The luxury hospitality industry have tough time in that COVID period. Since we will all soon be traveling again, I would like to highlight what are the best hotel brands in the world. Anyone looking for outstanding travel experiences should read carefully this article! You may choose your next destination according to one of these exclusive seven hotel brands.
Among all the luxury hotel brands I personally experienced, you will find below the seven which impressed me the most. Because of amazing property locations, palace-level service, stunning facilities or all at the same time, these hotel brands are truly magical.
1. Aman Resorts
Aman Resorts International is a luxury hotel group founded in 1988 and based in Singapore, with 32 destinations in 20 countries. Each resort has a small number of rooms (typically fewer than 55). The staff count is typically four staff to one guest. Guest accommodation is usually provided in individual private villas, pavilions or tents (in the case of Amanwana in Indonesia and Amanpulo in the Philippines), and often has private pools and outdoor lounging areas.
My opinion: this is by far the most exclusive hotel brand in the world. Known by a few, enjoyed by very few. Each location is very discreet, not opulent but offers finest six-star services. An Aman resort is a place where only the elite is meeting. The entry price is the highest of the industry, generally above 1,500 EUR/night.
2. Four Seasons Hotels
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, is an international luxury hotel and resort company founded in 1960 and based in Toronto, Canada. It operates more than 100 hotels and resorts worldwide. Upscale luxury was not part of the initial strategy but it became part of it since 1970. It proposes today the finest concept of standardized – yet five-star – hotels and resorts.
My opinion: you can’t be disappointed when staying in a Four Seasons property, whatever it is a hotel or a resort. The level of exigency is the same everywhere, thank you Standardization. Yet, the wow factor is difficult to reach. I would recommend booking there when you don’t know well a place and want to be sure you will receive a nice experience without any surprise (good or bad).
3. La Réserve Hotels
La Réserve Hotels are dedicated to providing exceptional luxurious accommodations and spa treatments in Geneva, Zurich, Paris and Ramatuelle. They all have a palace level and most of them even owns the official Palace distinction. They belong to Michel Reybier Hospitality, a family-owned group based in Switzerland which also offers other five-star and four-star hotels in Switzerland.
My opinion: I visited all La Réserve locations except Ramatuelle (opened only during Summer). The level of service and facilities is very high, La Réserve Paris even received the Best Hotel In The World award in 2017. They are truly impressive and thanks to their boutique-hotel size they offer a feeling of exclusiveness (at a price). Highly recommended for those who like places for happy-few.
4. Bulgari Hotels
Bulgari formed in 2001 a joint venture with the hotel chain The Ritz-Carlton to launch Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, a collection of luxury destinations around the world. Their distinctive settings and Italian design by the architectural firm Antonio Citterio – Patricia Viel characterise the properties of Bulgari Hotel Group. These are located in Milan, Bali, London, Beijing, Dubai and Shanghai. Hotels in Moscow, Paris and Tokyo are due to open by 2022.
My opinion: I experienced Bulgari Milan and Bulgari London. A very contemporary design with a very high level of service. All Bulgari locations are ideal for Spa lovers, a true wow factor trigger. They are not cheap though, since the brand is very well known for its jewelry line the only guest selection they can make is via the entry price.
5. Six Senses Resorts
Six Senses’ story began in 1995, and always based its growth on the same ambition. They take guests beyond destinations into new experiences and cultures, so they feel the purpose behind their travels. When booking a Six Senses resort, guests see that being environmentally friendly and socially responsible is not just a vague promise. These elements are the magic that brings them all to life, while promoting personal well-being, and sustainability. Today Six Senses proposes 18 luxurious resorts all over the world.
My opinion: the day you will visit a Six Senses resort, you will really understand what the expression “luxury holidays” means. They are located in the world’s most stunning places, arriving there is a wow factor itself. They offer a villa-only concept and the eco-friendly spirit is quite unique on the market, without affecting at all the lavishness of the resorts.
6. Peninsula Hotels
The Peninsula Hotels is a chain of luxury hotels founded in 1928 and based in Hong Kong. They are located in 10 of the world’s most famous urban cities and provide some of the highest standards in the five-star hospitality industry. They are famous for their dark-green inspired interior design and doormen dressed all in white from top to toe. Peninsula hotels are recognized as exclusive properties and are usually ranked in their city’s top tier.
My opinion: I always go to a Peninsula location when there is this option in a city, for both business trips and leisure. They are not cheap, but I like the way they are able to personalize the standardization. There is no black sheep in their hotel list, all of them are truly amazing. My preference goes to the iconic Peninsula Bangkok, on the river shore and to the Peninsula Beijing, a suite-only hotel.
7. Mandarin Oriental Hotels
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is a Hong Kong hotel investment and management group focusing on luxury hotels and resorts. They own 33 properties worldwide and are usually located in urban centers, mostly in Asia and Europe. Travelers are ranking them #1 or #2 at city level. Yet standardized, Mandarin Oriental hotels offer a very high level of service and facilities at – usually – reasonable price.
My opinion: Mandarin Oriental hotels are likeable but the thing is they don’t all propose the same level of luxury. Mostly because all properties don’t offer the same level of exigency, nor the same quality of facilities. This being said, try out the Mandarin Oriental Shanghai to get the best of what that group is able to provide.