The Best Hotels in the World

Some hotel stays are utterly forgettable—decent food, standard sheets, middle-of-the-road location. But some, you'll remember for the rest of your life. The following list of lodgings, ranked the 50 best hotels in the world by Traveler readers in this year's Readers' Choice Awards, happen to belong to the latter category. From a verdant valley in the middle of Bhutan to the well-tread steps of Santorini, Greece, these 50 picks have it all: inimitable style, discreet, but sharp service, destination restaurant-worthy food, and more. So read on—and get ready to book your next vacation. Counting down...

7. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town, South Africa

The coastal road between Camps Bay and Llandudno is a conservation area, so it’s undeveloped—just fynbos-covered mountains to one side, and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to the other. Until you round a curve in the road and catch your first glimpse of the Twelve Apostles, named after the Twelve Apostles mountain range that runs parallel to the coast, that is: Built into the contours of the mountainside, there’s a lot of hotel packed into its relatively small footprint. The rooms are flamboyant, old-school glamour, either facing the sea or the mountains.

6. Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto, Japan

Set in the Arashiyama district on the western side of Kyoto (an area frequented by Japanese nobles of years gone by), Suiran sits seamlessly on the jade waters of the Katsura river. The original buildings, which now house the restaurants and lobby, are constructed around beautifully manicured Japanese gardens, and sunlight-dappled pebble-stone pathways lead the way to the more modern low-rise buildings that house the rooms. Yukata-clad staff welcome you warmly with a hot towel and tea whilst discretely whisking your luggage off to your room, leaving you to enjoy the serene surroundings, bathed in light and soothed by the sounds of flowing water. Here, chaotic city life is a distant memory and the deliberate and un-rushed pace is the catalyst for achieving a state of repose.

5. Royal Mansour, Marrakech, Morocco

You can bet that just about every detail at this palatial hotel, which took more than three years and 1,200 master craftsmen to build, aims to please. Each of the 53 individual three-story riads has a mini courtyard (with a canopy that automatically unfurls if rain is detected); a dazzling living room and bedroom with silk-covered walls; and a private rooftop terrace with a fireplace and heated plunge pool. If you do decide to leave your room, (though, you very well may not) try one of the two superb restaurants, La Grande Table Marocaine and La Grande Table Française (both overseen by chef Yannick Alléno from Paris’s Le Meurice), as well as the indoor-outdoor La Table, which serves a formally presented breakfast and lunch—by white-gloved staff.

4. Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, India

At this palatial 32-acre hilltop estate, there's an art to the first impression: Because cars aren’t permitted beyond the front gate, visitors arrive at reception in a golf cart or, for VIPs, a horse-drawn carriage. In lieu of a formal check-in desk, a standard bearer greets guests by militarily clicking his heels before leading them under a shower of rose petals and into the former ruler of Hyderabad’s neo-Palladian palace. The rest of the experience is no less impressive, with museum-quality reception rooms furnished in late-Victorian style, gleaming with burnished wood and leather, and a gracious garden courtyard with trees and fountains is flanked by two wings housing most of the 60 rooms. (Just beyond one of the wings, the suites faithfully decorated in a grand Edwardian manner surround a smaller, star-shaped courtyard.)

3. COMO Uma Punakha, Bhutan

At the far reaches of the Punakha Valley, on the Mo Chu River in central Bhutan, is this COMO retreat. The 11-room hideaway gives harried guests views of terraced rice fields, the temple of Khamsum Yuley Namgay, and snowcapped Himalayan peaks. The restaurant Bukhari, so named for the traditional Bhutanese fireplace, might be the best place to savor these vistas. Park yourself on the outdoor terrace, preferably by a smoking, standing fireplace, for a seasonally driven dinner made with local organic ingredients—red rice, hand-ground buckwheat flour, apple cider vinegar, and hand-moulded farm cheese.

2. Cartesiano, Puebla, Mexico

This gorgeous property is located inside an old ceramics factory in the heart of Mexico's Puebla, set between brightly painted colonial homes and storefronts. Beautifully restored into a luxury hotel, the Cartesiano does a brilliant job of fusing old and new, knowing exactly where to preserve and where to introduce modern features—the annex, which has whole walls impressed with colorful, hand-painted ceramic tiles that were produced by the century-old factory, visible from the rooftop pool, is just one such example.

1. La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco

Like New York’s Waldorf-Astoria or the Queen Mary 2, there are few surprises at this gracefully aging hotel. It does just about everything right—a standard kept since 1923—while making guests feel like they’ve stumbled into a le Carré novel. Rooms have Arabesque tiling and hammam–inspired baths; and many overlook the broad, palm-studded gardens and massive, lap-ready pool. The Churchill Bar, named for the hotel’s most famous guest, is an impossibly dimly lit place for an evening negroni; by day, guests decompress in the small but beautiful spa.

