What Are The World’s Best Luxury Hotel Brands?

What Are The World’s Best Luxury Hotel Brands?

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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 three categories:

  • Major hotel groups that belong to major loyalty programs, which you can book with points
  • Major hotel groups that you can’t book with points; while this is arbitrary, I’ll define “major” as hotel groups with 15 or more properties
  • Boutique hotel groups that you can’t book with points; once again this is arbitrary, but Ill define “boutique” as hotel groups with fewer than 15 properties

Why am I splitting up major and boutique hotel groups in this way? Well, because I think it’s difficult to compare the overall offerings of Four Seasons to Cheval Blanc, for example, since they have totally different footprints.

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 Miami Brickell is a perfectly nice city hotel…

Four Seasons Miami Brickell

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

Four Seasons Surfside

Before I share my rankings, let me also note that I’m only including brands I’ve stayed at. Admittedly even that makes it tough to rank hotels, since it’s possible I’ve stayed at the best hotel of a brand, or the worst hotel. But I’ll try to take a hybrid approach here, and rank based on my actual experience at a hotel, combined with my overall impression of the brand’s portfolio and service based on everything I know.

Best luxury hotel brands bookable with points

I have six favorite major 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, Park Hyatt strikes the perfect balance between luxury and incredible loyalty participation (including great elite recognition). 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. Admittedly not all Park Hyatts are created equal, as there’s a difference between the Park Hyatt Paris and the Park Hyatt Hamburg. In general Park Hyatt’s city hotels are also much better than the resorts, which is a downside of the brand, in my opinion.

If you’re booking a paid stay at a Park Hyatt, I’d recommend doing so through the Hyatt Privé program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme

2. Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria brand has really grown on me. This is Hilton Honors’ most premium brand, and I’ve had consistently exceptional experiences, from Amsterdam, to Beverly Hills, to Dubai, to Los Cabos, to the Maldives.

Best of all, as a Hilton Honors Diamond or Hilton Honors Gold member, all elite perks are honored at these properties. This status is also really easy to earn with credit cards.

If you’re booking a paid stay at a Waldorf Astoria, I’d recommend doing so through the Hilton Impresario program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

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 properties, from resorts to city hotels. 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. I’ll almost always seek out a St. Regis over a Ritz-Carlton, for example.

If you’re booking a paid stay at a St. Regis, I’d recommend doing so through the Marriott STARS program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

St. Regis Maldives

4. 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 United States (all in California), though I appreciate the World of Hyatt connection. Alila’s biggest market is Asia, and I look forward to checking out those properties over time.

The catch is that Alila isn’t a very consistent brand. For example, Alila Ventana Big Sur is incredible, while Alila Marea Encinitas is… confusing. Alila Jabal Akhdar has an amazing location but lackluster service, while Alila Hinu Bay has amazing service but an odd location.

If you’re booking a paid stay at an Alila, I’d recommend doing so through the Hyatt Privé program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Alila Ventana Big Sur

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 (like the Bodrum EDITION), so why isn’t EDITION ranking higher for me?

Well, because EDITION hotels only offer limited perks to Bonvoy elite 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, because there’s not much of a loyalty program angle for doing so.

If you’re booking a paid stay at an EDITION, I’d recommend doing so through the Marriott STARS program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Bodrum EDITION

6. Ritz-Carlton

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

If you’re booking a paid stay at a Ritz-Carlton, I’d recommend doing so through the Marriott STARS program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Best major non-points luxury hotel brands

I have seven favorite major luxury hotel brands that aren’t bookable with major points currencies. This list is less about value, and more about which properties offer the all around best experiences, and deliver on their promises. Note that this list is limited to hotel groups with 15 or more properties. I should also mention that I’ve never stayed at a One&Only or Montage property, which is why those brands aren’t on the list.

