40 Luxury Hotels That Spoil Their Guests Absolutely Rotten

Have you ever wondered exactly what happens inside the world’s most luxurious hotels? When they promise their guests five-star treatment, do they really deliver? We’ve taken a peek inside some of the most extravagant hotels on Earth and discovered the secret features, state-of-the-art services, and lavish added extras that keep their elite guests coming back for more. From personal butlers to a dedicated pillow menu, let’s check in…

1. Shangri-La Bosphorus, Turkey

The bank of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul is where you’ll find this converted 1930s tobacco warehouse, which has traded in smoke for a simply smoking luxury accommodation experience. There are Turkish baths, and then there’s the kind of treatment you’ll receive at the Shangri-La Bosphorus. The full-body moisturization with milk and honey sounds truly decadent. 

2. Oberoi Udaivilas, India

Harking back to India’s historic past, the Oberoi Udaivilas by Lake Pichola in Udaipur brings visitors Rajasthan-inspired design and modern hospitality. The attention to detail here is said to be exceptional. For example, your hosts will offer you a lazy and luxurious view of the landscape via a shikara boat ride, with wine and other refreshment.

3. Laucala Island, Fiji

Luxury hotels provide all manner of ways of getting from A to B. Yet guests who are enjoying the Laucala Island resort may want to climb aboard a submarine as part of their head-swimmingly immersive experience. If you’re claustrophobic, you might want to give the trip a miss, but everyone else will surely love the novelty of personal underwater transportation.

4. Giraffe Manor, Kenya 

Situated in 12 acres of stunning Nairobi-based scenery, Giraffe Manor was built in 1932. According to owners The Safari Collection, it is styled after a Scottish hunting lodge. Your stay includes interaction with the resident Rothschild’s giraffes. They arrived a few decades later, and seem to always be hungry. In fact, guests are encouraged to feed them when they stick their heads through the window! 

5. Rosewood Villa Magna, Spain

Central Madrid is where you’ll find this refurbished high-end hotel, which took the name Rosewood Villa Magna in 2021. It’s the perfect place to rest your head. In fact, the hotel even offers a pillow menu, so you can rest in absolute comfort. Plus, if your shoes need a spruce-up, then a shoeshine service can get your footwear looking its best again in no time.

6. Taj Mahal Palace, India 

India’s largest city, Mumbai, is also the location for this suitably swanky hotel on the harbor. Featuring 285 rooms and suites, it offers accommodation at the “Gateway of India”, where you’ll witness stunning views that have been enjoyed by the great and good. Open since 1903 the Taj Mahal Palace blends old-world charm with a vibrant, palatial atmosphere. 

7. Four Seasons, USA

Four Seasons offers this enviable location at the Surf Club in Miami, Florida. Luxurious cabanas await those who want to experience the rich history of the place, which has stood since 1930. Sinatra is the type of celebrity you might expect to have stayed here, but how about Winston Churchill? You can check in and truly live like a king — or at least a prime minister.

8. The Connaught, U.K.

Mayfair in London has a reputation for epitomizing the height of luxury: in the British version of Monopoly, it’s the most expensive property on the board. The iconic destination of the Connaught has a reputation for old-school glamor, with cigar collections ready to peruse and even your own butler for that personal and indulgent touch.

9. Thompson Nashville, USA

Definitely one for music-lovers, this hotspot offers boutique style-living. Records are available from Jack White’s own label, adding to the sense that you’re not just in a hotel but a cultural hub. If you like to make music rather than purchase it, then guitar lessons provide a creative outlet while you people watch for any celebrities who might check in.

10. The Tasman, Australia

The Tasman is in the city of Hobart, south-east Tasmania; architecturally it boasts no fewer than three styles for guests to gawp at — Georgian, Art Deco and Contemporary, perhaps reflecting the three historic buildings it occupies. Among the visual treats are harbor and panoramic views from a range of suites. Plus, bespoke furnishings make your stay a little more personalized.

11. Athenee Hotel, Thailand

For sheer luxury, it doesn’t get much better than a hotel built on the site of a former royal residence. The Kandhavas Palace in Bangkok was the home of the late Princess Valaya Alongkorn. Magazine Spa Business noted that the “transformation includes a newly redesigned city lagoon-style swimming pool area for leisure and relaxation”, with the rooftop pool a crowning glory.

12. Four Seasons, Dubai

The name “Four Seasons” has long-standing connections with high-quality accommodation. Combine that with the wealthy destination of Dubai and you’re bound to have a luxurious time. One refreshing detail here is a drink inspired by legendary artist Vincent Van Gogh. Part of the MINA Brasserie fine-dining experience, the cocktail range takes its cue from Van Gogh, Vermeer and other notable artists.

13. Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness, Peru

Said to be on the road to Machu Picchu, the emphasis at the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness in the town of Urubamba is firmly on your wellbeing. So, personal comfort is probably guaranteed, but what about luxury? Alongside the indulgent wellness treatments, you can enjoy spectacular visual touches at this historic hacienda, from a pyramid made of orchids to hummingbirds in the garden.

14. Unaid Bhawan Palace, India

The Unaid Bhawan Palace is situated in Jodhpur, and was completed in 1943 after a decade-plus of construction. Rooted in Rajasthan heritage, the hotel transports you back to another era, while also delivering modern standards of luxury. You’re strongly encouraged to allow attention to be lavished on you. How does a milk bath sound for pure decadence?

15. Babylonstoren, South Africa 

Luxury hotels and farms don’t seem a natural combination, but this is exactly what makes Babylonstoren so distinctive. There’s a “Garden of Eden” feel to this exotic getaway in the Cape Fold Belt area of Simonsberg, the Western Cape. To really appreciate the great outdoors, why not accompany the gardeners for their morning harvest? They’re gathering the fresh ingredients you’ll be eating for breakfast.

16. Hotel de Crillon, France 

If the heated floors and mirrors with a TV inside don’t say luxury, then how about the design of the Hotel de Crillon, situated in the unmistakable City of Love. No less an aesthetic genius than Karl Lagerfeld has lent his expertise in arranging these Parisian suites. While he hasn’t done this for you personally as such, you can’t help but feel a little privileged.

17. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, France 

This building started out as a 19th-century mansion on the French Riviera. Come the 1880s, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc first took on the role it still has today. If you really want to capture the essence of the good life, then why not avail yourself of the opportunity to arrive by boat, movie-star style?

18. Nobu Hotel, U.K.

If it’s cutting edge you’re looking for in a luxury hotel, then this might float your boat. The selling points with the Nobu, part-owned by none other than Robert De Niro, are its Japanese stylings and simplicity. You can experience calm and comfort whilst looking out over a bustling financial hub. The world-class food and east London cultural vibe are also a treat for guests.

19. JW Marriott, USA

You expect good food when you stay at a luxury hotel, but for extra swankiness a “Billionaire’s Potato” might hit the spot and then some. It’s served at Dean’s Italian Steakhouse, part of the JW Marriott in Austin, which Texas Monthly magazine describes as “loaded with creamy Taleggio, nutty Fontina, and shavings of black truffle.” From field to fork — with a major price tag along the way, we’re thinking.

20. The Driskill, USA

The Driskill is an Austin hotspot that features some fascinating attention to detail. Many hotels like to showcase their heritage, but this Texan haunt seems to take things to another level. The expression “lights out” has never seemed so dramatic, thanks to the lamps being fashioned from old Civil War guns. Rumor has it you might even run into the ghost of Colonel Driskill himself.

21. Ashford Castle, Ireland

It makes sense that this Irish castle in County Mayo offers arguably the ultimate in accommodation on the Emerald Isle. Rightly proud of its status as a Forbes five-star hotel, it was formerly occupied by the Guinness family. Its staff are described as “characters”, making the approach to guests a little different. You can also stay in the famous Ronald Reagan suite.

22. Hotel De L’Europe, Netherlands

The beautiful and exciting city of Amsterdam plays host to the Hotel De L’Europe, which has stood since the late 19th century. Taking pride in reflecting the surrounding culture and craftsmanship, some packages offer guests the creative and inspired opportunity to fashion their own fragrance. Take a whiff wherever you are, and you’re bound to be transported back to your time there.

23. Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas 

The architecture of this subtropical destination evokes both decadence and fantasy. It could almost have jumped out of a Disney movie! Focused on making the legend of Atlantis a reality, it has at its heart the planet’s biggest marine habitat in the open air. You are also provided with your own butler, meaning you aren’t fishing around for satisfaction. 

24. The Plaza, USA

With no fewer than 102 luxury suites, the iconic location of the Plaza on Fifth Avenue is a go-to accommodation choice for those who can afford the high life. It reportedly offers numerous “refined experiences”, though the Royal Three-Bedroom Suite is a true attention-grabber. Boasting the largest square footage of any Big Apple luxury hotel, the Plaza is the epitome of New York City luxury living.  

25. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson bought Necker Island in the late 1970s. Did he keep it to himself? He didn’t, being obligated to build a resort there as part of the purchase deal. With 100 staff on the island, plus an impressive ratio of three staff members to one guest, your chances of being pampered above and beyond the call of duty are high.

26. Amilla Glamping, Maldives

What seems to set this location apart is its approach to luxury, whether you’re staying inside or — for want of a better expression — slumming it. “Glamping” isn’t something you associate with luxury hotels, yet the Amilla Fushi in the Maldives provides a bubble to stay in with air conditioning. You can also enjoy the unparalleled snorkeling and high-quality Aesop toiletries.

