WhenHub - Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating Award Winners (Hotels) - 2017

Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating Award Winners (Hotels) - 2017

Forbes Travel Guide today added 22 hotels to its prestigious list of Five-Star properties. The addition of those properties brings the total number of Five-Star hotels to 175. Forbes also named 76 new Four-Star hotels and 83 new hotels in the Recommended category. This is the 59th list of Star Rating recipients in Forbes’ history.Forbes now rates properties in 42 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Belmond Hotel

10 Giudecca
Belmond Hotel Cipriani

Belmond Hotel Cipriani has a storied place in Venetian history. Founder Giuseppe Cipriani invented the Bellini cocktail and was also the proprietor of Harry’s Bar, a famous local hot spot frequented by Ernest Hemingway. The expansive Belmond Hotel Cipriani continues to carry on that legacy with unparalleled charm, service and amenities.

Perched on the tip of Giudecca Island, the hotel boasts top cuisine; exclusive, best-of-Venice boutiques (where you can purchase the extravagant linens from the hotel beds, among other things); manicured gardens; and a garden-adjacent heated saltwater pool. This country escape feels a world away from the urban bustle of Venice.

The interior of the property is just as lush as the well-kept estate. You’ll find exquisite, made-in-Venice touches such as Murano glass, Fortuny fixtures and Rubelli fabrics.

Discreet, courteous and efficient service is the norm throughout the luxury hotel, whether you’re dining at Oro, drinking at Cip’s Club or taking a dip at the pool.

For those who need extra attention, the 16 rooms and suites in the Palazzo Vendramin annex come with a private butler to attend to your every need.

Rooms are decorated with Venetian furnishings including Murano glass chandeliers, Fortuny fabrics and Venetian artworks. The hotel achieved instant acclaim. In 1968 some adjoining land was purchased and a 600-meter Olympic-sized swimming pool (the only pool in central Venice) added among gardens.

In April 2014 the hotel opened Oro restaurant, designed by Adam Tihany, which in December 2015 was awarded a Michelin star. 

Crown Towers

8 Whiteman Street
Crown Towers Melbourne

A central part of Melbourne’s Crown Casino complex, Crown Towers Melbourne is one of three hotels and decidedly the most lavish. As you enter the heavy glass doors into the impressive lobby, your eyes are drawn to the grandiose chandelier illuminating the highly polished black granite floors and marble pillars.

The interior design throughout the hotel is a contemporary take on art deco — slick surroundings are accented with pops of color. Come evening, the sound of live jazz echoes softly throughout.

Located on the southern bank of the Yarra River in Melbourne’s central business district, the Crown complex could be a destination in itself with luxury gaming facilities, high-end boutiques, indulgent spas and upscale restaurants and nightclubs.

The Rooms

Rooms here are sophisticated and contemporary with attention paid to details. Perhaps most notably, guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the city skyline or out to the bay.

The Darling Hotel

80 Pyrmont Street
The Darling Hotel

The Darling at The Star is proud to be Sydney’s First and Only luxury hotel to receive the prestigious Forbes five-star rating .

he Darling in Sydney’s bustling Pyrmont neighborhood pairs upscale living with attentive service, making this boutique hotel popular with those who want a stylish, comfortable stay in the Aussie city.

At 170 rooms, the luxury feels big but not too big — a plus considering the hotel is part of The Star resort, a large complex that houses trendsetting restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. The stunning marble lobby with soaring ceilings and a black, gray and red palette feels glamorous but not overindulgent. And with a cutting-edge gym and world-class spa, The Darling has a lot more to offer than the typical boutique hotel.

From the standard rooms to the five top-floor penthouses, all of The Darling’s guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling views, spacious walk-in closets, marble bathrooms with his-and-hers sinks, rain showerheads and large spa baths. The high-tech control system allows you to perfect your comfort level — from adjusting temperatures to dimming lights — with a single device. The décor is contemporary but not serene with neutral-hued furnishings and subdued pops of purple.

