Find a Hotel or Resort Getaway

There are a million hotels out there. At BucketTripper, we’re featuring those with a story: The hotels, resorts, and spas we cover all have something special, whether it’s a connection with community or environment, or a special take on luxury or super programs for kids, adults, families, or any combination. We’re looking for more than gold-plated faucets and million-dollar renovations. We’re looking for places that have connections with culture, history, environment, wildlife, and local people. When we find places to stay that make you feel a connection to the place you’re in — we’ll share them with you here.

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Hotels, Resorts, and Spas: The Bucket List


The vast basin that is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Soaking in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Steam swirls into fog in this otherworldly basin of chalky blue and black as I attempt to slowly lower myself into the water. It has not been a good week for me. My knee went out a few days before boarding a plane to Iceland, and I've been hobbling around ...
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View from Finch Bay Hotel, Galápagos Islands (©photocoen)

Sharing Breakfast with Darwin’s Finches on the Galápagos Islands

I was the only guest left in the dining room. Two Darwin's finches hopped on a chair before zeroing in on a bowl with freshly cut papaya, watermelon and pineapple on the breakfast buffet. When Natalia, one of the cooks, spotted the birds, she shooed them away. I frowned. Why did ...
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Daytime Christmas scenery at the Opryland (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Spending Christmas at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee

Streams of lights fall like incandescent snowflakes, characters of children’s books and cartoons hang from small-scale hot-air balloons and parachutes. Only Santa can bring more excitement at the Opryland Hotel! You might not deck your halls before December, but Opryland does. It takes months to hang 180 miles of strings with ...
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Horseback riding at Hacienda Zuleta (©photocoen)

Horseback Riding to Ancient Pyramids at Hacienda Zuleta in Ecuador

"If you turn around you will see the entire row of pyramids," Alice said. I pulled lightly on the reins and Esthela immediately reacted, at which I quietly breathed a sigh of relief because truth be said, I was not so sure that she would listen to me. It was ...
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Booted Racket Tail Hummingbird (©photocoen)

Watching Hummingbirds at the Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador

Purple-Crowned Fairies, Green-Crowned Wood Nymphs and Violet-Tailed Sylphs were fluttering all around me. Had I just landed in an elf forest? It most certainly felt like it. Surrounded by a towering wilderness of forested mountains with grey clouds closing in or receding just as suddenly, the area felt mystical enough ...
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West Baden Springs Hotel

Taking the waters at the spas of French Lick Resort, Indiana

While getting ready for a much-needed massage at the Spa at French Lick Springs Hotel, I asked my therapist, Lisa, about the namesake springs. "You mean Pluto Spring?" she said. She pointed down the hall. "The bath is there, if you'd like to try it." Named for the mineral salts once ...
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