A swanky hotel can add to the magic of a holiday – but what makes a truly exceptional one? For some, the answer lies in the level of personalised service that is offered, while for others, it’s the ability to be as discreet or sociable as they like. Luckily, there are many hotels in the world that offer guests a blend of both, but which ones have been crowned the very best? This year’s winners of The World’s 50 Best Hotels were announced in a glamorous ceremony in London, where 580 luxury travel experts from all over the globe voted on their favourite properties. The list is based on a variety of factors, including location, facilities and overall experience.
If you’re looking for an ultra-private stay in New York, the Mercer in Soho is hard to beat: “Each room feels like a private townhouse residence,” Mizrahi says, while the hotel’s sleek sophistication echoes the area’s chic reputation. “They also do a really great job at maintaining privacy – there’s a no photos rule and many common spaces are for guests only.”
In terms of size, the rooms at the Park Hyatt feel unexpectedly spacious given that they’re in one of the city’s most densely packed neighbourhoods, with marble bathrooms featuring deep soaking tubs and working desks. Meanwhile, a swanky French restaurant, Bar Blondeau, offers seafood dishes with distinct French, Spanish and Portuguese influences.
When it comes to staying in style, few hotels can compete with the grandeur of The Plaza, whose elegant exterior overlooks Central Park. Having made appearances in everything from Sabrina to The Great Gatsby, the property has hosted countless luminaries over the years. Guest rooms ooze luxury, with gilded Edwardian furniture, wood-paneled closets and white marble bathroom suites complete with 24-karat Sherle Wagner fixtures and separate soaking tubs.
Alternatively, to enjoy the more eclectic dining and shopping options of Brooklyn, look no further than Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel, which blazed a trail even by this recently gentrified neighborhood’s standards when it opened in 2014. Today, the hotel is still a favorite of Brooklyn locals, who flock here to lounge on the rooftop with its homage to all things Italian (think Aperol spritzes served on tap) or dine at restaurant Le Crocodile, a rustic-chic space with exposed brick walls and wooden banquettes.
For the ultimate in secluded island getaways, you can’t go wrong with the Philippines, where tropical beaches and lively fiestas are complemented by natural beauty and friendly people. The islands’ 7,641 pristine white-sand beaches and azure waters have already drawn in travellers seeking sun, sea and relaxation, but there is much more to discover, from the clifftop waterfalls of Bohol to the mystical chocolate hills of Siquijor. Our expert Local Experts are on hand to help you find the perfect place to stay, whether you want to live like Eloise at The Plaza or explore a secluded cove in Boracay.