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Fodor's sifts through 4,000 hotels to find the 100 gems for 2012

November 19, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The lap pool at Amansara near Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples. The resort made Fodor's 2012 list of the best 100 hotels in the world.
The lap pool at Amansara near Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples. The resort… (Aman Resorts )

If you're interested in making some early New Year's resolutions, why not make 100 of them? Fodor's just released its 100 Hotel Awards 2012, and I can't think of a better way to start next year than to resolve to visit them all -- or even a 10th of them.

What I like best about this list is the smart categories that convey more about the experience at each venue than mere numeric rankings.

For example, the Bellagio in Las Vegas shares Global Icon status with the likes of the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Thailand, and the Connaught in London. And the newcomer Inn at the Presidio in San Francisco's military-base-turned-parkland and the green-leaning h2hotel in wine country's Healdsburg, Calif., have become Trendsetters, along with Manhattan's The Out NYC (which calls itself the city's "first straight-friendly urban resort") and Sweden's quirky Treehotel in Lapland.

The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park and the Washington School House in Park City, Utah, which really was built as a schoolhouse in 1889, get high marks for offering a great Local Experience. City Chic goes to some recognizable brands -- the W Paris-Opera, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, the Armani Hotel Milano -- as well as smaller boutique hotels such as Kimpton's Hotel Monaco in Seattle. (Rarely do Israeli hotels make top hotel lists, but the Brown TLV in Tel Aviv did.)

There are no U.S. hotels in the Royal Pedigree picks, which includes castles and palaces such as the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul in Turkey and the Taj Lake Palace in Rajashthan, India. Camp Denali and North Face Lodge in Alaska is the sole American resort to make the Best All-Inclusive list.

But my favorite category, Trip of a Lifetime, is the stuff dreams are made of. Again, the only U.S. hotel included is in Alaska, the Tutka Bay Lodge in Homer, which sits at the head of a fiord. Other dream-worthy choices are Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa on Easter Island and Amansara at Siem Reap, Cambodia, near the famed Angkor Wat temples. 

Fodor's evaluated more than 4,000 nominations in coming up with its second annual best 100 hotels list. Find the entire list at Fodor's website or download a free ebook from the iBookstore.
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