Above: Vineyards and electric towers behind the swimming pool, Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, Cordevigo - ANDREW HARPER EDITOR

Disappointments of the Year

Power towers in seen behind our swimming pool, Villa Cordevigo - Andrew Harper editor

Sometimes, no amount of due diligence can prepare you for the reality of an experience. Flashy websites often don’t provide the full picture, and the mainstream travel press is not always reliable. Both conspire against us. But they also prove why boots-on-the-ground anonymous reviews are so important. While we found many hotels and excursions worth recommending this year, several proved disappointing.

Four Columns Inn

Newfane, Vermont

Dirty swimming pool — after we pulled the limbs out, Four Columns Inn, Newfane, Vermont - Andrew Harper editor

The historic Four Columns Inn, a longtime Andrew Harper recommendation, was for decades a world-renowned destination that saw luminaries pass through its doors. So imagine our surprise when we arrived late one afternoon and no one was there to check us in, help us carry our luggage up three flights of stairs or recommend a place to eat (the on-site restaurant was closed). Our room also smelled musty, and the swimming pool, full of branches and surrounded by weeds, looked abandoned. In a later communication with the manager, she asked about our experience, and we were honest. Unmoved, she chastised us for not speaking with someone at the time of our stay, completely missing the point: Nobody had been there to speak to.

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Above: Vineyards and electric towers behind the swimming pool, Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, Cordevigo - ANDREW HARPER EDITOR

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Memorable Tastings of 2022 Unforgettable Memories of 2022 Hotel Restaurants of the Year Best in Class Best Travel Experiences Remarkable Returns: Hotel Revisits of the Year Hospitality Awards Best in Class Hotels of the Year Restaurants of the Year Best Amenities