A few weeks ago, we covered the hot travel trends for 2017. A few days later, we featured the Top Ten Hostels of the Year. Now we’re looking at hotels, eco-resorts, and co-living spaces — with a focus on properties so special that they become a cornerstone of your adventure.
Some of these properties are pricey. Some are very pricey. That’s not really the issue here. What we’re concerned with is value-per-dollar and that’s where these 10 spaces shine. You might sleep in the jungle for two weeks then break the bank Kardashian-style at Villa Manzu. Or maybe you sail the world on the cheap, before holing up at the Brando with Leo. It’s your dream, we’re just here to facilitate.
So check out our 2017 top 10, follow up with some research, and pin a few new spots on your travel vision board. This is your year.
— Steve Bramucci, Travel Editor
THE ULTIMATE SPLURGE — VILLA MANZU — Costa Rica
It’s tempting to try to figure out which celebrities have stayed at Villa Manzu on Costa Rica’s isolated Peninsula Papagayo. The only ones really mentioned are Beyonce, Katy Perry, and the expansive Kardashian-West clan — because they all posted Instagrams from their suites — but there are scores of others.
“Last week we had a famous American football player,” Jenifer Cowles, who manages the property, said on my first night there.
“Which one?” I pressed, probably three-degrees too eager.
Jennifer waved off my question, offering only a sly smile. “I can’t say.”
“The most famous one,” her husband Chris said, grinning.
I might be telescoping a few conversations, but I feel like I had six versions of that interaction during my time at Villa Manzu. The staff isn’t being coy just for kicks — privacy is part of their business model. When you’re as famous as Manzu’s guests, you don’t need any more attention and you respect people who know how to keep their mouths shut.