Though not a complete list, these are some of the most amazing resorts, as voted by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2021 awards. Enjoy!
Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Hawaii
When driving through Lanai City, where you’ll find there are still more plantation outposts than town, from the airport to the hotel, there are none of the usual things: no traffic lights, liquor Stores, or shaved ice stands. In 2012, Larry Ellison, a billionaire, purchased 98% of Lanai, including this hotel, which he renovated significantly in 2015. What really makes this hotel stand out? You don’t have that sense of being off or on the property because every part of Lanai with its beautiful red-rock formations, feel like they’re all yours.
Soneva Jani, Maldives
This barefoot, super awesome luxury property in the Maldives is now known for when they opened Soneva Fushi in this gorgeous body of water way back in 1995! Their latest update raised the bar again in 2016: an unbelievably surreal set of 25 enormous neo-Victorian villas, some having wraparound slides plunging into a lagoon that’s so clear you can see vibrant rays, parrotfish, and mottled nudibranchs from shore. Not only does the Soneva property dedicate resources to ensure it is sustainability run, but here they even have their own recycling center, with seawater pools, organic gardens, & even an open-air cinema using with wireless headphones to not disturb the nesting turtles nearby!
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, San José del Cabo, Mexico
The Cabo hotel region has been growing quickly for the past few years, with new openings from big-name companies like Four Seasons, Montage, & even Viceroy. Amid the chaos, Ritz-Carlton managed to score a 20-acre reserve overlooking the Sea of Cortez & built partially right onto on the sand dunes! Suites give you that very curated and comfortable vibe, featuring large living rooms with blue-and-white textiles, local art work such as woven leather baskets, painted pottery, and even terraces with fire pits! I happen to love fire pits! Regardless, it is their incredible staff that truly make this resort stand out: remembering tables at dining venues, knowing the right chaise lounge around the huge pool at which to drop off each swimmer’s margarita, just to name a few. In one of the world’s most elevated hotel areas, Ritz-Carlton shows that the experience can always be elevated.
Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancún, Mexico
Using a gorgeous and relaxing palette of Caribbean Sea blues, beiges, and whites, this adults only, all inclusive resorts has 371 rooms designed to keep you relaxed and savoring time away through out your entire stay. The hotel is located on a coveted strip of waterfront, but guests don’t need to go far to find things to do during their stay with 11 bars, restaurants, & cafés. With spa treatments that draw on the aromas and ingredients of the region, including avocado, cocoa, and coffee, you can’t go wrong at this resort!
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, Hawaii
Hotels in Hawaii, of course, differ in size & price rnage, but most are by the beach. The opening of this hotel is such a major shakeup because it’s 1,800 feet above sea level not to mention, it’s a full 20 minute drive to the nearest beach! It’s on Lanai, which is the smallest and least-visited of Hawaii’s islands (inhabited islands anyway). As an adults-only wellness retreat, the usual lounging in the sun doesn’t make it onto the daily wish list of guests. Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort is about as boutique as hotels get. It may very well be one of the top wellness resorts around!
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
The Cheval Blanc Randheli is a pretty new resort from luxury conglomerate LVMH (owners of Louis Vuitton, Céline, Dior, etc.) and have they ever set the bar high! The white sands & crystal turquoise waters of the Noonu Atoll, located in the northwest Maldives, are the setting of the forty five exclusive 1 and 2 bedroom villas. Appearance wise, it doesn’t get more chic than these, but they do feature some whimsical touches, such as turtles drawn in the sand along the villa’s path, little notes from your butler left alongside the pitchers of fresh juice, and these little meaningful touches are what truly give this place its character. And just look at that photo!
Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, St. Barts
A fairly new addition to St. Barts’ luxury hotel region, Le Barthélemy is an elegant low-rise, as per the standards of the island, winner! Located in between a lagoon and Grand Cul-de-Sac beach on the northeastern shore of St. Bart’s, the hotel demonstrates nothing but pure understated elegance. Rooms are spare yet enormous, with tons of wood featuring a couple of pops of vibrant color, and some units offer small plunge pools for mini-laps in a rectangular shape! The food at Aux Amis is the style of modern French, with very reasonable portions so as to not overdo it. Water sports lovers have an tremendous amount of calm shallow waters available for snorkeling, kite-surfing, kayaking, and a nice small family of about 12 sea turtles that managed to get through the 2017 storms and remain in residence & not to mention, these turtles are very easily visible!
Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Late billionaire conservationist Laurance Rockefeller, created Little Dix Bay when he initially spotted this gorgeous beach on one of his sailing trips, so he created a new plan for Caribbean getaways way back in 1964. This is a very low key, non-fancy area. There are no white gloves or marble columns you might say. During renovations done recently, each room, suite, and villa now has an up to date ocean vibe + mid-century modern with many clean lines, earthy hues plus original stone walls, with lots of beach elements like driftwood, coral, & woven baskets. All are within just a few steps of the 1/2 mile beach – with white sand! The food is deliciously exceptional, partially due to the implementation of an on-site farm, which goes back to Rockefeller’s sustainable roots, not to mention their composting projects & heavily reduced disposable plastic use.
Naladhu Private Island Maldives, Maldives
With just 19 large guest rooms in South Malé Atoll, this quiet and personal resort provides amazing privacy as well as personal attention impressive – even for a property located in the Maldives. Weathered-wood rooms include not only a private garden but also an infinity pool (where as most resorts you have one or the other), lofted ceilings featuring cane and tropical colors, plus an open-air bathroom with fabulous L’Occitane products PLUS a sea-facing tub for 2 – so romantic! The Living Area’s got dining spaces which offer tables set around the all-glass wine cellar or cushioned Indian daybeds under the night sky full of stars, and as well provide you with a fleet of dhonis adds onboard private dinners. Butlers, which are called VGCs (very good chaps) at this property, exceed your expectations with professional, swift, friendly service. Located only 30 minutes by speedboat from Malé’s international airport, Naladhu is not only the Maldives’ most convenient but also the most exclusive destination yet!
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If you’d like to check out the exhaustive list please click here to see the original article.