Explore Hidden Glacier Bay Aboard Seabourn Sojourn During The 2017 Cruise Season In Alaska

Guests Will See This Vast Icy Wonder Up Close On Select 11-Day Sailings

There are so many natural wonders for guests to behold on a Seabourn cruise to Alaska, but nothing quite like the mysterious and exotic Glacier Bay. As the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line returns to The Last Frontier starting this May, Seabourn will provide a select number of opportunities for guests to witness the icy beauty of the remote 3.3 million-acre wilderness area with five separate sailings into Glacier Bay aboard Seabourn Sojourn over the 2017 season ahead. With no roads leading into the park, air and water are the only ways to explore Glacier Bay. As such, a cruise ship is an ideal way to visit one of the world’s largest international protected areas.

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This May, Seabourn returns to Alaska offering a select number of opportunities for guests to witness the icy beauty of the remote 3.3 million-acre wilderness area

A U.S. National Park and Preserve that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay is located along the Inside Passage on the southeastern coast of Alaska. The park encompasses 5,130 square miles of wilderness dotted with vast waterways, dynamic glaciers, emerald rainforests, striking coastlines, deep sheltered fjords, and snow-capped peaks. A vibrant ecosystem made up of terrestrial and marine species, the abundant wildlife includes grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, numerous bird species, sea lions, harbor porpoises, orcas, humpback whales and many more. Glaciers are geared for dramatic displays of ice and iceberg formation, including calving of icebergs into the bay – a wonder of sight, sound, and splash that is not to be missed.seabourn_logo2016_black

Whatever the region we’re exploring, Seabourn always strives to offer the most enriching experiences to our guests,” said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “Taking them to see the wonders of Glacier Bay is a fitting way to return to Alaska for the first time in a decade-and-a-half.”

Seabourn Sojourn’s 2017 cruise schedule offering access to Glacier Bay includes:

21-Day Kuroshio Route & Alaska: Kobe, Japan to Seattle (May 11-27)

11-Day Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn: Vancouver to Seward (Jun 1-12. Additional itineraries include Jun 26-Jul 7; Jul 21-Aug 1; and Aug 15-26)

Whatever the itinerary, Seabourn guests are guaranteed adventure in Alaska with new optional shore excursions and Ventures by Seabourn guided kayak and Zodiac tours led by teams of scientists, scholars and naturalists that bring the awe-inspiring beauty of Alaska and British Columbia alive. The up-close explorations will be featured on Seabourn Sojourn’s full series of 11-14 day itineraries sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Anchorage (Seward), Alaska. A glimpse of the Ventures by Seabourn tours in Alaska can be viewed here.

Seabourn‘s ships circle the globe throughout the year and include more than 150 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in its itineraries. Through its multi-year partnership with UNESCO, Seabourn offers deeper insight and behind-the-scenes information about current and future World Heritage sites and projects. The line has created special World Heritage Discovery Tours with exclusive and enhanced content developed in cooperation with UNESCO World Heritage site managers and tour experts. Fares for Seabourn optional excursions that include UNESCO World Heritage Sites include a small donation to UNESCO’s World Heritage Fund.

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Seabourn Odyssey at Sea

Seabourn Sojourn‘s season in Alaska launches with the 11-DAY Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn, departing from Vancouver, B.C., on Jun. 1, 2017, and is priced from $4,999 per person.

For reservations or more details, please contact a professional travel advisor; call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit www.seabourn.com. A dedicated shore excursion call center is available for guests at 1-800-984-3225.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of The Overwater Bungalow

Award-winning South Pacific resort introduces €1,967 Resort Credit To Commemorate Half-Century Anniversary Of The World’s Most Unique Accommodation

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, recently named Best Large Luxury Island Resort in the World by Cigar Aficionado, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the overwater bungalow, with the introduction of a €1,967 resort credit.

