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Verbier in Switzerland has been named the ‘World’s Best Ski Resort’ for the first time, knocking France’s Val Thorens off its perch. 

Verbier received the illustrious title at the 2021 World Ski Awards, which were voted for by ski industry professionals and by the public in a range of categories, including best resorts, hotels, chalets and tour operators. This year, more than 2.2million people cast their votes.

It was a double victory for Verbier, with the five-star W Verbier ranked as the ‘World’s Best Ski Hotel’ for the sixth consecutive year. Other major winners at this week’s online awards ceremony included Switzerland’s Chalet Zermatt Peak, which sits ‘in the shadow of the majestic Matterhorn’, and was named the ‘World’s Best Ski Chalet’; and Austria’s ‘exquisite’ Aurelio Lech, which was awarded the ‘World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel’ gong. For the ninth year running, Deer Valley was named America’s best ski resort, while Thredbo won the gold medal for Australia’s best ski resort.

Verbier in Switzerland, pictured, has been named the 'World's Best Ski Resort' for the first time, knocking France's Val Thorens off its perch

Verbier in Switzerland, pictured, has been named the ‘World’s Best Ski Resort’ for the first time, knocking France’s Val Thorens off its perch

Verbier received the illustrious title at the 2021 World Ski Awards, which were voted for by 2.2million people. Pictured is a skier going off-piste at the Swiss resort

Verbier received the illustrious title at the 2021 World Ski Awards, which were voted for by 2.2million people. Pictured is a skier going off-piste at the Swiss resort 

It was a double victory for Verbier, with the five-star W Verbier (pictured) ranked as the 'World's Best Ski Hotel'

It was a double victory for Verbier, with the five-star W Verbier (pictured) ranked as the ‘World’s Best Ski Hotel’

It’s the sixth consecutive year that W Verbier has been named the world’s best ski hotel. Pictured is a bathroom in one of the hotel’s suites 

A suite at W Verbier. An awards statement said of the resort: 'Verbier has carefully maintained its charm as an alpine village'

A suite at W Verbier. An awards statement said of the resort: ‘Verbier has carefully maintained its charm as an alpine village’

Verbier, which is the gateway to the 4 Vallées ski area, impressed the judges with its ‘world-class terrain, charming chalets and a thriving après scene’.

An awards statement said: ‘Perched on a sunny plateau at an altitude of 1,500 metres in the heart of the Swiss Alps, with its slate-roofed chalets, Verbier has carefully maintained its charm as an alpine village.’

It’s noted that ‘with nearly 100 lifts and more than 400km (248.4 miles) of ski runs for all levels of expertise’ the resort is ‘a must for skiers from all over the world’. ‘Its “après-ski” is a real institution that welcomes a cosmopolitan clientele of all generations, not to mention the unforgettable nightlife,’ it added.

Chalet Zermatt Peak in Switzerland, which has been named the 'World's Best Ski Chalet' at the World Ski Awards 2021

Chalet Zermatt Peak in Switzerland, which has been named the ‘World’s Best Ski Chalet’ at the World Ski Awards 2021

One of the bedrooms at Chalet Zermatt Peak. The chalet sits in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn mountain

One of the bedrooms at Chalet Zermatt Peak. The chalet sits in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn mountain 

The exterior of Aurelio Lech in Austria, which collected the ‘World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel’ gong at the World Ski Awards

The exterior of Aurelio Lech in Austria, which collected the ‘World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel’ gong at the World Ski Awards

Inside the spa at Aurelio Lech. The hotel was described as 'exquisite' in an awards statement

Inside the spa at Aurelio Lech. The hotel was described as ‘exquisite’ in an awards statement 

Rocksresort in Laax, Switzerland, has been named the 'Best Green Ski Hotel 2021'

Rocksresort in Laax, Switzerland, has been named the ‘Best Green Ski Hotel 2021’

Val Thorens, the highest resort in Europe at 7,546ft (2,300m), had been awarded the best-resort gong seven times in the awards’ nine-year history. Until now, only Kitzbühel had managed to steal the main title away from the French resort.

Val Thorens was, however, named ‘France’s Best Ski Resort’ of 2021. Making it all the more attractive, the resort’s Hotel le Pashmina was chosen as the ‘Best Ski Boutique Hotel in France’ for 2021.

According to the awards, the five-star hotel is ‘one of the most beautiful mountain hotels, with lots of light, big spaces, soft materials and lively colours’. The hotel is also home to chef Josselin Jeanblanc and his Michelin-star restaurant ‘Les Explorateurs’.

