What Are The Best Luxury Hotel Brands?

What Are The Best Luxury Hotel Brands?

62

Want to receive extra benefits for stays at virtually any luxury hotel brand, including a room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact [email protected] for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.


Here’s a fun topic that I’ll share my thoughts on, and then I’m curious to hear how OMAAT readers feel — what are the best luxury hotel brands in the world? It goes without saying that there’s no right answer as to what the best hotel groups are, given that it really is dependent on the specific property and what you’re into.

Below I figured I’d share my overall impressions of major luxury hotel groups, and I’ll put them into two categories:

  • Hotels you can easily book with points because they belong to major hotel loyalty programs
  • Hotels you can’t book with points; I’ll include brands like Shangri-La in this category — yes, Shangri-La has a points program, but there’s no easy way to earn the points outside of staying at Shangri-La properties, so for most people the points affiliation isn’t particularly useful

Let me also emphasize that I’ll limit my list to hotel groups that have more than 10 properties — yes, that’s arbitrary, but this is intended to streamline things, since otherwise there are all kinds of top notch hotel collections with just a few hotels.

Hotel brand consistency is a problem

The challenge with ranking the world’s best luxury hotel groups is that there’s huge variance in terms of quality between properties. Generally speaking:

  • A city hotel may offer a totally different experience than a secluded resort
  • Geography can greatly impact hotel quality — hotels are better in Asia than in the United States, for example
  • A hotel may be significantly different based on whether it’s a converted property from another brand, or a new build
  • The competitiveness of a hotel market also impacts how hard some hotels choose to try

Just to give an example, while the Four Seasons Denver is a perfectly nice city hotel…

Four Seasons Denver

…it would give you a very different impression of the brand than the Four Seasons Surfside, for example.

Four Seasons Surfside

Best luxury hotel brands you can book with points

I have six favorite luxury hotel brands that can be booked with points. Given the points angle here, I think it’s only fair to consider elite recognition and loyalty perks, since this can play a major role. With that in mind, here’s my ranking:

1. Park Hyatt

For me it doesn’t get much better than Park Hyatt for luxury points hotels. Not only do I love the (typically) minimalist decor of Park Hyatt properties, but you really get the best of both worlds thanks to World of Hyatt — as a Globalist member you can use a suite upgrade award to confirm an upgrade an advance, you receive complimentary breakfast, etc.

I’m always excited when I see there’s a Park Hyatt at the destination I’m traveling to.

You can’t beat the value of redeeming at the Park Hyatt Paris

2. Alila

Alila is one of Hyatt’s newer hotel brands, and it has a focus on nature. So far Alila only has three properties in the US (all in California), but I’ve had great experiences so far, especially given the World of Hyatt connection. Alila’s biggest market is Asia, and I look forward to checking out more Alilas once more places in Asia reopen.

Alila Ventana Big Sur is one of my favorite properties in the US

3. St. Regis

St. Regis is my favorite luxury hotel brand belonging to Marriott Bonvoy. For the most part I’ve had excellent experiences at St. Regis hotels, from resorts to city locations. Best of all, St. Regis is the only “true” luxury Marriott brand where Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members receive perks like complimentary breakfast, suite upgrades (including the ability to use suite night awards), and more.

So I’ll always seek out a St. Regis over a Ritz-Carlton, for example.

The St. Regis Maldives is gorgeous

4. Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria is Hilton’s most premium brand, and it’s growing at a fast pace. From city hotels to resorts, the Waldorf Astoria properties that I’ve stayed at have mostly impressed me. Best of all, as a Hilton Honors Diamond or Hilton Honors Gold member, all elite perks are honored at these properties.

The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is one of my favorite US city hotels

5. EDITION

EDITION is still a fairly new brand for Marriott, and it’s essentially intended to be a younger version of Ritz-Carlton. For the most part I love the EDITION properties I’ve stayed at, so why isn’t EDITION ranking higher for me?

Well, because EDITION hotels only offer limited perks to Bonvoy members. I’ll stay at EDITION properties if I love them, but I don’t otherwise go out of my way to stay at them.


The Bodrum EDITION is one of my favorite hotels 

6. Ritz-Carlton

To me Ritz-Carlton is a brand that has almost no standards. Many Ritz-Carltons outside the US are phenomenal (like Hong Kong and Tokyo), though there’s also a lot I don’t like about Ritz-Carlton:

  • Ritz-Carltons don’t honor most Marriott Bonvoy elite perks, like complimentary breakfast
  • I find that Ritz-Carltons in the US have borderline scripted service, and simply feel like luxury resort factories in terms of the experience
  • Suffice to say there’s a difference between the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong and the Ritz-Carlton Aruba

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is phenomenal

Best non-points luxury hotel brands

I have six favorite luxury hotel brands that aren’t bookable with major points currencies. Given that, this list will be less about value, and more about which offer the all around best experiences, and deliver on their promises.

