Asian properties made a strong showing in the inaugural list of The World’s 50 Best Hotels, which was announced in London last week.
Passalacqua, the luxury boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Como – which opened in June 2022 – took the top spot on The World’s 50 Best Hotels list. But it was closely tailed by some of Asia’s finest resorts and hotels.
In the No.2 spot was the towering Rosewood Hong Kong, set in the city’s Victoria Dockside arts and design district with stunning views over the harbour.
In total, Asia is home to 18 of The World’s 50 Best Hotels, including four properties that sit at the top end of the list. Rosewood Hong Kong was closely followed by Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (No.3), The Upper House in Hong Kong (No.4) and Aman Tokyo (No.5). Placed highest on the list and within 20 metres of a beach, Soneva Fushi (No.7), in the Maldives, is also named the Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel.
Lubosh Barta, Regional Vice President and General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, shared his excitement, saying, “We are profoundly honoured to be named among The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023. This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our exceptional team, who have consistently delivered unparalleled hospitality since our opening in December 2020.”
The Nikka Best New Hotel Award was awarded to Capella Bangkok (No.11), with sweeping riverfront views of the Thai capital, which opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nikka Best New Hotel Award goes to the highest-ranked hotel on the list that opened within the two-year voting window (May 2021 to May 2023).
It is an honour to be a part of the very first World’s 50 Best Hotels list,” said Cristiano Rinaldi, President, Capella Hotel Group. “With Capella Bangkok at 11 and Capella Singapore listed at 28, we hope to continue to inspire travellers to experience hidden gems and the vibrant local cultures where our properties are located. We are equally thrilled for our property teams to be recognised for their excellent service, and passion for hospitality, as they continue to redefine the word “exceptional” in our industry, crafting memorable experiences for our guests.”
Sonu Shivdasani OBE, co-founder and CEO of Soneva and founder and former CEO of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, was voted by the Academy as the winner of the SevenRooms Icon Award, celebrating his achievements in the hotel industry over the last 28 years, including the creation of two of the most renowned hotel brands globally.
The inaugural ranking of The World’s 50 Best Hotels reveals that 21 of the winning properties are based in Europe. London solidifies its reputation as a global travel hub, boasting four hotels on the list: Claridge’s (No.16), The Connaught (No.22), NoMad London (No.46) and The Savoy (No.47), while two other UK properties were also winners: Gleneagles in Scotland (No.32) – recipient of the Art of Hospitality Award announced in August – and The Newt in Bruton, Somerset (No.37), which was awarded the Carlo Alberto Best Boutique Hotel Award. This award is given to the hotel that places highest on the list that fits all the criteria of a boutique property. 50 Best defines a boutique hotel as having fewer than 50 rooms and not being part of a large chain or group, showcasing personalised service and idiosyncratic features unique to its destination.
“After seeing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, it’s been especially fulfilling to see so many hoteliers from around the world gather in London to celebrate each other’s achievements under one roof for the first-ever awards ceremony of The World’s 50 Best Hotels,” said Tim Brooke-Webb, Managing Director for The World’s 50 Best Hotels. “Our heartfelt congratulations go out to each and every hotel on the list, and we hope this list inspires travel-lovers to book somewhere truly spectacular for their next trip.”