While intimate hideaways are a delight, members also love staying in grand palace-style hotels and sprawling resorts rich with amenities. But tellingly, almost all the winners in the 50-and-over category have fewer than 100 rooms. The two exceptions are the classic Claridge’s and the brilliant Le Bristol Paris. They demonstrate that it’s possible to offer superlative service in a larger hotel, but not too many properties manage that trick. As the list below indicates, there’s something of a sweet spot in the size range of 50 to 100 rooms.
1. Blackberry Farm
Set amid a 4,200-acre estate bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this distinguished country house hotel of 68 rooms has been owned by the Beall family since 1976. Members almost universally lauded the Barn restaurant’s “Foothills Cuisine.”