With its vast forests, clear lakes, winding rivers, and lush prairies, the Midwest holds special appeal to travelers looking to reconnect with nature. Each state offers something a little different, from the sandstone canyons of Wisconsin to the unspoiled forests of Mackinac Island in Michigan. The properties on this year’s list of the best hotels in the Midwest, as voted by Travel + Leisure readers, excel in connecting readers with their area’s unique charms.
How Voting Works
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Nearly 165,000 T+L readers completed the 2023 survey, an increase of nearly 25 percent over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).
Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:
For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.
What Readers Loved
Hotels in Michigan have made quite the impression on T+L readers in this year’s survey, with four of the top spots going to hotels in the Great Lake State. Three of those hotels are located in the popular summer destination of Mackinac Island: Hotel Iroquois (voted No. 4), Island House Hotel (No. 6), and Grand Hotel (No. 9). One reader described the Grand Hotel as a “fairytale come to life.” With its prime location near the horse-drawn carriage streets of the island and its elegant floral-themed rooms, it’s easy to see why.
It’s fitting that Minnesota — nicknamed the Land of 10,000 Lakes — had a few lakeside hotels that impressed readers this year. Hotel Landing (No. 5), which sits on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, was described by one reader as a “stunning hotel where the staff makes you feel like you are family.” In addition, these two Gull Lake hotels, Grand View Lodge (No. 8) and Madden’s on Gull Lake (No. 10), were readers’ other Minnesota favorites due in part to the array of water sports and activities available to guests.
This year’s runner-up and frequent reader favorite is Deer Path Inn. “Front desk, valet, restaurant, executive, and housekeeping staff are top-notch,” said one reader. “We’ve stayed in some of the most amazing hotels all over the world, and this gem is one of the best!”
But as special as these hotels all are, none were able to beat a Michigan property set on a lake that once inspired author Ernest Hemingway — to say nothing of T+L readers. Find out which property T+L voted as their favorite below.
The Full List
- Hotel Walloon: Walloon Lake, Michigan
- Deer Path Inn: Lake Forest, Illinois
- Sundara Inn & Spa: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
- Hotel Iroquois: Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Hotel Landing: Wayzata, Minnesota
- Island House Hotel: Mackinac Island, Michigan
- The American Club Resort Hotel: Kohler, Wisconsin
- Grand View Lodge: Nisswa, Minnesota
- Grand Hotel: Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Madden’s on Gull Lake: Brainerd, Minnesota