When stepping into a room at Ritz Paris, you find a space dripping in opulence. The Louis XIV-influenced décor features rich brocades, tasseled tapestries, chandeliers and bursts of gold. Inside the Italian-marble-filled bathroom, there are more lavish touches, like the gilded swan faucet — an original amenity of the 1898 hotel — and accompanying sink knobs bejeweled with red and blue crystals. And when you settle into the spacious accommodations, expect to receive a welcome treat, like lemon custard choux buns and apricot pastries on a silver multi-tiered tray. It’s no wonder why legends, ranging from Coco Chanel to F. Scott Fitzgerald, chose to live here.
The historic gem is among 41 hotels to earn a spot on Forbes Travel Guide’s 2019 Verified List for the World’s Best Rooms. The best-of list comes from detailed data gathered by the company’s inspectors, who stay at the hotels anonymously and evaluate them on up to 900 standards for the guide’s annual Star Ratings, which were announced in February.
Forbes Travel Guide’s Best Hotel Rooms list goes beyond looks. The winners achieved perfect scores on guest room and bathroom standards measuring luxury, comfort and convenience — on top of being spotless and well-maintained. That means inspectors tested everything in the room, including whether the spaces were well-soundproofed, the bedroom offered a place to relax outside of the bed and desk areas, the technology was well-designed, the linens and pillows were top quality, the bathroom areas were spacious enough for two people and the bath amenities were exceptionally luxurious. They even peeked inside the minibar to ensure it was stocked with a variety of notable finds.
To see the complete list of best rooms, click here. And get a look inside these all-around standout accommodations spanning 17 countries below.
The United States claimed 12 winners — the most of any country — eight of which hail from California. A Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hideaway tucked along Billionaire’s Beach, Nobu Ryokan Malibu infuses its 16 rooms with the chic minimalism of a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Covered in teak (including the handcrafted tub), they have neutral furnishings, an indoor-outdoor layout, bedside tatami mats and yukata robes, but the floor-to-ceiling ocean views are pure Malibu.
Over near SoCal’s Del Mar, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa feels like your own private Mediterranean paradise. Olive and citrus trees surround your expansive casita (they average 1,000 square feet), which boasts a vaulted ceiling, a sunken living room and a patio with a whirlpool and fireplace. The bathroom offers an inviting oversized tub, hand-painted tiles and luxe Natura Bissé toiletries. A great perk: the hotel delivers the newspaper and fresh-squeezed orange juice to your door every morning.
The world’s first Ritz-Carlton also made the list. While the rooms at The Ritz-Carlton Montreal carry vestiges of the hotel’s more than 100-year history (like the chandeliers), they veer to the new (motion-sensor-activated lights to guide you in the dark) and modern (a cream palette with bold chrysanthemum-patterned wallpaper and pops of plum and fuchsia). Stay warm during those Montreal winters with heated bathroom floors, towel racks and Toto toilet seats.
You won’t have to worry about the cold at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, which is why every room comes with an outdoor shower and a sizable terrace with chairs and a daybed. Inside, the chic, understated Mexican aesthetic — exposed-beam ceilings, terra cotta floors — makes for a peaceful retreat. And you needn’t lift a finger: a dedicated 24-hour butler does everything from fetch coffee to pack your bags.
The country with the second-highest tally on the list, China emerged with six winners, including The Peninsula Beijing. The sleek all-suite hotel equips its accommodations with uncommon amenities like a valet box, an unobtrusive way for staff to deliver and pick up laundry and room service without having to knock on your door; electronic nail dryers in the dressing rooms; and hands-free phones in the bathroom.
Taiwan also made a showing with Mandarin Oriental, Taipei. Celebrating its fifth birthday this year, the hotel has established itself as Taipei’s go-to place to stay. It has some of the city’s largest guest rooms, so you can spread out on the chaise lounge or armchair and ottoman near the big-picture windows, or in the walk-in dressing room. The gray-marble bathroom tempts with a round deep-soaking tub and toiletries from coveted French brand Diptyque.
Over in Singapore, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore takes advantage of its prime waterfront location across from Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer Ferris and added floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies in its 100 guest rooms. Inside the handsome accommodations, keep an eye out for luxe perks like Bottega Veneta bath products, Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers and a Handy smartphone with unlimited data and complimentary local calls to use during your stay.
After glimpsing into a room, you’d never guess COMO The Treasury sits in a former 19th-century treasury in Perth, Australia. Bathed in white with blond wood and low-slung furniture, the Scandinavian-influenced accommodations are bright, airy and bare. But the Four-Star hotel didn’t pare back the amenities: rooms come with Tivoli alarm clocks, Samsung LED televisions/IPTVs, complimentary minibars stocked with local beer and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, vast bathrooms with Kaldewei Duo freestanding tubs and more.
The Middle East
Contemporary rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island possess art deco details; a navy, gray and white color scheme; and top-to-bottom windows overlooking the water. Customize your bed with a plush, signature or firm mattress topper and then slip under the down duvet for the night. You won’t have to budge from your down pillow — a bedside panel controls the lights and do-not-disturb sign, and a tablet lets you order room service and contact housekeeping.
Made up of three properties, Dubai’s sumptuous One&Only Royal Mirage channels old Arabia in The Palace and Arabian Court with carved furniture, arches, wood pocket doors, intricate mirrors, Arabesque lamps and eye-catching mosaics. And the Residence & Spa provides a more exclusive experience, with its own pool and staff. But no matter which option you choose, all have a balcony that peers out over the gulf.
Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel resides in a former 18th-century palace, so opulent interiors come standard (plus, Karl Lagerfeld designed two suites). Antiques, fabric wall panels, bronze furnishings and contemporary art stylishly blend the then and now. Gray marble bathrooms are outfitted with local products from Buly 1803 and an inlaid television at the foot of the bathtub. But you’ll really get the royal treatment with your own butler.
Perched in one of Western Europe’s tallest buildings, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London delivers breathtaking city panoramas from the room’s walls of windows. The Five-Star hotel furnishes you with binoculars to take it all in. But the cool blue-and-gray space’s other perks — heated bathroom floors, body-contouring beds, Frette sheets — will vie for your gaze, too.
For the complete list of World’s Best Hotel Rooms winners, click here.