Singita Grumeti Reserves Tanzania, voted the world’s best hotel by readers of Travel + Leisure
For the 16th year, Travel + Leisure magazine have released a list of top hotels, cruise lines, airlines, cities and islands, as voted by their readers. For the second consecutive year, Bangkok has been voted the top city to visit, closely followed by Florence, Rome, New York City and Istanbul.
When it comes to hotels, all eyes are on Africa, with Singita Grumeti Reserves Tanzania securing pole position and a further five African hotels present in the top ten. Travel is clearly no longer just the domain of ancient European landmarks or bustling western cities, as hotels in India, Thailand and Montana filled the remaining top spots. Names like Oberoi and Mandarin Oriental were present, but the majority of top rated hotels seemed to be independent and boutique operations, somewhat confirming the suggestion that modern travellers look for ‘experiences’ rather than packages.
And one could argue hoteliers are bang on trend, opening luxury resorts like Beresheet, halfway across Israel’s Negev Desert, and Marriott launching into a bustling Jaipur. Whilst the traditional travel cities indeed remain important, it is exciting to watch the endless parade of new and exciting destinations.
Marriott International brought its signature brand to India’s Rajasthan, with the opening of the Jaipur Marriott Hotel. The cities largest new property incorporates 365-rooms, seven separate food and beverage outlets and 43,000 square feet of meeting space.
Sofitel added its second Legend location to its portfolio, with the refurbishment and opening of Amsterdam The Grand. The hotel, originally opened in 1578, has been re-imagined by French interior architect Sybille de Margerie and features 177 rooms and suites, an award-winning seafood restaurant, Nespresso machines, walk-in rain showers, BOSE audio systems and an urban So SPA.
Located in Mitzpe Ramon, halfway across Israel’s Negev Desert, Beresheet is situated overlooking Makhtesh Ramon, the biggest erosion crater on the planet. The resort comprises of 111 rooms and suites, about a third of which have their own swimming pools. The hotel can also arrange activities such as Jeep tours, camel rides, hiking, bicycle trips, hot-air balloons, self-drive Jeep adventures and outdoor meals.
Redesigned and refurbished by Qatari Diar, Hotel Schweizerhof was recently partially reopened in Bern, following a two-year renovation. The re-launched 5-star hotel comprises of 99 rooms and suites, an 800sqm conference and business centre, a ballroom and, from the end of 2011 onwards, a wellness zone.
The Trump Ocean Club, International Hotel & Tower Panama is located in the most exclusive area of Punta Pacifica in Panama City. The $430 million 70-story hotel offers 369 rooms including 47 suites, boutiques, gourmet restaurants, a yacht club, a pool deck, and a 10,000sqft Spa.
The first hotel collaboration for Maison Martin Margiela, the brand was commissioned to design the interiors for a Hotel Maison Champs-Elysées in Paris. The hotel comprises of 40 Charm rooms and 17 Couture rooms, pure goose down duvets, natural linen sheets and a Mac mini in every room. Most ingeniously, the Mini Bar, Video and WiFI are all free.
The first Marriott hotel in Turkey, the JW Marriott Hotel Ankara launched under a management agreement with Ozkar Insaat A.S. The 24-story, 413-room luxury hotel, comprises 4,550 square meters of meeting space alongside a ballroom, a Spa & Fitness Centre and several restaurants and bars.
Comprising of 107 guest rooms, including 14 junior suites and 11 one-bedroom suites, Wyndham Garden Puerto Rico offers guests flat-screen televisions, spacious work areas, free high-speed Internet access and complimentary bottled water. As well as an infinity-edge pool, with swim-up bar, spa and separate children’s pool.
Located in the Galaxy Macau resort, a large-scale complex erected in Macau’s Cotai Area, Hotel Okura comprises of 488 rooms, including 59 suites, alongside banquet rooms, restaurants and lounge bars. The adjacent resort area features a casino, a pool, a fitness centre and spa.
Located along the seacoast of Non Nuoc beach, in the central city of Danang, the Vinpearl Luxury resort comprises of 200 guestrooms and a string of new-style luxury villas. The hotel incorporates a host of cafes, restaurants, bars and meeting places, whilst the Vincharm Spa is operated by one of Vietnam’s leading Spa chains.
For more in the series of The Latest Hotels, please see our most recent editions as follows: