Top 10 best Belmond Hotels & Resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (September 13, 2020): Top 10 most fabulous Belmond Hotels in the world

Belmond – known as Orient Express until its rebranding in 2014 – is one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands. The Belmond company manages an ultraluxe collection of 49 iconic hotels, trains and river cruises in 24 countries, bringing together some of the world’s most sensational journeys and destinations. With Belmond, you can stay in timeless hotels in Venice, Rio and St. Petersburg, embrace the spirit of adventure at Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat, glide along the rails through the Swiss Alps, soar across the Andes, or explore the mystifying rivers of Myanmar. It all began in 1976, when the company received the keys to the legendary Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice. A year later, it began collecting the carriages for the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, which launched in 1982 to whisk intrepid travelers to La Serenissima in style. Since then, Belmond has grown to a carefully curated collection of travel adventures, each with a rich story to tell. Here are my 10 favorite Belmond properties across the globe.

There is more information (with reviews & Youtube clips) below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Belmond in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS, BRAZIL

The only hotel located within Brazil’s Iguassu National Park, Belmond Hotel das Cataratas enjoys an unrivalled location in the jungle, just a short stroll from Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. Due to its location, guests have exclusive access to the magnificent surroundings in the evening and at dawn, when the park is closed to other visitors. A Portuguese-colonial residence, this classic luxury hotel is redolent with the atmosphere of lazy days lounging on a veranda or beneath sub-tropical palms. The hotel offers thrills and excitement in abundance: helicopter trips over the falls and jungle treks to view amazing wildlife including colorful toucans and giant butterflies.

BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS, BRAZIL


9. BELMOND REID’S PALACE, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL

Belmond Reid’s Palace Palace has been an iconic Madeira mainstay since the property was opened by a Scots man – Mr William Reid – in 1891. It was here that Sir Winston Churchill painted and wrote his war memoirs, and also where George Bernard Shaw mastered the tango. Today, this unique hotel still welcomes and pampers the most discerned travelers. This living piece of history sprawls over 10 acres of sub-tropical gardens with more than 500 hundred different types of rare plants and flowers. All rooms and suites have balconies and face the sea and gardens, offering gorgeous and unique views.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Reid’s Palace
  • Other accolades: Belmond Reid’s Palace also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Portugal.
  • Tip: get complimentary benefits when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).

BELMOND REID’S PALACE, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL


8. BELMOND CADOGAN HOTEL, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

Where London’s cultural and social calendars converge, Belmond Cadogan Hotel celebrates British culture, design, and quirky eccentricity. This is a retreat at the crossroads of the city’s most stylish neighborhoods. The 54 rooms and suites provide a luxurious retreat in the heart of the city, with spacious rooms, many of which have views over Cadogan Place Gardens, living rooms with working fireplaces, dining areas, and deep, freestanding baths with a specially designed holder for a book and Champagne. With private access to the hotel through 21 Pont Street and a key to Cadogan Place Gardens, guests truly feel like Chelsea residents.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Cadogan Hotel
  • Tip: get 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).

BELMOND CADOGAN HOTEL, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM


7. BELMOND EL ENCANTO, SANTA BARBARA, USA

Perched high in the Santa Barbara hills, this iconic hideaway offers the best views of the American Riviera. Spread across seven acres of secluded gardens, Belmond El Encanto opened in 1918 and has been part of Santa Barbara’s social scene ever since. A Forbes Five Star resort, this enchanting escape features 92 bungalow-style suites and guest rooms with sweeping views over Santa Barbara and the Pacific Coast. The resort is gleaming and glamorous, yet relaxed and low-key – the kind of place that invites you to recline poolside, breathe in the ocean air, and sip a glass of crisp local wine.

  • Hotel website: Belmond El Encanto
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).

