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Editor Picks

Top 10 Hotels of 2012

The NoMad

Courtesy of The NoMad Hotel

After a year of keeping up with the hottest, newest and best hotels and food pilgrimages around the world, F&W travel editor Gina Hamadey reveals her must-visit picks. 

1. The NoMad Hotel, New York City

The restaurant, run by Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm, exceeded our high expectations with its delicious food, and it’s now a staff favorite for a celebratory lunch or cocktail. The hotel looks stunning, too, thanks to designer Jacques Garcia, of Paris’s Hotel Costes. Doubles from $515; thenomadhotel.com

2. Endemico, Guadalupe Valley, Mexico
The owners of Endemico—and other trendsetting Mexico properties such as Hotel Habita and La Purificadora—have built a knockout of a hotel: a cluster of 20 minimalist-chic cabins perched on a secluded rocky slope in Baja California, overlooking some of the area’s 60-plus wineries. The hotel itself sits on a little vineyard, and is getting ready to bottle its own label, with help from the region’s star winemaker Hugo D’Acosta. 
Doubles from $175; hotelendemico.com

3. Palacio Nazarenas, Cuzco, Peru
This 16th-century building, a former convent, has been made over into a posh Orient Express hotel in the middle of bustling Cuzco. The hotel has aspects both old and new: Restored Spanish-colonial friezes decorate the spa, but the restaurant is super-modern, led by Virgilio Martinez, who headed the kitchen at renowned restaurateur Gastón Acurio’s Astrid & Gastón in Lima, Peru. 
Doubles from $595; palacionazarenas.com

4. Amanzo’e, Porto Heli, Greece
Celebrity architect Ed Tuttle designed the marble-and-stone suites (each with a private pool!) at Amanzo’e, in an olive-grove-filled stretch of the Peloponnese peninsula. During harvest season, the staff can arrange an olive-picking excursion followed by an olive oil-making lesson in the kitchen. 
Doubles from $1,095; amanresorts.com. Resort reopens for the season in March.

5. St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Florida
This is one of the splashiest hotels to open in America in 2012, thanks to the stunningly glamorous Art Deco interiors by Toronto-based firm Yabu Pushelberg. Guests can also look forward to plush cabanas on a private beach, and easy access to the high-end stores (Alexander McQueen, Versace) that make up Bal Harbour Shops. Doubles from $559; stregisbalharbour.com

6. Ett Hem, Stockholm
The name of this boutique hotel means “a home,” and indeed guests make themselves at home here: The kitchen is fully stocked with food, wine and Champagne, and the car is available for anyone to use. Doubles from $550; etthemstockholm.se

7. Selman, Marrakesh, Morocco
A number of amazing hotels opened in Marrakesh in 2012, but this one in particular stands out. Five riads located in a 15-acre park are glamorously decorated by French design star Jacques Garcia. The owners’ Arabian horses trot around the grounds. Doubles from $720; selman-marrakech.com (in French)

8. Conservatorium, Amsterdam
This former music conservatorium is now a stylish hotel designed by Milan architect Piero Lissoni (who has created furniture for Kartell); the lobby and restaurant are housed in an impressive four-story, glass-enclosed atrium. Doubles from $345; conservatoriumhotel.com

9. Song Saa, Cambodia
After being captivated by the beauty of Cambodia, an Australian couple created this incredible private-island resort where guests have the Blue Lagoon-like experience of taking over a tropical island. 
From $1,336 per night, meals included; songsaa.com

10. Shangri-La, Toronto
True to the Shangri-La brand, this hotel looks sleek and emphasizes service. But we were most impressed with the food: There are dim sum carts in the lobby, and star chef David Chang runs not one but three restaurants, plus a bar. Doubles from $425; shangri-la.com

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