The people have spoken. Seven Opal Collection properties were awarded Travel + Leisure’s 2020 World’s Best Awards. So what makes these resorts the showstoppers they are?
Any publication or newspaper can praise a resort and call it one of the “world’s best.” But when that praise is coming from a mass amount of magazine readers – as is the case with Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards, which surveys its readership of 6.7 million on the best destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, and more – now that…that is saying something else. Because the ones casting the votes are unbiased and honest travelers looking for the most out of their vacations. Think of it kind of like winning a People’s Choice Award…just for the travel industry.
So, naturally, when Opal Collection found out that seven of our resorts had been awarded titles in T+L’s 2020 World’s Best Awards owed to readers like you, it gave us something to be extremely thankful for – especially after these last few months. While the results will be featured in print in the August 2020 issue of Travel + Leisure, you don’t have to wait to learn what makes these Opal resorts some of the best in the nation and the world.
Category: “Top 100 Hotels in the World,” “Top 15 Resort Hotels in the Continental US,” and “No. 1 of Top 15 Resort Hotels in Florida”
And all three awards go to….
Sunset Key Cottages [Key West, FL]
While taking home three awards in multiple categories is certainly something to be proud of, perhaps the most exciting award is the “Top 15 Resort Hotels in Florida” award because this secluded cottage-studded resort was ranked as number one in this category – not number thirteen, not number five, and not number two, but number one.
So what makes this Key West resort the best in Florida? You can learn more in this post, 5 Reasons Sunset Key Cottages is T+L’s “No. 1 Resort Hotel in Florida,” but the short of it is that full-service island oasis marries utter seclusion with the best in customer service and luxury. Picture a collection of stand-alone cottages based on its own private Florida key just a seven-minute ferry ride away from Key West, hammocks that hang between palm trees just steps from a luxurious spa and an award-winning restaurant, and staff members who know repeat guests by their names.
Category: “Top 15 Resort Hotels in Florida”
And the awards go to….
Edgewater Beach Hotel [Naples, FL]
Don’t expect a typical hotel room. The all-suite accommodations of this 125-unit property offer residential-style comforts within elegantly appointed living rooms, bedrooms, full kitchens, and private porches. But if looking for something really lavish, book one of the two Premium Suites. Located in either corner of the resort, the 2,000-square-foot accommodations offer panoramic views from a balcony that runs the expanse of all the rooms. It’s like living in your own luxury apartment.
Sandpearl Resort [Clearwater Beach, FL]
Beachfront fire-pits, a climate-controlled zero-entry pool, and easy access to “America’s Number One Beach” as rated by TripAdvisor’s 2019 Travelers’ Choice Awards. These are just some of the perks when you stay at Sandpearl Resort. But one of the all-time favorite guest amenities is how, each evening, a staff member rings a “sunset bell” alerting guests that an awe-inspiring show is about to begin. Guests make their way to the western side of the resort, finding places along the private beach in secluded cabanas and hammocks to watch as the sun sets over the Gulf.
Opal Sands Resort [Clearwater Beach, FL]
With a striking facade that curves along the coastline, Opal Sands Resort is the only hotel on Clearwater Beach where there’s a view of the ocean from every room – all 230 of them. But the water isn’t the only spectacle: custom pieces of art are found around every corner, including a 400-piece glass-and-metal sculpture shaped into a wave, a nine-foot metal grouper sculpture, and billboard-size water-themed paintings by native Floridian and master artist, Christopher Still. But there are other feasts for the senses here, too, including fresh local seafood and handmade pastas that will leave you happily stuffed at Sea-Guini, and, of course, “America’s Number One Beach” just a few easy strides away.
The Resort at Longboat Key Club [Longboat Key, FL]
A destination in itself, The Resort at Longboat Key Club is set on 410 acres on a secluded barrier island, providing a unique blend of privacy. While Sarasota proper is just a quick six-mile drive away, thanks to the property’s 45 holes of golf, full-service marina with 291 slips, multiple restaurants, and a fitness center, the chance of you ever feeling the need to leave this 226-room oasis is slim. Especially as the resort has recently been renovated (scheduled to be completed in 2020). Not only have the spacious guest rooms and suites been updated with shiplap walls, marbled dining bars, and full kitchens, but the public spaces, too, thanks to show-shopping features like a towering green wall filled with native sub-tropical flora in the lobby, a striking salvaged regional hardwood installation in the restaurant, and an elevated posh experience at the pool.
Category: “Top 15 Resort Hotels in the Northeast”
And the awards go to….
Lake Placid Lodge [Lake Placid, NY]
Lake Placid Lodge stands alone as the only hotel located directly on the waterfront. This chic, Great Camp built in the Arts & Crafts tradition offers the ultimate secluded getaway for those seeking to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the Adirondacks, and was named one of the “7 Most Beautiful Hotels in the Adirondacks” in 2018 by Architectural Digest. Frequent guests of Lake Placid Lodge each have their own favorite accommodation. Every uniquely named private cabin or suite has its own personality and style – with a stone fireplace laid piece by piece by Adirondack masons in every room. This Relais & Châteaux property includes touches of service that stand out. The guest favorite being the daily personalized tours of Lake Placid aboard the Lodge’s very own 35′ Mahogany Hacker-Craft. And it goes without saying that Lake Placid Lodge could not be in the company of Relais & Châteaux without exquisite fine dining. Artisans Steakhouse and Maggie’s Pub offer two cozy culinary experiences – both serving stunning views of Lake Placid and the sentinel Whiteface Mountain.
The Sagamore Resort [Lake George, NY]
Since the 1880s this iconic retreat has been the place to be and be seen in the Adirondacks. Nestled on the shores of Lake George on a private island and named by Architectural Digest as one of the “7 Most Beautiful Hotels in the Adirondacks,” The Sagamore Resort offers travelers the perfect blend of activities and relaxation. All centered around soaking up views of the majestic lake, guests can enjoy 18-holes on the resort’s Donald Ross golf course, take a tour aboard The Morgan, a replica 19th century touring vessel, particularly beautiful in autumn with some of the best foliage in the country, or simply sink into one of the namesake Adirondack chairs on the veranda and enjoy a cocktail and the view.