Visiting your kid at college? Believe it or not, your hotel choices extend beyond the ol’ University Inn. Make your next visit unique by staying at a lesser-known, more individualized establishment. Check out these awesome hotels and B&Bs near ten of America’s top universities.
The best place for an outdoor heated swimming pool? How about the roof? At the Mission Palms hotel in Tempe, AZ, the swimming pool, tennis courts and basketball hoops all come with an unobstructed view of the desert sky. With two Jacuzzi spas and gorgeous garden courtyards, Mission Palms is our top pick for Arizona State parents. The opulent interiors and plush furnishings are assembled to mirror the surrounding rose- colored desert. In-house restaurants include the Mission Grille for southwestern and American cuisine and Harry’s Place for cocktails and beers.
2. University of Central Florida – King’s Manor Bed and Breakfast
Built in 1884 and and established as a B&B in 1970, King’s Manor is an elegant Victorian farmhouse nestled under majestic oaks on two acres of manicured lawns and gardens. Guests may choose between the white, peach and green rooms, all of which are lavishly furnished with antique beds and claw-foot baths. It’s a slight drive to UCF, but the serene environs are worth the trip. Located in downtown Oviedo, King’s Manor is positioned near walking trails and a smattering of locally owned shops. Guests are welcome to enjoy the upstairs and downstairs porches, the koi pond and the spa.
3. Ohio State University – The Blackwell
Located on campus, The Blackwell Inn is OSU’s only hotel and conference center. With 151 guest rooms and 16 suites, The Blackwell prides itself on personalized service and fully integrated modern technology. Each room is equipped with luxurious bathrobes, high-speed WiFi, a 37″ flat screen television and complimentary newspapers. The hotel’s in-house restaurants alone warrants a visit. Overlooking the historic Ohio stadium, Bistro 2110 offers a full bar and fine American, European and Asian cuisine.
4. University of Minnesota – Le Méridien Chambers
If you want more than just a place to sleep, Le Méridien Chambers is the country’s first art hotel. Boasting over 200 original contemporary art pieces, the hotel grants guests free access to the Minneapolis Burnet Art Gallery and Walker Art Center. Art can be found throughout the hotel, including a number of edgy pieces from the Young British Artist Movement. Located in the historic theatre district, Le Méridien puts patrons in close proximity to a plethora of shops, restaurants and entertainment. D’Amico Kitchen, the in-house restaurant, offers casual, contemporary Italian dining with 24 antipasta small plates and a global wine list.
5. University of Texas – 1110 Carriage House Inn
There’s nothing wrong with choosing a hotel based on breakfast. The 1110 Carriage House Inn has one of the best in Texas. Their homemade organic breakfasts are lauded as some of the most delectable in the west. The hotel boutique includes a guest house, cottage and traditional rooms. Located near a multitude of museums and music venues, the Carriage House is ideal for parents looking to explore the surrounding area with their students. The well-groomed grounds include a garden and waterfall.
While the house isn’t literally in a tree, this whimsical architectural experiment is both imaginative and luxurious. Four elegant but comfortable rooms are available on carefully manicured garden grounds. Abigaile’s Treehouse combines comfort with elegance. Spa treatments, wine and natural beauty make for an experience that is entirely relaxing. College life can be hectic–even for parents. Escape to the Treehouse to unwind.
7. University of Florida – Magnolia Plantation Bed & Breakfast Inn
A Victorian Painted Lady built in 1885, the Magnolia Plantation is a bed & breakfast comprising several cottages, lush gardens and elegant sitting rooms. A full breakfast is served every morning and complimentary snacks are available throughout the day. Staying at Magnolia is like stepping back in time. The neighborhood is full of historic homes, horse and carriage rides can be taken through the Southeast Historic District. Children and pets are welcome.
Built in 1926, the Biltmore Hotel is a National Landmark featuring 275 guest rooms, the country’s largest hotel pool and private cabanas, the Biltmore Spa and the Culinary Academy. Guests also have access to an 18-hole golf course, 10 lighted tennis courts, restaurants, a bar and a tea lounge. The majestic hotel is only 7 miles from Miami International Airport, making it a convenient choice for parents traveling long distances. The Biltmore also offers an array of activities for younger children. Kids can play golf and tennis, join scavenger hunts, learn to cook and even hang out at the children’s spa.
9. Michigan State University – Wild Goose Inn
Only a block away from Michigan State, the Wild Goose Inn comprises two houses joined by a communal deck with a gas fire pit and café tables. Each room comes equipped with a gas fireplace and Jacuzzi. A full breakfast is served every morning. Nearby, you’ll find an abundance of art galleries, restaurants, shops and entertainment options.
10. Pennsylvania State University – Big Hollow Bed & Breakfast
A small B&B with three guest rooms and one sitting area, Big Hollow is a short 10 minute drive from Penn State. Along with a daily home-cooked breakfast, guests can enjoy heated towel bars, a secluded patio and garden. If you so desire, you can partake in evening wine in the library. An airport shuttle is available for parents flying in. Big Hollow is characterized by serenity and quietude, making it an ideal retreat after a busy day bustling about campus.