A quick glance at travel expenses from your last trip will likely reveal that one of the biggest line items is accommodation. A hotel is typically a travel necessity, but it's also a whole lot more than just a place to stow your bags, take a shower and catch some ZZZs.
Hotels around the country are competing for travel dollars by offering a variety of amenities and creature comforts to make time spent in the hotel an enjoyable and relaxing part of your vacation or business trip. Some have even become destinations in their own right.
It's time for our fourth annual 10Best Readers' Choice Hotel awards, and we need you to help us crown the winners in 12 categories. Vote for your favorites once per day, per category until voting ends on Monday, August 6 at noon ET. The winning hotels will be announced on 10Best on Friday, August 17.
Click on each category below to vote:
Best Budget-Friendly Hotel Brand
Which brand do you trust for an affordable stay? — Photo courtesy of iStock / nullplus
Hotels are often one of the biggest expenses when it comes to travel, but you shouldn't have to blow through your budget or stay in a drab, personality-less room in order to save. These 20 hotel brands combine affordable rates, lots of amenities and frequent freebies to set the scene for a comfortable and wallet-friendly stay – whether for business or pleasure.
Best Luxury Hotel Brand
These luxury properties offer stellar comfort and service — Photo courtesy of iStock / gerenme
Luxury travelers have more choices than ever before when it comes to accommodations. When you book a stay at one of these high-end hotel brands with properties in the U.S., you can expect a consistency of impeccable service and extreme comfort no matter what city you're staying in.
Best Destination Resort
Destination resorts offer a complete vacation experience without leaving the property — Photo courtesy of iStock / Jasmina007
Sometimes a hotel is simply a place to lay your head at night, and sometimes it's a destination in its own right. Each of these 20 U.S. resorts is totally travel-worthy, complete with plush accommodations, world-class dining, relaxing spa treatments and a host of indoor and outdoor activities – a complete vacation in a single package.
Best Eco-Friendly Hotel
Reduce your carbon footprint with a stay at one of these LEED-certified hotels — Photo courtesy of iStock / WangAnQi
As Kermit the Frog once said, "It's not easy being green," but these 20 U.S. hotels have gone above and beyond to promote environmental sustainability. Along the way, they've earned Platinum, Gold or Silver certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Best Family Resort
Which of these kid-approved hotels gets your vote? — Photo courtesy of iStock / monkeybusinessimages
These 20 American resorts cater to families with a host of awesome amenities, including programming just for kids, childproofed rooms (with multiple bedrooms), gourmet dining with child-approved kids menus and access to essentials, like cribs and baby swings.
Best Health & Wellness Resort
Wellness is front and center at these resorts and retreats — Photo courtesy of iStock / SolStock
Who says vacationing has to be unhealthy? The growing popularity of health and wellness retreats in the U.S. is testament to our growing interest in fitness and longevity, even while traveling. Help us find the best in the nation by voting for your favorite from our pool of 20 nominees, chosen by a panel of luxury travel experts.
Best Historic Hotel
These hotels have historic ties to their destinations — Photo courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts
In today's travel landscape dotted with sparkling new resorts and ultra-modern skyscraper hotels, a bit of history is often welcome. Each of these classic lodgings, nominated for the title of Best Historic Hotel by a panel of hotel experts, has witnessed a great deal of history, and each has held true to its historic roots and unique sense of place.
Best Waterfront Hotel
There's something undeniably appealing about staying on the water — Photo courtesy of iStock / anyaberkut
Whether by a lake or the sea, there's something special about vacationing on the waterfront. Nominated by a panel of hotel and travel experts, each of these waterfront properties sets the scene for a memorable and relaxing vacation.
Best Hotel Bar
You'll want to order a drink at these 20 hotel bars even if you're not a guest — Photo courtesy of iStock / AlSimonov
Pull up a stool, and look over our nominees for Best Hotel Bar. These 20 bars win big for their ambiance, stellar mixologists, signature cocktails, food menus and happy hours, and at most of them, you don't have to be a guest to enjoy.
Best Hotel Pool
For many, the pool is the best part of a hotel — Photo courtesy of iStock / damircudic
For many travelers, especially during these hot summer months, the quality of a pool can make or break a hotel stay. Book one of these 20 hotels, nominated as having the best hotel pools in the nation, and your stay is sure to be a memorable one.
Best Hotel Restaurant
Some of the country's best restaurants are inside hotels — Photo courtesy of iStock / maximkabb
Some of America's best restaurants helmed by talented and often award-winning chefs can be found within hotels and resorts from coast to coast.
Best Hotel Spa
These hotel spas infuse your travel with blissful R&R — Photo courtesy of iStock / PeopleImages
Traveling can be stressful, whether you're on vacation or hitting the road for business. If you're in need of a little pampering, you'll find it at these 20 blissful hotel spas, nominated by a panel of hotel and wellness experts for the quality of their facilities, treatments and service.
Remember you can vote in each category once per day. Check back on August 17 for the announcement of our 2018 winners.