HOTELS Magazine reveals its “Top 25 Hotels of the World”

Putting together any “best-of” list is never an easy task. This was no exception in HOTELS Magazine’s inaugural “25×25 Top Hotels of the World,” a list of some of the—we think—greatest hotels across the globe that you’ll find on the ensuing pages. We hope you will agree.

In our maiden voyage, we selected 25 of the top global cities and regions to make our choices—from London to Los Angeles, Bali to Barcelona. We called on our readers to nominate their favorites and then we—our editorial team—made the final decision on what hotel would be recognized as the top hotel in each destination.

Without favor and with a disinterested eye, and considering such variables as design, service, amenities and legacy, we think this list captures the spirit of hospitality and is a catalogue of just what we sought to present: the top hotels across the globe.

We appreciate all the nominees and a special thank you to all the winning hotels and general managers for your cooperation.

Without further ado… the list of the top hotels of the world.


Located in the historic canal district of Amsterdam, which boasts 25 canal houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, Pulitzer Amsterdam is a time capsule in the form of a hotel. The hotel is designed with classic Dutch charm and modern touches— because what is more Dutch than having a bike repair kit in your room and a flower shop, onsite? If that’s not enough Dutch vibe, the hotel also offers Pulitzer bike rentals to explore the city like the natives. With the saloon boat “Tourist” and “Belle” vessel for hot weather, Pulitzer Amsterdam also offers the option of cruising the canals and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. With 225 rooms, nine conference rooms and reception facilities for 500 people, along with its flagship restaurant, Jansz., Pulitzer Amsterdam offers a quintessentially Dutch experience in the heart of the city.


The Bulgari name is synonymous with ultra-high-end jewelry and leather. The Italian fashion house dates back to the late 19th century, so when the brand decided to get into hotels, naturally, its first was in Milan, in 2004. Eight more have opened since and HOTELS Magazine has recognized two of them in its Top Hotels of the World list this year—Bulgari Hotel Shanghai and Bulgari Resort Bali. Like a ring or a handbag, both are decidedly different, but done the Bulgari way, both equally exquisite. Bulgari Bali is a 59-villa, five-mansion resort where its location, in a province known for location, sets it apart from others that dot the luxury traveler landscape. The resort occupies a secluded plateau on the southern tip of the Jimbaran peninsula and is defined by cliffs that fall dramatically to the Indian Ocean. Behind and beyond those cliffs the property pampers its clientele through the stomach and soul, with two pool-side restaurants and a cliff-top bar and the Bulgari Spa, which incorporates both European and Asian techniques. And what is a Bulgari resort without a Bulgari store? Along with a memory, guests can take home a memento from the Bulgari boutique.


In a city as frenetic as Bangkok, where the rev of motorbikes and scooters is as ubiquitous as the fevered floating markets and open-air bazaars, Capella Bangkok is an oasis of calm. It starts in the spa, with its treatment suites, vitality pool and other facilities all ensconced within a verdant garden along the Chao Phraya River or “The River of Kings.” Regal is the way Capella Bangkok seeks to make guests feel with its 101 suites and villas, inclusive of seven villas on the river’s edge, either with a private balcony or a verandah with a jacuzzi plunge pool. Food and beverage cut the tranquility with the explosive flavors redolent of Thailand. This starts at Phra Nakhon, housed amid a sun-washed conservatory by the river’s edge, and serving authentic Thai food in Bangkok, like the myriad fish dishes that pepper the menu. Meanwhile, Capella Bangkok’s one-Michelin-star Côte by Mauro Colagreco is a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional recipes and culinary heritage of the French and Italian Riviera. There is no wrong choice, only to try both.

