I love to see Travel + Leisure readers’ comments on the hotels they visit, hovering for the most part on the extreme ends of the satisfaction spectrum, at wild enthusiasm or crushing disappointment.
(After all, why bother writing if you don’t have something important you want to say?) Given that hotels are places where we seek shelter—that basic human need—and trustingly put our heads down on the pillow for the night, the degree of fervor is hardly a surprise. And then there’s the money factor: except in rare refund-worthy circumstances, we have to pay even if our stay goes wrong.
So once again, Travel + Leisure is devoting the entire June issue to the subject of hotels, always a significant element of the magazine’s editorial coverage. Along with our readers’ top-rated properties for service, we present T+L editors’ carefully culled 2009 “It List: 45 Best New Hotels of 2009,” with 45 global favorites among the year’s new crop of hotels and resorts. And to make us all smarter consumers, we’ve rounded up key information on everything from how to get the best room rates to that daunting traveler’s dilemma, tipping, in “The T+L Hotel Handbook.” If you’re like me and the mere mention of the word Tuscany makes you want to reach for your passport, you’ll be happy to read Christopher Petkanas’s account of three dazzling villa properties where you can be at home in the region’s gently rolling hills, along with a selection of great value options from Italy correspondent Valerie Waterhouse (“8 Amazing Tuscan Villa Hotels,”). For a touch of scandal, editor-at-large Peter Jon Lindberg dredges up some juicy stories from the annals of hotel history (“World’s Most Notorious Hotel Rooms,”) and, in “Ace Hotel’s Stylish Budget Hotels,” Charles Gandee reports on the transformation of budget hotels into really cool and comfortable places to stay.
Finally, I hope you will follow me on Twitter, @nnovogro. This social networking site offers a great opportunity to exchange quick thoughts on hotels, restaurants, and destinations, not to mention the state of the world. It’s one more way to learn what people are thinking, and to let everyone know what’s on your mind.