Top 5 places to stay in the world

No.1 spot: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand.
No.1 spot: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand.Condé Nast Traveler
/ Source: Condé Nast Traveler

In 2009, more than 25,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers rated hotels and resorts based on a number of factors including rooms, service, design, and food.  
  
Here, we present the heavyweights, the cremè de la cremè, the top 5 properties worldwide as selected by the world's savviest travelers. Ready? Set? Gold List!

No. 1: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
"If I had to pick the best places I've ever stayed, this would be number one" (apt for the top-scoring property on this year's Gold List). With views of three countries—Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos—this resort surrounded by a bamboo forest offers perfect-scoring activities including "learning to ride an elephant bareback."

"The tents were beautiful—true luxury," with handcrafted furniture, mosquito nets, and a hand-hammered copper bathtub—garnering a perfect rooms score. Staff earned a perfect score for "second-to-none service," as did the restaurant Nong Yao for regional and Western cuisines served in a thatched-roof pavilion.

(15 rooms, pool, spa) Web site

Overall Score: 98.3
Rooms: 100
Service: 100
Food: 100
Location: 96.7
Design: 96.7
Activities: 100

(6 suites, pool) Web site

Overall Score: 98.6
Rooms: 100
Service: 100
Food: 96.6
Location: 96.6
Design: 100

(6 suites, pool) Web site

Overall Score: 98.3
Rooms: 100
Service: 100
Food: 95.8
Location: 100
Design: 95.7



No. 4 (Tie): King Pacific Lodge, British Columbia
At this floating ecolodge made of pine, cedar, fir, and stone, "all rooms are front-row seats" on the wildlife in the Great Bear Rainforest. Staff exhibit "passion for the ancient values of the Gitga'at people," in a "wilderness made welcoming by the very civilized lodge." Slate bathrooms have soaking tubs, and the "best food ever" includes smoked black cod and grilled coho salmon. The lodge developed mentoring programs with local indigenous communities.

(17 rooms, spa, water sports) Web site

Overall Score: 97.8
Rooms: 97.8
Service: 97.8
Food: 97.8
Location: 100
Design: 95.6
Activities: 97.8

(30 rooms) Web site

Overall Score: 97.8
Rooms: 97.4
Service: 100
Food: 97.3
Location: 97.3
Design: 97.3