Choosing a hotel is often one of the most important decisions you make while planning travel. Let's face it, a stellar or not-so-great lodging experience might make or break a trip.
So USA TODAY 10Best set out to find the best hotels in the nation during our second annual Readers' Choice hotel awards. We recruited a panel of hotel and luxury travel experts to help us nominate 20 hotels in each of 10 different categories, then we turned it over to you – our readers – to help us pick the best of the best.
For four weeks, USA TODAY and 10Best readers have been voting daily for their favorites in each category, and now the results are in.
Click on each category below to see all 10 winners.
Best Historic Hotel: Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Calif.
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, a National Historic Landmark, started out modestly as a 12-room adobe boarding house in the late 1800s when wealthy East Coast residents and Europeans began moving to Riverside, Calif. for the warm weather and growing citrus industry. Today, the charming AAA Four Diamond hotel offers 238 guest rooms and some of the most stunning hotel architecture out there.
Full Results: 10 Best Historic Hotels
Best Destination Resort: Brush Creek Resort in Saratoga, Wyo.
Award-winning Brush Creek Resort sits on 30,000 private acres of Wyoming's Platte River Valley and blends the allure of the American West with the sophistication and comfort of one of the world's best resorts. Activities include horseback riding, shooting sports, fly fishing, yoga, lawn games and an indoor arcade.
Full Results: 10 Best Destination Resorts
Best Family Resort: The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Mont.
This Montana resort sits on a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch with a range of accommodations (from luxe private homes to glamping sites) and activities for families with kids of all ages. Horseback riding is the signature experience, but guests can also mountain bike, fly fish, geocache or partake in an authentic Montana ranch activity. The Kids Corps of Discovery immersion program has something for everyone – toddlers to teens!
Full Results: 10 Best Family Resorts
Best Eco-Friendly Hotel: Nature Inn at Bald Eagle in Howard, PA
True to its name, the LEED Gold certified Nature Inn at Bald Eagle demonstrates environmental stewardship through habitat restoration, water-efficient and native landscaping, rainwater harvesting, solar-thermal hot water and use of Green Seal Certified cleaning products throughout the hotel. Guests of this eco-lodge enjoy easy access to the trails of Bald Eagle State Park.
Full Results: 10 Best Eco-Friendly Hotels
Best Health & Wellness Resort: Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone, N.C.
Tucked high among the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the Art of Living Retreat Center offers yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic detox retreat programs for wellness-minded visitors. Fire circles, community singing, hiking and pottery classes are also offered.
Full Results: 10 Best Health & Wellness Resorts
Best Hotel Pool: Four Seasons Resort Orlando
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando has enough pool action that some guests might find it difficult to pull themselves away. The beach-entry Family Pool features 7,590-square-feet overlooking the lake with its own underwater sound system. Kids love the interactive fountains of the Splash Zone, as well as the Lazy River and two 242-foot water slides. There's also an adults-only pool outfitted with underwater audio and a Jacuzzi.
Full Results: 10 Best Hotel Pools
Best Hotel Restaurant: The Immigrant Restaurant at The American Club in Kohler, Wis.
Divided into six themed rooms such as French and Dutch, the fine dining eatery honors the cultures that settled this part of Wisconsin. The food is more contemporary and ingredient focused, from fresh Maine lobster to Alaskan salmon to Australian lamb, all served in a formal masculine setting with service to match. The wine list is extensive, but house policy dictates that it contains nothing scoring less than 88 points from Wine Spectator.
Full Results: 10 Best Hotel Restaurants
Best Hotel Spa: Ritz-Carlton Spa, Orlando, Grande Lakes
The grand dame of spas in Orlando has traditionally been The Spa at Grande Lakes. Located between sister properties the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, this multi-floor spa includes 40 treatment rooms, a 4,000 square foot heated lap pool, a well-stocked boutique and a spa cafe. The spa may make you forget to visit the theme parks. This is the second year in a row this spa has taken first place in this category.
Full Results: 10 Best Hotel Spas
Best Hotel Bar: Refinery Rooftop at the Refinery Hotel in New York
The crown atop the Refinery Hotel in NYC, Refinery Rooftop is where the Big Apple's young and beautiful come for stunning views beneath the shadow of the Empire State Building. Alex Ott developed Refinery's signature cocktail list with an emphasis on natural ingredients and surprising combinations.
Full Results: 10 Best Hotel Bars
Best Waterfront Hotel: Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Located in the heart of New York's scenic Finger Lakes Wine Country, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel offers upscale accommodations on the shores of Seneca Lake. The hotel features a fitness center, indoor heated pool, nightly turn down service and patio dining with views over the lake (weather permitting).
Full Results: 10 Best Waterfront Hotels
Congratulations to all our winning hotels. Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in more Readers' Choice categories.