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It’s that time of the year again, and TripAdvisor has announced their 2012 Travelers’ Choice Hotel Awards. Boutique and independent properties were of note in the top 25 US hotels as opposed to the chain hotels like Marriott or Hilton. It’s not that I don’t like chains I stay in them frequently, but honestly, I am an “unchain” type of gal and whenever possible I stay at an independent or boutique property. Cozy, personable and unique settings seem to be a wonderful pattern that draws me to them time and time again.

Not to many surprises on the luxury list either, but one does stick out above the usual Ritz Carlton’s, Waldorf’s, and Four Season’s; an independent historic property, The Pfister Hotel.   I’ve got a soft spot for historic properties; Skytop Lodge, The Hotel Del Coronodo, and many others. Yes, they might be a bit outdated, a bit worn and oftentimes the technology is not the best, but they always remind me of a time gone by when travel was elegant, people were gracious and poised, and not rushing to see the next site.

Was anybody as surprised by the international Top 25 list?  I didn’t see one property  from Istanbul Turkey, which has dozens of amazing hotels and resorts.  Maybe next year.