The Top 10 Hotels in the World

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.

Although many of us were grounded for much of 2020, in our hearts, we remained global citizens. Travel + Leisure readers know that adventures never cease, even when we remain close to home — and an excellent hotel can still put a smile on your face, especially when the world feels tumultuous. From the Caribbean to Southeast Asia, from Africa to South America, this year’s top 100 winners span the globe and include city skyscrapers, jungle glamping, palace resorts, luxe safari lodges, and seaside hideaways. But top-notch service, premier locations, and over-the-top amenities connect the winners and ensure they rise above the rest.http

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Two guest villas tucked into trees at Mahali Mzuri, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI

India made the strongest showing of any single country, with a total of 12 properties. Indian hotels and resorts in the Top 100 include No. 8, the Oberoi Udaivillas; No. 10, the Oberoi, New Delhi; No. 31, Hyatt Regency Amritsar; and No. 88, Rambagh Palace, Jaipur. Mexico also did well this year, capturing seven spots, including No. 39, Viceroy Riviera Maya; No. 50, Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort; and No. 66, Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

The Caribbean was well represented, with hotels in the Bahamas (Kamalame Cay at No. 7), St. Lucia (Jade Mountain at No. 78 and Cap Maison at No. 93), Jamaica (Round Hill Hotel and Villas at No. 62 and Tensing Pen at No. 93), and St. Bart’s (Hôtel Le Toiny at No. 95) all making the list.

Our readers continue to be impressed and inspired by Sub-Saharan Africa, voting 13 properties in the region onto the list — including the first-ever No. 1 from Kenya. Keep reading to learn more about Mahali Mzuri and the rest of the winners around the world.

1. Mahali Mzuri, Masai Mara, Kenya

Guest suite at Mahali Mzuri, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF MAHALI MZURI

Part of the Virgin Limited Edition collection, Sir Richard Branson’s majestic safari camp in the Masai Mara is “just perfect,” according to one voter. The seemingly space-age tents somehow rise up out of the landscape and blend in with it simultaneously. Wildlife remains abundant in the surrounding bush — ideal for the twice-daily game drives — and the guides are extremely knowledgeable. One respondent raved about the “excellent service,” adding that “the hospitality provided at Mahali Mzuri resembles the name,” which means beautiful place in Swahili. Another reader says simply that it’s “the best luxurious camp to visit on the African continent.”

Score: 99.73
More information: virginlimitededition.com

2. Nayara Tented Camp, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

View from a guest tent at Nayara Tented Camp, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: BRICE FERRE STUDIO/COURTESY OF NAYARA TENTED CAMP

The most recent entry to the Nayara brand has all the details covered. Cliff-top safari tents have spacious bathrooms with soaking tubs, private decks, and infinity plunge pools that overlook the lush Costa Rican rain forest and the imposing Arenal Volcano. Elsewhere on the property, guests can spot wildlife like sloths and toucans; take a dip in the dramatic, cantilevered, hot-spring-fed mineral pools; and indulge in the plush spa.

Score: 99.58
More information: nayaratentedcamp.com

3. The Opposite House, Beijing

Art wall at the reception area of the Opposite House, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF SWIRE HOTELS

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma designed this emerald glass building with subtle references to traditional Chinese architecture. Rooms are minimalist with luxurious touches like oak soaking tubs and plush beds, the staff is über-attentive, and the location is close to all the Beijing attractions.

Score: 99.47
More information: thehousecollective.com

4. Capella Bangkok

Presidential suite bedroom at the Capella Bangkok, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF CAPELLA HOTELS & RESORTS

Situated on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, this new urban retreat offers impressive views of the lively Thai capital. There are four dining venues, including one overseen by chef Mauro Colagreco of France’s Michelin three-starred Mirazur, and a swank spa with treatments, therapies, and fitness classes.

Score: 99.38
More information: capellahotels.com

5. Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

A villa at Capella Ubud, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF CAPELLA HOTELS & RESORTS

Last year’s Top 100 Hotels winner, this glamorous, Bill Bensley–designed resort features a dramatic suspension bridge leading to 22 tented hideaways surrounded by lush rain forest and the river Wos gurgling below. The on-site organic Keliki Garden supplies two restaurants and a bar, and the nightly campfire is the setting for storytelling, movies, and live music with s’mores and hot chocolate.

Score: 99.34
More information: capellahotels.com

6. Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection, Santorini, Greece

Whitewashed terrace of the Grace Hotel, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF GRACE HOTEL, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION

This whitewashed resort, tucked away on the quieter side of Santorini, has unobstructed views of the sparkling Aegean, minus the crowds found elsewhere. Stay on property to enjoy yoga alfresco (the cliff-top setting is magical), or ask the staff to coordinate a scenic hike or cruise to see the island from a different vantage point.

Score: 99.18
More information: aubergeresorts.com

7. Kamalame Cay, Andros Island, Bahamas

An airy interior at Kamalame Cay, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF KAMALAME CAY

Although this serene Bahamian island resort is a bit hard to get to, it’s worth the journey for guests who make it to its sparkling private shores. Guests can relax on the deck of their beachfront bungalows, have breakfast delivered daily in a wicker basket, and borrow golf carts and bikes to explore the 96-acre island.

Score: 99.14
More information: kamalame.com

8. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India

Exterior of the Oberoi Vanyavilas, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF OBEROI HOTELS & RESORTS

It’s not hard to feel like royalty in this extravagant palace hotel, where Udaipur’s glittering Lake Pichola is front and center. Posh rooms have semi-private pools that create a kind of moat around the hotel, and staff are trained to anticipate guests’ every desire.

Score: 99.12
More information: oberoihotels.com

9. The Temple House, Chengdu, China

A couryard at Temple House, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF SWIRE HOTELS

Two modernist, glass mid-rise towers emerge from a century-old building and tree-filled courtyard, creating a refuge within Sichuan’s bustling capital. Rooms are modern and minimal, and there are four food and beverage outlets, a spa, an indoor pool, and a house car to enjoy.

Score: 98.94
More information: thehousecollective.com

10. The Oberoi, New Delhi

The pool at the Oberoi, New Delhi, voted one of the best hotels in the world

CREDIT: COURTESY OF OBEROI HOTELS & RESORTS

There are 220 well-appointed rooms in this luxury hotel situated near several Delhi attractions. Guests can unwind at either the indoor or outdoor swimming pool, then choose from seven restaurants and bars, including one by Alfred Prasad, formerly of the Michelin-starred Tamarind in London.

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