"The hotel has definitely upped the ante in that respect," she says. "They feature local musicians. You're in the center of town and part of the local scene."
Royal pedigree: Ciragan Palace Kempinski (Istanbul)
With global attention on the marriage of the British royals and the popularity of television programs such as "Downton Abbey," hotels with any sort of royal pedigree are proving quite popular. People want to live like royalty, even if only for a few days
Guests can live like rulers of the Ottoman Empire at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, once the 19th-century home of an Ottoman sultan on the Bosphorus Strait.
"The rooms are absolutely spectacular, and you can imagine being waited on there by handmaidens back in the day," says Bowen. "The 11 palace suites come with 24-hour butler service. It's a perfect retreat in Istanbul."
Fun for all ages: Ocean House (Watch Hill, Rhode Island)
Ocean House is one of those special hotels that adults and kids can enjoy together and separately. "Family bonding time excellent but being able to do things on your own is also good," says Bowen.
Guests can swim at the private beach or pools, enjoy the spa, play croquet, participate in a cooking demonstration, go on winery tours or visiting a nearby lighthouse museum and carousel.
"It's such a fun property even people without kids could consider going," she says. Generations of families vacation here together, often coming year after year.
Best all-inclusive: The BodyHoliday (St. Lucia).
There are no worries at the all-inclusive BodyHoliday resort, where everything's included in the rate, even a daily massage and the tips. The property on the island of St. Lucia also offers singles relatively good rates.
The BodyHoliday's focus is on wellness, however the guest wants to pursue that goal. "You can get fit, relax, learn how to scuba dive and enjoy wine tastings and gourmet menus," says Bowen.
Go online for a complete list of this year's Fodor's Top 100 Hotel Awards.