Readers' Poll: World's Best Values
Inside: the Most and Least Expensive
Sale prices come and go, but which hotels are consistently giving travelers the most for their money?To find out, in our recent World's Best survey we asked Travel + Leisure readers to rate hotels around the world for value. Here, we give you the highest scorers by geographic region, along with the price for a standard double room (city hotel prices are for the month of March; resorts, high season). The results reveal that although you love a good bargain—Canadian properties, thanks in part to a favorable exchange rate, do exceptionally well—you're also happy to splurge on a fabulous experience at a famous hotel: the average cost of a night at one of your top 10 picks in Europe, for example, is $500. This year, for the first time, a resort in the U.S.A. takes the No. 1 spot overall. With four other American hotels in the top 10 worldwide, the rankings demonstrate that, when it comes to getting what you want at the right price, hotels close to home are hard to beat.
Least Expensive: $99 Per Night
Luxury for less?The Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City proves it's possible. Historic (109 years old), massive (618 rooms), and suitably famous (past guests include everyone from Winston Churchill to Cyndi Lauper), the property is an attraction in its own right (tours: $4). But a dinosaur it's not. The Fairmont hotel group has recently spruced up all the rooms, and Jean Soulard—the only chef in Canada to receive the Master Chef of France award—ensures that anyone who's anyone in town dines at the hotel's three restaurants. All this in a storybook setting in North America's last remaining walled city, with 124 ski slopes on three mountains within easy reach.
Most Expensive: $880 Per Night
Huka Lodge may not be cheap, but for the guests who book at least six months in advance to get in, it's worth every penny. The New Zealand resort's high price tag buys a divinely isolated vacation, more than three miles from civilization amid dense forests, roaring waterfalls, and 17 acres of gardens. All 20 suites and a three-bedroom cottage sit on the banks of the Waikato River, and have draped canopy beds and private verandas. Fishing for rainbow trout in Lake Taupo is the can't-miss activity (add $76 per hour for a private boat rental and $5 for the license to your bill, though). Be sure to hand over your catch to chef Nicholas Watt, who's at the ready to prepare it in one of 100 different ways.
* Scores are rounded off to the nearest tenth of a point. In the event of an exact tie, properties share the same ranking.
* For methodology, go to www.travelandleisure.com/wbmethodology