Top 10 best Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (October 8, 2018): Top 10 best Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in the world.

100 years of history. Countless rewards. With an unshakeable credo and corporate philosophy of un-wavering commitment to service, The Ritz-Carlton has been recognized with numerous awards for being the gold standard of hospitality. The Ritz-Carlton company is today a subsidiary of the Marriott Hotel group and operates more than 90 hotels in more than in 30 countries and territories. I hereby present you the Ritz-Carlton properties that most impressed me during all my years of traveling.

There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Ritz-Carlton hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. THE RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA, HAWAII, USA

Boasting 54 stunning acres on the northwestern tip of the island of Maui, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua proudly maintains the Honokahua Preservation Site, a recognized “wahi pana” (sacred site) that lies adjacent to the resort and serves as a destination where Native Hawaiians can gather to conduct ceremonies and protocol. The resort offers 463 fully-renovated guestrooms, including 107 Residential Suites, featuring dark wood floors, new marble bathrooms, flat-screen LCD televisions and Hawaiian inspired artwork. The Ritz Carlton Kapalua also features six restaurants, a fitness center with spectacular ocean views, a spa, renovated meeting space, children’s pool and the Ambassadors of the Environment program for children and teens 5-18 years old.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
  • Other accolades: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua also features in my top 10 list of the best 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 resort credit).

THE RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA, HAWAII, USA


9. HOTEL ARTS BARCELONA, A RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL, SPAIN

Iconic design, incredible culinary experiences and the sparkling Mediterranean are what draw visitors to Barcelona, Spain. These elements are also what attract luxury travelers to Hotel Arts Barcelona. With famed architect Frank Gehry’s iconic fish sculpture – known as Peix in Catalan – anchoring its entrance, the property rises 44 stories above the seafront, making this Barcelona hotel’s façade of blue glass and exposed steel a true beacon of luxury. From a contemporary collection of artistic masterpieces to stunning accommodations that include 28 luxury duplex apartments, to award-winning dining, this luxury Barcelona hotel provides guests with unparalleled access to all this vibrant destination has to offer.

  • Hotel websiteHotel Arts Barcelona
  • Other accolades: Hotel Arts Barcelona, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Spain.
  • Tip: Enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

HOTEL ARTS BARCELONA, A RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL, SPAIN


8. PHULAY BAY, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, THAILAND

At Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, white sand and blue skies converge with the Andaman Sea to reveal one of the most captivating luxury beach resorts in Asia. From your first glance, Phulay Bay elicits a sense of jaw-dropping awe and blissful joy. Designed for the discerning traveler, this exquisite eco-resort’s 54 villas meld seamlessly into their stunning environs while providing incredible indulgences. You’ll find spacious verandas with inviting lounges, indoor/outdoor baths, rainforest showers and 24-hour attention to your every whim. Blending the soothing rhythms of the Andaman Sea with extraordinary treatment, the spa leaves you in a blissful state of relaxation. Phulay Bay’s restaurants present a culinary voyage inspired by the flavors of the world.

  • Hotel websitePhulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

PHULAY BAY, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, THAILAND


7. THE RITZ-CARLTON, LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA, USA

Perched atop a seaside bluff and surrounded by panoramic views of the Pacific and the sandy shores of Salt Creek Beach below, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is a coastal haven, located halfway between LA and San Diego, along the coast of Dana Point. Sprawling shoreline vistas create awe-inspiring memories from the moment of arrival. The 396 guest rooms include 30 suites and 32 Ritz-Carlton Club Level rooms, all featuring a secluded patio or balcony with delightful views of the ocean or poolside gardens. The resort embraces its Southern California roots at every opportunity, from sea-inspired treatments at the spa and locally sourced restaurant menus to family-friendly eco-adventures.

THE RITZ-CARLTON, LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA, USA


6. THE RITZ-CARLTON WOLFSBURG, GERMANY

The architecturally renowned Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg is the most elegant hotel in Germany’s most prosperous city, which is home to Volkswagen’s worldwide headquarters. Adjacent to the Volkswagen factory, the hotel demands that you swot up on pioneering architecture before you arrive. Armed with the right terminology, you’ll be primed to describe the style nuances of the hotel’s interior designer Elliott Barnes. It will also help keep your mouth closed when you see the hotel’s jaw-dropping floating pool. Inspired by an industry that thrives on mobility, this luxury hotel offers 170 stylish guest rooms and exclusive suites, a soothing  spa, and award-winning restaurants, including the 3-Star Michelin-rated AQUA, the epitome of modern European dining.

