The question I am asked the most is the most basic; what’s your favourite hotel in the world. It’s somewhat tough to answer that question, because I prefer to rank hotels in various categories based on the experience they provide, whether it’s a city break, a romantic escape, a wilderness adventure or a beach vacation. Nonetheless, there are a couple of luxury resorts that left such an overwhelming impression on me, which I rank them amongst my most memorable travel experiences ever. So, here you go: this is my top 10 list of the world’s most beautiful and awesome luxury resorts (and I highly suggest putting them in your bucket list).
10. ROSEWOOD LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Rosewood London, is now know as the greatest five-star hotel in London, is situated in one of the London’s most historic thoroughfares, High Holborn. Blending English tradition with contemporary elegance, the palatial building that houses the hotel has been sensitively renovated to make an ultra-luxurious hotel with the ambience of a trendy London residence. The hotel guests enter through an archway that opens onto a grand courtyard of Edwardian style, an oasis of tranquillity unique among London luxury hotels. It’s the best beginning to a memorable stay in a classic heritage hotel, set just steps from Covent Garden. Rosewood London provides its guests with authentic urban gardens and sanctuaries, with 262 rooms and 44 suites which are among the largest in London.
9. SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY, OMAN
Six Senses Zighy Bay is an ultra-luxurious “hidden jewel”, situated on Oman’s northern Musandam Peninsula, just a scenic two-hour car journey (but a world apart) from Dubai. The setting of this gorgeous native village-style hotel with its private marina is spectacular, with dramatic mountains on one side, and a 1.6 kilometre (1 mile) sandy beach on the other. The resort gives the sensation of exotic remoteness, yet provides every comfort, easy accessibility and barefoot luxury beyond imagination. The accommodations are motivated by traditional Omani homes and feature high indigenous-style ceilings, colourfully cushioned living room and cloudlike bed made with unbleached cotton sheets topped with your choice of ergonomic cushions. All villas have a private pool, where guests can refresh over the solitude of high cobblestone walls.
8. MANDARIN ORIENTAL BODRUM, TURKEY
With an idyllic place in Bodrum’s secluded Paradise Bay, two private beaches, a array of fabulous gourmet restaurants, a world-class spa and a selection of stylish rooms, suites and villas, this distinctive 6-star hotel will seduce even the most discerning traveller and encourage you to lie back, relax and savour the moment. The first beach resort of the Mandarin Oriental hotel group is so phenomenal that it makes the best 5 star hotels seem like a cheap motel. It is my favourite luxury hotel in the region because of its beautiful minimalist aesthetics and stunning beach. If you’re in need of a luxurious beach break around the Mediterranean basin, then stop looking as this is as exclusive an escape as you can imagine!
7. PARK HYATT SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Situated among one of the world’s most stunning harbours, Park Hyatt Sydney perfectly personifies contemporary harbour side luxury with its coveted place between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Reminiscent of an exclusive harbour side residence, Park Hyatt Sydney offers romantic surrounds with architecture, design and art that reflect the Australian landscape. Some of the best parts of the hotel include 155 spacious rooms and suites with modern interior design and huge full length glass doors that open to private balconies, some with magnificent views of the Opera House. There is a lot to love about Sydney’s most luxurious hotel, but the gem in this hotel’s crown is the outdoor rooftop heated swimming pool, with spa, private sun-deck, cabanas, and magnificent views of the Sydney skyline.
6. FOUR SEASONS RESORT THE NAM HAI, VIETNAM
Embellishing heritage With Four Seasons flair, Four Seasons Resort the Nam Hai is a compatible ode to shore, community and culture in Vietnam’s UNESCO-strewn centre. Along a seemingly endless stretch of sand — hailed by Forbes as one of the greatest beaches in the world — a strand of sophisticated, visually striking villas lines the dramatic beachfront. Inspired by 2,500 years of history, The Nam Hai’s architecture and coastal style interior design present a stunning play on water and wind inspired by ancient feng shui philosophy and the grandeur of the Tu Duc imperial tombs of Hue. All of the 100 private retreats are elegantly finished with Vietnamese lacquer and diaphanous silk, representing the spirit of Vietnam’s cultural heartland and illuminating the soul of all who see. Once a fishing village — with a historical temple maintained on site — the Resort presents an authentic link to the area through inspirational on-site actions, from a cooking academy and earth-attuned spa to exhilarating water sports and cultural trips.
