TOP TEN BEST HOTELS IN THE WORLD
01. SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills
The chic Philippe Starck decor at this Los Angeles hotspot rockets guests into the future as soon as they walk in. Fresh off a $22 million renovation in 2018, the hotel has retained the playground-esque feel that Starck created through a unique blend of dining, drinking, and lounge spaces that are mostly decorated with mid-century modern furnishings, with surrealist touches. With a food program run by the inimitable chef José Andrés, who has made the SLS a hotspot for trend-followers and foodies in the know, you're guaranteed to eat well here.
The hotel offers complimentary car service within a two-mile radius. Starck designed the Ciel Spa to resemble "a dreamscape" and that it is, with ethereal white decor and treatment rooms featuring huge, free-standing bathtubs.
02. Baur au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland
Opened in 1844 and operated by the same family ever since, this property has hosted the likes of Joan Miró and Plácido Domingo. Set in a garden near the Bahnhofstrasse shopping drag (Zurich's equivalent of Fifth Avenue), the hotel looks right onto Lake Zurich and the Alps—but that's not the only nice view. Inside, rooms tastefully mix Art Deco, Louis XVI, and Regency styles, and are individually decorated in neutral tones with red, purple, and teal accents—though, if you're lucky, you'll get a room with a balcony on the water. Baur's is more casual brasserie, though if you're really keen to splurge, the Michelin-starred Pavillon is worth the indulgence.
03. Taj lake palace udaipur India
A real-life jewel in Lake Pichola, this 18th-century palace is a sweep of courtyards, corridors, and pavilions inlaid with stone, gilt molding, and mirrors. It was originally built as a palace for the prince Maharana Jagat Singh and was completed in 1746. Today, guests reach the four-acre man-made island in Udaipur via private boat and are taken to rooms with hand-painted motifs, mosaics, silk bolsters, swings, and stained glass.
With 65 rooms and 18 suites, set in the middle of the lake, guests rave about rooms with views of the shore, including City Palace, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills, and Jag Mandir. Restaurants at the hotel are open only to guests; opt for wood-fired Rajasthani specialties at Neel Kamal. Formal attire is required at the rooftop Bhairo restaurant, but you'll be rewarded with prime cuts of steak. When you're ready to get off the lake and sight-see, ask the concierge to set you up with a tour of the local lakes and attractions in one of the hotel's vintage cars.
04. Hotel west hollywood los angeles
A It'll take a second for your Uber or Lyft to find the right pull-in for the 1 Hotel: It's on a busy Sunset Boulevard corner and its concrete exterior decorated with sprawling lush plants fades into the background compared to the sparkling billboards scattered in view. It makes sense then that you feel as if you've stepped far from Los Angeles when you walk into the lower-level lobby, with exposed wood beams on the ceiling, natural-toned fabrics on the couches and chairs and the lobby bar, and, yes, even more plants.
Beyond just looking good, the hotel's natural, leafy decor serves a greater purpose. (Be sure to check out the petrified moss mural between the lobby and ground level.) The WeHo location is 1 Hotel's first West Coast outpost—and it maintains all of the brand's sustainable initiatives. From a chef's garden filled with herbs and veggies for the four on-site restaurants and carpets made from recycled plastics pulled out of the ocean, it's a floor-to-roof mission.
05. Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
Over the years, guests here have included Elizabeth Taylor, Wallis Simpson, and the Shah of Iran. Winston Churchill used to rent two cabanas, one to paint in and one “for naps” (and drinks, as during Prohibition spirits were served illegally here). Set in Surfside at the less-developed northern end of Miami Beach, this hacienda-style hotel has been brilliantly extended by Richard Meier, whose 12-story glass towers seem to float above the terra cotta tiles of the original 1930s Mediterranean-style pantile roofs, and interiors by Joseph Dirand. The cabanas now house part of the charming spa, where even the brushed-brass key pads on the lockers are a thing of beauty, as well as a handful of Cabana Studio bedrooms, each a pale-but-interesting essay in contrasting textures: canvas, rattan, and travertine. Of course, the restaurants are as much of an attraction: The Surf Club by superchef Thomas Keller opened its doors in summer 2018, and Le Sirenuse Miami comes from the owners of its namesake hotel in Positano.
Densely planted with exotic palms, the latter evokes a cultivated jungle, a setting that is almost as memorable as Antonio Mermolia’s deft cooking, where the attention to detail extends to dyeing the ice over which they serve oysters the bluish-green of an iceberg. Try the Kumamotos, flown in daily from Washington state and dressed in a zingy citronelle emulsion. "Spectacular" was the word the Miami Herald ran in a headline for the Surf Club in November 1959. And so it is, nearly 60 years on.
