From a converted farm on a Grecian isle to an idyllic desert retreat, these are four hotel experiences our editors can't wait to repeat. 

Travel + Leisure Staff
August 20, 2018

So often, the magic of a trip lies in the offbeat, intimate discoveries that feel like they were waiting just for you. That’s the idea behind our first-ever Editors’ Choice Awards, a compendium of the places, experiences, and keepsakes from our recent adventures that we have loved best and wanted to share with you. Here, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite hotels that warrant a trip.

On the Greek isle of Crete, on the outskirts of Chenia, Features Director Flora Stubbs fell in love with Metohi Kindelis, a 17th-century farm turned vacation rental. “Every day we would find our kitchen stocked with fresh, organic produce from the working farm, from bitter marmalade to thick, green extra-virgin olive oil and crumbly sheep-milk cheese,” said Stubbs. Book the Kyraikos apartment if you can — its private pool is at the bottom of a wildflower garden.

In Maheshwar, a town in Madhya Pradesh, in central India, Stubbs stayed at Ahilya Fort, a former maharajah’s palace overlooking the Narmada River. Right next door is a weaving workshop where craftspeople work by hand on wooden looms, and many of the textiles in the hotel are made using those same techniques. ”I have strong feelings about hotel bathrobes, and I loved the one there so much that my husband bought it for me as a surprise when we checked out,” Stubbs said. “I think of that amazing place every time I wear it.”

Editor Nathan Lump can’t stop thinking about the amenities at Borgo Egnazia, a resort in Puglia, Italy. Instead of stocking the same international brands you’ll find at home or can order online, Borgo Egnazia makes their own shampoos and conditioners from local ingredients — the shampoo with ivy and rice, the conditioner with wheat germ — and both have that creamy, light feeling of old- fashioned, hand-crafted products that go on smooth, wash out easily, and leave you feeling fresh and clean. “I still miss their earthy scents, and the way they served as a daily reminder of the pastoral quality of one of my favorite places on earth,” Lump said.

Closer to home, the Arizona Inn in Tucson is a favorite of Assistant Editor Hannah Walhout. The hotel site has had many lives, as everything from a furniture workshop for World War I veterans to a Hollywood retreat where actors like Katharine Hepburn and Bing Crosby would stay. Now, its home to the best property in Tucson, a colorful complex of low-slung stucco buildings with cacti and wildflowers everywhere. When you’re not out at the pool, the rustic library, full of dark wood, Navajo rugs, and antiques, is the perfect haunt for a coffee and a newspaper, Walhout said. It’s all adobe and exposed beams, and feels reminiscent of a time when Arizona was a wilder place. “Reading in there makes you feel very glamorous, and I like that it’s got lots of little Arizonan twists on the typical ornate-mahogany-library vibe,” said Walhout.

For more of our editors’ favorite hotel experiences worth traveling for, watch the video above, or click through our full Editors' Choice Awards.

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