Travel is back, and so are our hotel awards. So what are your holiday dreams for the year ahead?

Travel gods permitting, we asked you to choose your favourite hotels and hideaways for 2022: the places where you would most like to head off for a much-needed rest and recharge. Here’s what you chose.

1. Best Hotel in Asia: Chena Huts, Sri Lanka

Chena Huts, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

It seems that people are hearing the call of the wild this year. Set by the Indian ocean just 10 minutes’ drive from leopard-rich Yala National Park, this innovative lodge offers amazing “safari-by-the-sea” luxury. Think plush cabins with thatched roofs and freestanding tubs, private plunge pools, gourmet all-inclusive food, a small spa and excellent service. There are twice-daily game drives with near-guaranteed sightings of elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles and (with luck) wild leopards; not to mention exotic tropical birds, hares, wild boar and lizards.

Runners up: The Menjangan, The Serai, Sri panwa



2. Best Hotel in Africa: Pole Pole Bungalows, Tanzania

Pole Pole Bungalows, Mafia Island, Tanzania

Another widely shared dream for 2022 is being a tropical island castaway … with a bit of luxury thrown in! This supremely special seafront lodge, with its comfy stilted bungalows and surprisingly sophisticated cuisine, sits on the remote island of Mafia – a virtually unexplored archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. It’s a marine park, so expect amazing aquatic life – from tiny sea-horses to giant turtles and dugongs – on your daily dhow trips and snorkelling adventures.

Runners up: Zannier Hotels Sonop, Kasbah du Toubkal, Nour el Nil



3. Best Hotel in the Americas: Kasiiya Papagayo, Costa Rica

Kasiiya Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Sustainability remains high on the agenda this year, judging by your overwhelming votes for this zero-impact eco-resort in virgin Costa Rican jungle. Sitting on a private peninsula above three pristine beaches, and built from all-natural materials, the nine luxurious tented suites offer organic locally sourced food, 100% solar power and an amazing array of activities. Think hiking trails, nature guides (the turquoise-browed motmots are a highlight), cooking classes, Pacific surfing, snorkelling or diving for green turtles and rays, plus yoga and spa treatments.

Runners up: Laguna Lodge, Azul Nomeolvides, Tierra Atacama



4. Best Hotel in Europe: Paragon 700, Italy

Paragon 700, Ostuni, Puglia, Italy

If you’re planning a “local” stay within Europe this year, make it an indulgent one. That seems to be the message from the thousands who voted for Paragon 700, a luxurious, adults-only, all-suite retreat in the heart of Ostuni, Puglia’s most impressive hilltown. Tucked among white-washed palazzi and Gothic churches, the opulence and scale of the suites in this 11-room boutique hideaway will take your breath away. Add immaculate food, a stylish pool and underground spa, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a post-lockdown pleasure trip.

Runners up: Euphoria Retreat, The Watermill, Istria Design Villa



5. Best Hotel in the UK: The Dell of Abernethy, Scotland

The Dell of Abernethy, Nethy Bridge, Scotland

Staycations look set to remain popular in 2022 – especially those which offer something unique. The Dell of Abernethy offers a rare combination of cosy self-catering accommodation (a vintage-chic lodge and four cottages for 2-9), a magical fire pit and teepee in the forest, plentiful wildlife watching (Springwatch-style!), and fabulous food to order. There are hammocks strung through the trees, forest walks from the door, and Bluebelle – a classic 1960s Humber Sceptre – for secluded loch-side picnics. It couldn’t feel further from home.



6. Best Beach Escape: Salt of Palmar, Mauritius

Salt of Palmar, Belle Mare, Mauritius

If you’re planning your first big trip for a couple of years, it needs to be really special. So, on top of white-sand beaches and crystal-clear seas, can we add a community focus, a sustainable ethos, and some transformational activities? You bet. At Salt of Palmar, Mauritius’ first eco-resort for the ‘culturally curious’, you can head out at dawn with a local fisherman; listen to live sega music and then learn the dance moves; share supper (and homemade rum) with a local family. And then head back to relax in the salt-themed spa, or sleep it off in your funky bedroom.

Runners up: Sea Garden Cottages, Cretan Beachfront Villas, Orebic Beach House



7. Best City Escape: Exmo Hotel, Porto 

Exmo Hotel, Porto, Portugal

Porto has become one of our most popular small-city destinations recently, and this new design hotel encapsulates its arty, old-meets-new vibe. Located just above the mighty Douro, the ochre-coloured 14th century heritage building has been stunningly renovated – with bold tableaux and sculptures by local artists, a beautifully sculpted spiral staircase, a concrete-slabbed bar and 16 super-chic rooms with river views. Best of all, everything’s in walking distance: the Luis I bridge, the Bishops Palace, the port houses, the river cruise stations.

Runners up: The Siam (Bangkok), Labotessa (Cape Town), Riyad el Cadi (Marrakech)



8. Best Family Escape: Borgo Castello Panicaglia, Italy

Borgo Castello Panicaglia, Nocera Umbra, Umbria, Italy

Family bubbles wanting a rustic retreat to re-connect (and to disconnect) have found their paradise here. This 13th-century castle in a medieval Umbrian hamlet is one of those blissful retreats that appeals to all ages, with beautiful family-sized rooms, finger-licking home-cooked food, and activities for all. Try pasta- or pizza-making, enjoy treasure hunts and outdoor film screenings, borrow bikes and ride over the hills to pretty villages and wineries, or sunbathe while your children exhaust themselves – and their new friends – by the pool.

Runners up: Three Mile Beach, Caserio del Mirador, Garonga Safari Camp



9. Best Eco Escape: Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania

Chumbe Island Coral Park, off Zanzibar, Tanzania

Given the prevailing passions for sustainable travel and tropical islands, it’s no surprise that your eco-vote this year goes to this tiny coral-ringed island off Zanzibar. Apart from the lighthouse, the only buildings are seven thatched bungalows and an open-sided dining sala, all completely off-grid, with enthusiastic local staff on hand to feed you, guide you on snorkelling trips, and show you the astounding nocturnal coconut crabs. It’s one of our all-time favourites, too.

Runners up: Elmley Nature Reserve, Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge, Elqui Domos



10. Best Romantic Escape: Hanging Gardens, Bali

Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia

Bali is back! Only this time it’s the lush jungles of the interior, rather than the surfer-chic beaches, which are wooing the romantic travellers amongst you. What better spot to bond (or to propose!) than in your spectacular, gravity-defying pool perched above the misted terraces of the Ayung River gorge? Each of the 38 villas has one, as well as a curtained four-poster bed, a sunken terrazzo bathtub big enough for two, and a private terrace for secluded sunning, dining and snoozing. Plus there’s a spa, a restaurant, and an ingenious funicular to help you get around.

Runners up: The Folegandros Hideaway, Ponta dos Ganchos, Starbed Hideaways