The world's best hotels and resorts of 2017

Every year, Traveller's writers cover kilometres in the tens of thousands to track down the very best experiences. Here are the hotel and resort highlights of 2017

BEST NEW OVERWATER RESORT

Marriott Fiji Momi Bay

Overwater villas? Tick. Adults-only pool overlooking the dreamy Coral Sea? Tick. Languid lagoon, kids' club, family pool, swim-up bar and swish spa? Tick, tick, tick. The new Marriott Fiji Momi Bay is a fabulous new addition to Viti Levu's shores, ticking all the boxes for luxe South Pacific sojourns a short hop from home. See marriott.com.au

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BEST ECO-LODGE

Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan

Three hours from the capital, Amman, Jordan's first ecolodge is a two-storey earthship that seems to grow out of the rugged landscape and takes its eco-credentials seriously. Architect-designed, off-grid and built in the nation's largest nature reserve, it's minimalist and monastic, solar-powered and staffed by Bedouin (it benefits about 80 local families), making it a truly Jordanian oasis of sustainable serenity. See ecohotels.me/Feynan

BEST CITY HOTEL

The Whitby Hotel, New York

The Whitby is the second New York property by celebrated hoteliers Tim and Kit Kemp, of Firmdale Hotels. Located two blocks from Central Park, it debuted in February with 86 beautifully designed rooms, many of which have private terraces (a rarity in Manhattan). Interiors bear Kit Kemp's trademark flamboyant design style while other amenities include a stylish restaurant, an art-filled orangery and a 130-seat cinema. See firmdalehotels.com

BEST SUB-CONTINENTAL HOTEL

The Imperial, New Delhi

With its jasmine-scented corridors, turbaned doorman, art deco lines and manicured lawns, The Imperial in New Delhi positively exudes colonial glamour. Potter around admiring the art in the public areas or step inside The Spice Route to see the pan-Asian eatery's astonishing murals and artefacts. Better still, pop in during a quiet moment and ask a waiter to talk you through what amounts to an extraordinary installation. See theimperialindia.com

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BEST HOTEL SOCIAL INITIATIVE

Hotels rarely offer excellent ways of connecting with fellow guests. Kimpton, a boutique chain with 66 properties mainly in the United States, leads the way with a lively daily hosted wine hour in the lobby. In 2016, Kimpton poured 1.5 million glasses of wine during these get-togethers, which can also include live music, craft brews and, at Portland's Hotel Monaco, even the occasional Voodoo doughnut. See kimptonhotels.com

BEST HOTEL TOILETRIES

Jumeirah, Etihad Towers

Stroll into the bathroom of your room at Abu Dhabi's Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and the first thing you'll notice is the stunning view over the United Arab Emirates capital. The second thing that will catch your eye is the toiletries – five bottles shaped exactly like the complex's sculptural arcing towers. See jumeirah.com

BEST OFFBEAT HOTEL

Chateau Monfort Milan

This Relais & Chateaux hotel occupies a pink 1903 mansion with art nouveau elements, but the interior decoration is hip and contemporary, with owls, rabbits and butterflies a recurring quirky motif, and guestrooms themed on operas and fairy tales. You might find your bed in the Nutcracker suite guarded by life-size wooden soldiers, or by fire-breathing dragons in the Turandot suite. The lounge-bar is inspired by Cinderella. See relaischateaux.com

BEST ENGLISH COUNTRY HOTEL

The Pig at Coombe, Devon, UK

The latest in the eclectic "Pig" hotel range, the Pig at Coombe opened last year in an Elizabethan mansion in the Devonshire countryside. In true "Pig" style, the property was given a modern makeover, removing all traces of its stuffy heritage and replacing it with contemporary furnishings. Large kitchen gardens provide much of the produce for the property's two excellent restaurants. See thepighotel.com

BEST HISTORIC B&B

Asheville, North Carolina

Of course, you could stay in a downtown hotel in the art deco gem that is Asheville in North Carolina – but why would you when you've got The Reynolds Mansion on the outskirts? The handsome brick B&B, built in 1847, has a connection to the Hope Diamond – the 45.5-carat blue gem said to curse anyone who owns it. But the best part about staying is the formal breakfast, presided over by flamboyant co-owner Billy Sanders. See thereynoldsmansion.com

BEST ADAPTIVE USE HOTEL

The Silo, Cape Town

Cape Town's historic 1920s grain silo at the V&A Waterfront has undergone a creative transformation. The city's newest luxury hotel, The Silo, its 28 opulent rooms offering spectacular views of mountain and bay, shares the sleek industrial space with the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). The hotel occupies the silo's grain elevator while the 42 silos house a museum comparable to London's Tate Modern, New York's MoMA and Madrid's Museo Nacional del Prado. See theroyalportfolio.com

BEST COOL HOTEL

East, Miami

The new East in Miami is not just worth a visit for its rooftop bar, giant pool area and design touches (it's in the Arts District too), the Swire Group has excelled in its choice of in-house restaurant, pairing with one of Uruguay's top restaurants, Parador La Huella, to formulate the concept for Quinto La Huella. Oh, and, back in the suite, the jar of White Rabbit lollies next to the bed is a great touch. See east-miami.com

BEST FAMILY RESORT

Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resort

The renowned five-star eco retreat Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Island Resort has upped the ante with its new kids' Under the Sea and Teenager programs. Full-time nannies or buddies take young guests on rainforest hikes, spear fishing, raft making, while two resident marine biologists help them explore the underwater world through coral planting, snorkelling trips and diving orientation. Highlights include night snorkelling off the pier, bonfire building with guitars on the beach, kids' yoga, or simply the chance for parents to enjoy a candlelit dinner while little ones are tucked into bed. See fijiresort.com

BEST HOTEL CONCIERGE

Tamas Takacs, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, Budapest

The golden crossed keys on Tamas Takacs' lapel indicate membership of the elite global group of concierges, Les Clefs D'Or, for whom there is no guest request they cannot deliver. Mr Tamas delivered big time when a broken tooth en route to Budapest threatened to ruin my 15-day river cruise. I emailed from Amsterdam, received a reply in 15 minutes, landed at 5pm and my tooth was fixed by a charming Budapest dentist by 8.30pm. See kempinski.com

BEST VIEW FROM A HOTEL ROOM

Explora Patagonia, Chile

Walk into your room at this award-winning lodge and you could be forgiven for thinking it has a wall-sized mural of the Torres del Paine, the trio of granite spires synonymous with Patagonia. For each of explora Patagonia's 50 rooms has jaw-dropping views so spectacular you'll feel torn between lying in your king-sized bed all day and setting off on a day-hike or a horseride to put yourself in the picture. See explora.com

BEST AFFORDABLE LUXURY HOTEL STAY

The Reverie Saigon, Vietnam

The design at the Reverie Saigon is seriously lavish – marble floors, chandeliers, mosaic-tiled walls, floor-to-ceiling windows – and yet the prices are surprisingly reasonable for a beautiful five-star property in central Ho Chi Minh City. For as little as $300 a night guests can enjoy the true luxury experience, including buffet breakfast, plus access to the exclusive Reverie Lounge for high tea and sunset cocktails. See luxuryescapes.com

BEST ARISTOCRATIC RETREAT

Villa La Massa, Florence

Sitting right on the Arno River outside Florence, this 16th-century villa and its flower-filled gardens belonged to the Medicis – though a sumptuous spa and outdoor swimming pool are more recent additions. Stay in the daffodil-yellow main villa, which has an atmospheric, medieval hall surrounded by guest rooms graced with Renaissance-style four-poster beds, and you'll feel as if you're back in the days of the grand tour. See lhw.com

BEST OUTBACK HOTEL

Prairie Hotel, South Australia

It doesn't get much more quintessentially Aussie than South Australia's Prairie Hotel. This sophisticated outback pub is set in an historic stone building in remote Parachilna (population seven), on the plains just west of the Flinders Ranges. Guest rooms are surprisingly chic, and from the front patio you can catch spectacular sunsets with a glass of their Fargher Lager in hand. An ideal base for day trips into the desert, to discover ancient fossils and fascinating wildlife. See prairiehotel.com.au

BEST APARTMENT RENTAL

Apartments Actually, Paris

Apartments Actually lets you take on Paris like a local, through their selection of elegantly styled apartments in the chic Marais neighbourhood, as well as sprawling houses in Provence. They'll arrange neighbourhood tours, private yoga and cookery classes, which means all you have to do is book your plane ticket. See apartmentsactually.com

BEST PRIVATE ISLAND

Dolphin Island, Fiji

You hire a private Fijian island for you and seven friends. Each couple has their own elegant, timber-floored bure. Maybe you paddleboard around the island, maybe you have a massage, maybe you laze under the palms by the infinity pool. Whichever way, when you start to get peckish your personal chef will pull seafood from the ocean and cook it up for you. Sound like a fantasy? Dolphin Island is the real deal. See dolphinislandfiji.com

BEST AUSTRALIAN RESORT MAKEOVER

The Anchorage Port Stephens

The bay has had a fitting makeover to match its dreamy seaside surrounds, including luxe new spa, whisky bar, Hamptons-inspired rooms (almost every room has a balcony or terrace with water views) and infinity pool overlooking the marina. Nab a sun lounge by the pool with its dedicated Veuve Clicquot bar and revel in the nautical chic vibe. See anchorageportstephens.com.au

BEST HOTEL POOL

The Johnson, Brisbane

The Michael Klim-designed 50-metre alfresco pool makes checking into this funky, arts inspired hotel in Brisbane's Spring Hill even more rewarding. The fabulous lap pool overlooks the inner-city suburb's jacaranda-lined streets dotted with restored Queenslanders and miners' cottages. Surrounded by cabanas, sun lounges, a sundeck and gym with north-facing views, it's the perfect place for a cold ale, and some much-needed pool time. Oversized inflatable swan optional. See artserieshotels.com.au/johnson

See also: The world's most spectacularly located budget hotels

See also: 20 hotels that will change your life

MY BEST FIND: MATTHEW CAMERON-SMITH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TRAFALGAR

"While staying in Rome at the Grand Hotel Palatino on Via Cavour, I was told about this patisserie behind the hotel called Ciuri Ciuri that makes supposedly 'the best' cannoli in all of Rome. They were actually amazing; my favourite was the vanilla ricotta." See ciuri-ciuri.it;trafalgar.com/aus

MY BEST FIND: ANTHONY LAVER, GENERAL MANAGER AUSTRALIA & ASIA PACIFIC, SCENIC GROUP

"An exclusive temple dinner at a 9th century Angkor temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which included a stunning Aspara dance performance, during a Mekong river cruise. The show had the 60 attendees on the edge of their seats, and was the most culturally inspiring event I've seen in the last decade." See scenic.com.au

MY BEST FIND: LISA PAGOTTO, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, CROOKED COMPASS

"Hunting with the nomadic Hadzabe tribe in Tanzania. Armed with only bows and arrows, we followed in silence as they cooeed to birds, stalked gazelle, threw their arms into mongoose holes and hunted mice out from under the ground before resting in a hollowed-out baobab tree." See crooked-compass.com

MY BEST FIND: ALISON ROBERTS-BROWN, DIRECTOR, TOURISM GARDEN

"Les Perles de Monte Carlo is a no-frills oyster bar at the end of a pier in Monaco, where you can enjoy simple treats from the sea on rustic benches in the sunshine, washed down with a carafe of organic wine. The charming marine biologist owners started it as a wholesale business, cultivating oysters with expertise from Brittany." See perlesdemontecarlo.com

MY BEST FIND: CAROL PRIOR, FOUNDER, BY PRIOR ARRANGEMENT

"Whenever I return to my second home of Marrakech, I head straight to Le Loft in the Gueliz area to catch up with old friends over glasses of local, ice-cold pink pinot gris, with crab salad followed by steak frites. A French bistro with funky decor, a great menu and long-lasting staff." See restaurant-loft.com; bypriorarrangement.com

MY BEST FIND: MARTIN EDWARDS, GENERAL MANAGER, BENCH INTERNATIONAL

"Duba Plains Camp. Nat Geo filmmaker Dereck Joubert designed this brand new, eco-friendly camp in Botswana's Okavango Delta. It exudes sophisticated luxury and the wildlife experiences are second to none. Great Plains is at the forefront of conservation in Africa, with plans to relocate 100 rhinos from South Africa to Botswana." See greatplainsconservation.com; benchafrica.com

MY BEST FIND: REENA TORY, FOUNDER, MANTRA WILD ADVENTURES

"On a secluded bank of the Ramganga River lies one of the most remote wildlife lodges in India. Accessible by a two-kilometre trek and taking a makeshift raft across the river's slow rapids, Vanghat Lodge in the Corbett Tiger Reserve offers birding walks, walking safaris and more. Totally off the grid." See anghat.com; mantrawild.com.au

MY BEST FIND: FIONA CAULFIELD, INDIA TRAVEL SPECIALIST, AUTHOR LOVE TRAVEL GUIDES

"Rajasthan's red city, Bikaner. Spectacular architecture, delicious food, authentic bazaars and history back to 1488. The long road trip through the Thar Desert has kept it off the radar, but recently introduced flights from Delhi and Jaipur, and the splendid new Narendra Bhawan hotel, are ensuring Bikaner is no longer a secret." See narendrabhawan.com; lovetravelguides.com

Every year, Traveller's writers cover kilometres in the tens of thousands to track down the best experiences and adventures for you. In this special report, they've distilled the best of them into the Best Finds for 2017.

CONTRIBUTORS

Keith Austin, Andrea Black, Elspeth Callender, Ben Groundwater, Brian Johnston, Nina Karnikowski, Katrina Lobley, Sally Macmillan, Rob McFarland, Sheriden Rhodes, Louise Southerden, Alison Stewart, Kerry van der Jagt, Guy Wilkinson

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