THE WINNERS AT THE 2021 WORLD SKI AWARDS

WORLD WINNERS 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Verbier (Switzerland)

Best Freestyle Resort 2021: Laax (Switzerland)

Best Ski Hotel 2021: W Verbier (Switzerland)

Best New Ski Hotel 2021: The Vale Rusutsu (Japan)

Best Green Ski Hotel 2021: Rocksresort (Switzerland)

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Aurelio Lech (Austria)

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Chalet Zermatt Peak (Switzerland)

Best New Ski Chalet 2021: Chalet Face à Face (France)

Best Ski Resort Company 2021: Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel (Austria)

Best Indoor Ski Resort 2021: Ski Dubai (UAE)

Best Ski Tour Operator 2021: Tui

Best Ski Travel Agent 2021: Leo Trippi

Best Heli-Ski Operator 2021: Bella Coola Heli Sports (Canada)

Best Ski Transfer Operator 2021: Schneebeben

AUSTRALIA  

Best Ski Resort 2021: Thredbo

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa Hotel

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Astra Falls Creek

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Sequoia Penthouse Thredbo

CHINA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Vanke Lake Songhua Resort

JAPAN 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Rusutsu Resort

Best Ski Hotel 2021: The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel Hokkaido

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Ki Niseko

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Aspect

NEW ZEALAND 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Mt Hutt

Best Ski Hotel 2021: The Rees Hotel, Luxury Apartments & Lakeside Residences

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Matakauri Lodge

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Azur Luxury Lodge

SOUTH KOREA  

Best Ski Resort 2021: YongPyong Resort

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Dragon Valley Hotel

ANDORRA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Vallnord – Pal Arinsal

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Hotel Plaza

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: The Xalet Bringué Hotel & Spa

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Ski Chalet Alpine Residence

AUSTRIA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Kitzbühel

Best Ski Hotel 2021: A-ROSA Kitzbühel

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Aurelio Lech

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Hahnenkamm Lodge

BULGARIA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Bansko

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Aparthotel Lucky Bansko SPA & Relax

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Alpin Hotel

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Villa Gella

CZECH REPUBLIC 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Skiareál Špindlerův Mlýn

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Harmony Club Hotel

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel Savoy Špindlerův Mlýn

FINLAND 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Levi

Best Ski Hotel 2021: KIDE Hotel by Iso-Syöte

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel Iso-Syöte

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Rukan Salonki Chalets

FRANCE 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Val Thorens

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel Pashmina

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Le Chalet Mont Blanc 

Source: World Ski Awards 

GERMANY 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Oberstdorf

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Schloss Elmau

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel Staudacherhof

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Country Home Pitzner

ITALY 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Dolomites Val Gardena

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Montana Lodge & Spa

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Saint Hubertus Resort Luxury Hotel & Spa

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Cesa del louf

NORWAY 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Geilo

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Radisson Blu Resort Trysil

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Nermo Hotell

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Havsdalsgrenda

POLAND 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Kotelnica Bialczańska

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences, Zakopane

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel Crocus

ROMANIA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Sinaia

RUSSIA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Rosa Khutor

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Rixos Krasnaya Polyana Sochi

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Grand Hotel & Spa Rodina

SLOVAKIA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Jasná Nízke Tatry

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel FIS Jasná

SLOVENIA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Krvavec

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Ramada Resort by Wyndham Kranjska Gora

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel Rozka

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Chalet Planina

SPAIN

Best Ski Resort 2021: Baqueira/Beret

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Rafaelhoteles By La Pleta

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Meliá Royal Tanau Boutique Hotel

SWEDEN 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Åre

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Hotel Bügelhof

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Eriksgårdens Fjällhotell

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Skutan Ski Lodge

SWITZERLAND 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Verbier

Best Ski Hotel 2021: W Verbier

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Ultima Gstaad

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Chalet Zermatt Peak

ARGENTINA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Chapelco Ski Resort

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Llao Llao Hotel & Resort

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Charming Luxury Lodge

CANADA 

Best Ski Resort 2021: The Lake Louise Ski Resort

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: The Josie

Best Ski Chalet 2021: Whiteworth Chalet

CHILE 

Best Ski Resort 2021: Portillo

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Hotel Termas Chillán

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: Hotel Posada Farellones

U.S.

Best Ski Resort 2021: Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Best Ski Hotel 2021: Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley

Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021: The Lodge at Blue Sky 

 

For the ninth year running, Deer Valley (pictured above) in Utah was named America's best ski resort

For the ninth year running, Deer Valley (pictured above) in Utah was named America’s best ski resort

Pictured above is Thredbo, New South Wales, which won the gold medal for Australia's best ski resort

Pictured above is Thredbo, New South Wales, which won the gold medal for Australia’s best ski resort

Pictured is Val Thorens, the highest resort in Europe at 7,546ft (2,300m), which has been awarded the best-resort gong seven times in the awards' nine-year history

Pictured is Val Thorens, the highest resort in Europe at 7,546ft (2,300m), which has been awarded the best-resort gong seven times in the awards’ nine-year history

Fireworks in Val Thorens. The French ski resort was named 'France's Best Ski Resort' of 2021