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

1. 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 is expanding at a fast pace, and has some beautifully restored historic properties with an amazing sense of place (like the Four Seasons Madrid), with many more amazing properties in the pipeline (like the Four Seasons Belize Caye Chapel)

For me the Four Seasons brand is very much trending upwards, unlike Aman (which I’ll get into below).

If you’re booking a stay at a Four Seasons, I’d recommend doing so through the Four Seasons Preferred Partner program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Four Seasons Madrid

2. 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. The catch is that I find that Rosewood isn’t as consistently good with service as Four Seasons.

If you’re booking a stay at a Rosewood, I’d recommend doing so through the Rosewood Elite program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Rosewood Las Ventanas al Paraiso

3. Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental is another brand that’s growing nicely. I’d say Mandarin Oriental is strongest with city hotels, and there are many cities where Mandarin Oriental (almost) unarguably has the best hotel. But the group also has some fantastic resorts.

The catch is that there’s a bit of inconsistency with Mandarin Oriental’s portfolio, so not all hotels are created equal. Then again, that’s just true with most brands.

If you’re booking a stay at a Mandarin Oriental, I’d recommend doing so through the Mandarin Oriental Fan Club, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more. This is generally a better deal than taking part in the Mandarin Oriental Fans of M.O. program.

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

4. Belmond

While the Belmond brand isn’t expanding as fast as some other luxury hotel groups, there’s no denying that Belmond has some incredible, historic, old-world properties. Belmond has properties in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. The brand’s most famous hotels are probably in Europe, and include properties like Hotel Cipriani, Hotel Splendido, Villa San Michele, and more. You won’t find luxury hotels with more charm and more of a sense of place than these.

If you’re booking a stay at a Belmond, I’d recommend doing so through the Belmond Bellini Club program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Belmond Hotel Splendido Portofino

5. Six Senses

Six Senses was acquired by IHG back in 2019, though the resorts are only very slowly being integrated into the IHG One Rewards portfolio (hopefully I can eventually put Six Senses under the “points” section of these lists).

There’s a lot to love about Six Senses, as the group is opening hotels in all kinds of awesome remote destinations where other hotel groups wouldn’t even try. In many ways Six Senses’ current expansion reminds me of what Aman used to be. The brand is also all about 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.

If you’re booking a stay at a Six Senses, I’d recommend doing so through the Virtuoso program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Six Senses Shaharut Israel

6. Aman

I used to rank Aman as my favorite luxury hotel group, but I simply can’t do that anymore in good conscience. 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, and some are fantastic and worth visiting. However, ever since Aman’s ownership change, the soul of the company has changed as well. Aman used to open properties in the middle of nowhere, where other hotel brands wouldn’t dare build. Now Aman’s upcoming developments are in Bangkok, Los Cabos, MiamiNew York, and Saudi Arabia, which is hardly what the brand was initially founded for.

If you’re booking a stay at an Aman, I’d recommend doing so through the Virtuoso program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Amanruya Bodrum

7. Shangri-La

Shangri-La has some phenomenal flagship properties (like the Shangri-La Paris), 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.

Some might note that Shangri-La has its own loyalty program, and it should be included under points hotels. While that’s indeed true, the reality is that Shangri-La has few partners, and there aren’t many avenues for earning these points. So for a vast majority of OMAAT readers, I think the points angle here isn’t too compelling.

If you’re booking a stay at a Shangri-La, I’d recommend doing so through the Shangri-La Luxury Circle program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Shangri-La Paris

Best boutique luxury hotel brands

I have five favorite boutique luxury hotel brands, which I’m defining as hotel groups with 15 or fewer properties. Just as above, this is less about value, and more about the overall experience offered. I should mention that I’ve never stayed at an Oetker Collection property, or else that would probably also be on my list.

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

1. Singita

I think a safari is one of the coolest trips you can take, and to this day my most memorable trip ever was taking my dad on a safari for his “big” birthday. Singita is known for being one of the best safari companies out there, and we had an amazing experience at Singita Boulders Sabi Sands and Singita Lebombo.

