Picture a cypress-lined road in Tuscany. Now picture yourself arriving at a 10th-century former castle on more than 4,000 acres of rolling hills. Welcome to Castello di Casole, a new 41-suite hotel that already ranks as No. 2 in the world.
We asked our readers to vote in the 18th annual World’s Best Awards for properties like Castello di Casole that have won them over—weighing in on categories such as rooms, location, service, food, and value. The resulting list is not only a go-to hotel resource for planning your next trip, but also reveals the destinations that are important now.
Related: Best Places to Travel in 2014
One of the most exciting trends is the desire to get off the grid. For the first time this year, Four Seasons Resort Bora-Bora and the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand (tied at No. 5) debuted among the top 10 hotels overall for their respective regions. And T+L readers crowned a new No. 1 hotel: Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp in Botswana.
Luckily, there are plenty of amazing places to stay closer to home. U.S. properties represent nearly 20 percent of the top 50 list, from Triple Creek Ranch (No. 13), with 23 intimate cabins with wood-burning fireplaces in western Montana to Elizabeth Pointe Lodge (No. 25) on Amelia Island, FL, with its turn-of-the-century-inspired décor and enormous marble soaking tubs.
Whether you’re ready for a nature retreat or eager to pound the pavement of Hong Kong, Berlin, or Beverly Hills, there’s a property for you among the World’s Best Hotel winners. Read on, and let the daydreaming begin.