This year’s 50 Best Hotels list recognizes premium establishments from 35 destinations around the world, each one offering unparalleled guest experiences.
Last week saw the reveal of this year’s 50 Best Hotels. According to the official website, the annual list “celebrates the best hotel experiences across the globe.” A panel of 80 global industry experts were charge of its curation. The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy is the organization behind the prestigious yearly roster. It’s composed of 580 anonymous leaders in the hotel industry who possess “expert opinion and background in the hotel scene.”
The award ceremony took place in London’s Guildhall on Tuesday, September 19. This year’s awardees hail from 35 destinations across the globe, with the top five located in Italy, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Tokyo.
Besides the top 50 rankings, hotels also received special awards. These are the Art of Hospitality Award, Lavazza One To Watch Award, Nikka Best New Hotel, Flor de Caña Eco Hotel, Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel, Carlo Alberto Best Boutique Hotel, and the SevenRooms Icon Award.
Those looking for the full list can access it straight from The World’s 50 Best Hotels website. For the curious, below are the establishments that made it to the top five rankings:
Passalacqua (Lake Como, Italy)
Passalacqua, a family-owned independent hotel in Italy’s Lake Como, placed first on the list. According to its official write-up, the 18th-century villa was the former home of composer Vincenzo Bellini. The Passalacqua family then acquired it in 2018, spending three years on renovations until opening it in 2022. Considering how new the hotel is, taking top spot is certainly an impressive feat.
“It’s a big recognition,” Valentina De Santis, the hotel’s owner, told CNN. “Because we are a family-owned independent hotel. And we’re quite small. […] It was really unexpected. And it was beyond our wildest dreams to get to the top part of the top 25. So we couldn’t be prouder.”
The hotel is composed of 24 rooms, all spread across three locations. Namely a main villa, eight-room Palazz, and four-suite Casa al Lago by the lake. Pieces of Italian craftsmanship decorate the interiors of the hotel, including “gilded mirrors, 19th-century portraits, lacquered antique tables, Murano chandeliers, and Il Bronzetto light fittings.” The hotel’s food is simple but well done with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Complimentary day activities include flower arranging courses and gelato-making classes.
Rosewood Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Rosewood Hong Kong takes second place in the list. The hotel, which opened in 2019, is a 65-storey tower that offers picturesque views of the city’s skyline. Acclaimed Taiwanese-born designer Tony Chi helped create the hotel’s elegant interiors, with pieces that offer “modern style and understated opulence.” Artworks from acclaimed artists like Damien Hirst and Henry Moore also decorate the hotel’s halls.
The building is made up of 413 rooms, with neutral bedrooms that offer a restrained, zen atmosphere. Meanwhile, bathrooms exude luxury with marble interiors and grand mirrors that evoke a “palatial feel,” as per its official write-up.
Rosewood Hong Kong holds 11 dining establishments, including Holt’s Café (which serves elevated local cuisine), Bluhouse (and Italian-inspired dining spot), and Chaat (which offers Indian food). Darkside, one of the city’s most celebrated bars, is also located within the hotel’s walls.
Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (Bangkok)
The Four Seasons Bangkok is located by the banks of the River of Kings and offers a fun urban getaway unlike any other. The tropical getaway is framed with palm trees, boasts a multi-layered pool area, and Mediterranean-leaning gardens. It has 299 rooms with interiors designed by the renowned Jean-Michel Gathy, as well as modern art pieces by some of the best local talents.
What makes the hotel special is its resort-like feel within Thailand’s cityscape. “The property shines a spotlight on cascading architecture, with abundant glass, slick marble, [and] high ceilings,” stated its official write-up.
The hotel also contains the BKK Social Club—one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars this 2023. “Helmed by Philip Bischoff, a tight drinks list draws upon Buenos Aires’ bar culture and the spirit of bonhomie,” wrote its description. Guests can find Michelin-starred Cantonese cuisine in Yu Ting Yuan, and mouth-watering French classics at Brasserie Palmier.
The Upper House (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong’s The Upper House takes fourth spot on the list with its tranquil and timeless accommodations. The 117-room hotel is conveniently located 40 minutes away from the airport, and features stunning views of Victoria Harbour.
Its interiors and architecture are the epitome of style and class thanks to designers André Fu and Thomas Heatherwick. Around 400 art pieces decorate the establishment, each one commissioned and curated to further enhance the hotel’s peaceful ambiance, according to its official write-up.
The fresh and restorative spaces of The Upper House offer the perfect respite for travelers of all kinds. Curves and clean lines complete the accommodation’s overall atmosphere, creating an atmosphere of understated elegance and opulence. As for dining options, Salisterra serves up Mediterranean delicacies, while the hotel’s bar is a suitable spot for light meals and a variety of refreshing beverages.
Aman Tokyo (Tokyo)
Last, but certainly not least, among the top five selections is Aman Tokyo. Located at the center of the bustling metropolis, the hotel boasts a sleek and deluxe ambiance within a 38-storey skyscraper.
“The transition from city to escapism is instant upon arrival at the airy 33rd floor lobby, with its cathedral-high ceiling of crafted white washi paper; abstract seasonal floral and rock displays on reflective waters; and epic sweep of iconic Tokyo views,” wrote its official description.
Rooms provide a new experience to guests with their high ceilings and staggered layouts, which contain a mix of minimalist and calligraphic elements. For those seeking a relaxing soak, Aman Tokyo’s rooms boast deep window-side stone bathtubs that offer spectacular views no matter the time of day.
The hotel’s spa adds more to the establishment’s relaxing features with an expansive tranquil space and inventive treatments steeped in tradition. These include onsen-style stone baths, yoga and pilates sessions, and Shinto misogi purification rituals.
The hotel’s Arva restaurant offers Italian cuisine with premium Japanese ingredients, while Musashi serves omakase sushi at a hinoki cypress wood counter.
Banner photo from the Passalacqua website.