Booking.com Reveals the Most Welcoming Places on Earth to Keep Inspiring Your Wanderlust
Even amidst a year of uncertainty and untold challenges for the entire travel industry, 2020 proved the world is still full of amazing hospitality and great hosts ready to provide people with incredible travel experiences. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, whether it’s far away from home or just around the corner, Booking.com connects travellers with great travel providers and experiences across the globe. Based on the share of properties receiving one of its Traveller Review Award in 2021, Booking.com reveals the top 10 Most Welcoming Places on Earth, as well as some suggestions for places to stay from among the 2021 award winners, so travellers can experience the best in hospitality and friendliness whenever it’s safe again to do so.*
Nova Scotia, Canada
Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the Canadian region Nova Scotia is heavily influenced by the sea. The region is filled with fishing towns, picturesque lighthouses and red cliffs. In summer, Nova Scotia is a perfect location to relax on the beach. Travellers who enjoy nature can explore the hiking trails of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton, which offer amazing views of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. For those travellers who prefer to explore the city, Halifax is the main place to visit. The city has some great sightseeing options and many restaurants with local cuisine to choose from for the food lovers.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of Digby, Hillside Landing B&B features spacious accommodations overlooking Digby Harbour. Guests can explore the charming fishing village and wander around the colorful town full of colorful buildings and fishing boats. As the town is known for their famous Digby scallop, guests can easily take a walk to one of the many restaurants nearby the property for a taste of the local delicacy.
Taitung County, Taiwan
Located on the east coast of Taiwan, surrounded by mountains and the ocean, and perhaps Taiwan's most unspoiled area, Taitung County tops the list of most welcoming regions in the world. Travellers will be amazed by the richness of the diverse ethnic culture the region has to offer. Multiple tribes are settled in the region, each known for their long lasting traditions and rituals that contribute to the area’s diversity. Each tribe is worth visiting when travelling to the region, perfect for those travellers interested in learning more about different cultures as it becomes safe to do so again.
Where to stay: Situated in Taitung City, Jerry B&B is a clean and modern homestay. The city center of Taitung City and Taitung Night Market are just a few minutes away, giving guests the opportunity to explore the city by foot. The property is also a short walk away from Taitung Railway Station, making it possible for guests to easily explore the beautiful surrounding area of the region by train.
Prešovský kraj, Slovakia
Known for its mountainous landscape, Prešovský kraj is the perfect destination for adventurous travellers who enjoy long hikes and (in the winter season) skiing and snowboarding. The region is mostly known for the High Tatras, which is part of the Tatras Mountains, a mountain range that forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, and is also the highest point in Slovakia. The High Tatras offers amazing hiking terrain, with a 600 kilometers network of trails, perfect for experienced hikers. The area also offers beautiful lakes to explore by row boat, or scenic cycling routes to enjoy on mountain bikes.
Where to stay: Wake up with between mountains by staying at Penzión pod Magurou, located in the beautiful village Slovenská Ves, only metres away from popular ski areas Ľandy and Jezersko Bachledova. The property offers amazing views and is a perfect getaway for guests to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy free space and fresh air. Guests can enjoy the best in sports, entertainment and relaxation all year round.
Australian island state Tasmania is known for its wildlife and beautiful landscapes, with over 40% reserved as national parks and world heritage wilderness. The friendly people living in the region have a relaxed island lifestyle that will make travellers feel immediately at home. With its cooler climate, the region is also known as one of Australia’s best wine regions. While the island is renowned for its beautiful nature, capital city Hobart is definitely worth a visit. The city offers a blend of heritage, scenery and culture, and a perfect spot for food lovers with award-winning restaurants offering fine dining experiences using the best Tasmanian produce.
Where to stay: Enjoy the Tasmanian seaside by staying at Little Talisker. The luxurious holiday cottage is located in Stanley, a coastal town on the North West coast of Tasmania, and known for its incredibly well-preserved colonial buildings and its massive volcanic plug called “The Nut”. Guests will wake up with incredible beach views and can easily explore the surrounding area with the town’s most distinctive landmark The Nut State Reserve just a short walk away.
Canterbury, New Zealand
Located on New Zealand’s South Island, and centered around the city of Christchurch, Canterbury is a diverse region known for its wild coastlines, clear lakes, lush vineyards and snow-capped mountains. The best way to explore the region is by train, which will bring travellers through the Southern Alps including New Zealand’s highest point Aoraki Mount Cook. For travellers who prefer not to go up into the mountains, the surrounding area is just as amazing. Situated in the centre of the South Island and famous for its crystal-clear lake with mountain backdrop, Lake Tekapo is definitely worth a visit. In the night, the sky here is filled with stars for some serious stargazing.
