Today (August 17, 2015): Top 10 most exclusive luxury hotels in the world.
For an updated list (2017) of my 10 preferred luxury hotels around the world, click here.
The question I am asked the most is the simplest: “what is your favorite hotel in the world”. It’s somewhat difficult to answer that question, since I prefer to rank hotels in different categories according to the experience they offer, whether it be a city break, a romantic getaway, a wilderness experience or a beach holiday. Nevertheless, there are a few luxury hotels that left such an overwhelming impression, that I rank them amongst my most memorable experiences. So, here you go: this is my top 10 list of the world’s most beautiful and amazing luxury hotels (and I highly recommend to put them on your bucket list). I also have some great news for you, as I can get you a complimentary room upgrade, resort credit and free experience at the number three and one hotel (contact me to find out more)!
There is more information below my Youtube compilation and the slideshow. Share your favorite hotel in the world in the comments section, or take my poll at the bottom of the page!
This urban chic resort, located in Cape Town’s Waterfront, set a whole new standard for South Africa hotels when it opened in 2009. Offering an unprecedented level of luxury and style to one of the world’s most fascinating cities, the hotel will overwhelm you from the very start of your stay with breathtaking Table Mountain views from the spectacular lobby. The spacious room and oversized bathroom interiors are adorned with fabrics and furnishings recalling the warm, muted tones of Africa’s savannahs. Central to exciting nightlife and entertainment, the hotel serves as a gateway to the Cape Town’s must visit places, such wine country excursions, Chapman’s Peak and Cape Point.
- Hotel website: One&Only Cape Town
- Other accolades: One&Only Cape Town also features in my top 10 list of the world’s most luxurious city hotels, the world’s best urban resorts, and the best hotels in Cape Town.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, welcome gift, daily breakfast breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, early check in and late check out).
- Review: read here my review of the One&Only Cape Town.
The private island resort has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters of the Ile Du Nord eco-reserve. Raised off the ground to catch the cooling Indian Ocean breezes, all villas open up onto a private garden and the beach, with plunge pools and outdoor showers providing the finishing touches. The island’s lounge and dining areas, scenically located health spa and gym, library and dive centre, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. Keep an eye out for Brutus, the island’s 160-year-old tortoise. The resort was the decor for honeymoon of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
- Hotel website: North Island
- Other accolades: North Island also features in my top 10 lists of the best resorts in the Seychelles, the world’s most exclusive private island resorts, the world’s best honeymoon resorts, the world’s best eco-friendly luxury hotels, and the world’s most expensive hotels.
- Review: read here my review of North Island Seychelles.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, open from May to September, is an exotic paradox of indulgent luxury and remote, untamed wilderness, located in the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere Reserve (within Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park). This unique 21st-century-safari-style enclave offers exquisite cuisine and breathtaking adventures, giving visitors a rare taste of how the fortunate spent their summers ‘roughing it’ some 100 years ago. Twenty white canvas suite tents showcase antique furnishings, opulent rugs, down duvets, remote-controlled propane powered woodstoves and luxurious amenities. Keep an eye out for the amazing wildlife, including bears and killer whales.
- Hotel website: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
- Other accolades: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort also features in my top 10 lists of the best wilderness lodges in the world, the best hotels in Canada, the world’s best family hotels, and the world’s most luxurious glamping sites.
Alila Villas Uluwatu is my favorite luxury resort in Bali’s. The ultraluxurious property is located in the dry savannah landscape of the Bukit Peninsular in the South of the island. Poised on an elevated plateau that meets with limestone cliffs sweeping down the Indian Ocean, the view from the hotel is nothing less than breathtaking. Blending in with these spectacular surroundings, the unique design and open-plan architecture of the hotel combines the delights of traditional Balinese pavilion architecture and rural landscapes with modern dynamic treatment of space and form. The spectacular rooms with minimalistic interiors are designed to impart comfort and space.
- Hotel website: Alila Villas Uluwatu
- Other accolades: Allila Villas Uluwatu also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Bali and the world’s best honeymoon resorts.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
- Review: read here my review of Alila Villas Uluwatu.
Jade Mountain delivers romance in a very unique way from its hilltop location in a verdant corner of the tropical Caribbean island of St Lucia. The impressive design, with individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool suites and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky, makes Jade Mountain one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences, especially for honeymooners. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s 29 suites (called “sanctuaries”) are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of St Lucia’s twin peaks, the Pitons World Heritage Site, and of course, the eternal Caribbean Sea.
