Today (March 14, 2016): my 10 favorite, ultra luxe hotel brands.
It’s been almost 2 years since I published my top 10 list of the most exclusive hotel brands in the world (which is still one of my most popular posts). Since then, a lot has happened in the world of luxury travel, with new hotels popping up and old ones changing management, hereby affecting the portfolio of most hotel brands. In addition, I have been traveling a lot the past couple of years, visiting many glamorous hotel properties, living new experiences, and observing subtle changes in the hotel industry, so I thought it was time for an update. And while the luxury hotel brands in my list of 2 years ago are still recognized as the world’s most exclusive hotel chains, I want to share with you my own favorites, based on my own extensive travel experience, so here’s a top 10 list of my preferred hotel brands in the world.
Do you agree or have a favorite hotel brand that didn’t make my list? Leave it in the comments or take my poll below.
Born of a distinctive legacy and crafted for modern connoisseurs who desire the finest experiences imaginable, the St. Regis brand established luxury hospitality with the opening of The St. Regis New York more than 100 years ago. From the moment John Jacob Astor IV opened the doors of his Beaux-Arts masterpiece on New York’s Fifth Avenue, St. Regis (now part of the Starwood Hotel Group) has stood as a symbol of uncompromising elegance and bespoke service. St. Regis Butler Service has been a signature of the St. Regis experience for more than a century, and S Regis remains the only luxury hospitality brand to offer this personalized service at every one of their hotels around the world. Combining classic sophistication with a modern sensibility, the St. Regis brand is committed to delivering exceptional experiences at over 30 of the best addresses around the world.
- Official website: St Regis.
- Flagship hotel: St Regis New York, USA. This resort features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury resorts in New York.
- My favorite hotel: St Regis Le Morne, Mauritius. This resort features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury resorts in Mauritius, the best hotels for amazing award redemptions, and the best health spas in the world. To read my review of The St Regis Mauritius, click here.
Six Senses is an award-winning and very unique hotel group, that offers exceptional guest experiences in remote places of incredible natural beauty. The brand is synonymous with a unique style – authentic, personal and sustainable – and all properties are in harmony with their individual surroundings. Six Senses resorts always adapt seamlessly to host cultures in an environment that evokes wellbeing, supported by outstanding anticipative service and attention to detail. Six Senses experiences are always delivered by a wealth of experts from diverse backgrounds, from visiting spa practitioners and celebrity chefs, to star gazers, marine biologists and even their own paragliding professionals. A key element of all Six Senses properties, Six Senses Spa offers a wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation and beauty treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists.
- Official website: Six Senses .
- Flagship hotel: Six Senses Yo Noi, Thailand. This resort also features in my top 10 lists of Phuket’s best ultra luxury resorts and the best luxury hotels in Thailand. To read my review of Six Senses Yao Noi, click here.
- My favorite hotel: Six Senses Zighy Bay. This resort features in my top 10 lists of the best health spas in the world, the world’s most amazing beach hotels, the world’s most over-the-top hotel experiences, and restaurants with views that match the food. To read my review of Six Senses Zighy Bay, click here.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is one of the world’s leading ultra-luxury hotel brands, with almost 100 properties in more than 40 countries. The hotel group is rapidly expanding globally, with dozens of hotel projects in development, making them somewhat less exclusive IMHO as they used to be. Four Seasons is based in Toronto, Canada. It was founded in 1960 by Isadore Sharp, whose family is still prominent in Four Seasons. Sharp’s first luxury hotel was the Four Seasons London, which opened in 1970. The company went public in 1986. Some Four Seasons Hotels are fully owned by the brand, but it acts as a management company for many of its properties. In addition, Four Seasons owns residential properties in resort areas. In 2013, the Four Seasons hotel Toronto was opened, the haute brand’s new flagship.
- Official website: Four Seasons.
- Flagship hotel: Four Seasons Toronto, Canada.
- My favorite hotel: Four Seasons Bora Bora, French Polynesia. This resort also features in my top 10 lists of hotels rooms with a spectacular view, the best luxury resorts in Bora Bora, the world’s best honeymoon resorts, and the most spectacular hotel bathrooms in the world. I will publish a review of the Four Seasons Bora Bora soon.
Located in major gateway cities and prime leisure travel destinations worldwide, Park Hyatt luxury hotels impress guests with an atmosphere of easy elegance and discreet service. Each Park Hyatt is designed to reflect the unique character of its locale – the chic of Paris, the exotic allure of the Maldives or the all-American style of Chicago. Park Hyatt hotels are known for acclaimed art programs, high-end interior design and furniture, and award-winning restaurants under the direction of celebrated chefs. Guests are affluent professionals, dignitaries and celebrities who truly understand the art of the journey, have discerning taste and appreciate gracious service. The Park Hyatt portfolio is expanding rapidly, with several highly anticipated hotel openings in the pipeline.
- Official website: Park Hyatt.
- Flagship hotel: Park Hyatt New York, USA. This hotel features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in New York City and the most stunning indoor hotel pools in the world. Click here to read my review of the Park Hyatt New York.
- My favorite hotel: Park Hyatt Sydney, Australia. This hotel features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most spectacular hotel rooftops, the best luxury hotels in Australia, the world’s best hotels, and hotels loved by celebrities. Click here to read my review of the Park Hyatt Sydney.
Founded in 1979 in Dallas, Texas, USA, Rosewood manages one-of-a-kind luxury properties in the world’s most desired destinations. Rosewood properties embrace the company’s “Sense of Place” philosophy, reflecting the history, architecture, scale and sensibilities of the destination. The Rosewood collection includes some of the most legendary hotels and resorts in the world. Rosewood also offers Sense spa, featuring treatments reflective of the location’s culture and natural environment, available exclusively at select properties. Rosewood is widely regarded as a leading ultra-luxury hotel company whose portfolio includes both contemporary classics and historic properties such as Rosewood London and The Carlyle, the quintessential New York hotel.