Fireworks in Val Thorens. The French ski resort was named ‘France’s Best Ski Resort’ of 2021

Hotel le Pashmina (pictured) - the 'Best Ski Boutique Hotel in France' for 2021 - is described as 'one of the most beautiful mountain hotels, with lots of light, big spaces, soft materials and lively colours'

Hotel le Pashmina (pictured) – the ‘Best Ski Boutique Hotel in France’ for 2021 – is described as ‘one of the most beautiful mountain hotels, with lots of light, big spaces, soft materials and lively colours’

Hotel le Pashmina is home to chef Josselin Jeanblanc and his Michelin-star restaurant 'Les Explorateurs' (pictured)

Hotel le Pashmina is home to chef Josselin Jeanblanc and his Michelin-star restaurant ‘Les Explorateurs’ (pictured)

Vincent Lalanne, director of Val Thorens Tourist Office, said: ‘We are really honoured to be awarded the accolade of “Best Ski Resort in France”, thanks to our community of Val Thorens fans. We also want to congratulate Verbier for winning the “World’s Best Ski Resort” title, which we’ve achieved seven times.

‘We are also delighted to once again be able to receive and welcome British visitors now that the French Government has allowed leisure travel to resume.’

In the newcomer category, the gong for the ‘Best New Ski Hotel’ went to The Vale Rusutsu, positioned at the base of the ‘world-class ski slopes’ of Japan’s Rusutsu Resort. The hotel was designed ‘with nature as its focus’ and features ‘luxury condominium-style apartments’. Meanwhile, Chalet Face a Face in Val d’Isère, France, reigned supreme as the ‘Best New Ski Chalet’, winning over the judges with its ‘understated opulence’.

Winners also included Switzerland’s Laax – home to the world’s biggest halfpipe (‘World’s Best Freestyle Resort’); Ski Dubai, with its ‘impressive array of snow-based activities’ (‘World’s Best Indoor Ski Resort’); Bergbahn AG Kitzbuhel (‘World’s Best Ski Resort Company’); Bella Coola Heli Sports, Canada (‘World’s Best Heli-Ski Operator’); Rocksresort, Switzerland – with ‘urban, eco-conscious styling amid a stunning natural environment’ (‘World’s Best Green Ski Hotel’); Schneebeben (‘World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator’); Leo Trippi (‘World’s Best Ski Travel Agent’) and Tui (‘World’s Best Ski Tour Operator’).

The enticing pool at Le Chalet Mont Blanc, Chamonix, winner of 'France's Best Ski Chalet'

The enticing pool at Le Chalet Mont Blanc, Chamonix, winner of ‘France’s Best Ski Chalet’

Le Chalet Mont Blanc describes itself as 'a chic and modern retreat... five floors of unrivalled excellence'

Le Chalet Mont Blanc describes itself as ‘a chic and modern retreat… five floors of unrivalled excellence’

The gong for the world's 'Best New Ski Hotel' went to The Vale Rusutsu, which is positioned at the base of the 'world-class ski slopes' of Japan's Rusutsu Resort (pictured)

The gong for the world’s ‘Best New Ski Hotel’ went to The Vale Rusutsu, which is positioned at the base of the ‘world-class ski slopes’ of Japan’s Rusutsu Resort (pictured) 

Ultima Gstaad, pictured above, collected the gong for 'Switzerland's Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021'

Ultima Gstaad, pictured above, collected the gong for ‘Switzerland’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2021’

A room at Hahnenkamm Lodge, Kitzbuhel - which received the accolade of Austria's best ski chalet

A room at Hahnenkamm Lodge, Kitzbuhel – which received the accolade of Austria’s best ski chalet 

Awards were also announced on a country level, with the best resorts, hotels and chalets from the world’s leading ski tourism destinations receiving accolades.

The winners included the Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko, which won the title of Bulgaria’s best ski hotel; Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa Hotel, which was named Australia’s best ski hotel; Hotel Plaza – recognised as Andorra’s best ski hotel; and A-Rosa Kitzbuhel, which earned the title of Austria’s best ski hotel.

Among the other country-level winners were Oberstdorf, which was awarded the gong for Germany’s best ski resort; Club Med Grand Massif Samoens Morillon – celebrated as France’s best ski hotel; and Montana Lodge & Spa, which took the award for Italy’s best ski hotel.