What a perfect hospitality experience, and Singita has lodges in several other countries in Africa that I’d love to visit as well.

If you’re booking a stay at a Singita, I’d recommend doing so through the Virtuoso program, so you can receive perks like a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Singita Lebombo Lodge

2. Cheval Blanc

Cheval Blanc is owned by LVMH, and offers both style and substance. Currently Cheval Blanc’s portfolio consists of five properties, and I’ve stayed at Cheval Blanc Paris and Cheval Blanc Maldives, and both were spectacular. What impresses me most about Cheval Blanc is the food & beverage focus, plus the incredible attention to detail with amenities.

If you’re booking a stay at Cheval Blanc, I’d recommend doing so through the Virtuoso program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Cheval Blanc Paris

3. Airelles

I recently stayed at Les Airelles Courchevel, and I’m now obsessed with this hotel group. Airelles is a French hospitality brand, with a strong focus on food, wine, and service. Airelles has some pretty amazing other properties, like Airelles Château de Versailles and Airelles La Bastide de Gordes.

If you’re booking a stay at Airelles, I’d recommend doing so through the Virtuoso program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Les Airelles Courchevel

4. Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a distinct brand from Ritz-Carlton, and is on a completely different level. I’ve enjoyed my stays at Zadun, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Los Cabos, and Dorado Beach, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico. One exciting thing is that as of recently it’s possible to earn and redeem Bonvoy points at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties.

If you’re booking a paid stay at a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, I’d recommend doing so through the Marriott STARS program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach

5. Peninsula

Peninsula has roughly a dozen hotels, with half of them being in Asia, and the rest being equally distributed between Europe (Istanbul, London, and Paris) and the United States (Beverly Hills, Chicago, and New York). Peninsula is a great brand with an awesome flexible check-in and check-out policy that you won’t find at any other hotel brand.

If you’re booking a stay at Peninsula, I’d recommend doing so through the Virtuoso program, so you can receive perks like complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, a room upgrade, and more.

Peninsula New York

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. I hope breaking it down by points hotels vs. non-points hotels, plus major hotel groups vs. boutique hotel groups, makes this information a bit easier to digest.

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. Obviously this is a huge list, but I figured it would be fun to share my thoughts and hear how OMAAT readers feel.

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.
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  1. Michael D Guest

    Id have to add Auberge properties to that list. While only a few, they are wonderful and consistent.

  2. Dawn Guest

    Oetker Collection Hotels blow any of the hotel's listed away.

  3. Schar Gold

    Id also add Bvlgari to the list, with their stunning properties in Dubai, Paris, Italy, etc.

  4. Schar Gold

    Just to correct you Ben, Belmond has properties in the Caribbean and South America as well, like the stunning Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla and Belmond Hotel das Cataratas in Iguazu Falls, Brazil. ;)

  5. Justin Guest

    Curious to know where Relaix and Chateau properties would land. More of a group than a brand, but we have had great experiences with them

  6. Claude Guest

    Awasi and Explora are two additional ones that I would mention that so far no one has brought up. These two have some really amazing remote excursion-focused destinations covered.

  7. RobertB Guest

    There are a couple of brands you might have considered including:
    - Raffles (Accor)
    - Fairmont
    - One and Only
    - Serena (mostly in Africa)
    - Sheraton Luxury Collection

    1. Max Guest

      For Accor I'd take Banyan Tree instead of Raffles.

  8. snory Guest

    Kempinski, Soneva and Capella?
    I am curious to see your take on these Ben.

  9. Emily Guest

    Having travelled to a lot of luxurious properties, this list is incomplete without Taj and Oberio properties. Taj and Oberio are my favorites amongst Four Seasons and Aman. However, most of my memorable stays have been at Taj and some Oberoi properties, including, but certainly not limited to the Taj Lake Palace and Oberoi Udaivillas, Taj Palace in Mumbai, Oberoi Marrakech, Taj Capetown, Taj Rambagh Palace, Oberoi Vanyavilas, Oberoi Beach Resort in Bali, Taj Falaknuma...

