50 of the best

The inaugural ranking of the world’s best hotels celebrates best-in-class hotels from 35 destinations across six continents.

23 September 2023


The list of The World’s 50 Best Hotels has been announced at a gala awards ceremony in London, and it includes industry-defining hotels from 35 different locations across six continents.

This long-awaited list is 50 Best’s first foray into the travel space, and its first new global ranking since the launch of The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2009.

For the announcements, travel proponents gathered from all corners of the globe to celebrate their achievements at the announcement of The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023.

Hosted at the historic Guildhall, the unveiling highlights outstanding hotel experiences across the world that will shape the aspirations of consumers, travellers and hoteliers.

Passalacqua, the luxury boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Como, which opened in June 2022, takes the top spot on The World’s 50 Best Hotels list.

Located in an 18th-century villa with spectacular terraced gardens running down to the water, the De Santis family has created an exquisite 24-room property with the feel of a private home.


In the No.2 spot is the towering Rosewood Hong Kong, set in the city’s Victoria Dockside arts and design district with stunning views over the harbour.

Tim Brooke-Webb, Managing Director for The World’s 50 Best Hotels, comments: “Huge congratulations to Passalacqua for the achievement of making it to No.1, just two years after opening.

“It’s a true testament to the vision of the De Santis family, who has created this sublime sanctuary for guests with painstaking devotion to design detail, exquisite hospitality and distinctive magic, which has clearly made a lasting impression on our Academy of expert voters.

“After seeing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, it’s been especially fulfilling to see so many hoteliers from around the world gather in London to celebrate each other’s achievements under one roof for the first-ever awards ceremony of The World’s 50 Best Hotels,” he continues.

“Our heartfelt congratulations go out to each and every hotel on the list, and we hope this list inspires travel-lovers to book somewhere truly spectacular for their next trip.”

The inaugural ranking of The World’s 50 Best Hotels reveals that 21 of the winning properties are based in Europe.

London solidifies its reputation as a global travel hub, boasting four hotels on the list: Claridge’s (No.16), The Connaught (No.22), NoMad London (No.46) and The Savoy (No.47), while two other UK properties were also winners. Gleneagles in Scotland (No.32) – recipient of the Art of Hospitality Award announced in August – and The Newt in Bruton, Somerset (No.37), which was awarded the Carlo Alberto Best Boutique Hotel Award.

This award is given to the hotel that places highest on the list that fits all the criteria of a boutique property. The 50 Best defines a boutique hotel as having fewer than 50 rooms and not being part of a large chain or group, showcasing personalised service and idiosyncratic features unique to its destination.

The continent of Asia is home to 18 of The World’s 50 Best Hotels, including four properties that sit at the top end of the list – Rosewood Hong Kong (No.2), Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (No.3), The Upper House in Hong Kong (No.4) and Aman Tokyo (No.5). Placed highest on the list and within 20 metres of a beach, Soneva Fushi (No.7), in the Maldives, is also named the Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel.

Singita Lodges in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, the smallest property on the list with just 18 rooms, takes the No.15 spot, as well as the Flor de Caña Eco Hotel Award. Known for their environmentally conscious hospitality, the lodges are located within 33,000 acres of pristine wilderness where a unique wildlife population thrives across four distinct ecological zones, offering travellers an exciting and luxurious way of experiencing African wildlife, without disturbing the environment.

As with its other global awards, the 50 Best worked closely with The Sustainable Restaurant Association on the Flor de Caña Eco Hotel Award, which invited all hotels on the list to submit an application outlining their sustainability initiatives and credentials for rigorous review.

Singita Lodges is one of three hotels on the African continent to make the ranking, alongside La Mamounia (No.6) and Royal Mansour (No.23), both in Marrakech.

The Nikka Best New Hotel Award is awarded to Capella Bangkok (No.11), with sweeping riverfront views of the Thai capital, which opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nikka Best New Hotel Award goes to the highest-ranked hotel on the list that opened within the two-year voting window (May 2021 to May 2023).

Sonu Shivdasani OBE, co-founder and CEO of Soneva and founder and former CEO of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, was voted by the Academy as the winner of the SevenRooms Icon Award, celebrating his achievements in the hotel industry over the last 28 years, including the creation of two of the most renowned hotel brands globally.

The evening also celebrated those honoured with pre-announced special awards, including The Lodge at Blue Sky, the remote lodge in the picturesque Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah which was named the Lavazza One To Watch earlier in the month.

Gleneagles (No.32) in Scotland was announced on 22 August as the winner of the Art of Hospitality Award, which celebrates a hotel’s outstanding service and attention to detail.

The launch of The World’s 50 Best Hotels is another step in 50 Best’s journey towards becoming the ultimate global reference point for the very best hospitality experiences across the world, encompassing restaurants, bars and now hotels.


How the 50 Best voting works

The list is created from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy, which comprises 580 international well-travelled experts within the hotel and travel industry, with a 50/50 gender balance.

The Academy is split into nine regions across the world, where each region is headed up by an Academy Chair. A minimum of 25 percent of the panel will be renewed each year.

All voters, aside from the Academy Chairs, remain anonymous to eliminate the possibility of lobbying. At the point of voting, they are simply required to list the seven best hotels they have stayed in over the past 24 months in order of preference.

Voting is carried out individually and strictly confidentially on a secure site and the results remain confidential until after the list announcement.



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