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Paying homage to the year of the first overwater bungalow, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora introduces the 50th Anniversary Package

Paying homage to the year of the first overwater bungalow, the 50th Anniversary Package includes a €1,967 resort credit, which is applied to stays of six or more consecutive nights and can be used by guests on resort charges such as dining, activities and spa experiences. Additionally, guests booking this package will receive a “Make Your Own Mai Tai” kit, allowing them to further celebrate this occasion with French Polynesia’s most famous cocktail.

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Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora offers 100 overwater bungalow suites (15 with private plunge pools)

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Each is designed with traditional thatched roofs, indigenous Polynesian artwork, modern flair and privacy in mind.

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Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora overwater bungalow suites

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Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora overwater bungalow suites

“This is a historic occasion, and we’re celebrating the overwater bungalow all year long with this special resort credit,” said Maria Jagla, general manager of Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. “These unique accommodations have a come a long way since 1967, and we’re proud to offer the ultimate version, full of luxury and comfort, here at Four Seasons.

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Wrapped by majestic views, luxurious Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is surrounded by sand-fringed islets on an outer coral reef that enclose a turquoise lagoon. Steep yourself in the island’s traditions, activities, and authentic cuisine during your Bora Bora vacation.

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Enjoy panoramic views from a deck that also offers access to the lagoon. Relax in a private bedroom with serene views of the South Pacific.

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The bathroom, which opens onto a wooden deck, features a double vanity, an oversized tub and a separate shower.

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Make yourself at home in quarters with traditional teak-wood furnishings, Polynesian artwork and thatched roofs made from Pandanus leaves.

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Romance is in the air at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.

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Nightfall at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.

The first overwater bungalow was built by the famed “Bali Hai Boys” on the French Polynesian island of Raiatea in 1967. This sought-after design has since been replicated around the world, though Bora Bora is most known as the luxury destination of choice for these accommodations. Continue reading

New “Happily Ever After” Fireworks and Projection Spectacular to Debut May 12 at Magic Kingdom Park

It’s no secret that every ‘once upon a time’ story ends with ‘happily ever after.’ Beginning May 12, Walt Disney World Resort guests will discover just how magical and emotional that fairy tale ending can be with the newest, most breathtaking fireworks show in the history of Magic Kingdom Park – “Happily Ever After.”

"Happily Ever AfterÓ Fireworks and Projection Spectacular Debuts May 12 at Magic Kingdom Park

Beginning May 12, 2017, Walt Disney World guests can discover the newest, most spectacular fireworks show in the history of Magic Kingdom Park with “Happily Ever After.” The stunning new nighttime extravaganza will feature more lasers, lights, and projections than any Magic Kingdom Park show before it. (Disney)

In addition to fireworks, the stunning new nighttime extravaganza will feature more lasers, lights, and projections than any Disney show before it. “Happily Ever After” is also an entirely new kind of Disney storytelling, one that will take guests on an inspiring journey filled with heart, humor, and emotion. Guests become part of the journey themselves as they follow favorite Disney characters on an adventure to seek out their destiny, face adversity and ultimately fulfill their dreams on the road to their happily ever after.

The 18-minute spectacle will feature scenes from classic Disney films such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” to modern blockbusters “Moana” and “Zootopia.” Cinderella Castle will become part of the story itself, with dazzling projections bringing heartfelt Disney stories to life on and around the iconic 18-story-tall castle. Quasimodo from “Hunchback of Notre Dame” swings from the turrets. Woody and his pals from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” recreate the castle entirely out of toys. And Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” envelops the castle in her signature green flames.

The story begins with scenes of fantastic dreams full of hope, wonder, magic and light. Disney villains soon become part of the story, attempting to quash those beautiful dreams and forcing the heroes to fight for what they believe in. Overcoming their fears, the heroes triumph and are celebrated with spectacular fireworks.