    Having travelled to a lot of luxurious properties, this list is incomplete without Taj and Oberio properties. Taj and Oberio are my favorites amongst Four Seasons and Aman. However, most of my memorable stays have been at Taj and some Oberoi properties, including, but certainly not limited to the Taj Lake Palace and Oberoi Udaivillas, Taj Palace in Mumbai, Oberoi Marrakech, Taj Capetown, Taj Rambagh Palace, Oberoi Vanyavilas, Oberoi Beach Resort in Bali, Taj Falaknuma Palace, the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate and St. James Court. I always maintain that ultra luxury hotels and hospitality afforded anywhere in the world cannot be compared with properties in India. I also enjoyed the Oberoi luxury cruises in Egypt, the Philae and the Zarah; they were absolutely blissful and memorable for my girlfriend and me.

    In summary, my favorite luxury hotel chains in decreasing order of preference include: Taj, Oberoi, Four Seasons and Aman.

  10. Carrie Member

    I love the Oetker Collection, particularly Le Bristol and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc although it would appear that the Palais Namaskar appears to no longer form part of the group which is such a loss - I loved spending some time at the Palais when in Marrakesh and then off to La Mamounia.
    I equally love the boutique Firmdale Hotels when in London and New York. The Kit Kemp designed hotels are such a delight,...

    I love the Oetker Collection, particularly Le Bristol and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc although it would appear that the Palais Namaskar appears to no longer form part of the group which is such a loss - I loved spending some time at the Palais when in Marrakesh and then off to La Mamounia.
    I equally love the boutique Firmdale Hotels when in London and New York. The Kit Kemp designed hotels are such a delight, quirkily luxurious and the staff are impossibly gorgeous in a very professional sense. These hotels are a definite antidote to the boring and bland.

  11. DavidS Guest

    I don’t have your miles, but two brands I’ve really enjoyed with a more contemporary feel: Viceroy & Pendry. Just a couple to check out in the boutique category. For me, getting a great concierge or front desk can make all the difference - especially if you can become a repeat customer.

  12. DJ Guest

    Ben, you've mentioned them before, kinda surprised you didn't include Luxury Collection. St Regis used to be my favorite, but the more Luxury Collection properties I visit, the more it has become my favorite hotel experience, I have a bit of a problem calling it a brand. Just finished staying at several - Al Manara in Aqaba; Reges, Carresse and Lugal in Turkey - all were excellent. Obviously, Al Maha in Dubai is the superstar,...

    Ben, you've mentioned them before, kinda surprised you didn't include Luxury Collection. St Regis used to be my favorite, but the more Luxury Collection properties I visit, the more it has become my favorite hotel experience, I have a bit of a problem calling it a brand. Just finished staying at several - Al Manara in Aqaba; Reges, Carresse and Lugal in Turkey - all were excellent. Obviously, Al Maha in Dubai is the superstar, but Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi is another excellent choice. Looking forward to visiting properties in Mexico and Peru before end of the year.

    1. Robert Brown Guest

      Also, Grosvenor House in Dubai is a favourite of mine in the Luxury Collection. Also excellent experiences at Excelsior Hotel Gallia and the Sheraton Hotels in Addis Adaba and Kuwait (both luxury collection).

  13. Larry Guest

    sounds more like Ben listed the hotels you stayed at???? Clearly missing something if Oberoi is not listed. I have traveled all over Asia and the flat out is far better several ones you have listed.

    1. Megan Guest

      Ben literally said he is only ranking properties he has stayed at.
      "Before I share my rankings, let me also note that I’m only including brands I’ve stayed at."

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Megan

      The thing is even for brands that he has stayed at, he is still missing a whole group, Accor. Especially if brands like Ritz-Carlton is in there.

