Smart Luxury Awards

by  ShermansTravel Editorial Staff | Apr 10, 2012
Tides Riviera Maya
Tides Riviera Maya / Photo courtesy of the property

In a business that prizes buzz and sound bites, our Smart Luxury Awards are a true anomaly. Instead of focusing on what’s trendy or what sounds good in a headline, we stay true to form and obsess over what’s worth spending money on in the world of luxury travel. Our process for selecting winners is delightfully straightforward: At the end of the year, we look back at the destinations, hotels, cruises, services, and restaurants we recommended to readers. We then select the establishments we believe best exemplify the essence of Smart Luxury. You won’t find anything here proclaiming “100 Best…” or extolling pillow menus. Instead, our awards highlight places and experiences that leave travelers with that rare and satisfying feeling of money, time, and energy well spent.

2010 Winners

Ace Hotel
The Urban Collective

Arts on Main
Here Comes the Neighborhood

A Guilded Hideaway

Bristol Buenaventura
Paradise Found

California Academy of Sciences
A Living Museum

Cap Maison
Going Nowhere Fast

Celebrity Cruises' Solstice Class
Setting a Majestic Course

Chateau Coutet
Bottle Bravado

Chi Spa at Shangri-La Hotel
Wrap Artists

Cow's Lane Designer Studio
Well Crafted

Feather Down Farms
An Agricultural Escape

From Jamaica with Love

Le Relais Saint-Germain
The Echt Left Bank

Hotel Le St. James
The Crown-Jewel of Montreal

Hotel Renew
The Tranquil Side of Waikiki

Hoshinoya Karuizawa
Contemporary Tradition

Hosted Villas
Home Away From Home

Il Salviatino
Above It All In Tuscany

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel
Tourist-Free Eco-Haven

Jerez de la Frontera
Worth A Closer Look

Jnane Tamsna
Rooftop Chef

Cosmopolitan and Fresh

Design for Living

LAN Airlines
Economical Business Class

Le Gray
A Middle Eastern Comeback

Lifestyle Tours
Rental Friends

A True Believer

Still Worth the Buzz

Monastery of the Caves
A Haunting Must-See

Orion Expedition Cruises
Adventure at Sea

Park Hyatt Seoul
The High Life

Pearl Brewery
Urban Reclamation

Ponta dos Ganchos
A Beachy Haven

Portrait Suites
A Perfect Fit

Radisson Blu, Madrid Prado
The Un-Brand

Silversea Cruises
Art Deco Elegance at Sea

San Marco Hotel
A Family Affair

Fit to Print

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Sheltering Skies

Terme Merano
Taking the Waters

The Allison Inn & Spa
Promised Land

The Inn at Bay Fortune
The Fat of the Land

The Oberoi
An Icon Restored

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya
Local Flavor

Out on a Limb

Sniffing Out the Superlative

Utah Road Trip
Phenomenal Terrain

Virgin America
Innovation and Aesthetics

Windstar Cruises
Elegant Sailing to Striking Locales

Witt Istanbul Hotel
Best of All Worlds

2009 Winners

Alan Wong's
An Enduring Culinary Trailblazer

Aqua Luna
A Mouth-watering Harbor Cruise

Avalon Waterways
Sleek Design on the River

Avli Lounge Apartments
A Unique Boutique with an Old Soul

Bateleur Camp
A Secluded Safari

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Bird’s Eye Island Views

Each Night, a New Food Performance

Camden Harbour Inn
An Uncommon Seaside Retreat

Coeur des Alpes
Airy Architecture in the Alps

Colchagua Valley
Find Undiscovered Chilean Reds

Minimalist Decor and Dazzling Taste

Elevate Destinations
Eco-Luxe Voluntourism

Enigma Apartments & Suites
Homey Cliffside Digs with Spectacular Views

Evason Ma'In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa
An Eco-Friendly Desert Oasis

Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant
Michelin-Starred Meals and Modern Rooms

Four Seasons New York
A Contemporary Retreat in the Concrete Jungle

Golden Rock Inn
Laid-Back Boho Bonhomie

Grof Degenfeld Castle Hotel
A Reclaimed Mansion in a Historic Wine Region

Hacienda Temozon Sur
Restored Historical Elegance

The Hermitage Plantation Inn
Quaint Caribbean Cottages

Holland America
Small Ship Intimacy with Big Ship Amenities

Hoopoe Yurt Hotel
Private Meadow Oases

Hotel Be Angkor
A Showcase for Siem Reap Artists

Hotel Healdsburg
Wine Country Hotel Perfection

Hotel des Academies et des Arts
An Homage to the Left Bank’s Arty Heritage

Hotel de Crillon
Decor and Cuisine Fit for Royalty

Hotel de la Paix
A Tropical Boutique That Makes A Difference

Locally Sourced and James Beard Approved

Il Pino
Seasonal Fare Over the Bay of Naples

Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Float Away on a Private Beach

