In ski towns like Aspen and Telluride, where the rich are always getting richer, how does one rank luxury?
Leave it to the readers of Travel + Leisure. The 86-year-old, New York-based magazine on Wednesday released its World’s Best Awards for 2023, which tallied results from a reader survey of the best islands, cities, hotels, cruise lines, airports, and more, according to its website.
All three of the top choices in the Resorts + Safaris category were owned by Auberge Resorts Collection (see below), and Aspen’s Hotel Jerome came in right at No. 3. Auberge also owns Colorado’s other entry on the list, Madeline Hotel and Residences in Telluride, which came in at No. 6. The Mill Valley, Calif., company owns more than two dozen such properties around the world.
In Colorado, “resort” means something different than it would in the Caribbean, so defining the category is key. “Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below,” according to the website. Those criteria rated rooms and facilities, location, service, food and value.
“For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor,” editors wrote, noting that final scores are averages of these responses. In this case, Hotel Jerome nabbed a 98.51 (out of 100) and Madeline Hotel scored a 97.71.
One big difference that perhaps makes it even more meaningful: The nearly 165,000 readers who completed the 2023 survey represented an increase of about 25% over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.), the magazine said.
“Readers couldn’t get enough of resorts in the Western U.S., including mountain retreats like Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado (No. 3), which one reader said ‘treats you like family from the time you arrive at the airport,’ ” editors wrote.
For Hotel Jerome: “Guests come here to partake in everything from fly fishing on the Roaring Fork River to sampling nibbles and cocktails at the annual springtime Aspen Food & Wine Classic. “This is an exceptionally operated gem,” shared one reader.”
For Madeline Hotel and Residences: “Stylish renovations to this ski-in, ski-out resort in the Rocky Mountains include the new Recovery Ski Lounge, where guests can try tailored post-workout therapies, and the Timber Room, an après-ski lounge, which one reader said not to miss.”
Here’s the full list of Travel + Leisure’s top 15 resorts in the U.S.:
- Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection: Park City, Utah
- Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection: Napa, California
- Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection: Aspen, Colorado
- Quisisana Resort: Lovell, Maine
- Hotel Walloon: Walloon Lake, Michigan
- Madeline Hotel and Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection: Telluride, Colorado
- Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa: Rancho Santa Fe, California
- Wylder Windham: Windham, New York
- Triple Creek Ranch: Darby, Montana
- The Wauwinet: Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Candleberry Inn: Brewster, Massachusetts
- Pickering House Inn: Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
- The Madrona: Healdsburg, California
- Farmhouse Inn: Forestville, California
- San Ysidro Ranch: Santa Barbara, California
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