MARYANN HAMMERS

The Best of the Best 2003: Hotels – WaterColor Inn

There is a saying that the farther north you travel in Florida, the farther south you get. Southern drawls become thicker, grits more prevalent, the countryside more unspoiled, and the hospitality more welcoming.   This is the setting for WaterColor Inn, a 60-room property on the state’s northwestern gulf coast. Designed by renowned architect David […]

The Best of the Best 2003: Hotels – Hotel Bel-Air

Hotel Bel-Air is not for those seeking the hip Hollywood or California beach scenes. On the contrary, since the 1940s it has been a favorite sanctuary of heads of state, corporate executives, and celebrities who prefer complete seclusion, guaranteed privacy, and attentive service in a gorgeous setting. The grounds burst with ferns, flowers, and fountains. […]

The Best of the Best 2003: Hotels – Hermitage Hotel

Nashville, Tenn., long renowned for country music and the Grand Ole Opry, has never enjoyed a comparable reputation for world-class lodging. This perception could change with the recently reopened Hermitage Hotel. Located opposite the State Capitol, the hotel was the city’s grandest when it originally opened in 1910. It hosted the National American Woman Suffrage […]

The Best of the Best 2003: Hotels – Hotel de Russie

Built in the early 19th century, the landmark Hotel de Russie—ideally situated on Rome’s chic Via del Babuino, near the Spanish Steps—drew a wealthy and royal crowd for more than 100 years before it was shuttered during World War II. Fortunately for travelers, it was rediscovered and renovated in 1999 by Sir Rocco Forte, who […]

The Best of the Best 2003: Undiscovered Bests – Spa Palazzo

You will find the new Spa Palazzo at the Boca Raton Resort & Club on Florida’s Gold Coast. But don’t be surprised if, during a visit, you begin craving paella, tapas, and sangria. Fashioned after Spain’s legendary Alhambra palace, the opulent spa is an architectural wonder, with exposed cedar-beam ceilings, two-story arched cathedral windows, a […]

The Best of the Best 2003: Resorts – The St. Regis Mardavall Resort Mallorca

Usually, the less said about bathrooms the better, but those of the St. Regis Mardavall Resort Mallorca on Spain’s Mallorca Island provide vivid examples of the resort’s attention to detail. The unique stone-and-wood facilities are equipped with granite washstands and showers with no unsightly drains; instead, water disappears through an unobtrusive slit. Other thoughtful features […]

The Best of the Best 2003: Resorts – Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa

Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa makes the most of its location, a site that author James Michener called “the most beautiful lagoon in the world.” The glass-floored lobby offers a unique view of the exotic fish-filled water below, and the 1,500-square-foot bungalows—each furnished with Indonesian mahogany canopy beds, French silver bath fixtures, and Italian […]

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