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Fodor's Unveils Its Top 100 Hotels

In the world of travel, as in other industries, brands and companies come and go. Some elite travelers remember Pan Am and TWA. Of course, now you have your private jet, or if you don’t, there are Spirit and Allegiant at the opposite end of the spectrum. In the media space, there’s turmoil as well. Long standing magazines such as Frequent Flier, Executive Travel and CNN Traveler shuttered, Town & Country Travel came and went (and is now getting a second life). We launched Elite Traveler in 2001 to take advantage of the growth in private jet travel and keep you entertained at 45,000 feet.

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In the area of guide books Fodor’s has been around for more than 75 years, and if award ceremonies are a measure, Tuesday night showed that the venerable brand has a strong following in the contemporary world. Several hundred travel industry executives flew in from around-the-world and gathered at the sleek Frank Gehry designed IAB Building in Manhattan for the fourth annual 2014 Fodor’s 100 Hotel Award winners.

A quick check of the website indeed found some intriguing stories such as “10 Things Not To Do at Walt Disney World” and “World’s Best Fashion Museums” as well as the expected “America’s Most Scenic Roads.”

Back to the awards:  Selections were based on their editorial team’s in-person evaluations, and this year the publisher claims to have had visits to over 5,000 properties from its team of contributors, an impressive feat by any stretch. I give Fodor’s credit for not jumping onto the reader survey bandwagon (although this year there is a Reader’s Choice category) where votes can often be questionable as suppliers generate their own campaigns to turn out the vote.

Another twist is that the 100 properties are part of eight interesting categories.

A SELECTION OF THE FODOR’S 2014 100 HOTEL AWARD WINNERS

  • All-Inclusive Vacations — From Antigua to Australia, these properties take care of all the details, so you can fast-forward to complete relaxation.

Winners include: Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa (Turks & Caicos); Triple Creek Ranch (Montana); Jamaica Inn (Jamaica)*

  • Beach Getaways — If you dream of sandy beaches and lapping waves, consider escaping to one of these 12 resorts, from Oahu to Cancun.

Winners include: Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa (Hawaii); The Meridian Club (Turks & Caicos), Nisbet Plantation Beach Club (Nevis); Hotel St. Regis Punta Mita (Mexico)*

  • Boutique Chic — Tightly curated décor and local style define these 15 smaller hotels, from Calistoga to Zurich.

Winners include: Refinery Hotel (New York); Widder (Switzerland); Only You Hotel & Lounge (Spain)*

  • Country Retreats — Romance and relaxation are among the draws at these 11 scenic properties, ranging from grand estates to mountaintop hideaways.

Winners include: Cliveden House (England); Hotel Marqués de Riscal (Spain); Terranea (California)*

  • Enduring Classics  — These legendary properties around the world, from Rio to Paris, are more impressive than ever.

Winners include: Copacabana Palace (Brazil), Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Bangkok); The Savoy (England)*

  • Modern City — Sleek design and desirable addresses are the calling cards of these stylish urban hotels.

Winners include: The Langham Chicago (Illinois); The Upper House (China); Park Hyatt Place Vendome (France)*

  • Small Hotels — At these intimate hotels, all with fewer than 50 guest rooms, expect personalized attention and one-of-a-kind experiences.

Winners include: Punta Tragara (Italy); Le Petit Hotel (St. Martin); Waipoua Lodge (New Zealand)*

  • Trip of A Lifetime — From Bora Bora to Botswana, these 12 iconic destinations belong on every traveler’s bucket list.

Winners include: Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp (Kenya); Pictured above Song Saa Private Island (Cambodia); Amangiri (Utah)*