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R E A D E R S’ C H O I C E AWA R D S

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F E AT U R E S

166 Napoli di Nuovo

Guy Trebay explores the surprising contemporary art scene in Naples, a city famous (and infamous) for its old-world ways.

Art is everywhere in Naples, even at the Toledo Metro Station.

138

Masters of Ceremony U.S. Ambassador to Spain James Costos and Michael S. Smith show Pilar Guzmán their Madrid.

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Condé Nast Traveler

148 Kind of Blue

Asheville is known for its food scene, but Kevin West says it’s the civic spirit that inspires people to move here.

158

The Cover France’s most iconic monument, shot by Nicholas La.

Beauty and the Beasts With parades of wildlife and offthe-hook luxury, Botswana is the no-fail safari choice. By Sophy Roberts.

photograph by VINCENT FOUR NIER


11.16

WHERE + WEAR

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This month we shot our mini trunk story at Manhattan’s Lowell hotel, which just debuted its much anticipated FrenchMoroccan restaurant Majorelle, named after Yves Saint Laurent’s gardens in Marrakech.

A Case for Travel The mini travel trunk— à la Grace Kelly—is back.

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The Long Weekend Proof you shouldn’t wait to book Cuba (and a snap guide to get you going).

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Editor’s Letter 26

Editor’s Itinerary 172

Intel 40

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On Location

Plane Clothes

The Upgrade

Easy and elegant jewel tones that will have you dreaming of Venice.

Suno designer Max Osterweis and Kate Foley on their pre-flight caviar habit.

A watch for every Bond-ian adventure in and around Monaco.

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Souvenir

Clockwise from top left: Photographs by Crista Leonard; Weston Wells; Yolanda Edwards; Matt Hranek; Weston Wells; Shane McCauley/Gallery Stock

Where We’re Eating Now


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Estate Planning

Checking In

Tell Me Where to Go

Hotel Breakfast

The things we can’t stop talking about.

Mid-century mod in Charleston; Dubai demystified; just back from Devon.

The wine-fueled side trips you should tack on to Buenos Aires this year.

Babylonstoren, near Cape Town, takes the locavore concept down to its honey.

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Been There, Done That

Game Plan: Los Angeles

Readers’ Choice Awards

Sigourney Weaver on the Icelandic soup that just maybe saved her life.

How to (finally!) nail that culture/food/beach trifecta without flatlining in traffic.

You called it—the world’s best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruises . . . and even airports.

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Condé Nast Traveler

Clockwise from top left: Photographs by Kate Cunningham; courtesy St. Regis; Gustavo Schejter; David Crookes; Benny Chan; Jason Bell/Camera Press/Redux

WO R D O F M O U T H


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11.16

CONTRIBUTORS

Kate Cunningham

Grant Legan

Kevin West

CNT’s Senior Photo Research Editor

Contributing photographer

Writer

Checking In, p. 50

Beauty and the Beasts, p. 158

The airplane of your dreams would have?

Do you prefer to travel by land, sea, or air?

What scent takes you back? The smell of

A dog-friendly section and a little dog run.

Air. I often muse: “How amazing is it that we can fly to the other end of the world?”

a cornfield in August brings me to my grandparents’ farm in eastern Tennessee.

Follow Us

Favorite airport amenity? Coin lockers in

Do you prefer to travel by land, sea, or air?

Take an Armchair Safari

Beyond the Art Scene

Japan to store your luggage while you go exploring during those long-enough layovers.

Unless I’m up against a deadline, I’d rather drive. A road trip lets you pick your route, dawdle along the way, get lost, stop whenever, and fill the trunk with souvenirs.

Keep an eye on our Instagram feed for moments from our Condé Nast Traveler Voyages trip to Botswana (including shots by photographer Cole Sprouse) as the group explores the backcountry.

For where to eat, drink, and stay in Naples—we’re partial to the Grand Hotel Vesuvius and the Hotel Excelsior—check out CNTraveler.com.

smell of grapes being turned into wine reminds me of harvest in Napa Valley, where I grew up.

Favorite new place to drink? There’s this tiny historic spot in Lisbon called A Ginjinha, where you drop in for a cheap, tasty shot of sourcherry liqueur. Tourists know about it now, but the local old men are still dedicated clientele.

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Condé Nast Traveler

A shop you’d travel for? Lahandira, in Marrakech, is the best shop for rugs. (They now have a sister store in Palm Springs called Soukie Modern.) I was there for five hours, mesmerized by the boucherouite options— they’ll ship anywhere.

@ cntraveler

What dish would you travel for? I’d gladly haul to New Zealand for a bowl of queen cockles at Fleur’s Place in Moeraki.

Talk to Us

Subscribe

Where are you going this year? Email your photos and tips to letters@ condenasttraveler.com.

Visit cntraveler.com/ subscribe, email subscriptions@conde nasttraveler.com, or call 800-777-0700.

Leave It to the Ombudsman Need help solving a travel problem? Email ombudsman@ cntraveler.com.

RCA Tours Follow us on Snapchat @CNTraveler for a look at some of your top picks.

Clockwise from top left: Photographs by Amy Richards; Nathan Michael; Scott Sternberg; Cole Sprouse

What scent or taste takes you right back to a place? The intense

Kind of Blue, p. 148


EDITOR’S LETTER

11.16

Early Check-In As the children of a singer/actress, my older sister and I spent most of our vacations on the road with our mother. Sometimes we’d stay put for a while, like the time we lived at the Fairmont in San Francisco for the six-week run of a show. Other times it was two days in, say, a Howard Johnson in San Antonio followed by a day at the Stockyards Hotel in Fort Worth. We were like doll-size roadies, accompanying our mother to the theater before a performance to do sound checks, strategically positioning ourselves to detect variance in sound between orchestra and mezzanine seats. But between rehearsal and performance, we were let loose in whatever hotel we happened to call home for the night, week, or entire summer. Unlike even the safest neighborhoods of our native Los Angeles, hotels were places where a six- and preternaturally mature nine-year-old could roam unattended, wandering in and out of gift shops, hair salons, and pool areas without raising so much as an eyebrow. We learned at an early age always to pull the coverlet off the bed and sit only on the sheets, and how to disarm even the grouchiest desk clerk with a firm handshake and eye contact. In fact, it was in hotels that my sister and I learned how to ask for things and, from the polish of countless bellmen, concierges, and desk clerks, grasped the unquantifiable ROI of good manners. I still can’t enter or leave any establishment without meeting someone’s eyes and greeting them.

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To this day, some of my check-in rituals remain unchanged. Every time I get out of an elevator and peer down a long corridor, I have an almost irrepressible urge to sprint down the hall, jumping up to tap the exit signs, as my sister and I used to do. After setting up stuffed animals on our beds, I would open every drawer (still do), oddly comforted by the sight of the Bible despite our family’s lapsed Catholicism. I still get giddy at the idea of 24-hour room service. For a first-generation American raised with old-country eating rituals, domestic travel meant permission to eat all-American food. I relished my late-arrival order of grilled cheese with uniformly melted American slices—a revelation even when it had gone soggy under its silver dome. My family celebrated many milestones in hotels. I lost my first tooth at the Hotel El Convento in Puerto Rico, where my Italian-born mother botched the tooth-fairy visit with her louderthan-talking stage whisper. It was at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii that my sister and I told our first bald-faced lie to our mother, conspiring to hide the gash on my leg from jumping between the beds after being told not to. And at the Hotel Excelsior in Florence, my angst-y teenage sister and steadfast traveling partner finally declared she wanted nothing to do with any of us. This year, with an outpouring of entrants’ testimonials—and, yes, the infamous scorecard— we bring you the sum of 9,287 shared memories across 1,240 properties (and more) for our twenty-ninth annual Readers’ Choice Awards (page 87). Because although trips are made up of countless meals, vistas, and ocean swims, we know how critical the right hotel is in making us feel at home in the world.

Pilar Guzmán, Editor in Chief @pilar_guzman

Photograph by Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos

“Waiters and Chef, Hôtel Ritz, Paris, France, 1969,” by Elliott Erwitt.


E D IT O R ’ S IT I N E R A RY

11.16

You can still book Thanksgiving at the Lodge at Glendorn, which doesn’t mess around with the classics.

Go Now

The Glendorn

Plan Now

Spring Skiing Out West This time of year, I start planning a ski vacation that I inevitably take in Utah and always in March. Why? A few reasons: 1. Most springs, seemingly out of nowhere, Utah is blessed by the powder (or Mormon?) god with epic dumps. (Last season, Alta Ski Area got 80 inches in March alone.) The day after, you can ski in a T-shirt and après at on-mountain patios full of hatless raccoon-eyed adults clutching beer cans and soaking in vitamin D. 2. You can take a direct morning flight from major hubs on the East or West coast and be on a chairlift that afternoon, since the resorts near Parley’s Canyon (Deer Valley and Park City), Little Cottonwood Canyon (Snowbird and Alta), and Big Cottonwood Canyon (Solitude and Brighton) are all less than 50 minutes from the airport. If you’re looking for that bohemian ski-town vibe, stay close to Park City at the retro Swiss Alps–channeling Stein Eriksen Lodge or the grander Montage Deer Valley (complete with Bernese mountain dogs); from there, you can ski Deer Valley (with its outstanding ski school) and Park City Mountain, the biggest resort in the country. Alternatively, Snowbird’s ski-in/ski-out Cliff Lodge had a face-lift last summer and is right near Alta—an old-school spring-skiing pilgrimage if ever there was one. C A N D I C E R A I N E Y

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OR LET’S CONSIDER . . . Kyoto You can still get a decent room here for the cherry blossom madness, which runs from late March through mid-April (we’d go just for the new Four Seasons).

Casablanca In about six hours (same as London!), East Coasters can find themselves in the hammams and medinas of this coastal city (and try out Royal Air Maroc’s super-comfy Dreamliner jets).

As much as my family loves heading to Europe for Thanksgiving, last year we wanted to stay closer to home (but not cook!). So we made the six-hour drive from New York to the Lodge at Glendorn, in Bradford, Pennsylvania. It has a cozy vibe (cabins with fireplaces and board games) but, since it’s a Relais & Châteaux property, nails it on quality and service. Thanksgiving dinner was the classics, simply and elegantly prepared, with the best ingredients and served at our table as opposed to buffet-style. Postfeast, we went hiking and skeet shooting— much more enjoyable than passing out on the couch. Y O L A N D A E D WA R D S

photograph by MATT HR ANEK


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From top: Benchley, modaoperandi.com; Mini Trunk Bag, select DG boutiques nationwide; Petite Malle and PM, louisvuitton.com; Saint Honore, Goyard boutiques nationwide; Grace, available at Dinnes, Vienna; Mini Trunk Clutch, aspinaloflondon.com

A Case For Travel The mini trunk made famous by Grace Kelly when she packed up her lingerie in Rear Window is having a moment.

THE THINGS WE CAN’T L E AV E WITHOUT

from top: Mark Cross Benchley........................ $2,595 Dolce & Gabbana Mini Trunk Bag ........... $3,245 Louis Vuitton Epi Tropical Petite Malle .................. $5,750 Goyard Saint Honore Minaudière .................. $6,435 Mark Cross Grace Large Box ....... $22,500 Aspinal of London Mini Trunk Clutch ........ $695 Louis Vuitton Supple Rigid PM ......... $6,600

photograph by CR ISTA LEONAR D

Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

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TH E LONG WEEKEND

ISLAND HOP A RECENT TRIP TO CUBA FOR THE CHANEL SHOW REMINDS US HOW MUCH GROUND YOU CAN COVER IN JUST 72 HOURS

clockwise from top: Ceviche at Starbien, where Chanel hosted guests; vintage cars en route to the show; La Guarida’s dining room.

There’s something about Cuba’s proximity—an easy three-hour flight from Newark on United—that makes its more than a half century of political and cultural isolation even more poignant. And as with all things verboten, as soon as the overall loosening of restrictions for American tourists hit, Cuba moved to the top of our bucket lists overnight. In recent years, travelers there have fallen into two camps: early adopters who overlooked the mediocre food and lack of decent accommodations and infrastructure, earning a lifetime of bragging rights, and everyone else—those of us who want to get there before big development turns the island into something else. The fascinating reality is that while lots of changes are afoot—a handful of nice hotels, restaurants that push beyond limitations of the paladar, greater access to the country’s legendary music and art scene— Havana’s perennial tension between deprivation and grandeur, cultural censorship and irrepressible artistic expression, are remarkably unchanged. When Chanel hosted a three-day extravaganza for its Cruise collection this past May, we were reminded of just how much ground you can cover in 72 hours. Don’t put off going, thinking you’ll somehow find a twoweek window to “do it right.” Doing it right to us means going now (and then again at some point in the future), even if just for a long weekend, before it all changes. P I L A R G U Z M Á N

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photographs by WESTON WELLS


TH E LONG WEEKEND

THE CUBA SHORT LIST On-the-ground intel from those who’ve just been. “Everything at Ivan Chef Justo is brought in daily or caught locally. Dishes are totally unique, like the mango and sea cucumber salad and the handharvested baby eel.” Aarón Sánchez, co-owner of Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans and Baltimore “The gallery/concert hall Fábrica de Arte Cubano [FAC], in an old factory in Vedado, is the best venue for mingling with ‘new Cubans.’ It’s hard to get in on Saturday night, so try to have your

hotel help squeeze you in.” Asori Soto, director of Cuban Food Stories “Some say Castro’s godparents lived at La Casona de 17, but even if they didn’t, you should go for the special claypot arroz con pollo. It’s worth the 45-minute wait.” Shiona Turini, fashion stylist “In the ’40s and ’50s, Hollywood types like Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable would come to Sloppy Joe’s Bar for the restaurant’s huge bar. It was recently revived and brought back to its original glory.” Aarón Sánchez

“I stayed at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, but next time I’m trying Hotel Saratoga. It’s perfectly located for exploring the most interesting parts of Old Havana on foot. The high point of my trip was an immersive performance in the rehearsal studio of the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba. And if there’s something good playing at the Karl Marx theater, stop in. Its signage evokes the late-fifties/ early-sixties vibe of the vintage car you’ve likely been driving around in.” Harold Koda, former curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute

from top: The entrance to La Guarida; the Chanel afterparty at Plaza de la Catedral.

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For even more places to check out in Cuba, go to cntraveler.com/cuba.


O N L O C AT I O N

VENICE, ITALY EVERYDAY ELEGANCE, FROM THE FLOWER MARKET TO THE OPERA

Winter opera season at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice (below) kicks off this month with Aquagranda, a dramatization of the city’s Great Flood of 1966. Also this month: A retrospective of Italian Abstract Expressionist Tancredi Parmeggiani’s paintings opens at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The Dopolavoro Dining Room at the JW Marriott Venice just earned its first Michelin star for dishes like chef Giancarlo Perbellini’s griddle-cooked suckling pig belly with tomato pesto and morels. Local treasure All’Arco, at the foot of the Rialto Bridge, is still the perfect spot for people watching over a glass of Prosecco and cicchetti.

clockwise from top left: David Yurman Starburst necklace ...................... $10,500 Prada dress ................... $3,420 Etro espadrilles .............. $700 Verdura Candy ring ............................... $15,500 Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Floral Drops eau de toilette .......................... $85 Bottega Veneta Knot clutch ............................. $2,750

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Clockwise from top left: Still lifes by Tom Gorman (3); Chris Gorman; courtesy Dolce & Gabbana; Tom Gorman. Photograph by B. O’Kane/Alamy Stock Photo. Necklace, davidyurman.com; dress, prada.com; shoes, Etro, N.Y.C.; ring, Verdura, N.Y.C.; eau de toilette, sephora.com; clutch, 800-845-6790

On Our Radar


PLA NE CLOTHES

“I READ CRIME FICTION ON THE PLANE—IT TAKES MY MIND OFF MY OWN LIFE” *

M A X : I wear the same uniform for work and travel—white leather Converse All Stars, black Levi’s 501s, and an American Apparel V-neck. It’s one less decision I have to make. K A T E : I don’t normally wear heels on a plane, except for these Céline platforms. They’re super-comfortable, and I have to wear them because they’re too heavy to pack. Same with this quilted silk jacquard coat from Suno.

I always bring a good lip balm. I swear by a brand called ClimbOn that was originally developed to heal cracked skin on rock climbers’ fingers. K A T E : I’m English, so I always have Earl Grey or ginger tea bags on me. If a hotel has good tea, I’ll swipe it—airplanes tend to have a pretty limited selection. MAX:

M A X : We usually eat en route to the airport. We fly out of JFK’s Terminal 7 often and find the food options there pretty grim. K A T E : Not to be biased, but Heathrow has great food. M A X : Like Caviar House & Prunier, or the smoked fish at Fortnum & Mason. M A X : I have a big collection of textiles from everywhere I’ve been. It started with ikats in Indonesia—I was there when I was 14 to help build a library. When I’d visit my mom on Lamu, off Kenya, it grew to include kangas and kikoys. In fact, the first Suno collection consisted of a thousand one-of-a-kind pieces made from vintage Kenyan kangas. AS TOLD TO ASHLEA HALPER N

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photograph by WESTON WELLS

Hair and makeup by Azra Red for Lancôme at Honey Artists

SUNO DESIGNER MAX OSTERWEIS* AND HIS WIFE, STYLIST KATE FOLEY, ON PRE-FLIGHT CAVIAR AND TRAVELING IN HEELS


Clockwise from top left: Overseas, vacheron-constantin.com; Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre, N.Y.C.; Excalibur, rogerdubuis.com; Yacht-Master II, rolex.com; Monza, tagheuer.com; Ref. 5159J, 212-218-1240; case, louisvuitton.com

THE UPGR ADE clockwise from top left: Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time ............................ $37,000 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Large ................ $8,850 Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton ..................... $63,600 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II ......... $18,750 Tag Heuer Monza ....... $5,200 Patek Philippe Ref. 5159J ................... $92,530 Louis Vuitton watch case ................... $6,200

GO TIME THIS SEASON, THERE’S A WATCH FOR EVERY ADVENTURE

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photograph by MATT HR ANEK


11.16

T H E T H I N G S W E C A N ’ T S T O P TA L K I N G A B O U T

Estate Planning pg. photograph by K ATE CUNNINGHA M

50 Condé Nast Traveler

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CHECKING IN

Where to Sleep It Off Charleston’s Dewberry has interiors you’ll want to copy and a killer location.

A lot of strategizing goes into planning a weekend trip to foodie darling Charleston, South Carolina. Like whether or not to skip breakfast so you can eat two lunches, one at Lewis Barbecue and the other at Minero. Or how to score dinner reservations at The Ordinary and Husk, and, of course, the old quandary of just how many oysters and Pappy Van Winkle cocktails is too many. But now with the opening of The Dewberry, deciding where to stay is a no-brainer. Atlanta-based real estate developer John Dewberry enlisted the help of Brooklyn-based design firm Workstead (known for converting historic buildings into it spots like N.Y.C.’s Wythe Hotel and Arcade Bakery) to transform an austere 1960s federal building into a spot-on mid-century-mod-inspired hotel. While bartenders in white vests do stir up Manhattans in the brass lobby bar, this isn’t some kitschy knockoff of a Mad Men set. Instead, the overall design—the highly collectible Powl Kjaerholm sofas in the lobby, the palmetto-shaped chandeliers, copper sconces, and vintage credenzas found at Danish auction houses, plus paintings by 1950s abstract artist and Charleston native William Halsey—is refined and timeless. It’s a fresh look for a city whose hotels tend to skew over-the-top antebellum in vibe. But The Dewberry’s big draw is its location—just off Marion Square in the Upper King District—which means it’s a short walk from nearly every restaurant worth checking out. E R I N F L O R I O

CLOSE BY & CAN’T-MISS Fig Skip the stiff dining room, pull up a seat at the bar, and order chef Mike Lata’s fish stew, loaded with mussels, shrimp, and Carolina Gold rice.

Aiken-Rhett House Museum Built in 1820, this classic double house is one of the best-preserved antebellum estates open to the public.

Leon’s and Little Jack’s The fried chicken sandwich at Brooks Reitz’s restaurant Leon’s is the best in town, but for a more grownup martini and rib eye, head next door to his eight-month-old Little Jack’s.

The Commons Stop by this petite homewares shop just off Broad for Miyaka Fujiwara porcelain bowls and Shelter Collection ceramic water pitchers.

Photograph by Matthew Williams

The lobby’s cherry panel walls are modeled after the originals, in the Mendel Rivers Federal Building.

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CHECKING IN

All Roads Lead to Dubai In a city where, more and more, sun-starved vacationers lounge on the wide (at times air-conditioned) sands, business travelers crowd the financial center, and those en route to Asia—thanks for that long layover option, Emirates Airlines!—fill the tables at the phenomenal Middle Eastern restaurant Em Sherif, the hotels here have to keep pace. A number of big-name players are finding their place alongside the (newly minted) classics like the One&Only The Palm, which have, in a relatively short time, set the bar extremely high. Our primer on a few of the standout newcomers. C H R I S T I N E A J U DUA

Dukes Dubai

Jumeirah Al Naseem

The historic London property’s first outpost has a replica of its dark-wood bar, here popular with Anglo-Emiratis and martini-sipping Brits.

