Navigating CNN’s ’50 Best Hotels in the World’: A Realist’s Perspective

CNN recently unveiled its list of the “50 Best Hotels in the World,” and it’s nothing short of breathtaking. From architectural marvels to paradisiacal retreats, the list is a testament to the lengths the hospitality industry will go to ensure unparalleled experiences for its guests. But as I perused this list, a few thoughts crossed my mind that I believe are worth sharing.

1. The Subtle Art of Invitation

It’s intriguing to observe the delicate balance these elite hotels strike between exclusivity and invitation. Some of these establishments, with their grandeur and prestige, might seem almost reticent in their approach to bookings. It’s as if they’re saying, “We offer an experience like no other, but it’s up to you to take the step.” This subtle art of invitation, where the allure is in the understated, is a masterclass in marketing.

2. The Price Tag Reality

While the list is a dream for any traveler, the reality of the price tags attached to some of these stays can be a wake-up call. Some of the prices can make one wonder if they’re paying for a night’s stay or putting a down payment on a house. It’s a stark reminder that luxury often comes at a premium.

3. Surprisingly Accessible Options

However, it’s heartening to see that not all entries on the list are exorbitantly priced. There are establishments that offer world-class experiences without necessarily emptying your bank account. It’s a reminder that luxury isn’t always about the price tag; it’s about the experience, the service, and the memories you create.

4. Innovations and Offerings

The range of amenities and innovations some of these hotels offer is genuinely mind-boggling. From eco-friendly resorts that blend seamlessly with their natural surroundings to establishments pushing the boundaries of technology to enhance guest experience, the list showcases the future of hospitality.

5. Value Beyond the Material

While the tangible offerings – plush rooms, infinity pools, gourmet meals – are evident, what stands out is the intangible. The emphasis on experiences, on creating memories, on ensuring that a guest’s stay transcends the physical and becomes something they carry with them – that’s the true hallmark of a top-tier hotel.

In conclusion, CNN’s “50 Best Hotels in the World” is more than just a list; it’s a reflection of where the hospitality industry is headed and the myriad ways in which it seeks to enrich our lives. Whether or not we get to stay in these hotels, they inspire us to seek out experiences, to explore the world, and to find moments of luxury in our journeys.


The World’s 50 Best Hotels: Full list

1. Passalacqua (Moltrasio, Italy)
2. Rosewood Hong Kong
3. Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River
4. The Upper House (Hong Kong)
5. Aman Tokyo
6. La Mamounia (Marrakech, Morocco)
7. Soneva Fushi (Maldives)
8. One&Only Mandarina (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
9. Four Seasons Firenze (Florence, Italy)
10. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
11. Capella Bangkok
12. The Calile (Brisbane, Australia)
13. Chablé Yucatán (Chocholá, Mexico)
14. Aman Venice
15. Singita Lodges (Kruger National Park, South Africa)
16. Claridge’s (London)
17. Raffles Singapore
18. Nihi Sumba (Wanokaka, Indonesia)
19. Hotel Esencia (Tulum, Mexico)
20. Le Sirenuse (Positano, Italy)
21. Borgo Egnazia (Savelletri, Italy)
22. The Connaught (London)
23. Royal Mansour (Marrakech)
24. Four Seasons Madrid
25. Aman New York
26. The Maybourne Riviera (Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France)
27. Rosewood São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil)
28. Capella Singapore
29. Le Bristol Paris
30. Park Hyatt Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan)
31. La Réserve (Paris)
32. Gleneagles (Auchterarder, Scotland)
33. Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc (Antibes, France)
34. Cheval Blanc Paris
35. Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
36. Soneva Jani (Maldives)
37. The Newt in Somerset (Bruton, United Kingdom)
38. Amangalla (Sri Lanka)
39. Hoshinoya Tokyo
40. Desa Potato Head (Seminyak, Bali)
41. Eden Rock (St. Barths)
42. The Siam (Bangkok)
43. Badrutt’s Palace (St. Moritz, Switzerland)
44. Atlantis The Royal (Dubai)
45. The Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra, India)
46. NoMad London
47. The Savoy (London)
48. Equinox New York
49. Six Senses Ibiza (Balearic islands, Spain)
50. Hôtel de Crillon (Paris)