- Hotel website: Jade Mountain
- Other accolades: Jade Mountain also features in my top 10 lists of hotel rooms with the best views, the world’s best resorts with private plunge pools, the world’s best honeymoon resorts, and the world’s most amazing outdoor hotel rooms.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check in, and late check out).
- Review: read here my review of Jade Mountain.
Seated majestically on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, Park Hyatt Sydney perfectly personifies contemporary harbourside luxury with its coveted location between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Reminiscent of an exclusive harbourside residence, the hotel offers intimate surrounds with architecture, art and design that reflect the Australian landscape. Highlights include 155 spacious guestrooms and suites with contemporary interiors and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to private balconies; 24-hour butler service; and a day spa with stunning rooftop pool and sundeck.
- Hotel website: Park Hyatt Sydney
- Other accolades: Park Hyatt Sydney also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most spectacular hotel rooftops, the best luxury hotels in Australia, the most spectacular rooftop pools in the world, and hotels loved by celebrities.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check-in and late check-out).
- Review: read here my review of the Park Hyatt Sydney.
Experience the African Bushveld in lavish comfort and style like only few will. “Unparalleled and extraordinarily beautiful in its simplicity and texture” is how Ivory Lodge has been described, and it has been recognised with various international awards. Each one of the lodge’s villas is surrounded by untamed African Bush and they all include a private rim flow pool, exquisitely appointed large dedicated bedroom and lounge, and simply more of everything. For the ultimate African bush experience, you may want to stay at one of the ultraluxurious treehouses operated by the same management of Ivory Lodge in the same wildlife reserve (where your chances of spotting the Big Five are very high).
- Hotel website: Ivory Lodge Lion Sands
- Other accolades: Ivory Lodge Lion Sands also features in my top 10 list of the world’s most amazing outdoor hotel rooms, the world’s best honeymoon resorts, the most luxurious safari lodges in Africa, the most fabulous hotels in South Africa, and the best safari lodges in South Africa.
Soneva Fushi Resort, the Maldives’ original desert island hideaway, is located in the stunnnig Baa Atoll island archipelago, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Massive, Robinson Crusoe-style, multi-bedroom luxury villas and private residences are hidden among dense tropical foliage with views of the ridiculously clear lagoon. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All villas open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers who know what you want before you want it.
Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at the time of booking at Soneva Fushi.
- Hotel website: Soneva Fushi
- Other accolades: Soneva Fushi also features in my top 10 lists of the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling, the best family hotels in the world, and the best luxury resorts in the Maldives.
- Tip: contact me to get a complimentary room upgrade at the time of booking when you decide to spend your holiday at Soneva Fushi.
- Review: read here my review of Soneva Fushi.
Amangiri (peaceful mountain) is located on 600 acres in Canyon Point, Southern Utah, close to the border with Arizona. The resort is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. Built around a central swimming pool with spectacular views, the resort blends into its dramatic surrounds where deep canyons and towering plateaus create a raw landscape of immense power. Amangiri’s trail system and unrivalled backcountry access allow guests to explore the region’s striking desert scenery on foot. Amangiri is operated by Aman, the world’s most exclusive ultra-luxury hotel brand.
- Hotel website: Amangiri
- Other accolades: Amangiri also features in my top 10 lists of hotel rooms with the best views, the best Aman hotels in the world, the world’s most luxurious wilderness lodges, the world’s most beautiful hotel pools, the world’s best desert retreats, and the best luxury hotels in the USA.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, a 30 minute scalp massage or neck/shoulder massage, and a toiletry kit with Amangiri’s signature sage shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and body wash).
Welcome to my absolute favorite hotel in the world! Remote yet accessible by a 1,5 hour flight from Bangkok on the resort’s private plane, Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s fourth largest but least populated island, Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam. It has 36 spectacular private villas – amongst the largest in the world – that are built on hillsides blanketed with ancient rainforest and overlooking the turquoise waters. Guest are given their own buggy to get to the private and stunning, coconut palm shaded beach, where your toes will go into the powdery soft sand, and where you can stroll through the pristine waters with the ocean lapping at your calves. Be prepared for a phenomenal experience!
Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at the time of booking at Soneva Kiri.
- Hotel website: Soneva Kiri
- Other accolades: Soneva Kiri also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most beautiful hotel beaches, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, the world’s most outrageous hotel experiences, the best private plunge pools in the world, the world’s best family hotels, the world’s most amazing beach hotels, the world’s most remote hotels, and luxury hotels with private airports.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when you book via Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, breakfast, early check-in , late check-out, welcome Champagne with Thai tapas on arrival, and a 30 minute spa treatment for two).
- Review: read here my review of Soneva Kiri.