Top 10 Leading Hotels of the World

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (January 21, 2019): Top 10 Leading Hotels of the World.

The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) is an exclusive collection of more than 400 luxury hotels and resorts in over 80 countries. LHW does not own hotels; it rather offers a reservation service for independent hotels and supports sales and marketing, advertising and public relations, financial services, quality control, and hotel inspections for its member properties. LHW has several iconic properties in its portfolio, some of them ranking among the best hotels in the world. And staying at a LHW hotel got a lot more interesting this year because LHW recently launched a new loyalty program (which I will explain in my blogpost this Friday) that allows you to earn points and redeem them for free stays at LWH properties worldwide (in addition to special benefits and discounts). Here’s a list of my 10 favorite LWH properties in the world.

Which one is your favorite Leading Hotel of the World? Leave a comment.

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10. FASANO RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Located on Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Ipanema Beach, star designer Philippe Starck’s first hotel in Brazil pays homage to the golden age of bossa nova. Channeling the heyday of Jobim and Gilberto, the staff wears Ocimar Versolato–inspired uniforms. Distinctly Brazilian materials like Îpe flooring and the enormous piquiá tree stump used for the reception desk are mixed with Grecian marble, 19th-century Argentinean brick and Chinese onyx. The guest rooms have Sergio Rodrigues furnishings and Starckian ear-shaped mirrors and come with private balconies affording sweeping views. Overseeing the Al Mare restaurant is a chef from Florence’s Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri, while the Renata de Abreu Spa offers La Prairie treatments.

FASANO RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL


9. THE CHEDI MUSCAT, OMAN

Occupying a prime beachfront location, this exclusive 21-acre beach resort is located 20 minutes north of old Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, at Al Ghubra. The Chedi Muscat is ideally located for business and leisure travelers alike as the main tourist attractions, the financial center, three golf courses, and Muscat International Airport are only a 15-minute drive away. The Chedi Muscat, Oman’s first contemporary hotel, opened its doors in 2003. The resort offers understated elegance and a perfect blend of Omani architecture and Asian zen style. The clean white lines of the low-rise buildings are accentuated by gardens of symmetrical simplicity, with lines of manicured hedges and orderly water ponds, creating a sense of calm. All nonsmoking rooms have breathtaking views across the gardens and ponds toward the Hajar mountains and the Gulf of Oman.

  • Hotel websiteThe Chedi Muscat
  • Other accolades: The Chedi Muscat features in my top 10 lists of the best hotels in Oman and the world’s best urban resorts.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, free breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD resort credit, and a 60-minute massage for two for guests staying in a suite).
  • Review: read my review of The Chedi Muscat here.

THE CHEDI MUSCAT, OMAN


8. THE LANESBOROUGH LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

At the only hotel in London to offer round-the-clock, dedicated butler service in each room and suite, guests are assured their every need is well served – with thought, surprise and charm. Perfectly located between Knightsbridge, Hyde Park and Mayfair, this iconic landmark is at the heart of the capital’s beloved boutiques and fashionable neighborhoods. Celebrated as much as a destination for food and drink as a hotel, The Lanesborough is home to the Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant, an award-winning afternoon tea service, a seriously seductive Library Bar and one of London’s best cigar and cognac lounges in the city. The finishing touch in the hotel’s exceptional renovation, The Lanesborough Club & Spa is one of London’s most exclusive private member fitness and health clubs, offering hotel guests and club members access to internationally recognized experts in the fields of fitness, beauty and wellness.

  • Hotel websiteThe Lanesborough
  • Other accolades: The Lanesborough also features in my top 10 list of the best hotels in London.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g.room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD hotel credit).
  • Review: read my review of The Lanesborough London here.

THE LANESBOROUGH LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM


7. FAENA HOTEL MIAMI, FLORIDA, USA

Faena Hotel Miami Beach evokes Miami’s golden age of glamour with stunning Art Deco appeal and old-world grandeur. The oceanfront hotel features exquisitely designed spaces that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, with restaurants from award-winning chefs including an open Fire Kitchen from Argentine chef Francis Mallmann and modern Asian cuisine from chef Paul Qui, a 150-seat cabaret-style theater with nightly live performances, and an expansive Tierra Santa Healing House spa for relaxation. The hotel’s signature Faena Butlers, available to every guestroom, are responsible for ensuring that a guest’s needs are not only met but exceeded.

  • Hotel website: Faena Hotel Miami
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).

