Normally a budget traveler, I came to an important realization during a recent stay at Forte Village, an exclusive Italian resort on the coast of Sardinia. Somewhere between sunning myself on the bow of a yacht floating on the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean, and later sitting down for a seven-course traditional Sardinian meal at the resort's five-star Ristorante Belvedere, it dawned on me that feeling like a celebrity—if only for a day—is something worth paying for.
When staying at a luxury hotel or resort, getting the most for your money means more than 1,000-thread-count sheets and complimentary butler service. The best luxury properties not only give you a beautiful setting, high-end amenities, and personalized service, they also deliver those intangible experiences that are so hard to come by elsewhere. They transport you to a gentler and more refined reality and make you feel a little more important.
Being avid travelers, we, the writers and editors of SmarterTravel.com, have stayed at hundreds of hotels collectively and make use of these experiences regularly to help make the best recommendations to you, our readers. To give you some ideas for an upscale getaway, I interviewed nine editors about their favorite luxury hotel and also included my own personal favorite. The hotels recommended here are not necessarily the most well-known or the fanciest in their destination, but each succeeded in giving our editors an experience they'll never forget.
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