The suites are worth the splurge. Not only do they have the best views of Sydney and the harbor from the upper floors, they also have private foyers that open to a large living space. The sweeping vistas carry on from the living and dining areas, into the bedroom and even bathroom where you can relax in a soaking tub and enjoy unrestricted vistas

Faena Hotel

3201 Collins Avenue
United States
Faena Hotel Miami Beach

Faena Hotel Miami Beach made a splashy debut. Not only did the Miami hotel unveil decadent décor courtesy of big-name Hollywood players, but it christened a newly formed arts and culture hub in the city.

Visionary Alan Faena and partner Len Blavatnik opened the hotel in December 2015 at the former location of the historic Saxony Hotel in the new Faena District Miami Beach neighborhood, located between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Creek (32nd to 36th streets). 

Faena tapped imaginative filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning designer wife Catherine Martin as creative consultants. The result is elegant, Art Deco-esque and over the top. The Miami hotel features remarkable works by artists Damien Hirst, Alberto Garutti, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Manuel Ameztoy and Juan Gatti (nicknamed the “Michelangelo of Faena,” he also has Hollywood ties, as he created the posters for virtually all of Pedro Almodóvar’s films).

The Rooms

There are 21 room categories among the 169 spacious, lavish guest rooms (111 are suites with an additional 13 penthouse residences spanning the top two floors), many of which provide incredible, endless ocean and beach views.

Rooms have a retro-glam feel — Art Deco touches, hardwood floors, sumptuous Faena red velvet, golden accents and cool blue bathroom tiles to complement the Atlantic Ocean. Animal-print ottomans, plush red velvet sofas, lamps fashioned out of coral, seashell-encrusted jewelry boxes and swaths of Faena red velvet fill the space.

Bathrooms come with beautiful travertine countertops, aquamarine floor tiles and high-tech Toto toilets; some also have luxurious bathtubs.

Step out onto the stark-white balcony bedecked with a pair of gilded chairs and more colorful wall murals await.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

5300 Grand Del Mar Court
United States
Fairmont Grand Del Mar

This palatial Mediterranean-style resort offers something for everyone. Tucked on a hillside just outside downtown San Diego, Fairmont Grand Del Mar has a mind-boggling array of amenities, including world-class golf at the Tom Fazio-designed course and a spa. Foodies can indulge in everything from afternoon tea to gourmet dining at six different venues, and there are four beautiful pools to lounge by, complete with underwater speakers and luxurious cabanas. Even kids can relax in style; the Explorer's Club keeps them busy with crafts and educational activities. The classically decorated rooms (dark wood furnishing, crown moldings) have European-style soaking tubs, feather beds and oversized flat-screen televisions.

The rooms at Fairmont Grand Del Mar are luxurious and spacious, while still being homey and comfortable. It consist of 249 Rooms / 31 Suites.

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

5-6 Széchenyi István tér
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest

As one of the most beautiful hotels in Budapest, Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace is an art nouveau masterpiece on the banks for the Danube River. Facing the iconic Chain Bridge head on, with Buda Castle further in the backdrop, this historic luxury hotel has the best view in town.

The Gresham Palace, built by its British namesake Gresham Life Assurance Company in 1906, also housed residential apartments for most of the 20th century before its transformation into a Four Seasons in 2004. Elements of the hotel’s eclectic past lie hidden in the details, such as engraved glass once belonging to the elevator shaft.

The building’s art nouveau beauty is legendary, from stained-glass windows once hidden on the rooftop during World War II to the Zsolnay mosaic tiles accenting the arcades of the Zrínyi Passage in the lobby.

The hotel has 179 rooms, and the standard accommodations are the largest in Budapest. You can also opt for fine dining at Kollázs Brasserie & Bar and relax at the rooftop spa.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay

Four Seasons Resort Bali At Jimbaran Bay

There’s a magic formula at work at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, one that’s made the hotel as romantic for couples as it is fun for families.