The world's 7 best countries to visit in winter

Paradise is not always a sandy beach. Not to me, anyway. Not to every traveller. The official vision of holiday perfection might involve swaying palm trees and a burning hot sun, but travel doesn't always have to be that way.

There are some of us who like the cold. Some of us who enjoy a blizzard. Some of us who glory in the mercury dropping and the sky closing in.

As the Canadians say, "there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes". Cold-climate destinations have so much to offer those who turn up in the right gear.

These places might not be paradise in the way we have been taught to think about it, but once you have been there and strapped on skis or crampons, once you have ridden toboggans or snowmobiles, once you have sipped gluhwein or dipped fondue, you will never look back.


There is so much to do in Canada in winter – it is almost a shame that it overshadows the warm-weather activities. Once the temperatures drop in the land of maple leaves you can ski or snowboard some of the world's best mountains in British Columbia and Alberta, you can go ice-climbing in canyons such as Johnston in Alberta, you can drive the Icefields Parkway, you can go tobogganing on an outdoor slide in Quebec City, you can go dog-sledding, snow-shoeing, ice-skating, ice-fishing, or just stand outside and watch the Northern Lights.


Every season in Japan has something to offer: cherry blossoms in spring, festivals in summer, colourful leaves in autumn, and of course, skiing and snowboarding in winter. The famous "Japow" has been drawing Australians to the slopes of Hakuba and Niseko for years. But there is more to appreciate in Japan in colder months. Check out the snow monkeys in Jigokudani. Visit an "rotenburo", or open-air onsen, and watch snow fall as you soak in a hot spring. Go to a winter festival. Eat winter foods like nabe and oden. And enjoy the season for what it is.


Norway in winter is all about getting into the cold outdoors. It is about seeing northern outposts like Alta and Tromso covered in snow. It is about sleeping under a clear dome and watching the Northern Lights colour the sky. It is about going dog-sledding or snow-shoeing through quiet wilderness, spending time with reindeer herders, going cross-country skiing, or even learning the sport of biathlon.

United States

The US knows how to do winter right. It is not just the standard wilderness activities, the skiing in the Rockies, the snowmobile trips in Alaska, the snow-shoeing anywhere the white stuff falls. It is also about winter culture and events: seeing houses lit up with Christmas lights; ice-skating on open-air rinks; walking through snow-covered parks; seeing giant Christmas trees and holiday window displays. There is nowhere else in the world quite like it.


Most people will be drawn to Switzerland in winter for the snow sports, and that is understandable. But it is only once you are there that you discover the other side to winter culture in this spectacularly beautiful country: the traditional fondue, made with local "alp cheese", served in old guesthouses; the shots of kirsch, the cherry brandy, to ward against the cold; the tobogganing on traditional wooden sleighs; the ancient Christmas and New Year's traditions. You'd stay for that.


This might just be the ultimate cold-climate destination, the continent on the bottom of the world, virtually uninhabited, silent and brooding and incredibly beautiful. The entire experience of visiting Antarctica is memorable, from the boat trip through the savage Drake Passage, to the first sight of land, to the penguin encounters, the research base visits, the glacier walks, the whale watching, and so much more.

New Zealand

Australians have long understood the greatness of Kiwiland in the colder months (all 10 of them). Skiing and snowboarding is a highlight, obviously – there is a reason the likes of Coronet Peak and the Remarkables are filled with Australian accents. But winter in New Zealand is also bungee jumping and jet-boating, it is winery visits and whale-watching trips, rugby matches and spectacular road trips.

7 Best Cars to Buy This Fall

Low Demand, Great Deals, High Quality: A Perfect Mix for Car Buyers

Car sales tend to cool off with the weather, so this fall could be the perfect time to save big on a new set of wheels. Maybe you want to move up to an SUV so you have space for the family ski trip this winter, or trade in your sports car or convertible for something a bit more practical? Either way, the best vehicle for you could be on this list.

Using industry sales data, we’ve identified highly ranked cars and SUVs that haven’t been selling well recently. Slow demand means you’ll have a good chance of negotiating a lower price than usual at the dealership. Sluggish sales can also incentivize manufacturers to offer budget-friendly financing deals and lease deals, which can help your bottom line.

Just because these vehicles are in a sales slump doesn’t mean they fall short in terms of quality. In fact, they all have very good scores in U.S. News new car rankings, so if you’re looking for strong value in a great new car this fall, this list is the perfect place to start your search.

