SoutheastTop City Vacations

Southern Hospitality: Travelers Decide the Best Hotels in the South

By , November 14th, 2016

For the very first time this year, trivago users chose their favorite properties across America. Many of your favorite places to stay were concentrated in a region known for its legendary hospitality: the South. Whether it’s the sun and good weather, or it’s something in the water, this outstanding region has the highest concentration of trivago Award winners. With the winners chosen based on scores compiled from user ratings from a myriad of booking and review sites from all over the internet, this is a transparent and unbiased look at some of America’s favorite properties.

So let’s sit down on the porch with a glass of lemonade and get properly introduced to the places travelers have decided are the best hotels in the South, where Southern Hospitality still reigns true.

trivago awards Southern hospitality

Want to see the full list of winners of the trivago Awards 2017? For a peek into which properties you decided were the best, see here!


Best Hotels in the South

Piegeon Forge water mill

The historic Old Mill, the oldest attraction in Pigeon Forge. Photo courtesy of Pigeon Forge.

Pigeon Forge is an ideal vacation destination for several reasons, including our convenient proximity to so many folks. Pigeon Forge prides itself on the variety of entertainment and attractions as well as the promise of something new each year. Most importantly, we treat folks well and that keeps families coming back year after year.

Leon Downey, Executive Director of Tourism for Pigeon Forge

The Inn at Christmas Place

Pigeon Forge, TN

Double Queen room Inn at Christmas Place

A warm Southern welcome to eternal Christmas cheer! Photos courtesy of the Inn at Christmas Place.

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For those who wish Christmas came more than once a year, experience the charm of a Southern Christmas in our 4-star trivago Awards winner for 2017, The Inn at Christmas Place. Located in the town of Pigeon Forge set among the Great Smoky Mountains, the slightly quirky hotel is built in a Bavarian style and celebrates everyone’s favorite holiday year round. Rooms are decked out with modern amenities like free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and Jacuzzis. Add to that a generous sprinkling of Christmas spirit in the form of holiday-themed decor accents and dark red velvety bedspreads and you’ve uncovered (potentially) the greatest themed hotel concoction in America.

Inn at Christmas Place Exterior Shot

The cheer continues across the property with Singing Santa concerts on some evenings, a mailbox that delivers letters to Santa, and fully decorated Christmas trees. A three-story Glockenspiel belts out Christmas carols every hour in the lower lobby and an outdoor and indoor pool bring some magic for those who bring their swimsuits. In true Southern hospitality, you’ll be sent off to take on your day with a deluxe breakfast which is included in your stay and a uniformed bellman will see your bags are delivered to and from your room in style.

Eight Gables Inn

Gatlinburg, TN

Eight Gables Inn Porch

Take in the view from the porch in true Southern style. Photos taken from trivago.

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The Eight Gables Inn of Gatlinburg knows what guests are looking for when they come to stay at this Alternative Accommodation trivago Award winning Inn: casual elegance and a complimentary dessert before bed to make sure you have sweet dreams! The Inn staff provide a great example of the term “Southern Hospitality” for those who aren’t sure what it means. Expect friendly, down to earth service, classic country decor with whirlpool tubs and fireplaces and a beautiful authentic home-cooked breakfast every morning. Sit out on the rocking chairs and take in the serene view from the porch in the evenings with a cup of complimentary tea or hot chocolate.

Eight Gables Inn

Start planning your perfect Tennessee getaway with our guide to visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or get acquainted with the wild world of activities in Pigeon Forge. 

The Sewanee Inn

Sewanee, TN

Sewanee Inn Jasper Tennessee

Gracious hospitality in a dreamy Southern golf course location. Photos taken from trivago.

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Set amid the historic Gothic Revival buildings of the University of the South and atop the Cumberland Plateau and the Sewanee golf course is our trivago Awards 3-star winner, The Sewanee Inn. Wake up to spotless, modern rooms with views of the mountains and the 9-hole guest access golf course with inspiring vistas. The staff’s attentive service wins the Inn its Southern hospitality title with a big smile. Visitors will love the nearby hiking trails and complimentary bicycle rental. Start the morning with an array of Southern staples like biscuits and gravy in addition to healthier options in the elegant atmosphere of the eighteen58 restaurant.