The resort is just across the bay from the airport, so you won’t sacrifice beach time stuck in gridlock. Each villa has a private pool, so you can swim in seclusion or take a dip in the infinity pool overlooking Jimbaran Bay.

Add in beachside dining, complimentary water sports and a roster of activities, and you may never want to leave resort grounds.

The villas here sit terraced along the hillside overlooking Jimbaran Bay. Each has its own small garden, terrace, plunge pool and covered outdoor lounge area. Villas have vaulted ceilings and are flooded with sunlight from the glass doors leading to the pool and the wall of bathroom windows facing the outdoor shower.

Décor within is clean and beachy with a Balinese twist — teak furniture, carved stone wall art, and white linens, including gauzy curtains surrounding a plush bed.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

Four Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan

With just 60 guest rooms, this Bali village resort is small by Four Seasons standards, which is exactly what makes Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan so appealing.

The public spaces are designed to feel intimate — restaurants that seat 30, a long, bi-level pool that follows the curve of the river, and two smaller spas rather than one large space. The resort’s grounds cover 18 verdant acres across hills that slope down to the Ayung River.

As you take a walk or a ride in one of the resort’s electric carts, you’ll see eggplant, limes, garlic, chili peppers, lemongrass and assorted herbs growing, all of which are used in the hotel’s restaurants.

The 18 suites are in the main resort building, a stone’s throw from the restaurants and main pool. The 42 villas are dotted across the resort, some within walking distance of the main building and others a quick electric buggy ride away. Each of the villas has a plunge pool and outdoor shower.

Décor is a mix of contemporary and traditional Balinese, with handsome teak furniture and woodwork throughout, beige wicker furniture in the garden, and vibrant tile-work in the bathrooms.

Suites have terraces; villas have large outdoor living spaces that look out over the river valley and gardens.

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

71 Boulevard du Général de Gaulle
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

Midway between Nice and Monte Carlo, hidden away near the tip of the lush peninsula of Cap Ferrat, this newly branded Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel features an opulent mix of Old World grandeur and sleek, pristine modernity that distinguishes it from other seaside palaces on the Riviera. Surrounded by 17 acres of manicured flower-lined gardens and parasol pines, this elegant hotel built in 1908 (with a cupola designed by Gustave Eiffel) still evokes a timeless tranquility that attracts VIP guests seeking a discreet, restful retreat without the buzzy atmosphere of an in-town resort. In high season, there are three top-notch restaurants to choose from, plus a spectacular Olympic-size, infinity seawater pool, tennis courts, a large spa with an indoor pool and a state-of-the art fitness center.

While the stately white-on-white marble lobby is decked out with Murano chandeliers and Lalique crystal, the attentive, friendly staff, the host of extra services and the tranquil spacious grounds all contribute to the unpretentious and relaxed spirit of the Côte d'Azur hotel. Over the years, artists, film stars and writers from Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Elizabeth Taylor, David Niven and Charlie Chaplin have spent time sipping cocktails at the bar or swanning around at the poolside Club Dauphin, taking in the gorgeous landscape. Today, high-profile guests from government bigwigs to music and sports stars continue to flock here en famille, undisturbed.

The Rooms

Renovated in 2009, the luxury hotel’s spacious guest rooms were designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, whose stylish refurbishment combines classic pure lines with the palest earth tones and subtle splashes of jade and turquoise. Interiors are jazzed up with reproductions of modern artwork, from Matisse to Chagall, by local residents. If you can, splurge on the luminous Rooftop Suite, which has a sweeping panoramic view of the sea and a large furnished terrace. For an extended stay, the sumptuous four-bedroom Villa Rose Pierre, tucked away under the pines overlooking the sea, offers everything from private tennis courts and a gym to a rooftop terrace with sofa seating.

Hotel 41

41 Buckingham Palace Road
United Kingdom
Hotel 41

It’s residents only at Hotel 41, giving this snug establishment the feel of an exclusive members’ club; it’s a real home away from home in the heart of the British capital. There’s a welcome desk at street level, but check-in proper happens an elevator ride away in the reassuringly traditional, but suitably decadent environment of the guests-only Executive Lounge. Complimentary glass of champagne in hand, you’re welcomed to Hotel 41 like an old friend. 