THE RITZ-CARLTON WOLFSBURG, GERMANY


5. DORADO BEACH, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, PUERTO RICO

Somewhere between idyllic and perfection sits a Puerto Rico resort of such intimate luxury and rare character, it calls to those who believe every journey should be a voyage of discovery. Once a 1,400-acre sugar plantation, Dorado Beach caught the eye of visionary Laurance Rockefeller, who transformed the lush landscape into Puerto Rico’s most exclusive luxury resort. With its serene coastline, private residences, spa sanctuary, and a harmonious sense of place that blends masterfully into the natural surroundings, Dorado Beach, invites guests to arrive spellbound, and depart speechless. With only 115 guestrooms spread across 50 acres and one mile (1,6 km) of beachfront, an unparalleled level of individualized guest service awaits you.

DORADO BEACH, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, PUERTO RICO


4. THE RITZ-CARLTON RAS AL KHAIMAH, AL WADI DESERT, UAE

Just one hour north of Dubai, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al khaimah, Al Wadi Desert invites guests to connect with nature and culture amid the beauty of a 1,235-acre protected preserve (where you interact with Arabian gazelles, camels and oryxes). The exclusive desert resort comprises an Asian-inspired spa, a 18-hole championship golf course and four dining venues. The 101 all-pool tented villas come in the style of traditional Bedouin nomadic dwelling and feature modern villa furnishings in classic Arab style. The resort can arrange a desert trek on camel- or horseback, a private archery lesson or an evening of stargazing.

THE RITZ-CARLTON RAS AL KHAIMAH, AL WADI DESERT, UAE


3. THE RITZ-CARLTON KYOTO, JAPAN

The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto describes itself as an international modern-day luxury ryokan. Creating an experience that seamlessly blends the centuries-old traditions of Kyoto with the finest services and facilities that The Ritz-Carlton is renowned for, the property’s ladies and gentlemen truly bring to life the cultural heart of Japan. The hotel is built on banks of the Kamagawa River on land that was gifted to the original owners in the early shogunate era five centuries ago. The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto has 134 rooms and suites, and enjoys panoramic 180 degree views of the Higashiyama mountains in the East which turn a rich shade of imperial purple at sunset.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
  • Other accolades: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Japan.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto here.


2. THE RITZ-CARLTON HONG KONG

Being the highest hotel in the world, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is situated on the West Kowloon waterfront, a prestigious address with luxury residential development. Occupying floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre, it offers magnificent and unrivaled views of the city and the Victoria Harbor. Soaring architectural elements encrusted with custom glass artwork echo the signature glamour of the city below. All 312 luxurious guest rooms provide state-of-the-art technology. Guests can enjoy Italian specialties at Michelin-star Tosca or Cantonese favorites at two-Michelin-star Tin Lung Heen. The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA takes wellness to new heights with its infinity swimming pool with glass walls opening to the harbor below.


1. MANDAPA, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE, BALI, INDONESIA

Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word for “temple,” Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, stands as a tropical shrine dedicated to the self. Fronting the Ayung River near the Ubud jungle, the hotel replicates a traditional Balinese village, complete with working rice paddies. Showcasing the architecture and craftsmanship of the area, each of the 60 luxury suites and villas features a private outdoor space (some of them with pools) with views of the river or surrounding scenery. Four restaurants serve health-conscious cuisine sourced from the organic garden, although you can also arrange a romantic dinner overlooking the river or rice terrace. The spa offers a variety of programs focused on physical and spiritual well-being.

  • Hotel websiteMandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Other accolades: Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Bali.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve here.


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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for the great video and wonderful details! I have only stayed in a couple Ritz Carlton Hotels: The one Laguna Niguel, mentioned above, and the one in San Francisco. They were both delightful, but I have to tell you that the service, the food, and the convenience to off-property activities were much more to my liking in San Francisco. We paid over four times as much for our room in Laguna Niguel than in San Francisco and the SF room felt much more open, modern, and comfortable. The staff in SF appeared less “stretched” or rushed, and more experienced. Both hotels had very friendly, professional, and accommodating staff, and the Laguna Niguel hotel comp’d our room service order after making a series of mistakes with it, which was generous of them. Laguna Niguel also had a spectacular ocean view from their dining room and the food we had there was superb (The Dungeness crab mashed potatoes were great). However, even if the cost was taken out of the equation, I have to say that San Francisco was a much better overall experience. I am basing my comment on only one visit to each hotel, so maybe it was an unusual event, so will defer to your significant experience (not all hotel stays are entirely perfect!). Your wonderful blog is so enjoyable and educational that I look forward to learning something new each time I receive it. Thank you again!

  2. I’ve been to three of the ones on your list (numbers 2,3 and 4) and I think I agree with your order. Both Hong Kong and Kyoto had exceptional service. Both Ras Al Khaimah properties (Al Wadi and Al Hamra Beach) are amazing all villa properties but the service doesn’t compare to Hong Kong and Kyoto (although you get a villa and private pool instead of just a standard room). It’s a shame that the reserve properties are not part of the loyalty program.

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