A-Rosa Kitzbuhel, pictured above, earned the title of Austria's best ski hotel in the prestigious awards

A-Rosa Kitzbuhel, pictured above, earned the title of Austria’s best ski hotel in the prestigious awards

Montana Lodge & Spa took the award for Italy's best ski hotel, pictured

Pictured is the lobby area of Italy's Montana Lodge & Spa. The World Ski Awards named Dolomites Val Gardena as the country's best ski resort

Montana Lodge & Spa took the award for Italy’s best ski hotel. Pictured on the left is the hotel’s exterior and on the right the lobby. The World Ski Awards named Dolomites Val Gardena as the country’s best ski resort

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside (pictured above) was named Canada's best ski hotel

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside (pictured above) was named Canada’s best ski hotel

The outdoor pool at the award-winning Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside. This year, more than 2.2million people cast their votes in the awards

The outdoor pool at the award-winning Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside. This year, more than 2.2million people cast their votes in the awards

Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, which scooped the 'United States' Best Ski Hotel' accolade

Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, which scooped the ‘United States’ Best Ski Hotel’ accolade

Over in North America, Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside was named Canada’s best ski hotel, while Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley received the ‘United States’ Best Ski Hotel’ accolade.

Sion Rapson, Managing Director of the World Ski Awards, said: ‘Our winners represent the very best of the global ski tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them. The ninth annual World Ski Awards programme received a record number of votes from ski consumers across the world. This shows that the appetite for ski tourism has never been stronger and bodes well as the global recovery gathers momentum.’

For more information visit worldskiawards.com.

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Travel writer Jo Kessel filmed dazzling footage of her stay at Resorts World Las Vegas – the first new hotel to open on the Strip in over a decade. The last new opening was The Cosmopolitan in 2010. The footage shows just how ‘mega’ the resort is, from its oversized rooms to the world’s largest LED globe to its 5,000-seat theatre, the biggest in town. Plus it has the inside scoop on where to eat and drink, including Alle Lounge on 66, the hotel’s top-floor rooftop bar that has a Strip view like no other.

Everything on the Las Vegas strip is decadent, hi-tech and larger than life, which means that the first new hotel to open here in over ten years fits right in. 

The stats of this behemoth are mind-boggling. It’s got 3,500 rooms, 40 restaurants, seven swimming pools and a casino space the size of two football pitches. 

Jo Kessel films her stay at Resorts World Las Vegas - the first new hotel to open on the Strip in over a decade

Jo Kessel films her stay at Resorts World Las Vegas – the first new hotel to open on the Strip in over a decade

Jo describes the stats associated with Resorts World as mind-boggling - it has 3,500 rooms, 40 restaurants, seven swimming pools and a casino space the size of two football pitches

Jo describes the stats associated with Resorts World as mind-boggling – it has 3,500 rooms, 40 restaurants, seven swimming pools and a casino space the size of two football pitches

The lobby of Resorts World Las Vegas. The resort is three hotels in one, with its 3,500 rooms divided between (in price-ascending order) the Conrad, Hilton and Crockfords

The lobby of Resorts World Las Vegas. The resort is three hotels in one, with its 3,500 rooms divided between (in price-ascending order) the Conrad, Hilton and Crockfords

My mission was to experience everything the hotel has to offer during my short stay, a tall order considering its massiveness – but I think I succeeded.

Resorts World is centrally located, bang in the middle of the north end of the strip. 

The video starts by showing how the hotel’s flashing red exterior – which has one of the largest LED building displays in the world – stands out on the Las Vegas skyline. 

The resort is three hotels in one, with its 3,500 rooms divided between (in price-ascending order) the Conrad, Hilton and Crockfords.

The hotel has showstoppers around every corner (shown in the film) like Liberace’s piano, the world’s largest LED globe and the biggest theatre Sin City has to offer. 

Jo stands to the left of Resorts World's LED globe, the largest on the planet

Jo stands to the left of Resorts World’s LED globe, the largest on the planet

The hotel has showstoppers around every corner, such as Liberace’s piano (pictured)

The hotel has showstoppers around every corner, such as Liberace’s piano (pictured) 

Jo gets onstage at the 'biggest theatre Sin City has to offer', which seats 5,000 people

Jo gets onstage at the ‘biggest theatre Sin City has to offer’, which seats 5,000 people

Katy Perry and Michael Buble will both be headlining here in 2022 and, unbelievably, I was allowed to tread the boards as their warm-up artist.

Download the hotel app to your phone and you can use your mobile as a door key. The footage gives a tour of my Conrad one-bedroom King Suite with a Strip view.

The decor is modern and stylish, with floor-to-ceiling wall-size windows and a bigger floor-space than the average house. 

Download the hotel app to your phone and you can use your mobile as a door key, Jo reveals

The footage gives a tour of Jo's Conrad one-bedroom King Suite with a Strip view

The footage gives a tour of Jo’s Conrad one-bedroom King Suite with a Strip view

Describing her room, Jo says: 'The decor is modern and stylish, with floor-to-ceiling wall-size windows and a bigger floor-space than the average house'

Describing her room, Jo says: ‘The decor is modern and stylish, with floor-to-ceiling wall-size windows and a bigger floor-space than the average house’

Jo brandishes the rubber duck that comes with her suite. 'The red ducky does come out to play during my stay,' she remarks

Jo brandishes the rubber duck that comes with her suite. ‘The red ducky does come out to play during my stay,’ she remarks

Jo takes a bath in her 'lavish bathroom'. Her suite also features a walk-in wardrobe

Jo takes a bath in her ‘lavish bathroom’. Her suite also features a walk-in wardrobe

The dressing-room-cum-walk-in-wardrobe leads to a lounge, bedroom and a lavish bathroom complete with toy rubber duck. And yes the red ducky does come out to play during my stay.

