Interiors at the Hotel D'Angleterre in Geneva

The best luxury resorts in the world are of course glorious places to stay, but there is so much more to them than their guest rooms – they’re gateways to destinations, and they’re entire destinations in themselves. Whether they happen to be located in the middle of national parks, private white sand beaches, wine country, ski slopes, cities or small towns, they tell a unique story about their place. Here are 10 of our favorites right now.

For billabong swims and hammock time: Silky Oaks Lodge, Queensland

Forty ‘treehouses’ sit snugly in the world’s oldest living rainforest, surrounded by fronds and vines, ferns and mosses. It’s hard not to think of Eden as you lie in your hammock following a dazzling blue Ulysses butterfly or a chattering of palm cockatoos with your eyes. Guests have the chance to learn about the Indigenous culture of the local Kuku Yalanji people who have lived in the Daintree Rainforest continuously, and have a deep connection with it.


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For tranquility and connecting with nature: Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel

In the mountains of north Japan, this tranquil ryokan is the only resort built on the shore of the Orase Gorge, part of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park, a protected area teeming with lushness: beech, katsura and Japanese horse chestnut trees, plus over 300 species of moss. Rooms overlook the stream and waterfalls; it’s an unparallelled vantage point for witnessing the changing seasons. Lots of significance is placed on the onsen experience in the hot springs from Mount Hakkoda – the concept behind the resort is “Keiru slow living”. Stay here on our Majestic Japan journey. 

For sumptuous living in the city: The Leela Palace, Chennai

One of the best luxury resorts on our Essence of India journey, this is almost five acres of sheer opulence and romance where the Bay of Bengal meets the Adyar river. There are brunches fit for royalty, sea-view sundowners, marble corridors, chandeliers and silk ruching wherever you look, even a cake shop, whose counters are filled with handcrafted macarons, chocolates and cheesecakes. Rooms and suites are haven-like, golden and glorious but it’s worth tearing yourself out of them to lounge by the enormous pool. 


For icon status in the great Canadian outdoors: Fairmont Banff Springs

Known as Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” this world-famous resort with its steep copper roofs, dormers and gables, is located in the majestic Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides absurd levels of beauty and various walking trails, the park itself offers opportunities for horseback riding, rock climbing, biking, glacier walking and skiing. On the resort itself, there’s a 27-hole championship golf course and an award-winning spa, not to mention wildflower cocktails in the timeless Rundle Bar. 

Stay here on our Majesty of the Rockies journey.

For serenity (and celebrity) by the beach: Copacabana Palace, Rio

As far as world class locations go, Copacabana Beach is hard to beat. This imposing white Carrara marble icon has been in situ since 1923, when French architect Joseph Gire took influence from the Negresco in Nice and the Carlton in Cannes. Since then, celebrities passing through have included Walt Disney, Brigitte Bardot, Princess Diana and Madonna. Away from the high energy of the beach and the city streets, the interiors offer soothing white linens, mahogany furnishings and arguably the best balconies in the world. 

This hotel is on our Classic South America journey.

For Tuscan frescoes and flowers: Four Seasons Firenze

This is an urban retreat of Florentine proportions, housed across the 15th-century Palazzo della Gherardesca and the 16th-century convent, La Villa. The creamy interiors feature frescoes, paintings and sculptures, plus elaborate floral displays and golden light seemingly sent from the heavens. The Renaissance theme continues through the Michelin star restaurant, wine cellar and into the relaxation center, with its ancient Italian spa treatments and garden-based yoga. All a 15-minute walk from the Duomo.  

For English charm and Swiss hospitality: Hotel d’Angleterre, Geneva

On the shore of the glittering Lake Geneva, the Angleterre is a grand old dame to behold, but – as one of the best luxury resorts in the world – it’s also more intimate than you might expect. No two rooms are the same – there’s masterful quilting and upholstery, with playfulness coming through in the occasional leopard print cushion, striped drape, silk-covered wall or original Miró sketch. There’s afternoon tea, of course, plus decanters of port, cognac and whisky. It’s a masterclass in refined luxury, and it’s best enjoyed as part of Majestic Switzerland

For easy living in The Big Easy: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

At the edge of the French quarter, the swish Maison Blanche building which occupies a whole city block is a retreat from the hubbub, but a very assuredly New Orleanian one. After a dinner of farm-to-table Louisiana cuisine (blue crab beignets, seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits), guests can listen to jazz musician Jeremy Davenport playing the lounge named after him, while sipping Davenportinis. It’s always a joyful stop on our Southern Grace journey. The spaces are ritzy and glamorous – lots of black leather and velvet.

For untouchable private island solitude: Song Saa, Cambodia

This is the kind of unfathomable paradise we couldn’t not put on a list of the best luxury resorts. On Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago, 45 minutes by speedboat from Sihanoukville, Song Saa is arranged across two small islands. It’s got everything you’d expect – palm-thatched villas with four-poster beds and sea-view plunge pools and an open-air spa made up of various pavilions, and plenty you’d never dreamed of too (it’s surprisingly family-friendly!). The owners are committed to the environment – they’ve set up a marine reserve and employ conservation staff.

For stylish safaris with heart: Londolozi, South Africa

In the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park, Londolozi is all for healing the land. The Varty family behind it believe it “should inspire a desire to live in deeper connection with each other and the natural world”. Each of the exquisite camps tells a story – the Founders camp honors the past, Tree Camp is lantern-lit, and sanctuary-like, and Varty Camp is the heart and soul – it’s been hosting family-friendly campfires for over 100 years. The rooms and suites are richly layered under thatched roofs, each with expansive decks on which to do yoga, bathe or sip champagne.

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