FAENA HOTEL MIAMI, FLORIDA, USA


6. LE SIRENUSE, AMALFI COAST, ITALY

The Sersale family, owners of Le Sirenuse, the legendary Amalfi Coast hotel, has had many illustrious members: an ambassador in the mid-18th century; a cardinal and archbishop of Naples; even a mayor of Positano, the fishing village-turned-glam resort, in the 1940’s. The palazzo that now houses the property was the Sersale’s seaside retreat, and anyone who stays cannot help but be swept up in the passion and good taste of this family. The majolica tiled rooms are filled with museum-worthy antiques, hand-picked mostly by patriarch Franco Sersale. Today, the charming Antonio Sersale continues the tradition that has transformed his family’s home into one of the world’s most personal properties. As locals will tell you, ‘Positano is Le Sirenuse’.

  • Hotel websiteLe Sirenuse
  • Other accolades: Le Sirenuse also features in my top 10 list of the best hotels on the Amalfi Coast.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, $100 USD wellness credit, early check-in, and late check-out).

LE SIRENUSE, AMALFI COAST, ITALY


5. THE DATAI LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA

Nestled in the heart of a 10-million-year-old rainforest, The Datai Langkawi is a captivating destination resort that seamlessly blends into its natural surroundings. Situated on the mystical island of Langkawi, lush tropical rainforest infiltrates the resort’s rooms, suites, and villas, through private verandas offering breathtaking views in every direction. The resort’s serene surroundings provide the perfect escape for guests looking to reconnect with nature, and to nurture the mind, body, and spirit. But if that’s not enough, Datai Bay is rated one of the top ten beaches in the world by National Geographic and, along with the resort’s surrounding jungle, is host to a wide array of wildlife, like Dusky langurs, Tokay geckos, and Sunda Colugos, just a few of the area’s endemic species.

THE DATAI LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA


4. LA MAMOUNIA, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

For more than 90 years, La Mamounia has been a beloved destination for discerning international travelers. Located in the heart of the enchanting imperial city, this luxury hotel has recreated the intoxicating mood of an Oriental palace. The sprawling gardens are ripe with citrus trees, fragrant rose blossoms, ancient olive groves and a vegetable garden where one might see La Mamounia’s chefs foraging for ingredients to be prepared that evening at the hotel’s three signature restaurants. Completing the regal experience, La Mamounia’s service epitomizes Moroccan hospitality with attentive and friendly staff, always with a warm smile.

  • Hotel websiteLa Mamounia
  • Other accolades: La Mamounia also features in my top 10 list of the world’s best hotel breakfasts.
  • Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP benefits when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD spa credit).

LA MAMOUNIA MARRAKECH, MOROCCO


3. THE RITZ PARIS, FRANCE

The iconic Paris grande dame has been restored to its former Belle Époque glory after a resplendent interior renovation by acclaimed architect, Thierry W. Despont. The hotel’s historic suites are named after the hotel’s most illustrious former guests (Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marcel Proust), featuring signature 19th century flourishes amid opulent contemporary comforts. The property includes three restaurants, three bars, including the famed Bar Hemingway, and gorgeous gardens and terraces with retractable roofs and heated floors, designed to be enjoyed all year-long. After long days spent exploring the city, you can keep up with your exercise regimen in the indoor pool or modern fitness center, or indulge in a Chanel skin care treatment inside a private room at Chanel au Ritz Paris, the signature Spa. And speaking of privacy, a discreet underground tunnel provides unseen arrivals and departures from the hotel for guests who value the utmost in discretion.

THE RITZ PARIS, FRANCE


2. MAIA LUXURY RESORT & SPA, SEYCHELLES

Guests will experience every aspect of luxury at the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa. Set on the secluded Anse Louis overlooking the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the private twelve-acre property is lushly landscaped with hibiscus, lemongrass and cinnamon. With just ten ocean-front villas and 20 panoramic villas, all with private pools, and a staff of 230, the resort insures an exceptional level of service. Pampering and wellness are also the focus at the Balinese-style spa, which offers instruction in Hatha yoga and Qigong, as well as restorative treatments performed in open-air pavilions. If guests can motivate to move beyond the resort’s beautiful grounds, the variety of water-based activities available include snorkeling and canoeing, with diving and fishing at a fee.

MAIA LUXURY RESORT & SPA, SEYCHELLES


1. LAUCALA ISLAND, FIJI

Set upon 3,500 exclusive acres Laucala private island resort is set amidst coconut plantations, sandy beaches, rich green mountains and breathtaking natural beauty. True luxury is appreciated in the privacy of the resort’s villas widely spread on the northern tip of the island. Seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living creates an inspiringly relaxed yet luxurious atmosphere. Laucala shows its most ethereal side in an iridescent kaleidoscope of sporting and cultural activities. Diving in a unique underwater world, rain forest tours, horseback riding, surfing, golfing on the 18-hole championship course, or meeting native artists. Whether you choose to dine in your villa or to visit one of Laucala’s five restaurants and bars, you enjoy dishes based on the freshest produce.

LAUCALA ISLAND, FIJI


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