Best Luxury Hotels 2021 for Your Next International Trip

Best Luxury Hotels 2021 for Your Next International Trip


It’s been a weird couple years for travel. By this point, most of us have attempted a trip or two—masked and vaxxed, we hope—most likely out of obligation to see family or friends. As for a more pampered, head-clearing escape, some have crossed the country, maybe even the Atlantic, while others have flown over the border to Mexico for a much-needed break from reality. If you haven’t already traveled for that change of scenery and peace of mind, now might be the best time to plan a trip for yourself and your favorite plus one. On the pandemic front, we’re moving into some semblance of “living with this,” so whether that trip is next month or next year, we’re happy to provide some indulgent inspiration for your next escape with the best luxury hotels in the world.

 

 

While the roster of best luxury hotels is long and varied, these 10 properties are our top standouts of late. They’ll each help you unplug and unwind in their own unique way—and after the last two years, that’s the least any of us deserves.

These Luxury Hotels Will Help You Live Large in the Best Cities in the World

Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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1. Casa Silencio: Xaagá, Oaxaca, Mexico

Opening September 2021, Casa Silencio is part distillery, part hotel. You may already be familiar with El Silencio, the best-selling mezcal. This hotel, located outside Oaxaca’s capital city limits, marks a new phase of hospitality for the brand, and centers guests in mezcal’s native region while also immersing them in El Silencio’s artisanal production process. Co-founders Vicente Cisneros and Fausto Zapata envisioned an eco-friendly, no-waste, self-sustaining hotel, down to the solar panels and harvested rainwater. They embrace a local ethos. Oaxacan cuisine gets served across a 17-ton, 53-foot-long, hand-cut basalt communal dining table. Regional textiles, paintings, and sculptures adorn each room. And a solar-powered, half-ton tahona wheel mashes agave pulp in the onsite distillery. Guests enjoy spa-like amenities in each of the six onsite suites, as well as easy access to Oaxaca City and surrounding attractions (like the rugmakers of Teotitlan del Valle, the petrified waterfall Hierve el Agua, and the Mixtec/Zapotec ruins of Monte Álban and Mitla). You also have access to a plunge pool, bonfire pits, and said mezcal production areas, tucked away in a quiet corner of Mexico’s most colorful, flavorful state.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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2. Le Bristol: Paris, France

Le Bristol is Paris as you’ve dreamt it: a (literal) palatial setting, with 13,000-foot courtyard gardens, brightly lit rooms and suites with gilded decor. Not to mention four Michelin stars among its onsite eateries, all under chef Eric Frechon (three stars for Epicure, reopening October 1, and one for 114 Faubourg, reopening August 30). Often regarded as Paris’ top hotel, period, Le Bristol is just off Avenue des Champs Elysées, near the Grand Palais (read: prime walking distance to the city’s most storied attractions). The jewel on this crown is the indoor rooftop pool, which offers expansive views of the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre. (It’s also part of Spa Le Bristol, featuring Russian Banïya treatments, a private couples’ suite, plus products from La Prairie.) It’s one of Paris’ dozen “Palace Hotels,” a distinction awarded based on historical merit, grandeur, world-class hospitality, beauty, gastronomy, and more 5-star standards. Oh, and watch for the furry Fa-Raon, Le Bristol’s fixture Burmese feline, in the lobby or garden. Of the hotel’s many famed guests, he’s perhaps the most beloved of them all.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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3. Dunton Hot Springs: Dunton, CO

This ghost-town resort is an attraction all its own, rivaling nearby Telluride, Arches, and Mesa Verde with its 1800s-era log cabins and bathhouse (all up to date with 21st-century specs, of course). You can enjoy the thermal water five ways, including the bathhouse, hot springs, and the property’s heated pool. Each of Dunton’s 10 bookable log cabins features Four Corners-appropriate furnishings, down to the crackling fires and fur rugs. Stroll down to towns’ end to peep the open-air chapel and tumbling waterfall, or spend the day hiking or skiing the nearby runs. You can even book the entire grounds for a magnificent wedding or other occasion, adding to the many stories witnessed by these San Juan Mountains.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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4. Maçakizi Bodrum: Bodrum, Turkey

Maçakizi helped Bodrum evolve from a simple seaside town into the lively, luxurious escape it’s known as today. The hotel has played host to Mick Jagger and Naomi Campbell, as well as countless writers, artists, and intellectuals seeking headspace and mischief alike. Each room, suite, and villa nestles guests into a sea- or garden-facing reprieve, while Chef Aret Sahakyan’s artful platings lure each from their abode. Don’t leave without a visit to the onsite hammam, or a sunset cruise on the hotel’s motorboat. (Alternatively, consider the half-day lunch option…or both.) Keep eyes peeled for the April 2022 launch of Villa Maçakizi, a 10-suite private Paradise Bay villa just 10 minutes from Maçakizi by boat.