Snapchatting millennials lounge beachside at the fourth and final addition to the Madinat Jumeirah resort.

from top: The Patisserie at the St. Regis; the drawing room at The Pig in Devon.

JUST BACK FROM . . . DEVON

When you’re in London and wanting an easy weekend getaway, you can’t do better than The Pig at Combe, a three-hour drive that will take you right by Stonehenge. The hotel, a 27-room Elizabethan manor house in Devon, overlooks a horse farm and the rolling hills of Otter Valley. There’s just enough velvet and toile to transport you to the Golden Era, but The Pig’s easy hospitality will make you think

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Suits from the U.S. and the Gulf States dine on expense accounts inside this Adam Tihany– designed space.

Donatella is behind every fabulous detail at this Dubai Creek–facing property: It’s why visiting fashionistas swarm the hotel’s all-day Italian restaurant.

St. Regis Dubai At this gilded-everything knockoff of the N.Y.C. original, you’ll find wannabe royals in Bentleys summoning their private butlers.

you’re visiting a good friend’s (somewhat grand) country home. Like how you enter through a mullionwindowed bar where you’re offered an Otter Valley ale; the row of colorful wellies lined up for sudden showers; the casual potted-plant-lined restaurant offering local (within 25 miles) fish and meat and the even less fussy Folly, a stone outbuilding serving wood-oven flatbread and simple salads picked from the garden. If you find yourself in a daze after reading by the fire in the common room or wandering the hotel’s 3,500 acres, drive ten miles to the windswept cliffs of Devon to snap you out of your reverie. K A T E C U N N I N G H A M

From top: Photographs courtesy St. Regis; Kate Cunningham

Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre

Palazzo Versace Dubai


TELL ME WHERE TO GO

Wine acolytes, take note— this is the year to visit (or revisit) two of South America’s most ambitious wine regions.

from left: A glimpse of the 524 acres at Bodega Garzón; a room at Francis Mallmann’s hotel in Uruguay.

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Yes, we’re big believers in the idea that Buenos Aires can easily be done in a long weekend (if you hop a Friday overnight flight—11 hours from New York—you’ll get a full night’s sleep mid-air and wake up just one time zone away from where you left). But if you’re a fan of radically tasty albariños and grenache blends, definitely tack on a few tannin-soaked days in Argentina’s Uco Valley or Garzón over in Uruguay. These two areas are not new tasting trails, as they’ve been on food-and-wine obsessives’ radar for the last couple years, but this year some revelatory openings make them easier to navigate and all around more plush for those who want a great spa treatment in between bottles of sauvignon blanc. Anyone who knows Argentinian malbec knows Mendoza’s Uco Valley, where Francis Mallmann’s open-flame restaurant at multi-villa, ranchstyle Vines resort has been drawing vino tinto lovers looking to eat local rib eye in gaucho country since its opening in 2014. Now it’s the unofficial anchor of Winemakers Village, a collective of privately owned vineyards, wine estates, and high-end lodgings across 80 acres that will eventually include 12 wineries, from the boutique to the positively micro. (And unlike at the miles-apart wineries common in Mendoza, the idea is that you’ll easily be able to vineyard hop by foot or bike.) Four vineyards, each P.59

Photographs courtesy Bodega Garzón

Viva Los Vino Pioneers


TELL ME WHERE TO GO

Photograph by Gustavo Schejter/courtesy SoloContigo. Map by Peter Oumanski

Inside a vineyard cabana at SoloContigo, in the Uco Valley.

helmed by vintners who’ve earned reputations from their years in the field, are already holding tastings: Super Uco, a biodynamic winery from the maverick Michelini brothers, known for getting creative with their aging techniques; Corazon Del Sol, where winemaker German Paez produces blends of grenache, syrah, and mourvèdre; and SoloContigo, which launched in May with ten acres, standout torrontés, and outdoor tasting patios that look out on the Andes. For a decade or so, Garzón, across the border in Uruguay, has developed a quiet following for its scores of small, under-the-radar (and, regrettably, under-visited) vineyards. But that could all change now that billionaire Argentine vintner Alejandro Bulgheroni has launched the latest in high-tech agro-tourism: Bodega Garzón, a 205,000-square-foot winery powered by renewable energy that’s on track to become the region’s first LEED certified vineyard (and has made this sleepy region catch up quickly with the high-priced bottles out of Mendoza). You’re coming here to taste tannat, Uruguay’s signature grape that somms will argue pairs even better than malbec with all that steak you’re eating. Less than ten miles away is the tiny village of Garzón, where there are more sheep than cars on the streets, as well as Mallmann’s El Garzón Hotel and Restaurant, the most lowkey of the ubiquitous chef’s ventures, which made the wine world pay attention to this town in 2004. Earlier this year, a few of the five guest rooms got wood-burning stoves and bigger bathrooms but retained the humble estancia aesthetic of wood floors and brick walls. Thankfully, the signature meals of pampas beef and fresh octopus haven’t changed a bit—nor have the views of the untrammeled yellows and greens of the Uruguayan countryside. NELL MCSHANE WULFHART

MAKE IT HAPPEN When to Go Most people visit during the harvest, from late February through April, but come in November/ early December to avoid the crowds and enjoy the warm South American spring.

Getting There Bodega Garzón: A swift two-hour Buquebus ferry takes you from Buenos Aires to Montevideo; then it’s an hour and a half to the bodega’s estates. (A detour toward the high-end beach town of José Ignacio takes less than an hour, and will let you cross

Laguna Garzón on native architect Rafael Viñoly’s futuristic ring-shaped bridge, completed in late 2015.) Winemakers Village: Take the two-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, then drive an hour and a half south. (Know the Mendoza airport will be closed through December 7, 2016.)

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H OT E L B R E A K FA S T

At Babel, the hotel’s cowshedturned-restaurant, the question “What’s for breakfast?” is best answered by taking a look at the eight-acre garden. Your double-cream yogurt might come loaded with guava and cape gooseberries; nut, fennel, and curry powder granola; and a spoonful of blue gum honey from on-site hives. Top the wood-fired country loaf—made with wheat from the farm— with heaps of salty Serrano-style ham and Gorgonzola (or just a slab of hand-churned butter). And if you had a glass too many of the Babel red the night before, a shot of ginger in your fresh-pressed beetroot and blood orange juice should do the trick. S A R A H K H A N

Babylonstoren, South Africa

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photograph by DAVID CROOK ES


Sigourney Weaver The star of next month’s A Monster Calls on in-flight oral hygiene and why her father always took a briefcase to the beach.

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Funniest travel story: Well, my parents were great travelers. [Weaver’s father was president of NBC from 1949 to 1955.] Once they were sharing a private plane with Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd. Each couple had their own bunks with these little curtains. My parents overheard Elizabeth say to Mike, “Do you have the toothbrush?” And he said, “Yes, here it is.” My parents were horrified. They couldn’t imagine using the same toothbrush! You find out what people are really like when you travel with them. Your all-time favorite vacation: My family and I went to Cuba this past May on a trip organized by our local record store in Manhattan. We spent a week in Havana listening to a lot of different music—street musicians, classically trained pianists like Roberto Carcassés, rumba groups . . . and just roaming around the city. We left feeling that what Cubans have is incredibly unique: their emphasis on family, on community, their cohesiveness as Cubans. We’re trying to go back there over Christmas. We really miss it. Last item you bought abroad: Swedish bitters in Stockholm. It looks like booze to me, but my husband swears it’s for digestion. I haven’t tried it, but judging by the level of liquid in the bottle, he has. Best meal eaten on a trip: In Iceland, we were taken to a wonderful little fishing village outside Reykjavík called Grindavík, where there was a lovely café called Bryggjan frequented by actual fishermen. The walls were lined with “Best Fisherman” plaques covered in amazing family names that were a meter long! And they had this lobster soup—very thick and hot and served with fresh bread. That saved us; otherwise, we would have all come down with pneumonia. Must-pack item: I always tell people to pack a cotton turtleneck; I’m convinced I’m going to be cold wherever I go. We were in Hong Kong during the summer shooting Years of Living Dangerously, a docu-series on climate change. People thought I was ridiculous for bringing a turtleneck. But then there was a typhoon, and when everyone else was freezing, I had on my little cotton turtleneck. I was so right! Prized travel souvenir: My father’s old leather briefcase. He was a Californian and loved the water. His briefcase had stamps on it from all over—Cuba, Hawaii, Acapulco. He’d literally pack only one thing in it: his bathing suit. Then as soon as he got off the plane, even if he had a thousand meetings lined up, he would go to the beach and water-ski. Hotel items worth swiping: The bars of Hermès soap from Le Bristol in Paris. I’ve been lucky enough to have had two extended stays there: the first while filming One Woman or Two with Gérard Depardieu, and then when I did Death and the Maiden with Roman Polanski. My makeup artist, hairdresser, and I would compete to see who could collect the most soap. I still have all those little jade-green boxes, and this was over 20 years ago! I don’t even use them; I just put them in rooms for that lovely orange smell. I hope I’m still welcome there! Travel motto: There’s a wonderful song from Anything Goes called “There’s No Cure Like Travel/Bon Voyage.” It’s exactly how everyone should feel getting on a plane: “And there’s no cure like travel / to help you unravel / the worries of living today. / When the poor brain is cracking / there’s nothing like packing / a suitcase and sailing away.” D A V I D WA L T E R S

Photograph by Jason Bell/Camera Press/Redux

B E E N T H E R E , D O N E T H AT


GA ME PLA N

Los Angeles It’s not impossible to pull off that culture/food/beach trifecta on your next trip to the city (without flatlining in traffic)—it just takes NASA-like precision. By Lauren DeCarlo & Candice Rainey

LACMA is just a ten-minute drive from some of the best shopping in town.

experience L.A. It doesn’t help that it’s a city with no hard-and-fast center—it’s more like a constellation of suburbs that can take so long to traverse you could practically get to the moon faster than you can go from Echo Park to Venice during rush hour (make that hours). But really? All you need is three full days, two hotels, and razor-sharp clarity on when to be on the freeways. We know because we did it. And we finally realized our beach fantasy, got that fix of old Hollywood glamour, and managed to hit all the new and great museums, restaurants, and stores in a single long weekend.

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Photograph by Dave Lauridsen. Map by Peter Oumanski

Every trip to L.A. tends to have a very specific purpose. There’s the work trip, where you wind up at the totally fine hotel you stayed at the last three times. Then there’s the visiting-friends trip, where you inevitably wind up missing half the stuff you actually want to do because your vacation version of L.A. is far from reality for most locals (“Go to the beach?! Never!”). Rarely do you get the opportunity to visit L.A. and actually


GA ME PLA N

LOS ANGELES

First Night: Silver Lake + Echo Park EV E N I N G - I S H

You’ve Landed. Now What?

7

P. M .

That’s dinnertime. Unlike N.Y.C., L.A. is an early-to-bed, early-torise kind of city. (See page 76 on how to really do breakfast.)

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nomenal and shareable, so order as many as your table can handle. Trust us, they’ll let you know when it’s time to stop: On our last visit, we were digging into the cracked farro salad when the valet appeared tableside, dangling our rental car key at the stroke of 11 P.M.

SIDE NOTE ON THE HOTEL... The newish Hotel Covell, on Hollywood Boulevard, is a solid home base for exploring the Eastside and Downtown L.A. There are only five rooms (they call them “Chapters”), but they’re large and loftlike (300 to 800 square feet). Each is equipped with the things you’d expect at a Los Feliz property. Crosley record player? Check. Smeg fridge stocked with organic coconut water? Check and check. The lobby closes at 11 P.M., so if you’re arriving late, someone from the hotel will meet you at Bar Covell, the ground-floor wine bar (or they’ll leave your room key there). By the way, not only are there no bellhops, there’s no elevator, so be prepared to schlep your Rimowa up a flight of stairs. If that’s a deal breaker, consider staying at the Ace Hotel Downtown L.A. (and know that the much-anticipated Nomad will open in the Giannini Place Building, at Olive and 7th Street, in late 2017).

The gilded entrance to the Hotel Covell in Los Feliz.

If Your ETA Is Late Morning From LAX, take Lincoln toward Venice straight to Travis Lett’s Gjelina, especially if you’re staying on the Eastside. By the time you’ve finished your squash blossom pizza, traffic on the 10 will be lighter.

Road Rules To Live By 1. Google Maps and Waze should always be consulted before you put the key in the ignition. The latter is not so much an app as a verb. It’s a way of life and—with the particular traffic challenges in L.A.—a lifesaver.

2. Uber changed everything. Even if you rent a car, sometimes it’s easier (and cheaper) to take an Uber so you don’t have to deal with

finding a spot on the street or paying for valet parking (and it’s definitely the way to go if you’re planning to throw a few back that night). Know that Lyft is a viable competitor, at least in the non-residential areas.

3. If you rent, get a hybrid. In some places you can park for free or get priority parking. The Broad, for example, has spots for electric cars (and chargers) at street level in its garage.

4. Memorize these time frames. Avoid driving across town during rush hour—7 to 9 A.M. and 4 to 7 P.M., give or take half an hour. Although things start getting hairy around 3 P.M. and are often tough until 8 P.M. Just sayin’. P.72

Photograph by Bethany Nauert

Pick a flight that arrives in time for dinner—after all, you’re in one of the most ambitious food cities in the country right now. Plus, after 7 P.M., the traffic on the 110 will be much lighter—it’ll take you 35 minutes to get from LAX to the Hotel Covell in Los Feliz, as opposed to an hour plus during the evening rush. Book your dinner reservation as soon as your flights are locked in (we had trouble getting into the still-hyped Charcoal in Venice). Lucky for us, we scored a great table at Zach Pollack’s Northern Italian spot, Alimento, on Silver Lake Boulevard. The alwayschanging menu is one of the best in town, and it’s on the way to the hotel. The dish to get is the tortellini in brodo, but all of the small plates are phe-


GA ME PLA N

LOS ANGELES

First Full Day: Los Feliz + Silver Lake + Downtown

TIME TO DO THE BROAD...BUT KNOW YOU NEED A RESERVATION

Embrace the Jet Lag Jessica Koslow’s simple and seasonal Sqirl opens at 6:30 A.M. during the week (8 A.M. on weekends), so try to get there as early as possible, before the line starts to snake onto North Virgil. It’s less than a ten-minute drive from the Hotel Covell, and even if you’ve been, it’s still worth a visit for that ricotta toast with homemade raspberry jam. From there, you’re off to Griffith Park to partake in one of L.A’.s favorite pastimes: the hike. Hiking in L.A. is everyone else’s version of meeting someone for an after-work drink. It’s one of the best ways to knock out a meet-up with someone you can’t seem to fit in otherwise. (Two

other hikes to try on your next visit: Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, and Will Rogers State Park in Santa Monica.) Before you leave Griffith Park, duck into the observatory for a quick look at the iconic lightningproducing Tesla Coil, which zaps into action just about every hour. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is a tenminute drive from Griffith Park and totally worth it. Quick backstory: In 1919, the oil heiress Aline Barnsdall commissioned

The Andy Warhol gallery at The Broad, in Downtown.

Wright to design the house, which sits on 12 acres in Los Feliz. It has all the signature markings of a Wright design: stained glass, open plan, and a melding of indoors and out. Wright also managed to incorporate the hollyhock, Barnsdall’s favorite flower, into nearly every aspect of the design—even the dining room chairs. In 2015, the house reopened after a four-year, $4.3 million restoration, and the only thing that’s changed is the view: While you can see the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory from the living room, neither existed when construction of the house began.

Now You’re Driving Downtown Try to leave Los Feliz around 2 P . M . (10 A . M . to 3 P . M . is the sweet spot). If you’re there during baseball season, check the Dodgers’ schedule before heading out.

L AT E LU N C H

Eat Your Way Through Grand Central Market The main event late afternoon is The Broad museum, so don’t waste time at a sitdown lunch. The ginormous food hall has been at the heart of DTLA’s evolution from the start and has some of the best takeout in town.

1. Tacos Tumbras a Tomas Anything with carnitas.

2. Sticky Rice The beef panang curry.

3. Eggslut The bacon, egg, and cheese on a brioche bun (note: Eggslut closes at 4 P.M.).

4. Belcampo Meat Co. The Belcampo burger with white cheddar and caramelized onions.

5. Wexler’s Deli The O.G., a pastrami with mustard on rye.

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Try booking online first, at least a month in advance. If you strike out, attempt to score tickets in person: There’s a standby line every day except Monday, when the museum is closed. Definitely check the Twitter feed (@TheBroadStandby) for current wait times before you go. (On holiday weekends, it can be up to two or three hours, and you’re waiting out in the sun, so be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen.) Pro tip: Do as one of our editors did last spring and ask the ticket issuer to slip you a reservation on the spot from a no-show. She got herself and her three kids in. CO C KTA I LS A N D L AT E D I N N E R

Then Do Dinner Right Next Door At Otium Even if Timothy Hollingsworth’s nearly year-old restaurant wasn’t literally steps from The Broad, you’d have to block out time for a meal here. Hollingsworth spent 13 years at French Laundry, and it shows in dishes like the burrata tart with tomato, basil, curry, and truffle; the cuttlefish with hearts of palm, button mushroom, chilies, and Thai basil; and the weird but wonderful foie gras funnel cake. Sure, it’s kind of loud and you may spot a four-top of tourists trying hard not to make a big deal about the celebrity at the corner table, but it’s the best damn dinner you’ll have all week.

Photograph by Spencer Lowell

M O R N I N G TO E A R LY A FT E R N O O N


GA ME PLA N

Second Full Day: Los Feliz + West Hollywood + Bel Air

LOS ANGELES

MID-MORNING-ISH

Today We Hotel Swap

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DRINKS AND DINNER

How to Do OldAnd New-School WeHo

Shop Melrose Place After all, it’s on the way to the Bel-Air. The best stretch is between La Cienega and North Orlando. It’s walkable (see right) and you’ll hit The Row, Isabel Marant, and Vanessa Traina’s home and clothing boutique, The Apartment by the Line. For lunch, Traina recommends the kale salad with avocado from Croft Alley.

For a martini in a dining room with literary soul (Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and Raymond Chandler all wrote and drank here), it’s Hollywood’s Musso & Frank Grill. It opened in 1919, which means its throwback attributes—non-actor waiters in tuxes, worn-leather banquettes—don’t feel forced. For a different kind of nostalgia, Uber to the Chateau Marmont (don’t drive—valet parking is $18). Some jaded Angelinos will tell you it’s cliché (though they still go!), but so much history went down here—from Howard Hughes spying on women at the pool to Led Zeppelin riding motorcycles through the lobby. You don’t have to stay here to have a drink in the garden (but you do need a reservation; if you can’t get one, we also love the nearby Sunset Tower Hotel). Just seven minutes via Uber from the Chateau is Night & Market WeHo on Sunset, the must-go-to Thai street food restaurant by chef Kris Yenbamroong. There are too many dishes to recommend—all the larb, the “party wings,” the grilled pig collar—but know that the food is spicy, even the innocent-sounding papaya salad. If you’re a party of five or more, go with the 100-ounce beer tower.

Photograph by Jessica Sample. Map by Peter Oumanski

It sounds like a pain in the ass, but we’re big fans of splitting the trip between two bases, especially in a city like L.A., where hotel personalities are shaped by the cultural idiosyncrasies of the surrounding hood. The Hotel Covell completely embodies the Los Feliz hipster/suburban soul you want to revel in—until you’re ready to be somewhere with a bellhop and a proper lobby bar. Which is why we suggest moving to the garden-like Narnia that is the Hotel Bel-Air. You’ll be craving that old-H’wood money scene after too many artisanal pour-overs. No need to rush (we left around 11 A.M. to make the roughly 45-minute drive). Head to HomeState, next door to the Covell, order breakfast tacos, and sit outside with the creatives who don’t keep office hours. You can hit up LACMA en route, but since it’s the largest museum in the western United States (think Cézannes and Lichtensteins under one roof) it’s okay to save it for your next trip.

The main pool at the Hotel Bel-Air.


GA ME PLA N

LOS ANGELES

Third Full Day: Venice + Santa Monica + Malibu

minimalist desk accessories that’ll turn any paper hoarder into a neat freak. Buy their Tenuguis (hand-dyed cotton towels) in bulk and use them for place mats or to wrap wine bottles you’re gifting.

Burro The well-edited book selection speaks to that California buzz you’ll want to take home with you. Seek out Cruising L.A.: Architecture Styles in 5 Easy Drives and A Poor Collector’s Guide to Buying Great Art.

Stag Provisions for Men A somewhat unfortunate and obvious name for a menswear store, but it has exactly what you want to be wearing on a beach: Hari Mari leather flip-flops, RRL slim-fit black jeans, worn-in cotton sweatshirts by surfer-inspired brand Faherty. A FT E R N O O N

Start with Breakfast in Venice Breakfast in L.A. is more like a long wine-soaked lunch you might take on a Friday when the boss is out of the office. And because it’s a cultural norm (Monday through Friday, not just weekends), expect more-inspiring options than eggs Benedict—especially at Gjusta, Travis Lett’s magical mini food court flush with fresh-baked loaves. Anyone who lives here will tell you it’s a shitshow

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on Saturdays, but the grain bowl, baklava croissant, and flatbreads make it worth trying to figure out which line to stand in (there’s a method to the madness: Take a ticket from the dispenser on the back wall, then wait for your number to be called). The Rose is also an option, but we say save that for lunch, when you can eat outside and have a glass (or two) of rosé with the roasted half chicken.

