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The best luxury boutique hotels in the world can be of different types and categories. In theory, it is possible to break down the top hotel types by their size, the number of rooms, or their location. However, equally as crucial are the hotels’ levels of service, what kinds of facilities and amenities they provide, and if they may have additional hospitality affiliations. For example, spas in luxury hotels or chain hotel affiliates may have specific rules, policies, and procedures to restrict a particular type of activity during your stay. Otherwise, independent hotels, for example, family-owned properties, do not hold ownership or management affiliation with other hotel properties. Always conduct self-assessments and on-site inspections before booking hotels that claim to be Eco-friendly and/or Socially Aware.
“Wow” Hotel Trips
Journeys that take your breath away
After a year of staycationing and close-to-home getaways, you may be ready to plan for “the big one” – a dream hotel trip that is filled with exclamation-point moments. Count on your Northstar Virtuoso travel advisor to add special touches and exclusive extras while keeping you informed of the latest restrictions and health and safety protocols. Like: Marvel at jaw-dropping sunsets in Maui. Snorkel off the world’s second-largest coral reef in Cozumel. Breathe in the mountain air on a 37,000-acre ranch in Montana. Stay at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and stroll along the island’s premier southwestern coastline on Mokapu Beach.
Explore these hotel offers
- IHG Hotels & Resorts – Worldwide – The recently reopened Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman offers an elegant atmosphere focused on wellness.
- InterContinental Madrid – Madrid, Spain – 3rd night free in a Premium Room at this cosmopolitan retreat in the heart of the city. Book by Nov 30, 2022.
- InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa – Bora Bora, French Polynesia – Family fun, romance, and a 5th night free on the “islet of two hearts.” Valid for travel through 2023.
- InterContinental London Park Lane – London, United Kingdom – 3rd night free at this opulent property with award-winning cuisine and an ideal location to discover the city’s heritage.
- Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort & Spa – Cozumel, Mexico – Book by Nov 30 for a 5th night free through Jun 30, 2023. Plus, 7-night stays receive a double upgrade.
- InterContinental Paris Le Grand – Paris, France – Celebrating 160 years of Café de la Paix with signature recipes like turbot poached with seaweed and rose water rice pudding.
- Regent Porto Montenegro – Tivat, Montenegro – Exclusive amenities at this timeless property include an upgrade (if available), a complimentary lunch for 2, and more.
- InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel – Bordeaux, France – Exclusive amenities include a US$100 hotel credit and daily breakfast in the heart of Bordeaux.
- David InterContinental Tel Aviv – Tel Aviv, Israel – Stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea complement exclusive amenities like a US$100 food & beverage credit.
- Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C., United States – Striking holiday decor, musical fanfare, and gastronomic delights make the festive season magical in D.C.
- Six Senses – Worldwide – From Bhutan to the Seychelles, these 11 properties offer incredible natural beauty and NorthStar Virtuoso exclusive amenities.
- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants – Worldwide – Bold design, spectacular dining, and exclusive amenities are found at each of these boutique hotels.
- Regent Berlin – Berlin, Germany – An upgrade (if available), a US$100 food & beverage credit, daily breakfast, and more throughout 2023.
- Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort | Ancient redwoods, awesome views, and an all-inclusive stay
- The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection | All-inclusive summer vacay at upscale Utah ranch
- Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort & Spa | Snorkel & save: 25% discount, double upgrade + $100 resort credit
- Half Moon | Three irresistible incentives to visit this iconic Caribbean resort
- Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa | Renew with a wellness-focused, adults-only getaway; your 4th night is free
- The Resort at Paws Up | 3-night wellness retreat + $600 activity credit at luxury Montana resort
- Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort | Complimentary night and $100 resort credit at oceanfront Maui resort
- Bulgari Resort Dubai | Live large in Dubai
- 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge | Nature meets luxury at hip Brooklyn Heights hotel
To be completely honest, there are about 1,400 reasons why we love hotels – one for every hotel, resort, villa, spa retreat, private island, and lodge in Best of the Best, Virtuoso’s new curated collection of the world’s most amazing places to stay. But this list of 25 of our favorite things is a good start. And with last week’s CDC announcement that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens can travel (while still adhering to destination testing requirements, mask mandates, and other safety guidelines), we can’t wait to start adding even more to that list. Here’s to dreamy overnights in all our travel futures.