With that in mind, here are my favorite luxury hotel groups:

1. Aman

I’m giving Aman this place on the list not because of where the brand is headed, but because of where it’s coming from. In the past I absolutely adored Aman. While the hotels are expensive, they really tried to deliver a special experience with boutique properties that were unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere.

Those properties still exist, though unfortunately under new ownership the brand has taken a much less inspiring direction. Rather than opening awesome hotels in the middle of nowhere, Aman is now cashing on its name, opening hotels in places like Bangkok, Miami, and New York, which is hardly what the brand was initially founded for.

So yeah, this is a reluctant ranking on my part, but I still think Aman is best… for now.

Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, one of my favorite Amans

2. Four Seasons

Four Seasons is brand that has grown on me a lot in recent years. It’s like a better version of Ritz-Carlton — sure, not all Four Seasons properties are amazing physically, but:

  • Service is consistently exceptional, and you don’t deal with the annoyances you might experience at other hotel groups
  • Four Seasons doesn’t nickel-and-dime; for example, Four Seasons’ Hawaii properties don’t have resort fees, Four Seasons properties often have complimentary coffee in the lobby in the morning, etc.
  • Four Seasons has some really cool new hotels in the pipeline, from Sicily to Mallorca to Belize
The Four Seasons Desroches Island is gorgeous

3. Rosewood

Rosewood is a brand to watch, as it’s growing at an extremely fast pace. Rosewood is not only doing an amazing job with its new city hotels, but it’s also opening some awesome resorts. I’d say Rosewood is quickly becoming Four Seasons’ biggest competitor.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood resort

4. Six Senses

Six Senses was acquired by IHG a while back, though it’s still not possible to redeem points at the properties. On the surface I love Six Senses — they’re all about secluded nature, and in general that’s something I love.

If there were a downside to the brand, it’s that I personally don’t love the decor. It feels a bit too Flintstones-esque to me. But that’s a small price to pay for the places Six Senses has properties.

A Six Senses is opening in Israel this summer

5. Mandarin Oriental

There’s a huge variance in terms of the quality of Mandarin Oriental properties — I find some of the new properties to be gorgeous, while some of the older properties are just okay. The brand is known for its great service and unique style. However, personally I view the brand as being a notch below Four Seasons and Rosewood purely in terms of consistency (though that might just be my bias).

Mandarin Oriental has some great city hotels, like in Barcelona

6. Shangri-La

Shangri-La has some phenomenal flagship properties, while the brand also has a lot of mid-tier properties, many of which retail for well under $200 per night. So it’s hard to say that the chain on the whole can compete with some of other brands, but there are some great properties.

I got engaged at the Shangri-La Paris years ago

Bottom line

There’s no right or wrong answer as to what the world’s best hotel chain is, though the above are some of my favorites. Of course this is highly subjective, since it’s based on the properties I’ve stayed at, and there are significant differences in terms of the quality of properties.

There are some fantastic hotel brands that are either smaller or that I haven’t stayed at, like Cheval Blanc, One&Only, and Peninsula, so for those who have stayed at those properties, I’d love to hear what you think.

What are your favorite luxury hotel groups?

Want to receive extra benefits for stays at virtually any luxury hotel brand, including a room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact [email protected] for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked.


Conversations (62)
Newest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Emil

    Interesting views... for me, below are my favorite names in ultimate luxury hospitality. Many of the world's most iconic hotels and resorts are being looked after by these groups. In no particular order as properties may vary depending on the destinations, these brands offer consistency in the ultra-luxury space:

    ULTRA-LUXURY
    The Peninsula Hotels
    Aman Resorts
    Belmond
    Oetker Collection
    Raffles Hotels & Resorts
    Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
    Rosewood...

    Interesting views... for me, below are my favorite names in ultimate luxury hospitality. Many of the world's most iconic hotels and resorts are being looked after by these groups. In no particular order as properties may vary depending on the destinations, these brands offer consistency in the ultra-luxury space:

    ULTRA-LUXURY
    The Peninsula Hotels
    Aman Resorts
    Belmond
    Oetker Collection
    Raffles Hotels & Resorts
    Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
    Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
    The Oberoi Group
    Capella Hotels & Resorts
    Rocco Forte Hotels
    Dorchester Collection
    Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
    Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas

    For high-end and upscale luxury hotels, these names speaks the same level of offering. Properties again varies depending on the location:

    LUXURY
    Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
    Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
    Condrad Hotels & Resorts
    St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
    Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
    Park Hyatt
    Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
    Anantara Hotels & Resorts
    The Luxury Collection
    Regent International Hotels
    Sofitel Hotels & Resorts

    Singita, Banyan Tree, and Cheval Blanc properties are boutique, truly special on their own right and to certain niches.

