Merging with nature: the most beautiful hotels in US national parks - ForumDaily
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Merging with nature: the most beautiful hotels in US national parks

There really is no wrong way to experience US national parks, whether you're stopping by on a road trip or camping out for a week. And while rustic cabins and tents are great, many of our 62 parks offer more luxurious alternatives within established boundaries. Edition Conde Nast Traveler has collected the best hotels in national parks where you can have a good rest.

Photo: IStock

The hotels have the best of both worlds: king-size beds and air conditioning in the country's most beautiful scenery.

Old Faithful Inn, Wyoming
  • Where is: Yellowstone National Park

The list of beautiful national park hotels starts with the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone. Opened in 1904, the building is considered one of the first examples of "park architecture", designed to help park facilities (such as information centers or hotels) blend in harmoniously with their surroundings. In addition to being the largest log hotel in the world, it features a huge 85-foot-tall (26 m) stone fireplace. Its best feature is undoubtedly its proximity to the Old Faithful geyser, which you can see from your windows.

Book a room - by link.

Zion Lodge, Utah
  • Where is: Zion National Park

People have slept in the shade of tall sandstone cliffs in Zion National Park for more than 8000 years. You can easily follow in their footsteps, but in conditions far removed from the harsh environment of the wild. Zion Lodge has standard hotel rooms, as well as 40 lodges with private verandas, suites with living rooms and flat-screen TVs. But when you're surrounded by wildlife and 3800-foot (1,1 km) sandstone cliffs, we hope you don't think to reach for this console.

Book a room - by link.

La Quinta Resort & Club, California
  • Where is: Joshua Tree National Park

While La Quinta Resort & Club is technically located about 30 miles (48 km) from Joshua Tree National Park, the Waldorf Astoria is offering a new package that allows visitors to camp literally within the confines of the Camp'd Out Joshua Tree Experience. In partnership with Camp'd Out Tents, the three-day package includes luxury tent accommodation (including Waldorf Astoria bedding), overnight butler service, transportation to and from the park. If you can pull yourself away from your comfortable bed, you will be rewarded with some of the best views of the night sky in the entire country.

Book a room - by link.

On the subject: Top 13 US National Parks Ideal for Winter Travel

Volcano House, Hawaii
  • Where is: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

If you ever wanted to stay at the top of a volcano, then take your chance - this legendary hotel is located near the Halema'uma'u crater on the Big Island, not far from the top of Kilauea. In addition to the obvious benefit of overlooking the volcano, the hotel offers daily tours and bike rentals, a Hawaiian restaurant, and historic rooms with caldera views.

Book a room - by link.

The Oasis at Death Valley, California
  • Where is: Death Valley National Park

It may be the driest and hottest place on earth, but Death Valley is home to one of the most luxurious hotels in southern California. Consisting of two hotels, The Inn at Death Valley and Ranch at Death Valley, The Oasis at Death Valley is an expansive complex with spring water pools, a golf course, spa, views of the park's cliffs and epic sunsets. To better explore the desert surroundings, book one of the resort's tours and activities, including Skid Row mountain biking and jeep trips to ghost towns.

Book a room - by link.

El Tovar, Arizona
  • Where is: Grand Canyon National Park

Daredevils will love El Tovar, located just 20 feet (6 m) from the steep South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Built in 1905, the Swiss chalet-like building includes Native American motifs, handcrafted furniture, and original drawings by architect Charles Whittlesey. In 1987 the hotel was declared a National Historic Landmark. It has hosted such guests as Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul McCartney.

Book a room - by link.

Blackberry Mountain, Tennessee
  • Where is: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Blackberry Mountain, which opened in early 2019, offers log cabins. Four of them have a second bedroom and an outdoor spa, all with mountain views. Other amenities include Egyptian cotton linens, Bose smart speakers and deep soaking tubs. Be sure to fill up at the hotel's restaurants (breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate) and indulge in a wellness bath session at the yoga loft.

Book a room - by link.

Many Glacier Hotel, Montana
  • Where is: Glacier National Park

While the lack of TVs, air conditioning and internet is not usually a plus when booking a room, the technology-lacked Many Glacier is a notable exception thanks to its location in the incredibly scenic Glacier National Park. Right on the edge of Swiftcurrent Lake in the northeast corner of the park (dubbed the "Switzerland of North America" ​​for its high mountains and crystal clear waters), the five-story chalet offers both suites and standard rooms, as well as activities such as boat cruises, skiing on horseback and guided tours on one of the park's famous red buses.

Book a room - by link.

Crater Lake Lodge, Oregon
  • Where is: Crater Lake National Park

This is the only hotel in Crater Lake National Park with unrivaled views of the Crater Lake National Park. It certainly looks like a rustic hut with wooden beams running across the lobby and a massive stone fireplace which is a popular gathering place for visitors. After a day of hiking, swimming, fishing in or around the lake, enjoy a meal in the dining room and then settle into your cozy room.

Book a room - by link.

The Ahwahnee, California
  • Where is: Yosemite National Park

Built in 1927, Ahwani is a National Historic Landmark consisting of 5000 tons of stone, 1000 tons of steel, and 30 feet (000 km) of lumber that were transported over the mountains in the early years of the park. The combination of Art Deco and Native American architecture is breathtaking. The hotel offers views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point.

Book a room - by link.

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Paradise Inn, Washington
  • Where is: Mount Rainier National Park

Those looking for a more rustic experience would do well to book a room at this apartment complex in the paradise part of the national park. You can expect smaller than average rooms with no TVs, telephones or internet access; if you book a standard room you will have to share a bathroom with the rest of the rooms in your lobby. If you can stand this lack of modern luxury, you'll be rewarded with cozy log furniture and stone fireplaces, miles of hiking trails right outside your door, and unrivaled views of Mount Rainier.

Book a room - by link.

Jackson Lake Lodge, Wyoming
  • Where is: Grand Tetons National Park.

With 60-foot panoramic lobby windows, an outdoor patio, and the occasional moose roaming the grounds, this Grand Teton National Park location is perfect for those looking for an upscale village getaway. Jackson Lake Lodge features multiple dining options, adventure gear and a heated outdoor pool.

Book a room - by link.

Cavallo Point Lodge, California
  • Where is: Golden Gate National Park

While many of the lodges on this list offer chic amenities you don't necessarily expect in a national park, Cavallo Point goes one step further with an on-site spa, Lexus cars for guests to rent, and cooking school. The hotel offers both modern rooms (with gas fireplaces, elegant furnishings and pet-friendly accommodation) and historic rooms in the former officers' residences in Fort Baker, with the addition of contemporary furnishings. And of course, a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Book a room - by link.

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