Breakfast spread at the Rose Café-Restaurant.

A Note on Getting Around Today On Saturdays, you can get from Bel Air to Venice in about 25 minutes at around 9 A . M . (during the week, leave after 10 A . M .). Park in a lot—we found one on San Juan Avenue and Abbot Kinney—and rent a bike in Venice to cruise beachside to Santa Monica.

P O ST - B R E A K FA ST

Don’t Skip Abbot Kinney Yes, the mile-long bougie strip is crowded, cheesy in spots, and about as bohemian as Mitt Romney. But Venice’s main artery still has stores worth ducking into.

Tortoise General Store A thoroughly Japanese home-goods store you could spend hours in if you’re into Hasami Porcelain, wooden sake accoutrements, precious stationery, and

Our editor-in-chief says Shutters on the Beach always “feels like a vacation.” We say it feels like home— if home had a heated terrace and the Pacific Ocean as a backyard. There’s no better spot (we like the living room space in the lobby) on the water to have a glass of wine and sink into one of those overstuffed couches near the fireplace. Finish off the afternoon with some me time at the ’70s–Laurel Canyon– inflected massage boutique The Now, where walk-ins aren’t a problem. Expect macramé wall hangings, all the cactuses, sheepskin rugs—and a legit Swedish massage for only $35.

Photograph by Pascal Shirley

MID-MORNING

Drinks on the Beach, Then Treat Yourself to a Quick Massage


GA ME PLA N

LOS ANGELES

Third Night & Departure Morning: Malibu + Beverly Hills

SIDE NOTE ON DINNER . . .

L AT E L AT E A FT E R N O O N

Now Let’s Drive Up the PCH The best way to get back to the Hotel Bel-Air from Santa Monica or Venice? Up the Pacific Coast Highway (which it’s never called, by the way—everyone uses the acronym). To your left will be sand, surf, and that gorgeous pinkgold light which shoots off the water and makes everyone look genetically blessed. Is it the most direct route? Absolutely not. But it’s such a mindand mood-altering, quintessential L.A. detour, you won’t be in a hurry.

If You Want More Gorgeous Coast Porn Chances are you’re not going to get into Soho House’s Little Beach House Malibu. (Even L.A. members aren’t guaranteed entry.) But a trip to the Getty Villa is no consolation prize and it’s free, though you do need a reservation. Roman, Greek, and Etruscan antiquities make up the bulk of the museum, but we also love walking around the swank gardens.

Where are you eating on your last night in one of the most explosive food cities in the country? That depends on your stamina, and on whether you can pull yourself away from the Hotel Bel-Air’s kick-ass bar, where we could stare at the Norman Seeff portraits of Tina Turner and Joni Mitchell all night. But if you can muster the energy, here’s where Condé Nast Traveler editors are returning again and again. (That is, if you aren’t interested in having the hotel’s house car take you to the In-N-Out Burger nearby.)

1. Hollywood Chi Spacca, next door to sister joint Osteria Mozza. Bring your corporate card.

2. Fairfax District Jon & Vinny’s, for the chicken cutlet; we also love it for breakfast (the place, not the cutlet, but...).

The PCH in Malibu.

3. Downtown Bestia, because woodgrilled bread and whole branzino. The end.

4. Beverly Grove Terrine, for a patio that makes you want to move here.

5. La Brea République, for the cathedral-like space—Charlie Chaplin built it in 1928. B E FO R E YO U G O

Photograph by Jessica Sample

Squeeze in a PreFlight Breakfast We’re talking silver-dollar buttermilk pancakes at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s legendary Fountain Coffee Room. The house car at the Bel-Air can take you to and from. Ask for Angelo.


For more on this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, check out cntraveler.com/rca.

2016 READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS

696 Hotels

544 Resorts

70 Cities

37 Cruise Lines

30 Islands

25 Airlines

lettering by STUDIO FEIXEN

For almost three decades you’ve participated in our annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey, sharing your wisdom and discoveries from around the world: the hotel that inspired your latest home renovation; the city that best exemplifies the complexities and nuances of Baroque architecture; and the airline seat you could have stayed in for another 12 hours. But this year the numbers were staggering. More than 300,000 of you—nearly twice as many as last year— submitted millions of ratings and 75,000 comments. Your responses are the most powerful measure of what’s happening in the industry. Because of how and where you’re traveling, we’re seeing trends shift in real time: European cities that have long topped the list were outranked by Asian cities. Airlines like ANA now have more U.S. flights into Tokyo’s Haneda Airport than ever before. So we hear you. And you can bet the industry does too. For more results, turn the page.

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U NITED STATES

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RCA

n º . 12 The Norman Tel Aviv, Israel (page 108)

NEW YORK CITY TOP 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Photograph by Sivan Askayo

40

The Surrey 96.86 The Peninsula New York 96.09 Crosby Street Hotel 95.98 Library Hotel 94.66 Park Hyatt New York 94.25 Roxy Hotel 94.03 Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue 93.95 WestHouse Hotel New York 93.83 The Lowell 93.64 Baccarat Hotel & Residences– New York 93.49 Refinery Hotel 93.31 Trump International Hotel & Tower New York 92.86 The Kimberly Hotel 92.62 Sofitel New York 92.31 The Quin 91.94 Mandarin Oriental, New York 91.45 The Michelangelo 90.83 The Greenwich Hotel 90.81 The Knickerbocker Hotel 90.53 The High Line Hotel 90.25 Dream Downtown 90.19 Loews Regency Hotel 89.77 Hotel Chandler 89.45 The Carlyle (Rosewood) 89.25 Le Parker Méridien 89.14 The Plaza 89.01 The New York Edition 88.72 Omni Berkshire Place 88.53 St. Regis New York 88.46 The NoMad Hotel 87.63 The Mark 87.58 Smyth 87.26 The Bowery Hotel 86.26 Lotte New York Palace 86.05 Trump SoHo New York 86.01 Four Seasons Hotel New York 84.37 Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park 82.31 The London NYC 81.49 JW Marriott Essex House New York 80.90 The Standard, High Line 80.70

2 Number of consecutive years New York has been voted the No. 1 large city in the United States (page 112)— impressive, considering that for decades it didn’t even make the list.

CHICAG O TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5

Virgin Hotels Chicago 98.81 Thompson Chicago 97.73 The Peninsula Chicago 95.94 The Langham, Chicago 95.57 Park Hyatt Chicago 94.25

P.94

Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

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R C A H OT E L S

MIAMI

NEW YORK STATE & THE MID -ATLANTIC

TOP 15

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Epic 96.50 Faena Hotel Miami Beach 93.90 1 Hotel South Beach 90.40 The Biltmore Hotel Miami– Coral Gables 90.00 Washington Park Hotel 89.58 The Betsy 88.94 Ritz-Carlton, South Beach 86.91 W South Beach 86.29 Loews Miami Beach Hotel 85.71 Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami 85.24 Mandarin Oriental, Miami 84.52 The Miami Beach Edition 84.15 Surfcomber 82.78 Fontainebleau 81.96 The Standard Spa, Miami Beach 80.99

NEW ORLEANS TOP 10 1 2

Hotel Maison de Ville 96.85 The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery 94.57 3 The Roosevelt New Orleans (Waldorf Astoria) 93.70 4 Hotel Le Marais 93.06 5 Hotel Mazarin 92.23 6 Bourbon Orleans Hotel 91.74 7 Windsor Court Hotel 90.14 8 Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans 88.92 9 Hotel Monteleone 88.77 10 Le Pavillon Hotel 84.99

LAS VEGAS TOP 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Wynn Las Vegas & Encore 90.26 Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas 89.34 Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas 87.45 The Palazzo 87.10 The Venetian 86.79 Bellagio 86.60 The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas 86.50 Aria 84.34 Vdara Hotel & Spa 84.16 Trump International Hotel Las Vegas 83.90

LOS ANGELES TOP 12 1 2 3 4 5 6

Montage Beverly Hills 94.76 The Garland 92.70 The Beverly Hilton 92.00 JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live 91.89 Mr. C Beverly Hills 90.39 The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles 89.96

TOP 15 1 2 3 7 8 9 10 11

Hotel Bel-Air 89.29 The Peninsula Beverly Hills 88.33 Shutters on the Beach 88.22 The Beverly Hills Hotel 87.36 Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills 84.84 12 The Hollywood Roosevelt 82.14

SAN FRANCISCO TOP 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

NEW ENGLAND 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

19 20

Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

8

TOP 20

18

94

The Scarlet Huntington 92.14 Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco 92.05 Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco 91.45 Fairmont San Francisco 88.12 Inn at the Presidio 87.15 Omni San Francisco Hotel 87.07 Palace Hotel (Luxury Collection) 86.31 The Marker 85.47 InterContinental San Francisco 84.67 InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco 84.07 St. Regis San Francisco 83.39 Hotel Zephyr 82.29 Stanford Court 81.91 Grand Hyatt San Francisco 81.66 Hotel Vitale 80.82

4 5 6 7

Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor, N.Y. 96.51 Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh 95.83 The Lodge at Glendorn, Bradford, Pa. 95.24 The Rittenhouse, Philadelphia 95.00 Hotel Monaco Philadelphia 94.38 Congress Hall, Cape May, N.J. 94.10 The Virginia Hotel, Cape May, N.J. 93.79 The Mill House Inn, East Hampton, N.Y. 92.86 Sandpiper Beach Club, Cape May, N.J. 92.41 Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore 89.72 Sofitel Philadelphia 89.64 Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh 89.29 Hotel Palomar Philadelphia 88.94 Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond, St. Michaels, Md. 87.50 Thayer Hotel, West Point, N.Y. 82.36

Twin Farms, Barnard, Vt. 97.27 Hotel Vermont, Burlington, Vt. 96.04 Harraseeket Inn, Freeport, Me. 95.36 The Press Hotel, Portland, Me. 95.08 West Street Hotel, Bar Harbor, Me. 94.94 The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin, Nantucket, Mass. 94.23 The Pitcher Inn, Warren, Vt. 93.75 The Hermitage, West Dover, Vt. 93.10 Chebeague Island Inn, Me. 92.35 The Dean, Providence, R.I. 91.53 Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina, Bar Harbor, Me. 90.95 The Nantucket Hotel & Resort, Mass. 90.77 The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, R.I. 90.60 Delamar Greenwich Harbor, Conn. 89.54 Portland Regency Hotel & Spa, Me. 89.29 Castle Hill Inn, Newport, R.I. 89.07 Harbor View Hotel, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. 88.91 Bar Harbor Inn, Mount Desert Island, Me. 87.15 Providence Biltmore, R.I. 82.44 The Inn at Shelburne Farms, Burlington, Vt. 80.95

n º . 12 The Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles

P.98

Photograph by Tom Gorman

1 2 3 4


R C A H OT E L S

THE MIDWEST

.

Hotel Emma, San Antonio

TOP 10 JW Marriott Indianapolis 97.18 JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn. 95.73 3 Conrad Indianapolis 95.23 4 Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Mo. 94.43 5 The Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee 93.37 6 Radisson Blu Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn. 92.38 7 The Saint Paul Hotel, St. Paul, Minn. 92.04 8 21c Museum Hotel, Cincinnati 89.78 9 The Raphael Hotel, Kansas City, Mo. 86.11 10 The Alexander, Indianapolis 84.96

2

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, N.C. 97.17 Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, McLean, Va. 96.89 River Inn of Harbor Town, Memphis 96.49 Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn. 95.91 Hutton Hotel, Nashville 95.73 The Ballantyne Hotel (Luxury Collection), Charlotte, N.C. 95.59 The Willcox, Aiken, S.C. 95.41 Old Edwards Inn and Spa, Highlands, N.C. 95.39 The Fearrington House Inn, Pittsboro, N.C. 95.34 The Brown Hotel, Louisville, Ky. 94.41 Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta 94.31 Omni Nashville Hotel 93.89 Quirk Hotel, Richmond, Va. 93.49 The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, N.C. 93.16 Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah, Ga. 93.10 Westin Poinsett, Greenville, S.C. 92.33 River Street Inn, Savannah, Ga. 91.19 The Ellis Hotel, Atlanta 90.99 The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N.C. 89.96 Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, N.C. 89.73 The Inn at Little Washington, Va. 89.68 Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, Atlanta 89.29 Hotel Monaco Alexandria, Va. 88.61 Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, N.C. 88.37 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, Ky. 87.34 The Brice, Savannah, Ga. 87.12 The Jefferson, Richmond, Va. 87.01 Andaz Savannah, Ga. 86.44 Williamsburg Inn, Va. 85.76 The Peabody Memphis 85.22

TEXAS TOP 15 2 3 4

FLORIDA TOP 20 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

The Alfond Inn, Winter Park 96.14 The Pillars Hotel, Fort Lauderdale 95.94 Casa Monica Hotel, St. Augustine 95.16 The Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach 94.72 Ritz-Carlton, Naples 94.63 The Gates Hotel Key West 94.62 Epicurean Hotel, Tampa 93.14 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa 92.90 The Chesterfield Palm Beach 92.42 The Pearl Hotel, Rosemary Beach 91.43 Loews Don CeSar Hotel, St. Pete Beach 91.42 Edgewater Beach Hotel, Naples 90.83 The Brazilian Court Hotel, Palm Beach 90.78 Vero Beach Hotel & Spa 90.36 Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale 86.31 W Fort Lauderdale 86.13 Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek 85.91 Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne 85.49 Hyatt Regency Orlando (formerly The Peabody) 83.33 Hilton Orlando 83.09

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Hotel Emma, San Antonio 97.33 JW Marriott Austin 96.71 Hotel Van Zandt, Austin 96.05 The St. Anthony (Luxury Collection), San Antonio 95.77 Gage Hotel, Big Bend 95.38 Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio 95.14 Omni Dallas Hotel 92.66 Hotel Sorella CityCentre, Houston 92.62 Mokara Hotel & Spa, San Antonio 92.21 Omni La Mansión del Rio, San Antonio 91.96 The Adolphus, Dallas 91.82 Hotel Granduca, Houston 87.68 Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas 87.14 The Highland Dallas 85.65 The Driskill, Austin 82.87

THE SOUTHWEST TOP 12 L’Auberge de Sedona 95.45 The Hermosa Inn, Paradise Valley, Ariz. 95.06 3 The Inn of the Five Graces, Santa Fe 92.66 4 Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Santa Fe 90.82 5 Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque 90.36 6 Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque 90.00 7 La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe 89.60 8 Inn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe 89.29 9 Hotel Palomar Phoenix 88.20 10 Arizona Inn, Tucson 86.61 11 Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Santa Fe 86.54 12 Arizona Biltmore (Waldorf Astoria), Phoenix 84.47 2

Photograph by Tom Gorman

THE SOUTH TOP 30

With more travelers wanting to immerse themselves in a place and live like locals, hotels have taken a page from Airbnb’s playbook, adding residentialstyle accommodations such as cottages and villas to their properties.


R C A H OT E L S

THE WEST TOP 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Hotel Teatro, Denver 96.48 The ART, a Hotel, Denver 96.42 The Wort Hotel, Jackson, Wyo. 96.23 The Oxford Hotel, Denver 96.13 The Arrabelle at Vail Square 95.92 The Little Nell, Aspen 95.69 Lumière Telluride 95.36 Madeline Hotel & Residences, Telluride 95.29 JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek 95.13 Hotel Jerome, Aspen 94.87 Rusty Parrot Lodge & Spa, Jackson, Wyo. 94.59 The Sebastian–Vail 93.50 The Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City 93.19 St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder 93.03 The Lodge at Vail 93.02 The Inn at Lost Creek Telluride 92.95 Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel 92.86 Sundial Lodge, Park City, Utah 91.61 Goldener Hirsch Inn, Park City, Utah 90.95 Jenny Lake Lodge, Grand Teton National Park, Wyo. 89.08 Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Wyo. 89.02 Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City 88.97 Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. 88.39 The Crawford Hotel, Denver 87.05 Four Seasons Hotel Denver 81.07

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Brewery Gulch Inn, Mendocino 96.61 Hotel Valencia Santana Row, San Jose 96.52 Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer, St. Helena 96.51 Bardessono, Yountville 96.06 The Farmhouse Inn, Russian River Valley 95.56 North Block Hotel, Yountville 95.55 Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur 95.53 The Inn Above Tide, Sausalito 95.52 Vintage Inn, Yountville 94.98 Meadowood Napa Valley, St. Helena 94.57 L’Auberge Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea 94.46 The Carneros Inn, Napa 94.45 MacArthur Place, Sonoma 94.11 Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur 93.79 Cavallo Point, Sausalito 93.73 Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford 93.20 Hotel Healdsburg 89.77 Villagio Inn & Spa, Yountville 89.73 Andaz Napa 89.54 Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa 88.87

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TOP 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

L’Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar 96.10 Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California 95.80 Montage Laguna Beach 95.22 Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara 94.69 The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside 93.62 Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego 93.21 Parker Palm Springs 91.07 Omni San Diego Hotel 87.92 Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina 87.78 Colony Palms Hotel, Palm Springs 87.74 Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Anaheim 86.91 Malibu Beach Inn 84.28 Sparrows Lodge, Palm Springs 83.97 Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim 81.52 The Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach 80.52

THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Sentinel, Portland 96.81 RiverPlace Hotel, Portland 96.67 Hotel Lucia, Portland 96.43 Hotel Vintage Portland 96.20 Hotel Max, Seattle 95.19 Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle 94.31 Hotel Murano, Tacoma 94.29 Hotel Monaco Portland 93.01 Four Seasons Hotel Seattle 92.47 The Nines (Luxury Collection), Portland 92.31 Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle 92.30 Inn at the Market, Seattle 90.74 Motif Seattle 89.94 The Palladian Hotel, Seattle 89.70 Hotel deLuxe, Portland 89.09 The Heathman Hotel, Portland 87.55 Grand Hyatt Seattle 86.71 Westin Seattle 83.29 Hotel Monaco Seattle 82.52 The Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, Ore. 80.22

HAWAII TOP 5 1 2 3 4 5

Halekulani, Honolulu 92.08 The Royal Hawaiian (Luxury Collection), Honolulu 87.99 Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk, Honolulu 85.24 The Modern Honolulu 80.30 Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel, Maui 80.28


R C A H OT E L S

n º. 1 Hotel Il Pellicano, Tuscany (page 104)

21 Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London 87.65 22 The Stafford 87.33 23 The Connaught 86.67 24 The Chesterfield Mayfair 86.62 25 Brown’s Hotel 85.71 26 St. Ermin’s Hotel 85.61 27 The Beaumont 84.86 28 The Park Tower Knightsbridge (Luxury Collection) 83.63 29 London Marriott Hotel County Hall 83.14 30 Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel 82.99

UNITED KINGDOM & IRELAND (not including London)

TOP 10 1 2

LONDON TOP 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

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Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

Eccleston Square Hotel 97.67 The Soho Hotel 95.16 The Langham, London 94.61 Egerton House Hotel 94.48 Claridge’s 93.91 The Montague on the Gardens 93.61 The London Edition 92.55 The Milestone Hotel 92.47 The Savoy 92.45 The Ritz London 92.19 Hotel 41 92.03 The Rubens at the Palace 90.91 The Goring 90.80 Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London 90.50 St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London 90.43 Corinthia Hotel London 90.26 The Dorchester 90.20 Rosewood London 90.11 Flemings Mayfair 88.89 The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone 88.27

2 4 Number of properties on our 2016 Hot List that made this year’s RCA. That’s 25 percent more than three years ago, and shows that when properties are great right out of the gate, they gain momentum fast.

PARIS TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Mandarin Oriental, Paris 97.29 Hôtel Providence 96.43 Le Royal Monceau–Raffles Paris 94.78 Shangri-La Hotel, Paris 94.29 Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal 94.17 Le Bristol Paris 93.91 The Peninsula Paris 92.14 Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris 91.85 Prince de Galles (Luxury Collection) 91.59 Hôtel Plaza Athénée 91.01 Park Hyatt Paris–Vendôme 88.00 Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel 87.74 L’Hôtel du Collectionneur 87.13 Le Meurice 86.92 Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel 86.64 P.104

For more on this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, check out cntraveler.com/rca.

