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This Month’s Hottest Hotels

From Turin to Tokyo, this month’s hottest hotels

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CASA YBEL
Sanibel Island, Fla.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND RIGHT OUTSIDE: Nothing. Or, as close to nothing as you’ve ever desired. Down the stairs and across a lawn is the lapping Gulf of Mexico, which stays bathtub-warm almost year-round. There aren’t many chain hotels on the island, but there are plenty of boat rental joints and hiking paths through a wildlife refuge replete with everything from alligators to snowy egrets.

AMAZING AMENITIES: Casa Ybel operates like a hotel, but because most people who visit this out-of-the-way island on Florida’s Gulf Coast stay awhile, you’ll get a suite outfitted with a washer and dryer, grill and full kitchen. The last of these is vitally important when you need to fry up the day’s catch.

HOT DISH: Florida’s signature fresh fish are grouper and mahi mahi, and you’ll find both at the resort’s charming Thistle Lodge Restaurant. The mahi mahi is the more decadent of the two—crusted in coconut and macadamia nuts, it’s served with a cheesy Boursin cream sauce with coconut and a smoky grilled pineapple relish.

SIGNATURE COCKTAIL: The pool bar Coconuts is so comically tropical that you half-expect Tom Cruise to emerge from somewhere and start flipping bottles of sour mix. That won’t happen, but it shouldn’t deter you from ordering a Frozen Alligator—coconut rum blended with vanilla ice cream and melon liqueur. It’s quite possibly the perfect beach drink.

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