A Guide to the Best Hotels

As a traveler, you want the best hotel for your money, which usually means a luxury property with awe-inducing views, sumptuous rooms and state-of-the-art facilities. But with so many lodging choices out there, it can be difficult to decide which place is right for you. While cost and location remain major factors, other considerations such as a property’s design, dining options and service should also be taken into account when making your decision. In addition to our annual list of the world’s best hotels, we’ve assembled this guide to help you choose the right place to stay on your next vacation or business trip.

We’ve chosen the top hotels in cities and resorts around the globe that offer high-end amenities, such as Michelin-starred restaurants, rooftop pools and subterranean nightclubs. We’ve even ranked the best hotels by their service, which encompasses everything from the hotel’s staff and concierge to its spa services and dining options.

Whether you’re seeking an urban sanctuary like the Ritz-Carlton or a sprawling beach resort, we’ve got a list of the best hotels for every occasion. The perks can be as simple as free wifi or as luxurious as an on-site spa. Our guide to the best hotels includes a wide range of brands, including upscale options such as The Carlyle, sleek urban destinations such as the JW Marriott and W Hotels, tried-and-true standards like Westin and Sheraton and extended-stay options like SpringHill Suites.

The Carlyle, New York City

A tribute to art deco opulence that doesn’t need to keep pace with the latest design trends, The Carlyle has a storied legacy and an incomparable reputation. Rooms are clad in rich textiles and details inspired by the likes of Turkey’s Topkapi Palace and Italy’s Bemelmans Bar. Dining is elegant at the newly opened Dowling’s, while you can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail at the Bemelmans Bar.

The Plaza, New York City

Steeped in more than 100 years of history, this iconic Manhattan property still holds true to its original glamour. A Guerlain spa, fine dining and a resident character in the form of Eloise contribute to the Plaza’s enduring appeal. Even entry-level rooms are spacious and feature luxe touches such as Kiehl’s toiletries and Nespresso machines.

Hilton Hotels, United States

The Hilton name has become synonymous with quality in the hospitality industry, with properties that have won the coveted Travel + Leisure Readers’ Choice Awards numerous times. Aside from the brand’s flagship properties in downtown New York and Los Angeles, Hilton offers a variety of options that can appeal to almost any type of traveler. These include family-friendly hotels with splashy pool complexes, luxury hotels that boast sprawling spas and even a hotel that serves a three-course breakfast buffet each morning.

Marriott Hotels, United States

The most recognized hotel chain in the world, Marriott offers a little something for everyone under its umbrella. There are ultra-luxury options such as the St. Regis and the Ritz-Carlton, sleek urban stays such as the JW Marriott and W Hotels, budget offerings such as Sheraton and SpringHill Suites and extended-stay options like the Residence Inn.