Sara Clemence is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Bloomberg, Inc,The Washington Post, and many other publications. She is the former travel editor for The Wall Street Journal and news director for Travel + Leisure.
Traveling with children can be enriching and educational, but sometimes risky. On top of the usual safety hazards (accidents, choking, stomach bugs), kids can have stronger reactions to exotic ailments when abroad. This checklist can help with prevention.
Hotels play starring roles in our travels — and perhaps no place more than in La-La Land. There’s the Hotel Bel-Air — à la Katharine Hepburn, refined without being austere, with just 45 suites on 12 acres of landscaped grounds. Mr. C manages to be a little modern, a little retro, and a lot handsome, even though the initial stands for Cipriani instead of Clooney. “Quirky, romantic, hip, and fabulous,” is how one Travel + Leisure reader described Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood, with its Venetian-plaster walls and a gypsy brunch on the menu. Need it be said that these hotels are all award-winners, too? Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe—to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotels on their rooms/facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Properties were categorized as city or resort based on their locations, and Los Angeles includes the greater metropolitan area, including West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and other neighborhoods. Beverly Hills, in fact, dominated the roster, with seven of the top 10 properties in L.A. That includes the Beverly Wilshire — a.k.a. the Pretty Woman hotel — the Beverly Hills Hotel (sometimes known as the “pink palace” for its rosy hue), and the Montage Beverly Hills. Though many classics made the list, the No. 1 winner isn’t one of them — at least, not yet. The Redbury Hollywood opened six years ago and has become popular with the celebrity set, thanks to its all-suites setup and sexy vibe. “A true gem in the heart of Hollywood,” reported one of our readers. What better place to be?
The farther, the better. That’s one big takeaway from this year’s list of best hotels in the world, as decided by Travel + Leisure readers. Among the top 20 are an industrial-chic expedition property near the southern tip of Chile (the Singular Patagonia), a fishing retreat in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island, more than three hours from Auckland (Huka Lodge), and a do-everything Colorado resort that’s a five-hour drive from the nearest big airport (Gateway Canyons Resort). The remoteness of many of these properties is a testament to how intrepid and discerning our readers are — they are willing to endure overnight flights, extended drives, and multiple connections for extraordinary lodging. But it also speaks to the ability of the winners to provide such special experiences far outside of traditional travel destinations. Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotels on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Though there are many faraway hotels in our top 100, plenty of winners were more convenient to reach. The No. 2 property, the Spectator Hotel, is in the heart of charming Charleston. Farmhouse Inn, whose signature is elegant country decor, is nestled in California wine country. Though smaller, independently owned hotels made up a large portion of the roster, some well-known brands earned kudos, too. The Peninsula Shanghai, known for its expansive rooms and jaw-dropping rooftop bar, marks its fifth consecutive year on the list. And newcomers really shook up the rankings. The Spectator and the Singular are among them, as are the elegant, old-world Casa Gangotena in Quito, Ecuador, which came in eighth, and equestrian escape at the Willcox, in Aiken, South Carolina (No. 7). Most startling may be the appearance of Indonesian surf retreat Nihiwatu, which has a cult following among the most sophisticated travelers, and makes its debut as No. 1.