Because no Magic Kingdom Park fireworks display is complete without this little bit of magic, Tinker Bell will fly across the night sky, reminding guests that with a little faith, trust and pixie dust, everyone can find their own happily ever after.

Characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films will be featured through state-of-the-art projections, enhanced by more than 50 choreographed spotlights, brilliant lasers and plenty of awe-inspiring fireworks. Paired with an emotional score, the new spectacular will drive the message home that anyone can grab hold of their dreams and make them come true as long as they are brave enough to listen to what guides them and bold enough to pursue their destiny.

The score for “Happily Ever After” was recorded by a 75-piece orchestra in London and includes tunes from a multitude of Disney movies, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Jungle Book” and many more.

Happily Ever After” will be presented nightly. Show times vary based on park hours.

Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine Embark on Exclusive Partnership

hal2016_newbrandlogo_wtaglineHolland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine has announced an exclusive partnership that will unite the soul-stirring power of travel with O‘s deep commitment to connection and personal growth. Oprah Winfrey; O The Oprah Magazine editor at large Gayle King; and others will join the inaugural O, The Oprah Magazine Share the Adventure Cruise setting sail to Alaska this July. Four additional O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life sailings featuring O Magazine-inspired activities will be scheduled aboard select North America ships through 2018.

I’m so excited to continue 2017 as my Year of Adventure with another bold, new place I’ve never been to Alaska!” said Winfrey.

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Oprah Winfrey

The O, The Oprah Magazine cruises will feature exclusive programming developed with the magazine’s editors, including editor in chief Lucy Kaylin and creative director Adam Glassman. Members of the SuperSoul 100 — thought leaders and visionaries who use their talents to elevate humanity — will be on board sharing inspirational ideas and tips for living your best life. More than 300 Holland America Line cruises sailing in North America from August 2017 through 2018 will have a variety of engaging, stimulating activities that bring the magazine to life, including meditation, tai chi, healthy cooking demonstrations, an onboard book club and more.

O, The Oprah Magazine Share the Adventure Cruise to Alaska will take place July 15–22, 2017. Other O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life cruises will include the following dates/destinations:

  • November 29, 2017 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on ms Koningsdam
  • March 3, 2018 – 7-Day Eastern Caribbean roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on ms Nieuw Amsterdam
  • August 11, 2018 – 7-Day Alaska roundtrip from Seattle on ms Eurodam
  • October 28, 2018 – 7-Day Western Caribbean, ms Nieuw Amsterdam

We are deeply honored that O, The Oprah Magazine chose Holland America Line as its first cruise line partner to further our shared belief that travel and wellness have the power to open minds, build connections and inspire shared humanity,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Our commitment to providing authentic experiences for our guests is at the forefront of all we do, and this collaboration is going to empower our guests in a whole new way with thought-provoking and enriching activities and content developed together with the experts at O, The Oprah Magazine.

The magazine will kick off the partnership with a contest in the March 2017 issue awarding three deserving readers the chance to join the inaugural cruise to Alaska with Oprah and Gayle, followed by a high impact unit in the April 2017 issue, with in-book, online and broadcast integrations running throughout the remainder of 2017 and 2018.

What better way to celebrate Oprah’s Year of Adventure than to partner on an incredible new initiative with Holland America Line,” said Jayne Jamison, senior vice president, publisher, and chief revenue officer of O, The Oprah Magazine. Offering readers a chance to experience the thrill of adventure firsthand, this partnership pairs the eye-opening wonder of travel with the soulful, inspiring content found in every issue of O.

For more information on O, The Oprah Magazine cruises please visit hollandamerica.com/OprahMag.

Exclusive Resorts Announces New Once-In-A-Lifetime Journeys

Exclusive Resorts is adding eight new Once-in-a-Lifetime Journeys to its unmatched portfolio of over 400 luxury residences and global experiences. With these new Once-in-a-Lifetime Journeys, families can effortlessly check off their bucket list adventures, during expertly guided trips visiting six of the world’s seven continents. Highlights include diving with whale sharks in the Yucatan Peninsula, scuba diving Australia‘s Great Barrier Reef, and ice-trekking Patagonia‘s Glacier National Park. To date, the Club’s Vacation Collection extends across more than 120 of the world’s best destinations.

