The Best Hotels In 21 College Towns Across The US

This feature is a part of our Best Colleges In America series.

Fall is a great time for a college visit. Parents make the trek to see their matriculated kids, and alumni flock back to see their old haunts during Homecoming. Whatever the reason for going, you’ll need a place to stay once you get there.

Hotels.com created an exclusive list of the best hotels in college towns across America. Based on user reviews, the hotel reservation site found the most highly rated hotel within a mile of major college campuses.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN: Bell Tower Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.2 out of 5

From the Bell Tower Hotel, you can walk to Hill Auditorium, the Museum of Art, and the football stadium on the University of Michigan's campus. It's the closest hotel to the college, and parking is free so guests can deposit their cars easily and walk around.

'Bell Tower in Ann Arbor is a quaint, elegant hotel right in the middle of the downtown,' reviewer Sandy wrote. 'The staff was exceptional. The beds were heavenly.'

ATHENS, GEORGIA: Hotel Indigo, Athens University Area

Guest Rating: 4.7 out of 5

The spacious rooms in this university area hotel are decorated in shades of blue and green. The Hotel Indigo sits in the heart of Athens, right by the University of Georgia's campus. It's especially close to Sanford Stadium, the Classic Center, and the Georgia Museum of Art.

'By far the best hotel I've stayed at in Athens,' Allen wrote on Hotels.com. 'The staff was courteous and accommodating. The room was clean, beautiful, and unique. The bed was comfortable and the shower exceptional.'

AUSTIN, TEXAS: Hampton Inn & Suites Austin @ The University

Guest Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Austin's university area Hampton Inn & Suites designed its hotel with a mix of graffiti and guitar statues to fit the motto 'Keep Austin Weird.' It sits blocks from the University of Texas at Austin's campus, and it's also close to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Texas State Capitol building.

'The view of the city from the rooftop was great!' Karen wrote on Hotels.com.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore - a DoubleTree by Hilton

Guest Rating: 4.1 out of 5

Located in the Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore, the Inn at the Colonnade sits just across the street from Johns Hopkins University. Guests can commute a little further to Loyola College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, and Morgan State University.

'Everything about this hotel was classy and polished,' Matt wrote on Hotels.com. 'The staff was great to deal with, and free off-street parking was included.'

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA: Hotel Shattuck Plaza

Guest Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Hotel Shattuck Plaza operates as an eco-friendly hotel, very typical of its Berkeley neighbourhood. In addition to sitting within walking distance from the University of California at Berkeley, the hotel is also near tons of cultural spots like the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Greek Theatre.

The hotel was remodeled in 2009 and guest reviewers took note. Reviewer Siun called the Hotel Shattuck a 'really well-designed boutique hotel with a very fun bar in the lobby and great rooms. Loved the look which was way more upscale than I expected for the low price.'

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA: Hilton Garden Inn Bloomington

Guest Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Bloomington's Hilton Garden Inn is within walking distance of Indiana University and the Bloomington Convention Center. There are also wineries nearby if you've finished your academic adventures in the town.

'The staff was great,' Jennifer wrote on Hotels.com. 'Popcorn and cookies in the lobby was a nice touch and the location is really nice with convenient garage parking.'

BOULDER, COLORADO: Hotel Boulderado

Guest Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Hotel Boulderado opened on New Year's Day in 1909, and has kept that turn-of-the-century Western aesthetic ever since. It's close to the Boulder Creek Path for hiking and biking, and sits less than a mile away from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

'It is a great location for walking -- steps away from Pearl St. (a popular downtown area),' Pam wrote on Hotels.com. 'The bar is great and in-hotel dining is also excellent. It's farm-to-table.'

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS: The Charles Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.4 out of 5

The Charles Hotel sits just off the Charles River in the center of Harvard Square. It's a contemporary New England retreat within walking distance of Harvard University. The hotel features four eateries, including a jazz club and a 1940s-style martini lounge.

'Everything exudes good taste and comfort without being snobbish or stuffy,' Ruth wrote on Hotels.com. 'The hotel is situated right across the way from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in a cozy part of Cambridge with historic and scenic side streets and plenty of shops.'

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS: The Kendall Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.6 out of 5

The Kendall Hotel is all about the colonial heritage of Massachusetts. It was built in 1895 and its design reflects a family home filled with hutches and quilted samplers, as well as a specialty clock commissioned by a local artist in the lobby. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology sits right next to the Kendall Hotel.

'The hotel was well-appointed and a refreshing departure from the 'cookie-cutter' hotels often found in large cities,' Megan wrote on Hotels.com.

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA: The Carolina Inn - Destination Hotels & Resorts

Guest Rating: 4.8 out of 5

The Carolina Inn sits within walking distance of Morehead Planetarium and the Tar Heels' Kenan Memorial Stadium on the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus. This golf hotel was completely renovated in May, and nearly every room has a lush, landscaped view.

'It's beautifully restored,' Sheri wrote on Hotels.com, 'rich in history, conveniently located to campus and businesses, and awesome chocolate toffee cookies!'

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA: Residence Inn by Marriott Charlottesville

Guest Rating: 4.3 out of 5

From the Residence Inn in Charlottesville, guests can easily get to the Rotunda, one of the University of Virginia's original buildings designed by Thomas Jefferson. All of the inn's rooms have sitting areas and kitchens complete with cookware, dishes, and utensils.