      Capital One can transfer to ALL at a fair rate, so not easy to earn points or referrals is not an excuse.

    3. Larry Guest

      Megan...the headline is misleading

  14. Desperado Guest

    Waldorf Astoria is top points brand for me - a number of great properties and easy to use Aspire Free Night Cert + 5th night free is incredible stack. Top notch service as most.

    Ritz largely sucks. Plain and simple. The staff at many locations act they are still top notch and don’t realize how far they’ve fallen - I’d say 90% or Ritz properties need major updates.

    Edition - Cool looking, by...

    Waldorf Astoria is top points brand for me - a number of great properties and easy to use Aspire Free Night Cert + 5th night free is incredible stack. Top notch service as most.

    Ritz largely sucks. Plain and simple. The staff at many locations act they are still top notch and don’t realize how far they’ve fallen - I’d say 90% or Ritz properties need major updates.

    Edition - Cool looking, by little substance. Overpriced for weak service (I haven’t been to location in Turkey). The West Hollywood Edition is a joke.

    Non points - Rosewood has treated me incredibly well - Santa Barbara & Cabo both amazing.

    1 Hotels also has some solid city locations and just opened an unbelievable property in Cabo. I was able to stay in 2 bedroom condo on a cheap rate (relatively) as a special offer for soft opening.

  15. Grabamile Guest

    You've missed Leela, Taj, and Oberoi (the big three Indian brands). They honestly blow many of these other brands out of the water and in general have a great brand consistency.

  16. Ryan Guest

    You’ve omitted some of the best luxury hotels in the world, particularly in Australia, that are part of the Luxury Lodges of Australia group (Saffire Freycinet, Capella Lodge Lord Howe Island, etc). Some other notable omissions that aren’t necessarily the best but are definitely better than your other choices: Oberoi, Capella, One&Only, Time + Tide, various safari lodge companies

    1. The Joe Guest

      Want to try Lion Sands, but not sure it, or Saffire, could be considered true "brands", since only one hotel falls under those.
      But indeed Saffire and Time + Tide are on my bucket list. I'm planning on a trip to Tassie in 2023 (was scheduled for 2020 originally). Didn't originally have Saffire in the timeline, but wondering if I should do it. Have you been? The Freycinet Lodge looks super sweet as well,...

      Want to try Lion Sands, but not sure it, or Saffire, could be considered true "brands", since only one hotel falls under those.
      But indeed Saffire and Time + Tide are on my bucket list. I'm planning on a trip to Tassie in 2023 (was scheduled for 2020 originally). Didn't originally have Saffire in the timeline, but wondering if I should do it. Have you been? The Freycinet Lodge looks super sweet as well, as does the Pumphouse. Currently planning to rebook Lowhead Beachhouse and Eagles Nest.

    2. Ryan Guest

      @Joe, we went to Tassie in 2019 and loved it. Amazing scenery and great wine + fresh food culture. Saffire was gorgeous and the service was top notch. They do really interesting excursions too, like standing in the bay while they pull fresh oysters out for you to try, or visiting their bee hives in a full suit. Very unique! I didn’t stay in Hobart but hear there are some good options there now too....

      @Joe, we went to Tassie in 2019 and loved it. Amazing scenery and great wine + fresh food culture. Saffire was gorgeous and the service was top notch. They do really interesting excursions too, like standing in the bay while they pull fresh oysters out for you to try, or visiting their bee hives in a full suit. Very unique! I didn’t stay in Hobart but hear there are some good options there now too. Hope you get to try it out! Elsewhere, wish I could’ve done Kangaroo Lodge before it burned down in the fires, but it’s being rebuilt now. The latest hotel in the group, Silky Oaks Lodge, looks really exceptional as well.

    3. skimegheath Gold

      Saffire is amazing. Stayed at Capella Lodge at Lord Howe a few weeks ago. The owner (Ballieu) was there. He told me that Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0 is on track to open mid next year. Excited about that one.

