Despite the interruptions, some international hotels have continued to garner love from our wander-loving readers. No wonder, then, they have voted for the Best International Hotels at Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s India’s Best Awards 2021. Here’s the verdict.
Best international hotels for Indians
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- Best New Hotel The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
- Best New Hotel - Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok
- Best Destination Spa Hotel - Ozen Reserve Bolifushi
- Best Business Hotel - Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre
- Best Business Hotel - Jumeirah Emirates Towers
- Best Destination Wedding Hotel - JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa
- Best Destination Wedding Hotel - InterContinental®️ Fujairah Resort
- Best Integrated Resort - Resorts World™ Sentosa Singapore
- Best Integrated Resort - The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel
- Best Luxury Hotel Chain - Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
- Best Luxury Hotel Chain - Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
- Best Hotel Loyalty Programme - ALL - Accor Live Limitless
- Best Hotel Loyalty Programme - Marriott Bonvoy
- Best Heritage Hotel - Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville
- Best Heritage Hotel - The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
- Best Wellness Retreat - Santani Wellness Resort & Spa
- Best Wellness Retreat - Kamalaya Koh Samui
Set against an ethereal backdrop of the blue ocean, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, is an amalgamation of luxury and modern minimalism. An all-villa resort spread across three islands, it opened its doors this year, offering rooms that feature sundecks, infinity pools, and wall-to-wall glass doors with stunning views of the ocean. Indulge in gastronomical delights at one of the five on-site restaurants and bars, or visit the nearby Fari Marina Village for luxury shopping from renowned designers and workshops on local art and culture. Don’t forget to try the local version of Afternoon Tea at the Eau Bar. Your Aris Meeha (personal butler) will make sure your holiday experience is tailored to your needs.
Located in a gorgeous green oasis in the heart of Bangkok, Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok is perfect for an enriching staycation. Standing tall with 40 floors and 362 luxurious rooms, the property offers a range of pet-friendly services and amenities as well. Swathed in handcrafted Thai textiles and modern furnishing, its delightful interiors are the only things that can keep you from exploring the city, as its location in the city centre means all of Bangkok’s top attractions are a stone’s throw away. Enjoy a vast selection of delicacies and inventive drinks at the resort’s four distinct dining venues, with CRAFT being a crowd favourite for its delicious brews.
Situated in a pristine lagoon in the South Malé Atoll, this uber-luxurious private island resort offers everything a wellness-focussed vacation calls for. Surrounded by a natural reef, the all-inclusive resort has spacious villas crafted with timber and marble, with fun touches such as slides that end up in the turquoise lagoon. Soothe your soul at the resort’s premium spa complex, ELE | NA Elements of Nature, where signature therapies incorporate the five natural elements—wind, water, fire, earth, and wood—in overwater and garden treatment rooms. The resort also offers naturopathy, yoga, guided meditation, sound healing, and other alternative healing treatments. It is set to host specialised visiting wellness practitioners through next year.
Combine business and pleasure at this boutique-style hotel set in the Dubai International Financial Centre. Each of its 106 rooms features a curved sofa and raised coffee table, so you can work or lounge in privacy. The Monogram, a hyper-flexible meeting room with its own kitchen, can be converted to suit board meetings, lectures, or informal chats. Take a break from work with a drive through the desert, a yacht journey around Dubai, or a group fitness class. Unwind at the end of the day with a finely curated menu of drinks and cigars.
Close to both the Dubai World Trade Centre and the Dubai International Financial Centre, Jumeirah Emirates Towers has sophisticated business suites, a hub equipped with cutting-edge technology, and an atrium that’s one of Dubai’s most popular business spots. One of the hotel’s 56 floors has been designed for, and dedicated to, women executives, and offers exclusive amenities for them. Host stunning events at the Terrace Between the Towers, an outdoor event space with panoramic views of the city that can be customised for everything from intimate dinners to cocktail receptions and product launches.
Once a 19th-century French University, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa is a luxurious beachfront resort today. Set along the beautiful shoreline of Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island, the resort has multiple venues for the perfect wedding. These include Khem beach, where you can hold a private ceremony, and an elegant ballroom for those who prefer an indoor event. Host a rehearsal dinner at one of the chic restaurants, like Pink Pearl—a restored oceanfront mansion that serves French cuisine and wine. The resort also offers online wedding planning tools to make your job easier.
Many of our readers love the idea of tying the knot against the mesmerising backdrop of the Hajar mountains, surrounded by the Al Aqah Beach, where InterContinental® Fujairah Resort is located. One can host lavish celebrations at one of the resort’s five event venues, which include grand ballrooms, lush lawns, and a private beach. The resort’s exclusive Insider Collection allows you to organise unique experiences for your guests with the knowledge of the locals, and organise events in locations that are away from the resort and throngs of tourists.
