The 100 Best Hotels in the World in 2016

Taj Lake Palace Udaipur India
Photo: Courtesy of Taj Lake Palace

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.

01 of 100

100. andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Courtesy of andBeyond

Score: 94.50

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02 of 100

99. The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Resort at Pedregal Mexico
Courtesy of The Resort at Pedregal

Score: 94.524

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03 of 100

98. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India

Taj Lake Palace Udaipur India
Courtesy of Taj Lake Palace

Score: 94.56

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04 of 100

97. Cape Grace, Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Grace Cape Town South Africa
Courtesy of Cape Grace

Score: 94.59

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05 of 100

96. Inn Above Tide, Sausalito, California

Inn Above Tide Sausalito California
Grey Crawford

Score: 94.62

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06 of 100

95. Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa

Singita Kruger National Park South Africa
Courtesy of Singita

Score: 94.65

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07 of 100

94. The House, St. James, Barbados

The House St James Barbados
Courtesy of The House by Elegant Hotels

Score: 94.70

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08 of 100

93. River Inn of Harbor Town, Memphis, Tennessee

River Inn of Harbor Town Memphis Tennessee
Courtesy of River Inn of Harbor Town

Score: 94.71

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09 of 100

92. The Knickerbocker, New York City

The Knickerbocker New York
Nicholas Koenig

Score: 94.75

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10 of 100

91. The Greenwich Hotel, New York City

Greenwich Hotel New York
Courtesy of the Greenwich Hotel

Score: 94.76

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11 of 100

90. Jade Mountain, Soufrière, St. Lucia

Jade Mountain St Lucia
Courtesy of Jade Mountain St. Lucia

Score: 94.85

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12 of 100

89. The Egerton House Hotel, London

Egerton House Hotel London England
Courtesy of the Egerton House Hotel

Score: 94.86

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13 of 100

88. The Lanesborough, London

The Lanesborough London England
Courtesy of the Lanesborough

Score: 94.87

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14 of 100

87. Qualia, Hamilton Island, Australia

Qualia Hamilton Island Australia
Courtesy of Qualia

Score: 94.89

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15 of 100

86. The Inn at Harbour Town, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

The Inn at Harbour Town South Carolina
Courtesy of The Sea Pines Resort / Rob Tipton

Score: 94.95

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16 of 100

84. (tie) Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Madikwe Safari Lodge South Africa
Courtesy of Madikwe Safari Lodge

Score: 94.96

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17 of 100

84. (tie) La Casa Que Canta, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

La Casa Que Canta Mexico
Courtesy of La Casa Que Canta

Score: 94.96

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18 of 100

83. Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Inn by the Sea Cape Elizabeth Maine
Courtesy of Inn by the Sea

Score: 94.97

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19 of 100

82. Ocean House, Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Ocean House Rhode Island
Courtesy of Ocean House

Score: 95.03

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20 of 100

81. Villa Cora, Florence, Italy

Villa Cora Florence Italy
Andrea Getuli

Score: 95.04

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21 of 100

80. Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail, Colorado

Sonnenalp Hotel Vail Colorado
Courtesy of Sonnenalp Hotel

Score: 95.04

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22 of 100

79. Le Bristol, Paris

Le Bristol Paris France
Courtesy of Le Bristol

Score: 95.06

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23 of 100

78. The Leela Palace New Delhi, India

The Leela Palace New Delhi India
Courtesy of the Leela Palaces

Score: 95.06

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24 of 100

77. Tu Tu'tun Lodge, Gold Beach, Oregon

Tu Tutun Lodge Oregon
Courtesy of Tu Tu'tun Lodge

Score: 95.06

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25 of 100

76. Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland

Gleneagles Hotel Scotland
Courtesy of the Gleneagles Hotel

Score: 95.08

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26 of 100

75. Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, Johannesburg, South Africa

Saxon Hotel Villas Spa Johannesburg South Africa
Courtesy of Saxon Hotels, Villas and Spa

Score: 95.09

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27 of 100

74. Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Sacred Valley, Peru

Tambo del Inka Peru
Courtesy of Tambo del Inka

Score: 95.11

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28 of 100

73. The Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia

The Cloister Sea Island Georgia
Courtesy of the Cloister at Sea Island

Score: 95.16

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29 of 100

72. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts

Score: 95.17

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30 of 100

71. The Goring, London

The Goring London England
Courtesy of the Goring

Score: 95.19

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31 of 100

70. La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa

La Residence Franschhoek South Africa
Courtesy of La Residence Franschhoek

Score: 95.27

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32 of 100

69. La Réserve Paris Hotel, Spa & Apartments, Paris

La Reserve Paris France
Courtesy of La Réserve Paris Hotel, Spa, and Apartments

Score: 95.29

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33 of 100

68. The Milestone Hotel, London

The Milestone Hotel London England
Courtesy of the Milestone Hotel

Score: 95.32

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34 of 100

67. The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida

Biltmore Hotel Florida
Courtesy of the Biltmore Hotel

Score: 95.32

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35 of 100

66. Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Thailand
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts

Score: 95.33

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36 of 100

65. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers New Zealand
Courtesy of the Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Score: 95.33

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37 of 100

64. The Surrey, New York City

The Surrey New York
Courtesy of the Surrey

Score: 95.37

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38 of 100

63. Curtain Bluff, St. John's, Antigua

Curtain Bluff Resort Antigua
Courtesy of Curtain Bluff

Score: 95.40

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39 of 100

62. Inn at Hastings Park, Lexington, Massachusetts

Inn at Hastings Park Massachusetts
Michael J. Lee Photography

Score: 95.40

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40 of 100

61. Winvian Farm, Morris, Connecticut

Winvian Farm Connecticut
Courtesy of Winvian Farm

Score: 95.41

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41 of 100

60. Lion Sands Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Lion Sands Game Reserve South Africa
Courtesy of Lion Sands Game Reserve

Score: 95.42

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42 of 100

59. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, India

The Oberoi Rajvilas India
Michelle Chaplow

Score: 95.45

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43 of 100

58. J.K. Place Capri, Italy

JK Place Capri Italy
Courtesy of J.K. Place Capri

Score: 95.46

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44 of 100

57. Zamas Hotel, Tulum, Mexico

ZAMAS Hotel Tulum Mexico
Courtesy of ZAMAS

Score: 95.49

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45 of 100

56. The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island

Chanler at Cliff Walk Rhode Island
Courtesy of the Chanler at Cliff Walk

Score: 95.51

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46 of 100

55. Acqualina, Miami, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

Acqualina Miami Florida
Courtesy of Acqualina

Score: 95.53

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47 of 100

54. Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi, Italy

Hotel Santa Caterina Amalfi Italy
Genius Loci

Score: 95.57

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48 of 100

53. Brewery Gulch Inn, Mendocino, California

Brewery Gulch Inn California
Courtesy of Brewery Gulch Inn

Score: 95.59

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49 of 100

52. Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada

Fogo Island Inn Newfoundland Canada
Courtesy of Fogo Island Inn

Score: 95.6

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50 of 100

51. The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam

The Nam Hai Vietnam
Courtesy of The Nam Hai

Score: 95.63

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51 of 100

50. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe, California

Rancho Valencia Resort Spa California
Rouse Photograpy

Score: 95.69

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52 of 100

49. Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande, Florida

Gasparilla Inn Florida
Courtesy of Gasparilla Inn

Score: 95.76

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53 of 100

48. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort, San José del Cabo, Mexico

Las Ventanas al Paraiso Mexico
Courtesy of Rosewood

Score: 95.81

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54 of 100

47. Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland

Ashford Castle Ireland
Courtesy of Ashford Castle

Score: 95.84

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55 of 100

46. The Lodge and Cottages at Primland, Meadows of Dan, Virginia

The Lodge and Cottages at Primland Virginia
Courtesy of Primland

Score: 95.87

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56 of 100

45. Lodge at Sea Island, Sea Island, Georgia

Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club Georgia
Courtesy of Lodge at Sea Island

Score: 95.90

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57 of 100

44. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Nayara Hotel Spa Gardens Costa Rica
Courtesy of Nayara Hotel

Score: 95.91

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58 of 100

43. 41, London

41 London England
Courtesy of 41

Score: 95.93

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59 of 100

42. Katikies Hotel, Santorini, Greece

Katikies Hotel Santorini Greece
Courtesy of Katikies Hotel

Score: 95.95

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60 of 100

37. (tie) Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park, California

Rosewood Sand Hill California
Blake Marvin

Score: 96.00

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61 of 100

37. (tie) Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland

Beau-Rivage Palace Switzerland
Courtesy of Beau-Rivage Palace

Score: 96.00

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62 of 100

37. (tie) Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

Alpina Gstaad Switzerland
Courtesy of Alpina Gstaad

Score: 96.00

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63 of 100

37. (tie) 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Thailand
Courtesy of 137 Pillars House

Score: 96.00

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64 of 100

37. (tie) Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden, Germany

Brenners Park Hotel Spa Germany
Courtesy of Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa

Score: 96.00

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65 of 100

36. Tongabezi Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia

Tongabezi Lodge Zambia
Courtesy of Tongabezi Lodge

Score: 96.2

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66 of 100

35. The St. Regis Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia

The St Regis Bali Resort Indonesia
Courtesy of The St. Regis Bali Resort

Score: 96.22

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67 of 100

34. XV Beacon, Boston, Massachusetts

XV Beacon Boston Massachusetts
Kristin Teig

Sore: 96.27

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68 of 100

33. Kamalame Cay, Kamalame Cay, Andros Island, Bahamas

Kamalame Cay Andros Island Bahamas
Michael Paniccia

Score: 96.3

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69 of 100

31. (Tie) Nayara Springs, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Nayara Springs Costa Rica
Courtesy of Nayara Springs