  17. ES Guest

    What about Nobu hotels? Bookable via Virtuoso and a decent footprint

    1. Max Guest

      Unfortunately it looks like the owner is just trying to cash in o the name now, with the rapid expansion the service has gone massively downhill.

  18. Sam Guest

    You obviously have not stayed at the Oberoi Hotels properties in India, UAE, Morcco, Bali etc. It is arguably the best hotel brand in the world.

  19. Andrew Diamond

    If it works as well as the rest of their IT platform, I wouldn't be worried about competent analytics or marketing happening.

  20. ChiLH Guest

    How do you think the Langham hotels compare?

  21. BKAloha Guest

    I would also add the Red Carnation group. I've had excellent stays at Egerton House.

  22. DLPTATL Guest

    @Lucky, Belmond also has some excellent properties in S America, mostly in Peru but also in Brazil.

  23. David Diamond

    Raffles and Capella are pretty gaping omissions. Hopefully you'll get a chance to visit those chains once Asia completely opens up.

  24. JBB Guest

    Dorchester Collection, Dr Oetker, Montage, Auberge and Raffles come to mind as true luxury brands with high standards that weren’t on the list. I’m not sure if it falls under Ben’s definition of “brand” but I’ve also had good experiences at some Preferred LEGEND properties (admittedly Preferred is more a marketing group for independent properties as opposed to a brand per se).

  25. Marko Guest

    Major chains: Raffles, St. Regis, Park Hyatt, The Edition, Waldorf Astoria and some of The Luxury Collection hotels.

    Others: Oberoi, Belmond, Oetker, Dorchester, Capella, One&Only, Four Seasons, Peninsula, Rosewood, Rocco Forte, Aman, TAJ, MO

  26. Eskimo Guest

    I'm going to say nothing on the list can beat the Blair House in D.C.

  27. Khatl Gold

    Oberoi is a phenomenal set of hotels (Agra, Udaivillas) and places in Morocco, Egypt, Mauritius etc. Even their second brands can be amazing in both design and service e.g. Trident in Gurgaon

    1. TravelCat2 Member

      Oberoi in New Delhi is excellent. The Oberoi in Jaipur is outstanding. The Oberoi in Agra isn't up to Oberoi's standards but their location (with a view of the Taj Mahal) can't be beat.

    2. skimegheath Gold

      Agree totally on Oberoi. I would add Oberoi Sukhvilas. There are also some amazing Taj hotels -Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. India also has some of the most amazing "glamping".
      Least favourite Oberoi is BLR.

  28. JetSetGo Guest

    I’m not sure if I would lump Amans and Four Seasons together since Four Seasons properties are usually 100-200 keys whereas Amans typically are around 30-35. That’s a huge difference. Aman to me is more of a boutique hotel chain than a large one even though there are number of them dotted around the world.

    I would also put Hoshinoya under the boutique hotel. They are a well known luxury boutique hotel in Asia....

    I’m not sure if I would lump Amans and Four Seasons together since Four Seasons properties are usually 100-200 keys whereas Amans typically are around 30-35. That’s a huge difference. Aman to me is more of a boutique hotel chain than a large one even though there are number of them dotted around the world.

    I would also put Hoshinoya under the boutique hotel. They are a well known luxury boutique hotel in Asia.

    You also forgot to mention Oberoi hotels. To me they are on the same level as Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, and Rosewood.

  29. The Joe Guest

    Only been to three W.As: Maldives, Beverly Hills (need to go again to get a real feel for it, but very upset last time by being ignored at the pool for service) and Grand Wailea (fun pool complex, but otherwise underwhelming.

    Want to try Montage, Time + Tide, Sapphire

    Agree about Park Hyatt. Their welcome video is what I picture my retirement bliss to be. Every time I enter one, I'm home.
    Albeit PH...

