Luxury Check In

The 14 Best Luxury Hotels in the World, According to Luxury Travel Writers

Four Seasons Bora Bora Overwater Bungalows

The Luxury Check In staff have stayed at five-star properties around the globe, and it takes something truly special to impress us. Merely having an expensive price tag is no indicator of true luxury. What makes a hotel splurge-worthy is a combination of a number of factors: Unique amenities, innovative on-site dining, stylish design, helpful staff, comfortable rooms, and more—these are the things that will make or break a luxury hotel stay. We’ve traveled to all seven continents and personally vetted hundreds of properties to find the best luxury hotels in the world, where your experience will be unparalleled from check-in to check-out. 

Methodology: To determine the best luxury hotels in the world, we surveyed Luxury Check In writers, asking them to rank their favorite hotels in five categories: design, amenities, service, location, and dining. We averaged the scores for each category and chose the top 14 highest rated hotels for our best luxury hotels list.

Pera Palace Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

Pera Palace Luxury Hotel

Opened in 1892, the stately Pera Palace has been one of the most iconic hotels in the world ever since, drawing in notable guests like Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock. The rooms and common spaces are outfitted in rich jewel tones and shining marble for the ultimate in old-school glamour. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Rooms and suites designed after the famous guests who stayed in them
  • Five on-site bars and restaurants
  • Spa with small indoor pool and marble hammam
  • In-room bathrooms designed after Turkish Baths
  • Helpful staff

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Enjoy a classic English afternoon tea in the opulent Kubbeli Lounge.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Ritz Carlton New York Central Park Luxury Hotel

The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park is one of the most luxurious hotels in New York City for one reason—the million-dollar views of Central Park. Occupying a prime location on Manhattan’s Billionaire’s Row the hotel combines the Ritz-Carlton brand’s elegant luxury with Manhattan glitz and glamour. 

Key Luxury Features: 

  • Newly renovated La Prarie Spa
  • Mercedes house car
  • 400 thread count Frette linens
  • Plush terry bathrobes and Frette slippers
  • Contour Restaurant attracts locals for a fun nightlife scene
  • Carrara marble bathrooms with soaking tubs
  • Completely soundproofed windows

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Set on one of the higher floors, The Grand Park View Suites have the best views in the house.

Interested in making your Ritz-Carlton experience even more luxurious? Read our review of the Ritz-Carlton Club Level.

Little Palm Island, Florida Keys

LIttle Palm Island Florida Keys Luxury Resort

For a truly luxurious escape head to Little Palm Island, an oasis in the Florida Keys. This exclusive resort is the only private island hotel in America and places an emphasis on unwinding, with a no cell phones in common spaces policy and no televisions in the rooms.

Key Luxury Features:

  • Only accessible by boat or seaplane
  • Welcome cocktail
  • Luxurious private boat ferry
  • Just 30 suites
  • Complimentary kayaks, paddleboards, and Hobie Cats
  • Acclaimed on-site restaurant

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Book the Island Romance Suite, which features an oversized outdoor copper soaking tub.

Read our review of Little Palm Island.

White Desert, Antarctica

White Desert Antarctica

Are there hotels in Antarctica? Not technically, but there is White Desert’s Whichaway camp, a seasonal outpost comprising six heated polar pods. Guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime luxury experience dining on gourmet meals, enjoying a sauna with glacier views, and hiking over the ice. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Heated private sleeping pods with ensuite bathrooms
  • Unique adventure activities including ice climbing and hiking
  • Polar clothing available for loan
  • All-inclusive experience
  • Arrive via private jet
  • Charlotte Rys toiletries
  • Only 12 guests allowed at a time

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Add on the 2.5-hour flight to Atka Bay to see an Emperor Penguin colony.

Lion Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Lion Sands Luxury Resort Kruger National Park

Sip a glass of Champagne in your private plunge pool while you watch elephants drink from the Sabie River, just a few meters away. For a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience, Lion Sands Private Game Reserve is the best place to stay in Kruger National Park. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Private outdoor showers
  • Air-conditioned suites
  • Good chance of spotting the Big Five
  • Highly experienced safari guides
  • Gourmet meals

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Reserve one of Lion Sands’ treehouses for a truly magical night under the stars. 

Read our full review of Lion Sands River Lodge here.

Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge, Tarangire, Tanzania

Lemala Luxury Resort Tanzania

Avoid the crowds of the Serengeti and have the savannah all to yourself in Tarangire, the sixth-largest national park. Perched Lemala Mpingo Ridge on top of an escarpment with sweeping views across the perennial Tarangire River and valley below, Tarangire offers luxurious tented accommodations. This isn’t camping (or even glamping)—rooms are outfitted with plush, canopied, king-size beds, outdoor showers, deep soaking tubs, and private decks. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Private outdoor showers and soaking tubs
  • Unparalleled views of the Savannah
  • Swimming pool
  • Complimentary laundry service
  • Game drives in custom-designed 4x4s

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Get a unique view of the wildlife on a sunrise hot air balloon safari.

