Los Cabos One and Only hotel

Is there a definitive answer on which hotels and resorts are viewed as the best in Mexico, Central America, and South America?

Sort of. I’ve said before that there’s a lot of hanky-panky that goes on with “best of” readers polls in magazines. Ballot stuffing is a part of the job when you’ve got a vested interest in who wins and people who are on the clock are much more likely to go through those hour-long surveys. Plus some readers are voting for places they’ve never set foot in, on reputation alone.

But if the two biggest travel magazines get the same results on some hotels, AND they’re featured here in Luxury Latin America, well that starts to look like a real trend. Three hits and you’re solid. Here are the hotels that came out on top in this year’s Conde Nast Travel Best in the World survey, Travel & Leisure’s 500 Best survey, and our picks here (follow the links to detailed reviews).

Esperanza hotel Cabo San Lucas

Mexico Top Resorts and Hotels

La Casa que Canta – Zihuatanejo

Four Seasons Mexico – Mexico City

One & Only Palmilla – San Jose del Cabo

Las Ventanas al Paraiso – San Jose del Cabo

Capella Pedregal – Cabo San Lucas

Esperanza – Cabo San Lucas

Ritz-Carlton Cancun

Banyan Tree Mayakoba – Riviera Maya

Fairmont Mayakoba – Riviera Maya

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Four Seasons Punta Mita – Riviera Nayarit

St. Regis Punta Mita – Riviera Nayarit

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

best resort Costa Rica

Central America Top Resorts and Hotels

Lodge at Chaa Creek – Belize

Hotel Casa Santo Domingo – Antigua, Guatemala

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica – Papagayo Peninsula

Palace Hyatt Recoleta

Top Hotels and Resorts South America

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort – Bariloche, Argentina

Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Alvear Palace Hotel – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Four Seasons Buenos Aires

Park Hyatt Mendoza – Argentina

Ritz-Carlton Santiago – Chile

Hotel Monasterio – Cusco, Peru

JW Marriott Hotel Lima – Peru

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel – Peru

Obviously it pays to have a well-known brand name and the hotels that have been around for a decade or more have a clear edge. The big surprise for me is how few matches you see for Chile (where the most impressive resorts have been opening) and for Central America overall. Conde Nast had loads from Costa Rica, but T&L hardly any. Expect that to change in the coming years as more readers get out and about in this region.