Are you trying to decide where to go for your next trip? An accommodation has the potential to make or break your travel experience. In this countdown, I am excited to compile and rank my 10 favorite hotels from around the world.
Although I have traveled to every country, I of course have not stayed at every hotel and for this list am only considering properties I have stayed at. These choices are not necessarily based on price or luxury, but instead on my overall experience and how strongly I would recommend them to others. Considering factors were things like location, staff, uniqueness and generally how memorable of an experience it offered.
The below entries are a personal opinion based on my experience. I did not receive financial compensation from any of the properties or individuals mentioned in the countdown. Unless noted, all of the displayed photos were taken with my iPhone.
Let me know what you think!
10.) Maqueda Lodge | Kruger Park, South Africa
Maqueda Lodge is a family-owned boutique hotel located in the heart of the African bush near an entrance gate to the world-famous Kruger National Park. The property only has 12 rooms (including a “tree house” where my two sisters slept) which provides a relaxing atmosphere for guests. If you are interested, contact Francois.
9.) Excellence Playa Mujeres | Cancun, Mexico
Excellence Playa Mujeres is an all-inclusive adults-only resort located north of Cancun. A friend of mine got married here and several other friends have chosen it as their honeymoon destination. If traveling from the United States, Cancun is one of the most accessible tropical destinations.
8.) The Cliff | Negril, Jamaica
The Cliff is routinely voted one of the best luxury hotels in the Caribbean. The name stems from its water-front cliffs, something I found to be a unique and fun variation from a traditional beach. When in Negril, be sure to check out Rick’s Café and also consider taking a day trip to Mayfield Falls.
7.) Zovu Elephant Lodge | Kasiki, Namibia
My sister and I enjoyed staying two nights at this lodge. The accommodation sits on the banks of the Chobe River overlooking the national park. All stays include evening river safaris, some of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had. I suggest contacting Peter and booking a two or three-day all-inclusive package. The below pictures are not mine – they are from the internet.
6.) The Stones | Bali, Indonesia
On an island flooded with tourists and accommodations, The Stones has emerged as my favorite Bali hotel. It is a Marriott Autograph Collection property located just a few steps from Kuta Beach. The Balinese ambience inside the pool oasis area in the evening is as relaxing of an atmosphere as I’ve experienced anywhere.
5.) Marriott Resort Momi Bay | Nadi, Fiji
The Momi Bay Resort is a comfortable Marriott property suitable for couples, singles and families. Every service, from room quality to the staff, was top notch and I highly recommend making the 45-minute drive south from Nadi town to stay here. I was unfortunately not able to score an over-the-water room – hopefully next time!
4.) Hôtel Hermitage | Monaco
Monaco’s Hôtel Hermitage is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Like virtually everything in Monaco, it isn’t cheap, however, staying here provides free entry to the Casino Monte Carlo as well as complimentary access to a number of amenities at other hotels and clubs throughout the microstate, making the cost slightly more reasonable.
3.) Solaire Resort | Manila, Philippines
I’ve stayed at Solaire multiple times while on work trips to the Philippines and each experience has been as overwhelmingly positive as the last. Manila and its traffic can be hectic making the comfort of Solaire particularly important and enjoyable. Not to mention, Filipinos could teach the PhD course on hospitality.
2.) Azawad Desert Camp | Merzouga, Morocco
My road trip across Morocco is one of my all-time best travel experiences – an African adventure that was highlighted by two nights in the Sahara Desert at the Azawad Desert Camp. I never knew that “camping” could be this comfortable. When traveling to Morocco, most visitors only allow for one day/night in Merzouga, however, I suggest staying two in order to have more time for desert activities like camel riding, star gazing and exploring by ATV, all of which can be arranged by Azawad.
1.) Lagen Island Resort | El Nido, Philippines
My family and I spent Easter 2016 at Lagen and still talk about it today. It is one of the four El Nido Resorts located off the coast of Palawan. From the welcome song to the farewell boat ride, it’s hard to imagine a more enjoyable accommodation. Given that this Top 10 countdown is considering uniqueness, comfort and overall memorability, I’m not sure I’ve experienced anything better.
*Honorable mention* – “Piece of Heaven” Airbnb | Kolsstaðir, Iceland
I didn’t include this place in the countdown because it’s not a hotel, but I wouldn’t be able to write a post talking about the best places I’ve stayed without mentioning the “Slice of Heaven” Airbnb in Kolsstaðir, Iceland. The incredibly positive online reviews of this cottage are entirely legit culminating it as a highlight of my Iceland road trip and an accommodation that I can’t recommend enough.
What do you think about my choices? Have you stayed at any of them?