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Top 10: best Four Seasons hotels & resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (September 18, 2017): My 10 preferred Four Seasons hotels & resorts in the world.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is one of the world’s leading ultra-luxury hotel brands, with more than 100 properties in more than 40 countries. The hotel group is rapidly expanding globally, with dozens of hotel projects in development. The Toronto based company 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, and since 2007, Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal have been majority owners of the company. 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. I hereby share with you my 10 preferred Four Seasons hotels & resorts in the world.

There is more info below my slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Four Seasons hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. FOUR SEASONS RESORT SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT

A hillside Red Sea diving resort bathed in brilliant blue skies and sunshine, the Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh is a stunning beachfront place where luxury and natural beauty meet on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The 200 spacious, tastefully appointed accommodations all have a private balcony with views of the Red Sea, and are equipped with oversized marble bathrooms which include separate showers and deep soaking tubs. This hotel features a full-service spa and wellness center, 4 outdoor swimming pools, 3 tennis courts, and a host of on-site dining options which serve a variety of cuisine including Indian and Italian. Unfortunately, since the Arab Spring and the Metrojet plane crash last year, tourism in Egypt and especially in Sharm El Sheikh is in free fall, although attempts are made to bring back foreign tourism levels in the area.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT


9. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL NEW YORK, USA

After experiencing the exhilarating whirlwind that is the Big Apple, you can return to the serenity of the Four Seasons Hotel New York. Located in Midtown Manhattan’s exclusive East 57th Street, the hotel invites you to live the ultimate New York lifestyle in a 52-storey tower designed by I.M. Pei. It is a modern-day palace in the sky that is unique in so many ways that it is difficult to think of what hotel in the city compares. If your taste runs to sleek and contemporary look no further. The spectacular lobby is steeped in grand tradition, highlighted with art deco lamps and a backlit onyx ceiling. Reminiscent of private residences, the 368 guest rooms and suites were recently refurbished and rank among New York’s largest luxury hotel accommodations, many with spacious terraces and breathtaking Central Park views.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL NEW YORK, USA


8. FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP GOLDEN TRIANGLE, THAILAND

A natural paradise surrounded by majestic mountains, Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle puts you in an exquisite bamboo jungle close to some of Thailand’s oldest civilizations, commanding majestic views of Burma across the Ruak River and mountains of Laos in the northeast. Here, you can ride an elephant, take a nature stroll, and discover the customs of northern Thailand’s most colorful hilltribes. Four Seasons Tented Camp contains just 15 tents, where you can stretch out in 54 square meters (581 square feet) of living space appointed with leather-and-hardwood bush chairs, paddle fans and a hardwood desk, or soothe your muscles in a custom-made wooden hot tub on the outdoor deck. As a small, close-knit community, guests at the resort share their dining experiences in locations that may vary from day to day.

FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP GOLDEN TRIANGLE, THAILAND


7. FOUR SEASONS FLORENCE, ITALY

Four Seasons turned one of the city’s most amazing palaces and a former papal residence with the largest private park in Florence into an urban resort without parallel. Much of the palace’s original renaissance artistry was restored in the years immediately prior to the Four Seasons’s opening. The hotel’s interiors are adorned with arches, inlaid pillars, friezes, painted frescoes and marble floors. The 116 guest rooms and suites at are located within three buildings, and no two rooms are alike, resulting in artistry and historic details that will keep guests fascinated. With its staff to guest ratio of two-to-one, and a location close to The Accademia, where Michelangelo’s “David” resides, this property offers the best in services, atmosphere, and location. Add the exclusive spa facilities and incomparably lovely grounds with their extensive offerings, and guests can lose themselves in Renaissance history without sacrificing contemporary Italian flair and cutting-edge technology.

  • Hotel website: Four Seasons Florence
  • Other accolades: Four Seasons Florence also features in my top 10 list of the best urban resorts in the world.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, welcome gift, daily breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, early check in and late check out).

FOUR SEASONS FLORENCE, ITALY


6. FOUR SEASONS RESORT BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA

On this mystical island with its necklace of white-fringed coral islets, Four Seasons Bora Bora elevates the excitement to redefine South Seas escape. Wrapped by majestic views, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is surrounded by sand-fringed islets on an outer coral reef that enclose a turquoise lagoon. The resort offers 121 spacious hideaways with 100 over-water bungalows and 7 beachfront villas, all overlooking the lagoon’s crystal clear waters and some with spectacular views of Mount Otemanu. Inspired by local architecture, all guest accommodations offer a restful, airy ambience; complete with traditional teak wood furnishings, high ceilings and thatched roofs made from pandanus leaves. Special touches that accentuate the feel of Polynesia include striking works of art, private pools and sliding doors by deep bathtubs for panoramic fresh-air views of the lagoon.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA


5. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL ISTANBUL AT THE BOSPHORUS, TURKEY

Located along the Bosphorus, in one of Istanbul’s most naturally beautiful neighbourhoods, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosporus is a former 19th-century palace transformed into a hotel sanctuary of luxury and comfort. It consists of three blocks, with the original palace building flanked by two modern wings. A circular drive sweeps down to the entrance, in the main palace building, with a lovely tiered gardens interspersed with fountains and waterfalls in the middle. The hotel’s main asset is an expansive waterfront terrace with a large swimming pool, plenty of sun loungers, and a private boat dock, linking the hotel to its sister property, the Four Seasons Istanbul in Sultanahmet, which is close to Istanbul’s historic sites. The 145 guest rooms and 25 suites are an airy fusion of traditional Ottoman architecture and contemporary furnishings. The pillared underground swimming hall (with classical music playing underwater) and hammam are not to be missed!


4. FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANAI, HAWAII, USA

On the southeastern shores of Hawaii’s last unspoiled island, Four Seasons Resort Lanai is your gateway to an exotic, private paradise where opportunities for adventure and relaxation abound. The ultraluxe resort – which reopened in 2016 after undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation – offers dazzling views over the gold crescent of Hulopo’e Beach to the blue-green waters of a protected marine preserve. Inspired by Hawaii’s diverse and storied influences, the interiors showcase walls of teak and zebra wood edging artisan-produced Nepalese lokta paper and floors of mahogany laid with wool hand-woven area rugs. Verdant botanical gardens, two lagoon-style pools and cascading waterfalls serve as a beautiful backdrop for outdoor art and sculpture. Four Seasons Lana’i at Manele Bay offers 217 over-sized guest rooms & suites, each with a private lanai, two restaurants (including a NOBU), a full-service spa, and two legendary golf courses.

  • Hotel website: Four Seasons Resort Lanai
  • Other accolades: Four Seasons Resort Lanai also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Hawaii.
  • Tip: get free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD spa credit).
  • Review: coming soon (autumn 2017).

FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANAI, HAWAII, USA


3. FOUR SEASONS RESORT SEYCHELLES, SEYCHELLES

In this lush castaway sanctuary, days promise barefoot ease as you stroll along the white powder beach. Set in the heart of a lost Eden and one of the most beautiful bays on earth, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles offers guests an unrivalled luxury hotel experience in a natural ocean and jungle setting. The resort’s villas, each with plunge pool and perched on a jungled hillside, will challenge your notion of paradise and feature interiors that draw their inspiration from a mix of rustic Seychellois and French colonial style. The magnificent beach is just a short stroll away, scented en-route by cinnamon trees and frangipani. As well as indulging in water sports, there’s a lovely swimming pool to relax by with poolside dining and refreshments readily available. The spa is a treat for all, located at the top of the hill and overlooking spectacular Petite Anse, with both adults and children welcome.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT SEYCHELLES, SEYCHELLES


2. FOUR SEASONS RESORT THE NAM HAI, VIETNAM

Embellishing heritage with Four Seasons flair, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is a harmonious ode to coast, culture and community in Vietnam’s UNESCO-strewn centre. Along a seemingly infinite stretch of sand – hailed by Forbes as one of the best beaches in the world – a strand of sophisticated, visually striking villas lines the dramatic beachfront. Inspired by 2,500 years of history, The Nam Hai’s architecture and interior design present a dramatic play on wind and water inspired by ancient feng shui philosophy and the grandeur of the Tu Duc royal tombs of Hue. All of the 100 private retreats are elegantly finished with Vietnamese lacquer and diaphanous silk, reflecting the soul of Vietnam’s cultural heartland and illuminating the spirit of all who visit. The resort’s central area wraps around three tiers of infinity swimming pools – one of the most stunning hotel pool areas in the world – flanked by the pristine gold sand beach, where exhilarating water sports include X-Jetpacks, wake-boards and jet-skis.

  • Hotel websiteFour Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
  • Other accolades: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai also features in my list of my favorite luxury hotels in the world.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, early check-in and late check-out).
  • Review: read here my review of The Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai.


1. FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES AT VOAVAH, MALDIVES

Capturing the imagination, this secluded haven transcends the private island experience: “entirely yours” from the moment of booking, seven bedrooms, a Beach House, dive school and a private spa extend the oceanic spoils of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to up to 22 guests at a time. Voavah days revolve around the double-storey Beach House and adjacent white sands, crystal waters and abundant reef – all exemplary even by Maldives standards. A 62 foot (18.9 metre) private yacht – Voavah Summer – invites Voavah guests to explorate the dazzling and undisturbed UNESCO protected reserve which the resort calls it home: diving with whale sharks, snorkelling with manta rays, swimming with neighbourhood turtles, fishing for dinner, visiting local islands, surfing unknown breaks and cruising into breathtaking Baa Atoll sunsets. The resort is privacy-protected with single entry, CCTV, night vision cameras, and 24-hour on-site security patrols. Four Seasons also manages two other terrific properties in the Maldives: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru and Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, both linked by the luxury catamaran Four Seasons Explorer.

FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES AT VOAVAH, MALDIVES


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