Kichwa Tembo Safari Camp
An Exclusive Adventure in Savannah Wonderland

La Gritta
Low-Key Dining with Killer Views

Le Gavroche
Fabulous French Fare

Madi Kuria Hotel
Wine and Cheer in Tokaj

Minetta Tavern
The Big Apple’s Best Bar Menu (And People Watching)

North Island Vineyards
The Best Wine Regions You've Never Heard Of

Number 31
A Bed and (Extravagant) Breakfast in Georgian Dublin

Pure Kauai
Custom Itineraries in Paradise

Riad Noir d'Ivoire
A Designer Riad in the Heart of the Medina

A Cocktail Bar with a View

Terre Resort and Spa
A Desert Getaway with Moorish Flair

The Merrion
Pitch-Perfect Grandeur

The Omnia
Stylish Comfort on the Slopes

The Resort at Paws Up
Haute Camping Grounds

The Standard
A Hot Spot with Legs

The Wolseley
The Perfect Acclimatizing Meal

Tides Riviera Maya
A Beach Escape in Jungle Villas

TOMS Tours
Targeted Do-Gooding Trips

White Barn Inn
New England Elegance and Classic Comfort

2008 Winners

Anse Chastanet
A Natural Wonder

Aquapura Duro Valley
Spa Bliss Among the Vines

Auberge du Soleil
Napa's Primo Retreat

Azamara Cruises
Nimble Cruising Without Limits

Bairro Alto Hotel
Portuguese Cool

Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Palatial Digs in a Singular Locale

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
High Camp

Comme Chez Soi
Because Family Knows Best

Commune by the Great Wall
Private Access to a World Wonder

Crystal Cruises
Local Flavor

Cunard Line
Classic Cruises Since 1840

Explora en Rapa Nui
Remote, Sophisticated Oasis

First Hotel Skt Petri
Minimalist Splendor

Four Seasons Resort Nevis
Caribbean Classic

Grand Villa Argentina
Old-Europe Opulence with Your Own Private Beach

Gritti Palace
A Timeless Venice Classic

Hacienda San Angel
Charming Costa Alegre Perch

Hacienda Zuleta
Haute Country Comfort

The Hiram Bingham
All Aboard to an Incan Wonder

Hotel de Rome
A World-Class Hotel with an Artistic Soul

Hotel Hana-Maui
Authentic Island Paradise

Hotel Jerome
19th-Century Authenticity; 21st-Century Luxury

Hotel Le Yaca
Palatial Luxury in a Down-to-Earth Village

Hotel Marques de Riscal
Wined and Designed

Jenny Lake Lodge
The Great Indoors

L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges
Legendary Nouvelle Cuisine Fit for Royalty

La Alqueria at Hacienda Benazuza
Ferran Adria's Other Restaurant

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso
A Honeymoon Favorite

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons
Countryside Culinary Heaven

Le Meurice
Paris's Best Luxury Bet

Mandarin Oriental Prague
A High Style Temple with Modern Flair

Maroma Resort and Spa
Lovingly Crafted Seaside Escape

Oberoi Amarvilas
Rooms with a View

Point Grace
Soothing Beachside Paradise

Post Ranch Inn
Rustic Elegance on the Pacific Coast

Rwanda Gorilla Safari
In Fossey’s Footsteps

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
Ultimate Safari Experience

Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain
Desert Spa Bliss

Sofitel Buenos Aires
Well-Located Deco Masterpiece

Sofitel Metropole Hanoi
Can't-Miss Colonial Gem

Southern Ocean Lodge
Over-the-Top Eco-Chic

French Laundry
Napa Valley's Foodie Mecca

The London NYC Hotel
Location, Location, Location (and Spacious Rooms!)

The Peninsula Chicago
Old-World Class

The Peninsula Hong Kong
Unparalleled Service

The Soho Hotel
Calm Eccentricity in the Hubbub

Tides South Beach
Top Design and Top-Notch Service

Villa d'Este
Because You Only Live Once

Wasatch Powerbird Guides
From Sky to Ski

Wimco Villas
In-the-Know Villas

Big Ben in London, England
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