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World's Best Hotels

World's Best Hotels: Inn at Palmetto Bluff, SC

Courtesy of Inn at Palmetto Bluff

You’re lounging in an airy villa—with rain showers and a plunge pool fed by natural hot springs—in the Costa Rican rainforest. A personal host tends to your every need, whether arranging a wildlife-spotting hike or a private yoga lesson in the open-air studio. It’s just another unforgettable day at Nayara Springs, one of the top-rated hotels.

For 19 years and counting, we’ve asked T+L readers to vote for their favorite hotels and resorts, evaluating them in categories like value, food, service, rooms, and location. More than just a list of the best properties, the World’s Best Awards results also highlight bigger travel trends—including where you, as a community, are going.

A significant number of this year’s winners are close to home, with the share of U.S. properties growing by more than 19 percent over last year. Three of the top 10 hotels overall are in the U.S.—in 2013, there were none. Triple Creek Ranch, in Darby, MT, holds the No. 1 spot; Ocean House, in Watch Hill, RI, is No. 5, followed by the Langham Chicago at No. 6.

Chicago has a prominent place among large urban hotels (100 rooms or more) in the U.S., with four of the top 10, while Charleston, SC, dominates the category of urban hotels with fewer than 100 rooms.

The total number of Caribbean properties also doubled over last year, yet readers are still finding time to visit far-flung places. A third of the top 50 hotels are in Australia, Africa, and Asia. Notably, Southern Ocean Lodge, on Australia’s Kangaroo Island, comes in at No. 4 overall. South Africa and Udaipur, India, each have two top-10 properties, including, respectively, Singita Sabi Sand (up to No. 7 from last year’s No. 10 spot) and Taj Lake Palace (No. 10, up from No. 29).

Of course, you’ll also find plenty of world-class options in European destinations—Paris, Budapest, Florence, you name it—plus dream-worthy resorts in Mexico and Hawaii.

We dare you to read about the World’s Best Hotel winners and not immediately start planning your next getaway.

—Brooke Porter Katz

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