The process used to devise the rankings narrowed down the definition of the word “hotel” to include only properties having at least 15 rooms located in a single building. As a result, villas, bungalows and safari camps were all excluded, even though they are sometimes deemed hotels according to other definitions of the term.
1. AMANGIRI, UTAH, $1889/ NIGHT
Amangiri (peaceful mountain) is located on 600 acres in Canyon Point, Southern Utah, close to the border with Arizona. The resort is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. Built around a central swimming pool with spectacular views, the resort blends into its dramatic surrounds where deep canyons and towering plateaus create a raw landscape of immense power.
Amangiri’s Aman Spa features a floatation therapy pavilion, water pavilion with sauna, steam room, cold plunge and step pool, fitness centre and yoga pavilion.
2. HOTEL CALA DI VOLPE, SARDINIA, $1789/ NIGHT
On the most strikingly romantic stretch of the Costa Smeralda, Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, resembles a charming fishing village, with its picturesque Sardinian houses and landing stage jutting out into a sea of translucent turquoise, emerald green and deepest azure.
Each of the 100 sea-view rooms and 21 suites pays tribute to Sardinia’s unique artistry and natural beauty. Balconies and patios offer breathtaking panoramic views of the ever changing blues of sky and sea. The minimal chic decor is inspired by traditional Sardinian workmanship, using local stone and decorated tiles in vibrant Mediterranean colours. And for an even more exclusive ambience, the Presidential Suite, with three bedrooms, two lounges, sauna and private swimming pool.
3. EXPLORA RAPA NUI, EASTERN ISLAND, $1733/ NIGHT
explora Rapa Nui is located in a quiet and peaceful area of Easter Island, close to the island’s main town, Hanga Roa. The hotel has privileged views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding countryside.
The 30 rooms of Explora Rapa Nui are designed to take full advantage of the silence, privacy, and spaciousness of the surrounding landscape, ensuring deep rest after a long day of exploration.
At explora Rapa Nui, there are over 20 different guided hikes, bike rides and fishing and snorkeling explorations, in groups of maximum 8 travelers. All the explorations have different difficulty levels ranging from easy to expert, and different durations, half day or full day.
4. HOTEL CAP ESTEL, COTE D’AZUR, FRANCE, $1679/ NIGHT
Situated on its own two-hectare peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean Sea, Cap Estel is set right on the sea in a location unique in France. Surrounded on three sides by water, with magnificent panoramic views, it was voted the Best Sea-front Hotel in France in 2011 by World Travel Awards. Only 10 minutes away from Monaco, 10 minutes from Beaulieu-sur-Mer and St-Jean-Cap Ferrat, and 30 minutes from Nice, it is the ideal place from which to explore and enjoy the beauty of the Côte d’Azur.
With only 28 rooms spread over four separate locations (Le Cap, La Mer, La Corniche and Le Parc), Cap Estel brings you luxury and the utmost comfort in an atmosphere of charm and elegance, with 5-star service.
5. MONTAGE KAPALUA BAY, MAUI, $1554/ NIGHT
Montage Kapalua Bay embodies a complete Hawaiian retreat. The sweeping hotel campus includes a lagoon pool, a tennis center, nature trails, plus 2013 world’s best destination spa, and two championship golf courses. Sunset Bar located near the pool offers a range of meal options from mid-day snacks to hearty dishes to signature smoothies and cocktails.
After a day full of activities, stay in a luxury one-, two-, or three-bedroom suites complete with a full kitchen, large living room, and private lanai. Enjoy whale watching from the comfort of the private lanai and absorb the radiant island sunsets at the close of each day.
6. HOTEL PITRIZZA, SARDINIA, $1543/ NIGHT
Hotel Pitrizza stands in a setting of unspoiled natural splendour, where the bluest Mediterranean takes on the colours of the Tropics.
All 49 rooms and 16 villas offer fabulous views of a magical landscape, inside the alluring beauty of hand-crafted Sardinian furniture, natural stonework and marble perfectly complemented by the latest hi-tech amenities – satellite TV, DVD/CD player, Wi-Fi Internet, air-conditioning and duplex telephone line.
Suites and villas designed for travellers seeking privacy, tranquillity and pleasure in all its forms. Each of the 16 villas, true island treasures, has its own private patio and a swimming pool commanding magnificent views over the bay and the coastline.
7. EXPLORA ATACAMA, CHILE, $1533/ NIGHT
In harmony with the surroundings and local traditions, explora Atacama offers the discovery of the essence of nature and a philosophy of travelling that seeks to satisfy the desire of adventure in an intact universe.
On foot, bicycle or horseback, over 40 explorations inmerse the travelers in the natural and cultural wealth of the Atacama Desert. The hotel´s 17 hectares are part of a unique conservation program, with aim to restore the area´s historical and scientific value.
The 50 rooms of explora Atacama are designed to take full advantage of the silence, privacy, and spaciousness of the surrounding landscape, ensuring deep rest after a long day of exploration.
8. AMAN CANAL GRANDE, VENICE, $1489/ NIGHT
The palazzo housing the Aman Canal Grande Venice, Palazzo Papadopoli, was built in 1550 by the architect and follower of Sansovino, Gian Giacomo de Grigi, as commissioned by the Coccina family. The palazzo changed hands several times between 1837 and 1864 when it was acquired by the Papadopoli family.
The resort offers 22 rooms, all with different style décor covering at least 50 square meters, along with two suites, the Alcova Tiepolo Suite and the Canal Grande Suite.
The former features frescoes painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in 1750, along with hand-painted Chinese living room furniture; the latter, located in front of the palace’s main entrance, faces the Grand Canal. Rooms start from EUR 1,000 a night for garden view rooms to EUR 3,500 or approximately EUR 4,560 for the suites.
9. VILLA DEL PARCO, SARDINIA, $1439/ NIGHT
Small and elegant and embraced by greenery, Villa del Parco, shares the tranquility of a centuries-old pine grove with the Thalasso del Forte Thalassotherapy Centre, a Leading Spa of the World. Villa del Parco and its magnificent Acquaforte Spa nestle amid an immense tropical garden. Together, they form an oasis of luxury and elegance, where style and serenity rule.
After a morning at the beach or the nearby Baia delle Palme seawater pool, an afternoon of pure relaxation and pampering by skilled hands at the Acquaforte Spa wellness centre will melt away all tension and weariness. Then in the evening, experience a magical interlude on the terrace of the Villa del Parco’s top-floor restaurant, Belvedere, where the natural fare of Sardinia is on the menu. The Villa del Parco is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.
10. LA RESERVE, RAMANTUELLE, FRANCE, $1369/ NIGHT
Perched on the scented heights, La Réserve Ramatuelle – Hotel and Spa primarily provides a unique tête-à-tête with nature, to be enjoyed with every sense in heightened mode. With its streamlined lines and spectacular volumes, the building’s architecture and interior decoration has been redone by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, to create a delicately perched contemporary vessel overlooking the sea.
Amid the chic ambience enhanced by natural materials, the subtle palette of mineral nuances is interpreted across a kaleidoscope of ochre, white and sandy tones, offering a dazzling reflection of Southern light.