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World Class Hotels with Staying Power

Posted by Cindy Clarke on 6/16/2016
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: India, Africa, Cuba, Japan, escorted tours, hotels, safari, Morocco, Thailand

The Oberoi Udaivilas
Where you stay when you travel is an integral part of the total holiday experience. Whether you are exploring wilderness wonderlands like our national parks, Europe’s sophisticated capital cities, Latin American villages paused in time or exotic destinations in far away lands, your accommodations can enrich or enrage depending on your interests and expectations.

What matters most to travellers like me who dream of that carefree “I’m-on-vacation bliss” in everything I experience, from hotels to dining to sightseeing, are hotels that meet the following must-have standards: first-rate quality and white-glove cleanliness in public spaces and private places… top-notch service and services offered by the hotel and its staff… ideal location and convenience to sights you’ve pictured in the destination, impeccable décor and decorum – think good taste in both regards – along with evoking a true sense of place, where ambiance and authenticity reflect the essence of the local culture. Oh, and did I mention value for my travel dollars? That’s important too.

Just the thought of finding a hotel that meets such stringent criteria in a country or city you’ve never been to can be daunting if you had to book it on your own. But travel with the folks at Tauck, and they’ve not only done the research and road-and-bed-testing for you, they’ve reserved the best rooms in the best available hotels in ultra-convenient locations wherever they travel. Which is huge if you’ve ever tackled this task on your own and found yourself far from the madding crowds and far from the places you want to see, roomless due to a lost reservation, sleepless because of the noise level or the dirty linens, helpless because of language barriers and hungry because the hotel did not have a restaurant or the food was inedible. It's certainly not the best way to begin any longed-for holiday especially one that’s in a destination that is a really long way from home!

Thanks to their long-standing relationships with suppliers and hoteliers around the world, Tauck’s hotels, hand selected all, not only have staying power, most have star power. Check out ones that never fail to wow Tauck guests, as well as a few bucket-list beds that consistently reign among the “World’s Best” hotels and resorts by travel aficionados. Better yet, check into them and make a key part of your holiday dreams come true, literally!

oberoi rajvilas in jaipurTauck’s guests find it difficult to choose just the right words for the Oberoi hotels they stay in on A Portrait of India. Luxurious is not luxurious enough and opulent doesn’t quite cut it either when you stay at The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur – a palatial retreat nestled on the bank of Lake Pichola on the 200-year-old hunting grounds of a princely maharajah that has once again been named as the “World’s Best” hotel by the readers of Travel + Leisure. Posh falls short when describing the ornate royal palace that rolls out the red carpet for you during your stay at The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur. And how about waking up to a view of that dazzling white marble monument to love, the incomparable Taj Mahal, from your guest room at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra. As a well-spoken Tauck guest advises: “Prepare to be amazed and dazzled.”

paradisus rio de oro resortPart of the fun of discovery is stepping outside of your boundaries to experience the passions and pastimes of a culture different than your own. Now that travel to Cuba is all the rage but, gratefully, still relatively untouched by large groups of tourists, visitors can really enjoy a true taste of Latin hospitality without all the modern-day glitter and glam. Hotels like the Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa, a five-star waterfront eco-resort overlooking a stunning coral reef, the spa, the botanical garden, and the natural orchidarium, reflect an authentic sense of place and time impossible to replicate anywhere else.

As a seasoned traveller, any time I can stay at a Four Seasons hotel (the Canadian-owned five-star hospitality company’s 98 worldwide properties are consistently ranked among the world’s top luxury hotels by Travel + Leisure, Zagat and me), I jump at the chance. Pampering is the watchword at their hotels and each one blends into its environment effortlessly and elegantly. On Tauck’s Exotics escorted tours, guests can indulge in the epitome of holiday bliss while enjoying local flavor and cultural immersion. four seasons hotelsIn Thailand, the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is nestled in terraced rice fields with scenic mountain views and guests stay in villas with vaulted ceilings and covered verandas, polished teak floors, rich Thai cotton decorations and beautiful Siamese artwork, all under cooling overhead fans. Intimate and contemporary, the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto set in the scenic district of temples, celebrates the style and vibe of today’s Japan at a brand-new hotel with an 800-year-old ikeniwa (pond garden) at its heart. A trip to Morocco conjures up visions of camel-rich deserts, ancient medinas and souks at times exotic, overwhelming and always unexpected, so staying in hotels renowned for signature services and understated elegance, like the Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca (play it again Sam!) and the Four Seasons Marrakech, enriches your experiences ten-fold. Even in Africa, where dreams of tented safari camps entice travellers like me, settling in the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, ideally located within Africa’s finest game reserve where you can get up close and intimate with lions, leopards and elephants – yet always feel safe and pampered, is, without question, the stuff of dreams, which is really what an exotic Tauck holiday is all about!

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