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B&Bs and Historic Hotels

This site boasts nearly 7,000 worldwide listings and is the exclusive B&B inventory provider for Expedia and Hotels.com. Each property page has loads of helpful info - customer reviews, a handy Google map, airport info, directions, any pets-in-residence, cancellation, pet and child policies, available military and other discounts, etc. Check out their Hot Deals section and sign up for their e-newsletter to find last minute discounts of 20% or more on rooms.
Locations: Worldwide

Select Registry
Using a rigorous selection and inspections process, Select Registry has narrowed down the thousands of B&Bs in North America to a collection of over the 400 of the most distinguished country inns, small hotels and B&Bs in the States and Canada. Pricey best-of-the-best properties like Santa Barbara's The Simpson House Inn are listed here, but you can also find a handful of properties for less than $100 a night off season. I've tried two Select Registry inns, the Mercersburg Inn in PA and L'Auberge Provencale in Northern Virginia (don't miss their amazing dinner).
Locations: USA & Canada

Karen Brown
I used Karen Brown's guide books to find B&Bs while staying in the South of France and she never steered me wrong. Karen's online picks for the world's best B&Bs and small hotels is by no means comprehensive (you need a membership to view all her picks), but travelers to Europe, Mexico, California, the East and Pacific Northwest will find some great choices here.
Locations: Europe, Mexico and parts of the US.

Historic Hotels of Europe
This website is indispensible for locating Europe's finest historic inns, B&Bs, hotels, castle and estate accommodations. 3, 4 and 5 star options are all covered.
Locations: Europe

Relais & Chateaux
Members of this prestigious alliance include places like Virginia's The Inn at Little Washington and L'Oustau de Baumanière in Provence, both of which offer some of the world's best food AND accommodations. For those who want something a little more unique than the Ritz.
Locations: Worldwide

Australia & New Zealand

Heritage & Character Inns - 100 of New Zealand's finest lodges, bed & breakfasts, historic villas and country cottages. Membership is “by invitation only” and is restricted to the 100 properties that have attained a 4 or 5 star rating from Qualmark, New Zealand’s independent quality assessment agency.


Different World - Some are modern, some are large, but all of the properties listed here have been hand-chosen for their uniqueness. The owners of this site have stayed at every place they've listed - from 17th century haciendas to private beach villas and modern luxury resorts.


Historic Hotels of America - The National Trust for Historic Preservation has selected 200 of America's finest historic hotels.