  2. Jackson Henderson

    @Bill

    I completely agree with your assessment of Park Hyatt and those two mentioned hotels. I looked at every 5 star hotel in the Hyatt portfolio and Vienna and Sydney (glass wall bathrooms are gross. I couldn’t stay there) were the only two that impressed. The Hyatt room design and decor is extremely bland. There is luxury minimalism and then there is ugly cheap minimalism like Hyatt. Those rooms are so drab. I don’t know...

    @Bill

    I completely agree with your assessment of Park Hyatt and those two mentioned hotels. I looked at every 5 star hotel in the Hyatt portfolio and Vienna and Sydney (glass wall bathrooms are gross. I couldn’t stay there) were the only two that impressed. The Hyatt room design and decor is extremely bland. There is luxury minimalism and then there is ugly cheap minimalism like Hyatt. Those rooms are so drab. I don’t know why anyone would choose the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires over the Four Seasons with the mansion view and nice junior suites.

    @SmallEunway

    Good mentioning Rocco Forte. Their hotels are consistently great. The room designs are fresh for the city they are in and the service is always friendly and excellent.

  3. schar

    You need to include Belmond, Jumeirah, Anantara, Bvlgari, Cheval Blanc, Montage, etc

  4. Jay

    @Ben @Lucky -- where does Singita rank among these? According to your post in 9/2019: " Singita Boulders is my favorite hotel experience ever, and I’m not sure how I’m ever expected to go back to Amans."

  5. SullyofDoha

    Obviously a VERY American centric take on luxury hotels. I'm surprised that no mention was given to ACCOR hotels chains since outside of North America, many are spectacular:
    -Banyan Tree
    -Sofitel
    -Fairmont

  6. iamhere

    I don't think Shangri-la and Waldorf are luxury.
    As for Shangri-la it depends on the property that you stay at.
    Some are more luxurious than others.
    Waldorf, my experiences were less than luxury. It shows the potential to be a luxury hotel while treating guests like a low end hotel. In fact, I have had better service and been treated better at low end hotels.
    Some of the other brands like...

    I don't think Shangri-la and Waldorf are luxury.
    As for Shangri-la it depends on the property that you stay at.
    Some are more luxurious than others.
    Waldorf, my experiences were less than luxury. It shows the potential to be a luxury hotel while treating guests like a low end hotel. In fact, I have had better service and been treated better at low end hotels.
    Some of the other brands like Edition depend on your preferences. Many that prefer Edition do not prefer St. Regis or Ritz Carlton, for example.

  7. Stuart

    @Cole I’m so glad others agree! I have often said that if any luxury hotel in the country wants a seminar on how to run a truly great urban property in the US than Pen Chicago is the model. I have yet to ever find one single thing to be disappointed in. It just perfects is everything. Even the rooms are perfectly designed and laid out just right, as if I would have designed it...

    @Cole I’m so glad others agree! I have often said that if any luxury hotel in the country wants a seminar on how to run a truly great urban property in the US than Pen Chicago is the model. I have yet to ever find one single thing to be disappointed in. It just perfects is everything. Even the rooms are perfectly designed and laid out just right, as if I would have designed it for myself. And if you get it at the right time it can be surprisingly affordable Compared to NY or LA.

  8. Cole

    @Stuart. Totally agree funny I almost said the same thing in my long post referencing the Peninsula omission. I also have the Peninsula Chicago as the best city hotel in the United States.

    And one could make the argument for Peninsula properties being the best in many of its locations, except maybe New York. Just fantastic consistency across the brand (for example, it’s the only brand in the world to receive 5-star Forbes status...

    @Stuart. Totally agree funny I almost said the same thing in my long post referencing the Peninsula omission. I also have the Peninsula Chicago as the best city hotel in the United States.

    And one could make the argument for Peninsula properties being the best in many of its locations, except maybe New York. Just fantastic consistency across the brand (for example, it’s the only brand in the world to receive 5-star Forbes status across its entire portfolio of properties, not that that’s necessarily dispositive but ya).

  9. Hoshinoya Fan

    I'd put Hoshinoya right up there.

