Ok, I frequently check out luxury destination lists like Conde Nast's Gold List or the uber-exclusive Andrew Harper's Report to find new places to dream about visiting .
So I'm very excited that the T&L 500 (Travel and Leisure's List of the World's Best Hotels) is finally out for 2008! Maybe I'm indulging my "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" but I always like to search and see if anywhere I've stayed has made "the list". This is pretty much always a domestic search for me at this point since I'm not rich (cue music: "Someday My Prince Will Come") and the dollar continues to be dropkicked by foreign currency.
So here's where I've been:
Ritz Carlton, South Beach - FABULOUS (see my previous blog post). Just fabulous, despite the service.
Ritz Carlton, Palm Beach - I watched the sun rise on the beach, and then enjoyed my ocean view while I ate breakfast on my balcony. This hotel made me fall in love with the RC brand - at 23! I'm sooo spolied.
Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach - AAA 5 Diamond. Fireplace in the oceanfront suite. Starfish/sandollars nightly on my pillow at turndown. Need I say more?
Ritz Carlton, New Orleans - Spent a WEEK here last summer. Very nice lounge and staff. Great home away from home - and they serve some of the best gumbo I've had in New Orleans. I ate it EVERY day, seriously.
4/500... guess I've just got some catching up to do in 2008, hmmm.
My "TripTip" -
I search online often to find deals so I can experience fabulous places on my very limited (i.e. too poor for my rich tastes) budget. During one of my searches on my favorite site, I found a review that mentioned What A Hotel, an absolute GEM. Depending on the resort, their "perks" can include: room upgrades, breakfast, VIP check-in, transfers, and $$$ credits. Also, their packages are usually priced competitively so you don't have to worry that you're paying extra for your savings. It's one of the perks of working with travel agents - and you DON'T have to pay until you check out. Looking forward to checking them out in 2008 - I'll keep you posted.