Keep in mind that our scores are constantly updated as new expert reviews and data become available. Therefore, the U.S. News scores listed here may differ slightly from the ones listed on our rankings pages. Check with your local dealership for more details on all of the deals described here, as some of the details may diverge slightly from what is available in your area.

2018 Volkswagen Golf

$22,910 | U.S. News Score: 8.6/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -38.1%

One of the more well-rounded compact cars on the market, the Volkswagen Golf delivers in terms of performance, practicality, and aesthetics. Its standard turbocharged engine provides snappy acceleration, and on twisty roads, the Golf’s adept suspension makes it one of the more fun vehicles to drive in the segment. Inside, you’re greeted by an attractive cabin design, roomy seats, and plenty of cargo space thanks to the Golf’s hatchback configuration.

Even with those strong points, Golf sales are down a whopping 38.1 percent in 2018 relative to the same span last year. There’s no turnaround in sight either, as last month’s sales were 42 percent lower than they were during the same period in 2017.

To entice shoppers, Volkswagen is offering an affordable lease deal of $219 per month for three years with $2,499 due at signing. If you prefer to buy, you can take advantage of 1.9 percent financing for five years. There are lower rates out there, but Volkswagen’s offer is still significantly better than the market average interest rate of 4.8 percent.

Buyers should take advantage of low demand to score a below-sticker price on a new Golf. To avoid haggling with sales representatives, use the U.S. News & World Report Best Price Program to find the dealership in your area with the lowest prices.

Acadia GMC 2018

$29,000 | U.S. News Score: 8.0/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -23.3%

The GMC Acadia delivers on many fronts with its upscale and spacious cabin, user-friendly infotainment system, and smooth ride. While rivals like the Mazda CX-9 are more athletic, the Acadia is a solid daily driver, and its optional V6 engine has plenty of muscle.

Midsize SUV sales are hot, but buyers have been choosing alternatives to the Acadia; GMC dealers have moved 23.3 percent fewer models this year compared to the same period in 2017. In September this year, demand was particularly weak, with sales down almost 40 percent compared to September of 2017.

To boost demand, GMC is offering buyers $4,000 cash back if you purchase an Acadia this month. If you are more interested in a lease, GMC is offering the Acadia for $229 per month for three years with $3,769 due at signing.

On top of these deals, you may be able to use poor sales figures as leverage to drive down the price on an Acadia even further. Our U.S. News & World Report Best Price Program can help you find the dealerships in your area with the lowest prices so you’re prepared before you head out the door.

Toyota Sienna 2018

$30,850 | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -23.1%

Minivan shoppers would be remiss to look past the Toyota Sienna. While newer rivals like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica have stolen the spotlight recently, the Sienna has a lot going for it, including a spacious and upscale cabin, easy-to-use technology, and poised driving manners. It’s also the only minivan available with all-wheel drive, which could come in handy in a few months.

Buyers have been choosing the Odyssey or Pacifica more frequently this year, however, as Sienna sales are down 23.1 percent relative to the same span in 2017. The Pacifica has outsold it by 30 percent in 2018. To gain some ground, Toyota is offering up to $3,000 cash back if you purchase the Sienna this month. If you prefer to lease, you’ll pay $319 per month for three years with $2,999 due at signing.

When you get to the dealership, remember to use the Sienna’s sluggish sales record as leverage to negotiate the starting price down from the sticker price. For extra help negotiating, use the U.S. News & World Report Best Price Program to find the dealer in your area offering the lowest price.

Jaguar F-Pace 2018

$42,065 | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -29.7%

The Jaguar F-Pace offers an enticing blend of sporty driving dynamics and high-class luxury. It also has the utility you’d expect of the segment, with roomy back seats and a spacious cargo area. It’s certainly not the cheapest option in the luxury compact SUV segment, but it does a lot of things well, so it should be on luxury shoppers’ radar.

The F-Pace sold very well in its first year on the market, but it has lost some momentum in 2018; Jaguar dealerships have moved almost 30 percent fewer models this year than during the same period in 2017.

In response, Jaguar is currently offering 1.9 percent financing over three years with $2,000 cash back to entice buyers this month. Shoppers interested in a lease can drive home a new F-Pace for $459 per month over three years with $4,495 due at signing. That monthly rate is $30 lower than it was a couple months ago, so take advantage while you can.

Sluggish demand means you may be in a good position to negotiate when you visit the dealership. To find the dealer near you with the lowest prices, use the U.S. News & World Report Best Price Program.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS

$69,550 | U.S. News Score: 8.9/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -38.6%

The Mercedes-Benz GLS has the luxury and curb appeal you’d expect for the brand, while also offering enough space and utility for a large family. On the road, you’ll appreciate the GLS’s potent powertrain and smooth ride. Add it all up, and the GLS is one of the top-ranked options in the luxury large SUV class and should be on luxury shoppers’ test drive list.