Photograph by Matthieu Salvaing

EUROPE

Ballyfin, Co. Laois, Ireland 99.11 Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Dorset, England 98.81 3 Waterford Castle, Co. Waterford, Ireland 98.60 4 The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo, Ireland 98.38 5 Cliveden House, Taplow, England 95.30 6 The Merrion, Dublin 92.04 7 The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath, England 91.48 8 The Westbury, Dublin 90.96 9 The Shelbourne Dublin 90.58 10 Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Co. Galway, Ireland 89.29


R C A H OT E L S

Westin Paris–Vendôme 86.44 La Réserve Paris–Hotel and Spa 86.43 Hôtel de Crillon 85.84 Hôtel d’Aubusson 84.23 Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower 83.58

FRANCE & MONACO

(not including Paris)

TOP 12 1 2

Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo 95.42 Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat 92.05 3 Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo 91.76 4 Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz 91.65 5 Villa Lara, Bayeux, Normandy 91.07 6 Hôtel Crillon le Brave, Provence 88.92 7 Château Eza, Èze 88.27 8 Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d’Antibes 87.50 9 Domaine Les Crayères, Reims 86.91 10 Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo 86.74 11 La Colombe d’Or, St-Paul de Vence 85.71 12 InterContinental Bordeaux–Le Grand Hotel 81.43

ROME TOP 12 1 2

Portrait Roma 97.09 The First Luxury Art Hotel Roma 94.57 3 Rome Cavalieri (Waldorf Astoria) 93.42 4 Hotel de Russie 93.16 5 Boscolo Exedra Roma 89.44 6 Hassler Roma 84.76 7 St. Regis Rome 83.83 8 Hotel Raphaël 83.75 9 The Inn at the Roman Forum 83.33 10 Westin Excelsior Rome 82.41 11 Hotel Eden Rome 82.12 12 Hotel Savoy 80.12

FLORENCE TOP 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Portrait Firenze 95.96 Villa Cora 95.24 Belmond Villa San Michele 94.28 Four Seasons Hotel Firenze 94.23 Il Salviatino 92.97 J.K. Place Firenze 92.69 Hotel Savoy 90.77 Hotel Lungarno 90.39 St. Regis Florence 90.10 Westin Excelsior Florence 88.66

VENICE

SPAIN & PORTUGAL

TOP 10

TOP 15

1

1

The Gritti Palace (Luxury Collection) 92.23 2 Hotel Danieli (Luxury Collection) 87.68 3 Boscolo Venezia 86.63 4 Ca’Sagredo Hotel 86.20 5 Belmond Hotel Cipriani 85.12 6 Aman Venice 84.94 7 Westin Europa & Regina 83.57 8 Hilton Molino Stucky Venice 82.72 9 Bauers Il Palazzo 82.59 10 Bauers L’Hotel 82.26

ITALY

(not including Rome, Florence, or Venice)

TOP 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

GREECE & TURKEY TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

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Hotel Il Pellicano, Tuscany 98.21 Belmond Hotel Splendido and Belmond Splendido Mare, Portofino 97.19 Caesar Augustus, Capri 97.02 Palazzo Avino, Ravello 96.94 Palazzo Victoria, Verona 96.46 Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como 95.46 Four Seasons Hotel Milano 94.96 Il San Pietro di Positano 94.86 Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento 94.61 Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi 94.41 Le Sirenuse, Positano 93.89 Mandarin Oriental, Milan 93.51 Villa d’Este, Lake Como 90.38 Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan 87.41 Grand Hotel Quisisana, Capri 87.34

Canaves Oia Santorini 98.14 Chromata Hotel, Santorini 97.26 Kos Atkis Art Hotel, Kos 97.22 Kirini Suites & Spa, Santorini 97.02 Raffles Istanbul 96.27 Katikies Hotel, Santorini 95.58 King George (Luxury Collection), Athens 95.41 Sun Rocks, Santorini 94.79 Perivolas, Santorini 94.76 Hotel Grande Bretagne (Luxury Collection), Athens 94.35 St. Regis Istanbul 93.54 Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet 93.13 Diamond Deluxe Hotel, Kos 91.76 Mystique (Luxury Collection), Santorini 91.61 Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul 90.05 Swissôtel The Bosphorus, Istanbul 88.98 Aqua Blu, Kos 88.97 Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus 88.10 Archipelagos Hotel, Mykonos 83.95 Grace Santorini 80.31

It was all about Santorini this year, but based on the buzz we’re hearing, it’ll be Corsica’s moment in 2017.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Sant Francesc Hotel Singular,

Mallorca, Spain 96.55 Hotel Arts, Barcelona 94.33 Majestic Hotel & Spa, Barcelona 94.28 Hotel Alfonso XIII (Luxury Collection), Seville 94.20 The Yeatman Hotel, Porto, Portugal 93.87 Mercer Hoteles Barcelona 90.55 Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona 90.53 Westin Palace, Madrid 90.27 Cotton House Hotel, Barcelona 90.25 Hotel 1898, Barcelona 89.89 Hotel Maria Cristina (Luxury Collection), San Sebastián, Spain 89.41 W Barcelona 89.07 Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon 85.99 Hotel Ritz, Madrid 85.19 Le Méridien Barcelona 81.41

SWITZERLAND TOP 10 1 2 3 4 5

Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern, Lucerne 98.19 The Dolder Grand, Zurich 97.48 Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina 96.75 Palace Luzern, Lucerne 96.39 Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz 96.10

n º . 10 Hotel Santa Caterina, Amalfi

Photograph by Tom Gorman

16 17 18 19 20


R C A H OT E L S

6 7

Baur au Lac, Zurich 95.96 Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux 93.74 8 Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva 92.82 9 Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne 92.10 10 Hotel d’Angleterre, Geneva 91.87

REST OF THE WORLD

4

TOP 15

VANCOUVER

1 2 3 4 5 6

TOP 12

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

AMSTERDAM TOP 10 1 2

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam 94.68 Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht 93.09 3 Hotel Pulitzer 93.08 4 Conservatorium Hotel 90.82 5 De L’Europe 90.44 6 Swissôtel Amsterdam 89.80 7 Hotel Okura Amsterdam 88.82 8 Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam 85.42 9 Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre 83.93 10 Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel 83.92

NORTHERN EUROPE

(not including Amsterdam)

TOP 12 1 2

The Thief, Oslo 95.76 Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg 95.71 3 Hotel Dukes’ Palace, Bruges 95.46 4 Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen 95.19 5 Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin 92.77 6 Le Méridien Grand Hotel Nuremberg 89.47 7 Hilton Reykjavík Nordica, Iceland 88.63 8 Hotel Amigo, Brussels 88.41 9 Grand Hôtel, Stockholm 87.81 10 Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel, Selfoss, Iceland 87.14 11 Hotel Kämp (Luxury Collection), Helsinki 86.31 12 Hótel Búđir, Snæfellsnes, Iceland 83.67

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1 2 3

CENTRAL EUROPE Aria Hotel Budapest 97.28 Corinthia Hotel Budapest 95.45 Hotel Sacher Vienna 94.64 Aria Hotel Prague 94.52 Ritz-Carlton, Budapest 94.42 Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest 94.13 Mandarin Oriental, Prague 92.52 Boscolo Budapest 91.61 Four Seasons Hotel Prague 89.93 Hotel Goldener Hirsch (Luxury Collection), Salzburg 89.92 Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge 89.71 Hotel Imperial (Luxury Collection), Vienna 89.29 Boscolo Prague 88.23 InterContinental Budapest 88.19 Ritz-Carlton, Vienna 86.67

MEXICO TOP 5

Yesterday’s unimaginable destinations are today’s bragging rights: More of you are visiting places like Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, Burma’s Mergui Archipelago, and Colombia’s Coffee Triangle.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Fairmont Pacific Rim 96.44 Fairmont Waterfront 95.72 Rosewood Hotel Georgia 95.71 Opus Hotel 94.61 Loden Hotel 94.15 Wedgewood Hotel & Spa 93.68 L’Hermitage Hotel 93.37 Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver 92.08 Pan Pacific Vancouver 91.64 Fairmont Vancouver Airport 91.42 Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver 88.54 The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver 87.17

CANADA

(not including Vancouver)

TOP 12 1 2

Manoir Hovey,

North Hatley, Quebec 96.69

The Magnolia Hotel & Spa, Victoria, B.C. 95.93 3 Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Quebec 95.18 4 Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto 94.35 5 Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City 93.61 6 Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City 92.63 7 Fairmont Empress, Victoria, B.C. 92.36 8 Ritz-Carlton Montréal 91.61 9 Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Pointe-au-Pic, Quebec 88.69 10 The Fairmont Royal York, Toronto 86.49 11 Four Seasons Hotel Toronto 85.89 12 Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa 84.29

THE CARIBBEAN & CENTRAL AMERICA TOP 5 1 2 3 4 5

Casa Palopó, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala 95.37 Hotel Grano de Oro, San José, Costa Rica 94.01 Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico 92.60 Hotel El Convento, San Juan, Puerto Rico 91.01 American Trade Hotel, Panama City, Panama 85.71

5

Hotel Matilda,

San Miguel de Allende 99.09

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende 96.01 Las Alcobas (Luxury Collection), Mexico City 95.64 Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende 92.14 Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, D.F. 90.54

SOUTH AMERICA TOP 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Hotel Unique, São Paulo 98.53 Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires 96.95 Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena, Colombia 95.55 Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires 95.36 JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, Peru 94.78 Palacio Duhau–Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires 93.21 Emiliano Hotel, São Paulo 92.79 Home Hotel, Buenos Aires 91.74 Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Cuzco, Peru 91.38 Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado, Sacred Valley, Peru 90.83 Palacio del Inka (Luxury Collection), Cuzco, Peru 90.82 Belmond Miraflores Park, Lima 89.73 Puerto Valle, Corrientes, Argentina 89.29 Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Iguaçú Falls, Brazil 88.90 Belmond Copacabana Place, Rio de Janeiro 82.59

CHINA TOP 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai 95.90 The Peninsula Shanghai 95.55 The Peninsula Hong Kong 94.76 Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong 94.55 Westin Bund Center, Shanghai 92.86 The Upper House, Hong Kong 92.78 Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong 92.06 Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong 91.58 Rosewood Beijing 91.22 Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong 90.81 Grand Hyatt Hong Kong 90.39 InterContinental Hong Kong 89.88 Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund 89.29 14 The PuLi Hotel and Spa, Shanghai 87.50 15 Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong 83.04


R C A H OT E L S

n º. 2 Mandarin Oriental, Taipei

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

SOUTHERN ASIA TOP 20

1

1 2

Umaid Bhawan Palace (Taj), Jodhpur 98.85 2 Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur 96.01 3 Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur 95.72 4 Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur 95.41 5 Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra 94.85 6 The Oberoi, Mumbai 94.64 7 The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai 90.95 8 Rambagh Palace (Taj), Jaipur 90.35 9 The Oberoi, New Delhi 90.00 10 Westin Gurgaon 86.61 11 Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad 85.71 12 The Imperial, New Delhi 85.27

NORTHERN ASIA TOP 10 1 2 3 4

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo 97.08 Mandarin Oriental, Taipei 95.49 Four Seasons Hotel Seoul 94.39 Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi 92.26 5 Park Hyatt Seoul 91.96 6 Aman Tokyo 90.58 7 Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto 90.23 8 Grand Hyatt Taipei 87.41 9 The Peninsula Tokyo 87.08 10 Suiran (Luxury Collection), Kyoto 82.14

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Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 97.03 Park Hyatt Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City 96.75 Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 96.32 Raffles Hotel Singapore 95.98 Raffles Jakarta 95.96 Four Seasons Hotel Baku, Azerbaijan 95.50 Villa Sông Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City 95.36 The Peninsula Bangkok 94.57 Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok 94.05 Banyan Tree Bangkok 93.81 Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok 93.70 Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, Cambodia 93.57 Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel 91.98 Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore 91.58 La Résidence Hotel & Spa, Hue, Vietnam 90.48 The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore 89.70 Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel 89.35 Belmond Governor’s Residence, Rangoon, Burma 86.91 The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore 85.73 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 84.50

1 Number of times in the history of the survey that the No. 1 and No. 2 international cities were in the same country. Top honors went to Tokyo and Kyoto this year— new travel apps, including translators and GPS maps, and a strong dollar surely helped.

16 17 18 19 20

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND TOP 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

COMO The Treasury, Perth 99.11 The Langham, Melbourne 95.68 The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney 94.64 Hotel DeBrett, Auckland 90.48 Park Hyatt Sydney 89.55 Four Seasons Hotel Sydney 89.46 Hilton Sydney 89.18 Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa 86.97 9 Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay 83.89 10 The Henry Jones Art Hotel Hobart, Tasmania 81.71

Photograph by Tom Gorman

INDIA TOP 12

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Ellerman House, Cape Town 98.11 Gibb’s Farm, Ngorongoro, Tanzania 97.57 La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa 96.43 Birkenhead House Hotel, Hermanus, South Africa 96.41 The Oyster Box, Durban, South Africa 96.39 The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town 95.37 Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, Johannesburg 95.19 One&Only Cape Town 94.57 Cape Grace, Cape Town 94.38 Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem 94.05 Cape Cadogan Hotel, Cape Town 92.45 The Norman Tel Aviv 91.59 King David Jerusalem 90.77 Kasbah Tamadot, Asni, Morocco 90.68 La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco 89.44 Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town 89.12 Park Hyatt Dubai 88.93 Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai 88.48 Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah 88.44 Sofitel Dubai Downtown 86.15


RCA

n º. 3 Seven Seas Navigator, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

LARGE SHIPS

(More than 2,500 passengers) 1 2 3 4 5 6

Disney 90.23 Cunard 90.01 Princess 86.43 Celebrity 84.02 Norwegian Cruise Line 80.20 Royal Caribbean International 79.99

MEDIUM SHIPS

(500 to 2,500 passengers) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Crystal Cruises 92.24 Disney 87.44 Regent Seven Seas Cruises 86.54 Cunard 86.51 Oceania Cruises 85.38 Viking Ocean Cruises 85.36 Holland America Line 84.65 Princess 84.01 Silversea 83.91 Celebrity 80.26 Royal Caribbean International 76.61 Norwegian Cruise Line 75.53

SMALL SHIPS

(Less than 500 passengers) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Seabourn Cruise Line 91.11 Paul Gauguin Cruises 90.83 Regent Seven Seas Cruises 89.83 Windstar Cruises 89.43 SeaDream Yacht Club 89.14 Celebrity 88.24 Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic 87.79 8 American Cruise Lines 86.21 9 Silversea 83.06 10 Star Clippers 82.79

RIVER SHIPS

Grand Circle Cruise Line 93.55 Viking River Cruises 93.36 Uniworld Boutique River Cruises 93.07 Tauck 92.71 Vantage 90.85 American Cruise Lines 90.41 AmaWaterways 90.07 American Queen Steamboat Co. 90.06 Avalon Waterways 88.43

Photograph by Adrian Gaut

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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RCA

REST OF THE WORLD

UNITED STATES

UNITED STATES

TOP 15 LARGE CITIES

TOP 15 SMALL CITIES

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

112

New York 87.37 Chicago 87.15 San Francisco 86.78 Honolulu 85.91 New Orleans 85.69 Boston 84.60 Portland, Ore. 84.54 Naples 84.05 Seattle 83.39 San Diego 83.36 Washington, D.C. 82.84 San Antonio 82.69 Nashville 82.63 Minneapolis 82.26 Austin 80.50

Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

Charleston, S.C. 90.25 Aspen 90.13 Santa Fe 89.36 Laguna Beach, Calif. 88.13 Savannah 87.82 Park City, Utah 87.15 Telluride, Colo. 86.94 Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. 85.22 St. Augustine, Fla. 84.52 Asheville, N.C. 84.49 Burlington, Vt. 84.34 Jackson, Wyo. 84.30 Sedona 83.99 Key West 83.78 Sarasota, Fla. 83.77

n º. 1 New York

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Tokyo 90.44 Kyoto 90.06 Florence 88.78 Lucerne 88.43 San Miguel de Allende 87.68 Vancouver 87.61 Victoria, B.C. 87.45 Salzburg 87.42 Barcelona 87.34 Vienna 87.22 Paris 87.16 Sydney 87.15 London 86.87 Melbourne 86.85 Rome 86.65 Singapore 86.62 Tel Aviv 86.49 Quebec City 86.42 Nuremberg 86.38 Venice 86.26 Stockholm 86.18 Budapest 86.00 Hong Kong 85.96 Istanbul 85.94 Amsterdam 85.66 Bruges 85.52 Madrid 85.32 Jerusalem 85.31 Zurich 85.24 Edinburgh 85.23 Copenhagen 85.15 Prague 85.08 Lisbon 84.92 Dublin 84.79 Seoul 84.78 Cape Town 84.64 Toronto 84.58 Munich 84.54 Montreal 84.37 Cologne 83.66

P.117

Photograph by Adrian Gaut

TOP 40 CITIES


RCA

U NITED STATES

Photograph by Alice Gao

P.120

n º . 16 Malliouhana (An Auberge Resort), Anguilla (page 126)

Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

117


RCA RESORTS

THE MIDWEST TOP 10

1

1 2

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Hidden Pond,

Kennebunkport, Me. 96.62 The Mansion at Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, Brewster, Mass. 95.67 Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Harwich, Mass. 95.66 Winvian, Litchfield Hills, Conn. 95.54 Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, N.H. 95.45 Ocean House, Watch Hill, R.I. 94.75 The Tides Beach Club, Kennebunkport, Me. 94.69 The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Mass. 93.93 Topnotch Resort, Stowe, Vt. 93.92 Winnetu Oceanside Resort, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. 93.69 The Villages at Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, Brewster, Mass. 93.65 Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, R.I. 93.60 Spruce Point Inn, Boothbay Harbor, Me. 93.51 Woodstock Inn & Resort, Vt. 93.41 Stowe Mountain Lodge, Vt. 93.18 Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, Stowe, Vt. 93.13 Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills, Plymouth, Mass. 93.03 Samoset Resort, Rockport, Me. 92.40 Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Me. 90.94 Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass. 88.74 Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, Mass. 86.45 Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, N.H. 84.33 Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vt. 82.50 Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Conn. 82.42 Equinox (Luxury Collection), Manchester Village, Vt. 81.25

Canoe Bay, Chetek, Wis. 96.50 Madden’s on Gull Lake, Brainerd, Minn. 96.29 3 Grand View Lodge Golf Resort & Spa, Nisswa, Minn. 96.04 4 The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, Wis. 94.76 5 Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Mo. 94.64 6 The American Club, Kohler, Wis. 93.83 7 Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island, Mich. 93.27 8 Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva, Wis. 91.11 9 Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich. 89.94 10 Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. 83.93

THE SOUTH TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

NEW YORK STATE & THE MID -ATLANTIC

13

TOP 12

14

1

Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa, Lake Placid, N.Y. 97.04 2 The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pa. 96.61 3 The Point, Saranac Lake, N.Y. 96.00 4 Falling Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands, Farmington, Pa. 94.89 5 Lake Placid Lodge, N.Y. 94.56 6 Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort Spa & Marina, Cambridge, Md. 93.68 7 Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Skaneateles, N.Y. 93.67 8 Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Pa. 91.96 9 The Sagamore Resort, Lake George, N.Y. 91.88 10 Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, N.Y. 90.58 11 Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, N.Y. 85.05 12 The Inn at Pocono Manor, Pa. 80.82

120

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15 16 17 18 19 20

The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, Ga. 97.62 The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, Ga. 97.60 Tides Inn, Irvington, Va. 97.55 Sanderling Resort, Duck, N.C. 97.27 Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, S.C. 96.79 Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island, Ga. 95.84 The Inn & Club at Harbour Town, Hilton Head Island, S.C. 95.83 Salamander Resort & Spa, Middleburg, Va. 95.71 The Cloister, Sea Island, Ga. 94.77 Primland, Meadows of Dan, Va. 94.72 Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, S.C. 94.57 Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head Island, S.C. 94.41 Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head Island, S.C. 94.39 Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, Ga. 93.89 Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, Ga. 93.57 Grand Hotel Marriott Resort Golf Club & Spa, Point Clear, Ala. 92.53 The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, S.C. 92.32 The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. 91.01 The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Va. 90.66 Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C. 85.40

n º . 20 Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island (page 124)

FLORIDA (ATLANTIC ) TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa 95.72 St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort 95.71 Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, Sunny Isles Beach 95.48 Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa, Palm Beach 95.00 One Ocean Resort & Spa, Atlantic Beach 94.35 Trump National Doral Miami 94.15 Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club, Fort Lauderdale 93.91 Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, Jupiter 93.78 Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort 93.11 Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island 92.49 Pelican Grand Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale 92.02 Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast 90.42 Boca Beach Club (Waldorf Astoria), Boca Raton 90.01 The Breakers Palm Beach 89.57 Trump International Beach Resort Miami 88.69 Turnberry Isle Miami 87.46 Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, Ponte Vedra Beach 87.05 Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach 84.38 Boca Raton Resort and Club (Waldorf Astoria) 83.24 Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood 82.01

FLORIDA (KEYS) TOP 10 1

The Moorings Village & Spa, Islamorada 94.29 2 Ocean Key Resort & Spa, Key West 93.84 3 The Marker Waterfront Resort Key West 93.75 4 Pier House Resort & Spa, Key West 93.38 5 Sunset Key Cottages (Luxury Collection), Key West 92.50 6 Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key 91.84 7 Southernmost Beach Resort Key West 89.94 8 Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Torch Key 87.75 9 Cheeca Lodge & Spa, Islamorada 81.30 10 Westin Key West Resort & Marina 80.29

Photograph by Josephine Schiele

NEW ENGLAND TOP 25


RCA RESORTS

13 Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North 90.41 14 Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin 89.86 15 La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa (Luxury Collection) 89.82 16 The Phoenician (Luxury Collection), Scottsdale 89.11 17 Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe 88.93 18 Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Marana, Ariz. 88.69 19 Canyon Ranch in Tucson 87.98 20 JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa 86.91 21 Westin Kierland Villas, Scottsdale 86.90 22 Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe 86.16 23 JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa 85.81 24 Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix 85.71 25 Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch 85.23 26 Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Phoenix 84.96 27 Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Tucson 84.19 28 Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder 84.10 29 Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson 83.48 30 Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa, Lost Pines, Tex. 82.14

