Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Mon October 17 2016

What Makes A Top Hotel?

Hotel & Resort | Janeen Christoff | October 17, 2016

What Makes A Top Hotel?

PHOTO: Amanera in the Dominican Republic. (Photo courtesy Aman) 

Home — in the ideal sense — that’s what makes a hotel soar to the top of a best of list, at least for Conde Nast Traveler Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzmán. 

“I love everything about my home, but with it, of course, comes a good deal of practical and psychic weight,” shares Guzmán. 

Feeling at home while you are away is really a testament to comfort and the forethought of a property and its staff to meet the needs of its guests.

“It’s a balancing act—that notion of creating a 'home'—because obviously a hotel’s job is in some ways to make you forget all about it,” says Guzmán. 

The point is that the hotel experience — when done well — truly creates a home away from home, catering to all of your wants, needs and desires in a magnificent space. 

“One sense of the word home conjures familiarity and comfort, as in a pair of old sweats. And then there is the fantasy of home, in which some hotels, with their cliff-hanging open-air pavilions and lantern-like indoor-outdoor guest rooms, present an idealized version of habitat,” says Guzmán. 

READ MORE: How Does Airbnb Stack Up Against Hotels?  

Guzmán notes that her experience at Amanera in the Dominican Republic accomplished this in every way. 

“At Amanera, we scarcely left our casita—a case study in warm modernism that made us, as architectural junkies, want to sell our beloved nineteenth-century Victorian town house and try to replicate the much smaller (yet somehow more expansive) teak, glass, and concrete structure on our home turf,” writes Guzmán. 

So, hotels may be many things to many people, but the true standouts in the industry are the ones that capture the essence of home. 

To read more of Guzmán’s thoughts and discover more hotels that capture the magic of home, read on here


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