    Only been to three W.As: Maldives, Beverly Hills (need to go again to get a real feel for it, but very upset last time by being ignored at the pool for service) and Grand Wailea (fun pool complex, but otherwise underwhelming.

    Want to try Montage, Time + Tide, Sapphire

    Agree about Park Hyatt. Their welcome video is what I picture my retirement bliss to be. Every time I enter one, I'm home.
    Albeit PH Beaver Creek was a bust, and PH Aviara I'll have to revisit post remodel, but was meh before.

    Personal goal to visit every PH in N.A (need Chicago and Toronto), and the majority of them overseas.

    1. The Joe Guest

      *guess it's *saffire*, but I'm incorrect that it's not a brand, thats just a specific hotel.

  30. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Banyan Tree and Pan Pacific hotels are my go to if available at my destinations.

  31. Jason Guest

    Also, the Dorchester Collection has some amazing properties, but some issues with its management that do give people pause......

  32. Jason Guest

    you should also take a look at Rocco Forte Group in Europe.

  33. albert Guest

    Agree that Aman has lost their way since the VD takeover, that being said there are still incredible properties that still hold to the founding principles especially in Asia. Despite all of this they are likely still the best hotel brand in the world, even their bad properties are great. They will likely continue to lose some pricing power as time goes on and others keep getting better. I think it is wildly unfair to...

    Agree that Aman has lost their way since the VD takeover, that being said there are still incredible properties that still hold to the founding principles especially in Asia. Despite all of this they are likely still the best hotel brand in the world, even their bad properties are great. They will likely continue to lose some pricing power as time goes on and others keep getting better. I think it is wildly unfair to rank them below Belmond or MO, have you been to many Belmonds? They arent great.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ albert -- I totally agree that there are some fantastic Amans that are 100% worth visiting. My issue is genuinely that I think the brand has completely lost its way, and there's not a single new development that interests me. For that matter, what exactly is going on with new developments, which seem to largely be stalled (like in Los Cabos)?

      Yes, I'd choose an existing Aman over an existing Mandarin Oriental (on...

      @ albert -- I totally agree that there are some fantastic Amans that are 100% worth visiting. My issue is genuinely that I think the brand has completely lost its way, and there's not a single new development that interests me. For that matter, what exactly is going on with new developments, which seem to largely be stalled (like in Los Cabos)?

      Yes, I'd choose an existing Aman over an existing Mandarin Oriental (on average), but that doesn't reflect that Mandarin Oriental has some awesome hotels in the pipeline, while at Aman, not so much.

  34. Rainer Guest

    Oetker collection with e.g. Cap Eden Roc in Antibes or Le Bristol in Paris... Have a look guys.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Rainer -- That's an excellent point, and I should have probably mentioned I haven't stayed at one of those properties yet, but they're on my list.

  35. AdamH Gold

    This is a fun list. I don't know if I would consider the Peninsula to be boutique. Their footprint is small, but their hotels are not.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ AdamH -- Totally fair, and by "boutique" I didn't at all mean the size of the property, but rather just the overall size of the portfolio. It's not the perfect description for sure, but sometimes it's hard to draw arbitrary lines in the sand.

  36. Brandon Guest

    Ben you know that you can redeem points for six senses locations through IHG? Fiji is one of those places. I have a four night stay there during Thanksgiving week.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Brandon -- Indeed it's great that there are some properties where IHG points can now be redeemed. However, since not all properties are participating yet, I included this in the non-points section.

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

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Megan Guest

Ben literally said he is only ranking properties he has stayed at. "Before I share my rankings, let me also note that I’m only including brands I’ve stayed at."

3
Schar Gold

Id also add Bvlgari to the list, with their stunning properties in Dubai, Paris, Italy, etc.

1
Schar Gold

Just to correct you Ben, Belmond has properties in the Caribbean and South America as well, like the stunning Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla and Belmond Hotel das Cataratas in Iguazu Falls, Brazil. ;)

1
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