FLORIDA (GULF) TOP 12 1

The Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande 97.04 2 Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina, Fort Myers 96.35 3 LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, Naples 94.85 4 Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach 94.82 5 Naples Grande Beach Resort 93.73 6 South Seas Island Resort, Captiva 93.67 7 The Resort at Longboat Key Club 92.21 8 WaterColor Inn & Resort, Santa Rosa Beach 92.06 9 TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, St. Pete Beach 90.66 10 The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Spa 90.54 11 Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples 90.48 12 Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota 88.64

FLORIDA (CENTRAL) TOP 20

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort 96.32 Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Orlando 94.29 Reunion Resort & Spa, Kissimmee 94.15 Waldorf Astoria Orlando 92.57 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Orlando 92.35 Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando 92.14 Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Lake Buena Vista 90.88 Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate 90.39 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando 90.30 Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista 90.18 Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes 89.91 Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort, Orlando 89.44 Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort 89.01 Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Lake Buena Vista 88.35 Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Lake Buena Vista 87.50 Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Orlando 86.46 Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando 85.61 Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Orlando 83.33 Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Orlando 82.25 JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes 80.32

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COLORADO TOP 15 1 2 3 4

n º. 1 L’Horizon Resort & Spa, Palm Springs (page 124)

TEXAS & THE SOUTHWEST TOP 30 1 2

Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson 97.42 Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tucson 96.59 3 Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin 96.10 4 Mii Amo, Sedona 95.97 5 Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, Scottsdale 95.73 6 Travaasa Austin 94.82 7 JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa 94.05 8 Fairmont Scottsdale Princess 93.63 9 Enchantment Resort, Sedona 92.78 10 JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa 92.14 11 The Boulders Resort and Spa, Carefree, Ariz. 91.96 12 Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia 91.87

5 6

2 2 Number of years Maui has been your favorite U.S. island. With contenders like Hilton Head and Kiawah nipping at its heels, we might have a Low Country winner in 2017.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Gateway Canyons Resort, Gateway 97.93 Sonnenalp, Vail 97.87 C Lazy U Ranch, Granby 97.28 Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain 96.89 The Osprey at Beaver Creek 96.79 Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa 94.73 Four Seasons Resort Vail 93.84 Viceroy Snowmass 93.49 St. Regis Aspen Resort 93.45 The Pines Lodge, Beaver Creek 91.13 The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs 91.06 The Hotel Telluride 88.94 The Peaks Resort and Spa, Telluride 88.49 Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores 84.75 Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Avon 83.24

Photograph by Dave Lauridsen

1


RCA RESORTS

11

THE WEST TOP 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyo. 99.15 Montage Deer Valley, Utah 96.56 Shore Lodge, McCall, Idaho 96.54 The Chateaux Deer Valley, Utah 96.08 Waldorf Astoria Park City, Utah 95.37 Lodges at Deer Valley, Utah 95.06 Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, Utah 94.22 St. Regis Deer Valley, Utah 93.75 Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Mont. 93.41 Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, Jackson Hole, Wyo. 93.37 Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah 92.86 Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah 91.60 Amangani, Jackson, Wyo. 91.33 Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, Wyo. 91.19 Red Mountain Resort, Ivins, Utah 88.74

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TOP 10 1 2 3

Carmel Valley Ranch 95.56 Solage Calistoga 95.25 Bernardus Lodge & Spa, Carmel Valley 94.09 4 Calistoga Ranch 93.61 5 Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay 92.47 6 The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Monterey 91.53 7 Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe 90.06 8 The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa 89.88 9 The Landing Resort & Spa, South Lake Tahoe 88.39 10 Silverado Resort and Spa, Napa 80.76

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TOP 25 1

L’Horizon Resort & Spa, Palm Springs 98.48 2 Cal-a-Vie, Vista 96.31 3 The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach 96.26 4 Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe 95.09 5 Ojai Valley Inn & Spa 94.88 6 Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad 94.76 7 The Ranch at Live Oak, Malibu 94.47 8 Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego 93.78 9 Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, Carlsbad 93.62 10 Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes 93.31

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Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

12 13 14 15 16 17

A number of new properties are set to open in Napa and Sonoma in 2017. With so many people now traveling for good wine, SoCal’s monopoly on Left Coast resorts may just be shifting north.

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara 93.16 Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach 92.57 The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla 91.88 San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara 91.79 Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa 91.75 Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage 91.46 Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego 90.79 Bacara Resort & Spa, Santa Barbara 89.51 Hotel del Coronado, San Diego 88.90 Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point 88.06 Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage 87.92 Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego 86.91 Monarch Beach Resort (formerly St. Regis), Dana Point 86.55 La Quinta Resort & Club (Waldorf Astoria) 85.94 JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert 84.09

ALASKA & THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TOP 5 1 2 3 4 5

Brasada Ranch,

Powell Butte, Ore. 94.76 Salish Lodge & Spa,

Snoqualmie, Wash. 92.44 Salishan Spa & Golf Resort, Gleneden Beach, Ore. 92.15 Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge, Gold Beach, Ore. 90.52 Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, Alaska 89.29

HAWAII TOP 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort 95.88 Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui 95.54 Wailea Beach Villas, Maui 94.56 Hotel Wailea Maui 94.41 Travaasa Hana, Maui 94.01 Ko‘a Kea Hotel & Resort at Po‘ipu Beach, Kauai 93.35 Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Big Island 92.63 Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui 91.63 Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui 91.29 Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa 91.23 Fairmont Orchid, Big Island 90.00 Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea 89.79 Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu 89.39 Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island 88.92 Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Maui 87.83 Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Oahu 87.73 Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa 87.58 Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Big Island 87.51 Four Seasons Resort Lanai 87.50 Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island 87.18 St. Regis Princeville Resort, Kauai 86.76 Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele 86.61 Grand Wailea (Waldorf Astoria), Maui 86.11 Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, Big Island 86.09 Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, Oahu 86.01 Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu 85.81 Kaua‘i Marriott Resort 85.80 Honua Kai Resort & Spa, Maui 85.20 The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Oahu 84.82 Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Oahu 83.92

METHODOLOGY The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards survey was made available through a secure website at cntraveler.com/vote. This year’s tabulation of results from more than 300,000 respondents submitted during the sweepstakes period of April 1 through July 1, 2016, was done by CNP DS&I. The questionnaire contains lists of candidates in various categories (Cities, Hotels, etc.). Candidates must receive a required minimum number of responses and a minimum overall rating to be eligible for a Readers’ Choice Award. Candidates are judged on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. The mean average of these ratings determines the final score published. For example, the score of 95.88 for the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, No. 1 in Hawaii (above), represents the mean average of ratings it received from respondents for all criteria relevant to hotels and resorts: rooms, service, food, design, location, activities/facilities, and value.

For more on this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, check out cntraveler.com/rca.


RCA RESORTS

n º . 16 Hotel Esencia, Riviera Maya

REST OF THE WORLD

19 St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta de Mita 91.96 20 Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Beach Resort 91.11 21 Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco 90.72 22 Viceroy Zihuatanejo 90.60 23 Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa, Cabo San Lucas 90.00 24 Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Nuevo Vallarta 89.29 25 Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar 87.20

CANADA TOP 10 1

MEXICO (EASTERN) TOP 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

El Dorado Maroma 99.21 Generations Riviera Maya 99.07 Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa 97.86 Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancún 96.09 El Dorado Seaside Suites, Riviera Maya 95.90 Viceroy Riviera Maya 94.51 Rosewood Mayakoba 94.40 Banyan Tree Mayakoba 94.33 Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya 93.88 Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancún 93.67 Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya 92.69 Excellence Playa Mujeres 92.57 Azul Sensatori Hotel, Puerto Morelos 92.27 Grand Velas Riviera Maya 92.06 Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun 92.01 Hotel Esencia, Riviera Maya 91.74 Azul Beach Hotel, Puerto Morelos 91.52 Secrets the Vine Cancun 91.43 Royal Hideaway Playacar 91.40 Fairmont Mayakoba 91.28 The Royal Playa del Carmen 91.23 Live Aqua Cancun 90.71 Azul Fives Hotel, Playa del Carmen 90.66 Ritz-Carlton, Cancun 89.85

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS TOP 60 25 Club Med Cancún Yucatán 89.29 26 Mahekal Beach Resort, Playa del Carmen 88.72 27 Hard Rock Hotel Cancun 88.06 28 Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraíso, Punta Maroma 87.96 29 Moon Palace Cancun 87.86 30 Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe, Riviera Maya 87.46

MEXICO (WESTERN) TOP 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

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Cuixmala, Costa Careyes 98.91 The Cape, Cabo San Lucas 98.81 The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas 97.51 Rancho La Puerta, Tecate 96.87 Las Alamandas, Costalegre 96.50 Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort, Cabo San Lucas 95.91 Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita 95.44 Las Ventanas al Paraíso (Rosewood), San José del Cabo 95.11 Esperanza (An Auberge Resort), Cabo San Lucas 94.71 Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta 94.49 Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, Cabo San Lucas 94.41 Marquis Los Cabos Resort & Spa 94.18 Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas 94.10 Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán 93.54 Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas 92.95 Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, Mazatlán 92.80 One&Only Palmilla, San José del Cabo 92.72 Pueblo Bonito Rosé Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas 92.24

1 2 3

Americans are catching on to what Europeans have long known: All-inclusive resorts can be affordable and sophisticated. Many in Mexico are getting it right.

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Le Sereno, St. Barts 98.28 Le Soleil d’Or, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands 98.05 Montpelier Plantation & Beach, Nevis 97.55 Jade Mountain, St. Lucia 97.29 Eden Rock–St Barths 97.23 Jake’s Hotel, Treasure Beach, Jamaica 97.17 GoldenEye, Oracabessa, Jamaica 96.82 Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia 96.15 Petit St. Vincent Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 96.07 Guana Island, BVI 96.00 Le Guanahani, St. Barts 95.35 Palm Island Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 95.24 Dorado Beach (A Ritz-Carlton Reserve), Puerto Rico 94.99 Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 94.69 Jumby Bay (Rosewood), Antigua 94.55 Malliouhana (An Auberge Resort), Anguilla 94.21 Ladera Resort, St. Lucia 93.99 Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France 93.98 Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, USVI 93.95 The BodyHoliday, St. Lucia 93.94 Rockhouse, Negril, Jamaica 93.85 Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica 93.58 Caneel Bay, St. John, USVI 93.40 The Buccaneer, St. Croix, USVI 93.37 Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall (formerly RitzCarlton), Montego Bay, Jamaica 93.30 Blue Waters, Antigua 93.11 Ritz-Carlton, Aruba 93.10 Cap Maison, St. Lucia 92.27 Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis 91.94 Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 91.88

Photograph by Tom Gorman

Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, B.C. 96.43 2 Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, Ainsworth Hot Springs, B.C. 96.30 3 Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, B.C. 95.37 4 Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler, B.C. 95.18 5 Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta 93.02 6 Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta 93.01 7 Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta 90.23 8 Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside, B.C. 89.97 9 Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver Island, B.C. 89.76 10 Fairmont Chateau Whistler, B.C. 89.29


RCA RESORTS

31 Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Montego Bay, Jamaica 91.62 32 Sugar Beach (A Viceroy Resort), St. Lucia 91.21 33 Carlisle Bay, Antigua 91.16 34 Sandals LaSource Grenada 91.07 35 Sandals Grande Antigua 90.98 36 Chic by Royalton Resorts,

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 90.92 37 Casa de Campo, La Romana, Dominican Republic 90.71

38 The Landings Resort and Spa, St. Lucia 90.70 39 Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa, Cayman Islands 90.55 40 Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, Aruba 90.29 41 The Hermitage Plantation Inn, Nevis 89.61 42 St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico 89.50 43 Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, BVI 89.29 44 The Caves, Negril, Jamaica 89.16 45 Royalton Punta Cana Resort & Casino, Dominican Republic 88.90 46 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 88.76 47 El Conquistador Resort (Waldorf Astoria), Puerto Rico 88.73 48 Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, BVI 88.57 49 St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino 88.53 50 Baoase Luxury Resort, Curaçao 88.32 51 Couples Swept Away, Negril, Jamaica 88.28 52 Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI 88.17 53 Secret Bay, Dominica 88.03 54 Rosalie Bay Resort, Dominica 87.95 55 Curtain Bluff, Antigua 87.86 56 W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico 87.85 57 Four Seasons Resort Nevis 87.32 58 Peter Island Resort & Spa, BVI 87.23 59 Belmond La Samanna, St. Martin 86.91 60 Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic 86.21

ATLANTIC ISLANDS TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Kamalame Cay, Bahamas 98.30 One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas 97.70 The Palms Turks and Caicos 96.43 The Reefs Resort & Club, Bermuda 95.19 The Cove, Eleuthera, Bahamas 94.64 Seven Stars Resort, Turks and Caicos 94.55 Pink Sands, Harbour Island, Bahamas 94.05 COMO Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos 93.75 Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos 91.16

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St. Barts still dazzles, but interest is growing in other French Caribbean islands that are now easier to get to with nonstop seasonal flights from the U.S. Look for more news from Guadeloupe and Martinique.

10 Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda 89.41 11 Amanyara, Turks and Caicos 89.29 12 Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa 88.52 13 West Bay Club, Turks and Caicos 86.94 14 Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas 86.74 15 Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau, Bahamas 86.69 16 The Cove Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas 85.71 17 Rosewood Tucker’s Point, Bermuda 85.70 18 Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Bermuda 85.09 19 Valentine’s Resort and Marina, Harbour Island, Bahamas 85.05 20 Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas 81.43

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA

EUROPE TOP 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Unique Garden Hotel & Spa, Mairiporã, Brazil 98.90 Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort, Belize 98.81 Tierra Chiloé Hotel & Spa, Chile 98.54 Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile 98.39 Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira, Pucón, Chile 98.21 Nayara Springs, Arenal, Costa Rica 97.64 Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, Trancoso, Brazil 97.48 Hacienda AltaGracia (An Auberge Resort), Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica 97.46 Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile 97.15 Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, Arenal, Costa Rica 96.94 Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, Peru 96.60 Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica 96.15 Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Arenal, Costa Rica 95.58 El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica 95.27 Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, Costa Rica 94.46 Explora Patagonia, Chile 93.88 Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua 91.39 Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo 90.92 Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina 90.77 JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, Costa Rica 86.11

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Caresse Resort & Spa (Luxury Collection), Bodrum, Turkey 99.15 Borgo Santo Pietro, Tuscany, Italy 98.57 Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, Italy 98.00 Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy 97.92 Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo, Ireland 97.54 Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden, Germany 97.50 Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Tuscany, Italy 96.75 Schloss Elmau, Krün, Germany 96.60 Castello di Casole, Tuscany, Italy 96.20 Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt, Going am Wilden Kaiser, Austria 96.04 Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal 94.64 Barceló Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, Alicante, Spain 94.29 Vila Vita Parc, Alporchinhos, Portugal 93.85 Blue Palace Resort and Spa (Luxury Collection), Crete, Greece 93.84 Sport Hotel Hermitage & Spa, Soldeu, Andorra 93.75 Hotel Cristallo, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy 92.93 The Romanos (Luxury Collection), Messinia, Greece 92.86 Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, New Milton, England 92.85 JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Italy 92.58 Trump International Hotel & Golf Links, Co. Clare, Ireland 92.35 Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, Co. Limerick, Ireland 91.96 Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca, Spain 91.67 Castello Banfi–Il Borgo, Tuscany, Italy 89.97 Dromoland Castle Hotel & Country Estate, Co. Clare, Ireland 88.27 Cheval Blanc Courchevel, France 87.30

ASIA TOP 40 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

ITC Grand Bharat (Luxury Collection), Gurgaon, India 98.82 The Mulia, Bali, Indonesia 98.81 The Sarojin, Khao Lak, Thailand 98.43 Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand 98.41 Iniala Beach House, Phuket, Thailand 98.09 Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, Chiang Rai, Thailand 97.95 Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu, Philippines 97.89 Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand 97.86


RCA RESORTS

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Galle, Sri Lanka 97.82 Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa, Thailand 97.27 InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam 96.87 Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Philippines 96.63 COMO Uma Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 96.43 Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Indonesia 96.42 Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang, Malaysia 96.39 The Nam Hai Hoi An, Vietnam 96.14 Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort, Siem Reap, Cambodia 96.03 Nihiwatu, Sumba Island, Indonesia 95.83 Banyan Tree Lang Co, Vietnam 95.51 Angsana Lang Co, Vietnam 95.30 JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Thailand 94.58 Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort, Indonesia 94.55 Anantara Si Kao Resort, Trang, Thailand 94.42 Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand 93.70 Hard Rock Hotel Goa, India 93.65 Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia 93.37 St. Regis Lhasa Resort, Tibet, China 92.50 Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa, Philippines 92.41 The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, Thailand 92.31 Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa, Thailand 91.20 Banyan Tree Phuket, Thailand 90.87 Ananda in the Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India 90.68 Phulay Bay (A Ritz-Carlton Reserve), Krabi, Thailand 90.56 Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Thailand 90.23 Ritz-Carlton, Bali, Indonesia 90.18 Mandapa (A Ritz-Carlton Reserve), Bali, Indonesia 89.88

37 El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island, Philippines 89.84 38 Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali, Indonesia 89.64 39 Six Senses Yao Noi, Koh Yao Noi, Thailand 89.29 40 Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia 87.74

INDIAN OCEAN

1+ Once-in-a-lifetime experiences no more, safaris are drawing you back to Africa for repeat visits. Specialized camps in previously under-explored locations are all the rage. Gorilla watching in Uganda, anyone?

n º . 43 Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda (page 128)

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Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas 99.41 Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives 98.63 One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives 98.28 Four Seasons Resort Seychelles 97.86 Per Aquum Niyama, Maldives 97.48 One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius 97.45 7 Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru 96.68 8 Anantara Veli Resort & Spa, Maldives 95.13 9 W Maldives 94.29 10 Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 90.71

AUSTRALIA & THE SOUTH PACIFIC

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

TOP 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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The Brando, Tetiaroa, French Polynesia 99.80 Aro Hā Wellness Retreat, Glenorchy, New Zealand 98.21 Laucala Island Resort, Fiji 97.62 Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia 96.64 InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora, French Polynesia 96.43 The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, New Zealand 96.28 Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia 96.10 Qualia, Hamilton Island, Australia 96.01 Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Malolo Island, Fiji 96.00 Malolo Island Resort–Fiji 95.87 Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia 95.04 InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia 94.91 St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia 93.26 Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, French Polynesia 91.78 InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa, French Polynesia 91.60 InterContinental Resort Tahiti, French Polynesia 90.31 Longitude 131º, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia 90.14 Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, French Polynesia 89.61 One&Only Hayman Island, Australia 88.39 Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort, French Polynesia 85.89

15 16 17 18 19 20

Ulusaba Private Game Reserve,

Sabi Sand, South Africa 99.26 Richard’s River Camp, Mara North Conservancy, Kenya 99.05 Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, Cederberg Mountains, South Africa 98.98 Makanyi Private Game Lodge, Timbavati, South Africa 98.95 Royal Malewane, Hoedspruit, South Africa 98.63 Segera Retreat, Laikipia, Kenya 98.57 Singita Sabi Sand, South Africa 97.74 Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa 97.57 andBeyond Benguerra Island, Mozambique 97.37 Royal Chundu Luxury Lodges, Zambezi River, Zambia 97.08 Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa 96.75 Angama Mara, Great Rift Valley, Kenya 96.66 Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa 96.62 andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa 96.38 Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand, South Africa 96.37 andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp, Tanzania 95.79 Sanctuary Olonana, Masai Mara, Kenya 95.71 Lion Sands Game Reserve, Sabi Sand, South Africa 95.38 Mombo Camp and Little Mombo, Moremi, Botswana 95.15 MalaMala Game Reserve, Sabi Sand, South Africa 94.64

THE MIDDLE EAST TOP 5 1 2 3 4 5

One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai 98.44 Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Al Gharbia, U.A.E. 97.45 Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort 96.69 Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai 96.43 One&Only The Palm, Dubai 95.19

Photograph by Tom Gorman

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REST OF THE WORLD

TOP 10

TOP 20

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Maui 88.43 Oahu 86.91 Hilton Head Island, S.C. 86.69 Amelia Island, Fla. 86.25 Sea Island, Ga. 86.06 Kauai 85.58 Kiawah Island, S.C. 84.78 Big Island 84.02 Longboat Key, Fla. 83.35 Aquidneck Island, R.I. 83.34

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Boracay, Philippines 91.18 Palawan, Philippines 89.46 Mallorca, Spain 87.37 Whitsunday Islands, Australia 86.67 Cebu, Philippines 85.89 Vancouver Island, Canada 85.87 Turks and Caicos 85.55 Bermuda 85.50 Crete, Greece 85.22 Bali, Indonesia 85.16 Mykonos, Greece 84.81 St. Barts 84.63

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Cayman Islands 84.44 Sardinia, Italy 84.23 Tahiti, French Polynesia 84.06 Ibiza, Spain 83.69 Santorini, Greece 83.58 British Virgin Islands 82.97 St. John, USVI 82.85 St. Lucia 82.59

Photograph by Adrian Gaut

RCA


RCA

DOMESTIC TOP 5 AIRLINES 1 2 3 4 5

Virgin America 86.48 JetBlue Airways 82.08 Hawaiian Airlines 81.35 Alaska Airlines 78.34 Southwest Airlines 75.58

REST OF THE WORLD TOP 20 AIRLINES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Singapore Airlines 90.63 Emirates 88.28 Air New Zealand 88.27 Qatar Airways 87.88 ANA (All Nippon Airways) 87.09 Virgin Australia Airlines 86.89 Virgin Atlantic 86.68 Korean Air 85.32 Porter Airlines 85.26 Qantas 84.75 Cathay Pacific 84.59 Turkish Airlines 83.90 EVA Air 83.24 Etihad Airways 82.97 Swiss 81.85 KLM 81.42 Avianca 81.32 Thai 81.02 Asiana Airlines 80.48 Lufthansa 80.45

DOMESTIC TOP 10 AIRPORTS Indianapolis (IND) 88.68 Portland (PDX), Ore. 85.44 Tampa (TPA) 82.97 Dallas Love Field (DAL) 81.15 Savannah/Hilton Head (SAV) 80.38 Palm Beach (PBI) 78.42 Long Beach (LGB) 77.92 Pittsburgh (PIT) 76.77 Austin (AUS) 76.70 Minneapolis–St. Paul (MSP) 76.22

REST OF THE WORLD TOP 10 AIRPORTS 1 2 3 4

Singapore (SIN) 93.42 Seoul-Incheon (ICN) 89.44 Doha (DOH) 88.79 Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) 86.67 5 Dubai (DXB) 86.41 6 Hong Kong (HKG) 86.14 7 Copenhagen (CPH) 83.97 8 Tokyo Haneda (HND) 83.68 9 Helsinki (HEL) 83.42 10 Zurich (ZRH) 82.91

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For more on this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, check out cntraveler.com/rca.

