Awards

The World's best Hotels top 20 list

Sep 16, 2003

View top 20 list

As is our annual custom, we have again turned the tables and asked our readers to name their favorite hotels in the world. This is the oldest, most reliable poll of its kind conducted among sophisticated frequent travelers. Over 85% of this year’s 2,500 respondents hold the title of President/CEO/Owner/Partner and 87% have traveled outside the U.S. for business and pleasure during the past 12 months

In the U.S. city hotel category, The Peninsula Beverly Hills took top honors for the first time, edging out St Regis New York and Four Seasons Chicago. New York dominated the Top 20 list with seven properties, including Plaza Athenee, which jumped from No. 25 to No. 9. Other impressive gainers are the new Peninsula Chicago and Four Seasons Chicago, both rocketing into the Top 20 in just their second year of operation.

  Among U.S. resorts, 30-room Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, CA) dethroned 750-room Greenbrier for the gold medal. Another small resort, 44-room Blackberry farm (Walland, TN) captured second place. New to the top 20: California's 43-room Rancho Valencia and Montana's 19-room Triple Creek Ranch.

On the international front, Four Seasons George V Paris retained the No. 1 city spot, while an unprecedented five hotels with fewer than 100 rooms made the top 20. These include London's Stafford (No. 3), Lanesborough (No. 4) and Connaught (No. 10), plus San Regis Paris (No. 12) and Four Seasons Istanbul (No. 18). In the biggest turnabout ever, Inter-Continental Hong Kong (formerly The Regent) fell from No. 7 to No. 46, proving that brand names do carry weight with savvy travelers.

  Among foreign resorts, the top three remained the same as last year, with Lus Ventanas (Baja, Mexico) holding onto No. 1, The Asian travel market weakened, especially in Bali where three resorts slid down the leaderboard. By contrast, the South Pacific showed strength with New Zealand’s 12-room Blanket Bay dramatically rising from No. 40 to No. 5.   Other small Pacific resorts making the Top 20 International Resort Hideaway list are Huka Lodge and Wharekauhau in New Zealand, Lizard Island in Australia and The Wakaya Club in Fiji.   Rising Stars Hotels show most dynamic rise in
rankings since last year

U.S City Hotels
Plaza Athenee ( New York)
No. 25 to 9
The Peninsula (Chicago)
Unranked to No. 15
Four Seasons (San Francisco)
Unranked to No.19

International City Hotels
Claridge's (London)
No. 21 to 5
Park Hyatt (Sydney)
No. 33 to 13
Hotel de Russie (Rome)
No. 42 to 21
Hotel Lancaster (Paris)
No. 36 to 22
Four Seasons (Prague)
Unranked to No. 29 US Resort Hotels
Rancho Valencia (California)
No. 27 to 6
Triple Creek Ranch (Montana)
No. 30 to 17
The Broadmoor (Colorado)
No. 37 to 27 International Resort Hotels
Blanket Bay (New Zealand)
No.40 to 5

Meridian Club (Turks & Caicos)
No. 37 to 20

Numbers marked '*' indicates last years rankings - X means hotel was not among top 50 last year