  10. Cole

    Long time lurker here, but I had to chime in and echo the comments that maybe this should have been “Best Luxury Brands I’ve Ever Stayed At,” because any luxury hotel enthusiast would put Peninsula near the top. There’s plenty of comments wanting the inclusion of this or that brand, but Peninsula is a no brainer! Not as many properties and all big city properties IIRC, but amazing 5 star consistency across the board.

    Personally...

    Long time lurker here, but I had to chime in and echo the comments that maybe this should have been “Best Luxury Brands I’ve Ever Stayed At,” because any luxury hotel enthusiast would put Peninsula near the top. There’s plenty of comments wanting the inclusion of this or that brand, but Peninsula is a no brainer! Not as many properties and all big city properties IIRC, but amazing 5 star consistency across the board.

    Personally combining both categories, and accepting all of the caveats about property inconsistency and difficulty comparing Lucky mentioned, I’d go:
    1) Peninsula
    2) Aman
    3) Four Seasons
    4) Mandarin Oriental (I’ll admit I have a bit of a unique personal bias for MO)
    5) St. Regis
    6) Park Hyatt
    7) Waldorf
    8) Rosewood
    9) Ritz Carlton (so much variability)
    9) One and Only
    10) Edition
    11) Shangri-la

    Plenty of other good ones mentioned in the comments (although perhaps we need a upper-mid-tier luxury list too as many mentioned veer into that more 4.5 star category imo or are such small brands you can’t really compare), but anyway I think Peninsula is by far the biggest omission here.

    Though thanks Lucky generally enjoy your hotel-oriented pieces just as much as the aviation ones!

  11. Stuart

    @Ted. I totally agree about Peninsula. The Chicago property as an example is by far, in my opinion, the singular best city luxury hotel in the U.S.

  12. Stuart

    Great post. But two brands you left out that deserve attention are Rocco Forte properties...I am a huge fan and have been staying at many in Europe for years. As well, Como...with some exceptional properties (Miami not so much) including my favorite go-to for two decades, The Halkin in London.

  13. Ted

    I never staid at an Aman, but taking city hotels, in my option Peninsula is by far my the best luxury hotel chain (again don’t have resorts). Especially the newer and renovated properties. Rooms are huge, and designed better than anything I’ve seen, technology is huge component at newer ones. Great bathrooms, closets, etc. also the best service of any hotel chain by far.

    I like St Regis but felt they went a lot down...

    I never staid at an Aman, but taking city hotels, in my option Peninsula is by far my the best luxury hotel chain (again don’t have resorts). Especially the newer and renovated properties. Rooms are huge, and designed better than anything I’ve seen, technology is huge component at newer ones. Great bathrooms, closets, etc. also the best service of any hotel chain by far.

    I like St Regis but felt they went a lot down hill since they became part of Marriott (under SPG its great). New York and Miami used to have my favorite properties but just not that as good anymore. Seems to be cost cutting and to many people have acesss to them by points or free nights paying guest is smaller. SPG was really the best though.

  14. Steven Patton

    Belmond? Auberge? You missed two of the better ones.

  15. DCAFrank

    @Scott - So many great feelings about the Conrad Tokyo. Several years ago, took the train in from HND and was absolutely soaked from it being in the high-80s. My room wasn't ready, so the front desk attendant walked me to spa so that I could shower. Finished up quicker than they thought so the manager gave me a glass of Veuve and put me in a suite for my stay - I was a...

    @Scott - So many great feelings about the Conrad Tokyo. Several years ago, took the train in from HND and was absolutely soaked from it being in the high-80s. My room wasn't ready, so the front desk attendant walked me to spa so that I could shower. Finished up quicker than they thought so the manager gave me a glass of Veuve and put me in a suite for my stay - I was a Silver, visiting for the first time, on a points! After that, I've only stay at the Conrad Tokyo for work and pleasure. Haven't cared about the rates or even looked at a different property. It's the little thing that separate goods from great at that level.

  16. Ryan

    Ben, you need to get to Australia and try the Baillie Lodges. Capella Lord Howe is one of the best hotels I’ve visited.

  17. Dr.BadVibes

    What about Relais and Chateux? Stayed at their property in both Sri Lanka and the Galapagos and I would give them both a HUGE two thumbs up

  18. Scott

    There are some really good Conrads out there, and they are great with perks and recognition for Hilton elites. One of my favorites is the Conrad Tokyo -- have stayed there many times and they treat you like royalty if you have Hilton status.