Barcelona: W BARCELONA

Ever since the W Barcelona opened in 2009, the handiwork of famed Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, the sail-shaped hotel has remained a curiosity of locals and guests, alike, perched on the edge of Barceloneta Beach, like a ship ready to go out to sea. It’s no wonder that the hotel has its own nickname: Hotel Vela or Sail Hotel. The shiny blue building boasts 473 rooms and suites that look out upon the Mediterranean Sea. With an interior design inspired by the marine beds and Catalan modernism, the W Barcelona remains fresh and trendy, even going on its 15th year. For instance, it recently launched NOXE, one part roof cocktail bar, one part night club and one part Japanese restaurant—all tasty and fun with national and international DJs every week that make Barcelona look more like an Ibiza night. To complement, the hotel has Fire, a modern brasserie with a menu high on surf and turf. From sunrise to sunset, W Barcelona moves guests from mindfulness and relaxation to glitz and glamour—Pilates by the sea in the morning, dancing the night away at the WET Deck pool and terrace. Hop aboard.


For more than 100 years, Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel has occupied a place of pride in Cape Town, a host to the likes of Winston Churchill, John Lennon and Nelson Mandela. Setting the hotel apart is its enviable location at the foot of the Table Mountain and the Company’s Gardens. The iconic ’Nellie’ dates back to 1899 and has been painted pink since 1918 to signify peace at the end of World War I. The hotel’s 198 rooms and suites are spread across multiple floors and buildings, surrounded by gardens. The hotel’s eight, Victorian-era cottages are ideal for families or smaller groups. Step into the hotel for afternoon tea, or ’tea at the Nellie,’ a Cape Town tradition. Of the five distinct places to dine, The Red Room is as evocative for its food as for its subterranean location. As Chefs Warehouse, the company behind the restaurant, put it, “James Bond himself would melt right into this magical underground world of Singapore Sours, silk lanterns and dumplings.”


Most luxury beach resorts equip guests with, naturally, stunning ocean views. Few, however, boast coastal rainforest views. Count One&Only Mandarina in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, as one. The resort has 105 treehouses and clifftop villas, each with private infinity plunge pools immersed in dense, jungle-like foliage. For its culinary offerings, the resort has The Treetop Bar overlooking the Pacific and three restaurants: the signature Mexican restaurant Carao, set atop the southernmost peak of the resort and led by renowned chef Enrique Olvera; Alma, which features Pan American cuisine; and casual beachside dining to satisfy any pescetarian with fresh catches at Jetty Beach Club, a palm-fringed cove with clear waters and volcanic rock reefs. As part of what the resort calls “Mandarina Experiences,” kids can explore multi-sensory areas, including an insectary, a butterfly farm and a tree village, while family-friendly activities feature surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, biking and hiking trails, archery, ziplining, tennis and polo or horseback classes at the Mandarina Polo and Equestrian Club.


Perhaps no other destination in the world does over-the-top decadence better than Dubai. And, in our estimation, no hotel in Dubai does it better than Atlantis The Royal Dubai, a 795-room Tetris-like hotel, which does luxury at scale. Consider its voluminous offerings: 17 restaurants and bars, including eight celebrity-chef-driven restaurants by the likes of Heston Blumenthal and José Andrés; five signature penthouses, including the 11,000-square-foot Royal Mansion, a two-level dreamhouse that can go for $100k per night, with features such as a private foyer, 100-year-old olive trees and its own infinity pool; and, if that’s not enough excess, Atlantis The Royal Dubai features Atlantis Aquaventure, the largest waterpark in the world. The hotel is brand-spanking new, having opened in February 2023 by none other than Beyoncé, who performed. Atlantis The Royal is set on Palm Jumeirah, the notable palm-tree-shaped, man-made island, and was designed by New York architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. And while it has a sister just across the way in Atlantis The Palm, this iteration is decidedly more modern in feel and aesthetic.


Hong Kong is a city of opposites. On one hand, it is so densely packed that it has become a vertical city, with more people living in higher floors than anywhere else in the world. On the other hand, about 40% of the city’s territory is protected by country parks, which represents one of the highest proportions worldwide. There’s one thing, though, which embraces the diversity of the city and presents the best of both worlds. Located amid the global financial center and offering panoramic views of Victoria Harbour and Victoria Peak is Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Spread across 45 floors, the almost 400-room hotel, a mix of Western contemporary and Chinese-influenced, offers a range of luxury services and amenities that are the hallmarks of the Four Seasons brand. The luxury hotel has established its name as a culinary and wellness destination with its spa and multi-starred culinary offerings. In fact, the hotel brought home seven Michelin stars, the greatest number of stars under one roof in Hong Kong.