Score: 96.36

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70 of 100

31. (Tie) Sol y Luna, Urubamba, Peru

Sol y Luna Peru
Courtesy of Sol y Luna

Score: 96.36

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71 of 100

30. Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Rosewood Mayakoba Mexico
Courtesy of Rosewood

Score: 96.39

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72 of 100

29. Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp Botswana
Dana Allen

Score: 96.50

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73 of 100

28. The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore, India

The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambhore India
Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels and Resorts

Score: 96.63

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74 of 100

27. Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, Rhode Island

Weekapaug Inn Rhode Island
Courtesy of Weekapaug Inn

Score: 96.67

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75 of 100

26. Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Highlands, North Carolina

Old Edwards Inn Spa North Carolina
Courtesy of Old Edwards Inn

Score: 96.67

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76 of 100

25. Wequassett Resort & Golf Club, Chatham, Massachusetts

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club Massachusetts
Courtesy of Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Score: 96.68

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77 of 100

22. (tie) The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India

The Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur India
Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 96.76

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78 of 100

22. (tie) The Opposite House, Beijing, China

The Opposite House Beijing China
Michael Weber

Score: 96.76

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79 of 100

22. (tie) Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Montana

Triple Creek Ranch Montana
Courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Score: 96.76

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80 of 100

21. Château du Sureau, Oakhurst, California

Chateau du Sureau California
Courtesy of Château du Sureau

Score: 96.77

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81 of 100

20. The Brando, Tetiaroa, French Polynesia

The Brando French Polynesia
Courtesy of The Brando

Score: 96.8

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82 of 100

19. Manoir Hovey, North Hatley, Quebec

Manoir Hovey Quebec Canada
Courtesy of Manoir Hovey

Score: 96.93

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83 of 100

18. Singita Sabi Sand, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Singita Sabi Sand South Africa
Courtesy of Singita Sabi Sand

Score: 96.95

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84 of 100

17. Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza, Argentina

Cavas Wine Lodge Argentina
Courtesy of Cavas Wine Lodge

Score: 96.99

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85 of 100

16. Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, Gateway, Colorado

Gateway Canyons Resort Colorado
Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort

Score: 97.00

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86 of 100

15. Hotel Castello di Casole—A Timbers Resort, Casole d'Elsa, Italy

Castello di Casole Italy
Courtesy of Hotel Castello di Casole

Score: 97.01

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87 of 100

14. The Peninsula Shanghai, China

The Peninsula Shanghai China
Courtesy of Peninsula

Score: 97.01

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88 of 100

13. Londolozi, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Londolozi Sabi Sand Game Reserve South Africa
Courtesy of Londolozi

Score: 97.06

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89 of 100

12. Farmhouse Inn, Forestville, California

Farmhouse Inn California
Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn

Score: 97.07

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90 of 100

11. Singita Grumeti, Serengeti National Park Area, Tanzania

Singita Grumeti Serengeti Tanzania
Courtesy of Singita

Score: 97.11

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91 of 100

10. The Singular Patagonia, Puerto Bories, Chile

The Singular Patagonia Chile
Courtesy of Singular Patagonia

Score: 97.14

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92 of 100

9. Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont

Twin Farms Vermont
Courtesy of Twin Farms

Score: 97.19

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93 of 100

8. Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador

Casa Gangotena Ecuador
Courtesy of Casa Gangotena

Score: 97.2

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94 of 100

7. The Willcox, Aiken, South Carolina

The Willcox South Carolina
Courtesy of The Willcox

Score: 97.25

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95 of 100

6. The Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford, Pennsylvania

The Lodge at Glendorn Pennsylvania
Courtesy of The Lodge at Glendorn

Score: 97.38

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96 of 100

4. (tie) Montage Kapalua Bay, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Montage Kapalua Bay Maui Hawaii
Courtesy of Montage Kapalua Bay

Score: 97.39

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97 of 100

4. (tie) Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia

Southern Ocean Lodge Kangaroo Island Australia
Courtesy of Southern Ocean Lodge

Score: 97.39

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98 of 100

3. Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand

Huka Lodge New Zealand
Courtesy of Huka Lodge

Score: 97.65

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99 of 100

2. The Spectator, Charleston, South Carolina

The Spectator Charleston South Carolina
Courtesy of The Spectator

Score: 97.78

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100 of 100

1. Nihiwatu, Sumba, Indonesia

Nihiwatu Subma Indonesia
Courtesy of Nihiwatu

Score: 98.35

An extraordinary surf break attracted Nihiwatu’s founders to the plot that became this resort. Villas take inspiration from traditional Sumbanese homes, with thatched roofs and ikat accents. The island’s exceptional seafood is a focus in Nihiwatu’s three restaurants. Guests can fish, ride horses, or trek to the spa, but what really sets Nihiwatu apart is its strong connection with Sumba, Indonesia and its people, who make up 90 percent of the staff. “I would return here again and again,” wrote one T+L reader.

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