27. The Drake Oak Brook, USA

This luxury location in Chicago’s suburbs is infused with the heritage of its parent premises on Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Frank Sinatra reportedly stayed there, so if it’s good enough for “Old Blue Eyes”, it must be something special. Entertainment aside, you can get cozy outdoors in the hotel’s heated igloos, not to mention enjoy fine food in the famous Colonial Room restaurant. 

28. Conrad, Maldives

The philosophy behind the Conrad Maldives is that you’re immersed in an unspoiled archipelago in the Indian Ocean. An essential part of the experience is surely the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. Venture 5 meters below the surface and you’ll see a panorama of coral gardens. As long as you don’t mind watching what you eat, so to speak, it’s a lovely way to unwind. 

29. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, UAE

You’ve heard of a five-star hotel, but what about a seven-star one? The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is in Dubai, so as you can imagine the luxury level is very high. Among the wide range of facilities is a helipad, where you can touch down on top of the iconic structure in attention-grabbing style. The lobby also features a bespoke gold-and-crystal lighting installation.

30. Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi

Speaking of crystals, you’ll have a glittering time at the Emirates Palace. Located in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi, it features Swarovski chandeliers to the tune of 1,000 throughout the property. That no doubt matches the sparkle of the water — the hotel is on a private beach. It also has a private marina, so you can arrive by boat if you wish.

31. Palms Casino Resort, USA

Instantly recognizable, Palms is part of the Las Vegas skyline. In fact, with the Sky Villas — which stand at an impressive 8,500 square feet — you can’t miss it. This accommodation reportedly offers guests not only excellent views of the neon sprawl, but artwork by noted British artist Damien Hirst. Perfect if you fancy something edgy with your opulence.

32. Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand

While the focus here at the Kamalaya Koh Samui retreat is on wellness, that doesn’t mean you aren’t enjoying some luxury along the way. Guests report attentive staff and a wide array of treatments which create what appear to be a hassle-free and calm experience. “Samui” means “safe haven” in Malay, so you’re paying to truly get away from it all.

33. Ritz Carlton Wolfsburg, Germany

This hotel is part of the Volkswagen Autostadt theme park in Lower Saxony. Yes, an automobile activity center. Aside from being a car-lover’s dream, it isn’t the first place you think of for sheer luxury, perhaps. However, you can enjoy aspects such as the sunken outdoor pool, which runs parallel to the canal, not to mention a spa with lush organic products.

34. Four Seasons Private Island, Maldives

Situated on the exclusive island of Voavah, this Four Seasons establishment covers 5 acres and is a UNESCO site. Do you have to rub shoulders with other guests? No — the setting is apparently all for you, though you can invite a maximum of 21 friends along too. The website describes a “tropical Eden”, which you can navigate via your own 62-foot yacht!

35. Titanic Mardan Palace, Turkey

Luxury accommodation doesn’t always come with friendly staff, but the Titanic Mardan on the Turkish Riviera is well-reviewed in that respect by guests. You can take in the look and atmosphere of old Istanbul whilst enjoying the indulgence of a 5-acre lagoon-style pool. If you enjoy a show, the establishment puts on lavish productions including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

36. La Reserve, France

If you’re a wine connoisseur, then naturally you go to France, but where do you stay? Well, in Paris La Reserve offers luxury with an old- world flavor. Antique furniture is just part of its allure. Naturally, La Reserve stocks a reported 1,500-plus bottles of wine in its cellar. And on the less politically correct side of things, there’s a hidden room for smoking.

37. Grand Wailea, Hawaii

Luxury hotels with a connection to nature are sought-after: the Grand Wailea certainly fits the bill. It’s been on the island since 1991 though a major modern expansion program is reportedly underway. It’s the perfect way to explore Hawaii and learn about its history. And when you come back to the hotel, you can experience something billed as a “20-hands massage!”

38. Six Senses Zinghy Bay, Oman 

The south-east Arabian Peninsula is our next destination. And you can take the heat off by arriving at the Six Senses resort from the air. We don’t mean by private plane, by the way; we’re talking paragliders! Other means of transport are available of course, but the aspiring 007s amongst you might want to take advantage of this truly decadent opportunity.

39. Soneva Kiri, Thailand

Koh Kood island is the secluded destination for this hotel that offers big-screen thrills and spills with a unique dimension. No unwinding in your room with a movie here, though you’re presumably welcome to do so. The Soneva Kiri goes one better by presenting films in the great outdoors, surrounded by genuine jungle. Still, Apocalypse Now might not be on the list!

40. Sofitel Washington, USA 

Situated in Lafayette Square, not far from the White House, the Sofitel Washington DC not only has historic connections to the Marquis de Lafayette — as featured in the musical Hamilton — but also delivers a luxurious experience for its deep-pocketed guests. You can pamper yourself with Balmain bath products from Paris, plus enjoy top-quality music via a Bose sound system.