  19. Bret

    I'm a big One&Only fan and it should absolutely be on the list. I've stayed at both the hotel in Cape Town and the resort/ranch in Wolgan Valley, Australia. Two totally different experiences but both were absolutely fantastic - the Cape Town property was on par with any other high-end luxury hotel I've stayed at before (think the Savoy/Four Seasons/Park Hyatt Sydney, but with a panoramic view of Table Mountain from your room) but the...

    I'm a big One&Only fan and it should absolutely be on the list. I've stayed at both the hotel in Cape Town and the resort/ranch in Wolgan Valley, Australia. Two totally different experiences but both were absolutely fantastic - the Cape Town property was on par with any other high-end luxury hotel I've stayed at before (think the Savoy/Four Seasons/Park Hyatt Sydney, but with a panoramic view of Table Mountain from your room) but the Wolgan Valley was on another level (private cabins and pools, personalized service, game drives, etc. sort of like our safari in South Africa but higher quality and with more activities available). I would return to both in a second and my wife and I are hoping to visit one of their properties in Mexico when everything returns to normal again.

    Peninsulas are fantastic too and I agree they should be on the list. It's been a while since I stayed but their property in Chicago used to be regarded as one of the nicest hotels in Chicago (not sure if that is still true or not though).

  20. Pam

    Really enjoy Fairmont properties, in Canada especially - book with Accor ALL points, transferable from Capital One. Le Château Frontenac hotel in Québec City a personal fav.

  21. Bill

    Ben, not including Marriott’s Luxury Collection (admittedly a soft brand) is a pretty big miss. Some of the top hotels in the world are among this group: Gritti Palace, Danieli, Hotel Imperial, Al Maha, The Chatwal, Canyon Suites at the Phoenician, Mystique, The Haciendas Yucatán, Grand Bretagne, Prince Gallery Tokyo, Las Alcobas Mexico City, etc.

    Ben also mistakes which hotels offer better elite loyalty program benefits for which hotels are actually better in his...

    Ben, not including Marriott’s Luxury Collection (admittedly a soft brand) is a pretty big miss. Some of the top hotels in the world are among this group: Gritti Palace, Danieli, Hotel Imperial, Al Maha, The Chatwal, Canyon Suites at the Phoenician, Mystique, The Haciendas Yucatán, Grand Bretagne, Prince Gallery Tokyo, Las Alcobas Mexico City, etc.

    Ben also mistakes which hotels offer better elite loyalty program benefits for which hotels are actually better in his review.

    I think St Regis, Ritz-Carlton, and Luxury Collection will rank considerably higher than Park Hyatt and Waldorf Astoria for any proper luxury traveler — and especially anyone not considering points. The idea of putting Alila in the same consideration is truly an artifact of loving World of Hyatt and not anything to do with Alila properties being anywhere in the same luxury caliber in almost any case outside Bali! But to each, their own. Beyond Sydney and Vienna, there are no PH hotels that are considered better than the StR, RC, or Luxury Collection options in any overlapping market. That’s a big reason why I stayed with SPG over Hyatt and why I continue to stay with Marriott Bonvoy over Hyatt.

    As someone who loves Aman and Peninsula, I know the best StR, RC, PH, and Luxury Collection options can compete. And even the very newest WA Maldives and perhaps even WA Bangkok.

  22. smallrunway

    Rocco Forte Hotels, Oetker Collection, Regent Hotels, Belmond, Banyan Tree, Cenizario, Constance

    So many are missing..

  23. KBT

    Perhaps an up and newcomer (since 2017 I think) is Nobu. There's about 20 hotels around the globe and would love to hear any feedback from people that have stayed at one or any of them.

  24. Mattt

    Is Thompson luxury? I feel like it's up there... def better than Shangri-la overall.

  25. Tahsin

    I'm biased towards Hilton brand, so I'd say Conrad and LXR deserves a mention here too. There are some really nice Conrad properties, and few maybe not as great. LXR does not have a big footprint, but it's growing and they're also quite luxurious.

  26. Bob

    As others have said, I vote for Conrad as well. It's understated luxury in all-suite hotels. Plus the service is superb and the locations unbeatable.

  27. Steffl

    .... forgot an important player:
    JUMEIRAH Hotels
    .... all properties, WAY above any average!
    Palma de Mallorca, ex NYC Sussex, Burj Al Arab, Mina A Salam, Maldives

    .... don't think you Guys have stayed at any of those yet?

  28. MDA

    Oh mark is right. Como is great. Staying at a Como for Easter(Perth).

  29. Efrain

    If you titled the blog "What Are The Best Luxury Hotel Brands I'VE STAYED" I think the title will be accurate, but IF you are thinking globally without any "fidelity or support to any certain company" I'm sure you are missing big names on your list, as Raffles, Peninsula, Fairmont, Oberoi, Banyan Tree, Peninsula, SLS, Regent, Belmond, Jumeriah, etc.

