This year has been a big one at Passported HQ. We feel lucky to work with so many wonderful clients on exciting trips from Anguilla to Zagreb. We hate to play favorites with hotels because we really do love them all dearly, but here's our list of the most booked Passported hotels this year. Feeling inspired? Drop us a line and we'll get you in for 2017.
This bohemian beachfront escape appeals equally to couples getting away sans kids to laid-back families who dig the chilled-out Jamaican vibe. Run by music titan turned rum impresario Chris Blackwell, Goldneye has accommodations that range from reasonably-priced beach huts to a villa suited for James Bond.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
A perennial family favorite, Nizuc blends slick contemporary decor and family fun on a private island fifteen minutes from the Cancun airport. Deluxe double queen rooms can fit a family of four, and the kids' club is complimentary, so it's a great option for a more budget-conscious crew who wants quick and easy beach time with minimum travel hassle but no style sacrifices.
A game changer, straight up. Now the kids can meet Mickey, and mom and dad still get the Four Seasons treatment. Located within the gates of Disneyland, this resort has a five-acre water park, golf, spa, well-designed rooms and great service.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
There's a reason we say "the Terra" on repeat when ski season comes around. It's smack at the base of Jackson Hole's Teton Village, boasts a killer Italian restaurant (pizza takeaway and a bottle of wine after the kids pass out=necessary), and reasonably priced condo-style rooms with the modern look of a more urban hotel.
The Christopher is oft outshined by St. Barth's flashier hotels, but for travelers who can't swing the Eden Rock pricing, the Christopher is a perfect pick, not to mention home to our favorite pool on the island. Note: while welcoming to families, we like this one better for couples since it lacks a beach (and Le Ti is just up the hill—such temptation).
Can we hand out an award for niceness? Clients don't see the mish-mash of emails, calls and general planning mayhem that goes on behind the scenes for every trip. And there are few places that work as hard as Carmel Valley Ranch does to make sure our guests are treated like family. A favorite stop on the California coastal drive, the resort has an all-suite set-up that makes sleeping a family easy peasy, plus great activities such as bee keeping that you won't find elsewhere.
Hands down the place to stay in la Ciudad Heroica. From the pool bisected by an ancient aqueduct to the stylish rooms (some with plunge pool, our favorite) and excellent restaurant, the San Agustin checks every box. Fair warning: the hotel fills with style seekers and jet setters year-round, so book ahead, even if traveling during the off-season.
Punta Mita, Mexico
Imanta's the kind of resort that still feels like a well-guarded secret, despite the fact that it's been open for years. World's away from the groomed golf courses of Punta Mita, Imanta feels more like the jungle come to life, with thatched roofs, soaking tubs carved from boulders, secret paths winding between palms and a wide, undeveloped beach. While it's not right for those who want kids' clubs and multiple restaurants, we adore it for exactly that—its individuality and quirkiness, plus its tropical Aman-esque style.
Barcelona's not short on fashion-forward hotels, but we always come back to the Mandarin for its combo of polished service, peaceful rooms and people watching. Our favorite rooms are the garden ones that overlook the patio restaurant and neighboring buildings, or those with a terrace where you can have your morning coffee with a Gaudi view. Extra bonus points for the subterranean spa pool, which is the perfect place to ride out siesta time in colder months.
The former beach home of an Italian duchess, Hotel Esencia sits hidden on an unmarked road twenty minutes north of Tulum and won us over years ago with its whitewashed simplicity and laid-back vibe. From the garden suites with plunge pool suspended over the jungle to the sprawling villas that fit a larger crew, there's not a bad room in the resort. If barefoot beach chic is your thing, Esencia nails it like no one else.
We don't normally do repeats, but this is one bucket list hotel that requires a yearly visit. Maybe even more. Sexy enough for a no-kids getaway, fun enough for a group, and yet welcoming to cool families, too, Eden Rock checks every box, every time. Bonus points for the calm water of St. Jean beach and proximity to Nikki for fun lunches (yes, the kids can dance on the tables, too).
Vieques, Puerto Rico
A short flight from San Juan, the W Vieques feels a thousand miles away from the large resorts of Puerto Rico. This colorful hotel has a bohemian vibe and is a serene escape from the world. Relax by the central pool or rent a jeep and explore the many uninhabited beaches. There's snorkeling, horseback riding and a bioluminescent bay, but the real draw is the peace and quiet.