Despite its many selling points, GLS sales have declined 38.6 percent this year compared to the same span in 2017. To address this slump, Mercedes-Benz is currently offering a lease deal of $869 per month for three years with $6,873 due at signing on a new GLS this month. That’s far from cheap, but it’s a competitive monthly rate for the ritzy segment.

Buyers should take advantage of low demand to score a below-sticker price on a new GLS. To avoid haggling with sales representatives, use the U.S. News & World Report Best Price Program to find the dealership in your area with the lowest prices.

Lincoln MKX 2018

$39,035 | U.S. News Score: 8.1/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -12.6%
Buyers looking for an SUV with a luxury badge should check out the Lincoln MKX. It doesn’t have the athleticism of a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne, but it possesses admirable ride quality, and its turbocharged V6 engine provides plenty of thrust. Inside, the MKX offers a long list of standard tech features and an easy-to-use touch screen infotainment system. It also boasts excellent crash test scores.

One of the MKX’s greatest selling points is its price, as a base model ($39,035) is about $7,000 cheaper than the norm for a luxury midsize SUV. Buyers have been choosing alternatives a lot this year, however, as MKX sales are down 12.6 percent relative to the same span a year ago.

To pick up the sales pace this month, lessees will only pay $352 per month for 39 months with $4,993 due at signing. That’s one of the lowest monthly payments in the segment.

When you get to the dealership, remember to use the MKX’s sluggish sales record as leverage to negotiate the starting price down from the sticker price. For extra help negotiating, use the U.S. News & World Report Best Price Program to find the dealer in your area offering the lowest price.

2018 Nissan Maxima

$33,270 | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -36.2%

Among large cars, the Nissan Maxima is one of the best in terms of style and athleticism. It also earns excellent crash test scores, while active safety features like forward collision warning and automatic braking are newly standard for 2018.

Large car sales have been declining over the last few years, and the Maxima has been a victim of this trend. Nissan dealers have sold 36.2 percent fewer Maxima models so far in 2018 than they did over the same span last year. Last month was particularly bad, as sales plunged 70 percent relative to the same period in 2017.

To turn things around, Nissan is offering zero percent financing for five years if you purchase the Maxima this month. If you finance elsewhere or pay in full up front, you can take home $500 cash. Lessees will pay only $229 per month for three years with $4,829 due at signing.

When you get to the dealership, remember to use the Maxima’s sluggish sales record as leverage to negotiate the starting price down from sticker. For extra help negotiating, use the U.S. News & World Report Best Price Program to find the dealer in your area offering the lowest price.

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Countries To Visit At Least Once In Your Lifetime

Wondering where to go next?  Want to know which countries are best suited for your upcoming vacation? We can’t plan your getaways for you, but we certainly can help you narrow down your wish list of travel destinations


Cosmopolitan and architecturally stunning Dubai is a truly global city. With its ultramodern skyscrapers, the artificial archipelago of Palm Islands and the world’s largest shopping mall, Dubai offers something for every taste.
in dubai you can find the best hotels in the world
Surrounded by a desert, this city is the futuristic gem of the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates. With chic yachts at home in the city’s upscale marina and the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake and its Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest dancing fountain, visitors might momentarily forget they are in a desert.


A visit to Spain is sure to leave you yearning to return over and over again.  Impressive beaches, wildlife and islands along with exquisite cuisines, animated nightlife and lively carnivals make Spain one of the top countries to visit. In addition, it has historic cities with rich cultural and art heritages.
and you can find the best hotels


A trip to France, one of the most beautiful and romantic countries on earth, will ruin your normal life in so many ways. For one, every other language will just sound harsh, after spending days listening to the French talk.  Furthermore, all other kinds of food will seem tasteless once have savored the true French cuisine, especially when you have experienced the grandeur of the street cafes in France.
you can find the best hotels in france

Still, a trip to France is something you should put in your bucket list. Although Paris draws most of the attention in France, the country certainly has a lot more to offer beyond the walls of the “
City of Lights”.


With its breath-snatching scenery, lively cities, and welcoming atmosphere, Canada is indeed one of the countries that should be in every travel junkie’s bucket list. As the largest country in North America, Canada is a vast nation blessed with spectacular coastlines, spacious prairies, virgin forests and the Arctic cannada you can find the best hotels. Even though much of it is of British and French descent, Canada is a host to mosaic of multi-cultural communities.


