experiences on land are one thing. How about an experience underwater?
The Jules’ Undersea Lodge is one you’re gonna have to save up for. It turns out sleeping in an Undersea Lodge doesn’t come cheap. However, sleeping among the fish definitely isn’t an everyday thing.
The lodge comes with two bedrooms, a common room, bathroom, and kitchenette. Plus, they will send a diver down to deliver pizza directly to your door.
Frying Pan Tower
The Frying Pan Tower is not for the faint of heart. This spot isn’t quite a hotel, but as the name suggests, is more of a tower.
A little over thirty miles off the coast of North Carolina, you’ll stay 135 feet above the water in a spacious lodging center built for Mariners safety in the Atlantic.
This is on the bucket list because when else in your life can you stay completely alone in the middle of the ocean above the sea like this? Plus, there’s plenty of activities from family-style dinners from fresh caught fish, card games, darts, and hitting eco-friendly golf balls off the roof.
The lodging fits sixteen people, so be sure to bring some friends!
Okay, back to the "for the future when I'm rich AF" category. The Amangiri. Where to even begin with one of the best hotels in the world.
Let’s start with the vibes. Everything is sand colored to match the aesthetic of the desert that surrounds the entire hotel. Each room is surrounded by clean-lined stone and perfectly coordinated to the desert escape atmosphere.
The pool is surrounded by gorgeous lounge chairs and daybeds and overlooks the stunning desert Utah views. This really is an experience of a lifetime, and I would suggest saving for it over a period of time so you can add on activities through the hotel to squeeze every drop of life out of your stay.
Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Of all the places on here, Beckham Creek Cave Lodge is probably the most expensive. That being said, you are paying to stay in one of the coolest hotels across the world. And it’s super private, too.
Beckham Creek is a completely gutted, decked out cave overlooking the valley in the Ozarks. You’ll watch TV with stalagmites hanging above your head and eat breakfast next to ancient rock formations. It’s a lot more glamorous than I’m making it sound.
With close proximity to the Ozarks and plenty of room for all of your friends (it sleeps eight), it would be impossible to have anything besides an amazing time.
If you’re looking for some unique aesthetics, The Madonna Inn has you covered. It’s one of my list of the 20 Unique Things To Do In San Luis Obispo: Your Complete City Guide To SLO.
But it’s most famous for its sparkly, pink, gold, and all-around dazzling decor. Some of the guest bathrooms even include a built in real stone wall.
The Madonna Inn may be one of the most unusual hotels in the USA in terms of decor, but beyond that it is a knock out hotel. Amenities include a beautiful pool and hottub, a restaurant and swanky bar, and plenty of fun lounge areas around the hotel.
Plus, you’ll be a quick drive from Pismo Beach and wine country in Edna Valley. If you have a car with you, there’s always the option to do a quick day trip to Santa Barbara.
The Stanley Hotel
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That is exactly why you should treat yourself to a vacation in Estes Park, CO at the world famous Stanley Hotel.
The purpose behind a trip to The Stanley Hotel goes way beyond gorgeous views and spa treatments. The Stanley Hotel is where Kubrick shot The Shining! Murderous twins, a zombified woman in room 217, rivers of blood pouring down the hallways– this place has it all.
Seriously though, this is one of the best hotel experiences in the USA and a total fan favorite. They lead theatrical Shining tours everyday and totally buy into the lore.
No other hotel in the world so readily accepts the myth that they are haunted. Do yourself a favor and go be spooked for a weekend! Just don’t go into room 217.
PS - it's a couple hours drive from Boulder and Denver so make sure to rent a car!
Idaho Potato Hotel
Ever had the desire to stay overnight in a giant potato? No? Well, you should think about booking the Idaho Potato Hotel anyways. Or at least adding it to your bucket list!!
This is one of the most unique getaways in the USA. The giant potato used to be a tourist attraction and was recycled to become a chic Airbnb rental. Fake potato sustainability!
The hotel located in the potato is completely heated (something I never thought I’d write) and there is a tricked out spa silo next door for the bathroom and running water.
The very private room itself is surprisingly adorable and sits on farmland just outside of downtown Boise.
If you have extra time on your Idaho road trip, check out nearby Sun Valley / Ketchum!
Washington School House
If you’ve still got the ski bug, head to Park City, UT but skip the ski resort. Hear me out– Washington Schoolhouse has everything a ski resort has, but doubles as one of the coolest hotels in the USA.
