Travel + Leisure conducts an annual survey to determine the best hotels of the year, and has done so for the past 17 years… and the results for 2012 are in. The resulting World's Best Awards looks at the same categories year after year – rooms, location, service, food, and value. Here's how people voted and what made the top 5.
The new Singita Explore, a mobile safari camp that's the latest addition to the company's 340,000-acre concession in Tanzania's majestic Serengeti, came out on top. Other lodges include tented (and stationary) Sabora, with mahogany chests, worn-leather campaign chairs, and thick Persian rugs.
Triple Creek in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains is a 40-acre landscape with 23 plush log cabins, each outfitted with wood-burning fireplaces, hot tubs, original oil paintings and sculptures, and feather beds topped with locally woven woolens. Tailor-made activities can include fly-fishing, dinners at the chef’s table, and helicopter tours.
Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island in Australia is contemporary in design and green in attitude. The 21 suites are decked out with locals' artwork and outdoor terraces with no air conditioning needed – the rooms were designed with the weather patterns in mind so guests are always cool, comfortable, and in awe of the surroudning views.
The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India is a regal and palatial 30-acre property where guests are treated like royalty – you arrive on a private boat that ferries you across Udaipur's domed palaces and you also get your own personal butler.
Discovery Shores in Boracay, Philippines lies along White Beach, which is often singled out for being the softest in the world, and offers 88 spacious suites that all have large glass walls that look towards a scenic rock garden. Enjoy a swim in the infinity pool or go jet-skiing on the crystalline sea. Head to The Sandbar, where they stir up delicious mojitos infused with local flavors like lychee and mango.
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