Looking for a good reason to explore your own backyard?  America’s gleaming urban setting may not attract adventurous travelers, but its natural treasures can for sure have a lasting impact on anyone.  From the world-famous Grand Canyon to the countless national parks dotting the terrain, the charming natural wonders in the United States are indeed enough to put it on the spotlight
and you can find the best hotels
Exploring the National Parks, like Yosemite and Yellowstone, will be extremely breathtaking and may change you whole view on the country. Not to mention, there are plenty of places in the US that are worth seeing, such as the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe, California’s beaches, the Great Smoky Mountains and the islands of Hawaii.

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10 Alternatives to Bucket List Destinations

Quebec City Instead of Paris

The exchange rate is currently in favor of Canada, and you won’t encounter the same crowds in Quebec City as in Paris. What you will find, especially if you stay in the UNESCO-designated Old City, are cobblestone streets worthy of a French village and plenty of chances to practice your French. Even better, you won’t have to sacrifice amazing food, since Quebec City does justice to both French and French Canadian dining. Standouts include the award-winning Panache, which feels like the country French farmhouse of your dreams. Le Grafitti attracts more locals than tourists, and offers an updated approach to
French (and Italian) dishes. Don't miss queuing up for crepes at Casse-Crêpe Breton and gorging on poutine at Le Chic Shack and Chez Ashton. Visit the recently opened Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec. The collections include more than 2,600 pieces of Inuit art and some of the finest paintings by regional artists. For shopping, Old City offers a plethora of one-of-a-kind boutiques. Pop into Charlevoix Pure Laine on the iconic Petit Champlain for hats, scarves and mittens made from the wool of Charlevoix sheep. Venture past Old City to explore the trendy Saint-Roch district and poke along Rue St. Jean. When it’s time to crash, spend a night at the historic Château Frontenac. At the very least, grab drinks at its 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar, named for the year and spot the city was founded. Or batten down at Auberge Saint-Antoine, (which also houses Panache) a converted 19th-century warehouse that exudes French rustic charm. You’ll forget you're not in Paris.

The Northern Lights in Reykjavik, Iceland Instead of Scandinavia

Norway, Sweden and Finland are often associated with the spectacular northern lights phenomena (aka the aurora borealis), but the airfare and long drives from the nearest airport make Northern Europe viewing more expensive and less accessible. Enter Reykjavik, just a six-hour flight from New York City, plus low fares on WOW Air and Norwegian Air make it more affordable than ever. The fact that Reykjavik is the northernmost capital in the world means you can even base yourself in the city to catch one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. While it’s never guaranteed you’ll see the light show, your chances increase between late September through early April. Grotta Lighthouse, about an hour walk, or 10-minute drive, from downtown, is one of your best bets for viewing the lights in Reykjavik proper. The Pearl is another option, home to a revolving restaurant and observation deck. Alternatively, numerous Northern Lights tours leave from the city: Elding offers a two-hour excursion, which includes a 20-minute boat ride to Videy Island. In the event you don't see any lights, the company will provide a free tour ticket good for two years.

The Biltmore Estate Instead of a European Castle

If a European trip isn’t in the budget, the U.S. boasts castles to rival Europe’s grand dames. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, was modeled after the French chateaus of the Loire Valley and is considered the largest privately owned manse in the country. Architect Richard Morris Hunt, whose other projects included The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Statue of Liberty, designed this National Historic Landmark. This epitome of Gilded Age homes contains 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and three kitchens, filled with centuries-old tapestries and Renoir paintings throughout. Since owner George Washington Vanderbilt III outfitted it with the era’s latest and greatest, it’s also one of the few 19th-century homes with central heating and plumbing, electricity, fire alarms, elevators and an early refrigeration system. The grandeur doesn’t stop inside; Fredrick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park, brainstormed Biltmore’s grounds, from formal gardens to a 250-acre park. Explore the house at a leisurely pace on a self-guided tour, which provides access to three floors and the basement. Or take the guided Premium Biltmore House Tour, a private two-hour viewing that includes rooftop access. Unfortunately visitors can’t stay at Biltmore itself, but there are three hotels on the property as part of Biltmore Village.

The Egyptian Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Instead of the Egyptian Pyramids

By all means the Pyramids at Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, should remain a bucket list item. However, you’ll only be visiting a shell; the treasures within have long been looted or removed to world-class museums. Fortunately one of the world’s best collections can be found among 39 rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, thanks in part to a 35-year archeological excavation. Highlights include mummies, jewelry and wooden tomb models.