At Exclusive Resorts, they craft one-of-a-kind experiences to share with family and friends, strengthening our bonds with loved ones. Whether craving R&R on the beach or an off-the-grid adventure, their portfolio of 400+ luxury residences and experiences is diverse by design, aimed to help you relax, recharge, and reconnect. They plan every detail—from the five-star amenities in your luxury residence to custom itineraries—so you can enjoy a hassle-free vacation. Your only demand of the day is to have fun. Founded in 2002 and acquired by Steve Case and Revolution Places in 2004, the Club has delivered more than 200,000 vacations for its 4,200 discerning Members.

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Exclusive Resorts (PRNewsFoto/Exclusive Resorts)

The Club’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Journeys truly set us apart,” says Cathy Ross, CEO. “Our 2018 Collection was designed to encourage new connections between friends and family, and those from different cultures along the way. We take care of the hard stuff, making even the most off-the-beaten path places more accessible so you and your family can focus on what matters most—time together.”

Designed exclusively for ER Members, each Journey is accompanied by one of the Club’s dedicated guides alongside award-winning tour partners. 2018 destinations include:

  • Tanzania – This nine-day immersive tour begins with a private chartered bush flight to Lake Manyara followed by a visit to a local school and banana plantation, an excursion in Ngorongoro Crater, a safari throughout the Serengeti and a couple relaxing beach days in Zanzibar.

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    Exclusive Resorts offers a Once-in-a-Lifetime Journey to the Yucatan Peninsula, where you’ll swim with whale sharks and snorkel the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

  • Yucatan – Swim within arm’s reach of the biggest fish in the sea—they can reach 45 feet in length and weigh up to 15 tons—on this six-day Journey featuring a whale shark tour and exciting whale shark encounter, topped off with a secluded beachside cocktail reception.
  • Mekong River – Amble down the Mekong and enjoy a tour of Ho Chi Minh City‘s top sites, followed by a private cooking lesson, cultural immersion with a local Vietnamese family, silk weaving experience, market tour in Phnom Penh and archeological exploration of Angkor Wat.
  • Argentina – Uncover the flavor of Argentina with a private tango lesson, an exclusive boating excursion at Lake Nahuel Huapi, a polo lesson at a top polo estate and ice trekking around Los Glaciares National Park.
  • Australia – Discover the beauty and culture of Australia on this 12-day Journey featuring snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, a tour of Janbal Art Gallery and a climb up the Sydney Harbor.
  • Canadian Rockies – This nine-day family expedition tours the Canadian Rockies making pit stops for white water rafting at Kicking Horse River, bike riding in Banff, heli-hiking over Bow River and a farm-to-table dinner at Sky Bistro.
  • Danube River Cruise – Float along the stunning Danube, stopping along the way to wander around Budapest followed by beer tasting in Krems, savor a private viewing of Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ in Vienna and finish up with a bike ride through the picturesque Wachau Valley.
  • France – Eat and drink your way through France during this eight-day gastronomic journey featuring a private dinner cruise down the Seine, a tour of Paris’ famous food markets, a champagne tasting in Hautvillers and a wine tour of the Medoc Wine Region.