Stonehurst Place

Atlanta, GA

Stonehurst Place Suite four poster bed

Photos by Anne Simone for Stonehurst Place.

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Stonehurst Place, trivago Awards winner in the Alternative Accommodation category for 2017, has managed to strike the fine balance between preserving the key historic elements of the 19th-century mansion they occupy and contemporary comforts. No small detail goes overlooked in this six-room eco-friendly B&B in Atlanta’s Midtown. Rooms are full of character with hardwood floors, beautiful original art dotting the walls and luxurious bathrooms. Enjoy the lush landscaping from the comfort of the truly Southern sleeping porch or relax and chit-chat in the front parlor. Guests will wake up to a gourmet homemade breakfast and enjoy homemade snacks and beverages throughout the day, courtesy of Stonehurst Place.

Looking for a party in Atlanta? We’ve got you covered with our guide to the best Atlanta festivals

Mobile Alabama downtown

Downtown Mobile: Colorful and full of friendly Southern folk. Photo courtesy of Visit Mobile

While Mobile attracts a great deal of visitors because of its rich history, traditions and authentic experiences – it’s our Southern hospitality that makes our visitors want to come back again and again.”

Stacy Hamilton, VP Marketing/Communications, Visit Mobile


Fort Condé Inn

Mobile, AL

Fort Conde Inn Mobile Guest room 2

Historic elegance and modern comforts. Photos courtesy of the Fort Conde Inn.

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Dating back all the way to 1836, Mobile’s second-oldest house nearly fell into disrepair till it was lovingly rescued and restored to new life as the Fort Condé Inn. Details like the hand-painted Spanish tiles, high-quality artworks, period antiques, and L’Occitane bath amenities certainly helped award the Inn its 4-star trivago Award 2017 title. The showstopper for many guests, however, is the decadent, restaurant-quality complimentary breakfast. Served in the dining room, courtyard or even in the privacy of your suite, the influence of Mobile Bay and the Deep South can be felt here. Southern biscuits are paired with the fresh catch of the day to create delicacies like Seafood Benedict or Blue Crab. The menu changes daily, but favorites always reappear so disappointment is naught.


Charleston SC Southern hospitality

Window boxes line the picture-perfect streets of Charleston. Photo by Spencer Means CCBY

South Carolina is a charmer and Charleston is her crown jewel. Historic detailing, a skyline of spires and her recent status as an amazing foodie destination make the city one of the ultimate places to sample a bit of Southern Hospitality. See our 48-hour guide to the city or learn more about our favorite hotels in town.

In recent years, Charleston has garnered top honors as the #1-ranked U.S. City according to readers of Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living, and other esteemed media outlets. While cuisine and hotels always merit mention in the reader polls, the warm hospitality extended by Charleston’s locals is a deciding factor in the destination’s enduring charm and widespread appeal.”

Linn Lesesne, Chair of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Wentworth Mansion

Charleston, SC

Wentworth Mansion Exterior

Photos taken from trivago.

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Travel back in time to the Gilded era of Southern Hospitality at Wentworth Mansion. Built by a cotton baron in 1886, the palatial private home welcomes guests seeking a personalized and decadent touch to their Charleston vacations. Rooms are spacious, come with free WiFi, king-sized whirlpool tubs and many are dog-friendly with direct lawn access. Breakfast is on the house on the sun-lit porch every morning and you can enjoy a sherry and some hors d’oeuvres in the historic paneled parlor nightly.

With an attentive staff that strives to provide the warmest cup of Southern hospitality at this 5-star trivago Awards property, you’ll never feel forgotten, especially following the nightly chocolate delivery. The Circa 1886 restaurant located in the carriage house is rated as one of the city’s finest and perfectly suits this foray into Southern-style decadence.