The hotel’s motto is ‘Stay Fabulous’ (emblazoned on the duck’s packaging) and Resorts World is designed to help with that. 

If chilling by one of its seven swimming pools doesn’t do the job, then a trip to the hotel’s spa and its series of plunge pools – called the ‘Fountain of Youth’ – surely will. 

Jo relaxes by one of the seven swimming pools at Resorts World Las Vegas 

A view of one of the outdoor pools. 'The hotel’s motto is "stay fabulous" and Resorts World is designed to help with that,' Jo says

A view of one of the outdoor pools. ‘The hotel’s motto is “stay fabulous” and Resorts World is designed to help with that,’ Jo says

This shot from Jo's video shows how some of Resorts World's pools curve around the building

This shot from Jo’s video shows how some of Resorts World’s pools curve around the building 

Jo takes a trip to the hotel’s spa and its series of plunge pools, known as the ‘Fountain of Youth’

Jo takes a trip to the hotel’s spa and its series of plunge pools, known as the ‘Fountain of Youth’

The pools vary in temperature, from tepid to hot, to freezing, according to Jo 

The pools vary in temperature, from tepid to hot, to freezing. 

Repeated circuits will not only help you feel a million dollars, but get lucky and they’ll leave you looking a decade younger. I give it a go. Beats cosmetic surgery!

Still glowing from the fountain the film next sees me trying my luck in the casino. Fifty cents go into a fruit machine. What happens? Watch to find out.

Jo tries her luck in the casino, slotting 50 cents into the fruit machine

Jo tries her luck in the casino, slotting 50 cents into the fruit machine 

Jo's video offers a sneak peek inside the hotel’s most expensive accommodation (in Crockfords) - the three-bedroom Palace Suite

Jo’s video offers a sneak peek inside the hotel’s most expensive accommodation (in Crockfords) – the three-bedroom Palace Suite

The cinema room at the Palace Suite. The exclusive suite will set guests back £11,000 ($15,000) a night

 The cinema room at the Palace Suite. The exclusive suite will set guests back £11,000 ($15,000) a night

The Palace Suite has its own bar, billiards table, pool (pictured above) and hot tub

The Palace Suite has its own bar, billiards table, pool (pictured above) and hot tub

The remaining footage is dedicated to showing how winnings can be spent. 

There’s a sneak peek at the hotel’s most expensive accommodation (in Crockfords) which is the £11,000-($15,000)-a-night three-bedroom Palace Suite. 

It has its own bar, billiards table, cinema, pool and hot tub. 

Then there’s the exclusive Alle lounge on 66 – a bar on the top floor with an awe-inspiring view, particularly at night. 

Pictured is the 'awe-inspiring view' from the exclusive Alle Lounge on 66 on the hotel's top floor

Pictured is the ‘awe-inspiring view’ from the exclusive Alle Lounge on 66 on the hotel’s top floor

Jo dines at Wally's. With forty restaurants, there’s 'something for every taste and budget' at the resort, she reveals

Jo dines at Wally’s. With forty restaurants, there’s ‘something for every taste and budget’ at the resort, she reveals

Jo's meal at Wally's. She says: 'Famed for wine, charcuterie and truffles, its creamy French Brillat cheese (served with honey) was waiter-recommended and sensational. Don’t miss out'

Jo’s meal at Wally’s. She says: ‘Famed for wine, charcuterie and truffles, its creamy French Brillat cheese (served with honey) was waiter-recommended and sensational. Don’t miss out’

Jo says: 'Win or lose at the casino, Resorts World delivers what it says on the tin - you will "stay fabulous"'

Jo says: ‘Win or lose at the casino, Resorts World delivers what it says on the tin – you will “stay fabulous”‘

Resorts World is centrally located, bang in the middle of the north end of the strip, Jo reveals. This picture shows Las Vegas's Eiffel Tower attraction to the south

Resorts World is centrally located, bang in the middle of the north end of the strip, Jo reveals. This picture shows Las Vegas’s Eiffel Tower attraction to the south 

TRAVEL FACTS

Double rooms at the Conrad, Resorts World Las Vegas (rwlasvegas.com) start from £60 ($79) a night.

A glass of champers is obligatory.

With 40 restaurants, there’s something for every taste and budget. 

Top picks include Japanese Kusa Nori for sushi and sashimi (the yellowtail with goose liver is a must) and Wally’s for brunch. 

Famed for wine, charcuterie and truffles, its creamy French Brillat cheese (served with honey) was waiter-recommended and sensational. Don’t miss out.

