The ‘best of the best’ – Belmond, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons take the podium positions as the world’s best luxury hotel brands

We all enjoy our comforts when travelling, and LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence provides an insight into the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to accommodation offerings with its annual update of the luxury hotel market. This year, in its ‘improved’ analysis it is all change at the top as last year’s top three luxury brands – Aman, Oetker Collection and Six Senses – are replaced in the podium positions.

The ‘improved’ analysis is from an amendment to LTI’s assessment process – a rigorously defined algorithm that measures the performance and values of luxury hotel brands and now encompasses a further five touch points, bring the total number up from 118 to 123.

These touch points relate to overall brand performance, rather than the performance of individual properties. “It’s all about a brand’s ability to deliver: its passion, commitment, ethos and values, as well as the quality of its management and staff,” according to LTI. “Continuing investment and how well it is executed is also a major factor, particularly in regard to new properties and the refurbishment of existing ones,” it adds.

The change means that the brands are now ranked with a percentage score rather than the previous total, a ranking topped by Belmond with a score of 83.1%. This marks a notable rise for the brand, up from fourth position last year when it scored 3399, which translates into 78.7%. For Belmond, the story began in 1976, when we received the keys to the legendary Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice. This year, that journey continued with Belmond joining LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in Apr-2019, reinforcing its place among the international leaders in luxury.

It was followed in second place in the LTI ranking by Mandarin Oriental, which like the Belmond rose three places from last year. The new algorithm provided a score of 81.4%, up from what would have  been a score of 78.2% in 2018. Another big riser, Four Seasons, which moved up from seventh last year, was ranked third with a score of 79.4%, up from what would have been a score of 75.6% last year.

Last year’s top two just miss out on the podium positions and are ranked fourth and fifth. Aman, in fourth, scored 78.9% this year, down from the equivalent of 83.0% last year, while Oetker Collection, in fifth, scored 78.6%, down from 80.1% last year. The rest of the top ten comprised Auberge, which remained in sixth, with a score of 76.8%; Rosewood in seventh, up from eleventh last year, with a score of 76.1%, Six Senses in eighth, the biggest faller, with a score of 74.3%; St Regis in ninth with a score of 73.1% and COMO in tenth, scoring 71.4% and the last big brand to score over 70%.

Other brands that rated sufficiently to be monitored throughout the year by LTI comprised (in alphabetical order) Alila, Anantara, Banyan Tree, Dorchester Collection, Fairmont, Firmdale, Jumeirah, Oberoi, Park Hyatt, One&Only, Peninsula, Raffles, Ritz Carlton, Rocco Forte, Shangri-La, Soho House and The Luxury Collection.

Brands that currently have less than ten properties (LTI’s minimum requirement) but still rate highly when applying its algorithm were (in alphabetical order) – Bulgari, Capella, Cheval Blanc, Maybourne, Montage and Soneva.

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