  30. Mark

    I'd add Como to your non points list.

  31. Peter

    I was excited for the comments to flood in as I knew there would be several that I could not think of at the time of my initial comment. I'm surprised at the amount of Oberoi love. They're great, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure that I'd put them in my top 5.

    The others I've seen posted here that I would definitely add to a "top XX" list: Peninsula, Belmond, Dorchester,...

    I was excited for the comments to flood in as I knew there would be several that I could not think of at the time of my initial comment. I'm surprised at the amount of Oberoi love. They're great, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure that I'd put them in my top 5.

    The others I've seen posted here that I would definitely add to a "top XX" list: Peninsula, Belmond, Dorchester, Rosewood, and One&Only. To finish off a top 10 list, in no particular order: Aman, Four Seasons, Mandarin, Six Senses, and then maybe an &Beyond or Singita (both somewhat niche). Someone mentioned Australia and I thought of Robertson Lodge's properties - doesn't get much better.

  32. khatl

    Oberoi is phenomenal. Also like their next step down, Trident. The Trident Gurgaon and Oberoi Gurgaon are connected to each other and are spectacular in design and service

  33. Ian

    Agree with previous mentions= Oberoi is simply extraordinary. Service is just phenomenal.

  34. The Original Donna

    I have to agree with your Park Hyatt rating. Stayed twice at the Paris Vendome and the Milan hotels and they were phenomenal stays.

  35. Ex DOH

    3 major omissions from the non points list although these have a smaller more exclusive footprint

    1. Peninsula 2. Dorchester collection (maybe lucky is boycotting :) 3. Belmond

  36. Andrew

    I've only stayed at a few, but I've been very impressed with Sofitel hotels with Accor. Maybe I just got the good locations though.

  37. Tom

    Where does St Regis fit in this list? My experience has been that St Regis does a better job of delivering Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty perks than does Ritz Carlton.

  38. Rory

    Gotta agree with most of it, but there's a few that are definitely missing.
    In Dubai, Jumeirah offer - without doubt - the best hotels. Some of Anantara's properties are incredible. Capella are one often overlooked, but the ones in Singapore and Bali are nuts. Finally agree with the above with Belmond. Hotel das Cataratas is one of my all time favourites.

  39. Andrew

    Would have to agree about Park Hyatts. I've had nothing but good experiences with them and the Park Hyatt Maldives is the only hotel I've ever wanted to returned to (not because others are bad but because I like trying new places). Ritz deserves to be at the bottom. Only ever stayed with them in the US but they've been lack luster.

    Rosewood has impressed me a lot. I haven't been to one in...

    Would have to agree about Park Hyatts. I've had nothing but good experiences with them and the Park Hyatt Maldives is the only hotel I've ever wanted to returned to (not because others are bad but because I like trying new places). Ritz deserves to be at the bottom. Only ever stayed with them in the US but they've been lack luster.

    Rosewood has impressed me a lot. I haven't been to one in a while since I feel like their prices have increased quite a bit but the times I've stayed with them were amazing.

  40. RB

    Singita should absolutely be on the list, while not a traditional “hotel chain” their properties, service and attention to detail bow just about EVERYTHING else out of the water (I’ve stayed at every property and they consistently impress and impress some more)

  41. ML

    No Belmond? I'm a bit surprised. Belmond at Iguazu Fall's service is unbeatable!

  42. Desperado

    Rosewood Rosewood Rosewood! Incredibly impressed by Rosewood in Santa Barbara and the resort in Cabo. Blows away Ritz, St. Regis and most WA.

  43. Saurabh

    Oberoi ! Blows the ray out of the water...

  44. Stanley

    Now we need a similar list with mid-luxury premium brands.
    I am a huge fan of Le Meridien in Asia (KL, Chiang Rai...) and Westin brand

  45. Euro

    I have to agree with what Justin said about individual hotels. There is merit to the list however IMO, sort of like "first impressions" and "brand/chain reputation/association."

    I am a bit surprised you are ranking Ritz Carlton as a luxury chain over Andaz. I had thought Ritz Carlton was still just relying too much on their past laurels and former reputation so comes off as a washed up has-been. I mean the Kyoto property was...

    I have to agree with what Justin said about individual hotels. There is merit to the list however IMO, sort of like "first impressions" and "brand/chain reputation/association."

    I am a bit surprised you are ranking Ritz Carlton as a luxury chain over Andaz. I had thought Ritz Carlton was still just relying too much on their past laurels and former reputation so comes off as a washed up has-been. I mean the Kyoto property was nice but maybe my impression is outdated and their properties are a lot better?