Calories can be danced off in the hotel’s starry nightclub Zouk, where guest DJs include Calvin Harris and Zedd.

Win or lose at the casino, Resorts World delivers what it says on the tin. You will ‘Stay Fabulous’. What better incentive for a holiday?

For more videos from Jo, visit her YouTube channel – Go With Jo 

Resorts World Las Vegas, pictured, cost $4.3billion (£3.1billion) to build, Jo reveals

Resorts World Las Vegas, pictured, cost $4.3billion (£3.1billion) to build, Jo reveals 

The casino at Resorts World Las Vegas. 'My mission was to experience everything the hotel has to offer during my short stay,' says Jo

The casino at Resorts World Las Vegas. ‘My mission was to experience everything the hotel has to offer during my short stay,’ says Jo 

A bird's-eye view of the swimming pools at Resorts World Las Vegas

A bird’s-eye view of the swimming pools at Resorts World Las Vegas

RESORTS WORLD LAS VEGAS BY THE NUMBERS 

Resorts World cost $4.3billion (£3.1billion) to build.

It’s the first new hotel on the Las Vegas strip for over 10 years, with 3,506 rooms shared between three different hotels – the Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords.

It has 40 restaurants, seven swimming pools, a casino the size of two football pitches and the biggest theatre in Las Vegas, with a 5,000-person capacity.

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With icing-sugar sand, crystal-clear water and jungle-wrapped mountains, it’s hard to believe how different the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) looked just four years ago. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma – the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, with wind gusts reaching 215mph – ripped through this chain of lush islands, leaving them scorched and bare.

Just two weeks later, Maria followed – another Category 5 hurricane.

When the winds died down, more than 80 per cent of buildings on the BVIs’ main island of Tortola were found to have been destroyed or seriously damaged, and its vital tourist industry was decimated.

Paradise restored: The tiny yachting hot-spot Saba Rock, above, was rebuilt after being flattened by Hurricane Irma

Paradise restored: The tiny yachting hot-spot Saba Rock, above, was rebuilt after being flattened by Hurricane Irma

The immediate aftermath that agriculturalist Vernon Daniel describes is apocalyptic, but it also explains how the BVIs soon bounced back from such devastation. He says: ‘Salt from the ocean came in with the wind and burnt everything. All the trees were like bonsais, cut to half their size. But a lot of the soil was saturated with salt and that helped with the absorption of rain, so it was actually all green again within three months, completely naturally.’

A massive clean-up operation was launched to tackle the £2.7 billion of damage, with extensive rebuilding and the establishment of new farms to ensure the self-reliance of this British Overseas Territory just to the east of Puerto Rico.

Hotels were finally poised to reopen in 2020, and then Covid struck…

Now, the much needed and long-awaited tourists are back and finding an even warmer welcome. Regular visitors will see big changes across the islands – even though they appear just as green as before, carpeted in cactus-studded rainforest and exotic flowers, the beaches seem to sparkle more than ever.

‘When a hurricane comes through, the beaches change and are refreshed,’ says Keith Dawson of the BVI Tourist Board. ‘Everything gets a clean-up. There weren’t as many boats around so fish are in abundance and people are farming more in their gardens. It’s a very hopeful time.’

The British Virgin Islands are a tranquil alternative to tourist-heavy Antigua, an hour’s flight away. Pictured is the Antiguan capital of Saint John's

The British Virgin Islands are a tranquil alternative to tourist-heavy Antigua, an hour’s flight away. Pictured is the Antiguan capital of Saint John’s

With calm currents, reliable trade winds and countless deserted coves, the BVIs have long attracted keen sailors and celebrities who hop between the 60 islands, islets and cays.

But the new and refurbished hotels also make the islands a dream getaway for those who prefer to stay on dry land – and a tranquil alternative to tourist-heavy Antigua, an hour’s flight away.

Visit between December and April and you will steer clear of the Caribbean’s hurricane season, though stricter new building regulations should mean the islands remain better protected in future.

An idyllic beach on Virgin Gorda where the blue waters of the Caribbean stretch out as far as the eye can see

An idyllic beach on Virgin Gorda where the blue waters of the Caribbean stretch out as far as the eye can see 

Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda has almost been entirely rebuilt. Pictured is one of the luxury rooms

Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda has almost been entirely rebuilt. Pictured is one of the luxury rooms

Guests at Rosewood Little Dix Bay should look out for hawksbill turtles

Guests at Rosewood Little Dix Bay should look out for hawksbill turtles

On Virgin Gorda, the second-largest island, Rosewood Little Dix Bay was already one of the region’s most prestigious properties. Founded by American philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller in the 1950s and frequented by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, a four-year closure has seen it almost entirely rebuilt, with a blissful hilltop spa, treehouse suites and beachfront cottages along half a mile of white sand. 