This completely renovated building has been around since the 1800s and somehow they’ve managed to make it one of the most beautiful hotels in Utah.
While the building itself is the same original quarried limestone, the interior of the building includes completely new furniture and a clean, cozy design. Guest rooms are nicely furnished with handpicked furniture to match the classic vibe.
Of course, there are tons of amenities including a heated pool, hot tub, complimentary apres-ski treats and breakfast, and an outdoor fire pit on the real torch from the 2002 Park City Olympics.
OH, and if you happen to be visiting Utah in the autumn, there are so many stunning Utah fall foliage spots and Park City is one of them!! There's also nearby Homestead Crater which is a bucket list spot in itself.
Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection
One of the best travel tips I ever got was to visit upstate New York when planning a New York City vacation. It’s so underrated and is a guaranteed good time.
Wildflower Farms is one of the best luxury resorts in the USA for couples. It’s definitely on the pricier end of this list, but is a must visit at least once in your life.
The hotel is located on, shocker, a farm! Guests have access to gorgeous mid-century modern suites and tons of relaxing activities including a make your own focaccia class, ice climbing, hiking on property, a distillery tour, and so much more.
The service spa and pool are a five star hotel experience in NY without having to go to the Plaza Hotel. Plus, it’s gorgeous here anytime of year. Snow in the winter, fall foliage, or the gorgeous flowers of summer, there are no bad options.
Memphis Bass Pro Hotel
Besides Disney World in Orlando, the Big Cypress Lodge Memphis Bass Pro Hotel is up there as one of the best themed hotels in the South. With their absolute commitment to the Bass Pro theme, it’s certainly one of the most unique resorts in the USA.
The hotel is located in a massive Vegas-style pyramid that is full of stuff to do. There is bowling, a shooting range, an archery range, fitness center and so much more to do in this lodge that feels right out of a fishy fever dream.
The hotel rooms are lovely and the rooftop bar has a beautiful view of Memphis, so it’s not all just taxidermy deer heads and fishing poles.
The hotel is located right in downtown Memphis, so there’s plenty to do in the area. If national parks are on your mind, The Great Smoky Mountains are a day’s trip away.
When thinking about a hotel stay, most people probably imagine, well, an actual hotel. The Hobo Inn near Mount Rainier is a bit more outside the box.
All guests at the Hobo Inn stay in their very own train car! It has all the regular amenities of a hotel room, just transferred into your own cozy little train car.
It’s not exactly a Park Inn stay, but this is all about the photo ops and the once in a lifetime experience of sleeping in an abandoned train.
Plus, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the inn, which is super helpful if Mount Rainier is the main purpose of your stay.
The summer is approaching sooner than we all think. Consider visiting Martha’s Vineyard for a classic East Coast vacation!
This island is known for craft beer, amazing views, and the Narragansett House Hotel. This place is like an institution for frequent Martha Vineyard-ers, known for its porch rocking chairs, unique lavender layout, and beachy rooms.
It’s not exactly a beach resort (it’s a short walk to Oak Bluffs beach), but the town of Oak Bluffs is why people stay here, and you’ll be right in the thick of it.
Plus, you never know. You might run into the Obamas. They visit Oak Bluffs every summer, making it one of the top bucket list vacations in the USA.
Dream South Beach
While we’re on the East Coast, let’s talk about Dream South Beach in Miami. This is one of the most unique hotels in the world, as it has a sick, modern design that is totally unique to this hotel.
Every room has its own color scheme, including the colors of the lights. It’s a pretty new hotel, so you can rely on a high quality when it comes to lodging.
The pool is insanely beautiful and has plenty of daybeds to rent. It’s a short walk or ride to Miami Beach, and is the best way to feel like you’re in South America temperature-wise without paying for an international flight.
Ace Hotel New York
The Ace Hotel is the spot for a boutique hotel feel in the middle of Midtown Manhattan. Once you step off the city streets into the lobby, it’s as if you’ve been transported out of NYC to the heart of Nashville.
The Ace Hotel is perfect because it’s themed without being kitschy. Plus, as far as hotels in NYC go, you can usually snag a great deal for a great stay during your weekend trip to New York.
There is live music just about every evening, so if you find yourself too tired to go out after exploring the concrete jungle, take a load off at the bar and enjoy some music right in the lobby of your hotel.
There are so many up and coming unique stays across the United States and beyond! But if you’ve got your eye on California, check out the 25+ Coolest Hotels in California For A Unique Weekend Getaway.