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Hotels and Resorts

Cigar Aficionado's panel of travel experts picks the most luxurious, most outstanding, most exciting range of destinations in the world
Larry Olmsted
From the Print Edition:
Jim Belushi, November/December 2010

(continued from page 10)

Best Hotel Las Vegas

Wynn Encore

This upscale tower hotel within the larger Wynn Las Vegas was a bit of a surprise, edging out the luxury non-gaming Four Seasons, new Mandarin Oriental, over-the-top Mansions at MGM, butler served MGM Skylofts, and everything else bright and shiny in town. Then again, it was Steve Wynn who repeatedly rewrote the Vegas hospitality rulebook and raised the bar over several decades, and this is his latest and greatest feat. Former USA Today travel editor Chris Gray explains the appeal: “The casino hotel for those who don’t like casino hotels, Steve Wynn’s Encore seems geared for Monaco rather than the masses. Plus, natural light! When’s the last time you saw that in a Vegas casino?”

Runner-Up: Mandarin Oriental

Best Hotel/Resort Europe

TIE: Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, Lake Garda, Italy; Hotel Splendido, Portofino, Italy

There is no doubt about it—Italy has the world’s best hotels. Feltrinelli won our original poll, and this time tied with the Splendido, a spectacular property that has the best location in what many consider the most beautiful seaside town on earth, the pastel fantasy that is Portofino. If this is not enough, the Splendido also owns the best spot on the actual harbor, maintaining a satellite restaurant, where the front row seats coveted by passing throngs are reserved for hotel guests. In the case of the Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, set in Mussolini’s former villa, be careful what you wish for when booking, because Carrie Wallace reports that, “After staying at this idyllic lakeside hideaway, many clients claim that they have been ‘spoiled for life.’ ”

Honorable Mention: The Rest of Italy. As in previous polls, Italy totally dominated the world beyond the U.S. borders, and other acclaimed choices included Verdura Resort, Sicily; Palazzo Sasso, Ravello; Il San Pietro, Positano; Four Seasons, Florence; and the Cipriani, Venice (a previous winner).

Best Hotel/Resort Caribbean

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

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