The World’s 41 Best Hotel Rooms, From Beverly Hills To Beijing
Step into any guest room at The Ritz Paris, and you’ll find a space dripping in opulence. The Louis XIV-influenced décor features rich brocades, tasseled tapestries, chandeliers and bursts of gold. Inside the Italian marble bathroom, there are more lavish touches, like the gilded swan faucet—an original amenity of the 1898 hotel—and accompanying sink knobs bejeweled with red and blue crystals. And when you settle into the spacious accommodations, expect to receive a welcome treat, like lemon and apricot pastries on a silver multi-tiered tray. It’s no wonder why countless luminaries—from Coco Chanel to F. Scott Fitzgerald—chose to live here.
The Parisian grande dame is one of 41 hotels spanning 17 countries to earn a spot on Forbes Travel Guide’s 2019 list of the World’s Best Rooms, a compilation of the finest hotel accommodations around the globe—from Beverly Hills to Beijing.
To assess properties, incognito inspectors check into a hotel for two nights, paying their own way and posing as ordinary guests. During their stay, they evaluate up to 900 objective, exacting standards, including whether the spaces are properly soundproofed, the quality of the linens, and what types of snacks are stocked in the minibar. The 41 winners each achieved perfect scores on guest room and bathroom standards measuring luxury, comfort, and convenience—on top of being spotless and well-maintained.
Feast your eyes on the full list of the world’s best hotel rooms, and peek inside some of the most luxurious spaces below.
The United States is home to 12 winners on the 2019 list, eight of which are located in California. Tucked along Billionaire’s Beach, Nobu Ryokan Malibu infuses its 16 rooms with the chic minimalism of a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Covered in teak (including the handcrafted tub), the spaces showcase neutral furnishings, an indoor-outdoor layout, bedside tatami mats and yukata robes—not to mention floor-to-ceiling ocean views.
Also in Southern California, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa resembles a private Mediterranean paradise. Olive and citrus trees surround expansive casitas, which average 1,000 square feet and have vaulted ceilings, sunken living rooms, and patios—each with a whirlpool and fireplace. The bathrooms are outfitted with oversized tubs, hand-painted tiles and luxe Natura Bissé toiletries. Every morning, guests have the newspaper and fresh-squeezed orange juice delivered straight to their doors.
Among the other American stars are the Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara; Bernardus Lodge & Spa in Carmel Valley; Casa Palmero in Pebble Beach; Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Montage Beverly Hills; and The Peninsula Beverly Hills in the Golden State, with the remaining four coming from New York (Park Hyatt New York and The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park), Illinois (The Peninsula Chicago) and Colorado (The St. Regis Aspen Resort).
Mexico and Canada are also represented on the list. While the rooms at The Ritz-Carlton Montreal carry vestiges of the hotel’s 107-year history (such as antique chandeliers), they veer toward the modern (with motion-sensor-activated lights to guide guests in the dark). Heated bathroom floors, towel racks, and Toto toilet seats guarantee that guests stay warm in the winter.
The country with the second-highest tally on the list, China emerged with six hotels, including The Peninsula Beijing. The sleek, all-suite hotel equips its accommodations with uncommon amenities such as a valet box, which allows staff to deliver and pick up laundry without having to knock on your door; electronic nail dryers in the dressing rooms; and hands-free phones in the bathroom. Other hotels in China that received the high distinction include Encore Macau; Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou; Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong; Rosewood Beijing; and Wynn Macau.
Meanwhile, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore—located near Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer—was recognized for its 100 well-appointed guest rooms, which feature balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, Bottega Veneta bath products, Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers, and a Handy smartphone with unlimited data and complimentary local calls guests can use during their stay.
Contemporary rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island possess Art Deco details, such as geometric carpets and gold circular tables, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water. Guests here never have to leave their beds, which come with down pillows and duvets and can be customized with a plush, signature or firm mattress topper. In addition, the luxurious spreads have built-in side panels that control the lights and do-not-disturb sign, and house tablets that can be used to order room service and contact housekeeping.
Made up of three properties, Dubai’s sumptuous One&Only Royal Mirage channels old Arabia in The Palace and Arabian Court with carved furniture, arches, wood pocket doors, intricate mirrors, Arabesque lamps and eye-catching mosaics—while the Residence & Spa, with its own pool and staff, is better suited for clients who desire a more exclusive getaway.No matter which option one chooses, all have balconies with views of the gulf.
The United Kingdom is home to several regal hotels on Forbes Travel Guide’s 2019 list. Perched in one of Western Europe’s tallest buildings, Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, London delivers city panoramas from each room’s walls of windows—and the Five-Star hotel furnishes guests with binoculars to take it all in.
Check out—or check into—the complete list of this year’s World’s Best Hotel Rooms winners.
Jennifer Kester is Forbes Travel Guide‘s Executive Editor. Her finger is on the pulse of the latest in luxury travel, spanning hotels, food, culture, top destinations and more.