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Arctic TreeHouse Hotel: Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel: Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
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5. Arctic TreeHouse Hotel: Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

Lapland is the closest inhabitable resemblance we’ve got to the North Pole, evidenced quite literally by the year-round Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. Among the many year-round activities in Lapland, Northern Lights scouting remains top of the list—and a lifelong bucket-list item for many. Arctic TreeHouse gives seekers prime viewing access, with the aurora borealis shining approximately every other clear night between September and March. The hotel’s tiny-house-style cabins provide an elegant, cozy environment to witness one of nature’s most incredible phenomena. During the day, the glass wall looks out over a steep hillside, showcasing Lapland’s snow-covered pines. It’s a true wintry wonderland, though you’ll be warmed by hearty Finnish cuisine, crackling fireplaces and, yes, a private Finnish sauna.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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6. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge: Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa

Earth Lodge is one of four 5-star Sabi Sabi properties on the Sabie Game Reserve in eastern South Africa. It blends into the bushveld, practically becoming one with nature—so much so you may even get a curious (and friendly!) visitor from Greater Kruger National Park. Guests can partake in day or night safaris in open-air vehicles to scout the Big 5 (lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and leopards), as well as cheetahs, hyenas, and other animals that populate the bush. Guests pay a levy that supports Sabie Game Reserve conservation efforts, making this once-in-a-lifetime experience a mindful one at that. Each of the 13 luxe suites on the property boasts its own plunge pool, plus indoor and outdoor shower. You can visit the onsite Amani Spa for a relaxing treatment, drink from a 6,000-bottle rare wine collection, or sit under the night sky in the Earth Lodge’s own fire-pit lounge.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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7. Castello di Reschio: Umbria, Italy

A short jaunt from Perugia and Florence alike, the 3,700-acre Reschio Estate opened this 36-room hotel in its onsite castle (casual, we know) in May 2021. On its grounds, guests can go horseback riding through the Umbrian wilderness, forage for truffles, fish, reading lakeside, cook adjacent to the divino Ristorante Alle Scuderie, serving timeless Italian, play tennis on astroturf, bike the grounds, or visit the music and art exhibitions at the onsite Tabaccaia di Reschio. Architect Benedikt Bolza and his wife, Donna Nencia Corsini, could moonlight as Hollywood set designers for the beautiful restoration work they’ve put into each room of this hotel. With the Umbrian landscape as backdrop and thousand-year framework holding it all together, Castello di Reschio feels fashioned from fantasy—but rest assured, it’s the real deal.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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8. Royal Mansour Marrakech: Marrakesh, Morocco

At Royal Mansour, guests reside in one of 53 regal riads, each a three-story affair tucked into the property’s meandering alleyways. The palace rests on a 5-hectare estate in the heart of Marrakesh, next to the Medina old town. You can book private dining at The Nest, while hovering over the ground gardens among lemon and palm trees; or indulge in the Mediterranean-Asian-fusion fare at Le jardin, from Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno. A new grounds expansion yielded the glass-paneled greenhouse, Atelier d’Artiste, which plays host to art therapy sessions (such as pottery, painting, and calligraphy). That greenhouse is second only to the 27,000 square-foot Spa Royal Mansour, with its metal latticework atrium (offering products from Intraceuticals, Subtle Energies, and Dr. Burgener Switzerland). It’s luxury fit for a king, which should be a given: Royal Mansour is owned by the King of Morocco, after all. His personal guests surely occupy the hotel’s Grand Riad, whose description we must lift verbatim: “The 19,375 square-foot residence features a private library, two swimming pools, a cinema, hammam, gym, multiple dining and living rooms and a glass-enclosed split-level terrace with a retractable roof.” It can be yours, too, if you’re feeling very fancy.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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9. FUFU: Kyoto, Japan

FUFU is a reprieve at the opposite end of the Earth—a total detox complemented by tranquil, temple-tinged Kyoto. Turn off your phone, save the stamina for Tokyo, and settle into FUFU’s zenful garden-guarded sanctuary. Guests bathe in hot spring water from the Nose Art Lake, within sumptuous cypress tubs. Private experiences are available in the hotel’s detached house, from millennium-old flower arrangement practices to tea or incense ceremonies, yoga and meditation courses, as well as geisha performances. Onsite restaurant Ioto serves seasonally and locally sourced charcoal-grilled fare, paired with wines and sake. You’ll hear the sounds of running water, watch blossoms come and go in the garden, hide away in the stress-melting rooms and suites, and soak in the inimitable experience that is Japanese hospitality.

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Visit one of these luxury hotels from around the world for fantastic, pampered experience.
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10. The Mark Hotel: New York City

With a view over Madison Avenue and a stone’s throw to Central Park, The Mark is a gem for its location alone. But inside, you’ll see why it’s also the chosen hotel partner for the annual Met Gala, with its avant-garde decor from legendary French designer Jacques Grange. It’s one of Manhattan’s most vibrant, exciting, see-and-be-seen hotels, with 5-star amenities at every turn, like a 1,400-square-foot fitness center and onsite Frédéric Fekkai’ hair salon. Guests can book Picnic in the Park, bikes, and drop by the Mark Haute Dog Cart for gourmet, organic chicken or grass-fed beef hot dogs, as well as sorbet and gelato. Other perks include personal shopping from Bergdorf Goodman, plus pedicabs exclusive for hotel guests (to help get you to the Met, of course). As if this weren’t enough, you can level up with any number of The Mark’s experiential offerings, like charter the hotel’s sailboat (for up to 25 people) or book a private dining experience with Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges (whose Mark Restaurant is also a highlight of each stay).

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