A vacation without luxury is like an ice-cold pool: It is difficult to get into, let alone enjoy. At any travel destination — from an African safari to the fast-paced streets of Manhattan — a sumptuous room in which to relax is a crucial part of a fulfilling trip. Many websites provide lists of hotels with the most expensive suites, but considered overall, which hotels offer the greatest opulence? These are the five most luxurious hotels in the world.
Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This iconic symbol of Dubai amazed travelers and critics alike when it opened in 1999. The hotel has only 202 suites, but each has multiple rooms spread across two levels of luxury. Mosaics, marble and gold leaf adorn the hotel’s intricately designed interior. Only hotel guests can access the private island the Burj Al Arab sits on, ensuring the hotel’s exclusivity.
Hotel Martinez, Cannes, France
Many celebrities attending the Cannes Film Festival stay at this renowned hotel. Guests can enjoy views of the French Riviera, tan on the private beach or unwind at the piano bar. Three restaurants provide the finest in French gastronomy. At the spa, guests can relax in a hot tub or enjoy a massage. The hotel’s many meeting rooms make it popular for business travelers.
Hotel President Wilson, Geneva
One of the world’s most expensive hotels is right at home in Geneva, one of the world’s priciest cities. The Hotel President Wilson hosts heads of state from around the globe as they attend important international functions. Unusual features like bulletproof glass protect important guests while other luxuries, like marble bathrooms and views of Lake Geneva, keep them comfortable. Wine from the immense wine cellar complements the cuisine at three fine restaurants.
Four Seasons Hotel, New York
Views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline are just one of this hotel’s highlights. Many rooms have terraces, hand-crafted furniture and marble bathrooms, yet it is the features outside the rooms that really make this hotel shine. A world-class restaurant and three upscale lounges satisfy the most discriminating tastes, and at the Arcadia Gallery, located in the lobby, visitors can enjoy contemporary art without leaving the hotel.
The Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur, India
Ivory, stucco, gold leaf and large mirrors adorn this jewel of a hotel, once the home of the maharajah. Fine silks and handcrafted furniture fill every room, but the hotel is not just visually stunning: An outdoor pool, hot tub, two restaurants, a bar, a coffee shop and a spa make it comfortable as well.