Find more extraordinary stays in the NEW Virtuoso Best of the Best ›
Best of the Best hotel offers:
Dominican Republic, California, and more
Amanera: Río San Juan, Dominican Republic – Stay at this Bali-inspired resort
Castle Hot Springs: Morristown, Arizona, United States – lush oasis on the edge of the Sonoran Desert.
Carmel Valley Ranch: Carmel, California, United States – Deciding on golf or the spa? will be the hardest part of the stay.
Waldorf Astoria Park City: Park City, Utah, United States – Have peace of mind with the Clean Stay Program and more.
Katikies Mykonos: Mykonos, Greece – Book a Greek getaway.
Amankora: Thimphu, Bhutan – Stay in 1 of 5 unique lodges and savor breakfast daily.
One&Only Portonovi: Hercegnovi, Montenegro – Discover this new Montenegrin retreat and enjoy dinner.
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach:| Miami Beach, Florida, United States.
Best of the Best hotel offers:
Bermuda, California, and more
From a picnic in the park in New York City to a monastery tour in Montenegro, enhance your next getaway with limited-time offers and benefits from these exceptional hotels and resorts.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort: Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States – The ultimate vacation awaits.
Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States – Escape to Fort Lauderdale’s exclusive North Beach.
Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Rancho La Puerta Wellness Resort and Spa: Tecate, Mexico –
The Mark: New York City, New York, United States – Picnic in the park
The St. Regis Bermuda Resort: St. George, Bermuda
Aman Sveti Stefan: Sveti Stefan, Montenegro – Discover the Praskvica Monastery on a tour and much more.
The St. Regis Mexico City: Mexico City, Mexico
Malibu Beach Inn: Malibu, California, United States – Savor a customized chef’s tasting menu with an Oceanfront Junior Suite stay.
One&Only Mandarina: Lo De Marcos, Mexico
In considering all hotel types, they can be presented and categorized as Bed & Breakfast/ Homestays hotels, suites hotels, extended stay hotels, vacation rentals/ timeshare, residential hotels, serviced apartment, resort hotels, business hotels, airport hotels, casino hotels, convention and conference centers around the globe. For this purpose, our NorthStar site makes searching simple and straightforward by presenting the following hotel types:
- Hotels & resorts
- Lodge, Ranch, Camp
- Preview Collections
- Villa or Luxury Residence
- Private Islands
As an aid to identify hotels’ level of service, as you may have heard, the best hotels are rated by a certain number of stars. This type of classification has a range/ level from 1 to 5. One is on the lowest level of the scale and five is the highest rating based on hotels’ hospitality, service delivery, cleanliness, design, and maintenance. Typically, five-star hotels are often considered to be luxury hotels. Four-star hotels are above average/ deluxe service hotels. Three-star hotels are believed to be mid-range service hotels. Two-star hotels provide basic necessities in addition to some comfort qualities. And, the one star-rated hotels are like budget or limited-service hotels. It goes without saying, various organizations may award hotels differently across the globe. Regardless of who is giving the rating, hotels must be worthy of receiving their star categorization.
There are many reasons to love Virtuoso properties, believe or not, and there are well over 1,000 Virtuoso properties worldwide. For example, Luxury Hotels should give clients a sense of place, have a recognizable location, be smart technology, provide exclusive access, have pools or areas to make a splash, give Robes, Minibars, Pet Thermal Baths, and so much more benefits such as Virtuoso Amenities!
Find your own reason on our Virtuoso blog: 50 Reasons We Love Hotels.
NorthStar Virtuoso travel advisers secure hotel perks that range from spa and dining credits to suite upgrades, limo transfers, daily breakfast, favorable rates, and more. NorthStar clients benefit from ten complimentary experiences that you may miss by making reservations on your own:
- What is new at the Shangri-La Hotels Group!
- Wine and cheese tasting at Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires’ Vinoteca.
