El Tovar Hotel
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Presidents schlepped here: 8
A-list guests: Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul McCartney
Best rate: $174 per night
Should you wander outside El Tovar in the middle of the night, do watch where you're going, because 30 yards away, that last step is a doozy: straight off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Built as one of the legendary Harvey railroad hotels, El Tovar and its 78 rooms aren't really lavish, but in its early days this was a true end-of-the-rail-line destination for privileged travelers. Make your reservation early and you might land one of the quaint, lovingly appointed top-floor suites, which afford an unmatched view over the canyon's abyss. There's cable TV in each room — though shame on you if you use it. The concierge will arrange tours of the canyon, but call several months ahead if you want to take a treacherous yet unforgettable mule ride down the canyon wall to the Colorado River.