The Best Places We Stayed in 2013

From palatial luxury on the edge of the Arabian Sea in Oman, to a secluded women’s writing residency on the Puget Sound, here are our favorite hotels, B&Bs;, and the like from this year.

I was lucky enough to stay in the grand property of the Charleston Place while visiting Charleston for their annual Wine and Food Festival. Above and beyond the lush bedding and romantically scented bath products, was the appearance of pimento cheese and crackers in my room after a long day of traversing the city. —Kellie Evans, Associate Food Editor

A break from cold NYC was just what I needed recently, so I found myself at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. The service was impeccable, the food amazing, and the views breathtaking. They just renovated the 28 year old site, and it shows. —Farideh Sadeghin, Associate Director, Test Kitchen

Mizpe Hayamim, a spa resort in northern Israel. Perched high up on a hill, my room overlooked the Galilee, and I could just barely make out the dead sea on my right. The resort was started by a doctor in the 60s to promote health and well being, and today there is a full working farm and acres of orchards that supply meat and produce for the two restaurants. Each morning, I partook of an endless breakfast spread—Israeli salads, fresh baked bread, homemade jams, goat's milk yogurt—and in the afternoon, made myself a fresh lemongrass tisane. —Sophie Brickman, Senior Editor

It could have been the excitement of my trip, or the hotel's lavish, arabesque architecture, or its epic breakfast spread, or might simply have been my soaking tub, big enough to hold a crowd, which overlooked a balcony that opened over the Arabian Sea, but whatever the reason, it was the Shangri-la's Al Husn Hotel in Muscat, Oman that proved to be the most memorable place I stayed all year. —Felicia Campbell, Associate Editor

I think I was the very first guest to stay at Old Stone Farm, a bed and breakfast in upstate New York. It's a little slice of green heaven, the most beautiful place imaginable. —James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief

With its grandiloquent architecture, idyllic views of the lake and old-fashioned service, The Otesaga, in Cooperstown New York, is the perfect hotel for a nostalgist like me. Spending two nights there was like getting a glimpse of the old, great America. —Dominique Lemoine, Assistant Editor

I spent a glorious week in a cabin in the woods at Hedgebrook, the women's writing residency on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound. I wrote poetry, reported on the lovely, packed-to-the-gills farmhouse kitchen where incredible meals are prepared for writers in residence, and picked up a copy of their new cookbook. —Betsy Andrews, Executive Editor

The Merrion, Dublin, Ireland. It's built from four adjoining 18th-century buildings, and the rooms are intimate and elegant. There's a killer Irish breakfast, and a living room with a roaring fireplace where you can curl up with for a full-on British tea with all kinds of baroque pastries. —Karen Shimizu, Senior Editor

I stayed at The Park Hyatt in Washington, DC, where I: 1) took the best shower of my life and 2) had my first interaction with a tea sommelier, who made tea selections for me from a cellar of more than 50 rare and limited production, single estate teas. —Laura Sant, Assistant Digital Editor

The Hotel Maria Cristina [pictured above] in San Sebastian is beautiful, all grays and purples and golds, with splashes of modern art offsetting its stately palace architecture. The food's good, too, and the lobby bar, Dry San Sebastian, serves the best gin and tonic in town. —Helen Rosner, Executive Digital Editor

I lived in a run-down old house in Uptown New Orleans and I loved it. But every once in a while, walking my dogs along St. Charles Avenue or Valence Street, I'd peak into the window of an old Italianate mansion, The Roosevelt Hotel. Taking in its ornate plasterwork; its handsome assemblage of straight back chairs, the soft light of its chandeliers, I'd wish for better things. Walking into the lobby of this recently restored 1893 hotel, with its marble mosaic floors and crystal chandeliers, I got what I wished for. After a perfect sazerac at its namesake Sazerac Bar downstairs, I headed to my suite, settled into a straight back chair with a copy of The Moviegoer and pretended it was life as normal. —Keith Pandolfi, Senior Editor

The Setai Miami Beach was a serene, luxurious retreat from the hustle and bustle of South Beach, with amazing Balinese-inspired interiors decorated with refurbished brick and lattice work from Art Deco buildings in Shanghai and Belgium. From the custom neroli scent in my room to the Singaporean bed linens, every detail was designed to make me feel calm, relaxed, and attended to. —Cory Baldwin, Associate Digital Editor

If you're planning a trip to Costa Rica, don't miss out on the secluded rainforest retreat at Lost Iguana Resort, Arenal. Each bungalow has an amazing view of the active Arenal Volcano and is surrounded by the rainforest's leafy canopy and it's vibrant flora and fauna. —Judy Haubert, Associate Food Editor

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