Where to stay: Woodbank Park Cottages is a beautiful stay in the forests of Hanmer Springs. This stand alone cottage offers luxury accommodation, giving guests a home feeling in the middle of nature. Guests can explore the surrounding area by taking a hike through Hanmer Heritage Forest, which is just a short walk away from the property, or relax at the town’s highlight Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools that is known for its mineral waters. For guests interested in exploring the city, Christchurch is less than a two hour drive away.
Oberösterreich is located in the northern part of Austria, bordering Germany and the Czech Republic. The region is known for its beautiful hills and the Danube, Europe’s second largest river that flows through the green landscape. Travellers can enjoy nature while taking long hikes and explore the region mountain biking on one of the many cycling trails. During the winter, travellers can hit the slopes as the region is also known for its amazing downhill and cross-country skiing. Travellers more into culture will also be amazed by the picturesque towns in the region that are full of castles and historic streets and buildings.
Where to stay: Located in the middle of the Austrian hills, Haus Salzkammergut is a perfect place to stay and to wake up with amazing views of the Austrian landscape. The property is located in the small town Obertraun, less than a two hours drive from the region’s capital city Linz. Guests can enjoy great hikes nearby the property and explore the surrounding area either by car or cycling.
Chubut is a province situated in southern Argentina and set in between the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, making it possible for travellers to get the best of both worlds. While Patagonia is usually known for its rich, breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife, perfect for adventurous trips, Chubut also offers some amazing coastlines, making it a great destination for relaxation and beach lovers as well.
Where to stay: Hotel Tolosa is centrally located in Puerto Madryn, a coastal city known for its beaches. The property offers modern furnished rooms and is a perfect place to stay and relax. Guests can easily enjoy a day at the beach, as the Puerto Madryn beach is just a short walk from the property. To explore the city, the property also offers free bicycle rental.
Bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by Argentina, O’Higgins region is a beautiful and diverse destination to discover. The region was named after the “Father of Chile”, making it a destination with a rich history for travellers to learn more about Chilean culture. O’Higgins region is also known for its industry, with the world’s largest underground copper mine, El Teniente, and the picturesque UNESCO world heritage site of Sewell, which is an uninhabited Chilean mining town, both situated in the region. With vineyards and coastal cities in the region as well, O’Higgins is a perfect place to visit for every type of traveller.
Where to stay: Wake up with views of green hills and a beautiful landscape at Manulodge Matanzas. The property is located in Matanzas, a coastal village famous for its beach in the O’Higgins Region, and a short walk from the beach. For those guests who prefer to enjoy the area the property is surrounded by, can take a dip in the outdoor pool or pamper themselves in the property’ wellness centre.
Minas Gerais, Brazil
Minas Gerais, a large inland state in southeastern Brazil, is a region known for colonial-era towns that are worth exploring. With its rich history, Minas Gerais is a perfect region for travellers to learn more about Brazil’s culture and heritage. Travellers will be amazed by the historic architecture that is still in place. The region also has a mountainous landscape and many of its cities are built on high ground. Of the top five highest cities in Brazil, four are found in Minas Gerais.
Where to stay: Pouso Lar Doce Lar is a beautiful guest house located in Tiradentes, a town known for its baroque colonial-era architecture. With just a short walk away from Tiradentes city centre, guests can easily explore the picturesque historic town by walking the cobblestone roads and enjoy the sights of the beautiful colored colonial buildings.
*Methodology: The “Most Welcoming Regions on Earth” were sorted by the highest share of winners as a percentage of total hotels in a region. Each country could be featured only once and each continent only three times. A region had to have at least 500 eligible accommodations to be included in this overview.
Iowa, United States of America
Located between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the middle of the US, Iowa is an off-the-beaten-path destination worth discovering. Iowa represents a portrait of quintessential rural America where travellers can explore the unique American prairie flora and wildlife, farms and villages. Both main rivers provide opportunities for boating, fishing and canoeing, ideal for anyone who is into watersports. On the west side of the region, the Loess Hill National Scenic Byway allows travellers to explore the rare and spectacular natural landscaping of the Loess Hills region.
Where to stay: Experience quietness at Wildwood Lodge & Suites, a lovely boutique hotel nestled in West Des Moines. The property has a cozy look and feel, making it possible for guests to completely relax and unwind after a day of exploring the surrounding area, including a hike through Clive’s greenest part Greenbelt Park. The city centre of Des Moines is just a 15 minute drive away, perfect for those travellers seeking for a city day trip during their stay.