Traveler's top Hotels

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Care to sample a life of champagne and caviar? Be sure to pack your designer luggage for this fun countdown of the world’s most luxurious (and expensive) hotels.


This urban chic resort, located in Cape Town’s Waterfront, set a whole new standard for South Africa hotels when it opened in 2009. Offering an unprecedented level of luxury and style to one of the world’s most fascinating cities, the hotel will overwhelm you from the very start of your stay with breathtaking Table Mountain views from the spectacular lobby. The spacious room and oversized bathroom interiors are adorned with fabrics and furnishings recalling the warm, muted tones of Africa’s savannahs. Central to exciting nightlife and entertainment, the hotel serves as a gateway to the Cape Town’s must visit places, such wine country excursions, Chapman’s Peak and Cape Point.


The private island resort has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters of the Ile Du Nord eco-reserve. Raised off the ground to catch the cooling Indian Ocean breezes, all villas open up onto a private garden and the beach, with plunge pools and outdoor showers providing the finishing touches. The island’s lounge and dining areas, scenically located health spa and gym, library and dive centre, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. Keep an eye out for Brutus, the island’s 160-year-old tortoise. The resort was the decor for honeymoon of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.


Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, open from May to September, is an exotic paradox of indulgent luxury and remote, untamed wilderness, located in the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere Reserve (within Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park). This unique 21st-century-safari-style enclave offers exquisite cuisine and breathtaking adventures, giving visitors a rare taste of how the fortunate spent their summers ‘roughing it’ some 100 years ago. Twenty white canvas suite tents showcase antique furnishings, opulent rugs, down duvets, remote-controlled propane powered woodstoves and luxurious amenities. Keep an eye out for the amazing wildlife, including bears and killer whales.


Alila Villas Uluwatu is my favorite luxury resort in Bali’s. The ultraluxurious property is located in the dry savannah landscape of the Bukit Peninsular in the South of the island. Poised on an elevated plateau that meets with limestone cliffs sweeping down the Indian Ocean, the view from the hotel is nothing less than breathtaking. Blending in with these spectacular surroundings, the unique design and open-plan architecture of the hotel combines the delights of traditional Balinese pavilion architecture and rural landscapes with modern dynamic treatment of space and form. The spectacular rooms with minimalistic interiors are designed to impart comfort and space.


Jade Mountain delivers romance in a very unique way from its hilltop location in a verdant corner of the tropical Caribbean island of St Lucia. The impressive design, with individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool suites and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky, makes Jade Mountain one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences, especially for honeymooners. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s 29 suites (called “sanctuaries”) are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of St Lucia’s twin peaks, the Pitons World Heritage Site, and of course, the eternal Caribbean Sea.


Seated majestically on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, Park Hyatt Sydney perfectly personifies contemporary harbourside luxury with its coveted location between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Reminiscent of an exclusive harbourside residence, the hotel offers intimate surrounds with architecture, art and design that reflect the Australian landscape. Highlights include 155 spacious guestrooms and suites with contemporary interiors and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to private balconies; 24-hour butler service; and a day spa with stunning rooftop pool and sundeck.


Experience the African Bushveld in lavish comfort and style like only few will. “Unparalleled and extraordinarily beautiful in its simplicity and texture” is how Ivory Lodge has been described, and it has been recognised with various international awards. Each one of the lodge’s villas is surrounded by untamed African Bush and they all include a private rim flow pool, exquisitely appointed large dedicated bedroom and lounge, and simply more of everything. For the ultimate African bush experience, you may want to stay at one of the ultraluxurious treehouses operated by the same management of Ivory Lodge in the same wildlife reserve (where your chances of spotting the Big Five are very high).