- Cupping (coffee tasting) at Costa Rica’s El Silencio Lodge & Spa.
- Taking a hands-on Fijian cooking lesson at Dolphin Island.
- Riding Blancaneaux Lodge’s horses through the Jaguar Jungle to Big Rock Falls in Belize.
- Making pizza at Tuscany’s Hotel Castello di Casole.
- Exploring the countryside of the French Alps on a horse-drawn carriage ride at Alpaga Megève.
- Pairing house-made chocolates with a bottle of Dom Pérignon at Vermont’s Twin Farms.
- Road-tripping through Ireland’s Kenmare area in Sheen Falls Lodge’s 1936 Buick Roadmaster convertible.
- Playing Australian castaway at One&Only Hayman Island: The resort’s boat will drop you off on a nearby sandspit or reef with a mask and snorkel.
Choose your hotel Vibe, Room Style, Experiences
Top hotels and spas in luxury hotels known for their wellness program, aka wellness hotels, bar and restaurant experiences, and more for Virtuoso’s 13th annual hotel awards, based on Virtuoso advisers’ votes are:
- Hotel of the Year: Four Seasons Hotel George V
- Best Achievement in Design: Rosewood Hong Kong
- Best Bar: Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar at Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
- Best Dining Experience: Restaurant Le Gabriel at La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa
- Best Wellness Program: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
- Best Virtuoso Newcomer: Montage Los Cabos
- Sustainable Tourism Leadership: Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
- Best Family Program: Grand Velas Riviera Maya
- Hotelier of the Year: Amanda Hyndman, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
This article first appeared in the
September 2019 issue of Virtuoso Life
Featured Virtuoso Hotel Promotions
From the legendary rain forest and secluded beaches in the east to the laid-back vibe and surf shops of the west, there’s a world of wonder waiting for our clients in Puerto Rico. Let us book your stay at either of these preferred hotels – Hotel El Convento or The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico – and you will enjoy exclusive amenities like a $100 food and beverage credit and breakfast daily just for being a Northstar Virtuoso guest.
Dip your toes in turquoise waters, relax with a rejuvenating spa treatment, or hike to mystical waterfalls and find out why they call Puerto Rico the “Island of Enchantment” with special offers. Book your trip now through your Northstar Virtuoso travel advisor and enjoy 10% off suites at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel or your fourth night free at Fairmont El San Juan Hotel, plus exclusive amenities.
- Sink into relaxation and save on your suite stay at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. More ›
- Dive into nature with outdoor adventures like snorkeling and kayaking excursions. More ›
- Pamper yourself with a spa treatment by the sea. More ›
- Linger longer by the pool with an extra night free at the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel. More ›
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
- The cure for cabin fever – Enjoy additional credits with a three-night stay
Imagine secluded stretches of palm lined beaches, sparkling turquoise waters, and everything from surfing lessons to spa treatments all steps from your suite. Reserve your stay for a minimum of three nights by October 31, and you’ll receive an additional $200 credit to spend at the spa, the boathouse, or in the St. Regis Bar, where outdoor deck and portico seating enjoys fresh ocean air, peerless azure vistas, and the signature Champagne sabering ritual. What are you waiting for to Live Exquisite?
From complimentary upgrades and resort credits to alfresco breakfasts, your Northstar Travel Advisor has you covered (as if you needed a reason to stay longer on Puerto Rico’s gorgeous Bahia Beach). . Featured offer >>>
- Boston or Sonoma? – A closer-to-home escape that’s far from ordinary
From Sonoma to Boston – Fairmont offers stateside stays from coast to coast. Handcrafted cocktails? Alfresco dinners? Marble-clad bathrooms? Yes, yes, and yes. Get away to Fairmont Copley Plaza or Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa with every luxury, plus Virtuoso exclusives from breakfast daily and flexible check-in and checkout times to $100 resort credit – as well as an additional $100 credit in Sonoma and a double upgrade in Boston.