The Rooms

Occupying the top floor of a historic building opposite the Royal Mews, site of the Queen’s stables, the hotel comprises just 28 rooms and suites, plus two self-contained apartments. The black-and-white color scheme found throughout the London hotel’s public areas continues into the bedrooms, creating a dramatic look softened by the use of traditional-style furnishings such as dark wood writing desks and brass lighting fixtures. Each room is a different shape, thanks to the layout of this old building, but they’re furnished in the same way, with king-size beds (in all rooms except executive doubles), entertainment centers and mini-bars tucked away behind mirrored cabinets, and characterful prints on the walls. Tasty housemade treats await you in your room following arrival, and wintertime turndowns include hot water bottles and a fire being lit in the grate (most rooms have open fireplaces). 

Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

38-40 Passeig de Gràcia
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Located on one of Barcelona’s most desirable avenues, Passeig de Gràcia, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is steps from Casa Batlló, one of architect Antoni Gaudí’s most famous buildings, as well as shops like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci that line the street. You can also easily walk to both Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, so getting to some of the Catalan capital’s most popular sites is a breeze.

The hotel offers a serene oasis when you are ready to step away from the bustle of the city, with a world-class restaurant, a rooftop pool, an amazing spa and even a garden where you can wind down and relax with cocktail in hand. It’s fun to see signs of the building’s former history as bank, such as the old safes incorporated in the aptly named Banker’s Bar.

The Rooms and Suites

All accommodations either have views of bustling Passeig de Gràcia or the hotel’s Mimosa Garden, and many have balconies or patios. The décor throughout doesn’t resemble a hotel so much as an upscale stylish apartment thanks to award-winning Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, who made the spaces feel both sophisticated and comfortable. Wood floors, wall screens and wardrobes rather than closets, are among the luxe touches.

Spacious suites are appointed with Tai Ping silk and wool rugs, Bassano ceramics and unique pieces of furniture Urquiola designed herself for the Barcelona hotel. Each suite has the services of a butler, who is available 24 hours a day.

The two-bedroom Penthouse is as good as it gets anywhere in the city — it occupies the entire eighth floor and has an enormous terrace with stunning views of the city, as well as its own kitchen and massive master suite.

Mandarin Oriental, Taipei

Mandarin Oriental, Taipei

Located on tree-lined Dunhua North Road in the heart of the city, the exquisitely designed Mandarin Oriental, Taipei is a short distance away from shopping, business, entertainment, as well as many key attractions like Taipei Arena and the Taipei World Trade Center. With a prime location, spacious rooms, a large spa, and a bevy of dining options, it’s a good choice for both business and leisure travelers. It’s also a hit with big-name musicians and actors such as Jay Chou, Jun Ji-hyun, and Jacky Cheung. Mandarin Oriental is known is for opulence, and this recently opened hotel does not disappoint.    

The Look

As you enter the lobby, you’re greeted by a massive 50,000-piece crystal chandelier that took Czech artist Tafana Dvorakova nine months to complete. The hotel’s architecture and interiors are influenced by European design and classic Oriental flourishes — marble floors, chandeliers, cathedral ceilings, and arched doorways are accented by 1,700 art pieces and antiques created by world-renowned artists such as Jae-Hyo Lee and Wei Zhu. With restaurants designed by Tony Chi and guest rooms embellished with exquisite peony-patterned leather wall paneling hand-crafted by Helen Amy Murray, you will be surrounded by dramatic elegance throughout your stay. The spa, which spans two floors, is a lavish facility marked by serenity-inducing design with large marble-clad treatment rooms, crystal steam showers and a plush, dimly lit lounge.