Photograph by Jonathan Pozniak/Gallery Stock

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WITH MORE AMERICANS NOW TR AVELING TO SPAIN, U.S. AMBASSADOR JAMES COSTOS AND HIS PARTNER, INTERIOR DESIGNER MICHAEL S. SMITH, ARE HEADING HOME ON A HIGH NOTE, HAVING PUT MADRID (BACK) ON THE GR AND TOUR


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News of the terrorist attack on the Brussels airport hits just as we’re scheduled to set out on a tour of Madrid. U.S. Ambassador James Costos, who has the kind of blue eyes that seem to smile even when he doesn’t and a natural polish in a navy V-neck sweater and jeans, is unperturbed— if concerned—by the constant ringing of the phones. “Spain is an incredibly safe country; they do a good job in collaboration with the law enforcement officials,” he says, anticipating the security question that’s on everybody’s lips these days. “They have suffered their attacks before [Madrid’s last was in 2004], and they’ve learned from those lessons. They have a very keen sense.” When we finally leave the U.S. embassy compound, Costos and his partner, Michael S. Smith, well into the third year of a three-year post, walk through the grand arcaded Plaza Mayor with near childlike wonder, ducking into the Mercado de San Miguel to sample the paella from one of their favorite food stalls and later into a new hipster-style artisanal-cheese shop in the emerging neighborhood of Conde Duque. With his floppy blond schoolboy mane and burnt-orange corduroy suit, Smith, who is best known in the interiors world for designing and decorating the Obama White House, seems to relish his role as enfant terrible—playing id to Costos’s superego, evangelizing for their adopted city with unscripted pith. “It’s truly foreign,” says Smith, who commutes from Los Angeles to Madrid for about a week each month, “like when you’re a kid and you watch I Love Lucy go to Europe.” The two, who are personal friends of the Obamas, take the appointment seriously, spending their political and social capital with the express purpose of getting the world to pay attention to Spain. While he passes the bulk of his time in Madrid, Costos, a second-generation Greek-American from Massachusetts and a former marketing executive in both international entertainment and retail, travels back to the

States every six weeks to court American investors in the entertainment and technology sectors. He organized the entrepreneurial summit IN³ and got industry leaders like Google’s (now Alphabet’s) Eric Schmidt and Chuck Robbins from Cisco to bring young American entrepreneurs to mix with their Spanish counterparts. “We create Silicon Valley in Madrid to give these entrepreneurs access to American examples, American capital,” says Costos, who, at the 2015 conference, seated King Felipe VI next to Schmidt at the gala held at the new Google Madrid campus. “And then we show the Spanish institutions how we do it in America—how we inspire, and how we help small companies grow by investing in them, having access to credit.” By hosting ongoing cultural events—movie screenings, talks by American artists (photographer Catherine Opie was at the embassy that week), and LGBT events—Costos is focused on doing for Spain just what he did in his civilian life, when he oversaw global positioning, licensing, and communications for HBO and the Italian fashion brand Tod’s: marketing to and for a culture that doesn’t get as much play as its more popular neighbors, in hopes of attracting global business and tourism. “The exploitability of Italian film in the postwar years really contributed to this iconic Under the Tuscan Sun concept [for Italy],” says Smith of the lack of awareness around Spanish exports compared to Italy’s. “But the quality of Spanish ceramics, wine, and olive oil is equal to and oftentimes better, more artisanal.” “The Spaniards, they’re just authentic,” continues Costos, who has spent time in all 17 provinces. “They’re not thinking, ‘We want the global customer’; instead, it’s, ‘We’re doing what we want because we do it the best.’ ” What he’s talking about is places like the iconic restaurant and pastry shop Lhardy, which has been serving cups of chicken consommé from a silver dispenser since 1839. Its elaborate carved mahogany woodwork, gilded mirrors, and ornate glass cases filled with ham-and-cheese sandwiches and cakes make Lhardy ripe for Instagram sensationalism, but its proprietor discourages phone pics and, by extension, social media. Or the design stores like Lagur or El 8 in El Rastro antiques market, where the artfully curated early-twentieth-century Louis Vuitton trunks and mid-century Poul Henningsen Artichoke lamps cost what they should. Madrid’s alluring authenticity lies in this push-pull between the grand and Hapsburgian (the pristine Casa de Campo, Madrid’s Central Park, is in full bloom, with manicured tulip beds and pruned magnolia trees) and old-world charm (a mom-and-pop antiquarian bookshop in a tiny side street in Chueca; a shoe store that specializes in bench-made leather oxfords for $170; or Frinsa La Conservera, which sells fish beautifully packaged in tin cans). What Costos and Smith have done during their diplomatic stint is play it the way the Spaniards do by doing what they themselves do best, which means bringing important people to the party. The openly gay couple, in a


Previous page, from left: Vermút on the bar at Taberna La Carmencita; Costos and Smith walk through Plaza de la Villa. This page: The view toward the Gran Via from the roof terrace at Círculo de Bellas Artes.

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Clockwise from left: A bull’s head watches over the bar at La Torre del Oro in the Plaza Mayor; tableside service at Sobrino de Botín, the world’s oldest restaurant; a sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz in one of the Cubist rooms at the Museo Reina Sofía.


country that’s 93 percent Catholic, have leveraged a coveted invitation to their home, where they host state and industry leaders such as Schmidt, John Kerry, Arianna Huffington, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the Obamas. The Smith-remodeled embassy showcases not only an elegant mix of European and American furnishings but also a serious American art collection (they borrowed more than 80 pieces through the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program, including Robert Rauschenberg’s Bilbao Scraps, a John Singer Sargent after Velázquez, and Roy Lichtenstein’s Mirror). What the duo also get is that ceremony, while an afterthought in American culture (typified by a Subway sandwich eaten on the run), is for Spaniards an end in itself. Spain’s capital is like that effortlessly chic aristocrat who will close entire wings of the family estate to cut down on heating bills but will always dress—and set out the sterling—for dinner. Madrileños are famous for their cocktail culture: You’d be hard-pressed to improve on a gin and tonic—served with great relish in giant brandy snifters—at the tiny bar off the lounge at the Hotel Ritz or at the gentlemen’s clubby Bar Cock in Chueca. But what’s more telling is that you can have a perfect drink and a snack at the seemingly grittiest “dive bar,” where a short glass of beer, una caña, is exactly the right amount and costs one euro. And more often than not, you will chase it with a few slices of prized Iberico ham that the bartender hand-carves from a stand, unbidden—austerity be damned. For these reasons, Madrid is in some ways exactly how you imagine a European city to look and feel. Or better yet, the way you remember Europe as it was, decades before H&M, smartphones, and Starbucks, when its foreignness to an icy-Coke-drinking American could be felt with every sip of water served at room temperature in a tiny glass. Tourism to the city from the U.S. has actually jumped 15 percent during Costos’s tenure. Still, Madrid hasn’t attracted visitors the way London, Paris, or Rome have—it’s a city notably low in big hotel chains, “so you don’t have that adding to the tour,” Smith says. “It’s kind of virgin snow. It’s untapped.” At present, Spaniards’ “proud, stubborn” cultural defiance is, Costos says, a blessing and a curse. It is perhaps this defiance of both right- and left-wing parties that has landed Spain, which has shown slow but steady recovery from its economic woes, in a yearlong political stalemate. After last year’s inconclusive election and failed attempts by acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy, a conservative, to win a parliamentary majority over the Socialist party, Spain’s governance remains in limbo. Change comes in its own time. Back at the embassy residence, Smith models a regal black cape made by the 115-year-old family-run Capas Seseña in Madrid. “They’re amazing. When I asked, ‘Can I have this shorter—and not so much volume?’ they were like, ‘No, no, we don’t do that,” Smith says. “They don’t do the Paris version or the Japanese version. They make capes, and that’s what they do.”

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MADRID UNCLASSIFIED WHERE COSTOS AND SMITH TAKE THEIR GUESTS

SERIOUS CLASSICS Restaurante La Trainera “La Trainera is so old-school and focused on the quality of the fish,” Smith says of Madrid’s most fabled seafood restaurant, in upscale Barrio Salamanca. “I love it because it is simple and comfortable.” Sobrino de Botín Steps from the Plaza Mayor, the world’s oldest and most famous restaurant— Hemingway was a fan—serves traditional Castilian dishes like roast lamb or suckling pig. But it’s the “spare and almost austere beauty of the dining rooms” that Smith finds more evocative of Spanish style. Taberna La Carmencita This historic tavern, established in Chueca in 1854—think zinc bar with tile mosaics—was relaunched by restaurateur Carlos Zamora in 2013. The organic market-driven menu is a favorite of Ambassador Costos’s: “It’s the perfect fusion of the charm of old Spain and the energy of today’s young, forward-thinking Spaniards.”

Bosco de Lobos “I love the setting, and they have the best pasta in Madrid,” says Costos of this über-stylish Italian in the atrium garden of the College of Architects. “With the buzzing room and the menu’s emphasis on vegetables, it reminds me of L.A.,” Smith adds. Panic Bakery Javier Marca, a pioneer in Madrid’s quality-baking revival, is the force behind this modern neighborhood panaderia opposite the Conde Duque cultural center. Its crusty, deeply flavorful sourdough wheat, rye, and spelt loaves draw die-hard customers from all across the city.

WATERING HOLES Bar Cock Popular with the culturati and serving some of the best cocktails in town—martinis and gimlets without the froufrou—this clubby, wood-paneled bar in Chueca has had a devoted following since it opened in 1921. “With its old-world feel, it’s like Madrid’s version of Chateau Marmont,” Smith says. Dray Martina With a fresh, relaxed ambience and all-day service (a new and welcome trend in Madrid), this casual lounge and restaurant in the chic Salesas neighborhood is an easy gathering spot when Costos and Smith meet friends in the city. Terraza Cibeles “Every city hall should have such a bar,” Costos jokes about this terrace on the roof of Madrid’s colossal city hall. Aside from perfect gin and tonics, it also offers “postcard views” of Madrid’s most iconic buildings.

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A sitting area at the Museo Sorolla, dedicated to the work of artist Joaquín Sorolla. The building was originally his home, and some rooms remain much as they were throughout his life.

Bar Galleta “We never tire of the design of this place,” says Costos of the burnished wood beams and mirrors. “And the owner, Carlos Moreno Fontaneda [descended from the family that originated the cookies, or galletas, beloved by generations of Spaniards and which make innovative appearances on the menu], is a great host.”

Madrid is in some ways exactly how you imagine a European city to look and feel. Or better yet, the way you remember Europe as it was, decades before H&M, smartphones, and Starbucks.

MARKETS TO GET LOST IN Mercado de San Antón “Madrid’s markets have become so innovative in recent years, and this one in hip Chueca takes freshness to a new level,” Smith says. Select a juicy steak in the downstairs market and take it up to the top-floor restaurant La Cocina de San Antón, where they’ll prepare it to order. Mercado de San Miguel “We’ve taken Gwyneth Paltrow, Martha Stewart, and anyone else who’s interested in food here, and we always have to drag them away,” says Costos of this bustling Art Nouveau market just steps from the Plaza Mayor. It reopened in 2009, having been meticulously restored and converted from selling groceries to serving oysters, cheese, and other finger food. Sunday El Rastro Flea Market “It’s a hive of commercial activity where you can see the city’s entrepreneurial spirit on full display,” Costos says about this sprawling flea market around Calle Ribera de Curtidores. Held on Sundays and public holidays, the market sells virtually everything—from carpets to car parts to caftans—plus antiques and vintage finds. “So many young tastemakers cut their teeth in the antiques and design business here in the Rastro,” Smith says. “Two of my favorites are Casa Josephine and Portici—I want to buy everything because the edit is so good.”


MUST-SEE MUSEUMS Art Galleries Costos and Smith are avid art collectors and familiar faces at many of Madrid’s commercial galleries. Among their frequent stops are the Marlborough Gallery for established Spanish, Latin American, and international artists; Galería Moisés Pérez de Albéniz for cutting-edge contemporary art; and Machado-Muñoz for contemporary design and furniture. Matadero Madrid “This is such an urban renewal success,” says Costos of Madrid’s former riverside slaughterhouses, transformed nine years ago into an arts and culture center with rotating exhibits and theatrical performances. “We take all visiting American artists here, and they’re always amazed at the vitality of this cultural oasis.” Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía “The Reina offers an incredible three-dimensional history of modern and contemporary art,” Smith says. “It’s all the more impressive with Picasso’s epically moving Guernica as its centerpiece.” Museo Nacional del Prado “No visit to Spain would be complete without a visit to the Prado,” declares Costos of the country’s world-class art museum. “Every painting has such history, and taken together it’s an incredibly inspiring place.” Museo Sorolla According to Smith, “Madrid has some wonderfully evocative smaller museums—like the Sorolla, set in the former home and studio of the painter Joaquín Sorolla, who was sometimes called ‘the Spanish Sargent’ for his incredible brushwork.”


Lorenzo Castillo “Lorenzo is a dear friend and a supertalented decorator known for bold, colorful, and dramatic furniture and antiques,” Smith says. “I buy from him all the time.” Tesla Antigüedades This trove of vintage designs in the heart of historic Barrio de Las Letras “is not huge, so it’s very well edited,” Smith notes. “And they always have great architectural finds.” Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza “They organize some of the most vital and engaging exhibitions, and the work is so diverse,” Smith says of this once-private collection of classic and twentieth-century paintings acquired by Spain in 1993. “Plus,” Costos adds, “it’s one of the few museums in Spain where the public can see American paintings— works by Winslow Homer or Jackson Pollock—on a regular basis.” Royal Palace of Madrid “From the outside, the dramatic scale of the palace is so impressive,” Smith notes. “But inside it has such texture and detail—the diversity of the rooms, the collections of china and musical instruments, arms and armor, and incredible Spanish art.”

TREASURE HUNTING Auction Houses “I love to make the rounds at Madrid’s local auction houses, like Subastas Segre, Ansorena, Alcalá, Goya, and Abalarte,” says Smith, who snaps up Spanish tiles, hand-hammered silver, and Jansen-inspired furniture from the 1950s and ’60s. Bakelita Smith finds this gallery/shop “beautifully curated and strong on sleek modernist furniture and objects. Virtually every piece has interesting lines and a gorgeous patina.” Carmina Shoemaker “They make truly elegant men’s shoes at the family-owned factory in Mallorca,” Costos says. “It’s a fine example of the craftsmanship and quality for which Spanish leathergoods companies are known.”

WORTH-IT WALKS Old City near the Royal Palace “We love to stroll through La Latina and around the Royal Palace, where you can really sense the distinctiveness of Madrid as a centuries-old capital,” Smith says, noting that the area is now packed with cool cafés and tapas bars, plus Mexican and other international restaurants. “Here you’ve got the city’s youngest residents living in many of its oldest buildings.” Costos says the walks often end down at Madrid Río, the six-mile riverside park created when the M-30 highway was tunneled underground to give residents access to the Manzanares River. “It was such a successful project,” he adds, noting that civic leaders from cities such as Los Angeles have come to study it. Buen Retiro Park With acres of tree-shaded paths, outdoor cafés, a lake with rowboats, and several exhibition spaces, the city’s grandest park offers a bucolic escape. “I run in the Retiro,” Costos says. “The perimeter loop is the perfect 5K.” Templo de Debod “At sunset it’s such a romantic and eccentric destination,” Smith says of this second-century B.C. Egyptian temple in the Parque del Oueste, with its spectacular views of the Guadarrama Mountains. The temple was a gift from Egypt.


Counterclockwise from top left: The facade of Carmina Shoemaker, on Calle de Claudio Coello; at Sobrino de Botín; tulips in bloom at the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid.

WHERE TO SLEEP Hotel Ritz, Madrid Smith loves “the sumptuous look and cozy feel” of this grande dame hotel, built at the request of King Alfonso XIII in 1910 and one of the city’s finest addresses ever since. Costos often organizes embassy events at the hotel’s elegant Bar Velázquez, where the service is always “impeccable.” Only You Boutique Hotel Since opening in the heart of trendy Chueca in 2012, this boutique hotel— with bold design features like a wall paneled in white suitcases and steamer trunks, by decorator Lázaro Rosa Violán—has lured many Madrileños into its comfy lobby lounge and bar. E R I K A N D E R S E N

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MY MOM AND I H A D T WO REASONS TO STOP IN ASHEVILLE B A C K I N T H E L AT E 1970 S , W H E N W E WO U LD L OA D I N T O HER RED VW VA N A N D M A K E THE DRIVE F R O M U P S TAT E SOU TH CA RO LI NA,

Previous page: View from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Opposite, clockwise from top left: A Kentucky Greyhound cocktail at Sovereign Remedies; Patrick O’Cain, chef/owner of Gan Shan Station; at French Broad Chocolate Lounge; Katie Button at Cúrate.

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where we lived, to eastern Tennessee, where my parents were born. The first reason, just off Interstate 40, was a new McDonald’s with clean bathrooms and extra-salty fries. The second was a dusty junk shop that occupied a full floor of a brick building on an otherwise boarded-up street downtown. Even at a young age, I could tell that Asheville had once been more than what it had become at this low ebb. You could sense the former prosperity, the forgotten optimism, the lost ambition. Downtown Asheville was only a dozen or so blocks and draped itself like a tablecloth over the contours of a central hill and several radiating gullies, but the streets followed an approximate grid, like in a proper city, and Pack Square was an urbane if empty public plaza. A lofty obelisk dedicated to some Civil War hero stood like a granite exclamation point. Abandoned brick and stone buildings adorned with classical details framed the scene. An Art Deco city hall was huge, scaled for a metropolis. The effect of these architectural relics and the empty storefronts was either quaint or melancholy, depending on how you respond to hollowed-out places. Either way, Asheville left its mark on me. Later, during college, I went back with my girlfriend and found everything more or less the same, including the junk shop, where I bought a moody still life of apples that has traveled with me from the South to New York, Paris, and Los Angeles.

