It doesn’t matter what kind of travel you’re into—leisure or business, independent or group—the annual Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are always informative and serve as a reminder of places to dream about or add to the proverbial bucket list.
This year’s survey included votes by more than 300,000 travelers from around the globe. Six U.S. properties ranked among the 50 Top Resorts in the World, according to the latest report, including several destinations that are very familiar to Smart Meetings.
It’s great to see that Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa in Gateway, Colorado, made the cut at No. 37. We just featured Gateway owner John Hendricks on our September cover. Before developing a world-class resort, Hendricks founded Discovery Communications, which includes the acclaimed Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Gateway Canyons features 58 guest rooms and 14 new casitas. There’s 11,778 sq. ft. of meeting space.
“When I was growing up, my father always told me stories about the Gateway Canyons area,” Hendricks told Smart Meetings. “The first time I visited it, I fell in love with it.”
The U.S. top resort according to the Conde Nast survey is The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, in Saratoga, Wyoming, which ranks No. 5. The ranch is most famous as an upscale dude ranch, featuring a refined Western personality. Typically open May through October, the lodge can accommodate up to 150, offering lodge guest rooms, cabin suites and residences.
Checking in at No. 23 among the top resorts, L’Horizon Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California, has history on its side. Dating to 1952, this resort has attracted Hollywood stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable. It’s also been popular among U.S. presidents. It offers 25 private bungalows spread out over 3 acres.
Ranked No. 40, Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, Colorado, has more than 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, with the ability to accommodate up to 300. There are 128 guest rooms and suites.
Two island properties off the coast Georgia round out the world’s top resorts, with The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island at No. 49 and The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club at No. 50. The St. Simons Island property has space for up to 32 overnight guests adjacent to 7 miles of pristine beach.
The Lodge at Sea Island has 40 guest rooms and the Georgian Room, a fine-dining experience and the only Forbes Five Star restaurant in Georgia. The Lodge is part of the Forbes Five Star Sea Island Resort, which completed a $40 million expansion in April. It also includes The Cloister with 267 rooms. The resort offers more than 51,000 sq. ft. of flexible, high-tech event space overlooking the Georgia coastline.