The Rooms

The Taipei hotel’s 303 rooms and suites are the most spacious in the city, featuring luxurious marble bathrooms, walk-in closets and separate powder rooms with one-of-a-kind wallpaper designed by Elli Popp. For the best views, ask for a high-level room facing Taipei 101 — the tallest green building in the world and the city’s most recognizable landmark. All rooms feature deluxe amenities such as premium local teas from Cha Cha Thé, locally produced dried pineapple and green mango snacks in the minibar, and lush bath products by Diptyque. Suites include heated marble floors and Acqua di Parma bath amenities. For club floor guests, The Oriental Club offers complimentary garment pressing, meeting space, and a beautiful outdoor courtyard with breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktail service.

Marco Polo Ortigas

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Located 24 stories above the bustling Ortigas business district is the lavish lobby of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, one of the three Marco Polo Hotels in the Philippines. (The other two are in Cebu and Davao.) Opened in 2014 and dubbed as a "sky hotel" because it sits atop a mixed-use building, it is the first of its kind in the country.

The hotel is a celebration of artistry thanks to the architectural design concept by Mohri Architect & Associates and the interior look by Canada's Glyph Design Studio. The evocative pieces of artwork by young Filipino artist Jinggoy Buensuceso are displayed throughout the 23 levels of the hotel, its way of embracing and showcasing local culture and artistry.

The Manila hotel has 316 guest rooms spread across 19 floors, all with a stunning view of the growing metropolis or the lavish greenery of the neighboring province of Rizal. The vista is even more captivating at night with the city lights below and the velvet night sky above.

Rooms feature muted earth tones with accents of gold and bronze for a touch of glamour. All accommodations are equipped with an executive desk, a high-speed Internet connection, an in-room safe, flat-screen TVs, a Nespresso machine, a tea station, a well-stocked mini-bar and a gorgeous marble bathtub and rain shower in the spacious bathrooms.

The Rooms

Guests staying at any of the luxury hotel suites are entitled to personalized check-in and checkout services (no more queuing by the front desk), access to a private reception area, and complimentary professional grooming services, such as suit pressing and shoe shines. All suites come with personal butlers, afternoon tea and cocktails, and breakfast for two.

The 1,615-square-foot Marco Polo Suite has a spacious and well-appointed living area with an L-shaped sofa, a dedicated dining area, three LED televisions (including one in the bathroom) and a fully stocked kitchen.

Marco Polo is also known for its all-out services via the Continental Club. There are 23 Continental Club Rooms located at the topmost level of the hotel building. These are loaded with club privileges, including exclusive access to the Continental Club Lounge on the 44th floor, which has a meeting room, a library and a bar lounge, not to mention stunning panoramas of the city skyline and beyond.

Portrait Roma

23 Via Bocca di Leone
Portrait Roma, Lungarno Collection

One of the best addresses for a weekender in Rome is Portrait Roma – Lungarno Collection. Boasting a coveted corner on Via dei Condotti, the Ferragamo-inspired Portrait Rome is both a luxury getaway and gateway to fashion. The 14-room property was designed by Michele Bonan to showcase the Ferragamo lifestyle and its love of Italian artistry, all while providing the proverbial key to unlocking all of Rome’s best doors.

The Location

Fashionistas will agree that it doesn’t get any better than Via dei Condotti, Rome’s historic and exclusive fashion street. There’s barely any elbow room for window shopping. Ferragamo, Gucci, Dior, Cartier and Prada, among others, are clustered together here, while the surrounding area is peppered with boutiques and cafés.

The Rooms

First and foremost, Portrait Roma is stylish with magazine-worthy interiors. Each of the Rome hotel’s 14 rooms and suites is a fashion-forward, haute design masterpiece. With ecru and gray as base colors, the accommodations are harmoniously balanced with beautiful contemporary pieces that are inspired by Salvatore Ferragamo’s personal style and design aesthetics such as handcrafted cabinetry, soft leather couches, Ferragamo linens and a vintage-style record player.

Photos of 1950s Rome and sketches of Ferragamo’s shoe designs adorn the walls. Each bathroom has personal fitness items, top-brand hair dryers and flat irons, and products from the Ferragamo beauty line. Ferragamo's love and commitment to the artisanal also shines through in the details, such as hand-stitched leather.