For more information about Exclusive Resorts, visit exclusiveresorts.com or call 844.609.8684, and follow Exclusive Resorts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The Ultimate Gift For The Gourmand: Four Seasons Presents A Once-In-A-Lifetime Journey Through Cuisines And Cultures Aboard The Four Seasons Private Jet

Four Seasons Brings Guests Closer To The World’s Most Exclusive Culinary Journey With All-New Travel Gift

It’s often the gifts that don’t fit in a box that are the most treasured. The opportunity to travel the world, expand our horizons, see and do things we’ve never done before – those are the gifts that last a lifetime of memories

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Four Seasons Private Jet

Now, Four Seasons has created the ultimate gift for the gourmand: an extraordinary voyage through cuisines and cultures in nine countries from May 27 to June 14, 2017. Highlighted by a series of Michelin-starred dining experiences, immersive cooking classes, foraging expeditions, and market tours led by renowned chefs and local culinary pioneers, Culinary Discoveries takes guests on a 19-day odyssey across two continents, with air travel aboard the Four Seasons Private Jet and luxurious accommodations at Four Seasons hotels and resorts.

Taking luxury hospitality to new heights, the Four Seasons Private Jet opens doors to the world’s most intriguing destinations and extraordinary experiences. Guests travel aboard the 52-seat custom-designed Boeing 757 and stay exclusively at Four Seasons hotels and resorts, with dedicated staff both in the air and on the ground tailoring each journey to each guest’s own interests.

Along the way, Four Seasons Private Jet guests will meet other legends of the global food scene including Namae Shinobu, Alvin Leung Jr, Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava, and Jiro Ono, who gained worldwide recognition for his 10-seat restaurant in the Tokyo subway through the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Guests will also meet leading Four Seasons chefs including Christian Le Squer of three Michelin star Le Cinq in Paris, and Chan Yan Tak of Lung King Heen in Hong Kong, the world’s first Chinese restaurant to earn three Michelin stars.

A Culinary Itinerary Like No Other

A small group of culinary adventurers will meet in Seoul, where they will get to know one another at a private dinner in the home of chef Jong Kuk Lee. In the days to come, guests will dine on wagyu and Kobe beef in Tokyo, and learn about molecular gastronomy in Hong Kong in addition to enjoying a traditional feast of whole suckling pig. In northern Thailand, the group goes on an elephant trek, followed by a market visit in Mumbai before the Four Seasons Private Jet takes off for Europe. In Florence, guests meet an eighth-generation butcher and visit Michaelangelo’s David during a private viewing, and in Lisbon, they explore a city and cuisine shaped by its seafaring history. After an exclusive foraging and dining experience in Copenhagen, guests jet off to Paris for a farewell dinner to remember at Four Seasons Hotel George V.

CULINARY DISCOVERIES, MAY 27 – JUNE 14, 2017

On this groundbreaking journey developed in partnership with world-renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma, track the evolution of food, culture, and creativity across Asia and Europe. Curated by René Redzepi and Noma, you’ll enjoy an insider’s look into the people, places, and products that are changing the culinary landscape of our world.

Seoul, South Korea – Four Seasons Hotel Seoul: Begin your extraordinary culinary expedition with a private dinner at chef Jong Kuk Lee’s home to experience his renowned farm-to-table cuisine. Visit the Jin-Kwan temple to learn the spiritual Buddhist preparation of temple food. Celebrate your time in Korea with a meal at Jungsik, ranked in the top 10 of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Tokyo, Japan – Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo At Marunouchi: Join world-renowned chef Namae Shinobu for a day of foraging outside the city followed by a private dinner at his Michelin-starred restaurant L’Effervescence Savour a private dinner at Yakiniku Nakahara, one of the city’s finest Kobe beef destinations. Take a sushi-making class, attend a Tokyo Giants baseball game, and learn the basic movements of sword fighting.

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Begin your culinary immersion with dim sum at Lung King Heen, a three-Michelin-star restaurant at Four Seasons.

Hong Kong – Four Seasons Resort Hotel Hong Kong: Begin your culinary immersion with dim sum at Lung King Heen, a three-Michelin-star restaurant at Four Seasons. Join chef Alvin Leung Jr. at his restaurant, Bo Innovation, and dive into the avant-garde world of molecular gastronomy at an “X-treme Chinese Dinner.” Cruise Hong Kong’s scenic harbor at sunset in a traditional red-sail junk boat.