  46. MDA

    Agree on n the Oberoi. They sometimes have summer specials. Stay x nights and get a night free. I actually had 2 nights free at the Oberoi in Agra. I would also add Leela, Taj and Chamba camp (although they have a small footprint)
    In Asia the Pen is a must. Shang is horrible in some places. Love baille lodges which own several luxury lodges innings Australia including capella, longitude 101 and the sadly...

    Agree on n the Oberoi. They sometimes have summer specials. Stay x nights and get a night free. I actually had 2 nights free at the Oberoi in Agra. I would also add Leela, Taj and Chamba camp (although they have a small footprint)
    In Asia the Pen is a must. Shang is horrible in some places. Love baille lodges which own several luxury lodges innings Australia including capella, longitude 101 and the sadly burnt out Southern ocean lodge on kangaroo island. Apparently they also own a few places in Canada too.

  47. David

    Four seasons Denver has been closed for months while they undergo major renovations. It felt dated when it opened. Let’s hope they up their game.

  48. Justin

    Given the disparities between properties that you mention seem to affect most large luxury hotel groups, I don't have a favorite or 'best' luxury hotel brand that I am loyal to. Rather, I pick my hotel on a location-by-location basis to ensure I get the best possible combination of hard product, service and location as fits my budget. I do my research, checking reviews online and on forums on Flyertalk and tend to judge hotels...

    Given the disparities between properties that you mention seem to affect most large luxury hotel groups, I don't have a favorite or 'best' luxury hotel brand that I am loyal to. Rather, I pick my hotel on a location-by-location basis to ensure I get the best possible combination of hard product, service and location as fits my budget. I do my research, checking reviews online and on forums on Flyertalk and tend to judge hotels individually more than their brand. Sometimes that can mean I choose a property with a dedicated luxury chain like a Shangri-La or Mandarin Oriental or an independent luxury hotel that belongs to a large marketing group like Preferred LEGEND or LHW, or a luxury brand that's part of a mega hotel group like Raffles (part of Accor). More often though, I find I select luxury hotels that belong to small or mid-sized luxury hotel groups like Belmond, Dorchester Collection or Auberge. Brands can be helpful and form a general baseline, but if you really want the best you have to look on a property by property basis.

  49. Kevin

    I would def put Singita on the list as it’s known as Aman of Africa and there are more than 10 properties as required to be considered onto this list although some may call it cheating as Singita Tanzania has a bunch of different name lodges that are essentially in the same location. It’s def pricier than Amans but I wouldn’t say it’s better in terms of service and location. Arguably it should be number...

    I would def put Singita on the list as it’s known as Aman of Africa and there are more than 10 properties as required to be considered onto this list although some may call it cheating as Singita Tanzania has a bunch of different name lodges that are essentially in the same location. It’s def pricier than Amans but I wouldn’t say it’s better in terms of service and location. Arguably it should be number 1 or 2 on the none point list imo.

    Peninsula should also be on the none points list before Shangri-la... although some of their properties need some renovation like Shanghai-la.

    As brands like Cheval Blanc slowly inches towards 10 properties +, I imagine this list will look very different ten years from now.

  50. Porsche prints money

    Capella deserves a mention

  51. rayray

    @Ben, I think you should really give Regent a try sometime! Whether in Taipei, Berlin, or the upcoming Hong Kong property (ex IC). The brand was co-founded by Adrian Zecha (Aman founder) and had been amongst the best in the 80s-90s until Four Seasons took over the majority of their properties in the late 90s.

    They don't have as many hotels as they used to have, but I feel like they still have a...

    @Ben, I think you should really give Regent a try sometime! Whether in Taipei, Berlin, or the upcoming Hong Kong property (ex IC). The brand was co-founded by Adrian Zecha (Aman founder) and had been amongst the best in the 80s-90s until Four Seasons took over the majority of their properties in the late 90s.

    They don't have as many hotels as they used to have, but I feel like they still have a lot to offer from their very luxurious reputation in the past. Hopefully IHG is still on board with staging their comeback.

  52. Abbas

    Raffles, Oetker Collection and Belmond should also be mentioned as non-points luxury hotels too... They offer true and iconic luxury properties. For a while, Shangri La had a great potential but they messed up, though they have few true luxury properties as you said.

  53. DCAFrank

    Oberoi? Never had a bad experience, and I don't think you've reviewed any since I've been a reader. Currently debating between a stay at Amanjena and the Oberoi now for a trip late in teh year...

