Our Hotel Highlights
Here, T+L editors offer a tipsheet from a few of the places we've recently visited.
Don’t Miss An outdoor yoga class on a lakeside redwood deck. Napa Valley; 707/254-2800; www.calistogaranch.com; doubles from $725.
The Regent South Beach
Most Unusual View The bar at Table 8, with skylights looking up on the pool above. 305/672-4554; www.theregentsouthbeach.com; doubles from $375.
Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Prime Location Après-ski drinks beside the outdoor fire pit. 970/748-6200; www.ritzcarlton.com; doubles from $375.
Best Features Balinese-inspired cabanas, private decks, and outdoor showers. Belize; 800/746-3743; www.turtleinn.com; doubles from $275.
Parrot Cay & Como Shambhala Retreat
Rooms To Book The beach villas with homey screened porches overlooking private plunge pools. 649/946-7788; www.parrotcay.como.bz; doubles from $535.
Favorite Find Hand-embroidered bags and dresses at the on-site shop. Jamaica; 876/957-4373; www.rockhousehotel.com; doubles from $95.
Three Sisters Hotel
Don’t Miss Taking a bath in the claw-foot tub, right in the center of the room. The tile floors are heated—a nice touch in Estonia in the wintertime. Tallinn. 372/630-6300; www.threesistershotel.com; doubles from $484.
Prime Location The city’s best drinks spot is the bar adjacent to the hotel’s pool and gardens. Hanoi 84-4/826-6919; www.sofitel.com; doubles from $220.
Mahua Kothi, Madhya Pradesh
Best Feature Enormous showers are practically the size of hotel rooms themselves: open on one side, with generous benches on two facing walls.India; 91-7627/265-402; www.ccafrica.com; doubles from $760.
Great View From the terrace, the Johannesburg Zoo below is carpeted in jacaranda blossoms; all you hear are the birdcalls and the occasional roar of a lion. Johannesburg; 27-11/481-6000; www.westcliff.co.za; doubles from $439.
What makes Turtle Inn, a collection of 17 cottages, eight villas, and six restaurants and bars stand out among Francis Ford Coppola’s small collection of Latin American properties? Its location right on the Caribbean Sea, which means that after travelers unpack in one of the hotel’s thatched cottages, they’ll have plenty of time to explore some of the world’s best diving and fishing spots. For even more wildlife spotting, a half-hour boat ride away is the Monkey River, in a primeval jungle that’s home to more than 50 species of birds and colonies of howler monkeys, while nearby Placencia gives a taste of the Caribbean circa 1968, with its hippie cafés and funky guesthouses. (The ideal way to get to the village is on one of the resort’s fleet of wildly painted retro bikes.) Add in a handful of massage therapists from Thailand, and you see why Coppola’s thoughtful details lure travelers to this sandy strip of Belizean beach.
This ultrahip hangout takes its name from its cluster of thatched-roof bungalows built atop rock cliffs that jut just above an aquamarine cove. Most of the 34 so-called rock houses are outfitted with private patios or sundecks; a few have private ladders leading right down into the sea. With four-poster beds made of local timber and covered in the softest linens, soaring ceilings, and giant windows facing the sea or gardens, the rooms encourage ordering breakfast in bed before venturing out for snorkeling in the sheltered waters of the reef or an “On the Rocks” massage (ask for Joy or Maureen) in the new open-air, cliff-top spa. Your dollars do double duty; your vacation helps build and repair local schools and expand libraries. Since 2004, the Rockhouse Foundation has donated over $500,000 to its community.
Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
With its own high-speed lift steps from the hotel and Wolfgang Puck's only Colorado outlet, the Ritz-Carlton—a giant lodgepole-and-timber cabin built in classic National Park-lodge style—is Beaver Creek's answer to convenience and luxury. It dominates the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, creating a postcard-pretty image as skiers schuss down the corduroy Cabin Fever trail to it, where ski valets stand at the ready. The 180 guest rooms and suites are decked out in Colorado rustic, with custom millwork and plenty of wood, while the marble bathrooms all have soaking tubs. Dip into the Bachelor Gulch spa, which has 19 treatment rooms, before dinner at Spago, which opened here in 2007.
Pushcart Restaurant & Rumbar
Order a Red Stripe by the pool from affable barmen Adrian and John, followed by curry goat or jerk pork. Try the Cartini cocktail, with rum, mint, cucumber, and brown sugar.