Top 20 International Resort Hotels Top 20 International Resort Hideaways 1 Las Ventanas (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico) *1
Tel. 624 144 0300 or (888) 525 0483 1 Singita (Kruger Nat'l Park, South Africa) *1
Tel. (11) 234 0990. singita.co.za 2 Villa d'Este (Lake Como, Italy) *2
Tel. (031) 3481 or(800) 223 8800 2 Blanket Bay (Glenorchy, New Zealand) *X
Tel. (3) 442 9442. blanketbay.com
3 Hotel San Pietro (Positano, Italy) *3
Tel. (089) 875455 or Fax (089) 811449 3 Lizard Island (Lizard Island, Australia) *4
Tel. (7) 4060 3999. poresorts.com 4 Singita (Kruga Nat'l Park, South Africa) *6
Tel. (11) 234 0990 or Fax (11) 234 0535 4 Buckland Manor (Buckland England) *5
Tel. (1386) 852626. bucklandmanor.com 5 Blanket Bay (Glenorchy, New Zealand) *40
Tel. (3) 441 9442 or Fax (3) 442 9441
5 Huku Lodge (Taupo, New Zealand) *3
Tel. (7) 378 5701. hukalodge.co.nz 6 Le Sirenuse (Positanu, Italy) *4
Tel. (089) 875066 or Fax (089) 811798 6 Villa San Michele (Fiesole, Italy) *6
Tel. (055) 567 8200. orient express.com 7 Amanpuri (Phuket Island, Thailand) *7
Tel. (70) 324333 or Fax (70) 324100 7 Amandari (Bali, Indonesia) *2
Tel. (361) 975333. amanresorts.com 8 Lizard Island (Lizard Island, Australia) *11
Tel. (7) 4060 3999 or Fax (7) 4061 3991 8 The Meridian Club (Turks & Caicos) *20
Tel. (203) 602 0300. meridianclub.com 9 Buckland Manor (Buckland, England) *13
Tel. (1386) 852626 or Fax (1386) 853557 9 Boyer "Les Crayeres" (Reims, France) *17
Tel. (3) 2682 8080. gerardboyer.com 10 Huka Lodge (Taupo, Now Zealand) *6
Tel. (7) 378 5791 or Fax (7) 378 0427 10 The Wakaya Club (Fiji Islands) *12
ln U.S. Tel. (970) 920 1244, wakaya.com 11 Hotel Splendido (Portofino, Italy) *5
Tel. (0185) 267801 or Fax (0185) 267806 11 Gravetye Manor (E. Grinstead, England) *13
Tel. (1342) 810567. gravetyemanor.co.uk 12 Cap Juluca (Anguiilla, West Indies) *15
Tel. (264) 497 8779 or (888) 858 5822 12 Casa Que Canta (Zihuatanejo, Mexico) *16
Tel. (7) 555 7.30. lacasaquecanta.com 13 Villa San Michele (Fiesole, Italy) *16
Tel. (055) 5677 8200 or Fax (055) 5677 8250 13 Amankila (Bali. Indonesia) *9
Tel. (808) 41333. amanresorts.com 14 Four Seasons (Bali, Indonesia) *10
Tel. (361) 701010 or Fax (361) 701020 14 Maroma (Near Cancun, Mexico) *16
Tel. (98) 728728200. maroma.net 15 Amandari (Bali, Indonesia) *8
Tel. (361) 975333 or Fax 1.361) 975335 15 Chateau de Bagnols (Bagnols, France) *19
Tel. (4) 7471 4000. bagnols.corn 16 Four Seasons (Nevis, West Indies) *17
Tel. (860) 460 1111 or (800) 332 3442 16 Ellerman House (Cape Town. South Africa) *X
Tel. (21) 439 91132. ellerman.co.za 17 The Regent Chiang Mai (Thailand) *12
Tel. (53) 298181 or Fax (53) 296189 17 Gidleigh Park (Chagford, England) *7
Tel. (1647) 432367. gidleigh.com 18 Little Dix Bay (British Virgin Islands) *14
Tel. (284) 495 5555 or (888) 767 3966 18 Chateau Vaulte de Lugny (Avallon, France) *10
Tel. (3) 8634 0786 lugny.com 19 Four Seasons Punta Mita (Mexico) *21
Tel. (3) 291 6000 or (800) 332 3442 19 Wharekauhau (Featherston. New Zealand) *X
Tel. (6) 307 7581. wharekauhau.co.nz 20 The Meridian Club (Turks & Caicos) *37
Tel. (203) 603 0300 or (800) 331.9254 20 Villa Galliei (Aix en Provence, France) *X
Tel. (4) 4223 2923. villagallici.com