This regular column summarizes the observations of readers and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of your editor. Based on the hundreds of letters, emails, critique cards and forum posts we review each month, the following hotels and resorts received the most revealing positive and/or negative comments.
Post Ranch Inn Big Sur, CA — This “magical” resort overlooking the Pacific continues to be one of our members’ “favorite hotels in the United States,” and indeed, “one of the best places ever.” With the inn’s “incredible” service, “excellent” food and “beautiful and peaceful” setting, regular guests are “always reluctant to leave.”
Maroma Mexico — A longtime Harper favorite, this “terrific” resort 45 minutes south of Cancún has a “beautiful new spa” and a “very attentive staff.” Despite the rapid development of the region, Maroma is “still as pretty as it was eight years ago.” One member received an “extraordinary” upgrade, and others reported that the property “clearly values the Harper relationship.”
One & Only Cape Town — Set on the lively Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, this hotel draws only plaudits for its “amazing” public areas and “unbelievably exceptional” service. Although the Island Rooms are “far larger,” members tended to prefer the Marina Mountain accommodations, with their “wonderful views of Table Mountain.” We were glad to hear that “the Andrew Harper amenities were great, too.”
Mombo Botswana — Many have had “incredible experiences” at this Okavango Delta enclave, seeing huge numbers of predators, thanks to “phenomenal” guides. The “fantastic living quarters” also garnered praise, and one fitness buff noted that even the views from the workout room were “beyond measure.” Others were simply “blown away.”
Lizard Island Australia — For many travelers to Australia, this “fabulous” island resort on the Great Barrier Reef was the “highlight” of their trips. Correspondents appreciated the “beautiful and well-maintained” accommodations and “excellent food,” but it was the “friendly and wonderful” staff who earned the most compliments. They consistently “went out of their way,” and “couldn’t do enough” to ensure enjoyable stays.
Hotel d’Aubusson Paris — Members returning from Paris “enthusiastically recommend” this “superb small hotel” in an “unbeatable” location on the Left Bank. The “exceptional service” and “wonderful ambience” charmed guests, as did the “first-rate accommodations.” At least one Francophile doesn’t plan to stay “anywhere other than the Hôtel d’Aubusson when in Paris.”
The Goring London — According to some, this intimate property near Buckingham Palace is “by far the best” hotel in the city, with a “caring” staff who “could not have done anything more.” The “very comfortable rooms” felt like a “home away from home,” with “very fair prices.” One smitten guest “fell in love with The Goring.”
Waldorf Astoria Chicago, IL — Formerly The Elysian, this Gold Coast property elicits superlatives from guests who “loved” the hotel and would “definitely stay there again.” But compliments for the “terrific food” and “gracious and friendly staff” are tempered by reports of “nicked-up” lobby furniture and “dirty wallpaper” around some elevator buttons.
Hotel Danieli Venice — Few had anything positive to say about this “very old and tired” hotel on the overcrowded Riva degli Schiavoni just around the corner from St. Mark’s Square. The “generally average” service, “ancient” baths and “undrinkable” house wines sent members running through the “overheated and dark” public areas and right “out the door.”
La Valencia La Jolla, CA — Although this “old hotel” has been “updated in terms of comfort,” “clogged” drains and “dated” décor disappointed numerous members. Troubles with “inconsistent” air-conditioning, “worn and tattered furnishings” and an “incompetent” concierge led several to conclude that this property is “not up to Harper standards.”
Free of advertising since its inception in June 1979, Hideaway Report is a private monthly publication for sophisticated travelers. The selection of hotels, resorts and restaurants for inclusion in this publication is made on a completely independent basis, with Andrew Harper, LLC paying full rate for all meals, lodging and related travel expenses. Andrew Harper and his editors travel incognito to write candid and unbiased travel reviews for a subscription service, which provides personalized travel-planning assistance, bespoke tours and valuable travel privileges to its subscribers. For questions regarding this article please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.