World's Best Hotels 2010
The results are in for Travel + Leisure’s 15th-annual reader survey of the absolute best hotels in the world.
on a white sand beach, with nothing but turquoise water in front. Behind you
lies the comforts of an 18th-century great house and luxurious
yellow cottages with private patios, all set on a 30-acre, palm tree–filled
plantation. Want to explore? A Vespa is at the ready. It’s just another day at
Plantation Beach Club in Nevis.
like these that travelers crave. And it’s our mission at Travel + Leisure to help you make them happen. Which is why, every year for the past 15 years,
we’ve asked our readers to vote on their absolute favorite hotels in the World’s Best Awards survey. (Nisbet came in at No. 6.)
This year, “the
spirit of exploration prevailed,” says Travel + Leisure’s editor in
chief, Nancy Novogrod. Out of the Top 100 hotels, 69 are located outside of the
U.S. and Canada (there are eight in India, seven in South Africa, and six in Italy and France, respectively). TripAdvisor found similar
results on a recent survey: 60 percent of travelers are planning to visit Europe in the next year.
A few top
winners came from the most remote reaches of the globe. One example: the Fairmont
Mara Safari Club in Nairobi, Kenya, which rose from
No. 96 last year to No. 3 in 2010. We’re betting the high score is due to the
presence of the evermore elusive Big 5 animals, which the resort’s expert
trackers take guests to search for on twice-daily game drives. It’s clear that
travelers are looking for “encounters with the natural world,” says Novogrod.
Bangkok also had a meteoric rise this year, from No. 66 in 2009 to No. 7 in
2010. We’re attributing this shift to our readers’ increased affection for Asia
and Bangkok (newly
anointed the 2010 World’s Best City), with its world-class hotels, shopping,
restaurants, and happily, peace once again. [The survey ended before the
looking to stay close to home, this year’s list delivers plenty of ideas. Trump
International Hotel & Tower Chicago (No. 20) opened less than two years
ago, but it has already wowed our readers with its minimalist design, stellar
service, and indulgent brunch menu. Chicago also has
three other hotels on the list, while perennial powerhouse New York City had only one: the Ritz-Carlton
New York Central Park. Are second—and smaller—cities on the rise?
Perhaps so. The Four
Seasons Resort Jackson Hole skyrocketed to No. 41 in the Top 100 (its score
was too low to be listed last year), which illustrates that less popular destinations
do have their own appeal, and also that T+L readers are looking to connect more
with the outdoors.
get-your-hands-dirty desire brings guests to the Inn
at Palmetto Bluff (there’s horseback riding, boating, and fishing on the
40-acre riverfront grounds), though the South Carolina low-country hotel fell from No. 14 in 2009 to No. 41 this year (it’s tied with
Jackson Hole), helping to make room at the top for No. 2 Triple Creek Ranch, Montana’s
all-inclusive rustic lodge that ranked No. 4 in 2008 before failing to make the
list at all last year.
So who were the
big winners in 2010? And most important, what hotel did Travel + Leisure readers vote the World’s Best? Read on for all the results. —Sarah