Dazzling new hotels open around the globe all of the time. We get to cover a number of these in person, sure, but we simply can’t make it to all of them. Some are forgotten about when a new assignment comes along. But others stay on your mind long after you’ve moved on to the next story. This round-up is dedicated to those latter hotels — priceless properties that Forbes Travel Guide editors have longed to visit, but for whatever reason, just haven’t yet. Here are our top picks for the hotels we want to stay in before we die.
Kim Atkinson, Senior Vice President, Content
Dream Hotel: The Savoy, London
Why: I went to high school in London, and, believe it or not, our senior prom was hosted at The Savoy. I’ve never had a chance to actually stay there, though — and it’s been on my bucket list ever since. In 2010, the hotel reopened after spending $350 million to restore the original Art Deco and Edwardian interiors, and I’ve heard it’s spectacular. And you can’t beat the location for exploring the best of London — it sits right on the River Thames with views of the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and The Gherkin.
Jennifer Kester, Executive Editor
Why: Not only do I want to stay at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel before I die, it’s where I would want to spend my final days. The peaceful, out-of-the-way hotel stuns with prime views of the Big Sur coast from the wall of windows that line your rustic-luxe tree house (with a wood-burning fireplace, private deck and outdoor hot tub). I could also spend my last days eating every meal at the Four-Star Sierra Mar Restaurant and luxuriating at the small but top-notch Post Ranch Spa (don’t worry about privacy—the elevated spa puts you in the midst of trees). With vistas this gorgeous, Post Ranch Inn is my heaven.
Click here for the details on Jennifer’s other dream hotels.
Michelle Doucette, Senior Content Editor
Dream Hotel: Minaret Station, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
Why: There’s something magical about a place accessible only by helicopter. And New Zealand’s Minaret Station is as remote — and as luxurious — as a tented lodge gets. I can already feel my feet sinking into the sheepskin carpeting in my suite and the hot water in the private tub on my deck. I’d be content to simply sit outside and gaze at the Southern Alps, but Minaret Station offers so much more; its gourmet Mountain Kitchen, helicopter wine tours, fly-fishing trips and photography tutorials would top my vacation to-do list.
Click here to see all of the hotels Michelle’s dying to visit.
Amanda Arnold, Senior Content Editor
Why: I’m dying to stay at this monastery-turned-boutique-hotel perched on the edge of a cliff on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The 20 rooms—which were once occupied by nuns—are appointed with authentic Italian antiques and have lovely vaulted ceilings, airy windows and balconies overlooking the Gulf of Salerno and the coast. I’d spend my days wandering the area, enjoying the hotel’s terraced garden, dining alfresco on local foods and, most importantly, lounging in the sun by the infinity-edge pool, staring out at endless sky and the rippling blue ocean far below.
Check out which other cliff-side hotels made Amanda’s list.
DeMarco Williams, Senior Associate Editor
Dream Hotel: Four Seasons Resorts Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Why: Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Preserve, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (there’s a sister property at Kuda Huraa) is extraordinary. Because it’s a Four Seasons hotel, I’m certain the service is impeccable and the cuisine is delectable. One other thing I’m sure of is that there isn’t another room within the brand (or any other hotel company, for that matter) that’s more beautiful than Landaa Giraavaru’s airy, contemporary-styled Sunrise Water Villa. Pure. Ecstasy.
Click here to read DeMarco’s full bucket list of awe-inspiring hotels.
Hayley Bosch, Content Editor
Dream Hotel: Maison Moschino
Why: As if a stay in Milan isn’t dreamy enough, checking in to this quirky fashion label’s hotel is definitely on my must-do-list. I love that Maison Moschino puts a luxury spin on a fairytale experience—the 65 rooms are decked out in design concepts like the “Life is a Bed of Roses” room, which is draped with petals, and the “Luxurious Attic,” which is adorned with chic storage boxes and has angled ceilings. And just when I think it can’t get any better, I’d take a trip to the Art Spa to remind me it can—some time in the Turkish bath and an oxygen therapy treatment would leave me totally rejuvenated. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the whimsical paradise is a quick jaunt from some of the world’s best shopping.
Go here to read Hayley’s entire bucket list of hotels around the world.
Caroline Patek, Content Editor
Dream Hotel: Kasbah Tamadot, Marrakech
Why: I’ve always had a strong desire to travel to Morocco, and what better way to experience it than by booking a stay at one of Sir Richard Branson’s luxury properties? The hotel’s breathtaking setting in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains aims to provide a true Moroccan vibe—especially in the traditional Berber tents that are decked out with king-size beds, chandeliers and private plunge pools. When I’m not playing a game of tennis on the outdoor courts, relaxing in the onsite hammam or watching a movie under the stars, I can also explore the nearby village of Asni for its weekly Saturday market.
Click here to keep reading Caroline’s culturally rich bucket list.
Alex Skjong, Content Editor
Dream Hotel: ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Why: For some, traveling to Sweden to stay in a building made entirely out of ice—yes, the hotel stays true to its name—may not qualify as a luxurious getaway, but my Scandinavian blood just can’t say no. Light reflecting off the blocks of ice gives the ICEHOTEL an ethereal beauty that blends ideally with warm and cozy details like reindeer skins blanketing the beds and cups of hot lingonberry juice in the morning. Combine the overnight experience with a couple cocktails served in ice glasses at the granddaddy of ice bars (this Jukkasjärvi location is the original) and I’m in for a chilly but completely memorable getaway.
Read on to see the rest of Alex’s top hotel picks.
Jordan Lawson, Content Editor
Why: Landing on the helipad on the 28th floor of the Burj Al Arab in one of the world’s most prosperous cities would be the perfect start to a Dubai experience. The hotel is huge—towering 1,053 feet in the air—and resides on its own manmade island right off the famed Jumeirah beach. All of the 202 suites have views of Dubai and the coast. Every suite also has rain showers and Jacuzzis, as well as a reception desk on each floor. But I would get out of the room to explore the amenities, especially the six restaurants; I’d also take advantage of the unlimited guest access to the Wadi Wadi Waterpark, just a short walk away.
Check out Jordan’s full list of luxury hotels here.
Photos Courtesy of Laucala Island, II San Pietro Positano, Mandarin Oriental Chiang Mai, La Mamounia, Whitepod, Burj Al Arab and Amangiri