The Restoration

Charleston, SC

The Restoration exterior Charleston (1)

Lofty interiors hold a design lover’s dream Charleston stay. Photo taken from trivago

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Meet the new South at The Restoration, one of the top 4-star hotels across America as per the trivago Awards. Comprised of five buildings in a vibrant and historic area of Charleston, authentic elements like brick and wood beams are met with stainless steel, leather and fuzzy pillows. While the look is hardly a throwback to what traditional Southern living might bring to mind, the easy going and relaxed nature of both staff plus the pineapple lanterns, Charleston’s official emblem, remind you that you couldn’t be anywhere but South Carolina. The rooftop terrace offers fantastic views of the city and free bike rentals can whisk you to undiscovered corners of (arguably) one of the South’s loveliest gems.

French Quarter Inn

Charleston, SC

French Quarter Inn staircase

Photos courtesy of the French Quarter Inn.

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Any good Southern host will tell you that guests should be greeted with drinks; so may we introduce you to the 4-star trivago Awards winner and true Southern belle, the French Quarter Inn. Upon check-in, you’ll be greeted with champagne to toast your arrival. Located among the old cobblestone streets and just a trot away from the horse carriages, art galleries and restaurants of Charleston, the French Quarter Inn ensures, like any good host, that you are far from hungry or thirsty.

Traditional Guestroom French Quarter Inn

A nightly wine and cheese reception invites you to mingle among other guests and turndown service includes a glass of fine port wine (or milk if you prefer) and fresh baked cookies. A continental breakfast is served every morning in the lobby or terrace or directly in your room, accessed via the lovely marble spiral staircase. A good host is prepared to welcome their guests wishes and the Inn’s sound sleep pillow menu ensures you rest your head on whatever suits you best, whether it be down, buckwheat or a hypoallergenic number, among other choices. We can toast to that!


Old Sheldon Church Ruins_Lyndi Leary

Spanish moss and old church ruins. Photo by Lyndi Leary

Beaufort offers visitors and locals a small town feel in a coastal destination. From our variety of outdoor activities to our historic downtown district which transports individuals back to America’s founding days, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy in what has been dubbed ‘America’s Favorite Seaside Town.”

Robb Wells, Tourism Division VP of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Cuthbert House Inn

Beaufort, SC

Cuthbert House mansion Beaufort Exterior

A historic piece of Southern hospitality. Photo taken from the Wikipedia CC

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Revisit what Southern hospitality once meant at the 200-year-old Antebellum mansion that hosts folks under the name Cuthbert House Inn. Winner in the Alternative Accommodation category in the 2017 trivago Awards, the quaint Inn is a quiet respite located next to the soothing breezes of the coastal waters. A formal Charleston garden is laid out across the grounds and whether you choose to walk it or view it from the veranda, the effect is nonetheless enchanting. A Southern-style breakfast will see you filled up for the vast majority of your day with everything coming out of the kitchen hot and homemade. Owners Jeff and Mary Ann will certainly make you feel that Southern welcome in Beaufort and daily social gatherings in the parlor or on the veranda carry on the friendly traditions rooted in the history of this property.


 New Smyrna Beach boardwalk

Beach boardwalk at New Smyrna Beach. Photo courtesy of New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau

The New Smyrna Beach area provides a great atmosphere that allows visitors to experience southern charm through a friendly, laid-back seaside community. Visitors will receive warm welcomes and the encouragement to explore what the area has to offer whether it be comfortable accommodations to stay at, unique dining to savor or fun attractions to discover. Whatever you decide to do, you will be sure to see that southern charm reflected in the town’s personality.

Megan DeBello, Public Relations for New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau

Black Dolphin Inn

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Black Dolphin Inn New Smyrna Beach dock and exterior

Photos courtesy of the Black Dolphin Inn.

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Southern hospitality doesn’t necessarily mean old-fashioned. The Black Dolphin Inn, one of the Alternative Accommodation winners for the 2017 trivago Awards, brings an airy and uncluttered touch to what it means to take care of their guests. Individually decorated rooms are an ode to mid-century furnishing and the building’s Spanish architecture and large windows offer breathtaking views of the Indian River and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Black Dolphin Inn New Smyrna Beach guest room 2

Sit back with a glass of wine and watch for dolphins from the property or walk to the beaches, surf shops and fishing docks of New Smyrna Beach. The Inn welcomes all guests, including cats and dogs in their pet-friendly designated rooms with private exterior entrances, to be taken care of in true Southern style.


