“Barefoot elegance” is the self-described vibe of this plantation-style 42-room hotel, set on an island one mile from the world's second-largest barrier reef. Sleeping quarters—which include thatch-roof casitas, suites, and villas—are chic, with cream-on-white palettes accented with blonde Belizian-wood dressers, bamboo four-poster beds, rich mahogany trim, and framed prints of tropical plants. Sea views abound, and even the thatch-roof casitas, which are set further back in the gardens, come with a semi-covered deck from which the sea can be seen. Because the 20-odd buildings fan out around a central lawn, with two pools on opposite ends of the grounds, Victoria House never feels full, even when it’s at capacity; there’s always an empty poolside lounge chair, plenty of room on the powder-white beach, and an unharried, always-smiling staff. There’s also an on-site dive shop if the urge to scuba or snorkel strikes.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.