But the main event is the Temple of Dendur, housed in a soaring, partially glass-enclosed wing. Roman emperor Caesar Augustus constructed the Temple around 15 B.C for the goddess Isis, a major deity in ancient Egypt. Part of a UNESCO campaign in the ‘60s to save it from floodwaters, the Egyptian government dismantled and shipped the Temple to the U.S. for preservation. President Lyndon B. Johnson later gifted it to the museum. Besides admiring the carved reliefs, keep an eye out for 19th-century graffiti that’s been left intact.

Overwater Bungalows in Jamaica Instead of the Maldives

French Polynesia and the Maldives possess the lion’s share of overwater bungalows, but the time and expense of getting to those islands is a deal-breaker for many. Don’t despair: they’re not the only places in the world to get the full overwater experience. Enter the brand-new bungalows at the five-star, all-inclusive Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort, one of the only real-deal overwater bungalows on this side of the world. This new addition to the Montego Bay resort includes 12 truly luxurious villas modeled after their Tahitian counterparts, with glass floors, giant soaking tubs and infinity pools to boot. While the spacious bungalows are removed from the rest of the resort, a private butler, 24-hour room service and dedicated water taxi ensure that you won’t feel like you’re stranded on a remote (if posh) retreat. Starting at $1,435 a night, it’s not cheap, but still a lot closer than the Maldives.

California Wine Country Instead of Italy's Wine Country

You could easily spend weeks exploring Italy’s many famed wine regions — Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto — but if that’s not in the budget, head to the best wine region in the U.S. California Wine Country, just north of San Francisco, consists of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, and offers a whopping 800-plus wineries between the two. Take note that many of the smaller wineries are reservation only, even in the slower seasons, and the larger ones may also require advance bookings for tours and special tastings. Many first-timers start in Napa, whose 12 wine regions produce many award-winning wines, from Cabernet Sauvignon to Chardonnay. Deciding where to start can be overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong by exploring the dozens of wineries along the quieter Silverado Trail, such as Clos Du ValWilliam Hill Estate Winery or Hagafen Cellars. Elsewhere in Napa, Robert Mondavi WineryCastello di Amorosa and Grgich Hills Estate attract larger crowds, but the grounds and wines of all three are worth it. Sonoma tends to be less crowded and more laid back than Napa, and its 17 appellations produce everything from Merlot to Pinot Noir. Base yourself in charming Healdsburg. From there, head straight to Westside Road, a curving, bucolic stretch with one winery after another. Leave time for Gary Farrell Winery and Porter Creek Vineyards at the very least. Elsewhere in Sonoma, budget time to visit Francis Ford Coppola WineryJordan Vineyard & Winery and Scribe Winery to get a comprehensive taste of the best Sonoma has to offer.

A Wildlife Safari in Yellowstone National Park Instead of an African Safari

It’s not uncommon for an all-inclusive, higher-end African safari to run upwards of $1,000 a night (or more). True, there are more affordable options, but then you have to factor in the cost of flights, the hassle of vaccinations and visas, not to mention the time needed. If you’re not ready just yet for this major undertaking, consider going on what amounts to an American safari. Wildlife Expeditions, operated by non-profit Teton Science Schools, runs half, full and multiday trips to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Instead of lions, zebras and elephants, expert guides will track wolves, bears, elk, moose, bison and more. The weeklong Winter Wolves of Yellowstone is a sought-after option to spot retiring gray wolves in their native habitat. Along the way you might also see bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope and golden eagles while traveling via safari-like vehicles. Expect to pay $3,300 a person for the week, but this includes comfortable lodging, meals and snacks.

The El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico Instead of the Amazon Rainforest

As the world’s largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon’s merits don’t need to be touted. It’s home to about 10 percent of the world’s animal species, such as black spider monkeys, macaws and jaguars. But the time, cost and logistics of getting to the Amazon are not insignificant. Enter the El Yunque National Forest in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, less than an hour’s drive east from San Juan. Believe it or not, it’s not only a U.S. national forest, but it’s also the only tropical rainforest in America’s forest system. At 28,000 acres it can’t compare size-wise to the Amazon, but it contains plant life and animal species you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The flora includes 240 types of trees and 150 fern species, while its biodiversity encompasses the endangered Puerto Rican parrot, 11 bat species, and most notably, the indigenous coquí tree frog, Puerto Rico’s national symbol. One of the best ways to experience El Yunque is by hiking one or more of its 18 trails. However, leave the popular La Mina Waterfalls Trail to the tourist hordes, and opt instead for the challenging El Yunque Trail to the 3,496-foot peak. Don’t forget your camera or phone to capture miles of rolling green hills and the sparkling blue water just beyond.

