For 19 years and counting, T+L readers have voted for their favorite hotels and resorts, evaluating them in categories like value, food, service, rooms, and location. More than just a list of the best properties, the World’s Best Awards results also highlight bigger travel trends. A significant number of this year’s winners are close to home, with the share of U.S. properties growing by more than 19 percent over last year.
No. 1 Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, MT
A luxurious mountain retreat, Triple Creek Ranch knows how to pamper its guests (adults only). Itineraries are tailored to fit your preference of activities, among them, scenic hikes, wildlife spotting, wine tastings, cattle drives, and helicopter tours above Glacier or Yellowstone National Parks. When you’re ready to come indoors, upscale log cabins set a romantic mood with wood-burning fireplaces, hot tubs, and locally woven woolens. And staffers are on hand to welcome you with fresh-baked cookies—or recommend a bottle from the 2,000-strong wine cellar. Don’t be surprised if you feel one stay wasn’t enough; approximately half of all visitors are repeat guests.
No. 2 Nayara Springs, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
At Nayara Springs, each of the 16 villas comes with its own plunge pool, drawing on mineral-rich spring waters from Arenal Volcano next door. Venetian mirrors, hand-loomed rugs, and hammocks add to the easy-breezy vibe at this secluded jungle retreat, complete with a spa and yoga or Pilates offered daily. Get to know your neighbors—namely howler monkeys and blue morpho butterflies—on a tour with one of the local guides. It’s just one of the experiences that your personal host can coordinate.
No. 3 Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest
Once an apartment complex during Hungarian Communist rule, this 179-room hotel is now one of the Four Seasons’ grandest properties. The luxury brand gave new life to the 1906 Art Nouveau structure with a $125 million restoration, and ever since, the hotel lobby has wowed visitors with its stained-glass windows, mosaic tiles, and custom-made crystal chandelier. Opt for a Danube-facing room, and plan your visit during summer to check out the nearby Festival of Folk Arts at Buda Castle.
No. 4 Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia
At Southern Ocean Lodge, each of the 21 suites is outfitted with limestone floors, works by local artists, and an outdoor terrace. Don’t look for an AC switch—it’s unnecessary here: the lodge was built to take advantage of natural weather patterns on Kangaroo Island. Book the glass-walled Osprey Pavilion suite for a private plunge pool and hand-carved granite bath, or try your luck fishing Hanson Bay. Chef Tim Bourke will incorporate your catch into a dish along with local produce.
No. 5 Ocean House, Watch Hill, RI
A Victorian oceanfront hotel renovated to the tune of $146 million, this 1868 property is as grand as ever. Croquet lawns nod to old-world glamour, while 49 light-filled guest rooms and 22 private villas feature modern bathrooms and custom-made furnishings. Consider visiting in the off season—moody skies, long walks on the private beach, and cozy treatments at the hotel spa make for a romantic stay. We recommend requesting the Grand Deluxe Room 301 for its ocean views, freestanding tub, and blue-tiled fireplace.