The annual World Travel Awards for Latin America took place recently in Lima and a lot of properties we’ve highlighted were among the winners. Like any contest where people go online to vote—and the nominees beg and plead for weeks to sway the outcome—there’s a lot of ballot stuffing determining the winners. Whoever has the best marketing muscle and e-mail list tends to come out on top. Witness a routine Barcelo chain resort winning for best hotel in Nicaragua, beating out Morgan’s Rock and Mukul.
You don’t get to that point if you disappoint a lot of your customers, however. We’ll ignore the fact that Hilton Panama can win for best hotel in that country or that Delta Airlines can have “best” next to its name for anything and move on to the real highlights. Here are some places we can both agree on.
Mexico and Central America Top Hotels & Resorts
Hacienda Tres Rios, Four Seasons Mexico City, La Casa que Canta, One&Only Palmilla, Garza Blanca, and Villa del Palmar were winners, the latter three for more than one category. We were happy to see the Rio Secreto underground cave system get a nod too. It’s a great natural experience in an area where there are a lot of man-made ones.
Congrats to Ka’ana Resort, Victoria House, Blancaneaux Lodge,and Turtle Inn for their wins. See them all linked from our best hotels in Belize page.
We’re not sure how an Intercontinental in a capital city everyone avoids came out on top in Honduras rather than Indura, but we do see how Casa Santo Domingo always wins for Guatemala—most of its competitors are smaller boutique hotels.
South America Top Hotels & Resorts
Sofitel Legend Santa Clara in Cartagena racked up a few awards plus its sister property in Bogota scored one.
Coming out on top were Casa Gangotena, Plaza Grande, and Swissotel for Quito, Mashpi Lodge in the cloudforest, and Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil. Check them all out on our best hotels and resorts in Ecuador page.
Lima hotels Westin, Swissotel, Hotel B, Belmond Miraflores Park, and J.W. Marriott all scored prizes for at least one category. Aranwa and JW Marriott El Convento won prizes for Cusco, Hotel Paracas for that town, and Tambo del Inca in the Sacred Valley got a nod. See all the reviews by following links on our luxury hotels in Peru page.
Explora Patagonia, Ritz-Carlton Santiago, and W Santiago scored two awards each, while one also went to Tierra Atacama. See reviews of all of them linked from our best hotels and resorts in Chile section.
For a complete list of World Travel Awards winners in different geographies, follow this link.