Bungee Jumping From the Navajo Bridge in Marble Canyon, Arizona Instead of in New Zealand

Bungee jumping tourism started in New Zealand almost 30 years ago; since then, it’s remained a destination goal for adrenaline enthusiasts. Hope isn’t lost if your budget doesn’t cover a plane ticket to New Zealand this year, as the U.S. has worthwhile alternatives. The Navajo Bridge in Marble Canyon, Arizona, near the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, regularly makes it onto lists for top bungee jumping sites. At 467 feet it’s not the tallest in the U.S., but it is among the handful that allow organized jumps. It also offers peerless views of the Colorado River and Marble Canyon, and is the closest you can get to pretending that you’re swan diving into the Grand Canyon. Bungee Expeditions organizes jumps from the Navajo Bridge for $250 a person.

Scuba Diving in Marathon Key, Florida Instead of the Great Barrier Reef

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Barrier Reef is not only the largest coral reef system in the world, but also the largest living organism; so great, in fact, that it can be viewed from space. Alas, time and money make this bucket list fave a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many scuba divers. If this is not the year, then consider the coral reef along the Florida Keys. It’s the only tropical reef system in the U.S. Atlantic, and the third largest reef in the world. Luckily, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects more than 6,000 types of marine critters, plants and objects. Divers in the know favor Sombrero Reef, off of Marathon in the Middle Keys, for its array of coral, tropical fish, barracuda, stingrays and sea turtles. Another area highlight is Thunderbolt, an intentionally sunken ship from the WWII era. Three decades of corals and sponges cover its surface, attracting angelfish, amberjack, goliath grouper and more.

Best cheap supercars and sports cars 2018

There’s lots of affordable fun to be had with cheap supercars and sports cars. Here are our thrilling high performance bargains

Brand new supercars and top-end sports cars are out of most people’s price range, however if you’re prepared to shop around on the used car market you might just be able to make that performance car dream a reality.

A cheap supercar or cheap sports car from the second hand car market is a cost-efficient way of accessing the kind of thrills that only these types of vehicles can offer. With the right model you’ll be doing so for quite a bit less than a manufacturer would charge for something factory fresh. And that should only add to the adrenaline.
• Buying a used car - your complete guide
What’s more, high-end cars don’t tend to do anything like the annual mileage that might be achieved by, say, a saloon used for commuting to work, or a hatchback used running errands around town. That means the list of potential faults could well be smaller, giving you more peace of mind should you decide to part with your hard-earned cash.

A word of caution though: supercars and sports cars are also types of vehicle that owners like to drive hard and when things do go wrong, they tend to be expensive to put right. It all means it’s essential to see evidence of careful maintenance before you agree to a deal. It’s always a good idea to review a vehicle’s service history to ensure there are no catastrophic issues lurking under the bonnet, and we would always advise asking a professional mechanic for their opinion too.
If everything checks out then you’ll the envy of everyone you know before you can say ‘cheap supercar’. As is the case with most vehicles, everybody’s tastes are different, but we’ve come up with a list of nine cheap supercars and sports cars that should act as a good starting point without costing the earth...

Best cheap supercars and sports cars

Caterham Seven

1.7 Super Sport (1994/L reg, 6k miles)

Specialist Caterham has been building its Lotus Seven-based sports cars for over 40 years, and whichever one you choose, it will put a smile on your face. Lightweight construction ensures that even with a modest 135bhp, the Seven is rapid, while direct steering and a ground-scraping ride height mean every journey is exhilarating.
A factory-built car will give peace of mind over a home-built kit, but buying a Seven gives you access to a world of helpful owners and factory assistance, although you’ll need to be prepared to get your hands dirty keeping it running.
Price new: £23,500
Now: £11,000 
Engine: 1.7-litre 4cyl, 135bhp
Economy: N/A
Euro NCAP: N/A

  Nissan 370Z

Big, brawny coupés are in short supply in the UK, so the Nissan 370Z really stands out when you see it on the road. With its bulging wheelarches and bulbous curves, it isn’t quite as elegant as the 350Z it replaced, but its wide stance and squat body signify its sports car intent.

The 370Z is a decent performer thanks to that big V6 under the bonnet – although it doesn’t sound as meaty as it should – and the handling is sharp for a car that’s relatively heavy. But that big engine has big costs associated with it, while the auto version really numbs the driving experience.
Price new: £27,475
Now: £12,795 
Engine: 3.7-litre V6, 326bhp
Economy: 26.7mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A

Lotus Elise

Elise 111S (2005/05 reg, 82k miles)

