There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to hotels: The lines between chains and independents have blurred thanks to “amenity creep” (read: luxe touches like gourmet grocery delivery, bespoke linens, and spa services in every room) while luxury properties are upping the ante with curated tours of local sights and even butler service for your bath. The result is a hotel landscape that’s more varied than ever, with a wide range of accommodation options to suit any traveler.
Whether you’re looking for a boutique stay in the latest neighborhood, opulent luxury near the best NYC attractions, or just somewhere to lay your head after a long flight, here are our picks for the world’s best hotels.
You’ll find everything from a luxe ski retreat in Utah to an eco-friendly hotel with a rooftop pool in Florida. In general, we’ve focused on properties that have something special going on—whether it’s a cool design aesthetic or an unbeatable location—rather than just a great deal.
We also consider customer feedback from our readers, as well as the opinions of industry experts, and look for unique offerings that can’t be found anywhere else (think a hotel with a top-notch restaurant or a secluded beach). Lastly, we’ve taken into account the price point of each property when selecting our list—although we did include some budget-friendly choices, too.
A sprawling, upscale property in the heart of bustling Columbus Circle, the Mandarin Oriental is the pinnacle of opulent New York City. A $400 million overhaul in 2008 turned its massive rooms into veritable palaces with gold-plated fixtures, a full-service spa with a 75-foot lap pool, and a 24-hour butler on call to meet your every need.
If you’re seeking out a truly memorable experience, there’s no other hotel in the world that does it better than this century-old Manhattan landmark. A trip here is a bit of a splurge, but you’ll enjoy a Rolls Royce to take you around the city, a spa that rivals some of the best in the world, and rooms that overlook Central Park.
The Philippines has long been a dream destination, and with 7,641 islands, travelers can still find their own little slice of paradise. The capital city of Manila has a unique culture that feels completely separate from the rest of Southeast Asia—maybe because it spent 350 years under Spanish rule.
The 18th-century villa on Lake Como that was once home to composer Vincenzo Bellini is the top property in our rankings, but it’s not alone. This year’s best hotels feature splashy debuts that instantly become a globetrotter’s must-visit, plus some established classics on the cusp of joining the ranks of the world’s finest.