At last night’s inaugural World’s 50 Best Hotel Awards – a sister event to the well-known 50 Best Restaurant Awards – top hoteliers from around the world gathered under the medieval arched ceilings of Guildhall for the ceremony. The exclusive list was compiled based on votes by more than 500 expert industry judges from across six continents.
After a reception featuring free-flowing fizz and No.3 gin martinis, finalists were led into the grand stone-lined Great Hall for the highly anticipated awards ceremony.
A big night for London
Hotels from Marrakech to the Maldives featured on the elite ranking, but London shone among the brightest with four landmark properties making the cut.
Cheers erupted through the Guildhall as the first UK capital entry, The Savoy, was announced at number 47. With its iconic Strand location, spacious suites and elegant afternoon teas, its presence among the world’s best hardly came as a surprise.
The next capital entry followed swiftly on its heels, at number 46: NoMad London. Opened in May 2021, and set in the former Bow Street Magistrate’s Court and Police Station in Covent Garden, it channels New York influences in its design and has a bright glass conservatory restaurant that’s a favourite with socialising Londoners.
In the top half of the list, The Connaught in Mayfair weighed in at number 22. While judges don’t discuss their voting criteria – it comes down to the ‘best’ personal experience each one feels they’ve had at a hote. We bet the divine Connaught Bar martinis were in the hotel’s favour. In fact, the elegant drinking hole happens to be the highest-ranked London bar on sister awards list The World’s 50 Best Bars.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top-placing London hotel at number 16 was another classic: Claridge’s, also in Mayfair. The Art Deco property manages to remain a timeless stalwart while simultanteously keeping things fresh, opening new sublime restaurant and bar spaces regularly. Londoners love to visit as much as out-of-town holidaymakers.
And that wasn’t all for the UK. Elsewhere, The Newt in Somerset – a garden estate and Georgian limestone country house in Bruton – made the list at number 37, and was also named as the Best Boutique Hotel on the list.
Meanwhile, Gleneagles in Perth flew the flag for Scotland, claiming the number 32 slot and also the coveted Art of Hospitality Award, which recognises the quality of hotel service in particular.
Other big winners
Only Paris and Bangkok could keep up with London in the numbers stakes, also claiming four properties each. Hôtel de Crillon (50), Cheval Blanc (34), La Réserve (31) and Le Bristol (29) were highlighted in the French capital, while The Siam (42), Capella Bangkok (11), Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (10) and Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (3) were named for the Thai city.
The most awarded hotel group was luxury, wellbeing-focused Aman, also with four properties recognised, in Sri Lanka (38), New York (25), Venice (14) and Tokyo (5).
As for the top gong? That went to Passalacqua, in Lake Como, a family-owned, small-scale hotel set in a historic frescoed palazzo on the waterfront in Moltrasio. With 24 rooms, it’s exclusive and opulent, with gilded mirrors and chandeliers adorning the atmospheric rooms.
After the event Passalacqua’s co-owner Valentina De Santis said: “It feels unreal, it’s beyond a dream.” She underlined that hospitality is a labour of love, especially in an independent hotel.
Once the figurative confetti from the awards ceremony had landed, winners and industry guests celebrated in fitting fashion with Italian fizz Ferrari and gourmet canapes in the Guildhall’s epic reception rooms, before hopping aboard vintage London double-decker buses for a late-night after-party at NoMad London.
The World’s 50 Best Hotels List in full
1. Passalacqua (Moltrasio, Italy) – Best Hotel in Europe
2. Rosewood Hong Kong (Hong Kong) – Best Hotel in Asia
3. Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (Bangkok, Thailand)
4. The Upper House (Hong Kong)
5. Aman Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)
6. La Mamounia (Marrakech, Morocco) – Best Hotel in Africa
7. Soneva Fushi (Maldives) – Best Beach Hotel
8. One&Only Mandarina (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) – Best Hotel in North America
9. Four Seasons Firenze (Florence, Italy)
10. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand)
11. Capella Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand) – Best New Hotel
12. The Calile (Brisbane, Australia)
13. Chablé Yucatán (Chocholá, Mexico)
14. Aman Venice (Venice, Italy)
15. Singita Lodges – Kruger National Park (Kruger National Park, South Africa) – Eco Hotel Award
16. Claridge’s (London, UK)
17. Raffles Singapore (Singapore)
18. Nihi Sumba (Wanokaka, Indonesia)
19. Hotel Esencia (Tulum, Mexico)
20. Le Sirenuse (Positano, Italy)
21. Borgo Egnazia (Savelletri, Italy)
22. The Connaught (London, UK)
23. Royal Mansour (Marrakech, Morocco)
24. Four Seaons Madrid (Madrid, Spain)
25. Aman New York (New York City, USA)
26. The Maybourne Riviera (Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France)
27. Rosewood São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil) – Best Hotel in South America
28. Capella Singapore (Sinagpore)
29. Le Bristol (Paris, France)
30. Park Hyatt Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan)
31. La Réserve (Paris, France)
32. Gleneagles (Auchterarder, UK) – Art of Hospitality Award
33. Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc (Antibes, France)
34. Cheval Blanc (Paris, France)
35. Four Seasons Astir Palace (Athens, Greece)
36. Soneva Jani (Maldives)
37. The Newt (Bruton, UK) – Best Boutique Hotel
38. Amangalla (Galle, Sri Lanka)
39. Hoshinoya Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)
40. Desa Potato Head (Seminyak, Indonesia)
41. Eden Rock (St. Barths)
42. The Siam (Bangkok, Thailand)
43. Badrutt’s Palace (St. Moritz, Switzerland)
44. Atlantis The Royal (Dubai, UAE)
45. The Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra)
46. NoMad London (London, UK)
47. The Savoy (London UK)
48. Equinox New York (New York City, USA)
49. Six Senses Ibiza (Portinatx, Spain)
50. Hôtel de Crillon (Paris, France)
Icon Award – Sonu Shivdasani
One to Watch Award – The Lodge at Blue Sky (Utah, USA)
For more information, visit theworlds50best.com.