Forbes Travel Guide’s inaugural Verified List reveals the world’s most luxurious hotels in 17 countries, based on data collected by their incognito inspectors. Spanning from Morocco to Bali, these are the top performers in the standards that reflect detailed attention to the level of sumptuous comfort, as well as luxurious choices and conveniences afforded to guests. Here we present some of the best hotels according to Forbes outside the USA and Europe.
Commissioned by the King of Morocco with the aim to capture the best of the country’s architecture and visual culture, Royal Mansour Marrakech is nothing short of immaculate. With 80 percent of the hotel crafted by hand, each room and riad (private residence — you get your own home here, not merely a room or suite) is unique in its own way.
Designed to host heads of state and visiting royalty, the property is extravagant in the best way — think gold walls, onyx floors, mother-of-pearl details and carved cedar ceilings. Beneath your feet, a network of underground tunnels allows staff to discreetly move from one end of the complex to the other so that the VIPs can revel in a hushed, serene environment.
Due to its ideal location in the center of Marrakech, Royal Mansour provides a convenient home base from which to explore the city, or to arrange adventures a little further afoot.
Within the hotel is situated The Royal Mansour Marrakech Spa. A vision in white, the ethereal spa is surrounded by impressive arches and intricate patterns. Explore beyond the atrium and you’ll find two traditional Moroccan hammams, 18 treatment rooms, a spa boutique, a hair and barber salon, a nail studio, an indoor pool and a fitness center.
The building itself is a staggering 27,000-square-foot, three-story space that’s enclosed by landscaped gardens filled with paved walkways, water fountains and aromatic lemon and orange trees.It’s easy to while away your time in the stunning facilities, but you’ll want to book a treatment. The spa gives a great introduction to decadent Moroccan rituals.
Mexico’s Riviera Maya, stretching south from Cancun along the Yucatán’s Caribbean coast, is one of the world’s great vacation destinations. The area’s beautiful natural setting comes complete with excellent weather and gorgeous hotels, including Rosewood Mayakoba. It is one of four luxury resorts nestled within the 1,600-acre master-planned Mayakoba community, which has been dubbed “The Venice of Mexico” for its elaborate network of canals carved through limestone, linking its natural lagoons and mangrove forests.
Rosewood Mayakoba is composed entirely of villas and large freestanding luxury suites, all with private plunge pools and some with outdoor showers. And upon arrival, you are taken to your room by teak motor launches with direct access to private docks. What is most notable about Rosewood Mayakoba is its service, with an incredible and prescient staff who goes far above the call of duty to deliver a superlative guest experience.
As far as memorable first impressions go, The Mulia – Nusa Dua, Bali dazzles. After going through the grand entrance and past the magnificent Eternity Chapel surrounded by reflecting pools, the dramatic view of hills blanketed with more than a hundred elegant villas looks like a secret desert oasis.
The Mulia is the epitome of elegance and sophistication, as one would expect from a property whose name means “noble” in the Indonesian language. Located in the tropical haven of Bali and within 74 acres of land shared with sister properties Mulia Resort and Mulia Villas, the all-suite Mulia gives you access to four exquisite restaurants, five bars and six pools across the three resorts.
Add to that the ultra-luxurious accommodations and 24-hour butler service, and don’t be surprised if you want to spend the majority of your stay in Bali within the confines of this beachfront escape.
Contemporary Asian style and a stunning outdoor pool make Mandarin Oriental, Singapore stand out among the city’s Marina Bay hotels. The atrium-style lobby is impressive, allowing a soaring view to the top floor.
Take the pod-like glass elevators to the open corridors and the sophisticated guest rooms, where oriental influences and motifs complement the silk accents, streamlined furniture and views of the city, bay and ocean.
One of the best ways to take in the hotel’s skyline views is from the hotel’s pool, a modern oasis surrounded by private cabanas, which come with dimmer lighting, an iPod dock, Wi-Fi and an on-call button for refreshments.
After you work up an appetite doing laps in the lovely pool, head to the hotel’s ornate Cherry Garden restaurant, which serves authentic Cantonese cuisine, or Dolce Vita, which offers authentic Italian specialties with contemporary indoor or alfresco dining. No matter what you choose to do at the luxe hotel, from check-in to checkout, service is friendly and attentive.
Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort almost appears like an oasis in the middle of a desert, if only it weren’t overlooking the sparkling Sea of Cortez. But this hotel isn’t a mirage: It will send a private car to fetch you from the airport, and at checkout, you’ll receive a Las Ventanas keepsake — a hand-blown glass heart from the tree in the lobby.
The last of Los Cabos’ luxury hotels to reopen after 2014’s Hurricane Odile, everything about Las Vetnanas feels refreshed yet reassuringly the same.
The resort was rebuilt exactly as it had stood — even the gorgeous landscaping — at the request of owner Ty Warner. (Yes, of Beanie Baby fame). During the nearly year-long closure, the resort spent time on staff training, adding new programming and amenities that upped the luxury factor even further.
With the iconic white sail of its exterior billowing over Dubai’s coastline, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is the ultimate hallmark of bespoke decadence, even as the city around it constantly evolves into a dynamic, innovative and awe-inspiring modern marvel.
Burj Al Arab leaves no stone unturned to make you feel like royalty through customized services and facilities that you won’t find anywhere else — imagine arriving by helicopter and cruising the waters of the Arabian Gulf in a private yacht.
Home to 202 duplex suites, highly acclaimed dining venues, a soothing spa and a remarkable terrace complete with infinity pools overlooking the gulf, the Burj Al Arab promises a Dubai stay like no other.
At once family-friendly and romantic — the grounds and paths were planned in a curved design so you glimpse less people on your private escape — Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve is perhaps above all a haven for discerning nature lovers.
This is where high thread counts meet an evening chorus of coqui frogs, and where you can control your TV with your iPhone while watching a merry band of lizards dart around outside your room. Indulge in flame-grilled fare with a side of ocean views at brand-new signature restaurant COA, and then hit the 11 miles of nature trails that circle the resort. Dorado Beach is the best of both worlds.
With just 60 guest rooms, this Bali village resort is small by Four Seasons standards, which is exactly what makes Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan so appealing.
The public spaces are designed to feel intimate — restaurants that seat 30, a long, bi-level pool that follows the curve of the river, and two smaller spas rather than one large space. The resort’s grounds cover 18 verdant acres across hills that slope down to the Ayung River.
As you take a walk or a ride in one of the resort’s electric carts, you’ll see eggplant, limes, garlic, chili peppers, lemongrass and assorted herbs growing, all of which are used in the hotel’s restaurants.