Whether you’re in the mood for world-class vineyards or sites steeped in history, Fairmont hotels have you covered. Spend your days sipping wine, following the Freedom Trail, or savoring farm-to-table cuisine before heading back to your well-appointed room or suite. Featured offer >>>
- Your Ticket to More Zen Moments – Get away with peace of mind, plus a free night
Relax and recharge even longer with a complimentary fourth night and $100 nightly resort credit for stays at Miraval Austin through 2021. Plus, receive exclusive amenities ranging from a free upgrade and flexible check-in and checkout times to daily breakfast for two, simply for booking through your Northstar Virtuoso travel advisor.
Discover a getaway that’s long overdue. Surrounded by the lush Balcones Canyonlands Preserve just outside of Austin, Texas, you’ll be treated to an award-winning world of wellness, fitness, nature, and sustainable living. Consider it your sanctuary for getting back to your best self. As a Northstar Virtuoso guest, you’ll also receive a complimentary upgrade, daily breakfast for two, an exclusive welcome gift, and more. Featured offer >>>
Hotels By Destination
- Tokyo | From sumo practices to tea ceremonies, Tokyo is tops for family travel
- Amanera| Río San Juan, Dominican Republic
- The Cove at Atlantis| Nassau, Bahamas
- Fairmont El San Juan Hotel | Carolina, Puerto Rico
- The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort | Three ways to vacation on Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit
- The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun| Cancún, Mexico
- Pleasant Holidays | Vacation packages in Maui, Mexico & Aruba
- Rosewood Baha Mar | Return to the Islands, We’ve Been Expecting You
- Travel Impressions | Kids stay free on four-night getaways in Cancun and the Dominican Republic
- U.S. Virgin Islands | Family fun in the sun & rich learning opportunities in the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Wymara Resort and Villas | Up to 15% Off Villas Chic retreat in the Turks & Caicos
- Belmond Las Casitas – Upgrade Offer
- Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco – Free Night
- SUMAQ Machu Picchu Hotel – Semiflexible Rates
- Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
- Country Club Lima Hotel – Special Upgrade
- Glenapp Castle Hotel | a fairy-tale castle hotel in southwest Scotland, Girvan, UK
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London and Paris | Family fun in London & Paris: 2nd room half price + kids eat free
- Hotel Kämp in Helsinki (Turku Ja Pori) Finland is like a celebrity in the Finnish hotel business.
- Shangri-La Bosphorus of Istanbul, Turkey, exclusive Virtuoso offer “Stay 3 Pay 2”.
- ACQUALINA | Resort & Residences on the Beach
- Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows| Scottsdale, Arizona
- The Cloister at Sea Island| Sea Island, Georgia
- Los Cabos | Paradise Within Reach
- Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa | Breezy getaway in pretty Palm Beach
- Hotel del Coronado | Surf, Sand, Sun & S’mores
- The Resort at Pelican Hill | Italian charm on the California Coast
- Norwegian Cruise Line® | Explore the Last Frontier next year on family-friendly cruises big on adventure
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts | Los Cabos, Orlando & Vail
- Park Hyatt Aviara Resort | A New Era of Luxury Awaits
- The Lodge at Blue Sky | Mountain Classroom, Distance education on vacation
- SKI.COM | Hit the slopes with family ski trips in Utah and Colorado
- Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach| Dana Point, California
- Wynn Las Vegas and Encore| Las Vegas, Nevada
- Category: Luxury Hotels Category
- Insight Vacations, Inc.
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
- Malta, a seaside wonder
- Fill your heart with Ireland
- Virtuoso Escapes – North America
- The Siam, Bangkok Thailand
- The Peninsula Bangkok
- 1 Hotel South Beach
- Gleneagles: The Glorious Family Playground
- Ananda in the Himalayas 2023
- Hotel Chais Monnet
- Thailand: Awaken your curiosity
- Palazzo Seneca Umbria Italy
- Forte Village Resort – Italy
- Virtuoso Hotels in Moscow
- Hotel Details
- Acqualina: Specials and Packages in 2020
- Six Senses Zighy Bay
- Sofitel Legend: The Grand Amsterdam
- Acqualina: A Grand Escape in Miami
- Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
- Acqualina Resort – 4 Ways to Make the Holidays Better
- SEE AND BE SEEN IN BEVERLY HILLS