Passalaqua, overlooking Lake Como, came out ahead in the first-ever edition of the World’s Best Hotels list, which was marked by an awards ceremony held in London’s historic Guildhall on Tuesday.
This included properties from 35 locations across six continents, with 21 in Europe, 18 in Asia and the others across the Americas and Africa.
Below is a selection of some of the hotels picked by the World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy as top of the line for 2023.
Ranked 1. Passalacqua, Moltrasio
Sitting on the edge of Italy’s Lake Como, Passalacqua offers 24 waterside suites set in an 18th-century private villa that was once the home of composer Vincenzo Bellini. It’s the creation of the De Santis family and the little sister of Grand Hotel Tremezzo.
Fine Italian craftsmanship comes together with the elegance of the Baroque era in ornate antique furniture, original frescoes, 19th-century portraits and Murano chandeliers. Outside, there’s a pool terrace reachable through gardens spread over seven acres blooming with olive groves, roses and magnolia, as well as pathways lined by centuries-old Lebanese cedars.
Ranked 10. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
The legendary hotel sitting on the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River for nearly 150 years needs no introduction. The guest list through the course of the years has included Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Michelle Yeoh and Stanley Tucci.
Aside from 393 rooms and suites over several wings, the hotel boasts two-star Michelin French (Alain Roux’s elegant La Normandie) and award-winning Japanese omakase at Kinu by Tagaki, along with the famed riverside buffet-style breakfast at The Verandah.
Ranked 44. Atlantis The Royal, Dubai
The second outpost in Dubai for the brand, this grand hotel held a private Beyonce concert to celebrate its opening weekend.
Home to 795 rooms and suites, 17 restaurants and bars, 17 boutiques, a sprawling 32,300 square foot wellness space, and no fewer than 90 swimming pools – including Cloud 22 perched high on top of the sky bridge – the hotel spares no expense in offering a luxurious stay.
Adding to that is the selection of celebrity chefs and restaurants such as Nobu and Hakkasan including Heston Blumenthal, José Andrés and Gordon Ramsay.
45. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
Located a mere 600 metres from the iconic Taj Mahal, the Oberoi Amarvilas is the only building in the green belt surrounding the palace.
Each one of its 95 rooms and seven suites has unrestricted views of the iconic building. Inspired by traditional Mughal palace design of the 16th and 17th centuries, the property is a curated mix of fountains, terraced lawns, traditionally-inspired sculptures and reflection pools replete with jasmine in the air.
6. La Mamounia, Marrakech
Since its 1929 opening, it has been renowned as one of the world’s finest, leading in high design, ultra-luxe interiors and best-in-class hospitality – qualities that now make it The Best Hotel in Africa 2023.
A legendary hotel with a rich past, the site dates back to the 18th century, when the son of Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdallah transformed its fragrant grounds – a visual cacophony of wild olive and orange trees, cacti, palms and bougainvillea – into a venue for lavish garden parties.
7. Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Set on one of the Maldives’ northerly atolls, Soneva Fushi is only accessible by 40-minute seaplane. There are 72 villas set among the foliage of the island with such discretion that you almost forget there are other residents present.
Every element of Soneva Fushi is focused on pure relaxation and detachment to create an environment that feels worlds apart from day-to-day life, so much so that it implements a ‘no news, no shoes’ policy.
17. Raffles Singapore, Singapore
This grand, white, neo-Renaissance building was completed in 1899 and was designated as a National Monument by the Singapore Government in 1987, with the last extensive renovation completed in 2019.
Also credited with the invention of the world-famous cocktail Singapore Sling, the hotel’s lush gardens offer much respite from the heady city. The property also houses famed French chef Anne-Sophie Pic’s sophisticated cuisine at La Dame de Pic, avant-garde fire cooking at Butcher’s Block and contemporary Chinese cuisine at Yì by Jereme Leung.