The Top Hotel Brands: World's Best 2019

By Sarah Bruning | Mar 9 2020

Image zoom Courtesy of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

To stand out in the increasingly crowded hospitality industry and earn travelers’ continued allegiance, hotel brands must maintain a consistently impeccable standard of service across all their locations. They must also continue to innovate and stay abreast of travelers’ needs and desires. The brands that manage to excel at this earn the trust (and, importantly, repeat business) of T+L’s readers, who show their appreciation each year through the World’s Best survey.

Every year, for the World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotel brands on their locations, rooms/facilities, food, service, and overall value.

Related: The World's Best Awards 2019

This year, T+L readers championed quite a few chains with strong regional concentrations. Known for their elegant whimsy, Kit Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels — a set of ten properties located in New York and London — earned the No. 17 spot, while Inkaterra — which has seven locations throughout Peru — leapt onto the list at No. 3. “Each property was unique and very beautiful,” wrote one reader of the sustainable travel brand. “The Cuzco hotel is very romantic with lots of history, and the Machu Picchu property is in a natural setting surrounded by wildlife.” No. 5, Tivoli Hotels & Resorts, which operates primarily in Portugal, stood out to T+L readers as being “excellent for both business and leisure.” Two India-based hotel brands — the No. 10 The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts, and No. 2 Oberoi Hotels & Resorts — each earned high praise for their opulence and personalized service.

Still, there’s something to be said for breadth, as large international hotel brands dominated the category. The “classic brand” and “legacy” of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, which occupies the No. 25 spot, inspire loyalty among T+L readers, and just as devoted are the self-proclaimed Amanjunkies — no doubt eagerly awaiting the chain’s 2020 arrival in New York City — who swear the No. 15 company delivers an “unparalleled experience.”

But as wellness tourism continues to boom, this year’s No. 1 — a repeat winner and a leader in innovative well-being initiatives for the whole family — should come as little surprise. Read on to find out who the reigning champ is and which other brands T+L readers honored.