  54. Steffl

    Bodrum EDITION . . . i 1000% agree with you on most favorite property of that brand, mostly because of the staff there
    Can't get any better! REAL and best Turkish hospitality.
    ... the breakfast there, the welcome by a bunch of sporty looking guys right outside of the Main Entrance, .... they all make you feel welcomed and welcome while you're staying there.
    Book early, sometimes tough to get what you...

    Bodrum EDITION . . . i 1000% agree with you on most favorite property of that brand, mostly because of the staff there
    Can't get any better! REAL and best Turkish hospitality.
    ... the breakfast there, the welcome by a bunch of sporty looking guys right outside of the Main Entrance, .... they all make you feel welcomed and welcome while you're staying there.
    Book early, sometimes tough to get what you want

    ... missing the ARMANI brand in your list!
    (i bet, you Guys would like that too, Milano, Dubai . . . ) YOUR style!

  55. NFSF

    The Peninsulas in Hong Kong and Paris are wonderful

  56. Sb

    Peninsula is the GOAT in my opinion. From "Peninsula time" when it comes to checking in and out to service, decor, everything is flawless. This is especially true at the Asia properties and even more so the HK flagship. In fact HK Peninsula is the best city hotel experience I've had BY FAR. But yes their footprint is too small to be considered I guess

  57. Moritz

    I would have put Belmont and Anantara in this list. They have some incredible properties and the service is top notch.

  58. Peter

    Forgot about One&Only - I would certainly have them on my non-points list.

  59. John R

    I am super loyal to Hilton but overall I feel that Edition, W, and Four Seasons are the best. In Scandinavia I love the Clarions but in the U.S I'm not a fan! The one in Denver is awful but the one at CPH is top notch! Overall I would say:
    St regis, Waldorf and Four Seasons
    W or Canopy
    Conrad and Loews

  60. Peter

    @Ben Six Senses decor have huge variation - each property is very different (just look at Kocatas Mansions in Turkey vs. their new Brazil property, for examples).

    I am surprised you went with Ritz Carlton over Conrad. I'd think the benefits received would have pushed it in Conrad's favor - maybe too similar to WA for this list's sake?

    Lastly, I think Shangri-La is falling by the wayside... They have some specific properties that...

    @Ben Six Senses decor have huge variation - each property is very different (just look at Kocatas Mansions in Turkey vs. their new Brazil property, for examples).

    I am surprised you went with Ritz Carlton over Conrad. I'd think the benefits received would have pushed it in Conrad's favor - maybe too similar to WA for this list's sake?

    Lastly, I think Shangri-La is falling by the wayside... They have some specific properties that are fantastic but many of them need a lot of love and touch ups. Many of them also feel like a Vegas casino on the inside. I'd put Rocco Forte or even Raffles ahead of them, just as an example.

  61. charles

    how can singita be left off this list? clearly above aman both past, present, and future

Featured Comments Load all 62 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Emil

Interesting views... for me, below are my favorite names in ultimate luxury hospitality. Many of the world's most iconic hotels and resorts are being looked after by these groups. In no particular order as properties may vary depending on the destinations, these brands offer consistency in the ultra-luxury space: ULTRA-LUXURY The Peninsula Hotels Aman Resorts Belmond Oetker Collection Raffles Hotels & Resorts Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts Rosewood Hotels & Resorts The Oberoi Group Capella Hotels & Resorts Rocco Forte Hotels Dorchester Collection Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas For high-end and upscale luxury hotels, these names speaks the same level of offering. Properties again varies depending on the location: LUXURY Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Condrad Hotels & Resorts St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts Park Hyatt Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Anantara Hotels & Resorts The Luxury Collection Regent International Hotels Sofitel Hotels & Resorts Singita, Banyan Tree, and Cheval Blanc properties are boutique, truly special on their own right and to certain niches.

Jackson Henderson

@Bill I completely agree with your assessment of Park Hyatt and those two mentioned hotels. I looked at every 5 star hotel in the Hyatt portfolio and Vienna and Sydney (glass wall bathrooms are gross. I couldn’t stay there) were the only two that impressed. The Hyatt room design and decor is extremely bland. There is luxury minimalism and then there is ugly cheap minimalism like Hyatt. Those rooms are so drab. I don’t know why anyone would choose the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires over the Four Seasons with the mansion view and nice junior suites. @SmallEunway Good mentioning Rocco Forte. Their hotels are consistently great. The room designs are fresh for the city they are in and the service is always friendly and excellent.

schar

You need to include Belmond, Jumeirah, Anantara, Bvlgari, Cheval Blanc, Montage, etc

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT