This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.
During a year when so many American travelers favored road trips, it’s easy to see the appeal of the mid-Atlantic region, which offers a breadth of experiences within easy driving distance for much of the Eastern Seaboard. Whether they wanted to explore the beaches of New Jersey or a family-friendly amusement park in Pennsylvania, T+L readers gravitated toward spacious resorts that put outdoor pursuits at their fingertips.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
One World’s Best Awards voter appreciated how the check-in team at the No. 9 Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania greeted her with the phrase, “Have a sweet stay.” And while that property wins praise for hitting some delicious buttons — down to the chocolate-themed spa packages — those same words of welcome could apply to any of the hotels and resorts in the mid-Atlantic states that our readers voted to this list.
“What else could you want?” one reader asked of No. 2 Congress Hall, a bright, summery property on New Jersey’s Cape May. “The ocean, a beautiful beach with cabanas including food and drink service, a stately historic hotel with beautiful rooms and excellent service, plus the charm of Victorian homes and businesses next door.” Other waterside winners include the No. 5 Bungalow Hotel, a youthful property a stone’s throw from the boardwalk in Long Branch, New Jersey, and the sleek Asbury (No. 7) in Asbury Park.
Inland regions got plenty of love from T+L readers as well. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwest Pennsylvania snapped up the No. 4 spot, earning plaudits for its spectacular amenities, including multiple restaurants, experiences like bowling and paintball, a golf course — even wildlife habitats. Of No. 6, Omni Bedford Springs Resort, one reader wrote, “Outstanding historical inn and lovely setting!”
But the pull of the tides was just too strong: voters chose the Reeds at Shelter Haven as the No. 1 for this inaugural list. Read on to find out what readers had to say — and which other properties were among the best hotels in the mid-Atlantic.
1. The Reeds at Shelter Haven, Stone Harbor, New Jersey
Located on a strip of land that hugs the Jersey coast, in the charming beachside community of Stone Harbor, the eight-year-old Reeds at Shelter Haven garners raves from readers for, well, just about everything. “Simply excellent,” says one; “amazing location, beautiful hotel, great family,” writes another. With its Turkish hammam offerings, the sybaritic two-story Salt Spa is particularly unmissable.
More information: reedsatshelterhaven.com
2. Congress Hall, Cape May, New Jersey
More information: caperesorts.com
3. Inn at Perry Cabin, St. Michaels, Maryland
More information: innatperrycabin.com
4. Nemacolin, Farmington, Pennsylvania
More information: nemacolin.com
5. Bungalow, Long Branch, New Jersey
More information: bungalowhotel.net
6. Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, Pennsylvania
More information: omnihotels.com
7. The Asbury, Asbury Park, New Jersey
More information: theasburyhotel.com
8. Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina, Cambridge, Maryland
More information: hyatt.com
9. The Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania
More information: thehotelhershey.com
10. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, New Jersey
More information: hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com
See all of our readers’ favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World’s Best Awards for 2021.