These World’s Best properties — as voted by T+L readers — have Instagram-worthy backdrops.
From the red dunes of Namibia and the rugged Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb to the peaks of Rwanda, the landscapes of Africa and the Middle East are sweeping and vast. Luckily for travelers, there is a wide range of resorts showcasing the best of these dramatic landscapes.
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 ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
The Negev Desert, a massive swath of arid red rocks and wadis that covers much of southern Israel and parts of the Palestinian Territories, is the setting for our No. 3 resort: the Beresheet Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. “Wow,” said one respondent; “this hotel is located on the Ramon Crater. Magnificent views.” The infinity pool and many of the resort’s 111 private villas look out onto the crater — arguably the region’s finest example of a makhtesh, a deep, wide valley surrounded by cliffs — while the rest look over the property’s 12.5 private acres of golden desert.
Coming in at No. 2 is Oman’s Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, a pair of hotels just outside the city of Muscat. Set on a private inlet of the Gulf of Oman, the 262-room Al Waha and 198-room Al Bandar have unparalleled views of the turquoise gulf and the striated cliffs at the water’s edge. The resort’s dramatic beaches make it an ideal location for seaside yoga, snorkeling, sea-turtle tracking — or just hanging out at some of the best beaches on the Arabian Peninsula.
But for our winning property, we must venture south, to the vineyard-lined hills of South Africa. Read on to find out more.