The Resort at Pedregal

The Resort at Pedregal

From the moment you enter the torch-lit, private tunnel that leads to the entrance of The Resort at Pedregal, it’s clear this is a special place. The newest luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas proper, the 96-room property is built directly into the side of Pedregal Mountain, ensuring that every guest enjoys dramatic ocean views, plus amenities like private plunge pools, personal butler service and more. Newly refreshed after the 2014 hurricane that devastated most of the area, the resort is back and better than ever.

The Rooms

The Resort at Pedregal’s 96 rooms and suites don’t disappoint — all offer private balconies with plunge pools and dramatic views of the crashing waves over the rocky beach. If you can, opt for one of the beachfront suites (which feature private swimming pools and hammocks) or the corner Estrella Suite, which includes a private gas fireplace on the balcony. Décor feels residential yet comfortable, with neutral tones and pops of color thanks to local Mexican art and gorgeous wood-carved headboards. Even basic rooms are spacious, starting at 856 square feet. Perks include free WiFi, a gratis mini bar, Nespresso machine and edible and drinkable amenities delivered daily.

Ritz Paris

15 Place Vendôme
Ritz Hotel, Paris

When dreaming of Paris — of its centuries of history resulting in grand institutions, paeans to art, instantly identifiable architecture and sublime food — few modern-day edifices tie itself to the city as closely as the legendary Ritz Paris, opened by Cesar Ritz in 1898. 

The hotel’s prime location in the Place Vendôme has anchored it not just as a temporal respite for weary travelers but as an actual home to luminaries such as Coco Chanel (she lived there for 35 years), Ernest Hemingway, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marcel Proust, as well as many major political figures visiting the city in the last century.

By the turn of the 21st century, however, the Paris hotel was showing its age. So, in 2012, it made the bold decision of closing for the first time in the Ritz’s history to undergo a top-to-bottom renovation. 

Thousands of people worked to preserve the hotel’s original details — everything from hand-painted gold leaves on crown molding to restoring hundreds of pieces of artwork — while adding modern touches like bigger bathtubs and stronger wi-fi connections. The hotel fabulously debuted on June 6, 2016, opening a world of opulence and historic prominence to the 21st-century traveler.

The Lobby

Enter the Paris hotel and the soaring lobby impresses, with an oversized antique map of the city resting beside a grandiose fresh floral display, designed by Les Jardin de Matisse’s Anne Vitchen. The senses are also immediately flooded by the calming signature smell of the Ritz — amber.

You may notice the stairs abutting the lengthy hallway of art and flowers. Still, it is the stunning new Bar Vendôme arching itself over the initial portion of the hotel that commands the most attention at ground level. 

The Rooms and Suites

As for the rooms, no detail has been spared. Each has flashes of the Louis XIV spirit infused when the luxury hotel first opened; only now, things thrust toward modernity. The 13 seminal suites particularly stand out and are named after some of the famous guests: Suite Maria Callas, Suite Coco Chanel and Suite F. Scott Fitzgerald, for instance.

When entering Suite Windsor, floor-to-ceiling windows flood the rooms with light and central views of the Place Vendôme, including the flagship Chanel boutique across the square. Beds are draped in a neutral blue canopy. Linens are splendidly soft with equally plush pillows. 

The bathrooms still host the signature pink towels, monogrammed with “Ritz Paris,” and placed on gold inlaid heated stands with swan faucets also adorned in gold leaf (with one sapphire eye and the other ruby).

The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing Financial District

The Ritz-Carlton Beijing Financial Street

There’s a lot to love about this business-focused hotel, one of two Ritz-Carltons in Beijing. The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street is housed in a sleek high-rise near the Season’s Place shopping mall and in the center of the city’s banking and business district. For this reason, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel sees a mostly suit and tie crowd during the week, when the space is filled with guests taking advantage of the full afternoon tea service or sipping cocktails at the Crystal Bar.

