Sometimes you’ve got a trip planned for a particular destination and the hotel is almost an afterthought. Other times, the hotel is the reason you’re traveling in the first place — and the setting is only a part of the package. Here are ten Tablet hotels that are worth making a pilgrimage for.
Alagoas, Brazil — What’s unusual about Kenoa Exclusive Beach Spa & Resort isn’t simply the style of the place — it’s the conjunction of its sleek, high-design style and its location, on the far east coast of the state of Alagoas, tucked in between the forest and the Atlantic. This isn’t exactly boutique-hotel country, and Kenoa wins points for breaking new ground.
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Big Sur, California — Big Sur isn’t exactly an obscure, out-of-the-way destination, but Ventana Inn is one of those hotels that quickly becomes synonymous with its setting. This is the original Big Sur luxury resort, and for many of its regular guests, there’s no other way to see this most spectacular stretch of the California coast.
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Abruzzo, Italy — Sometimes the hotel is the destination, figuratively speaking. And sometimes the hotel is literally the destination. Sextantio Albergo Diffuso’s 29 rooms are scattered throughout this picturesque, ancient village, and here highly refined modern Italian interior design meets the most rustic of settings. Safe to say you weren’t likely simply to pass through Santo Stefano di Sessanio on your own.
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Muhu Island, Estonia — Nor is the Baltic coast of Estonia the sort of place you just drift through in the course of your everyday travels. But while Tallinn is increasingly filled with cut-rate revelers on vodka cruises, Muhu Island is scenic, quiet, pastoral, largely untouched by the outside world. All of which makes Pädaste Manor the ideal place to go for a bit of unwinding.
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Lake George, New York — The hundreds of islands that dot Lake George, a formidable body of water that stretches for 32 miles along the southeastern edge of Upstate New York’s Adirondack State Park, offer a variety of experiences. At rather the more civilized end of things is the lakeside town of Bolton Landing, the gateway to the seventy-acre Green Island and its majestic Victorian-era hotel, the Sagamore.
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Kangaroo Island, Australia — Located on Kangaroo Island just off the South Australian coast, Southern Ocean Lodge is an unexpectedly stylish hotel for such a remote and rugged locale, a shining example of very modern and very Australian architecture: clean open spaces, neutral tones and tons of glass wrapped in an environmentally friendly package.
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Vancouver Island, Canada — The staggering natural beauty of British Columbia’s Pacific coast is something to behold — and it’s hard to think of a place more spectacular than the west coast of Vancouver Island, where the Wickaninnish Inn sits between a lush old-growth forest and a mile-long beach, just minutes from the township of Tofino yet remote enough to feel like the edge of the world.
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Rivas, Nicaragua — If you’re not impressed by Mukul Resort & Spa, it might be time to surrender your passport. This is quite simply one of the finest beach hotels on the planet: as gorgeous, as stylish, as well-designed, and simply as pleasurable as these things come. And by “these things,” we mean spare-no-expense eco-resorts on vast and stunning expanses of tropical coast.
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Hokkaido, Japan — Even for a ryokan, Hinanoza, in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, is in a tranquil, secluded place. Set on Lake Akan, deep in the old-growth forest of Eastern Hokkaido, it’s within range of no less than four national parks, known for natural features from volcanoes to rugged coasts and wildlife from grizzly bears to Japanese red-crowned cranes.
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Pamalican Island, Philippines — An Amanresorts hotel is always a destination hotel — this most luxurious of hotel chains always delivers a fully self-contained experience. But even for Amanresorts, Amanpulo, on the private island of Pamalican, goes the extra thousand or so miles. Surrounded by a coral reef, this tiny island rises just a few meters above sea level, and there’s nothing here aside from the resort — and, of course, the airfield upon which your charter flight from Manila, arranged by Amanpulo, will land.
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