It is 5:21 a.m., and I’m in my lodge room in Arenal Volcano Nationwide Park in Costa Rica, listening to an absolute riot of birdsong, which was instantly preceded by a ferocious predawn downpour. The mosaic of sounds feels just like the aural equal of the panorama of mountains and rain forest exterior my room: It is dense with jewel-like tones, many mushy and spherical, some sturdy and spiky. Someplace above the tree cover, the volcano lurks behind the mist. I have been right here simply 12 hours, and already I am falling in love with my lodge.
That is Nayara Tented Camp, which appeared on Condé Nast Traveler‘s Scorching Listing three years in the past. (It and its neighboring sister properties, Nayara Gardens and Nayara Springs, are additionally regulars on the Readers’ Choice Awards.) The lodge’s location provides it an unimaginable benefit, but in addition quite a bit to stay as much as. It does so with considerate panorama design that lets people and sloths and howler monkeys comfortably share area, an strategy to hiring and coaching that has allowed it to recruit greater than 98 % of its workers from the area, and a dedication to sustainability that has lately led it to realize carbon-neutrality. All of this takes an incredible quantity of work—which is a necessary a part of what it means to be a Scorching Listing lodge.
Work is what was required to provide us the brand new classics on this yr’s record, together with sanctuaries like Passalacqua, a showcase for Italian artisanal custom on the banks of Lake Como; Caravan Agafay, a classy, Berber-inspired retreat within the rocky desert exterior Marrakech, from the community-minded model Habitas; and Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Assortment’s Catskills outpost steeped within the area’s agricultural heritage. I do know that the Scorching Listing displays an inclination on the a part of magazines (and our tradition) to obsess over the brand new and the now, however these are properties, like Nayara and all of the honorees on our 26 earlier lists, that can stand the check of time—due to the thought, care, and energy that went into making them. Whether or not now or in 30 years, these are the locations it is best to attempt to go to in your lifetime.
This text appeared within the Could/June 2023 subject of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the journal here.