Rooms are large (most are over 500 square feet) and contemporary in design, with masculine touches like zebrawood- and marble-clad bathrooms and tech gadgets such as electronic panels for controlling light and temperature or oversized flat-screen TVs. Be sure to make time to visit the hotel’s gym and spa, which has a movement studio for practicing yoga and a dramatic indoor swimming pool anchored by a full-wall screen that loops black and white movies.

The Ritz-Carlton, Macau

The Ritz-Carlton, Macau

As glittering Macau continues to grow and attract more international brands, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau made an excellent first impression when it opened at the Galaxy Macau resort complex in 2015.

The Ritz-Carlton is located directly above its sister property, JW Marriott Hotel Macau, and occupies the top floors of a sparkling new building on the Galaxy’s expansive plot on the Cotai Strip. Within it, you’ll find what discerning visitors to Macau have become accustomed to — luxurious facilities, top-notch dining options, a lavish spa and impressive views of the skyline.

The Look

The lobby, located on the 51st floor, reveals breathtaking views of the Cotai peninsula while contemporary artwork livens up the space and attentive service sets the tone. Walking through the hushed corridors of the Ritz-Carlton feels more like a grand Parisian escape than it does a trip to Southeast Asia — throughout the Macau hotel, timeless European elegance blends seamlessly with Eastern accents. Look for opulent chandeliers, silk screens, large-scale vases and circular motifs, which symbolize unity in Chinese culture.

The Rooms

Every room is a suite at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau and comes with contemporary-meets-classic furniture, plush king beds, state-of-the-art technology and a soothing, sophisticated pastel palette of blue, purple, cream and taupe.

Billowing drapes open to unveil uninterrupted Macau views, some which overlook the green grounds of the Galaxy’s Grand Resort Deck. In the marble bathrooms, expect glamorous gold details, walk-in showers, cozy robes and a standalone bathtub, which provides the perfect way to unwind after a long journey.

Sky Tower at Solaire Resort and Casino


The gleaming 17-story Sky Tower, located within Solaire Resort and Casino, is the most recent addition to the resort company’s growing gaming complex along the picturesque Manila Bay in the Philippines. Considered a VIP extension of the Solaire Bay Tower, Sky Tower exudes luxury without compromising utility — from the main entrance adorned with a glamorous Swarovski chandelier to the exquisitely decorated suites.

Renowned hotel and casino architect Paul Steelman (famous for designing numerous high-end leisure properties in Las Vegas and Macau) headed up the sleek, dynamic design.

Sky Tower’s courteous and well-trained staff — clad in outfits designed by celebrated local fashion designer and innovator Rajo Laurel — represents fine Filipino hospitality, adding a whole new level of satisfaction to the all-suite Manila hotel.

The Suites

The 312 accommodations range from 700 square feet to an impressive 2,023 square feet. Most suites feature a stunning view of Manila Bay and its breathtaking golden sunset, while others offer enthralling views of the skyline, especially beautiful at night.

All are fitted with environmentally conscious features, which appeal to all kinds of travelers — from businessmen and high-rollers to couples and even families looking to indulge for a night or two. The look: sleek and contemporary furnishings in eye-pleasing neutral color palettes that don’t compete with the floor-to-ceiling window views.

The Sky Studio Suite features a king or queen bed (depending on your preference), a 55-inch flat-screen TV, a fully stocked mini-bar and a spacious bathroom with a rain shower and separate soaking tub. The 1,700-square-foot Signature Suite features loads of space to keep families and friends comfortable — it’s a one-bedroom suite that houses a lavish king bed with 350-thread count linens, a separate dining and living area with a 55-inch flat-screen, and a well-stocked pantry.

And the large Grand Suite Three has two 55-inch flat-screens (one in the bedroom and the other in the living-slash-entertainment area). Choose between a king or two queen beds. The suite also has a dining area that can comfortably sit six to eight people, plus one master bathroom and a separate powder room.

