Over the years, Hideaway Report readers have displayed intense loyalty to their favorite hotels and resorts. Each time the annual Readers’ Choice is compiled, I see new entries — very often properties that I have reviewed in the previous 12 months — but a flock of familiar names returns with the reassuring reliability of swallows in springtime.
For an astonishing eight years in a row, the Post Ranch Inn atop Big Sur was voted your No. 1 U.S. Hideaway. In this year's list of Top 20 U.S. Hideaways it was finally dethroned, but only to No. 2, having been replaced by the Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley. Similarly, Otahuna Lodge in New Zealand was demoted this year by a single place in the Top 20 International Hideaways, thanks to the popularity of Aman Venice. But The Lowell in New York topped the City Hotels listing, just as it did 12 months ago.
For more than 20 years, Aman resorts have featured prominently in the survey, and this time around is no exception. Both Amangiri in Utah and Amangani in Wyoming made the Top 20 U.S. Hideaways, while Amandari in Bali and Amanyara in the Turks & Caicos number among the chosen International Hideaways. Amanpuri in Thailand is one of your preferred Beach Resorts, while the new Aman Tokyo is already at No. 11 on the City Hotels list. The 2016 survey also illustrates a consistent preference for Four Seasons hotels, with Four Seasons Maui at Wailea and Four Seasons Hualalai each appearing in four different award categories.
Although some familiar European names are absent this year, it was extremely heartening to learn that, despite recent terrorist atrocities and the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, Europe remains the region of the world you are most interested to travel. No fewer than 75 percent of respondents said that they hoped to cross the Atlantic during 2016, with Italy, France and Great Britain being the three most favored destinations.
Elsewhere, you identified South Africa, Japan, New Zealand and Argentina as countries of particular allure. And despite the prevailing global uncertainty, 49 percent of readers said that they expected to travel the same amount in the coming year, while 40 percent intend to travel more than in 2015. Safe travels for 2016 and, who knows, perhaps our paths may cross!