The Peninsula Istanbul is a confluence of history, art and nature. Located along Galataport’s promenade on the Bosphorus, the hotel consists of four buildings, including three historical landmarks from the 20th century and one modern building. The central building is The Lobby, a glass-fronted heritage structure that was originally a cruise terminal. Lush gardens bloom with local flora, nurturing beehives and fruitful trees, including grape vines, berry bushes and pomegranate trees—all ingredients used in the hotel’s restaurants. Art has sway here, adorning every corner and showcasing stylings from the Ottoman and Byzantine empires along with modern and classical Turkish art. Even the hotel’s employees blend in with the paintings by wearing bespoke wardrobes designed by Turkish-born fashion designer Arzu Kaprol. The Peninsula Istanbul boasts an array of room types, including the Art Suite, with original paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from Turkish artists. The Rooftop Garden Suite includes a rooftop terrace with Bosphorus views, whereas The Peninsula Suite is the hotel’s most over-the-top choice, with a private hammam, gym, screening room, multiple balconies and a private rooftop pool. Culinary offerings include Peninsula Afternoon Tea at The Lobby and Turkish/ Asian remixed at Chef Fatih Tutak’s Gallada.


Legend has it that The Eagles’ “Hotel California” took its inspiration from The Beverly Hills Hotel, which lead singer Don Henley had once referred to as being “the locus of all that LA had come to mean for us.” Few would argue. Since it opened in 1912, the hotel has been synonymous with glitz and glamor and attracting the glitterati of old and new Hollywood, alike. Maybe it is its covert position, hidden behind palm trees and banana leaves, offering a sense of seclusion that can be hard to find in the famously celebrity-driven city. The “Pink Palace” is that, and maybe no better symbol is the Polo Lounge, known as Hollywood’s commissary and the epicenter of power dining in LA. When it’s time to retire, it’s the hotel’s bungalows that add another layer of luxury protection. There are 23 altogether, part of a total of 210 rooms and suites at the hotel, which, since 1996, has been part of the Dorchester Collection. Five bungalows are inspired by the famous guests who have called them home, including Howard Hughes, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich. They, like those before and after, can check out any time they like, but they can never leave.


Lisbon is famed for its stunning architecture, colorful buildings and winding streets. Rising in the heart of the City of Seven Hills is Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, the historic hotel which has long been considered as one of the premier, luxury hotels the city has to offer. The hotel’s destination enables sweeping, hilltop views of Eduardo VII Park, St. George Castle, the Old Town and the Tagus River. The hotel resonates with the cultural heart and soul of Portugal. While the hotel’s interiors have been designed in Art Deco sensibilities with updated Louis XVI style, an eclectic collection of sculptures, tapestries and paintings make the hotel a museum of mid-20th-century Portuguese art. Guests can enjoy a light menu at the Ritz Pool Bar, unwind at the Ritz Spa and work out at the rooftop fitness center. CURA, the seasonally inspired and Michelin-starred restaurant, is another major attraction at the hotel. Managed by Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts since 1997, the hotel has undergone two full-scale renovations since it welcomed guests for the first time in 1959.


In a city of exclusivity, Chiltern Firehouse, in London’s tony Marylebone neighborhood, blares out like it once did at its 1889 founding as the Manchester Square Fire Station. It’s all you’d expect from its owner, megastar hotelier André Balazs. The property stopped putting out fires in 2005 and reopened as a hotel in 2014, through the work of Archer Humphryes Architects and others, like Studio KO, which designed the restaurant. Gone might be the firepoles and hoses, but the shell of the hotel remains intact, red brick with stone dressings and a tiled roof in the Tudor-Gothic style. Further defining its exclusivity is the rather finite amount of guestrooms—26—often filled by the out-of-town jetset wanting to live and merrymake like Londoners. Downstairs, the hotel is a celebrity magnet, where on any given night you could be tossing back whiskeys in the perfectly lit restaurant and bar with the likes of Cara Delevingne or Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, when they were England side. Stateside, Balazs owns sister properties Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and Sunset Beach in the Hamptons. But when in London, it’s Chiltern Firehouse that keeps the fire ablaze.