Solage, An Auberge Resort

755 Silverado Trail North
United States
Solage, an Auberge Resort

As the scene in Napa’s northernmost town of Calistoga reaches toward the liveliness of its neighbors Yountville and St. Helena, Solage, An Auberge Resort has become one of the area’s top hot spots — both for wine aficionados from around the world, and locals who spill out of its trendy and delicious Solbar restaurant and lounge.

Calistoga remains the most rural area of Napa, and Solage celebrates that with sweeping outdoor spaces that are some of the most beautiful spots around for grabbing a bite or a cocktail. The views are spectacular: The resort sits on 22 acres and is surrounded by mountains and vineyards in the heart of northern California wine country. Meanwhile, creative spa treatments are a nod to Calistoga’s famously restorative mud baths.

The Rooms

You’ll find airy, contemporary accommodations tucked inside little cottages. All of them are bathed in white with vaulted ceilings, local wood and pebble-floored showers. If you seek a nature-inspired escape, the Adara Studios sit amid oak groves, and you can appreciate the quiet in front of your own gas fireplace. For the ultimate wine country resort getaway, book one of the relaxing Capella Suites. The separate living room and fireplace are grand, but the outdoor patio really sets this suite apart. Stretch your legs on the comfy outdoor furniture, or take a dip in the heated two-person hot tub. Each room also comes with two bikes so that you can do your own exploring.

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

Put The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico at the top of your list for your next tropical getaway — it has everything you need for the ideal Caribbean vacation. The hotel is located less than 30 miles from San Juan so you can zip to the city for dinner or sightseeing, and it’s just miles from one of Puerto Rico’s most popular attractions, the 28,000-acre El Yunque rain forest. The resort itself, however, is secluded on 483 lush acres.

The grounds of the luxury resort are special. Built on a former coconut plantation, the property is a gold certified Audubon Society Sanctuary — one of only 20 in the world. There are ample paths for walking and biking to observe the local plant and wildlife, and a boathouse stocked with kayaks for water tours.

The beach is quiet and you can rent a cabana on the sand for reading and napping or a romantic dinner. The lagoon-style pool is also ringed with small and large cabanas with daybeds, dining tables, refrigerators and flat-screen TVs. Claim one and order wood-fired pizza and mojitos from Seagrapes, the resort’s casual restaurant.

Low-slung bungalows are decorated in plantation chic with rattan fans and carved headboards. They house just 139 rooms, each with a large bedroom, a walk-in closet and an enormous bathroom with a spacious rain shower. The 35 suites are a nice option for families — living rooms include a sectional sofa with pullout bed, a wet bar and an extra bathroom. Reserving a suite also entitles you to The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort’s butler service — butlers will help with anything you need and bring coffee to your door at a designated time each morning.

The Villas at Ayana Resort & Spa

The Villas at AYANA Resort and Spa BALI

Situated within an integrated 222-acre compound of Ayana Resort & Spa, The Villas at Ayana is a resort-within-a-resort that provides top-of-the-line luxury surrounded by the lush garden of its clifftop property in Bali’s Jimbaran Bay.

The 78 villas are beautifully secluded within the massive estate. Each comes with a sprawling bedroom and bathroom, a separate living room, a private plunge pool, a gorgeous bathtub that overlooks directly to the ocean and an outdoor bale that is shrouded by the tropical garden.

Beyond lavish architecture, Ayana’s signature is its personalized service, which is delivered seamlessly. From a flower-studded bath upon arrival to a prioritized entry to the resort’s iconic Rock Bar, villa guests enjoy many special perks.

The pampering continues throughout the stay through Ayana’s Little Luxury benefits, which include a complimentary Balinese massage or sunrise yoga and unlimited access to play at the resort’s own 18-hole golf-course.

With 18 restaurants, bars and entertainment venues onsite, Ayana will delight foodies. From dim sum to barbecue to authentic Indonesian cuisines, you can embark on a global gastronomic tour within the resort compound. Plus, villa guests have priority access to Dava Steak & Seafood, The Martini Club and H2O Poolside café.