Guests can dabble in free non-motorised watersports or just lie back and spot the hawksbill turtles emerging for air just yards from the water’s edge (rosewoodhotels.com).

The island is also home to The Baths, where huge granite boulders scattered by ancient volcanic activity have formed enchanting sheltered sea pools and rocky underwater tunnels. 

Some tiny coves can be reached only by clambering over the boulders with rope ladders for a real desert-island feel.

Virgin Gorda is home to The Baths, pictured, where huge granite boulders have formed enchanting sheltered sea pools and rocky underwater tunnels

Virgin Gorda is home to The Baths, pictured, where huge granite boulders have formed enchanting sheltered sea pools and rocky underwater tunnels

The BVIs have long attracted keen sailors and celebrities who hop between the 60 islands, islets and cays

The BVIs have long attracted keen sailors and celebrities who hop between the 60 islands, islets and cays

New businesses are flourishing too, such as two-room floating Ocean Spa built out of timber salvaged from Irma’s wreckage and now anchored in postcard-perfect White Bay (theoceanspabvi.com). For one-stop souvenir shopping in Road Town, Tortola’s capital, the charming gift shop and gallery Nutmeg sells the creations of local artists and craftspeople who lost everything in the hurricanes (nutmegandcobvi.com).

Even old favourites have had a complete makeover. The tiny yachting hot-spot island resort Saba Rock clings to a one-acre rocky outcrop and was flattened by Irma. It finally reopened in October 2020 with seven stylish rooms and two suites, two bars and an open-air restaurant that has already welcomed Sir Richard Branson from his home on neighbouring Necker Island (sabarock.com).

Elsewhere, eco-wellness retreat The Aerial has thrown open its doors for the first time on unspoilt private Buck Island. Teetering on a cliff in Sir Francis Drake Channel, it overlooks 14 surrounding islands including Dead Chest Island, said to be the spot where notorious pirate Blackbeard marooned 15 of his mutinous crew with just a bottle of rum each.

Visitors to The Aerial fare considerably better, with a maximum of 28 guests free to explore 48 acres of forested hiking trails, a private beach, an infinity pool and a recording studio. There are also yoga sessions, healthy, communal meals and guided group sessions in everything from meditation to financial management. Those yearning for all-out luxury can even hire the island in its entirety for the ultimate getaway at £30,500 per night with a minimum three-night stay (aerialbvi.com).

Eco-wellness retreat The Aerial has thrown open its doors for the first time on unspoilt private Buck Island (pictured)

Eco-wellness retreat The Aerial has thrown open its doors for the first time on unspoilt private Buck Island (pictured)

A maximum of 28 guests at The Aerial are free to explore 48 acres of forested hiking trails and a private beach, pictured

A maximum of 28 guests at The Aerial are free to explore 48 acres of forested hiking trails and a private beach, pictured

Guests at The Aerial are invited to enjoy 'healthy, communal meals' at the retreat, which overlooks 14 surrounding islands

Guests at The Aerial are invited to enjoy ‘healthy, communal meals’ at the retreat, which overlooks 14 surrounding islands

A wellness session at The Aerial. The retreat offers guided group sessions in everything from meditation to financial management

A wellness session at The Aerial. The retreat offers guided group sessions in everything from meditation to financial management

Those yearning for all-out luxury can even hire Buck Island and The Aerial in its entirety at £30,500 per night. Pictured is one of the retreat's guest-rooms

Those yearning for all-out luxury can even hire Buck Island and The Aerial in its entirety at £30,500 per night. Pictured is one of the retreat’s guest-rooms

Most tourists tend to stay on Tortola, though. Home to both Road Town and the main airport, it is the busiest and liveliest island with good restaurants and a thriving sailing scene. 

Yet it still feels blissfully underdeveloped, with no chain stores, very little crime and a population of only 23,000.

Cheaper accommodation options include Maria’s By The Sea in the heart of Road Town (rooms from £96, mariasbythesea.com) and Sebastian’s By The Beach (beachfront rooms £115 a night, sebastiansbvi.com).

For souvenir shopping in Road Town (pictured), the charming gift shop Nutmeg sells the creations of local craftspeople who lost everything in the hurricanes

For souvenir shopping in Road Town (pictured), the charming gift shop Nutmeg sells the creations of local craftspeople who lost everything in the hurricanes 

Leave Road Town, pictured, behind and head into the mountains for the best views of Tortola’s glittering curvy coastline

Leave Road Town, pictured, behind and head into the mountains for the best views of Tortola’s glittering curvy coastline

Iconic 1960s beach club Long Bay Beach Resort sustained serious damage when the hurricanes hit, yet the thick coral and limestone walls from the former 18th Century beachfront rum distillery survived.

Now a brand-new, delightfully laid-back boutique resort has emerged in its place, with 20 whitewashed suites opening directly on to the beach, a thatched cocktail bar and an open-air restaurant, with plans for a spa and hillside rooms to follow (longbay.com).