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I thought of all that when I recently stepped out of a justopened boutique hotel near Pack Square and the sidewalk was crowded with pedestrians—like New York City crowded. Clearly word had gotten around about the “new” Asheville, which has invited comparisons to Portland, Oregon, though one transplanted Texan told me, “Asheville is the Austin of North Carolina.” Such analogies strain the truth—the city has one-seventh Portland’s population, and just a tenth of Austin’s—but out there on the sidewalk, I understood the impulse toward hyperbole: The place incites tourist FOMO on a par with what you experience in those larger destinations. A couple hundred yards away was the Spanish restaurant Cúrate from four-time James Beard–nominated chef Katie Button. One street over was Button’s other place, Nightbell, which features modernist riffs on American classics—like an eggshell filled with trout gravlax and corn sabayon, topped with trout roe, and named Deviled Egg—and where I got chatted up by a globe-trotting young couple eager to share their recommendations for the best wineries in Slovenia. At the edge of Pack Square, I reached the locavore temple Rhubarb. Chef John Fleer made his name as the inventor of “foothills cuisine” during his 15 years at Blackberry Farm, a luxury resort in eastern Tennessee, and the meal I had at Rhubarb included my first taste of a Champagne-like local cider, mountain trout roasted in a wood-burning oven, and a scattering of foraged edibles such as ramps and wild mushrooms. It was Southern cooking infinitely more sophisticated than anything my family ever made, but its taste of place—its Appalachian terroir—was deeply familiar. By now it’s pretty well established that Asheville, which calls itself Foodtopia, ranks alongside Charleston and Nashville as an essential Southern eating destination. The food scene then begat a national-caliber booze scene. “Brewing is our new manufacturing,” said Jennifer McLucas, then executive director of the Asheville Brewers Alliance, who pointed me toward South Slope, a formerly moribund area downhill from Pack Square that is a case study in gentrification through beer. The arrival of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., which built an eco-friendly production facility near the airport, and the New Belgium Brewing Company, which opened its $175 million East Coast hub here, replaced some of the jobs that vanished when the old industries—including furniture and textiles—died. I was in the gorgeous native plant gardens of the North Carolina Arboretum one afternoon, and I called Fleer on my cell to ask him why he thought Asheville’s food scene had exploded. His answer started with the observation that the


Dinner at Gan Shan Station, starring deconstructed Korean bulgogi.

region is blessed with exceptional local ingredients. When he attended culinary school in the Hudson Valley, he thought he would never live in a more abundant farming community. “I was proved wrong here,” he said. “It’s the foundation of what we as chefs, bakers, and brewers do. It’s what allows Asheville to punch above its weight, relative to its size.” New restaurants keep opening, notably Buxton Hall, a neobarbecue joint founded by an alum of The Admiral, an early farm-to-table success. But Asheville’s culinary offerings also range beyond the expected lumbersexual clichés that might otherwise make the city seem like an Appalachian Brooklyn. Chai Pani makes Indian street food with local produce—okra skinny fries. Then there’s Gan Shan Station, by Asheville-born chef Patrick O’Cain, who trained at Xiao Bao Biscuit in Charleston. On the indie-Mex front, Bandidos, where Fleer held his first staff Christmas party, competes with White Duck Taco Shop. “The area welcomes the broader cultural expansion of the South,” Fleer explained, pointing to Asheville’s cosmopolitan attitude as the real reason he and his wife decided to settle here. “The South is changing. There are African, Latino, and Asian influences, and those influences are very much encouraged here. They are becoming a big part of our culture. It’s not a South preserved in amber.”

T H E DAY A F T E R my dinner at Rhubarb, I decided to go for a walk in the woods to see where Fleer’s forest-to-fork ingredients grow. I emailed Blue Ridge Hiking Company, which set me up with guide Lori Wilkins, a specialist in Appalachian flora. It was a day of “winey sparkle” and “shining brightness,” to borrow a description from hometown novelist Thomas Wolfe. En route to Catawba Falls, we climbed lichen-covered stone ledges into a cool, ferny hollow; the creek on our left jumped musically from one gravel-bottomed pool to the next. Wilkins picked wild plants for me to taste: aromatic spicebush, tender hemlock tips, and sassafras, with its unmistakable three-lobed leaf and root beer flavor. “There’s not many places where it’s as easy to get out in the woods as Asheville,” said Wilkins, citing the 200 or so species of trees and more than 1,000 types of flowering plants in the mountains. “It’s one of the reasons I moved here.” There’s a saying in Asheville that, on your third visit, you start looking for a house. I was told that by the couple who own the wildly popular French Broad Chocolates. Their story is that

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Clockwise from top left: Outside Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar; inside

the bookstore; the Blue Ridge Parkway; the Art Deco S&W Cafeteria building.

they left grad school (business and law) in Minneapolis and moved to a Central American surf town to open a restaurant; they were expecting a child, and someone down there told them about Asheville. The rest is an entrepreneurial success story. I’ve repeated the anecdote to friends in other appealing places where I’ve dreamed of living—Marin County, Portland, the Hudson Valley–and I’ve been surprised by how many of them had heard about Asheville. Word travels fast among the creative class, especially rumors of a town stocked with affordable fixer-uppers, 13 farmers’ markets, and 680 outlying farms. Add high-speed internet and an Amazon Prime account and what else could a food-obsessed millennial or an outdoorsy second-career self-reinventionist want in a small city? True to the adage, I stopped in to see a real estate agent. “You can’t find much for under $250,000 anymore,” she warned, then showed me listings for restored Craftsman bungalows that would have cost three or four times that in L.A. I drove the neighborhoods I could realistically afford—leafy Five Points and historic Montford on the north side—then took a tour of the stately 1920s mansions near the Grove Park Inn, a grande dame hotel that opened in 1913 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a masterpiece of Arts and Crafts architecture. F. Scott Fitzgerald checked in while Zelda languished in a nearby sanatorium; Henry Ford and Thomas Edison set out from there on drives through the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains (they called themselves The Vagabonds). Asheville has a long history of outsiders making themselves at home. About 130 years ago, New Yorker George Vanderbilt, grandson of The Commodore, bought 125,000 acres ten minutes south of downtown to build Biltmore House, a country estate modeled on the Loire Valley châteaux. And there is a surprisingly rich history of local high culture. Wolfe, who was born and raised in Asheville and mined his memory for the 1929 masterpiece Look Homeward, Angel, was the peer of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, “a rock star of literature,” said Tom Muir, manager of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial historic site. Black Mountain College, a radical educational experiment that flourished from 1933 to 1957, imported the avant-garde from New York City and beyond, including Josef and Anni Albers, Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Robert Motherwell, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg. The possibility that Asheville has been inoculated with ideas from beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains helps to explain why it has developed into the singular small Southern city that it is today. Muir told me that in the 1920s, civic leaders took


out tens of millions in municipal bonds to build the city of their dreams. “They were looking at Asheville to become the Paris of the South, with 100,000 people by 1930,” he said. The Depression turned those hopes into disastrous debt, but its residents still dream big about the future, and their vision is notable precisely because it is worldly rather than parochial. “People come here with a conscience,” explained Kim Allen, who along with her wife/business partner, Jillian Kelly, left high-powered jobs, stress, and traffic in Chicago to open Asheville Bee Charmer, a shop that sells honey and other products. I met them that afternoon at the store’s tasting bar, with its jars of pale local sourwood honey, orangey wild-carrot Italian honey, and dark buckwheat honey from Oregon. “The common thread,” said Kelly, “is so many people are looking for something when they move here—a certain vibe that runs through the city. There’s an easiness and acceptance.” Allen told me about parking at the grocery store between a Subaru covered with progressive bumper stickers and a monster truck plastered with confederate flags. “People assume there’s a clash of cultures,” she explained. “There’s not.”

THE EVENING AFTER M Y HIKE TO C ATAW B A FA L L S ,

I made my way down to the Bull and Beggar, a Southerninflected French bistro in Asheville’s River Arts District. RAD, as it’s known, is an armada of converted brick warehouses along the French Broad River. I sat down at the copper bar, facing wood shelves lined with obscure amaros and the bottlings of Appalachian micro-distilleries, and a precisely groomed barman handed me a menu. I ordered a glass of local Noble Cider and plotted a light dinner of small plates: rabbit rillettes with

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Banana pudding pie at Buxton Hall.

piccalilli relish, charred octopus with lima beans, grilled leeks. I looked out the window idly, until I realized that I was staring over the shoulder of an older man down the bar. He looked up. In the South, you say of someone who is amiable and chatty that he “never met a stranger,” and this was such a man. He was a retired health-care executive, and we got to talking. “You live here or visiting?” I asked. “No, I have a little farm in southwest Virginia,” he said. “What brings you to Asheville?” A weeklong workshop with fermenting guru Sandor Katz, it turned out, organized by the local community group Ashevillage, which cultivates both post-hippie idealism and a neo-homesteader skill set. Some of the attendees, he said, had come from as far away as Mexico and Sweden. My food arrived, and we continued to talk, first about fermenting and then, inevitably, about politics. The man was an old-fashioned country club Republican; I’m a new-school progressive Democrat. Though we didn’t have much common ground, our conversation was pleasingly measured in tone. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the barstool debate about Obamacare, and I thought, oddly, about Thomas Jefferson—perhaps because of the Virginia connection. With his expansive genius and tireless sociability, Jefferson truly never met a stranger; as a man of the Enlightenment, he also believed that public discourse was a foundation of participatory democracy. My conversation with the executive suddenly gave me hope that, despite the divisive tone of our current political moment, there are places in America where civility trumps anger. Of course, Asheville is no Paris, despite its founding fathers’ aspirations. But perhaps not incidentally, Paris was home to the Enlightenment’s democratic ideals—Jefferson’s inspiration—and also to the modern restaurant as a place where all types of people gather for food, drink, and company. What Fleer said about food holds true on a larger level: Asheville has accepted the changes of the New South. It is incomplete to say that the city has been transformed by foodies, but talking about its dynamic restaurant scene is at least a way to point toward a truer if fuzzier idea: Asheville has been transformed because its residents have found a common cause in trying to create their version of a small-town utopia. To admit such a thing is personal—it sounds corny—but to see it in action is actually quite moving. Which is why I didn’t want to talk about it directly with the retired executive. But then we didn’t really need to, because apart from everything we disagreed about, we did see eye to eye on the food. And it was delicious.


THE ASHEVILLE SHORT LIST A WO U LD B E L O C A L’ S GUIDE TO FOODTOPIA

PICK A HOME BASE A dozen new hotels are going up. In the meantime, the Omni Grove Park Inn, just outside town, is a grand Arts and Crafts lodge with lobby fireplaces big enough to sleep in. (Book a room in the historic main building.) To stay downtown, Aloft, near Pack Square, puts you within walking distance of restaurants and bars.

CHOOSE YOUR FOOD ADVENTURE Appalachian locavore or New South? For the former, John Fleer’s Rhubarb makes a virtue of mountain simplicity: local ingredients cooked over fire. His roasted trout with woodsy edibles is the perfect snapshot of Asheville’s haute-forager vibe. Buxton Hall’s whole-hog barbecue applies the culinary imagination of two decorated chefs to reviving an iconic Southern tradition. The self-descriptive Local Provisions shows why local farms matter (the Hickory Nut Gap pork chop is a platonic ideal) and Southern pickling and preserving remain a vibrant practice. To sample the New South eclecticism, start with Gan Shan Station, where the Asheville-born chef leaves Southern fingerprints on his panAsian menu of noodles and dumplings. The Bull and Beggar, in the River Arts District, is almost a proper

French bistro, but the oysters come largely from North Carolina and the rabbit rillettes are served with Southern piccalilli. Cúrate, from Katie Button, serves up Madridworthy tapas—berenjenas la taberna (fried eggplant drizzled with mountain honey) is a must. Button’s Nightbell applies Spanish modernist techniques (she trained at El Bulli) to make intricately delicious small plates. All Souls Pizza, from Lantern’s Brendan Reusing and dough genius David Bauer, proves that Southern pizza is not an oxymoron. And Bandidos, in west Asheville, makes tacos from local trout. There’s only one place to go for dessert: French Broad Chocolate Lounge on Pack Square. Expect lines.

PACE YOURSELF IN BREWTOPIA Picking one brewery is a delicate task. That said, no one can argue with the Wedge Brewing Co. on a clear evening when the locals are chilling with pitchers at tables and cornhole out front. Burial Beer Co., in South Slope, is a good intro to Asheville’s new obsession, sour beer, while the nearby Funkatorium is more about experimenting than chugging (try flights). Hands down the top spot for cocktails is Sovereign Remedies. The service is correct, the room urbane, and the drinks meticulously crafted (hand-chipped ice, locavore bitters, all that).

HEAD FOR THE HILLS You’ll want a car to explore everything beyond the historic core. Asheville’s traditional highlights include Biltmore House, a Gilded Age billionaire’s country folly, and the North Carolina Arboretum. But the mountains are key to understanding Asheville. At the very least, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway through Pisgah National Forest. K .W.

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ur helicopter hovered noisily over a grassy clearing beside the Okavango River, but the pilot—gripping the throttle to level us—couldn’t land. We’d taken off 30 minutes earlier from the dusty frontier town of Maun, the starting point for nearly all Botswana safaris, and had flown north to spend a few nights at the Moremi Game Reserve, where the Okavango fans into one of the earth’s great delta systems before draining into the Kalahari Desert. As we curled in closer to our target, the surface of the river rippled with a prowling crocodile, while impalas and zebras scattered beneath us. There we hung in the air, waiting for the elephants grazing peacefully in the papyrus to lumber out of our way. If Botswana has a fault, it is a perverse one for modern Africa: So bountiful is the wildlife, it can feel like a zoo. There are reasons you can point to for the conservation success of this country that has converted nearly 30 percent of its land to protected park or game reserve. A British protectorate until 50 years ago, Botswana has the most enduring democracy on the continent; it’s led by a conservationist president (who banned commercial hunting in 2014) and bankrolled by a lucrative stash of diamonds. Admittedly, the headline-grabbing recent killing of 26 elephants in the country’s north is a sign that it’s hardly immune to the wave of poaching currently engulfing the continent. But Botswana’s got more of these giants than any other African nation—130,451, according to the massive new Great Elephant Census, a two-year aerial survey of 18 countries paid for by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen (price tag: $7 million). In the Okavango Delta, where the animals drink up the annual floodwaters with the lazy air of creatures that have known neither hunger nor thirst, the densities are so convincing it can feel as if you’ve stepped into the field where Noah’s cargo dispersed and multiplied after the rains. And it’s not just the elephants that are doing okay. On Chief’s Island in the Okavango Delta, I’ve walked with rare wild African dogs before breakfast.

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In the Selinda Spillway—a channel linking the delta with the Chobe and Linyati rivers—I’ve listened to an impala cry as another pack of dogs made their kill right outside my tent. For three days, I’ve paddled a canoe 83 miles down the Okavango through pods of hippos so numerous that the animals looked like stepping stones in the water, their nickel backs glinting in the sun. Back in Moremi, I’ve tracked rhinos, stood under an outdoor shower with a bull elephant grazing near enough that I worried he’d try to drink from its stream, and been kept awake at night by the low rumble of a nearby lion. I will never forget slipping through a grove of jackalberry trees at dusk and hearing a Pel’s fishing owl—among the largest of its species in the world, with a call like a crying baby. When I finally spotted the bird in the canopy, its round eyes as black as obsidian, it stood almost two feet tall. That’s why I tell friends to come to Botswana first. More than any of the 13 sub-Saharan countries I’ve visited, it works—for the hungry firsttimer, the impatient executive, the teenager whose attention has been depleted by the digital scourge, and the honeymooner who wants to drop a safari into a ten-day-long tour of Cape Town’s top restaurants and Zimbabwe’s roaring Victoria Falls. The delta can be experienced on foot, by four-wheel drive, in a motorboat or

Previous page, clockwise from top left: Photographs by Cole Sprouse; Zak Bush (3); Cole Sprouse; Grant Legan. This page, from left: Photographs by Cole Sprouse; Zak Bush

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Previous page, clockwise from top left: Botswana has more elephants than any other African country; the pool at Abu Camp (“You could hear hippos trumpeting nearby,” says model Rocky Barnes, who joined Condé Nast Traveler Voyages’ trip to Botswana; see page

165); Letti, a guide; a giraffe; an elephant “mounting platform” on the back of a truck; Barnes in a Land Cruiser. This page, from far left: Travelers fly between camps on a turboprop; the flooded Okavango Delta attracts grazing elephants.

canoe, or on the back of an elephant—variety that is impossible elsewhere in Africa. There are caveats, of course. Would I do a horseback safari in the long grass of the delta, where a lion can jump out of nowhere? Probably not, though my sister does it year after year. Do I prefer the rolling savannas and low-scudding clouds of Tanzania’s Serengeti? Probably yes. The parched, wide-open East African landscape feels more ancient and soulful; its rocky kopjes, like the standing stones of my native English moorland, reverberate with the origins of man. But then I fly up the delta in a helicopter during the seasonal flood in May and look down on an explosion of emerald that announces Botswana’s fecundity, its thrust and burst, its greens and golds redolent of Benozzo Gozzoli’s painting of the Magi in the Palazzo Medici’s chapel. Which isn’t as strange an analogy as it sounds. Botswana’s richness and ease make the delta the Florence of Africa, while Tanzania, under its pale, bleachedout light, is its Puglia. In spite of (or probably because of) its advantages, Botswana is one of the more expensive destinations in Safariland, with suites at an Abu Camp in the delta or Mombo on Chief’s Island costing upwards of $1,600 per person per night. Of course, the country’s top-tier lodgings are done with infinite good taste, in Ralph Lauren–style


From left: Photographs by Grant Legan; Zak Bush


khakis, creams, and leathers, with copper roll-top baths and often with air-conditioning that floats over skeins of cotton voile draping four-poster beds. Before turndown, staff deflect bugs with military precision. Over at Zarafa Camp in the Selinda Reserve, gluten-free meals are a first-class feast of salads and river fish, while wooden decks with roaring campfires overlook the crush of passing wildlife. For my part—because I feel connected to Africa’s wildest places—I will always prefer camping more simply under star-pricked nights. But let it be said: If I’m offered a bed at the deliciously intimate Little Mombo for a second honeymoon, I’m in. Botswana shows the rest of Africa how luxury in the bush is really done. Botswana is also just the start, the gateway to an enduring Africa habit. I have never known it to fail. Come here once and awe will become obsession, mounting as quickly and inevitably as the waters of the annual Okavango flood.

Left: At Abu Camp, a tent interior— “the wind blew softly through them at night,” Outerknown’s Zak Bush recalls. Above: “Early mornings were cool,” Bush says. “We ate breakfast around a fire before going out each day.”

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Photographs by Cole Sprouse (3). Map by Peter Oumanski

Clockwise from left: A leopard in a tree; “On the delta, we traveled on the backs of elephants or in dugout canoes,” says photographer Cole Sprouse; Abu Camp (“The library was amazing,” recalls photographer Grant Legan, “the books, the wall of wildlife photography, and the light that poured into the window”).


DELTA FORCE BOTSWANA WILL TURN YOU INTO A SAFARI CONVERT. HERE’S HOW TO MAKE IT YOUR NEXT BIG TRIP

There’s that moment when you realize you’re in the belly of the African backcountry and there are no fences. “We woke up the first morning to big-cat prints—leopard, the guides said—all over the ground outside our tents,” said former competitive surfer Lee Meirowitz after his first trip to Botswana, organized by travel specialists Cox & Kings for Condé Nast Traveler Voyages. “It was a reminder of just how out of our element we were.” Meirowitz, a brand ambassador for Kelly Slater’s menswear line, Outerknown, traveled with four other safari newbies (Zak Bush, a content editor at Outerknown; model Rocky Barnes; and photographers Grant Legan and Cole Sprouse) to spend nearly a week exploring the

Okavango Delta and its circle of life by foot, jeep, elephant, helicopter, and canoe. (“Suddenly there’s a croc bigger than a longboard,” says Meirowitz of a typical encounter.) This trip is just one of many customizable itineraries that are put together by our editors. But no matter how you get there, you’ll be hooked right away, Barnes says, “on the rush of hearing a radio call about zebras, then zooming off to see them.”

WHEN TO GO Botswana in winter (our summer)— after the rains, when the delta floods and springs to life—is the best time to see the north: The savanna’s grasses are low, while growth along the waterways attracts tons of wildlife. Central Botswana is at its best in Africa’s summer, when the region’s desert and salt pans turn to grassland, drawing parades of animals.

FLYING IN The town of Maun (typically reached via a connection from Johannesburg or Cape Town) is the safari starting point for north and central Botswana. If you’re headed to the former, consider flying into Victoria Falls International in Zimbabwe, a one-hour flight from Maun, and adding a day to your trip to see the epic cascade.

THE LODGING SITUATION Safari outfitters typically transport you via small plane between two or more of the country’s dozens of luxury outposts, such as Savuti Camp and Abu Camp (where our group stayed). It all depends on the time of year and what you want to see.

PLANNING YOUR TRIP Most Botswana safaris combine landbased activities with boat trips, and helicopters for thrill-seekers. The ideal mix is your call. Book the trip on these pages through Condé Nast Traveler Voyages; ten days in Botswana starts at $6,750 (voyages.cntraveler.com). C H A N T E L TAT TOL I


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In this city of dualities— where the staunchest of Catholics readily invoke pagan superstitions— it’s perhaps no surprise that among its ancient Pompeiian relics and Farnese Marbles, Guy Trebay finds a thriving contemporary art scene.

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T There will be no pizza. Forget about the thousand flavors of gelato. Let’s for the moment skip over even the most banal of Naples generalities—the Grand Guignol crime, the welter of saints and leprous corruption and a decline apparently already under way in the fifth century B.C., when the place was settled (actually, resettled) by the Greeks and named Neapolis. While we’re at it, let’s also give a pass to the literary sphinx Elena Ferrante. Better than any other person since Goethe, it is Ms. Ferrante (if she is a she) who—with her brilliant though soap-operatic fictional tetralogy—piqued international interest in her somewhat benighted hometown. Ms. Ferrante wishes to remain the Garbo of Italian letters, and I say let her. There is more to this messy and layered, resplendent and gorgeously decadent metropolis than My Brilliant Friend. There is, to cite but one surprising paradox, an astonishing quantity of contemporary art in this city of nearly 3,000 years.

