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.
So, we need your help with crowning the winners in 14 categories for our fifth annual 10Best Readers' Choice Hotel awards.
Click on each category below to vote:
Best All-Inclusive Resort
Leave money worries at home when you stay at these all-inclusives — Photo courtesy of iStock
We're not sure which is more appealing: being in a stunningly beautiful place, or not having to think about money once you arrive. The combo of the two is a winning recipe for a relaxing vacation.
Best Budget-Friendly Hotel Brand
These 20 hotel brands offer wallet-friendly stays — Photo courtesy of iStock
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 Destination Resort
Sometimes a hotel is a destination in its own right — Photo courtesy of iStock
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, chosen by a panel of 10Best travel experts, 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
Feel good about protecting the planet with a stay at these eco-friendly properties — Photo courtesy of iStock
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 certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council or other industry awards in sustainability.
Best Family Resort
These 20 hotels and resorts are kid-approved — Photo courtesy of iStock
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, while on the road.
Best Historic Hotel
Take a step back in time at these 20 historic hotels — Photo courtesy of The Ivy Hotel
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 Hotel Bar
Pull up a stool and order your favorite cocktail at these hotel bars — Photo courtesy of iStock
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
These 20 hotel pools make a big splash with guests — Photo courtesy of iStock
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
You don't have to leave the hotel for a good meal, thanks to these restaurants — Photo courtesy of iStock
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. We asked a panel of hotel and travel experts to nominate their favorite hotel restaurants, and now we need you to help crown a winner.
Best Hotel Spa
These hotel spas know how to pamper — Photo courtesy of iStock
Turn your vacation dial to "bliss." 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.
Best Luxury Hotel Brand
Which luxury hotel brand offers the ultimate stay? — Photo courtesy of iStock
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 Romantic Hotel
Turn up the romance with a room at these hotels and resorts — Photo courtesy of iStock
The atmosphere of a hotel can make or break a romantic getaway. These properties offer couples an intimate escape, whether in the heart of a big city or a more rural region, complete with the best modern amenities and bespoke service.
Best Waterfront Hotel
Waterfront views are just one of the perks at these nominees — Photo courtesy of iStock
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 Wellness Retreat / Resort
These 20 resorts and retreats put the focus on wellness — Photo courtesy of iStock
Who says vacationing has to be unhealthy? The growing popularity of wellness retreats and resorts in the U.S. is testament to our growing interest in fitness and longevity, even while traveling.
Remember, you can vote once per day in each category. The 10 nominees with the most votes in each category will be announced on 10Best.com on Friday, August 9.