Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch, New Zealand - © Stephen Goodenough
Readers' Choice 2015: Top 20 International Hideaways
Topping the list of these hideaways outside the United States with 50 or fewer rooms is New Zealand’s ever-popular Otahuna Lodge, moving up from its second-place ranking last year. Taking its place is Petit St. Vincent, which climbed rapidly in the rankings following its recent renovation. Las Alamandas made an equally dramatic rise into third place, belying the notion that Americans are still skittish about traveling to Mexico.
Christchurch, New Zealand
— Evocative seven-suite Queen Anne manor amid century-old estate gardens. Magnificently appointed public areas contain a richly paneled dining room, library and guest lounge. The property offers tennis, croquet, day spa, cooking classes and stable for horseback rides.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
— Privately owned 115-acre islet rimmed by coral reefs and white-sand beaches. Recent upgrades retain resort's distinctive character while adding a yoga pavilion, a hilltop spa with open-air treatment rooms, a new beach bar, a wine cellar and an open-air restaurant.
— Romantic oceanfront hideaway amid lush gardens on 1,500 acres of nature reserve. Cliffs enclose the resort’s private half-mile beach. Seven colorful villas contain 16 suites with a contemporary Mexican-chic décor, tiled baths and breezy terraces.
County Laois, Ireland
— Restored 1826 Regency mansion, widely regarded as one of the architectural gems of Ireland. Set in 600 acres of parkland, the splendid house is the embodiment of sumptuous comfort. The kitchen is overseen by Michael Tweedie, and meals are served in the exquisite State Dining Room
Okavango Delta, Botswana
— Lavish enclave facing a floodplain in an area teeming with wildlife (including a large leopard population) near the northwest tip of Chief’s Island. Raised on stilts, the spacious, fan-cooled tented suites feature private verandas.
Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
— Superb luxury lodge on a private tract of riverfront land in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve bordering the unfenced boundary of Kruger National Park. The property offers game drives in open Land Rovers with tiered seats for unobstructed viewing of the “Big Five.”
— With modern décor and views into nearby Hyde Park, forty-five quiet and tranquil rooms are light, spacious, comfortable and stylish with lacquered furniture, leather-topped tables and pale wood paneling.
— Congenial resort on a 300-acre private residential island 15 minutes from Antigua. The property has 40 guest rooms and suites with features such as separate living rooms, private gardens with outdoor showers, and wraparound terraces with ocean views.
— Country house hotel set amid the celebrated vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte. The celebrated spa with indoor and heated outdoor pools provides “vinothérapie” treatments, which employ grape extracts to repair the skin.
Chiang Rai, Thailand
— Lavish jungle camp set on a picturesque hillside overlooking Myanmar and Laos. Fifteen air-conditioned “tented” accommodations feature every amenity. Personalized adventure tours include elephant trekking, Mekong River excursions and more.
— Charming all-suite resort crowning a cliff above Zihuatanejo Bay, adjacent to La Ropa Beach. Twenty-five guest suites in adobe-like structures, each with earthen tile floors, scenic lounging veranda and spacious marble bath.
— Spectacularly sited inn with 29 guest accommodations in a modernist white oblong structure supported by steel stilts above the shoreline rocks, near a remote fishing village off the island’s northeast coast.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
— Tranquil villa enclave in the grounds of a grand guesthouse that once belonged to King Norodom Sihanouk, 10 minutes from the ruins of Angkor Wat. Two dozen accommodations surround a central grassy courtyard.
—Charming hotel within a hilltop castle of golden stone surrounded by vineyards and olive groves in the Tuscan countryside. Nine rooms and five suites are decorated in a lovely Tuscan country house style with dark wood furniture and terra-cotta tile floors.
—Sophisticated and cozy, this 32-room, 11-suite hotel tucked off the Avenue Montaigne (renowned for its fashion boutiques) retains the intimacy and comforts of the 19th-century townhouse it once was.
Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Italy
— Fifty-room hotel built around an imposing 12th-century castle set on a hilltop in a 700-acre nature reserve. Amenities include a panoramic outdoor pool, tennis courts set in an olive grove and lavish ESPA spa. Cookery classes can be arranged.
Porto Ercole, Italy
— Tranquil manor house-resort blending into a picturesque hillside above the coastline of the Monte Argentario peninsula. Fifty spacious accommodations are housed in a vine-draped villa and cottages.
Matauri Bay, New Zealand
— Plantation-style lodge on 6,000 scenic acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and its own world-class championship golf course. Guest rooms are limited to 23 suites situated at the edge of a semitropical woodland facing the sea and links.
— Exquisite sanctuary overlooking the Ayung River Gorge near the artists’ village of Ubud. High, moss-covered walls conceal 30 freestanding pavilion suites entered through temple-like gateways.
— Spectacularly restored neo-Gothic villa-hotel in tranquil grounds fronting the picturesque western shores of Lake Garda. Twenty-one distinctive suites in the main villa and guesthouses feature every conceivable amenity.
1. Otahuna Lodge - © Stephen Goodenough
2. Petit St. Vincent - © Mike Toy
5. Mombo Camp & Little Mombo Camp - Wilderness Safaris © Dana Allen
6. Singita Boulders Lodge - Courtesy of Singita
7. 45 Park Lane - © Niall Clutton
9. Les Sources de Caudalie - © Xavier Bejot
10. Four Seasons Tented Camp - © Johansen Krause
12. Fogo Island Inn - © Alex Fradkin
13. Amansara - Courtesy of Amanresorts
18. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs - © Ingalls Photography
19. Amandari - Courtesy of Amanresorts