Seafood in Key West

Southern hospitality in Key West. Photo by Sam Howzit CC BY

Key West is known for its graciousness and its warm welcome to all types of visitors. We’re also known for our culinary hospitality. Key West has amazing weather, watersports, music, history and fun. When you pair that with outstanding accommodations, it creates something really special.

Jodi Weinhofer, president of the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West

What does culinary hospitality look like in Key West? It’s unloaded fresh every morning at the Keys’ dock: delicately sweet Key West pink shrimps, mollusk conch paired with lime salad, spicy chowders or fritters, Florida lobsters and the seasonal Stone Crabs among other succulent fruits of the ocean. Fish is served grilled, broiled, blackened, baked and fried to your heart’s wishes in varieties like mahi-mahi, yellowtail, hog and mutton snappers and groupers.

The proximity to Cuba can be felt amongst the Cuban eateries serving up sweet coffees, pressed sandwiches, picadillo and roast pork. Without a doubt, every meal is finished off with Key West’s eponymous desert, the Key Lime pie — all parts tangy and sweet and made with real yellow Key limes, graham crackers and a cream topping. All is served with a smile and a dash of sunshine against the backdrop of the calm turquoise waters surrounding the islands.

Check out our Foodie Guide to the Florida Keys for a list of our favorite places to sample the Keys’ culinary hospitality. 

The Marquesa

Key West, FL

Key West Florida view

Azure waters and quaint houses in Key West. Photo from Visual Hunt.

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Kick your shoes off in true Key West style and wander around the lush landscaping of the Marquesa Hotel. The laid-back restored conch house, dating back to 1884, was named among the top ten 4-star hotels in America for the trivago Awards 2017. The picture of Southern hospitality, the setting is both homey and luxurious. Two pools offer a respite from the mid-day heat or an opportunity to start off your day with a dip, following your continental breakfast. Rooms are airy, elegant and immaculate and many suites feature private terraces with wicker furniture for lounging. The onsite restaurant, Cafe Marquesa, serves up the local seafood bounty and offers the perfect opportunity to sample what makes up that southern Keys culinary hospitality.

Almond Tree Inn

Key West, FL

Almond Tree Inn pool

Enjoy happy hour poolside. Photo taken from trivago.

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Surrounded by lush tropical plants, an oasis of calm greets visitors seeking tranquility and sunshine in Key West at the Almond Tree Inn. The Inn was named one of the top ten 3-star places to stay in America for the trivago Awards 2017. Located in the center of Old Town Key West, the Inn has a complimentary continental breakfast, free WiFi and luxurious amenities awaiting guests. The concierge team is ready to create your dream Florida Keys experience including everything from arranging excursions, making dinner reservations and showing you to the free beer and wine happy hour, served outside in the pavilion daily.


Bentonville Arkansas

Quaint and Sweet in Bentonville. Photo courtesy of Visit Bentonville.

Bentonville is a paradox. We are a little town with big hospitality and big ambitions. Our hope is guests, drawn by our arts, culinary or trails, will be equally enchanted with Bentonville and its small-town charm and Southern hospitality.

Kalene D. Griffith, President Visit Bentonville

21c Museum Hotel

Bentonville, AR

Bentonville Lobby 21C Museum Hotel

Photos courtesy of 21c Museum hotels.

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The 21c Museum Hotel, winner of a 4-Star trivago Award, has helped put Arkansas’ Bentonville on the global art map. Driven by a mission to exhibit the work of living artists and inject contemporary art into the daily life of cities beyond those you would normally associate with art, the playfully iconic green penguins, employed as the hotel mascot put a fun spin on a stay with the 21C. The incredibly chic hotel features original art from important modern artists throughout the hotel including across all the rooms and in their onsite museum.

Bentonville Suite 21C Museum Hotel

Rooms are expansive with high ceilings, luxurious Malin + Goetz bath amenities and large windows. Onsite restaurant The Hive serves up tributes to refined High South cuisine by dishing up regional products and the nearby Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art continues the art theme past your hotel stay.

Where have you found your favorite piece of Southern Hospitality? Let us know in the comments! 


*Cover Image by Anne Simone for Stonehurst Place