Virtuoso, the international network of luxury travel agencies, has revealed its prestigious Best of the Best hotel awards, now ten years in the running. The list takes in things that matter in travel and offers up properties that perform where story, place, experience and taste converge.

History Still Matters: Legendary hotels, some of which may even be spotted in black-and-white Hollywood classics, continue to endure amongst luxury travelers. While there is an undeniable expectation of upgraded rooms and modernized amenities, it is impossible to put a price tag on the timeless essence left by eclectic guests who once walked through the doors.

Where in the World? With seven continents, 195 independent countries, and nearly 7,000 different languages in the world, discerning travelers want to see, hear, taste and feel the authentic attributes of the location they have chosen to visit. Properties that establish this level of cultural immersion and tell a story with every element down to the smallest detail have the deepest resonance with upscale hotel enthusiasts.

Travel to Experience: In a world where social media has transformed the way we live and travel technologies are rapidly evolving, the desire for careful curation prevails. From high style and haute cuisine to groundbreaking designs that transform a property, guests are seeking out hotels that deliver a certain “feel” that represents their own lifestyle. Their quest to collect “likes” ultimately leads them to a more personalized experience.

Giving Back: Can a hotel change the way a guest sees the world? Luxury travelers are looking to broaden their “Journey to Global Citizenship,” using travel as a means of educating their children while simultaneously giving back to a local community in a meaningful, engaging way.

For these categories of what matters most in travel, the preliminary list below will be followed by final selections to be announced in August.
Best Achievement in Design

  • Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Florida, United States (lead photo)
  • Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco
  • The Langham, Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • The Temple House, Chengdu, China

Best Culinary Experience

  • The Farmhouse Restaurant, Farmhouse Inn, California, United States
  • IGNIV, Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
  • Michel Guérard, Les Prés d’Eugénie-Michel Guérard, Eugénie-les-Bains, France
  • Shang Palace, Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
  • The Colony Grill Room, The Beaumont, London, United Kingdom (below)Beaumont Lobby

Best Bar

  • K. Lounge, J.K. Place Firenze, Florence, Italy
  • Prohibition, Rosewood Hotel Georgia,Vancouver, Canada
  • Polo Bar, Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
  • Gold Bar, The New York EDITION, New York, United States
  • Off the Record, The Hay Adams, , D.C., United States

Best Family Program

  • Hotel Le K2, Courchevel, France
  • Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji, Savusavu, Fiji
  • Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
  • Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
  • The Peninsula Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Best Spa

  • Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy
  • La Réserve de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali, Indonesia
  • Six Senses Laamu Hotel, Laamu Atoll, Maldives
  • The Mayflower Grace, Connecticut, United States

Most Innovative Guest Experience

  • Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
  • Carmel Valley Ranch, California, United States
  • Estancia La Bamba de Areco, San Antonio de Areco, Argentina
  • Saffire Freycinet, Coles Bay, Australia
  • Schloss Elmau, Elmau, Germany

Sustainable Tourism Leadership

  • andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Blancaneaux Lodge, Central Farm, Belize
  • Cavallo Point – The Lodge at Golden Gate, California, United States
  • Tswalu Kalahari, Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
  • UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa, Trancoso, Brazil

Ones to Watch

  • D Hotel Maris, Marmaris, Turkey
  • Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia
  • Hotel Eden Rome, Dorchester Collection, Rome, Italy
  • Il Sereno, Lake Como, Italy
  • Park Hyatt St. Kitts, Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Hotel of the Year

  • Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Philippines
  • Borgo Egnazia, Savelletri Di Fasano, Italy
  • Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Mandarin Oriental, Milan, Milan, Italy
  • Ritz Paris, Paris, France