I have been looking at several “best” lists recently and decide to create my own. I have been traveling for many years and Unraveled Travel will turn 10 years old next year, so I have plenty of options to choose from :) I'm happy to plan your stay at any of these beautiful properties. Photo above is from One & Only Nyungwe House.
These are listed in no particular order…..
Borneo: Borneo Rainforest Lodge
I traveled to Borneo to see the Orangutans and I eventually did see them in a different part of Borneo, but even without seeing one at this location (it rained the whole time….) this was still a magical stay for me. As the name implies, you are right in the rainforest and it is a journey to get here, but once you do…. you feel a million miles away from the world. There are several types of accommodation and I stayed in a villa. Guided walks and meals are included in most stays. One thing you absolutely need to pack are leech socks (or purchase them at the lodge).
France: Hotel Chais Monnet and Spa
This property is in Cognac which is a relatively undiscovered area (when compared with nearby Bordeaux). The drive from Bordeaux is filled with vineyards and there are several tasting houses close to this property (the concierge can arrange tours and tastings). The hotel is a mix of new and old and you feel like you are in Cognac with all of the local touches (and a huge selection of cognacs at the bar). You don’t need to enjoy cognac to enjoy this area or this property.
Rwanda: One and Only Nyungwe House
Everyone thinks mountain gorillas when they think of Rwanda and the One and Only Gorillas Nest property is beautiful, but the Nyungwe property really took my breath away. It is located on a working tea plantation and near the national park when you can trek to see chimpanzees. This peaceful property has wonderful food (they have many gardens on-site) and I saw more species of primates from my balcony at this property than I did hiking in the national parks.
Peru: Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
The main reason to stay here is that you are literally a 2 minute walk to Machu Picchu and you can often see the citadel from the property (when there aren’t heavy clouds). Sanctuary Lodge is a boutique property and feels very exclusive. To be honest, the rooms aren’t anything special, but you aren’t spending much time there. Included with your stay is a Pisco Sour making class at the bar accompanied by a potato tasting (trust me…these aren’t your typical potatoes!).
Germany: Ritz Carlton Berlin
I love Berlin and this property is in a great location. The staff here take care of your every need with a smile and the rooms are quite large. There is a champagne ritual each night (included with your stay) and the breakfast buffet is one of the best I’ve had. If you want to go running, one of the staff will run with you (sometimes even the general manager).
Belize: Turtle Inn Placencia
This is one of several properties owned by director Francis Ford Coppola and is in a beautiful area of Placencia. This is the quieter beach area of Belize (much smaller and quieter than Ambergris). The accommodation is in a thatched building with an indoor/outdoor bathroom. Turtle Inn is small and right on the beach. You feel like you are family as soon as you arrive. The property was fostering a stray dog and he was part of the welcoming committee….and those of you that know me, know that any property that supports animals wins my heart (and my business).
South Africa: Chitwa Chitwa
This is the lodge where I went on my first safari in 2014 and got me hooked. The property is right on a watering hole and there are frequent animal visitors---I saw elephant, leopard, hippo, kudu, and crocodile without ever leaving the lodge. There are large windows in the bathroom and I will never forget seeing hippo walking right past the windows while I was in the bath tub. The food is excellent as are the guides and trackers.
Columbia: Casa San Agustin
This property is right in the center of Cartagena and is historic---with many modern upgrades on the inside. We had a balcony and could watch the world go by from the peacefulness of our room. The food and drink menu is excellent---especially for non-alcoholic cocktails (I loved a cherry, lime and seltzer combo). The bed was one of the most comfortable that I have ever slept on.
This property is bit trendy at the moment (Justin Bieber stayed here about a year before I did) and that isn’t usually my scene, but it is trendy for relaxation and immersion in nature which is my scene. You absolutely need a car to get here and explore the area if you plan to stay for several days….or you can stay and be present in the moment. The views are gorgeous and I saw multiple rainbows one afternoon (including a double rainbow that lasted almost an hour). Most rates include breakfast and dinner and the food is excellent and they are known for accommodating every dietary requirement.
Taiwan: Regent Taipei
This property is in a great central location in Taipei and I stayed on the club level making the large hotel feel much more boutique. I asked for a few vegetarian restaurant recommendations from the concierge staff in the lounge and when I came back from exploring, she had created an elaborate handwritten package with several suggestions with directions and menus. Going that step above instead of just giving me website links shows the focus on details here. The breakfast buffet had items from all over the world.
These are two client favorites. I haven’t stayed at either property yet, but hope to soon.
Italy: Hotel Brunellechi
This hotel is right in the center of Florence (many rooms have views of the Duomo) and was constructed using several historic buildings. I have a great relationship with this hotel and you will be treated as a VIP if you book your stay with me.
Ireland: Sheen Falls Lodge
This property is close to Killarney but set on the Wild Atlantic Way. There are many on-site activities to keep you busy or you can relax and simply enjoy the views of Kenmare Bay. This is a Relias and Châteaux property, so you know that the food and drink are a priority. You will also be treated like a VIP here as well if you book with me.
Tracey is the owner of Unraveled Travel and has traveled to every continent (thanks to the recent visit to Antarctica!