2022 was the year travel returned triumphantly after a few long years of Covid lockdown. It felt so good to finally dust off my passport, hop on a plane, and feel the anticipation of exploring somewhere I had never been before.
Even better, it was fantastic to swap the four walls of my house for hotels with majestic views of the cities or the sea, plush beds dressed in silky linens, oversized bathrooms with luxurious tubs, and the pleasures simple room service. From Cairo to Connecticut, from Vancouver to Vieques, these are the best hotels I’ve stayed at in 2022.
Paradero: Todos Santos, Mexico
This gorgeous oasis is just over an hour’s drive from ever-popular Cabo in Baja California Sur, but it seems the opposite.
From the moment you turn onto the dirt road leading to Paradero, you realize that this is not your standard hotel. The organic gardens that surround the property (some of which you’ll sample in Paradero’s modern Mexican cuisine and creative cocktails) and Brutalist architecture that rises harmoniously from the dramatic desert landscape give it a singular sense of place. “We are less a hotel and more a high-design landscaping project with luxurious suites,” jokes Paradero.
These luxury suites promote deep relaxation and revitalization with features such as oversized hammocks, soaking tubs, and rooftops with panoramic views perfect for watching the sun set behind the mountains and the stars emerging from the night sky.
Stretch in a morning yoga class. Dive into the elegant main pool or one of the property’s many smaller pools surrounded by sculptural cacti. Then browse Paradero’s menu of activities and experiences, like the centuries-old temazcal ritual, soothing sound healing, farm tours, or expert-led hikes. Guests can also gild the lily with a sailing expedition in the Sea of Cortez on the resort’s sleek 46-foot luxury sailing catamaran.
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza: Cairo, Egypt
This elegant Garden City luxury hotel is located on the banks of the Nile in the heart of Cairo, making it an ideal launch pad for exploring the city and the nearby Giza pyramids.
Each of the rooms and suites are spacious, well-appointed and elegantly designed. But the serene Diplomatic Suites feel extra luxurious: The residential-style layout offers 1,000 square feet of living space, including two bathrooms, a living room, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a large terrace with stunning views of the Nile. Listening to the call to prayer floating above the city at sunset is something you will never forget.
The hotel also offers several stellar dining options: Zitouni for an elegant breakfast with authentic Egyptian fare, Riviera for coastal Italian fare, and 8 for traditional Cantonese fare like Peking Duck and dim sum brunch.
Of course, no trip to Egypt is complete without a visit to the majestic Giza complex. To see the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx in signature Four Seasons style, book the hotel’s unique Dine at One of the Seven Wonders tour, which includes live music, dinner prepared by a Four Seasons private chef and views of the pyramids from a private tent perched on the Giza Plateau.
There Escalante: Escalante, Utah
This sleek, modern glamping destination is set amid towering sandstone cliffs, mesmerizing slot canyons, and breathtaking panoramic views of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s also about an hour from Bryce Canyon National Park and about two hours from Zion. (And if you want to see all of Utah’s “Mighty Five” National Parks in one super scenic trip, you can head northeast from Yonder to visit Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands National Parks, too. )
Over There is both rustic and refined, with minimalist cabins, upgraded Airstreams, an oversized pool and hot tub, outdoor showers, a communal lounge, and a nostalgic cinema where classic cars serve as seats where guests can snack on Reese’s Pieces and sip Champagne while they watch movies like HEY and Cool Hand Luke.
Note: Yonder is currently closed for the season, but will reopen March 15, 2023.
Mayflower Inn & Spa: Washington, Connecticut
Mayflower Inn & Spa, part of the prestigious Auberge Resorts collection, has seen several iterations since it was built in 1894. The first was a boarding school for boys. Then it was transformed into a private house. But arguably best is its current chapter as a serene country retreat with chic, soothing rooms carefully curated by renowned interior designer Celerie Kemble.
The inn is set amidst 58 acres of lush gardens and bucolic woods, which can be explored on foot or by bicycle.
The inn’s year-round beauty is complemented by a chef-in-residence program that has made it a foodie destination in recent years, as well as an award-winning spa.
Finca Victoria: Vieques, Puerto Rico
Finca Victoria is perched on a hill on the beautiful Caribbean island of Vieques, 13 km off the east coast of Puerto Rico. The position allows guests to enjoy cooling breezes, lush vegetation, a soothing soundtrack of Coqui frogs, and very little light pollution, allowing for stellar stargazing.
Each room at this eco-conscious boho-chic B&B is unique, with varying constructions, vintage furnishings, and original artwork by local artists that give each space its own character.
Finca (which translates to ‘farm’) is set amongst two and a half acres of lush vegetation, including medicinal and edible gardens used to create meals, teas, essential oils and other wellness products. be Ayurvedic.
Daily morning yoga classes on the terrace are included in your stay, as are delicious vegan breakfasts prepared with ingredients just picked from the farm’s gardens and fruit trees.
Shangri-La: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupying 15 floors of Vancouver’s tallest building, this luxurious “urban sanctuary nestled between the mountains and the sea” overlooks the city skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows that let in the light.
The prime downtown location positions guests right in the middle of the city’s top luxury shopping destinations. Retailers such as Prada, Burberry, Saint Laurent, Tory Burch and Moncler are within walking distance, and there are more high-end boutiques on Robson Street. The hotel also offers an exclusive shopping experience at Holt Renfrew, a premier destination for luxury fashion for women and men.
While the streets outside can be bustling with urban activity, inside the Shangri-La you’ll find a calming retreat. Plush beds ensure a luxurious night’s sleep, and spacious seating areas, walk-in closets, mini-bars and sleek desks make the generously sized bedrooms feel more like well-appointed city apartments than hotel rooms. . Oversized marble-topped bathrooms with city views have luxe modern touches like automated privacy shades and TVs neatly integrated into vanity mirrors. And don’t miss the chance to get a massage or facial in the beautiful and serene treatment rooms at Chi, The Spa.