United States of America home to almost half of the world’s most luxurious hotels, but Macau leads destination ranking

The United States of America (USA) is home to almost half of the hotels identified in the Forbes Travel Guide’s World’s Most Luxurious Hotels best of list. This honorary recognition was awarded to 58 hotels across 17 countries, including 25 properties across the USA with Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles among the city markets with more than one hotel to make the list.


  • The Forbes Travel Guide has released a list of the World’s Most Luxurious Hotels and World’s Most Luxurious Spas;
  • The honorary recognition has been awarded to  58 hotels across 17 countries and 30 spas in six countries – eight properties made both lists.
  • The ranking data was gathered by the company’s incognito inspectors, who stayed at the properties and evaluated them on up to 900 standards.
  • United States of America (USA) is by far the largest country market in the luxury ranking, while Macau was the standout destination.

The verified World’s Most Luxurious Hotels list and similar World’s Most Luxurious Spas list were compiled from data gathered by the company’s incognito inspectors, who stayed at the properties and evaluated them on up to 900 standards, used to determine annual the guide’s Star Ratings, which were announced in February.

In a time when so many properties claim to be luxurious, “the word has become ubiquitous,” explains Amanda Frasier, executive vice president, standards & ratings at the Forbes Travel Guide. She adds this new ranking gives guests “an objective, data-driven source” for making informed choices. “These illustrious properties have been thoroughly tested and verified to ensure that they deliver luxury at every turn,” she adds.

The World’s Most Luxurious Hotels list of 58 hotels consists of 52 Five-Star hotels and six Four-Star hotels. After USA, the top countries included China with eight hotels, and Indonesia, Italy and Mexico with three hotels each, being rated among the most luxurious.

While USA topped the country markets, the top individual destinations was Macau, with four hotels. Las Vegas, New York City and Bali followed with three hotels each, then Los Angeles/Beverly Hills, London, Hong Kong and Manila with two hotels apiece.

The brands that landed the most hotels on the list include the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group with seven; Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company with five; Melco Resorts with three; and MGM Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Park Hyatt, Rocco Forte Hotels, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Trump Hotel Collection and Wynn Resorts with two apiece.

The list represents the top performers for standards related to ‘Elements of Luxury’ in Forbes Travel Guide inspections for 2018 — the top 6% of all Star Rated hotels globally. ‘Elements of Luxury’ standards reflect detailed attention to the level of sumptuous comfort, as well as luxurious choices and conveniences provided to the guest.

This includes considerations such as:

  • The hotel surroundings are distinctive and convey a sense of place, including exceptional attention to interior design and landscaping;
  • The hotel provides thoughtful touches throughout the guest experience, such as fresh flowers in the guest room, a noteworthy or thoughtful element at evening turndown service, chilled towels and fresh fruit in the fitness centre, etc;
  • The rooms are exceptionally comfortable, with top-of-the-line bed linens and pillows, luxurious bath amenities, and high-quality robes, slippers and towels;
  • The guests’ belongings are handled thoughtfully and with care;
  • There is a notable variety and distinctive presentation of food and beverages in the bar, hotel dining and room service. All serviceware, napkins and coasters are of exceptional quality.

Here is the full list: The World’s Most Luxurious Hotels