World's Best Hotels 2012


Everyone wants recommendations where to stay when they travel, and for 17 years running, Travel + Leisure has asked our readers to vote on the hotels they love most. The resulting World’s Best Awards are a collection of the properties that go above and beyond.

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Some hotels at the top of the list, like Montana’s Triple Creek Ranch and India’s Oberoi Udaivilas, are perennial winners. But there were also some surprising newcomers this year. The romantic Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, near Costa Rica’s Arenal volcano, debuted at No. 6—the first Costa Rican hotel to break into the Top 10. And Australia’s Southern Ocean Lodge, the country’s first wilderness luxury retreat, surged to the top of the list at No. 3.

 
You can find great hotels all over the planet, of course, but here are the best of the best.

No. 1 Singita Grumeti Reserves
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Score: 98.25

Pioneering Singita has done it again with the new Singita Explore, a mobile safari camp that's the latest addition to the company's 340,000-acre concession in Tanzania's majestic Serengeti. Other lodges include tented (and stationary) Sabora, with mahogany chests, worn-leather campaign chairs, and thick Persian rugs. Faru Faru, with six chalets overlooking the Grumeti River, channels a Swahili beach resort; a swimming pool curves in front of an open-air lounge, where guests sip sunset cocktails as elephants gather at the watering hole below. The reserve's flagship is Sasakwa, an East African ranch house on a plateau. There are seven cottage residences, each with a garden and cliff-top plunge pool. Tennis courts, a spa, and a yoga center occupy guests between twice-daily game drives, where sightings include elephants, wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles. Active travelers can take in the scenery via horseback or mountain bike.

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