The best hotels are all about creating a sense of place and making guests feel at home away from home. Whether it’s a luxury hotel in New York City or a boutique property in the Philippines, these hotels offer a wide range of amenities to make your trip more memorable. From cozy boutiques and historic grande dames to swanky chains and one-of-a-kind independents, here’s our curated list of the best hotels from around the world.
The lines between hotels have blurred thanks to “amenity creep” (think of Hyatt’s Grand Bed or Westin’s Heavenly Bed) and a general trend toward upscale amenities, but there are some definite differences between a top-tier property and your run-of-the-mill chain. True luxury hotels have a distinctive aesthetic that transcends the latest design trends, and some even boast their own beds and linens for sale to travelers. For example, the century-old Plaza in New York has a rich legacy of luxury that includes its own Rolls Royce to drive you around town and your own hallway butler on call 24 hours a day.
For some travelers, the ultimate luxury is to be able to escape from the crowds of tourist attractions and find a secluded oasis with gorgeous views and tranquil waters. This is precisely what Badian Island Wellness Resort in Cebu offers with 8.5 hectares of pristine gardens, private beaches and azure waters that are home to abundant marine life.
While the property’s upscale amenities include a full-service spa, infinity pool and redesigned rooms, its real charm lies in its spectacular scenery that is accentuated by the calming hues of the sea, sky and landscape.
Whether you’re looking for a hotel that’s close to the action or a relaxing retreat, there are plenty of options in this vibrant city. Manhattan’s famed shopping streets, renowned museums and world-class theaters are just steps from many of these best hotels in the Big Apple. Manhattan also has plenty of residential neighborhoods that provide a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For those who prefer to stay on the outskirts of the city, Brooklyn is an increasingly popular destination with its riverfront neighborhoods, Michelin-starred restaurants and boutique hotels. The best hotels in Brooklyn are often less expensive than their Manhattan counterparts and offer a unique take on the Big Apple experience, with in-room kitchens, rooftop pools and subterranean nightclubs.
Many travelers don’t get a chance to see your hotel in person before they book, and that makes online reviews a powerful tool. But it’s important to read review sites carefully and parse out bogus or negative posts. Focus on sites that cater specifically to your target audience, as they will be a much more reliable source of information for potential guests. You can then respond to positive or negative reviews, and use the data from these review sites to improve your hotel. For example, if you notice that your guests have trouble reaching the front desk from their room phones, you may want to install direct lines in guestrooms.