This is just something a little fun and light-hearted that I like to put together each year, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I’m rating my favorite hotels, experiences and announcing the most popular travel gear according to you!
I don’t know about you, but I love when new things inspire me to travel.
Sometimes I plan an entire trip around a cool hotel I found or a type of experience or place I had no idea even existed.
So that’s what I hope to share from these awards…perhaps something in here will provide a little ‘travelspiration‘.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. I only share information about things I know, love and trust!
2023 Hotel Awards
Here’s a quick peek at the winners:
- Best Beachfront Hotel: Costa Dorada, Bucerias, Mexico
- Most Extreme View: Glacier View Lodge, Jasper National Park, Canada
- Most Unique Stay: Glenora Inn & Distillery, Cape Breton, Canada
- Most Expensive: Fallsview Marriott Niagara Falls, Canada
- Most Surprising Hotel: The Bungalows Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Hotel with the Coolest Theme: Cadillac Motel, Niagara Falls, Canada
- Most Cozy Cabin: Tekarra Lodge, Jasper National Park, Canada
- Best Hot Tub: Miette Hot Springs Bungalows, Jasper National Park, Canada
- Most Historic: Blomidon Inn, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Best Hotel Pool – Courtyard Mazatlan Beach Resort, Mexico
- The Grandmother’s House Award: Harbourview Inn, Smith’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Most Laid Back Stay – Lakeside Resort, Watkins Glen, New York
Best Beachfront Hotel:
Costa Dorada, Bucerias, Mexico
Just outside of Puerto Vallarta is the community of Bucerias – well known for its superior 5-mile beach.
In April, we stayed at Costa Dorada, an older hotel/condo building, but with the most incredible view of the beach & ocean.
It was affordable, in a great location and had lots of amenities – we found it was the perfect type of accommodation in between an all inclusive resort and an Airbnb.
Here’s my video tour of Costa Dorada (if anything, you’ve GOT to see the view)!
Most Extreme View:
Glacier View Lodge, Jasper National Park, Canada
Renowned as the most beautiful road in Canada (and maybe even the world), the Icefields Parkway is a scenic 235 km highway that connects Banff and Jasper National Parks.
Along this incredibly scenic highway sits the aptly-named Glacier View Lodge.
This unique and remote lodge is the only hotel in Canada overlooking a 10,000 year old massive glacier.
Your stay also comes with a welcome reception with complimentary appetizers and specialty drinks.
We also opted to go with the ‘after hours’ tours of the glacier and skywalk experience – breathtaking to say the least!
One of my favorite videos we put together was traveling along the Icefields Parkway (including a stop at the lodge) – you can watch it here.
Most Unique Stay:
Glenora Inn & Distillery, Cape Breton, Canada
Nestled in the hills of the Cape Breton highlands behind angelic white gates lies the oldest single malt whiskey distillery in North America, The Glenora – a Scottish whiskey distillery and a small inn.
When we first pulled up, it was almost as if we had been transported to the Scottish Highlands.
As if Scotland magically appeared in Nova Scotia, Canada we arrive at our accommodations for the night.
If you dream of visiting Scotland but can’t make it there anytime soon, I invite you to consider the enchanting world of Cape Breton.
Most Expensive Hotel:
Fallsview Marriott Niagara Falls
I ‘hummed and hawed’ for weeks trying to decide whether or not paying $600 per night for a room with a view of Niagara Falls was worth it.
Turns out, it was. Am I glad I did it?
Mostly – the view was phenomenal and better than I expected.
Would I do it again? Hell nah. One time is good 😂
The Fallsview Marriott is one of the 2 best hotels for rooms with a view of Niagara Falls.
If you’re curious about our view, check it out in my Niagara Falls video (which got barely any views?? 😢😢)
Most Surprising Hotel:
The Bungalows Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This was a cozy little hotel just outside of the busy marina-area in Cabo San Lucas.
It didn’t look like much from the outside, but as soon as you walked through the gates, it was like entering a lush oasis.
16 rooms surround the courtyard pool, each room has a hammock, and breakfast was served under the adorable thatched-roof palapa.
I have a quick video tour of this hotel here if you’d like to see more of it.
Hotel with the Coolest Theme:
Cadillac Motel, Niagara Falls, Canada
The Cadillac Motel is reminiscent of the 50’s and 60’s roadside inns and reminded me of something you would find along Route 66.
We stayed here for $70 CAD on a weekend in high season in Niagara Falls!
Most Cozy Cabin:
Tekarra Lodge, Jasper National Park, Canada
If you ever visit the Canadian Rockies, you must stay in a cozy mountain cabin. It’s the best way to soak up the magic of the mountains.
The cabins sit peacefully on a ridge overlooking the confluence of the Athabasca and Miette Rivers – surrounded by majestic mountain peaks.
Walking out the front door of our cabin, just steps away we were treated to magnificent views and a serene atmosphere.
Best Hot Tub:
Miette Hot Springs Bungalows, Jasper National Park, Canada
This one’s kind of a joke, but it’s true, you’re literally steps from a world class hot spring in the middle of an epic mountainous valley.
I made a cozy video of our stay at the 2 cabins above, take a look here.
Blomidon Inn, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
I almost named this one the Titanic award – and after a walk-through of this place, you’ll see why.
A long, flower-lined winding driveway leads to the stately entrance, onto the wooden front porch outfitted with rocking chairs which are the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail.
Originally built in 1881 as a private residence, the Blomidon Inn is like a time capsule of 19th century artistry and elegance.
It’s located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in the heart of Annapolis Valley. Annapolis Valley is known for its bountiful orchards, fertile farmlands, and world-class vineyards. People visit the Annapolis Valley primarily for its reputation as a premier wine and culinary destination.
In this video, you’ll see why this area of Nova Scotia was one of our favorites, and such a hidden gem place to visit in Canada.
Best Hotel Pool:
Courtyard Mazatlan Beach Resort, Mexico
We all love a good hotel pool, and the Courtyard Mazatlan Beach Resort was the big winner this year.
Infinity-style, heated, overlooked the famous Mazatlan three islands, and had a great swim up bar.
View more about the Courtyard Mazatlan Beach Resort here!
And watch my complete Mazatlan Travel Guide video here!
The Grandmother’s House Award:
Harbourview Inn, Smith’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
When you take a look at the Harbourview Inn, it’s easy to see why it won the Grandmother’s Award!
You can see this warm and inviting bed & breakfast as part of our tour through Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Known as the Land of Vineyards, Orchards and Tides (the tour of the B&B starts at 3:35 if you’re curious).
Most Laid Back Stay:
Lakeside Resort, Watkins Glen, New York
This year, I fell in love with Watkins Glen in Upstate New York.
This area had some of the most pristine natural beauty and high octane energy! It’s nicknamed where mother nature meets mainstreet.
Here you’ll find Watkins Glen State Park, the geological masterpiece for hiking and waterfalls; the international race track, and Seneca Lake, lined with incredible wineries.
We stayed at Lakeside Resort, a small property with cabins and a few lodge-style rooms.
Each night there were bonfires, chill live music and yard games for guests to relax and socialize. It felt like we were hanging out in a friend’s backyard and it was a blast.
And have a peak at my video about visiting Watkins Glen and upstate New York here.
Top 5 Watched Videos on my YT Channel:
My Top 5 Most Read Posts on My Travel Blog:
2023 Travel Experiences Awards
- Best Taco Tour – Juan More Taco Tour
- Favorite Outdoor Adventure – Sandboarding in Cabo San Lucas
- Coolest Experience – Drive the Glen, Watkins Glen, NY
- Wettest Experience – Cave of the Winds, NY
- Best ‘Touristy but Worth it’ Experience’ – Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls
- Best Road Trip – Cabot Trail, Canada
- Cutest Town – Naples, NY
- Most Scenic Tour – Cabo Arch Sunset Cruise
- Best VIP Treatment Tour – Sayulita, Mexico
- Best Waterfall – Egypt Falls, Canada
- Best Water – Columbia Icefield, Canada
- Best Hike – Skyline Trail & Watkins Glen (tied)
- Favorite Drink – Coffee Margarita at the Red Apple, Bucerias
- Best Brewery – Church Brewing, Wolfville, Canada
- Favorite Wine – Baco Noir from Niagara Falls
- Most Unique Wine Tour – Captain Jim’s in Finger Lakes, NY
- Favorite Winery Experience – Taste Bud Flight at Fox Run Vineyards
- Most Unique Winery – Lacy Magruder & Castel Grisch, NY (tied)
- Favorite Diner – Penn Yan Diner, NY
- Best Sunset – Mazatlan, Mexico
Most Popular Travel Products
I’m always looking for new travel gear & gadgets that make my travels go smoother, easier, more fun, or sometimes, just more stylish.
2023’s most popular product you guys bought: travel pouches!!
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