By Peter Terzian
July 08, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Finca Cortesin

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

All five of the resort hotels in the Iberian Peninsula that T+L readers chose as their favorites share something in common: They embrace the ravishing landscapes in which they’re located. Six Senses Douro Valley, at No. 3, is the perfect example. Housed in a 19th-century villa surrounded by orchards and gardens, the retreat sits on a hill overlooking the tranquil Portuguese river that gives the valley its name. “True elegance,” proclaimed one voter.

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.

On Mallorca, both No. 4 Cap Rocat and No. 2 Belmond La Residencia are studies in Balearic bliss. The former, an army fortress in the 19th century, sits on secluded private territory overlooking the west side of the island and the Atlantic. The latter is a short walk from Deia, a charming mountain village (and longtime celebrity magnet). Meanwhile, near Lisbon, the rooms at No. 5 Penha Longa Resort look out onto the Sintra Mountains, which abound with flora and fauna.

This year, Finca Cortesin on Spain’s Costa del Sol captured the top spot, thanks to its prime location and top-flight service. For the full list of the best hotels in Spain and Portugal, scroll on.

1. Finca Cortesin Hotel Golf & Spa, Málaga, Spain

Credit: Courtesy of Finca Cortesin

Score: 98.11

More information: fincacortesin.com

Located between the mountains of Andalusia and the Mediterranean shore, Finca Cortesan wins high praise for its service, food, and alluring design. “Once you enter this mesmerizing resort,” wrote one reader, “you are part of the Cortesin family. The essence of pampering, the beautiful Andalusian architecture, the attention to detail — all of it enhances the experience.”

2. Belmond La Residencia, Majorca, Spain

Credit: Gunnar Knechtel

Score: 96.00

More information: belmond.com

3. Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal

Credit: Courtesy of Six Senses

Score: 95.87

More information: sixsenses.com

4. Cap Rocat, Mallorca, Spain

Credit: Gunnar Knechtel

Score: 95.43

More information: caprocat.com

5. Penha Longa Resort, Sintra, Portugal

Credit: Courtesy of Penha Longa Resort

Score: 94.75

More information: penhalonga.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.