Hotel das Cataratas, Iguaçu National Park $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:The only hotel within Brazil's 657-square-mile Iguaçú National Park, the 1958-built Das Cataratas was nearly derelict when Orient-Express Hotels took over in 2007, spending the next two years painting the elaborate Portuguese colonialstyle building a delicate pink; highlighting the lintels, porticos, and balustrades in brilliant white; and adding two restaurants, a spacious pool, and a new spa. The 193 roomsstuffed with heavy wooden furniture, florid Portuguese tilework, and repeated subtropical motifsfeel a bit cramped, and the reception desk appears understaffed. What's unbeatable, though, is the location: The hotel's lawns slope down to a splendid lookout over Iguaçú Falls, its sound and fury overpowering. Activities include helicopter and boat tours, and a simple stroll down paths of the park after hours is a privilege afforded only to hotel guests. It's possible to observe night-herons, corzuela deer, and raccoon-like coatis bedding down for the night, before you return to the poolside outdoor restaurant and a feast of grilled tilapia, partridge, and duck ravioli served amid verdant gardens of palm, mango, and tropical apricot. 2010 Hot List
Which room to book: Most of the Cataratas deluxe rooms, as well as the Cataratas suites, have waterfall views; rooms on the Forest Wing's upper floor overlook the jungle canopy.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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