Longitude 131, Uluru, Australia

Longitude 131 Luxury Resort Australia

Fifteen luxury tents, all with direct views of mesmerizing Uluru, comprise Longitude 131, the premiere place to stay in Uluru. Nestled among the red dunes, the opulent tents are outfitted with custom furniture, pieces by local Indigenous artists, private decks, and floor-to-ceiling windows from which to admire the view. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Ensuite bathrooms with rain showers
  • Fireplaces
  • Private balconies with daybeds
  • Complimentary minibar stocked with gourmet Australian treats
  • Luxury spa

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Dine under the stars at Table 131, the resort’s exclusive outdoor restaurant. 

Read our full review of Longitude 131 here.

Los Cauquenes Resort + Spa, Ushuaia, Argentina

Los Caquenes Luxury Hotel Argentina

Located at what feels like the end of the earth, Los Cauquenes Resort, is the perfect place to stay before embarking on an Antarctica adventure. With the Beagle Channel in front of the hotel and the snowcapped Andes mountains behind, you’ll have amazing scenery no matter where you look.

Key Luxury Features:

  • Indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool
  • Luxury spa
  • Scenic winter garden
  • Direct access to a private beach
  • A variety of tours and activities are available including a trip to a penguin colony

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Visit the wine lounge and sample delicious wine from the region.

White Elephant, Nantucket

White Elephant Nantucket Luxury Hotel

On an island that’s full of over-the-top opulence, the White Elephant manages to be one of the most luxurious hotels around. The sprawling resort has a variety of accommodation options available, from private vacation home rentals to classic suites. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Beach toys and board games
  • Complimentary Wave passes for Nantucket public buses
  • In-town courtesy vehicle service
  • Transfers to and from the Hy-Line ferry terminal
  • Free Priority Bicycles
  • Loaner BMWs

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Sip a cocktail on one of the cushy lounge chairs on the lawn and watch the boats sail in and out of the harbor.

Read our review of the White Elephant, Nantucket.

Ladera Resort, Soufriere, St. Lucia

Ladera Luxury Hotel St Lucia

The only resort situated on a UNESCO World Heritage site, Ladera Resort, is set in one of the most picturesque locations in St. Lucia. To truly enjoy the beauty, rooms at the resort are designed in an open-air style, with just three walls. Suites open up to a private plunge pool and incredible views of the famous Pitons and blue waters of the Caribbean. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Private heated pools with waterfall features
  • Four-poster king beds with mosquito nets
  • Molton Brown bath amenities
  • Complimentary airport transfers
  • Butler service
  • Locally crafted wood furniture

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Book the Hilltop Dream Suite, which has a romantic swing over the heated swimming pool.

Read our full review of the White Elephant.

Hotel Martinez, Cannes, France

Hotel Martinez Luxury Hotel Cannes France

With a coveted location overlooking a private beach, the Hotel Martinez is the place to see and be seen in Cannes, France. The rooftop terrace over the famous Boulevard de la Croisette attracts celebrities (and onlookers), especially during the famed film festival. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Modern art deco design
  • La Plage Beach Club has over 400 lounge chairs for beachgoers
  • Fragonard toiletries
  • La Palme d’Or restaurant is one of the best in Cannes
  • Pet-friendly
  • House car

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Book the 12,100-square-foot Penthouse for the ultimate in luxury. The double-suite penthouse features a movie room, yoga room, massage area, and more.

Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, Jordan

Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Jordan Luxury Hotel

Inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the five-star Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea is a lush oasis. The extensive resort features 345 rooms, nine swimming pools, five restaurants, and one of the largest spas in the Middle East.

Key Luxury Features:

  • Lazy river
  • Kids Club
  • Tennis courts
  • Private beach
  • Allergy-free rooms

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Book the Dead Sea Salt Massage, which uses Dead Sea salt and local herbs to relax muscles. 

Four Seasons Bora Bora, Motu Tehotu, French Polynesia

Four Seasons Bora Bora Luxury Hotel

Whether you want a romantic overwater bungalow or a spacious villa on the beach, the Four Seasons Bora Bora has the right accommodation for your luxury Bora Bora trip. There are over 100 overwater bungalows and seven sprawling villas to choose from, all of which overlook the review’s crystal clear waters. 

Key Luxury Features:

  • Guests are greeted with flower leis
  • Custom-crafted boats for guest transport
  • Private plunge pools in certain suites
  • Villas feature infinity pools
  • Incredible sunset views
  • White sand beach

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: The resort can arrange a private dinner for two, where you’ll be whisked away by canoe to a secluded white-sand beach. 

Narbona Wine Lodge, Carmelo, Uruguay

Narbona Wine Lodge Luxury Hotel Uruguay

The boutique Narbona Wine Lodge has just five exclusive rooms set among the rolling hills of the vineyard. At this Relais & Chateaux property, guests are given full range of the estate, able to wander the 15 acres of the vineyard or sample open bottles in the tasting rooms.

Key Luxury Features:

  • Private balconies
  • French tea and Italian coffee service
  • Plush robes and slippers
  • Access to a private beach
  • Renowned onsite restaurant

Exclusive Luxury Check In Tip: Take Narbona’s 4×4 out to the end of the vineyard at sunset with a bottle of the house wine. 

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