One dad travelling from Tennessee wrote on Hotels.com that the Residence Inn was a 'good stay for parents weekend. Clean and quiet. Great breakfast. I used the laundry, it was clean and easy to use.'

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

Guest Rating: 4.8 out of 5

The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club will give you a hearty helping of Southern charm on your trip to Duke University. It sits on the university's campus, and is a nice place to relax after a day on the Duke University Golf Course.

Gerald Harper wrote on Hotels.com that the room he and his wife had came with a 'golf course view overlooking the 10th tee. The food was great and service was the best I've experienced in a long time.'

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS: The Homestead Evanston

Guest Rating: 4.0 out of 5

Located on Chicago's North Shore, the Homestead Evanston has 90 guest rooms, making for an intimate experience when visiting Northwestern University. The hotel sits near the university's stadium, Ryan Field. It was originally built in 1927 by the architect Philip A. Danielson, who drew inspiration from colonial times.

'The Homestead Evanston is an older hotel that is incredibly well-maintained despite all its 'antiqueness,'' Ron S. wrote on Hotels.com, 'It's in an upscale stately neighbourhood, just a block away from tons of excellent restaurants.'

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA: Holiday Inn Gainesville - University Center

Guest Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Gainesville's Holiday Inn is the perfect place to stay on a visit to the University of Florida. It's close to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the Hippodrome State Theatre. The Holiday Inn has outdoor areas like a rooftop terrace and an outdoor pool to enjoy the Florida sunshine when you're not on campus. The hotel also offers free transportation to guests.

'It's located right on the main drag, right there by campus,' Melissa Phillips wrote on Hotels.com. 'There was plenty of parking, the staff was super nice, there is a nice little lobby where you can met up, and the pool is huge and very clean.'

MADISON, WISCONSIN: HotelRed

Guest Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Named for the team colour of the University of Wisconsin, HotelRed bills itself as Madison's first stylish boutique hotel. The walls are decorated with funky art, like the sound wave produced when someone says the word 'Cheese' -- a Wisconsin staple.

The hotel sits near Camp Randall Stadium, a plus for anyone travelling for a Big 10 tailgating experience. It's also close by the Field House for volleyball and wrestling matches, and the Chazen Art Museum on campus for a bit of culture.

'It's a great hotel in a great location,' Stacy wrote on Hotels.com, 'There is a free shuttle to take you anywhere and the staff is super friendly.'

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA: The Chestnut Boutique Hotel

Guest Rating: 5.0 out of 5

The Chestnut Boutique Hotel sits within walking distance of West Virginia University, as well as the school's Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. All 41 rooms have views of the city, and the hotel also offers a spa and 24-hour fitness facility.

'From check-in to check-out, I was treated like a king,' Michael wrote on Hotels.com.

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT: New Haven Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.4 out of 5

The New Haven Hotel feels like the study of any self-respecting Ivy League graduate. The hotel lobby is stuffed with cushy leather sofas and deep brown furniture. You can see Yale University from many of the rooms in the hotel.

'This was my fourth or fifth stay, and it did not disappoint,' one dad of a Yale student wrote on Hotels.com, 'I love the coffee service in the morning, and wine and cheese in the late afternoon in the lobby.'

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Washington Square Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.1 out of 5

Washington Square Hotel is the closest hotel to New York University. Both the hotel and the school are located in Greenwich Village next to Washington Square Park. The Art Deco hotel has 9 stories and was built in 1902. Mosaics by co-owner Rita Paul decorate the walls.

DM wrote on Hotels.com, 'There is a nice restaurant on the first floor, and many nearby restaurants. The staff was eager to help.'

OXFORD, OHIO: Hampton Inn Oxford/Miami University Area

Guest Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Oxford's Hampton Inn sits near Yager Stadium at Miami University. All rooms have microwaves and refrigerators, as well as a sitting area.

'The room was clean, well-designed and spacious,' Deb wrote on Hotels.com, 'The extra sitting area with couch and desk were a nice place to unwind and follow up on the day's activities. I didn't feel like I was stuck in a bedroom.'

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: The Inn at Penn, a Hilton Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.7 out of 5

The Inn at Penn renovated many of its suites in 2011, making it a spacious place to come home to after a day spent exploring University City. The inn sits in the heart of the University of Pennsylvania's campus, but it's close to public transportation to get to Philadelphia's other universities, museums, and attractions.

'We went for the lacrosse championships,' Jackie wrote on Hotels.com. 'The staff were friendly and helpful.'

STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA: Comfort Suites State College

Guest Ranking: 4.5 out of 5

Penn State University's campus is a five-minute bus ride away from the Comfort Suites in State College. The Blue and White Golf Courses, Bryce Jordan Center, and Beaver Stadium are all nearby. The hotel has a homey feel with large beds and sitting areas that include pull-out sofas.

'The room was very spacious with the living area and I loved the convenience of the refrigerator,' Shelly wrote on Hotels.com. 'Even with the hotel being full, it was very quiet in the room.'

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK: Hotel Skyler

Guest Rating: 4.7 out of 5

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design organisation certified Hotel Skyler as eco-friendly. Located just a few blocks from Syracuse University's campus, it's a boutique hotel that used to be a temple. The hotel is steps away from a free bus that takes guests to downtown Syracuse, where they can see everything from the Everson Museum of Art to the first basketball shot clock, which was invented in Syracuse.

'The staff was personable and informative,' Jennifer wrote on Hotels.com.

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