At the very core of the Spanish capital, located just a stone’s throw away from Kilometer Zero in the famous Puerta del Sol and near the three renowned art museums that make up The Golden Triangle, is The Madrid EDITION, one of those hotels whose location fits like a glove. Location is not the only draw; the hotel attracts patrons through their bellies with two restaurants—the Mexican-influenced Jerónimo, helmed by chef Enrique Olvera, whose restaurant Pujol, in Mexico City, is among the top 10 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Oroya, on the other hand, is the hotel’s Peruvian offering, led by chef Diego Muñoz. An aperitif or after-meal drink in the hotel’s alluring Punch Room is highly recommended. The Madrid EDITION comprises 177 guestrooms, 21 suites and two penthouses with modern decor and detailing curated by Ian Schrager Company, with floor-to-ceiling windows that feature views of the Royal Palace, the Almudena cathedral and Gran Vía street.


Few destinations are as dazzlingly brilliant as Marrakech—an assault on all the senses from its combination of African, European and Arab cultures. It’s no wonder that travelers by the scores are drawn to this bohemian, eclectic city. Marrakech also stands out for its unique design—think geometric patterns, vivid color and zillij tiling, much of which is represented within the city’s plethora of luxury accommodations. Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech stands out as a destination by itself—a distinction achieved through the 50 acres of space the hotel spans, filled with landscaped gardens awash in olive trees, roses and bougainvillea and framed by the Atlas Mountains. The hotel features 54 plush villas, each with their own pool, Jacuzzi and outdoor lounging area. The hammam at the Andalusian-inspired spa is a traditional Moroccan thermal spa that applies hot steam for an invigorating experience. Meanwhile, fine dining at Shirvan and Ling Ling By Hakkasan obviates the need to ever leave this pleasure-filled compound.


Think of Santorini and one image instantly pops to mind—a maze of whitewashed buildings with brilliant blue pools and crisscrossing stairways, all overlooking the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. See it? And if there’s one hotel that blends into this picturesque image, while also radiating its own uniqueness, it is Katikies Santorini. Perched on the caldera cliffs in the village of Oia, Katikies Santorini, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is located close to Oia’s main promenade, but tucked away from the bustle of tourists, gathering to witness a sunset over the Aegean Sea below. Decked in a minimalist design, each of the 27 rooms has arched ceilings and whitewashed walls, exuding a cave-like atmosphere, along with private terraces. The hotel has a spa and Michelin-starred Botrini’s, helmed by Greek-Italian chef Ettore Botrini. The climb up to Katikies Santorini is steep; the experience is priceless.


Escape from South Beach. It’s not the tagline of Faena Mami Beach, but it could be a marketing ploy for the traveler who wants the luxurious Miami Beach experience minus the revelrous and cacophonic South Beach scene. Just blocks north, Faena is enticing travelers with an inventive mix of design and service. It begins with the former: Alan Faena, the Argentinean entrepreneur and owner of the titular property, enlisted the services of film director Baz Luhrmann and his wife in the restoration of what was the Saxony hotel, which dated back to 1948, into the present-day Faena. The effect is nothing short of cinematic. The hotel now features 179 guestrooms and evokes Miami’s golden age of glamor with its Art Deco design and appeal. There is no shortage of room types; 21, in fact, including seven signature suites, such as the 2,500-square-foot Imperial Suite with its wraparound balcony. For gourmands, there are four dining outlets to choose from, including the speakeasy-style sushi at El Secreto Omakase. Of course, what would Faena be without an Argentinian asado experience, found at Los Fuegos By Francis Mallmann. Then there is the 22,000-square-foot Tierra Santa Healing House, billed as the first South American-inspired spa in the U.S. Faena: Out of the frenzied South Beach spotlight and into the luxury lap.

New York: THE MARK

New York is one of the most competitive cities when it comes to hotels and traveler choice. When it comes to The Mark, and its Upper East Side location, the competition is literally breathing down its neck, block-to-block. Which is why being recognized as the top hotel in New York is such a feat. Inside the 1920s landmark hotel, which is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ Legend Collection, guests are ensconced in famous French designer Jacques Grange’s interior design. With six categories of rooms, 12 categories of suites, two specialty suites and The Mark Penthouse, one of the largest penthouses in the U.S., at over 10,000 square feet of interior space and 2,500 square feet of rooftop terrace space, the hotel defines luxury on a grand scale. Its sybaritic touches are complemented by the true New York experience: The Mark Haute Dog Cart offers the classic New York City hot dog, right out the kitchen of the hotel’s Jean-Georges restaurant. Meanwhile, The Mark Pedicab can shuttle guests to Bergdorf Goodman for a shopping excursion and guests can also take a bicycle ride to Central Park for a gourmet lunch on The Mark’s custom bikes.


Paris has no dearth of luxury hotels. And when it comes to a storied, historic hotel that has remained a favorite among international celebrities over the years, no other hotel can beat Le Bristol Paris. Situated on the right bank of the River Seine in Paris’ fashion district, Le Bristol was the first ever hotel to earn the ’Palace’ distinction awarded by the French government. While the building dates back to the 1870s, it opened as a hotel in 1925 and was frequented by the Parisian elite. It also served as the American embassy during World War II. With 190 rooms and suites, many with views of the legendary 13,000-square-foot classical French garden, a swimming pool on the top floor with views over the Parisian rooftops and Michelin-starred restaurants, the hotel has hosted many famous names, including Charlie Chaplin, Sophia Loren, Rita Hayworth, Grace Kelly, George Clooney and Mick Jagger. The hotel even made an appearance in Woody Allen’s 2011 film, “Midnight in Paris.” The Oetker Collection’s Le Bristol Paris continues to redefine the spirit of Parisian luxury.


Straddling seven hills, the Eternal City has some of the best travel experiences. Where else can you take in historic ruins in the morning and dig into a glorious plate of cheesy, peppery cacio e pepe in the afternoon? And just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, the luxury hotel segment in the city also took some time to come together. One hotel that has become the epitome of classic Italian hospitality and retro glamor is the Rocco Forte Hotels’ Hotel de Russie. Set between two famous sites, Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps, the hotel is a short walk from most of the major attractions. The landmark property was popular among Russian dignitaries and aristocrats (the source of its name) and has counted numerous celebrities as its guests, including Pablo Picasso, Stravinsky and Jane Cocteau. Setting the hotel apart is its expansive “secret garden,” which was originally designed by architect Giuseppe Valadier in the 19th century and recently restored to reflect the original design. Dining in Le Jardin de Russie is an experience not to be missed. Meanwhile, the wait is over for the meticulously redesigned Nijinsky Suite, a two-bedroom abode featuring indoor and outdoor living spaces—a true personification of an aristocratic Roman home, complete with original statues at the entrance and 19th-century plates and objets d’art from the Valadier period. Because, “When in Rome.”


Traditional South Korean aesthetic standards of minimalism and naturalistic simplicity might be trending right now, but one place in Seoul that breaks away from this direction and celebrates opulence and old-world splendor is Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection, Seoul Gangnam. Here, bespoke luxury touches are discovered around every corner of the hotel, which has a 100-year-old legacy of being deemed the first luxury hotel to open in Korea. Earlier known as Chosun Hotel, the 254-key hotel was Marriott’s first Luxury Collection-branded hotel to open in South Korea in 2021. The hotel’s exteriors, dressed in silver with a glass façade, blend in like a chameleon within the business district of Gangnam. The hotel is situated steps away from the city’s popular shopping and entertainment attractions and all the rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the city skyline. Designed by Monaco’s Humbert & Poyet, the hotel boasts bespoke dining venues, including the formal Eatanic Garden, a reinterpretation of classic Korean fare, and The Great Hong Yuan for high-end Cantonese cooking.


