Written by Larry Olmsted, Forbes

As 2015 winds to a close, I’m taking this final week to reflect on the past 12 months in all things travel. Over the past two days I looked at general changes to air travel and then critically reviewed specific airlines to recap the “Year In Flight.” Today I am revisiting the 10 best hotel experiences I had in 2015. Many of these were new or importantly renovated properties, but some were time tested classics – what they all had in common was that I stayed and critically experienced their charms firsthand. Also, because the luxury hotel boom has gone on unabated, last year I launched two new resources to make it easier for travelers to find critical info, Great Urban Weekend Getaways and Hotel Test Drives.

As a professional travel writer, I have traveled a great deal over the past 20-plus years, and typically stay in 75-100 different places annually. Because the publications I write for skew towards luxury, the hotels I stay in reflect this and are pre-qualified to the degree possible. Nonetheless, more often than not these so called “luxury” hotels are cookie cutter and fail to impress. In many cases, developers think endless expanses of marble or designer staff uniforms make up for service deficiencies and poorly conceived room layouts – note to these hoteliers, they do not.

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