BELMOND EL ENCANTO, SANTA BARBARA, USA


6. BELMOND LA SAMANNA, ST MARTIN

Characterized by white stucco Mediterranean architecture adorned with lush tropical foliage, Belmond La Samanna is an exclusive luxury resort secluded on Baie Longue, on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Set amidst 55 acres of tropical gardens, curled next to a pristine beach, Belmond La Samanna is a paradise for the active and non-active vacationer. You never have to leave the pool to enjoy an enticing lunch, but for the guests who can’t sit still, there is a host of complimentary amusements: three championship tennis courts, water skiing, windsurfing, snorkeling and a fitness pavilion. Massage and spa treatments are also offered in the new luxury European Spa.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond La Samanna
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and a complimentary lunch for up to two people once during stay).
  • Review: coming soon

BELMOND LA SAMANNA, ST MARTIN


5. BELMOND HOTEL SPLENDIDO, PORTOFINO, ITALY

For more than 100 years Belmond Hotel Splendido has been welcoming romantics, adventurers, aristocrats and royalty, who come from around the world to experience La Dolce Vita in the famous fishing village on the Italian Riviera. A former 16th -century monastery high above the bay of Portofino, the property is a secluded hideaway where guests can relax in terraced gardens as they enjoy spectacular views over the harbor. A more recent addition to the family, Belmond Splendido Mare is an intimate retreat on the piazzetta and water’s edge that opened its doors in 1998. The two properties complement each other beautifully; it takes only three minutes to travel between the two by shuttle, or ten minutes on foot.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Hotel Splendido
  • Other accolades: Belmond Hotel Splendido also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Italy.
  • Tip: get 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).
  • Review: read my review of Belmond Hotel Splendido here.


4. BELMOND HOTEL RIO SAGRADO, PERU

Belmond operates several luxurious lodges in the Latin American country of Peru, including Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the only lodge that is in the National Park for which it is named. The best Peruvian Belmond property and one of the most unique luxury hotels in Peru is Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado, which is built to resemble a rural Peruvian village. A stay here lets you experience the majesty of life in the mountains. Situated at a lower altitude than nearby Cusco, the hotel provides the perfect environment in which to acclimatize, and is an ideal base to explore the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Savor sensational cuisine in the restaurant, enjoy a local Sacred Valley massage or spend a few soothing minutes feeding the hotel’s baby alpacas.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Hotel Rio Sagrado
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD spa credit).

BELMOND HOTEL RIO SAGRADO, PERU


3. BELMOND CAP JULUCA, ANGUILLA

Belmond Cap Juluca is an island chic beachfront hideaway located along the intimate crescent and healing shores of Maundays Bay on the exclusive island of Anguilla in the British West Indies. The glamorous and idyllic resort offers Belmond is considered to have the best beach in the Caribbean, and is a favored escape for financial barons and A-list celebrities, promising anonymity for the affluent. Capturing the charisma, character and charm of the Caribbean, Belmond Cap Juluca recently completed extensive renovations of its 23-whitewashed Moorish villas, taking the already impeccable resort to an even higher standard of excellence.

  • Hotel websiteBelmond Cap Juluca
  • Other accolades: Belmond Cap Juluca also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury resorts in the Caribbean.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check in, late check out, and $100 USD spa credit).
  • Review: coming soon

BELMOND CAP JULUCA, ANGUILLA


2. BELMOND SAVUTE ELEPHANT LODGE, BOTSWANA

Belmond operates three luxurious safari lodges set in the unspoilt wilderness of Northern Botswana. Together they form an incredible safari journey that will enchant the most seasoned traveler, as this is where the incredible Okavango Delta floods each year, attracting a breathtaking diversity of wildlife. At Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, stunningly designed to conjure up an explorer’s base, you can drift through the watery landscape on a mokoro canoe, spotting bright frogs and kingfishers. At Belmond Khwai River Lodge, the big game of the Moremi Reserve (e.g. giraffe, buffalo, lion, leopard and wild dogs) are in your sights. The most luxurious lodge is Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, recently relaunched with an exemplary new eco-friendly design, luxurious spa and viewing hide.

  • Hotel website: Belmond Safaris
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check in, late check out, and a private dining experience for two once during stay either on the balcony of your room or a private location within the lodge).

BELMOND SAVUTE ELEPHANT LODGE, BOTSWANA


1. BELMOND HOTEL CARUSO, AMALFI COAST, ITALY

It’s easy to see why Ravello, and the entire Amalfi Coast, has inspired the likes of Richard Wagner, D.H. Lawrence, and Gore Vidal. Belmond Hotel Caruso has long been a favorite of discriminating globetrotters. Just 50 guest rooms and suites make for an intimate ambience, and most of the rooms have a sea view, terrace, or private garden. Outside, the infinity-edge swimming pool sits dramatically suspended between sea and sky. Join the head gardener for a private tour of the terraced gardens and enjoy the complimentary boat cruise along the Amalfi Coast, then reserve a romantic candlelit dinner at the open-air Belvedere Restaurant.


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