Villas overlooking the jagged cliffs of Uluwatu, an ultra-modern inn at the edge of the earth, and a luxurious safari camp in Kenya. These are some of the best places in the world for travelers to escape reality. While travel destinations are the basis of many adventures and priceless experiences, it’s often the places we stay that make those destinations so unforgettable.
The world is loaded with luxury hotels, resorts, inns, lodges, and boutique hotels that can truly make your next getaway a life-changing one. However, with so many impressive accommodation options available in so many corners of the world, it can be impossible to find the ones that are truly the greatest. That’s why the travel experts and luxury travel specialists at Canada’s leading online global travel agency, FlightNetwork.com, recently released their list of the World’s 100 Greatest Hotels.
Among the hotels meticulously chosen for this comprehensive list of “the best of the best” are a private mansion in the heart of Paris, a boutique hotel with sustainable bungalows overlooking the sea in Dominica, and a 3,500-acre island paradise in Fiji. The following are the 15 hotels that topped Flight Network’s list.
1. The Gritti Palace -- Venice, Italy
The Gritti Palace took the No. 1 position on this list of the top 100 hotels in the world, and those who have visited know why. A true emblem of Venice, the Gritti Palace features Grand Canal terraces, the charming Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo SPA, and a unique combination of Venetian history and modern amenities in the heart of Italy’s favourite city.
2. La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa -- Paris, France
Paris is no stranger to luxury hotels, but La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa continues to shine as the best in the City of Lights for its one-of-a-kind location within a 19th-century private mansion. Live the life of wealthy Parisian during the 1800s, while indulging in modern amenities like a 24-hour spa and Michelin-starred restaurant.
3. The Alpina Gstaad -- Bern, Switzerland
Bern, Switzerland’s Alpina Gstaad five-star hotel has redefined vacations to the Bernese Alps. Seamlessly blending Alpine chic styling with the hotel industry’s latest luxuries, visitors enjoy a private cinema, cigar lounge, the Six Senses Spa and Gym, three restaurants and a long list of additional luxuries among the snow-dusted treetops of the Gstaad village.
1. Les Bains Paris -- Paris, France
Avid seekers of boutique hotels know Paris is one of the top places in the world to find charming accommodation options rich in culture and history. The Les Bains Paris is the city’s must-visit boutique establishment with lavish rooms, an award-winning cocktail bar, a chic restaurant, and a long list of additional luxuries in a building that housed a luxury spa for the wealthy in the 1880s.
2. Secret Bay -- Portsmouth, Dominica
Many travelers assume boutique hotels are reserved for city centers, but they can be found on tropical islands (like Dominica) too. Secret Bay’s treehouse-style villas and bungalows offer unforgettable views and personalized services all within minutes of world-class snorkeling, hiking to waterfalls, and horseback riding.
3. Cotton House Hotel -- Barcelona, Spain
The Cotton House Hotel is no stranger to lists of the top accommodations in the world, and that’s because it’s one of the most unique, historic, and luxurious boutique hotels in the industry. The Cotton House is set in a 19th-century building that was once the headquarters of Barcelona’s Cotton Textile Foundation. Visitors can stay in a piece of European history just steps from Barcelona’s most iconic sites, including the Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera and more.
1. Alila Villas Uluwatu -- Bali, Indonesia
Travelers who have visited Bali know that Uluwatu offers some of the country’s most impressive limestone cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean. However, many travelers don’t know that they can stay in their own piece of paradise perched atop those cliffs at the Alila Villas Uluwatu. Each sustainable villa includes a private pool and cabana, allowing visitors to feel like they own a slice of heaven for however long they decide to stay.
2. Laucala Island -- Laucala Island, Fiji
Many travelers dream of spending time on a private island, and Laucala Island is a luxury resort that turns dreams into reality. This 3,500-acre private island is accessible only by its private airport, and upon arrival, visitors find just 25 opulent Fijian-style villas dotting the powdery white sands.
3. Gili Lankanfushi -- Lankanfushi, Maldives
Another private island resort, Gili Lankanfushi can be found perched upon a coral island in a lagoon that sparkles with reflections of the ever-present sun. This unparalleled hideaway features 45 overwater villas that eliminate distraction and provide complete privacy, so visitors can focus solely on the warm breezes and relaxing sound of the lapping sea.
1. Angama Mara -- Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Angama Mara can be found at the top of Flight Network’s list of luxury lodges for offering an authentic Kenyan experience overlooking the legendary Maasai Mara National Reserve. An entirely Kenyan staff services two separate camps with 15 tented sites each. There’s arguably no better place on the African continent to experience the wildlife, untouched natural scenery, and authentic culture that make trips to this far corner of the world so unimaginable.
2. Mashpi Lodge -- Quito, Ecuador
Experience the beauty and adventure of Ecuador’s Choco cloud forest at the ultra luxurious Mashpi Lodge. With just 22 rooms, it’s the ultimate place to call home (and dine on exquisite meals) after a long day hiking to waterfalls, birdwatching, or pedaling among the treetops on the reserve’s Sky Bike.
3. andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp -- Marai Mara, Kenya
This lavish tented safari camp, with sweeping views of the Sabaringo River and Masai Mara, combines contemporary luxury with rugged African style through cozy tents that exemplify the true spirit of the Kenyan wilderness. Visitors shouldn’t be surprised if they see friendly warthogs feeding outside their tent doors.
1. Fogo Island Inn -- Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Few people can say they’ve lived at the edge of the earth, but those who have stayed at the Fogo Island Inn know it’s possible. Each of the Inn’s 29 guest suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking what is often considered the wildest stretch of ocean in the world, but experiencing the views of the North Atlantic from the rooftop hot tubs and wood-fired saunas make every stay one to remember.
2. The Chanler at Cliff Walk -- Rhode Island, United States
The Chanler at Cliff Walk was named one of the top inns on Flight Network’s list for the quality of service that can be found there. A complimentary house car service, complimentary bicycles, and unparalleled dining experiences at the Spiced Pear restaurant are just a few of the guest-driven amenities that wow everyone who visits The Chanler. Stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean from the distinguished rooms of this historic hotel are the icing on the cake.
3. Wickaninnish Inn -- Tofino, British Columbia
The Wickaninnish Inn is the only resort on Chesterman Beach, which means those who stay there enjoy unhindered views of the open Pacific Ocean. Custom packages for guests allow visitors to choose a vacation that’s based on their interests, whether they’re seeking surf lessons, fishing excursions, wildlife viewing, storm watching, or cultural experiences. In-house luxuries, like The Pointe Restaurant and the Ancient Cedars Spa, make days at the hotel just as memorable as those spent adventuring.
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