06. Royal Mansour, Marrakech, Morocco
At the Royal Mansour Marrakech, located inside the medina, the draw is privacy—its beautifully tiled riads have their own pools dotting lush gardens that are made for afternoon strolls. Of course, that seclusion isn't the only defining factor: The palatial resort, founded by King Mohammed VI to showcase the best of Moroccan artistry and hospitality, was built over three years by 1,200 master craftsmen. It’s a swoon-worthy showpiece of Moroccan decorative art, starting with the 2.5-ton etched bronze doors that open upon your arrival. Each of the 53 individual three-story riads comprises a mini courtyard (with a canopy that automatically unfurls if rain is detected); a sumptuously appointed living room; an equally dazzling bedroom with silk-covered walls, hand-painted arched doorways, and generous MarocMaroc bath amenities; and a private rooftop terrace with a fireplace.
You and all this space are tended to by a gracious staff, in particular a butler who appears silently through the riad’s kitchen service entry (staff travel unseen via an underground tunnel system). Although Djemaa el Fna square is within walking distance, there’s much to keep you ensconced in this city sanctuary, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a magnificent spa, and two superb restaurants, La Grande Table Marocaine and La Grande Table Française (both overseen by chef Yannick Alléno from Paris’s Le Meurice), as well as the indoor-outdoor La Table, which serves a formally presented breakfast and lunch—by white-gloved staff. Doubles from $1,200
07. Rambagh Palace (Taj), Jaipur, India
Guests may be surprised to hear that this exquisitely restored 1835 palace in Jaipur, with all its courtyards and pageantry, wasn’t built for a queen—but rather, for the queen’s favorite handmaiden. Later on, it was used as a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, though it’s since comfortably taken its place as one of Rajasthan’s most luxurious hotels. Enjoy an evening of Champagne, moonlight, and candles in a private dining tent illuminated by flaming torches and pitched on the palace greens, and make sure you get to the Steam bar, which occupies a restored train.
08. Monastero santa rosa hotel & spa amalfi coast italy
We all dream of a romantic, seaside Italian getaway, and this one in a restored seventeenth-century monastery, just three miles from Amalfi, might be it. With just 20 rooms, terraced gardens, clifftop Mediterranean views, and a pool that seems to float over the sea, you'll find yourself right at that point of enjoying the seclusion without feeling isolated.
You can mingle with the other adult guests (children under 16 not allowed) who, like you, no doubt also are looking for a little R&R by Italy's famous Amalfi Coast. Stroll the four levels of terraced gardens, and don't miss the spa, which includes sauna and steam rooms, a hydro pool, and tepidarium. You can enjoy a martini with a side of chess at the library and bar, before dining on local Campanian specialties at Il Refetorio, the on-site restaurant. It's la dolce vita straight out of central casting.
09. La Réserve Paris - Hotel and Spa
La Réserve owner Michel Reybier had great success with his Geneva and Ramatuelle outposts. Yet there was general astonishment when, in 2015, La Réserve Paris sashayed into town, teaching the city’s grandes dames new tricks. It's the most beloved address in the French capital for fashion editors and the go-to for regular visitors to the city who want to feel like they’re staying in a private mansion, with just 40 rooms in a fine hôtel particulier designed by Baron Haussmann for Napoleon III’s half-brother the Duc de Morny in 1854. Its position, on a quiet, tree-lined street moments from the Place de la Concorde, is propitious. Then you cross the threshold and—ka-boom!—it’s an explosion of color and texture in the best way imaginable. There’s brocade taffeta, velvet drapes and silk wallpapers in the richest shades of emerald and ruby. No crevice has gone ungilded. This is somewhere you'll want to come back to time and again. Doubles from $1,055..
10. Hotel Astoria, A Rocco Forte Hotel
The Astoria is probably St. Petersburg's most famous hotel. Opened in 1912, it was a byword for luxury in the last years before the October Revolution, and has recently been restored to its former glories as part of the Rocco Forte Collection. In 2007 it featured on Forbes' Valentine's Day list of the most romantic hotels in the world.Enjoying a fantastic central location right opposite the golden dome of St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Astoria Hotel is superbly situated for sightseeing, with the Hermitage, Nevsky Prospekt, and the Mariinsky Theatre all in comfortable walking distance.
The Astoria offers 211 luxurious rooms and suites furnished in an elegant and homely style, as well as full range of 5-star amenities and services, including top-class spa and gym, and opulent event space including the hotel's sumptuous Ballroom and Winter Garden. Excellent meeting facilities are available at the neighbouring Angleterre Hotel. The Astoria Hotel's main Davidoff Restaurant is one of the finest places in St. Petersburg to experience traditional Russian haute cuisine.