Service Is King
The amazing people at Travel + Leisure have prepared their 2015 list of the world’s best service in hotels! With a mixture of European luxury, Asian tradition, American hospitality and plenty others there will surely be a hotel in this list that will tug at your heartstrings, whether they’re geard towards families, business travellers or couples there’s an option for everyone. Here’s a few of our favorites below but see the whole list at the link in the bottom.
Which one would you most like to visit?
The Peninsula Beijing
Tied for #20 The Peninsula Beijing scores top marks in several areas, whether it’s luxury shopping inside the hotel or a pickup from the airport with one of their own Rolls Royce limousines!
This hotel in Wangfujing brings its A-game (and A-list brands) to the service-loving, luxury shopping crowd: the hotel’s onsite Arcade features names such as Hermes, Prada, and Tom Ford. And like the Peninsula in Hong Kong, the Beijing branch offers rides to and from the airport in a Rolls-Royce (or, if you want to go low-key, a Mercedes or BMW). Even with its grand marble staircase in the lobby, the 525-room hotel is perhaps looking to bolster its design ranking for next year: the rooms are now undergoing updates that will be completed by late 2016.
Ritz-Carlton New York
Coming in at #18 is one of the all-time great NYC hotels. And with all concierge team members belonging to Les Clefs d’Or, amazing service is guaranteed.
Right off 5th Avenue and Central Park, this 259-room hotel could afford to be snooty, but readers gave it accolades for feeling casually friendly anyway. Just ask the concierge, for instance, and you can help feed the hotel’s carriage horses every day at noon. If you book a room on the Club Lounge level (which, happily, does not cost that much more than regular rates), you get access to all-day snacks, an in-room telescope, and butler services. As a testament to the high level of service, every member of the multilingual concierge team belongs to Les Clefs d’Or.
Kempinski Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten
This beautiful Munich hotel ties at #13, now things are starting to get even more interesting… In-room iPads anyone?
This 297-room hotel in the heart of Munich makes a regal first impression as you step into its lobby, crowned with a stained-glass dome. Rooms, meanwhile, offer a blend of contemporary and old-world flair, including reproductions of artwork from the Pinakothek Museums. You have access to butler service—for unpacking or making reservations—but if you feel shy about chatting with the butler, you can just use your in-room iPad to place room-service orders or send in a request (say, that you’d like to rent one of the reasonably-priced Vespas to scoot around town). Despite its King Ludwig II-style pomp, the hotel also ranked at No. 11 among European hotels for being a solid value.
One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos Resort
This still relatively small hotel comes in at #11 with a combination of personalised and friendly service and beatiful vibe.
This was a small, insider-y resort when it first opened in the 1950s, with just a couple dozen rooms and an assortment of Hollywood luminaries as guests. Today, the resort has 173 rooms, but it has won loyalty from guests for retaining that tiny boutique-inn vibe: staffers call you by first name and offer unique amenities, such as free fresh-fruit popsicles, oxygen shots and foot massages by the pool. With its tequila and mezcal lounge overlooking the Sea of Cortez, the One & Only also placed at No. 1 for hotel bars in Mexico.
The Peninsula Bangkok
At #7 this Bangkok hotel scores high not only for business travellers but for it’s amazing spa, limousine shuttle service and free private boat shuttle service!
Whether or not you need to take the house Rolls-Royce or helicopter from the airport, this Peninsula ranked as the No. 1 hotel in Asia for business travelers, and No. 3 in the world. Once you’ve checked in, you can also ride, for free, one of the hotel’s four shuttle boats, which make nearly 650 trips a day to three area piers. The hotel made the survey’s top 5 for its executive-friendly rooms (all of which have views of the Chao Phraya River): they come with two international-direct-dial phones, your own fax number and a fresh bowl of fortifying fruit every day. For decompressing after your meetings, the hotel’s spa—featuring the signature Royal Thai massage, unlocking 10 pressure points—also ranked in the world’s top 10.
Castello di Casole
There are a few hotels tying for 1st place in this survey and the Castello di Casole in Casole d’Elsa, Tuscany is definitely one of our favourites. Staying in the grounds of a restored castle surrounded by Tuscan landscapes while enjoying some of the best food in the world? Sign us up!
Readers were exuberant about this hotel, which was built around a 10th century castle on 4,200 acres, because they felt immediately connected to the Tuscan landscape: The hotel also won 1st-place ties in categories such as romance, design and cuisine. All rooms come with welcome bottles of estate-made extra virgin oil and vino, while the bilingual concierges can help set up dinner reservations, tours or cooking classes. Indeed, the “home cooking” at the hotel’s Ristorante Tosca may have been a big part of guests feeling connected, too, thanks to dishes like the spinach risotto with duck breast and raspberries, or house-made Sicilian pistachio spaghetti with wild boar from the hotel’s preserve.
The Goring London
Still at #1 The Goring is good enough for royalty. Need we say more?
This is where Kate Middleton stayed before her royal wedding, and readers gush that they love this hotel because the staff has a knack for learning your name quickly, and making anyone feel like a VIP. (The hotel’s head concierge belongs to Les Clefs d’Or, but merely goes by “Big John.”) If you stay in a suite, you’ll even get the automatic services of a footman, dressed in a scarlet tailcoat and a gold-trimmed vest. The 69-room, family-owned hotel also made the top 20 for its cuisine—an elegant take on English classics—and the Goring Dining Room won its first Michelin star this year. For brunch, try the lobster-accented Eggs Drumkilbo, once the favorite of the Queen Mum.
The Oberoi Udaivilas
Again at 1st place is also this stunning hotel located in Udaipur, India. Out of all the hotels listed this is our absolute favourite. If there was a Michelin guide for hotels this would definitely score 3 stars.
This dome-topped resort on the banks of Lake Pichola was once a royal hunting ground, and it tied for first place by still making guests feel like maharajas. Readers loved the private boat ride you take across the lake to arrive at the hotel (and for a fee, you can take a covered shikara back on the water at sundown, for canapés and stargazing). The hotel also tied for first in the survey for its rooms, which come with elegant dark woods and peacock-blue accents (to match the feathered creatures wandering outside), as well as a 24-hour, on-call butler. Given the views of the lake and city, the hotel also ranked at the top for its prime locale.
These are just our picks from the full list. For more details leave us a comment!