- Official website: Rosewood.
- Flagship hotel: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas, USA.
- My favorite hotel: Rosewood London, United Kingdom. This hotel features in my top 10 lists of the most amazing city hotels in Europe and the most luxurious hotels in London. Click here to read my review of the Rosewood London.
Singapore based COMO Hotels and Resorts was founded in 1991 by Christina Ong, who was listed as one of Asia’s 50 Power Business Women by Forbes in 2012. COMO Hotels and Resorts creates personalised luxury travel experiences highlighting wellness, cuisine, adventure and culture, service and design, while always trying to uphold a strong, sustainable approach towards the people and places where the group operates. The company also manages the sister brand in wellness, COMO Shambhala, which promotes health, relaxation and learning through its products, services, cuisine, treatments and spa facilities within each COMO property.
- Official website: COMO Hotels & Resorts.
- Flagship hotel: COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia. This resort also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Bali, the world’s most beautiful hotel pools, the world’s best rainforest lodges, and the best spas in the world. To read my review of COMO Shambhala Estate, click here.
- My favorite hotel: Maalifushi by COMO. This resort features in my list of the best new luxury resorts of 2014 and my top 10 lists of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives, the world’s best hotels, and the most amazing beach hotels in the world. To read my review of Maalifushi by COMO, click here.
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is an international hotel investment and management group with deluxe and first class hotels, resorts and residences in sought-after destinations around the world. The group has grown from a well-respected Asian hotel company into a global brand and now operates, or has under development, more than 40 hotels. Mandarin Oriental is recognized widely as one of the best global luxury hotel group, providing 21st century luxury with oriental charm in each of its hotels. Above all, Mandarin Oriental is renowned for creating unique hotels through distinctive design and a strong sense of place, luxury hotels right for their time and place. Mandarin Oriental regularly receives international recognition and awards for quality management and legendary service hospitality.
- Official website: Mandarin Oriental.
- Flagship hotel: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, China.
- My favorite hotel: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, Turkey. This hotel features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Turkey, the world’s best family hotels, and my most memorable travel experiences of 2015. Click here to read my review of Mandarin Oriental Bodrum.
Created exclusively for the luxury resort market, One&Only resorts are conceived as hallmarks of excellence. This exquisite collection of award-winning properties features some of the highest-rated resorts in the most idyllic spots in the world. Each resort in the One&Only collection not only offers unique design and ambiance which embraces the local surroundings, but also an unparalleled commitment to the finest experience on every possible level. Luxurious accommodation is complemented by personalised and friendly service, award-winning spas, lively entertainment and a host of activities, as well as unforgettable culinary adventures from some of the world’s most accomplished chefs. One&Only signature restaurants include Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Dune restaurant at One&Only Ocean Club and Alain Ducasse’s Spoon des Iles at One&Only Le Saint Géran.
- Official website: One&Only Resorts.
- Flagship: One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives. This resort features in my top 10 lists of the best resorts in the Maldives, the world’s best hotel beaches, the world’s best hotel spas, and luxury hotels loved by celebrities. Click here to read my review of One&Only Reethi Rah.
- My favorite hotel: One&Only Cape Town, South Africa. This hotel also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s most luxurious city hotels and the world’s best luxury hotels. Click here to read my review of the One&Only Cape Town.
Aman is one of the iconic brands to have emerged from Asia. Widely acclaimed as one of the most luxurious hotel brand in the world, Aman is known for ultra premium service and luxury, high-profile clientele and the most exotic locations. True to the meaning of its name – Aman means peace in Sanskrit – Aman has built up a reputation of providing a divine and peaceful experience by maintaining exclusivity and being totally discreet about its clients, among them many famous celebrities. Since 1988, when flagship Amanpuri opened in Phuket, Thailand, Aman has established resorts in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the United States of America, Japan, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam.
- Official website: Aman.
- Flagship hotel: Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand. This resort also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Thailand and Phuket’s best ultra luxury resorts. I will publish my review of Amanpuri very soon.
- My favorite hotel: Aman Venice, Italy. This hotel features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Venice and the most amazing city hotels in Europe.. To read my review of Aman Venice, click here.
In 1995, Sonu Shivdasani, an Indian-British hotelier, launched the now world-famous Soneva Fushi resort on the deserted Maldivian island of Kunfunadhoo, pioneering a trend for back-to-nature luxury holidays. He also built his house there, together with his wife Eva Malmstrom, a Swedish fashion model, who developed the design and furnishing of the unique resort. They had no idea that their intensely personal vision of a locally crafted villa and environmentally responsible lifestyle would form the basis of a successful collection of world-class hotels, resorts and spas. But that’s exactly what happened. In 2009, the Soneva Hotel group built a second, even more spectacular hotel, Soneva Kiri, on the unspoilt Thai island of Koh. Later this year, Soneva will open one of the most anticipated hotels of the decade: Soneva Jani.
Contact me to get a complimentary room upgrade at the time of booking at either Soneva Fushi or Soneva Kiri.
- Official website: Soneva
- Flagship hotel: Soneva Fushi, Maldives. This resort features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives and the best family hotels in the world. Click here to read my review of Soneva Fushi.
- My favorite hotel: Soneva Kiri, Thailand. This resort features in my top 10 lists of the most insanely beautiful hotels in Thailand, the world’s most amazing beach resorts, the world’s most outrageous hotel experiences, the best private plunge pools in the world, the world’s most beautiful hotel beaches, the world’s best luxury hotels, the world’s best family hotels, and luxury hotels with private airports. Click here to read my review of Soneva Kiri.