With so many new hotel brands launching, be they family-focused, design-driven, or millennial-friendly, today’s traveler is spoiled for choice. Still, some hotel chains are able to capitalize more than others on arguably the most important factor in the business: customer loyalty. And it is those brands that get rewarded by T+L readers in our World’s Best survey.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotel brands on their locations, rooms/facilities, food, service, and overall value.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Though this year’s top 20 hotel brands range in location — Oberoi Hotels & Resorts (No. 4), the Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts (No. 7), and Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris (No. 15) focus on palatial properties in India, while companies like Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts (No. 19) and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts (No. 6) cover all corners of the globe, from Paris to Beijing — one thing holds true throughout: exemplary service. “Stayed at several Leelas in India,” wrote one reader. “Their service is breathtaking along with the rooms, which defy any other chain.” Of Rosewood, one fan said: “Our go-to hotel chain. The service is always superior and friendly.”
Closer to home, Montage Hotels & Resorts (No. 14) is a boutique brand of six properties in South Carolina, California, Utah, Hawaii,and Mexico. (Montage Kapalua Bay, in Maui, took home the No. 1 resort hotel in the state). For this brand, both sense of place — another thing resonating with today’s travelers — and service stood out: “Luxury at its best. Great locations and staff.”
This year’s list has a newcomer in the No. 2 spot: family-run Red Carnation Hotel Collection, which has Ireland’s Ashford Castle (a perennial World’s Best favorite) and Hotel 41 in London in its portfolio. The No. 1 hotel brand in the world? A rapidly expanding company with forthcoming properties in Bhutan, Bali and Israel. Read on for more on this repeat, wellness-centric winner — and see how the other brands scored with our readers.