There’s a reason two Bulgari hotels appear in HOTELS Magazine’s 2023 “Top Hotels of the World”: they are some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Full stop. In China’s most cosmopolitan city, Bulgari Shanghai stands out. Minutes from the iconic Bund, the hotel is part of the riverside urban redevelopment project Suhe Creek, which contains retail, residential, commercial and leisure components and what became the sixth Bulgari hotel in the world, opening in 2018. It was worth the wait. The 82-room hotel, inclusive of 19 suites, occupies the top eight floors of a 48-story tower, also home to Bulgari Residences, and also includes the adjacent Chamber of Commerce Shanghai building, which houses the two-Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Bao Li Xuan and its out-of-this-world Cantonese cuisine (try the wok-fried M9 Wagyu beef). Other dining experiences include the Italian Il Ristorante – Niko Romito on the 47th floor, where the veal ravioli is as good as the sweeping city views. The hotel is also home to a 2,150-square-foot Bulgari Spa and fitness center, a signature component of Bulgari properties, and, of course, a Bulgari boutique on the ground floor.


The Fullerton Bay Hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ Legend Collection, has arguably the best views of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Beyond that, its strategic location gives access to Singapore’s key attractions, including the historic Arts & Culture precinct, the bustling central business district, shopping hubs and diverse dining spots. The hotel’s architectural charm is embodied in its diamond-shaped glass waterfront wing, housing all its rooms. Adjacent to it stands The Clifford Pier, a once-functional pier dating back to 1933, now transformed into a restaurant managed by The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, its sister property. Some ground-floor rooms boast private decks featuring infinity Jacuzzis, offering a unique experience akin to swimming in the bay itself. Surrounded by a backdrop of an infinity lap pool and green scenery, the renowned Lantern Bar graces the hotel’s rooftop and is one of Singapore’s favorite bars. Meanwhile, La Brasserie, led by acclaimed chef Simon Rogan from the UMBEL restaurant group, dishes out classic French cuisine.


On the very edge of Sydney Harbour in “The Rocks,” the old city center back to when Sydney was founded during colonial days, you’ll find the best front-row seats for the Sydney Opera House— the outside of it, at least—in the Park Hyatt Sydney. The famed opera house is just across the water from the hotel, which sits beside Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 155 spacious guestrooms and suites have a residential feel, many featuring floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening out onto private balconies, which offer those remarkable water views. Park Hyatt Sydney’s culinary contributions are guided by the deft hands of Australian chef James Viles in The Dining Room, which is about indigenous ingredients and local Australian fare, like lamb. It’ll have your taste buds asking for an encore.


It can be hard to stand out in a city as metropolitan and dizzyingly sprawling as Tokyo, but the Aman, like it does in most locations across the world, does just that. Aman Tokyo literally looks down on the city, occupying the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower with views of the Imperial Palace Gardens and Mt. Fuji in the distance. But it’s what is inside that really stands out, as the Aman brand’s first urban concept hotel. This comes through in the design details, such as in the hotel’s lobby, soaring nearly 30 meters and featuring an engawa—a wooden detail seen in traditional Japanese residences that divides the inside and out. Guestrooms and suites take cues from traditional Japanese inns, known as ryokans, and touches such as Washi paper, wood and stone feature prominently. The showstopper of Aman Tokyo is its spa, which covers more than 26,900 square feet of space over two floors. It is the largest hotel spa in Tokyo and is known for its water and steam elements and wondrous city views. Aman wouldn’t have it any other way.


The Roaring 20s gave birth to many emblems of prosperity and glamour, Rosewood Hotel Georgia one of them. Formerly known as Hotel Georgia, the property was once the choice destination of Hollywood elite, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Katherine Hepburn and Bing Crosby. After undergoing a full renovation and reopening in 2011 as Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the hotel came back with 156 rooms and suites in a palette of light blues, ivory and chocolate to match the Art Deco subtle feel of the interior design. Among its culinary offerings, the renowned Hawksworth restaurant and the 1927 lobby lounge, which pays homage to the hotel’s opening year, are the stars of the show. The hotel also has its Rose Buds program for babies and children, featuring amenities, activities and special services, such as wireless baby monitors and cribs. Rosewood Hotel Georgia is Rosewood’s only Canadian property among 14 others in North America, with five more slated to open in the coming years.