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  • Writer's pictureNina Price

25 5 star hotels around the world


It’s certainly not all five stars for me. I have spent many trips, especially younger budgeting and staying where I could afford. I've slept in my car, flown or taken a bus, train overnight to save on costs and stayed in some quite hideous places, all for the sake of travel. It’s what we do, isn't it?

I’m happy in a good old Premier inn if the location and costs right


When I've been able to afford a nice holiday I have always found myself staying in places that are a bit more comfortable and have a few more amenities than my backpacking days, I appreciate these places so much more now.

 I’m open to most places now, but if on a holiday, versus traveling I seem to lean towards boutique hotels, places that offer experiences or have a bit of a chilled out vibe, rather than a big hotel with 12 restaurants and 6 pools and 4,000 people.


There are some amazing five star places I have stayed in across the world. Something to note though is that 5 stars in one country doesn't necessarily mean 5 stars in another. For example in Asia you will get a lot more value for money then possibly some places in Europe or the Maldives. It really does depend where you travel, where you want to stay and what budget you have. Luxury five star bargains can be found in a lot of different countries, you just know where to look.


Here’s my personal top 25


Morocco

Marakesh -  El Fenn - Luxury and authenticity combine at El Fenn. A boutique hotel with 41 individually styled rooms and suites, three swimming pools, a 1,300 square meter roof terrace, spa, two cocktail bars, two restaurants, a spa and shop, the perfect base for discovering the beauty of Marrakech. A great place to stay, close to the main square, yet in its own tranquil world. The roof terrace is simply stunning.


Morocco

Atlas Mountains Kasbah Tamadot - Only an hour away from Marrakech this stunning 5 star resort is tucked away in the Atlas mountains. This 29-bedroom hotel is perched at the top of a valley with views up to Mount Toubkal and over to some of the traditional Berber villages that dot the region. Owned by Sir Richard Branson and run with only local people, this hotel is the ultimate 5 star experience. This really is a hidden gem



UK - London

The Ritz A household legend, everyone knows about the Ritz and to this day it still holds its head up high with true British style. It’s London’s most iconic hotel. A five star haven on Piccadilly that is famous the world over for its historic elegance, impeccable service, impressive suites, and legendary Afternoon Tea.


Tenerife

 Set away from the usual busier places in Tenerife and picture your personal private pool in your own, secluded luxury villa in the sun. Now add sub-tropical gardens and sensational ocean views, all embellished with the dining and spa services of an intimate 5 Star Grand Luxury Hotel. These villas are grand and come beautifully decorated with everything you need.




Thailand - Koh Samui

Sala Samui On the lovely island of Koh Samui this hotel is tucked away on the north east of the island. The hotel offers rooms with their own private rooms and outdoor rain showers which make it a lovely unique place to stay. I stayed here for my 40th birthday and would highly recommend it.




Thailand - Koh Samui

 Nikki Beach - Situated on the pristine and quiet beach of Lipa Noi, Nikki beach is a relaxing tropical oasis which has both villas and rooms nestled around beautiful palm trees and gardens. Its large pool hosts the famous Nikki beach brunch on a Sunday with plenty of food, drinks, music and chilled out vibes. Sunsets are to die for on this side of the island.



Bahamas

The Cove Atlantis Nestled between two private beaches, this retreat is made for anyone looking to indulge in Bahamian splendor. The Cove is an elegant hotel perfect for couples seeking a romantic getaway all the way to families in need of a relaxing oasis. This is a go to place where my parents like to go and enjoy the beautiful beach and range of restaurants the hotel has to offer


Edinburgh

The Witchery. Who would have thought that a small hotel with 9 rooms in Edinburgh would be celebrated as one of the seven wonders of the hotel world by Cosmopolitan magazine. This quirky gothic hotel is overdressed in velvet and draped materials that shouts out over the top gothic. Each room is different and has a decadence that’s unique, The Library, The Sanctuary and The Turret to name but a few all have  picnic style breakfast to enjoy each morning in your room. With the award winning restaurant adjoining the hotel, it really the place to stay in Edinburgh


Singapore

Marina Bay sands An old one but a classic, the architecture of the hotel is amazing, it has everything you need, shops, restaurants, cool rooms where you wake up to the spectacular views of Singapore or the gardens and of course you can swim in the world's largest rooftop infinity pool. Anywhere when the curtains open when you enter the room gets a thumbs up from me.



UK - Dartmoor

Gidleigh Park Set majestically on the bubbling upper reaches of the River Teign, Gidleigh Park is part of the AA Hotel Group of the Year 2017-18 and enjoys an exquisite location on the very edge of Dartmoor National Park. Set within 107 acres of grounds you have a five star experience from the hotels award winning restaurant to the luxury bedrooms and bathrooms that have a true sense of indulgence


Venice

Hotel Danieli Facing the Venetian lagoon and just steps from Piazza San Marco, Hotel Danieli, Venice is a 5-star property, with elegant and spacious accommodations, while the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli rooftop offers spectacular views of the beautiful landmarks of Venice. The historic hotel showcases majestic Venetian architecture that dates back as far as the 14th Century




Monte Carlo

Hermitage hotel - This modern and luxurious hotel in the heart of Monaco oozes elegance, calm and understated refinement. With the Michelin-starred restaurant, Yannick Alléno à l'Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and the amazing spa Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, this is the ideal hotel for experiencing supreme comfort and serenity in Monaco. Take in the sweeping view from the terrace: the port, Monaco and the rock are simply magnificent. Not been to this hotel myself but comes highly recommended



Australia - Blue Mountains

Hydro Majestic Escape to the iconic Hydro Majestic in the Blue Mountains and discover the natural beauty of the World Heritage –listed Blue Mountains National Park in NSW.

Escape to the world famous Blue Mountains and take a journey through time to re-discover the elegance that is The Hydro Majestic. Just 1 hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Sydney CBD, The Hydro Majestic is the iconic historical hotel stretching 1.1km along the escarpment edge of the spectacular World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains overlooking the picturesque Megalong Valley. 


Jamaica

Golden Eye Is not an ordinary hotel, but a collection of private villas, cottages and beach huts. Each is set amid tropical gardens, private beaches and secluded coves—a Jamaica home away from home. GoldenEye is a place. A mindset. A far-reaching myth in the collective imagination. The ultimate hotel and place to relax.



South Africa

Kwandwe Safari reserve The fist 5 star place I think I ever stayed and wow what an impression it made. In the heart of South Africa’s East cape lies this private game reserve with 22,000 hectares of pristine wilderness. With only 26 rooms spread across the euphorbia-studded landscape, Kwandwe has one of the highest land-to-guest ratios in South Africa. With both intimate, tranquil lodges and exclusive-use villas, there’s an option to suit families, couples, groups of friends and solo travelers. Think of your very own private safari every day, this place really is amazing.


Dubai the Palm

Zabeel Saray  This Ottoman style hotel is worthy of prime position on the famous Palm in Dubai. A low rise hotel that just oozes opulence with its stunning rooms, large swimming pools and several restaurants. A real grown up treat for those who want to relax and get away from the instagram big hotels in Dubai



Finland 

Iso Syoto Think wintry scenes, Northern lights and winter activities all thrown into one. This hotel has it all. You can ski straight from your hotel down to a bar and carry on along the various slopes. Rooms are log cabins with mini saunas which make this stay even more magical. Go snowshoeing, husky riding, cross country skiing ice fishing or just relax watching the northern lights. A truly magical hotel


Florence

Palazzo Lorenzo My most recent trip was for a 3 night break to Florence. European cities can be very expensive but this hotel was very reasonably priced. It was about a 10 min walk into Florence so benefited from being tucked away, quiet and away from the crowds. Think modern room, a lovely continental breakfast and a courtyard to sit and enjoy a coffee in the sun. A real Tuscan place.


Abu Dhabi

Qasr Al Sarab I have to confess that this is one place I have not stayed but I know lots that have and they love this place. it's picture-perfect, like a sprawling sultan's palace set against the dunes of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter desert. Here guests come to escape the troubles of the daily grind with a succession of exceptional experiences, from hammam rituals to tranquil views of enveloping dunes to hot air balloon and camel rides that culminate in Bedouin camp feasts


Maldives

OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, the first OZEN resort, a favourite amongst Maldives 5 star resorts, is a tranquil palm-painted oasis of elegance set in the exotic turquoise hues of South Malé Atoll. Dotted with 94 gracefully designed villas and one exclusive Residence, the resort offers inspiring experiences and a vibrant island lifestyle. All the elements of an uber-luxe holiday, from underwater dining at M6m to exhilarating ocean excursions, combine to form an idyllic Maldives stay. Again, this is another I have not stayed in but know several people who have stayed here and loved it.




Vietnam

Chau doc Mekong I wouldn’t say 5 star but for location this hotel gets a 10 all the way. Based on the mighty Mekong this hotel is a great way to wind down whilst watching the many boats go by. It’s a great base for the surrounding area and gateway into Vietnam.


Vietnam - Hoi An

Lantana Hoi An in itself is quite the place to visit, food, shops, beaches, lantern festivals and more. The Lantana boutique hotel is in the center of the town, but just far enough away from the hustle and bustle. All the rooms are beautifully decorated with the usual Vietnamese charm and there’s a courtyard at the front where you can have a drink and watch the word go by. The hotel also offers free bikes to guests to explore the town


Oman

Shangri la Oman situated on the sea with its own private beach this hotel's location is stunning. With mountains all around it, it’s the perfect place to relax and really feel the traditional Oman way of life. Opulent bedrooms, and food to die for, this hotel tick’s every box. Hospitality was out of this world. I also need to add in another hotel I have not stayed in but will do one day. Six senses Oman , this is the ultimate in fancy pants hotels where you either arrive by road, boat or by paragliding on to its beach. James Bond eat your heart out


Las Vegas

Wynn if Vegas and large hotels are your thing then I would recommend Wynn’s. It’s further down the strip but still near some good attractions. It’s got the standard multiple restaurants but has a great pool that stays in the sun all day, whereas a lot of other hotels lose it as they are overshadowed by other hotels.




RV Van life

Road bear If you simply don’t want a hotel then I would highly recommend if you are going to the US then rent an RV. We had 3 months driving round from LA to Las Vegas through different states and national parks. We were free to roam where we wanted and it was a lovely way to see America.


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