Just next door is favourite local lunch spot Tropical Fusion, where plates are piled high with stewed lobster, barbecued ribs, macaroni pie and fried plantain in a no-frills dining room steps from the sea. 

Long Bay Beach Resort sustained serious damage when the hurricanes hit. Now a brand-new, delightfully laid-back boutique resort (pictured above) has emerged in its place

Long Bay Beach Resort sustained serious damage when the hurricanes hit. Now a brand-new, delightfully laid-back boutique resort (pictured above) has emerged in its place

One of the 20 whitewashed suites at the refurbished Long Bay Beach Resort, which was originally famed as a 1960s beach club

One of the 20 whitewashed suites at the refurbished Long Bay Beach Resort, which was originally famed as a 1960s beach club

Long Bay Beach Resort boasts a thatched cocktail bar and an open-air restaurant (pictured above)

Long Bay Beach Resort boasts a thatched cocktail bar and an open-air restaurant (pictured above) 

This is also the best place to try the BVIs’ national dish of fish and fungi – red snapper with okra and cornmeal – which was originally made from slavery rations in the 17th Century (tropicalfusionbvi.com).

First settled by the Dutch, Tortola was captured by the British in 1672 at the start of the Third Anglo-Dutch War. Though the two countries signed a treaty promising to return all land gained during the war, Tortola remained under British rule, settled by plantation owners growing cotton and sugar who relied on slave labour.

Today, the island’s turbulent story is told by a handful of historical buildings clustered around the capital, and along the coast are the ruins of St Philip’s Anglican Church in Kingstown, one of the earliest churches built in the Caribbean for liberated slaves.

Jost Van Dyke, pictured, was named after a Dutch pirate and is a must-visit for dolphin-watching and barefoot beach bars

Jost Van Dyke, pictured, was named after a Dutch pirate and is a must-visit for dolphin-watching and barefoot beach bars

Leave Road Town behind and head into the mountains for the best views of Tortola’s glittering curvy coastline. Marine biologist Mervin Hastings leads groups through the leafy depths of Shark Bay National Park, pointing out medicinal plants, orchids, dragon fruit cacti and even the right sort of termite that will keep you alive should you become stranded in the jungle.

Scramble up the boulder on the ridge to reach a yawning cave full of nesting bats and concealing a sheer drop into the Atlantic Ocean where you might spot migrating humpback whales.

Even the most determined landlubber should try to get out on the water to really see the BVIs at their best. Unlike Barbados and Saint Lucia, island-hopping is a way of life here. It’s easy to jump on a water taxi or ferry for lunch on one island, drinks and snorkelling on a second and dinner on yet another. To choose your own schedule, charter a crewed boat from The Moorings and then head off to wherever takes your fancy (moorings.co.uk).

Norman Island, pictured, is said to have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island

Norman Island, pictured, is said to have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island

Pictured is the legendary Soggy Dollar bar - which can be reached only by swimming - in 2019. Picture courtesy of Creative Commons

Pictured is the legendary Soggy Dollar bar – which can be reached only by swimming – in 2019. Picture courtesy of Creative Commons 

Although the Soggy Dollar bar (pictured) was almost completely destroyed by Irma, the bar has been rebuilt and is just as lively as before

Although the Soggy Dollar bar (pictured) was almost completely destroyed by Irma, the bar has been rebuilt and is just as lively as before

TRAVEL FACTS 

Siobhan Grogan was a guest of bvitourism.com. British Airways (britishairways.com) flies to the British Virgin Islands via Antigua from Gatwick from £659 return. Rooms at Long Bay start at £330 per night. Ocean View Cottage Rooms at Rosewood Little Dix Bay start at £900 per night.

Sleepy Anegada is known to serve the best lobster in the Caribbean; Norman Island is said to have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island; and mile-long Salt Island has a 19th Century steamer wreck for diving, as well as a salt lake from which Queen Elizabeth is given a pound of salt each year as annual rent.

There are picnic spots and secluded beaches aplenty on the way, but be sure to drop anchor by idyllic Jost Van Dyke, where Main Street is a palm-lined sandy beach track. Just four miles by three and with only 300 residents, the island was named after a Dutch pirate and is a must-visit for dolphin-watching and barefoot beach bars.

Its legendary Soggy Dollar bar can be reached only by swimming, so earned its name from the waterlogged banknotes that staff pin up behind the bar to dry. Although it was almost completely destroyed by Irma, and its adjoining bedrooms no longer exist, the bar itself has been rebuilt and is just as lively as before (soggydollar.com).

When you arrive, dry off in a hammock, then order a Painkiller cocktail – a mix of dark rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juice topped with fresh grated nutmeg that originated here in the 1970s but is now copied everywhere.

It’s the very best way to toast the fact that the British Virgin Islands are well and truly open for business again. 

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