World-class attractions, luxurious hotels, and restaurants led by celebrity chefs— Resorts World™ Sentosa Singapore has everything you want in a holiday. Hop on one of the movie-themed rides at Universal Studios Singapore, gaze at over 1,000 species of marine life at S.E.A. Aquarium™, or take puzzling pictures of yourself at Trick Eye Museum. The integrated resort leaves you spoilt for choice with Beach Villas™, TreeTop Lofts™, Ocean Suites, and much more. A range of dining options such as table65, the Cantonese Feng Shui Inn, and the Ocean Restaurant—Southeast Asia’s first underwater aquarium dining experience—keep your palate satiated, while indulgent retail stores delight even the most discerning customers.
Step into Hong Kong’s own version of Italy at Macao’s first integrated resort, The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel. It offers 3,000 suites designed with modern Italian elements, inspired by Venice, with even the smallest suite being bigger than the average Hong Kong apartment. Numerous restaurants and shops line the streets around the property in a fashion reminiscent of the ancient city of Venice, complete with three canals featuring gondola rides. Take in thrilling performances by street artists—some posing as statues for hours on end, others precariously balancing on thin beams—or partake in a local version of the Venetian Carnival complete with elaborate costumes and masks.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts started in 1979, with the renovation of a historic mansion in Texas and its transformation into an acclaimed hotel and restaurant named The Mansion on Turtle Creek. The success of this project inspired a chain of hotels and resorts, built in residential style with the aim of creating a unique ambience in conjunction with the location, culture, and history of each property—under the group’s Sense of Place® Philosophy. Today, the group boasts a collection of 26 distinctive hotels and resorts in 15 countries. Each hotel also features inventive dining experiences, lauded around the world.
Synonymous with luxury, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is a name recognised internationally. It includes over 1,000 hotels in 69 countries across six continents. Whether you want to plan a skiing holiday in the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, relax on a beach in Vietnam, or catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights during the aurora borealis season in Iceland, Hyatt has a hotel for you. They have fittingly been chosen by our readers from all over the world.
With an impressive portfolio of over 5,200 properties and 10,000 F&B venues in 110 countries, Accor is regarded as one of the world’s leading hospitality groups. It keeps its patrons happy with its dynamic lifestyle loyalty programme, ALL – Accor Live Limitless. The programme offers a fully integrated global platform, combining bookings, rewards, services, and experiences across 34 brands and 3,960 properties, ranging from luxury to budget-friendly and resorts to homestays. Be it work or leisure, ALL has something rewarding for every trip you take.
Offering benefits in over 30 top-of-the-line hotel brands, Marriott Bonvoy is Marriott International’s loyalty programme. While membership is free, you earn elevated member statuses according to the number of nights stayed. A basic membership can earn you complimentary in-room internet access and exclusive rates, while a Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite membership gets you late checkouts, room upgrades, and complimentary breakfasts in lavish hotel brands such as The Ritz-Carlton and Sheraton.
History comes alive at Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, which was commissioned by King Alfonso XIII to house international dignitaries during the 1929 Barcelona Exhibition. Located in the historic quarter of Santa Cruz, next to Reales Alcázares and the Seville Cathedral, the hotel holds a lot of cultural importance, and its Moorish detailing and architecture offer a fine specimen of native Andalusian design. The hotel’s history is also infused in its exquisitely decorated suites, such as the Reales Alcázares Suite, inspired by the 14th-century romance of King Pedro and Maria de Padilla, and the Royal Suite, which is home to unique artwork.
A neoclassical landmark built in 1928, The Fullerton Building was declared a national monument in 2015, and was once home to the General Post Office, Exchange Room, Exchange Reference Library, and the Singapore Club. Today, it is a beautiful heritage hotel with 399 rooms. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has a unique Heritage Room, which embodies this history, and it organises a Fullerton Monument Tour, where you can delve into the past avatars of the building that has witnessed the evolution of Singapore from a colony to a metropolis.
Built with the belief that human beings heal and thrive when surrounded by nature, Santani Wellness Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka features sustainable architecture and minimalist interiors, designed to preserve its green environment. Being located on a 48-acre former tea plantation, surrounded by a lush green forest, makes the resort both secluded and accessible. Sri Lanka’s first full-fledged destination spa resort believes its success relies on encouraging mindfulness that guests can carry home to continue a healthier lifestyle. It offers programmes that are fully customisable to suit your needs, with a combination of methods such as Ayurveda, yoga, spa treatments, and digital detox.
Situated on the tropical island of Koh Samui, Kamalaya blends ancient Eastern healing traditions with modern Western medical research. Whether you are battling insomnia, burnout, stress, or a lack of physical fitness, the resort offers both readymade programmes and customised ones. The treatments are accompanied by Kamalaya cuisine, prepared through gentle cooking methods to preserve nutritional value. At the heart of the resort is the Monk’s Cave, which has long been favoured by Buddhist monks as a spiritual retreat. Outside of the treatments, the resort’s breathtaking beachfront and poolside villas offer a rejuvenating stay.