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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 12)

Runners-Up: TIE: Peninsula, Tokyo; Peninsula, Bangkok; Shangri-La, Tokyo; Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi.

Best Resort Far East

Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Thailand

Another previous winner in this category still claiming its throne, this property is even better thanks to its association with smaller sibling, the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, which shines in two other categories. “You couldn’t ask for a more tranquil, quintessentially Asian setting for a resort.  It’s not hard to pass the entire day on your verandah gazing across the bright green rice paddies,” says Wallace. Of course, if you want to get off the verandah, the resort, smack in the cultural heart of Thailand, offers a culinary school with four Thai cooking classes, plus a chef’s tour of the local market, every day. There are two golf courses within five minutes, balloon rides, and many other local activities.

Runner-Up: Amankila, Bali.

Best Hotel/Resort Australia/New Zealand

South Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia

“I still remember the hundreds of kangaroos hopping around us at sunset…this is a visit to Jurassic Park with a five-star luxury resort attached… views of the wild southern ocean from one of the 21 suites... look for the koala bears in the trees and the wallabies running around playfully,” recalls Anne Scully fondly. Despite a fine collection of urban hotels in both Melbourne and Sydney, our experts picked this tiny sanctuary on off-the-beaten-path Kangaroo Island, often called “Australia’s Galapagos.” The luxury lodge sits on bluffs with tremendous views and is almost entirely glass for nonstop jaw dropping.
Runner Up: Park Hyatt, Sydney.

Notable Mention: Because New Zealand is much less urbanized, and tourists visit for nature’s grandeur, votes were widely split amongst several smaller, far-flung properties worthy of mention: Kauri Cliffs; Cape Kidnappers; Whare Kea Lodge. “I’m not someone who says ‘Oh my God!,’ but when I stayed at Whare Kea this year, OMG (or OMFG) was all I could manage for three days,” recalls Abel, who made this her most impassioned pick in the poll.

Best Hotel/Resort South/Central America

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