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Embark on an elephant trek through a lush landscape of mist-covered mountains to a nearby hill tribe village. in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Chiang Mai, Thailand – Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai: Embark on an elephant trek through a lush landscape of mist-covered mountains to a nearby hill tribe village. Join former Noma chef Garima Arora for lunch and an exclusive visit to a Royal Project farm, part of a national effort to boost sustainable farming. Enjoy the country’s distinctive flavors at a dinner with acclaimed chef David Thompson. Continue reading

Travel News: U.S. News & World Report Releases 2017 Best Hotels Rankings

Chicago’s The Langham is the Best Hotel in the USA

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, announced the 2017 Best Hotels. The rankings evaluate more than 3,000 luxury hotels across the USA, the Caribbean (now including Havana, Cuba), Canada and Mexico.

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(PRNewsFoto/U.S. News & World Report)

Travelers looking for a top hotel typically have a destination or a hotel brand in mind. As in past years, U.S. News has published the 2017 Best Hotels rankings in more than 200 destinations. This time of year, the most popular hotel searches are in warm-weather spots, including Maui, Turks and Caicos and Cancun. U.S. News also ranks the Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, new additions to our hotel rankings. For vacationers who have points with loyalty programs, such as Marriott Rewards or Hilton HHonors, a Best Hotels by Brand directory is also available.

U.S. News scored luxury hotels (4-star and higher) using a methodology that combines each hotel’s industry awards with expert and guest reviews. These rankings are part of the expanding U.S. News Travel channel, which also evaluates the Best Hotels in Europe, Best Vacations, Best Cruise Lines and Best Travel Rewards Programs.

In the Best Hotels in the USA rankings, Chicago’s The Langham jumped to No. 1, followed by Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at No. 2 and The Jefferson, Washington, DC at No. 3. U.S. News awards the top 10 percent of ranked hotels with a Gold badge. These three U.S. cities are home to the highest number of Gold badge-winning hotels for 2017:

New York City has 23 Gold badge winners out of 202 ranked hotels.

Las Vegas has 11 Gold badge winners out of 46 ranked hotels.

Los Angeles has 10 Gold badge winners out of 79 ranked hotels.

Gold badge hotels in the U.S. are three times more likely to offer infinity pools, free fitness classes, and free kids clubs than other ranked hotels. And consumers are willing to pay more for top quality – the research shows these hotels’ rates are approximately 60 percent higher than their competitors’.

Outside of the U.S., Eden Rock St. Barths is ranked as the Best Hotel in the Caribbean. The One&Only Palmilla takes the top spot for the Best Hotel in Mexico. For the fourth year in a row, the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal earns recognition as the Best Hotel in Canada.

New this year, U.S. News debuted a ranking of the Best Hotels in Havana. IBEROSTAR Parque Central takes the top spot on this inaugural list.

Our rankings are designed to narrow down the perfect hotel for your vacation – whether it is on a beach, in a major city or in a remote location,” said Erin Shields, travel editor at U.S. News.The U.S. News Best Hotels hit the mark for both travelers and industry experts, offering exceptional customer service and luxury amenities.”

2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels Rankings

In the USA
1. The Langham, Chicago
2. Four Seasons Resort, Hualalai
3. The Jefferson, Washington, DC
4. Montage Kapalua Bay
5. The Lodge at Sea Island

In Canada
1. Ritz-Carlton, Montreal
2. Rosewood Hotel Georgia
3. Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver
4. The Wickaninnish Inn
5. Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto

In the Caribbean
1. Eden Rock St. Barths
2. Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
3. Jamaica Inn
4. Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
5. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

In Mexico
1. One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos
2. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort
3. Rosewood Mayakoba
4. The Resort at Pedregal
5. La Casa Que Canta

For more information, visit Best Hotels and use #BestHotels17 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.