The global hospitality industry saw a sparkling spectacle this week in London, as the inaugural “World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023” awards unveiled its list of the most elite accommodations worldwide. Asia has much to celebrate, as it emerged dominant, securing four out of the top five positions on this prestigious list.
Leading the Asian cohort was the Rosewood Hong Kong, seizing the second spot. It was closely followed by Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River in third place, with Hong Kong’s very own The Upper House clinching the fourth rank. Rounding out Asia’s impressive showing in the top five was Aman Tokyo, Japan, at fifth position. These Asian giants delivered fierce competition, only surpassed by Italy’s boutique charm – the 24-roomed Passalacqua, which took the crown.
These awards, a brainchild of the same organizers behind the renowned World’s 50 Best Restaurants and World’s 50 Best Bars, draw a parallel in prestige and recognition. With Central in Lima, Peru holding the number one position for restaurants, and Paradiso in Barcelona topping the list of bars, the organizers have a history of identifying the best in class.
The responsibility of designating the top spots fell on the shoulders of the World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy. This exclusive academy boasts 580 seasoned experts from the world of travel and hospitality, ensuring gender balance with half of the members being women. To preserve the integrity of the rankings, the Academy has implemented anonymity for all voters except regional “academy chairs,” negating potential biases and lobbying attempts.
Each member of this esteemed academy was tasked with listing their top seven hotel experiences from the past 24 months, leading to a compilation of global luxury and comfort standards. Alongside the primary category of the overall best hotel, there were also six special subcategories, recognizing unique aspects of hospitality:
- Nikka Best New Hotel Award was graciously bagged by Capella Bangkok, Thailand, acknowledging the most impressive new addition to the world of luxury accommodations.
- The Flor de Caña Eco Hotel Award was won by Singita Lodges situated in Kruger National Park, South Africa. This award emphasizes environmental sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives.
- The Lavazza One To Watch Award went to The Lodge at Blue Sky in Utah, United States, indicating a rising star in the industry.
- The Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel Award recognized Soneva Fushi in the Maldives as the ultimate beachfront luxury destination.
- The Art of Hospitality Award went to Gleneagles in Scotland, reflecting exceptional service standards.
- The Carlo Alberto Best Boutique Hotel Award was clinched by The Newt in England, which celebrates the best in boutique luxury.
Diving deeper into the top 50, Asia’s dominance continued. Notable mentions include the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Thailand (No. 10), Raffles Singapore (No. 17), Nihi Sumba in Indonesia (No. 18), Capella Singapore (No. 28), Desa Potato Head in Bali, Indonesia (No. 40), and Atlantis the Royal in Dubai, UAE (No. 44).
Interestingly, the variances in ranking methodologies were evident when Venice’s Belmond Hotel Cipriani, which topped another prestigious list by French firm La Liste earlier this year, didn’t feature in the World’s 50 Best.
With such global acknowledgments, it’s evident that Asia’s hospitality sector stands tall, redefining luxury and comfort for travelers worldwide.