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Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

Oberoi Rajvilas

Courtesy of Oberoi Rajvilas

#2
Oberoi Rajvilas (95.71)
Jaipur, India

Rajasthani-style fortress with luxury tents and villas on the edge of Jaipur; it combines the romance of a past era with exacting modern standards.

Stats: 71 rooms; 2 restaurants; 1 bar.

Rooms to Book: Luxury Tents with classic colonial interiors and private terraces.

Insider Tip: Go on an Indian spice-market tour with the hotel’s head chef.

Cost: Doubles from $650.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009
Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

#3
Fairmont Mara Safari Club (95.6)
Masai Mara, Kenya

Series of permanent tents (now a Fairmont resort) on the oxbow of the Mara River in the Masai Mara—a prime location for hippo viewing, thanks to pools created by a fork in the river.

Stats: 51 tents; 2 restaurants; 2 bars.

Rooms to Book: Deluxe tents have wide decks for private dining.

Insider Tip: Get a massage with a view of the hippo-filled river.

Cost: Doubles from $560, all-inclusive.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009
Oberoi Udaivilas

Courtesy of Oberoi Udaivilas

#4
Oberoi Udaivilas (95)
Udaipur, India

The full package: an impeccable replica palace in marble, sandstone, and gold leaf, set in an idyllic setting (it’s on 30 lakeside acres of former royal hunting grounds), with cosseting service.

Stats: 86 rooms; 2 restaurants; 1 bar.

Rooms to Book: Premier Lake View rooms with semiprivate pools overlooking Lake Pichola.

Insider Tip: Arrange a dinner for two on a floating pontoon in the lake.

Cost: Doubles from $650.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009
Triple Creek Ranch

Courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

#5
Triple Creek Ranch (95)
Darby, Montana

The gold standard for upscale guest ranches: an ultra-luxe collection of log cabins, in Big Sky country, that offers excellent service, innovative cuisine, and a comprehensive range of activities.

Stats: 23 cabins; 1 restaurant; 1 bar.

Rooms to Book: The Baker and Boulder cabins offer the best value.

Insider Tip: The hotel can arrange a scenic helicopter tour of the Bitterroot Range.

Cost: Doubles from $650, all-inclusive.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

Oberoi Amarvilas

Courtesy of Oberoi Amarvilas

#6
Oberoi Amarvilas (94.27)
Agra, India

Contemporary Moorish and Mughal fantasy of marble pools and fountains, designed so that all rooms look out on the Taj Mahal.

Stats: 105 rooms; 2 restaurants; 2 bars.

Rooms to Book: Premier rooms with balconies.

Insider Tip: Take a ride on elephant or golf cart to the Taj Mahal, which is five minutes from the hotel.

Cost: Doubles from $650.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

Kirawira Camp

Courtesy of Kirawira Camp

#7
Kirawira Camp (93.89)
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Edwardian-style tented camp in the Western Serengeti with authentic décor (vintage cameras, gramophones) from a bygone era.

Stats: 25 tents; 2 restaurants; 1 bar.

Rooms to Book: Tents 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11 have spectacular views of the plains.

Insider Tip: Go for the wildebeest migration in May and June.

Cost: Doubles from $1,780, all-inclusive.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Courtesy of Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

#8
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve (93.48)
Kruger National Park Area, South Africa

Four diverse lodges—ranging from colonial (Selati Camp) to eco-futuristic (Earth Lodge)—in a classic bush setting next to Kruger National Park.

Stats: 52 suites; 4 restaurants; 4 bars.

Rooms to Book: Selati Camp is the most romantic, while Little Bush Camp has the most secluded rooms.

Insider Tip: Get a treatment at the ultra-modern spa in the Earth Lodge.

Cost: Doubles from $846, all-inclusive.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

Tortilis Camp

Courtesy of Tortilis Camp

#9
Tortilis Camp (93.06)
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A cluster of eco-friendly tents—the only luxury tented camp in Amboseli—facing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Stats: 17 tents; 1 house.

Rooms to Book: The Family House has a private lounge area—perfect for relaxing after a day in the bush.

Insider Tip: Learn survival secrets on a bush walk with your Masai guide.

Cost: Doubles from $970, all-inclusive.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

Domaine des Hauts de Loire

Courtesy of Domaine des Hauts de Loire

#10
Domaine des Hauts de Loire (92.56)
Loire Valley, France

Elegant property housed in a 19th-century hunting manor in a wooded park, between Blois and Amboise (the perfect base for exploring the wine country), and with one of the region’s top restaurants.

Stats: 33 rooms; 1 restaurant.

Rooms to Book: No. 35, for its floor-to-ceiling windows; Nos. 17-20 for their small terraces.

Insider Tip: Book a hot-air-balloon tour—arranged by the hotel—of the region’s châteaux.

Cost: Doubles from $180.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

Alvear Palace Hotel

Courtesy of Alvear Palace Hotel

#11
Alvear Palace Hotel (92.44)
Buenos Aires, Argentina

The grande dame of South American luxury hotels: a 1932 palace in the heart of the Recoleta, with an old-world feel and up-to-the-minute extras, like La Prairie spa treatments.

Stats: 200 rooms; 2 restaurants; 1 bar.

Rooms to Book: Palace Premier rooms 801, 802, 816, 817, 820, and 920, for the best views and hydromassage bathtubs.

Insider Tip: Avant-garde chocolates in such flavors as curry and cardamom at the new Art Deco Cigar Bar.

Cost: Doubles from $443.

For more details on this hotel, please visit T+L’s hotel guide

Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

See the slideshow: Top 25 Hotels | T+L 500 2009

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