The Elise is a perennial sports car favourite. It’s not quite as spartan as a Caterham, and it feels more like a real car than a kit, but its lightweight build and nimble handling are true to the philosophy of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
A £15k budget stretches to a Series 2, the sharper-looking model that shared its chassis with the Vauxhall VX220. The standard car had a 120bhp Rover K Series engine, while the 111S featured the variable valve timing version with 156bhp. In 2004 the 111R added a Toyota engine with 189bhp, and this more reliable model is the one to go for.
Price new: £26,670
Now: £13,250
Engine: 1.8-litre 4cyl, 156bhp
Economy: 38.0mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A

Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

V12 Vantage (2002/02-reg, 73k miles)

You’d hardly call a small Aston Martin the entry-level model, but in a way, that’s what the DB7 was.
The original car’s supercharged straight-six was joined by the later V12 Vantage, which sourced its engine from Ford. This car delivered 420bhp and was offered with manual or automatic boxes. The latter are cheaper, but that transmission suits the DB7’s grand tourer nature. We’d advise finding a model that has been serviced by an Aston Martin specialist, too.
Price new: £95,410
Now: £24,995 
Engine: 6.0-litre V12, 420bhp
Economy: 14.8mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A

Porsche 911 Turbo

911 Turbo (2006/06-reg, 53k miles)

There are silly prices to be paid for all kinds of fairly ordinary Porsches, but look hard enough and you can still find some decent cars out there at sensible money.
A budget of £50,000 will land you a decent 997-generation Turbo, which gets four-wheel drive and was offered with either a six-speed manual box or a seven-speed PDK auto. Yet despite its startling performance, the Turbo is the easiest supercar to live with, thanks to its 2+2 layout, decent boot and good visibility. Full Porsche service history is recommended.
Price new: £90,360
Now: £44,990
Engine: 3.6-litre flat-six, 480bhp
Economy: 22.1mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A

Jaguar XKR-S

XKR-S (2012/12-reg, 32k miles)

By the time the XKR-S arrived in showrooms in 2012, Jaguar had transformed itself from a grown-up, sensible luxury car maker to a dynamic and youthful firm. And that couldn’t be better demonstrated with the tyre-shredding last hurrah for Jag’s GT coupé.
The supercharged V8 delivered big numbers, with a stonking 543bhp and 680Nm of torque. It was backed up by revised suspension settings, so the XK was more nimble than before. There’s a convertible version available, and we think the XKR-S looks best in the exclusive French Racing Blue paint option.
Price new: £97,400
Now: £46,950 
Engine: 5.0-litre V8, 543bhp
Economy: 23.0mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A

Audi R8

If ever a model could be called the everyday supercar, it’s the Audi R8. While the concept-car looks mean it’ll turn heads wherever you go, it’s as docile as an A3 when you’re taking it easy. Go for a version with magnetic ride dampers, and it’ll be pretty comfortable, too.
But bury the throttle, and all hell breaks loose, with the V10 model in particular delivering a hard-edged growl that will send a tingle up your spine. Prices start from £36,000 for the V8 or £46,000 for the V10 featured here, so the choice is yours.

Price new: £99,580
Now: £49,495 
Engine: 5.2-litre V10, 518bhp
Economy: 19.2mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A

Ferrari 360 Modena

360 Modena (2001/Y-reg, 36k miles)

Today, it seems any Ferrari can be viewed as ‘investment potential’. Scour the classic ads, and you’ll find vendors demanding over £30,000 for unloved models like the Mondial and 400i. But if you can afford a bit more, then a genuine Ferrari sports car could be yours.
The 360 Modena has fallen out of favour, as its blobby looks aren’t as appealing as its F355 predecessor’s. But the screaming mid-engined V8 has plenty of power, and we’d recommend the H-gated manual over the F1-inspired semi-auto box. After a few years, it might even become desirable again and be seen as one of the better Ferraris.
Price new: £103,068
Now: £50,995 
Engine: 3.6-litre V8, 395bhp
Economy: 14.6mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A

Aston Martin Vantage S

V12 Vantage S (2014/14-reg, 38k miles)

Even after 12 years in production, the Aston Martin Vantage is one of the most beautiful cars on the road. And with constant development over the years, it has kept pace with luxury sports car rivals along the way. While the limited-edition GT12 and GT8 pay homage to the brand’s GT racing models, you can have just as much fun with the ultimate production version of the standard car, the V12 Vantage S.
This model takes the standard V12 Vantage and gives it a makeover into a more focused sports car, featuring a new V12 engine with 565bhp. This means a 205mph top speed. While the 2014 example we found had a relatively high 38,000 miles under its belt, the car’s main dealer service history means you can buy with confidence.
Price new: £139,145
Now: £62,995 
Engine: 6.0-litre V12, 565bhp
Economy: 17.0mpg
Euro NCAP: N/A
Which of these supercars and sports cars would you go for? Let us know in the comments section below!