As much as Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fans and Georgia Bulldogs followers detest each other, one thing the two sides can shake on is that it’s nearly impossible imagining Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta being in a much better location than its spot in downtown Atlanta. But even though the hotel is just more than a mile from Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium, there are actually some other high-end properties around the country that are even closer to the football action. In fact, the following gridiron-loving getaways are either on a college campus or they’re so close to one that you can almost smell the hot dogs from your suite.
School: University of Notre Dame
City: South Bend, Indiana
Hotel: Morris Inn
Must-See Game: vs. Northwestern, November 15
Though the Fighting Irish’s undefeated season came to an end in a nail-biter with Florida State on October 18, fans still have lots to thank Touchdown Jesus for. For starters, quarterback Everett Golson is playing his most poised football since arriving in South Bend in 2011. Second, Northwestern, which sits less than two hours away in Chicago, is coming to town for a battle that has less to do with standings than it does with area bragging rights. Sadly, Notre Dame’s signature on-campus hotel, Morris Inn, is sold out on November 15. But if you can find alternate accommodations for that night, circle back to the lovely 150-room property on Sunday for an evening filled with neo-Gothic architecture, luxe pillow-top bedding and a view of the university’s Golden Dome that you’ll never forget.
School: Ohio State University
City: Columbus, Ohio
Hotel: The Blackwell
Must-See Game: vs. Michigan, November 29
This game has been sold out for months, so you know that The Blackwell, the Four-Star property resting a mere 60 seconds from Ohio Stadium, would be tapped out. But because the Ohio State University property so elegantly melds a collegiate experience with clean lines, craftsman-inspired décor and world-class customer service, it’s worth it to do some itinerary juggling to experience the place for yourself. Should you reserve a room for November 30 — we highly recommend getting the Stadium View Suite, if it’s available — you’ll bask in a unit with a flat-screen TV, a DVD player and aromatic salts in the roomy bathroom. On top of that, you’ll still find loads of Buckeye and Wolverine fans parading the lobby.
School: University of Colorado
City: Boulder, Colorado
Hotel: St. Julien Hotel & Spa
Must-See Game: vs. Utah, November 29
Get past the Buffaloes’ 2-6 record and you’ll see a team that plays solid football for 60 minutes — two of Colorado’s last four games have gone into double overtime — and features one of the country’s most explosive wide receivers, Nelson Spruce. Need more enticing to come out for the season finale against the No. 18 Utah Utes? Four-Star St. Julien Hotel & Spa, which rests just six minutes from Folsom Field, offers a spa promotion called the CU Recovery Package (50-minute massage, 20-minute nap, signature facial) made for fans who’ve celebrated a little too hard. But even beyond this blissful service, the 201-room hotel wins with Buff backers for its modern décor, market-fresh cuisine (Four-Star Jill’s Restaurant at St. Julien Hotel & Spa) and proximity to the Rocky Mountains.
School: Duke University
City: Durham, North Carolina
Hotel: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Must-See Game: vs. Wake Forest, November 29
So much for the Blue Devils being a one-season wonder. With quality wins already over Georgia Tech and Virginia at press time, head coach David Cutcliffe’s bunch is honing itself in on another impressive bowl bid — that is, if it doesn’t suffer a Thanksgiving weekend relapse at the hands of Wake Forest. Should you stay at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Washington Duke Inn, just a 10-minute walk from Wallace Wade Stadium, you certainly won’t have to feel any lingering effects of a tryptophan-sparked coma. With an 18-hole championship golf course, a fitness center and more than three miles of walking paths at your disposal during your stay, your body should be in top cheering shape by the time these ACC rivals kick off.