But, wait. “What exactly is ‘contemporary’?” my friend, the museum director Andrea Viliani, challenged me one November day in Naples. The two of us were touring the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, or MADRE, an unlikely arts center embedded in the warren of the ancient city. MADRE occupies an old palazzo in the San Lorenzo neighborhood, from whose streets it was separated this cool morning by a yellow entry curtain made from the kind of vinyl flaps you see at a car wash. Behind them, the French artist Daniel Buren had installed a site-specific trompe l’oeil artwork—a jaunty and radical architectural intervention that managed subtly to tweak the rigid lines of the palace by using stone paving to shift its visual axis, introducing disorienting perspectives then amplified and refracted by mirrors applied to the arches, the ceilings, and the walls. A giant’s toy set of cylinders and blocks in bright saturated colors installed in the secondary galleries made a visitor as dazed as Gulliver in Brobdingnag. Before my arrival in Naples, I’d received an email from another friend, the Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, calling the Buren “amazing.” Given the distaste I feel for Mr. Buren’s work, I was dubious. Yet Francesco was right. With its kiddie colors popping against the somber stone of the palazzo, its mirrors teasingly eliciting an inevitable selfie, the Buren piece functioned as a giddy, conceptual Post-it reminder of the varied means by which contemporary art has insinuated itself into the texture of this old city, and how a deep and settled past is always here in conversation with the lively present. This dialogue takes the form of, say, the more than 200 commissioned artworks by 100 or so international artists and designers installed in the underground Metro stations as part of the city’s Art Stations program. It is evident at fine contemporary art spaces like Giangi Fonti’s Galleria Fonti, tucked into a neighborhood-y stretch of the bustling Via Chiaia, just a short stroll from the city’s main drag of Via Toledo—where, from the terrace of the storied Gran Caffè Gambrinus coffeehouse, a visitor has a ringside seat on the Neapolitan life which so overwhelmed Goethe that it made his eyes, as he wrote, “pop out of my head.” Contemporary art can be found at any of the galleries that have emerged there since the visionary dealer Lucio Amelio appeared in the 1960s, seemingly out of nowhere, to establish the Modern Art Agency, a pioneering Previous page, from left: Mimmo Paladino’s horse sculpture on the roof of the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (MADRE); an exhibit by French artist Daniel Buren at MADRE. This page, clockwise from left: The Salvator Rosa Metro Station; the Toledo Metro Station; Francesco Clemente’s Ave Ovo at MADRE.


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gallery that served as a beachhead in Naples for works first by artists of Italy’s Arte Povera movement and later by key proponents of the Pop and German neo-Expressionist schools. With his impeccable eye and preternatural energy, the ill-fated Amelio (he died of AIDSrelated complications in 1994) lured Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, and others to show at his renamed Galleria Lucio Amelio. The gallerist acted as both proselytizer and pied piper for movements that wouldn’t be embraced by Italy’s richer industrial cities for decades. In Amelio’s wake came establishments like Galleria Lia Rumma, Dino Morra Arte Contemporanea, and Galleria Fonti, with its roster of stars from the international art fair circuit. But contemporary art can also be found in surprising places. For a time, a suite of moody watercolor works by the Naples-born artist Francesco Clemente were slyly interspersed among the Farnese Marbles and relics of Pompeii at Naples’s Museo Archeologico Nazionale. At the hilltop Museo di Capodimonte one afternoon on my visit, I happened upon display cases crammed with rare objects amassed by the eighteenth-century Bourbon rulers of Naples and, stealthily inserted among them, Fallen Woman, a woman-headed porcelain baton by the French-born American sculptor Louise Bourgeois.

On another day during an early-winter week in Naples, I climbed the zigzag streets of a sleepy residential hillside to find the place where, in 2008, the Neapolitan philanthropist and collector Giuseppe Morra converted a disused power station into the Museo Hermann Nitsch. Morra filled the museum exclusively with works by the Austrian artist, a self-mythologizing cult provocateur and overall nutjob who was among the founders of the transgressive, anti-commodity Viennese Actionism movement of the ’60s, generally credited as a forerunner of performance art. The vistas extending in all directions from a terrace outside this obscure spot were scant preparation for what lay inside: canvases spattered with amimal blood; videos of Nitsch’s adherents blanketed in entrails; films of the pagan rituals that the 78-year-old artist continues to stage. As it happened, though, the shock wore off quickly. The eye adjusted in no time to Nitsch’s gore-fest evocations of Christian ritual and martyrdom. By then I’d been in Naples for the better part of a week and had adapted, somewhat, to the local appetite for the macabre. I’d seen, for instance, the Museo Cappella Sansevero, a privately run museum containing Giuseppe Sanmartino’s Veiled Christ, an eighteenth-century marble often cited as the

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epitome of the sculptor’s art. As can happen with official masterpieces, the Veiled Christ left me unmoved, a sight to be checked off on an imaginary list. Down in a crypt below the chapel, however, I stumbled upon two grotesque but astonishing sculptures that left me dumbfounded and in a state of mild shock. The Anatomical Machines of Dr. Giuseppe Salerno are a pair of fleshless depictions of a man and a woman constructed of iron, silk, and beeswax over the armature of human skeletons. The morbid couple—commissioned in 1763 by a Neapolitan prince—instantly summon up comparisons with Damien Hirst’s dead shark eternally afloat in a tank of formaldehyde. Of course, these were scientific studies, not ghoulish memento mori created to amuse the collecting faction of the One Percent. “Art is always contemporary in Naples,” Andrea Viliani remarked offhandedly to me as we made our way through MADRE on that uncommonly warm November morning. He meant that antiquity and modernity are always in dialogue in a city whose nougat layers are embedded with remnants of civilizations that included Greeks, Romans, Normans, Spanish, French, and also Italians, of whose republic Naples can sometimes seem only notionally a part. The observation stuck with me as I left MADRE and lit out through the slot-canyon streets of the ancient Spaccanapoli, promptly stumbling upon a wall stenciled by the elusive graffiti wizard Banksy. The enigmatic artist had apparently been through Naples, furtively covering its old stones with his culturally pointed imagery. There that day was an ascending Madonna, heaven-bound and hands upraised in bafflement or benediction. I had a date that afternoon to meet the photographer Roberto Salomone at an open-air market in Forcella, a neighborhood where, I’m told, the local organized crime gangs still quietly hold sway. Roberto had recently returned from Lampedusa, the Italian island where he’s documented the immigrant

“Naples is a city of questions, not answers, and if you are not at home with contradiction, it is not the city for you.”

waves that have become the Mediterranean’s grim new bounty. After wandering awhile, we exited into the centuries-old grid of streets called the Decumani and almost immediately encountered a wall-size mural depicting the city’s patron saint, San Gennaro. The portrait, Roberto explained to me, had been commissioned by a local contemporary arts group. Instead of the usual bland depiction of the saint, this one was intensely soulful. Dressed in a silken chasuble and the customary golden bishop’s miter, this figure had the face of a tough and tender street kid. “Every aspect of Naples has two faces,” Roberto said, as a motor scooter rounding a corner nearly clipped me. Its rider was helmetless because, according to Roberto, in Forcella only assassins cover their faces and heads. “Touch wood,” Roberto said of my near miss. “Or touch something else,” he added, motioning toward my groin. Later that week, I found myself seated at a horseshoe-shaped metal counter in a restaurant whose name in English translates roughly as “Superstition Pizza.” The brick-oven joint was the newest endeavor of 41-year-old Gino Sorbillo, scion of a justly celebrated local pizza dynasty. Every so often a male customer could be seen reflexively tapping his crotch to ward off bad luck. I thought of an observation a friend, the designer Allegra Hicks, had made about her adopted city. “I never heard of so many superstitions until I came to Naples,” said Allegra. “You have to have a silver or a gold horn because it brings you luck. Even the priest has a corno,” said the Turin native, now married to a Neapolitan nobleman. A rapport with the irrational seems perfectly natural in a city located in an earthquake zone and nestled near an active volcano. The prospect of imminent eruption of the sort that buried Pompeii is so ordinary a part of daily life here that, strolling past the window of the pastry shop Scaturchio one afternoon, I happen upon an enormous rum cake in the shape of Mount Vesuvius. Death in life turns up in places like the cemetery of Fontanelle, an ossuary in the Materdei district that everyone I spoke to in Naples said was a must-see. You find it in a piece by the American artist Roni Horn at MADRE, a grouping of mirrors and wall-mounted cast-iron skulls that trap the unwary with reflections of themselves alongside the image of their inevitable fate.


T That MADRE came into existence only a little over a decade ago seems almost improbable, so vital is the place and already so much like a permanent civic fixture. Wending my way through it one morning, I passed Francesco Clemente’s Ave Ovo—a multi-story tile and fresco installation— and later Michelangelo Pistoletto’s wondrous Arte Povera masterpiece Venus of the Rags, on my way to see Inflatable Felix. This giant balloon sculpture is by the Turner Prize–winning British artist Mark Leckey, who often incorporates the

From left: The Salvator Rosa Metro Station; a Madonna with a pistol, by Banksy.

cartoon cat into his work. “I’m hoping people will leave offerings to him,” Leckey once said of his Felix, a figure he considers a sort of tutelary deity. Slumped and slightly deflated that morning, Felix looked in need of something potent. And after gazing at art for hours, so did I. Luckily, caffeine fortification is seldom hard to come by in Naples, and I chose a caffè shekerato, a frothy shaken blend of espresso, ice, and simple syrup that makes Red Bull seem like Enfamil. Buzzed and ready, I plunged again into the streets, aware that among the great and abiding gifts which Naples provides a visitor is the opportunity to idle and guiltlessly play the flaneur. Tumultuous, illogical, dirty, and occasionally a place of peril (thieves relieved a cruise ship passenger of his Rolex during my visit), Naples is above all a vast stage set, one whose actors seem so entirely consumed by the drama of their own existence that a stranger registers as little more than an extra. This is no small boon to a traveler, and it gave me pleasure to wander about in what I think of as well-companioned solitude, unbothered by the hordes that threaten to turn Rome and Venice into Old World Disneyland. Throughout the days I spent in Naples, I saw no Seventh Seal gaggles blindly following a flag-waving guide. For that matter, I never saw a selfie stick. Stopping for a late lunch on the streetside terrace of the raw bar Cru do Rè one afternoon, I ordered what looked like a modest assortment of fish appetizers from a set menu. What appeared was a sequence of imaginative culinary riffs on the possibilities of uncooked fish—elegant preparations to be expected, perhaps, as part of an omakase meal prepared by a sushi master in Tokyo, but altogether a revelation in this place: salmon tartare served on slices of apple; scallops with grapefruit; codfish carpaccio; sweet shrimp with capers and caviar, all of it to be washed down with straw-colored white from Ischia, the poor-cousin island whose one advantage over Capri is its wines. At that hour, the restaurant was empty but for me and a family that looked to have been installed there by Mob Central Casting. The couple and their two young sons were dressed in full Dolce & Gabbana regalia. They spoke not one word to each other as they consumed what appeared to be their last meal. It was a hypnotic spectacle, the sight of even the children gorging on courses of oysters followed by clams, after which calamari and four individual two-pound lobsters were served. As I ate and ogled, I thought of something the gallery owner Giangi Fonti remarked to me one day over coffee at Gran Caffè Gambrinus. “Paradox is fundamental to us,” he said. “Naples is a city of questions, not answers, and if you are not at home with contradiction, it is not the city for you.” Mystified but fortified, I called for the bill and then set off on foot to see Giangi at the gallery in Chiaia where he’d mounted a show titled “Veni, Vidi, Napoli.” The exhibit featured sculptures of puddles created in cast resin by the Romanian artist Daniel Knorr, along with a series of acrylic cylinders filled with what seemed to be colored vapor but was in reality poison gas. It was a little while later that the droll logic behind Mr. Fonti’s recasting of veni, vidi, vici, a scrap of schoolroom Latin invariably attributed to Julius Caesar, hit me. It is entirely possible that Caesar did announce to the Roman Senate, after swiftly dispatching Pharnaces II of Pontus at the Battle of Zela, that he had come and seen and conquered. The historical attribution is dubious. What is beyond question, however, is that a visitor to Naples may come and see but will never truly conquer. That victory the city alone can claim.

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Intel

T R AV E L TIPS, TRICKS, AND MISCELLANY

OUR GUIDE T O T R AV E L I N G B E T T E R THIS MONTH

GOOD NEWS The new Chase Sapphire Reserve card is easily the best way to rack up rewards we’ve ever seen (and mileage geeks like Gary Leff of Book Your Award agree). You can earn a monster 100,000 miles when you sign up—enough to get a bizclass upgrade to Europe or Asia right off the bat. The $450-a-year card also gets you three points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining.

BEFORE YOU GO TO NAPLES FOR THE ART Hot-in-the-’80s painter David Salle, author of How to See: Looking, Talking and Thinking About Art (W. W. Norton & Company), wants to help.

Hotels in the Caribbean are still reeling from the Zika virus outbreak. In Puerto Rico, occupancy was down five percent in the first half of the year compared with 2015, according to STR, which tracks the hotel industry. However, now properties on the island—where more than 10,000 Zika cases have been reported— are offering discounts to stoke demand: At Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, stays of at least three nights get 20 percent off; guests at El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, get a $350 credit on three-night stays through December 22.

UNBELIEVABLE NEWS Mountain Travel Sobek, better known for rafting adventures, is running its first scheduled trip to rarely visited Saudi Arabia this December. The nineday tour includes the capital of Riyadh, the spectacular canyons near Al Ula, and the stark Empty Quarter desert. While this departure is already sold out, MTS may run a similar trip next year.

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Yes, You Can Ski and Ride in October Nobody can guarantee early-season powder, but these classics may even be running lifts by the time you read this.

Killington, Vt. The first to open in North America last fall, the resort had its first day of skiing on October 18. Once there’s snow on the ground, skiers hop the North Ridge Triple for laps on the intermediate Rime Trail.

Keystone, Colo. Just six miles west of A-Basin, Keystone plans to have its lifts going on November 4 this year, says spokesman Russell Carlton, with the 3.5-milelong Schoolmarm Run and the shorter Dercum’s Dash up first.

Arapahoe Basin, Colo. Even locals are surprised that A-Basin gets enough snow by late October most years to fire up the Black Mountain Express chair and start skiing runs like High Noon.

Snowbird, Utah Right next to Alta and less than an hour’s drive from the Salt Lake City airport, it has a summit at 11,000 feet and is usually one of the first Utah resorts to open due to heavy, reliable lake effect snows.

Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

Mammoth Mountain, Calif. The slopes opened on November 5 last season because of early snowfall high in the Eastern Sierra. This year, the resort expects runs like Broadway, Main Park, and Ralphies to be ready by November 10. Revelstoke, B.C. This steeps-packed resort gets pummeled by storms: More than 11 feet of snow blanketed its mind-boggling 5,620 feet of vertical drop by Thanksgiving last year. B R I A N E . C L A R K

Contemporary art can seem purposely bewildering. True? Well, life itself can seem purposely bewildering. Most art, somewhere in its DNA, wants to communicate. What’s the best way to understand what I’m seeing? Imagine yourself making it. What are the bridges you’d cross to get there? Any gallery-going advice? Wear comfortable shoes, don’t go on an empty stomach, and don’t read wall labels first. ANDREA WHITTLE

THE BEST WAY TO BYOB THE NEXT TIME YOU FLY We’ve seen plenty of in-flight cocktail kits, but the TSAproof setups from San Francisco’s Bitters + Bottles are next-level: We love the Jalapa Margarita, with jalapeñoinfused tequila, lime, and a mini Cointreau ($19).

illustrations by DENISE NESTOR

Photograph by Erik Madigan Heck/Trunk Archive; book courtesy W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

BAD NEWS


Ombudsman: Playing the Advantage

62,332 Miles Logged in the Last Year

I have the Citi/AAdvantage card, which comes with some great perks. You get automatic trip insurance when you put the full cost of a vacation on the card, and you can also get a $100 flight voucher if you use the card for a year and meet a spending minimum. Last winter, I put my $100 toward a family ski vacation, paying the balance with my card. Unfortunately, my son injured his knee right before departure, so we had to change our plans, racking up $800 in airline change fees. I contacted the company that handled insurance claims for Citi, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, which told me “using a discount voucher is considered not paying for the full trip cost.” Is it just me, or is it crazy that one perk of the card voids the other? –Leslie W., Austin

Q

Citi may be technically right—you did pay for a small slice of that trip with a voucher. But it rejected completely the spirit of what’s supposed to be a consumerfriendly benefit, which is one of the reasons you’re paying the card’s $95 annual fee. After hearing from Ombudsman, the bank agreed to refund Leslie’s airline change fees in full. And Citi has since updated its rules: It now offers trip-cancellation and -interruption protection for any part of a vacation paid for with a Citi/AAdvantage card.

A

50

NUMBER OF MINUTES YOU CAN SAVE BY FLYING INTO TOKYO’S HANEDA AIRPORT INSTEAD OF NARITA, WHICH IS AN ANNOYING 90 MINUTES BY TRAIN FROM THE HEART OF THE CITY. (BY CAB, THE TIME SAVINGS IS ABOUT THE SAME; HANEDA IS JUST 25 MINUTES FROM DOWNTOWN.)

James Beard Award–winner Vivian Howard, host of A Chef’s Life and author of Deep Run Roots: Stories & Recipes from My Corner of the South (Little, Brown and Company).

I LOVE FLYING THROUGH Chicago O’Hare. It’s not the nicest airport, but unlike many hubs it’s got great places to eat: Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless, and a Publican Tavern just opened.

ON A PLANE I’M NOT drinking or eating so I can avoid the germy restrooms. I will

THE ULTIMATE DO-IT-ALL CAMERA Thanks to a brand-new line of waterproof cases and lens filters, the three-inch-tall DxO One can replace both your bulky SLR and your GoPro. The camera pairs with your iPhone and can now be used independently or mounted on a bike, surfboard, or helmet. Unlike its competition, the DxO One doesn’t give photos that warped fish-eye effect, and with its onboard Wi-Fi, you can share images on Facebook and Instagram from anywhere (from $500).

take along a few Kind bars, though.

MY IN-FLIGHT RITUAL starts with purple booties. My feet get really cold on planes, and a fan of my show knit these for me. I put them on over my socks.

I KNOW I’LL LOVE A HOTEL IF they have great toiletries. I stayed at The Marlton in Greenwich Village, and they had Marvis toothpaste. It was the tiniest room I’ve ever slept in, but I fell in love with it because of that little touch.

THE BEST ROOM SERVICE BREAKFAST IS AT The Spectator Hotel in Charleston. I ordered charcuterie and pastries every morning—they came on beautiful china.

I ALWAYS BRING HOME a storybook that relates to the place for my kids, and

Correction: In “Been There, Done That” (September), we incorrectly suggested that wild tigers roam northern Kenya, an area outside the animals’ natural habitat.

CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC. COPYRIGHT © 2016 CONDÉ NAST. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. VOLUME 51, NO. 10, CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER (ISSN 08939683) is published monthly (except for a combined issue in June/July) by Condé Nast, which is a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. PRINCIPAL OFFICE: Condé Nast, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. S.I. Newhouse, Jr., Chairman Emeritus; Charles H. Townsend, Chairman; Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer; David E. Geithner, Chief Financial Officer; Jill Bright, Chief Administrative Officer. Periodicals postage paid at New York, New York, and at additional mailing offices. Canadian Goods and Services Tax Registration No. 123242885-RT0001.

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Condé Nast Traveler / 11.16

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I’m inclined to buy herbs, spices, olive oil—or, in China, Szechuan peppercorns.

are ever dissatisfied with your subscription, let us know. You will receive a full refund on all unmailed issues. First copy of new subscription will be mailed within four weeks after receipt of order. Address all editorial, business, and production correspondence to CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER, One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. For reprints, please email reprints @ conde nast .com or call Wright’s Media 877-652-5295. For reuse permissions, please email contentlicensing @ conde nast .com or call 800-8978666. Visit us online at cn traveler.com. To subscribe to other Condé Nast magazines on the World Wide Web, visit condenast .com. Occasionally, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies that offer products and services which we believe would interest our readers. If you do not want to receive these offers and/or

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SOUVENIR

11.16

Contact High

When mountaineer James Whittaker became the first American to summit Everest in 1963, photographer Henry Leutwyler was a small child in Lenzburg, Switzerland, not far from the Alps. Though he dreamed of being an explorer— “I am Swiss, we all mountain climb,” he says—he eventually got his adventure fix working a lens, “leaning out of a helicopter in Alaska or diving in Grand Turk” (when he wasn’t photographing subjects like Michelle Obama and Tom Wolfe, that is). Then, in 2013, he was hired to do a portrait of his old hero James Whittaker. They hit it off, and Leutwyler trekked to Colorado’s American Mountaineering Museum to photograph some of Whittaker’s gear, including this Lowa leather boot with a nylon gaiter, which he wore on his historic Everest ascent. The three-and-a-half-pound boot was state-of-the-art at the time, with a removable insulating lining plus crampons. Leutwyler included the image in his new book, Document (Steidl), a record of American cultural artifacts from Michael Jackson’s glove to James Dean’s wallet. “We’ve seen pictures of the Everest climb but never this close up,” he says. “Objects really talk.” A N D R E A W H I T T L E

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photograph by HENRY LEUTW YLER


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