5. ROYAL MALEWANE, SOUTH AFRICA
Royal Malewane safari lodge with seven luxury villas ranging from 1 bedroom to 6 bedrooms and is located in the Thornybush private game reserve on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park. The lodge, which has Bill Gates, Bono and Elton John among its repeat guests, exudes the romance and beauty of a bygone era when offering every modern comfort and convenience. Here, the traditional safari experience is unsurpassed with unrivaled Big Five game viewing along with the nation’s most qualified guiding team that provides detailed insights into the fascinating and complex ecosystems of the Southern African bushveld. Guests may also indulge in sensual remedies at the calm waters of Royal Malewane’s Bush Spa and enjoy nightly feasts under the African stars.
4. AMAN TOKYO, JAPAN
Located inside the Otemachi Tower on the top six floors, Aman Tokyo is an urban refuge high over the atmospheric whirl of tradition and modernity which epitomises Tokyo. The resort draws its interior design style from traditional Japanese home constructions, with classic Japanese materials like wood, Washi paper and rock mixed to great effect with modern technology and luxury fabrics. The hotel has been managed by Aman, the world’s most exclusive resort brand, and has 84 rooms and suites, all with unique designs, magnificent city views and every modern convenience. Each room has a huge furo, a deep soaking bathtub intrinsic to the Japanese ritual of bathing. There’s also a constant reference to character, from the hotel’s interior garden in the incredible lobby, to the fabrics and artwork incorporated into the plan.
3. SONEVA KIRI, THAILAND
Remote yet accessible By a 90 minute flight from Bangkok on the hotel’s private airplane, phenomenal Soneva Kiri sits on Thailand’s 4th largest but least populated island, Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam. Among the most exclusive hotels in the world, Soneva Kiri provides an unrivalled blend of luxury, environmentally friendly coastal interior design and unforgettable, authentic Thai experiences. The 36 hotel villas (including 11 private homes) are amongst the biggest in the world. Situated on the idyllic beach or sunny slopes in the rainforest, all have magnificent infinity pools, impossibly chic furnishings, private electric buggies, and impeccable service courtesy of personal butlers. Some of the best parts of the resort include the open air cinema, a mangrove restaurant, the chocolate and ice cream parlour, the children’s den and the magnificent Treetop dining pod.
2. NORTH ISLAND, SEYCHELLES
North Island has a reputation as world’s most exclusive hideaway. The private island has eleven handmade baths overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters of this Ile Du Nord eco-reserve. Rose off the floor to capture the cooling Indian Ocean breezes, all villas open up on your personal garden and the beach. Plunge pools and outside showers offer the finishing touches to your personal sanctuary. The island’s dining and lounge areas, scenically located wellness spa and fitness center, library and dive centre, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built to a granitic outcrop. Keep a look out for Brutus, the island’s 160-year-old tortoise. The hotel was the decoration for honeymoon of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
1. SONEVA JANI, MALDIVES
Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is situated on Medhufaru Island, which is part of an uninhabited Five-island bunch in the Noonu Atoll. The resort is surrounded by a pristine coastline, blanketed with lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. Presently, Soneva Jani features 24 water villas and one shore Grove, though additional beach villas are planned at a later stage. Each one Of the 24 water villas is beautifully constructed and includes a private pool and Opens into its own stretch of lagoon, with a few villas featuring slides moving Straight from the top deck to the lagoon below. The highlight of these villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze.