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The World's Best Hotel Groups

The lobby of the Riviera Palm Springs in California

Top Hotel Companies

Celebrity chef restaurants, Frette linens, free high-speed wireless Internet and a goldfish on your bedside table for companionship. Sinful luxury that can break the bank, or straightforward comfort at level-headed prices. Whatever your travel needs — and wishes — you will find a hotel group to satisfy it on this list. To learn what some of the biggest players in the hotel business have to offer, read on:


Anantara Hotels
www.anantara.com
An exclusive boutique resort, hotel and spa group whose name means "without end" (as in no end to the luxury you will experience when staying at one of its properties), Anantara was founded in 2001. Its philosophy of cultural immersion can be found at its inaugural property in Hua Hin, Thailand, which is surrounded by a traditional village. Having spread throughout Thailand, including the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort featuring a training camp for rescued elephants and unique elephant experiences, the Anantara brand now boasts properties in Vietnam, Bali, the Maldives and the Middle East.

Destination Hotels & Resorts
www.destinationhotels.com
Destination Hotels & Resorts was founded in 1972 with its first property, The Gant in Aspen. Since then, it has become one of the industry's leaders in the management of upscale independent properties. Hotels and resorts now include Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Skamania Lodge in Portland, and the Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center in Westchester County, New York. An easy-to-use website allows you to choose properties by area of interest: golf, spa, family, etc. The company also offers a wide range of themed packages and dedicated assistance with meetings and conferences.

Dorchester Collection
www.dorchestercollection.com
The boutique Dorchester Collection boasts a small but rich selection of exclusive U.S. and European hotels, from London, Paris and Milan to Beverly Hills, Bel Air and New York. Many claim heritage status, and each has its own character unique to its history and setting. Every property has no less than two fine dining restaurants, including notable venues under the direction of Alain Ducasse. Signature suites are a highlight, with up to 5,000 square feet of space and guest lists that include celebrities, dignitaries and royalty. Combining an Old World attitude toward hospitality with the most up-to-date creature comforts, Dorchester Collection properties set a standard for the luxury hotel world.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
www.fairmont.com
With its signature resorts in Canada, and exclusive collection of (mostly) historic properties around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a top choice for those seeking a well-rounded luxury experience. On-site dining is top rated, and amenities often include golf, skiing and/or a signature Willow Stream spa. Those travelers with specific preferences should consider the free-of-charge President's Club. A profile allows any Fairmont property you stay at to access information about your needs and customize your room accordingly. You also get instant check-in and check-out, complimentary health club privileges and other niceties.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
www.fourseasons.com
Based in Canada, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its first hotel in 1960 and now operates luxury hotels, destination resorts, residence clubs and private residences in over thirty countries, primarily under the Four Seasons brand. (Properties also include some Regents and The Ritz-Carltons, and The Lodge at Koele). The group’s high profile locations, which cater to both upscale leisure and business travelers, are best known for their service, restaurants and spas. Four Seasons Residence Clubs combine fractional ownership with the services and amenities of a corresponding Four Seasons hotel or resort. Private Residences include estate homes, villas, townhouses and condominiums, complemented by hotel services and amenities, in vacation destinations such as Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Punta Mita, Mexico.

Hilton Hotels Corporation
www.hilton.com
Hilton Hotels Corporation develops, owns, manages or franchises hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties worldwide. Its portfolio includes many highly regarded hotel brands, as well as quality value brands such as Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels and Homewood Suites by Hilton. Its top-of-the-line The Waldorf=Astoria Collection includes New York's The Waldorf=Astoria, Hawaii's Grand Wailea Hotel & Spa and Phoenix's The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. Hilton HHonors members earn travel points toward hotel stays at more than 2,500 hotels, airline miles and other benefits.

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
www.hyatt.com
One of the world's most recognized hotel groups, Hyatt features nearly 500 hotels and resorts under a wide array of brands. Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency all cater to luxury travelers with amenities such as gourmet dining and full-service spas, while Hyatt Place and Hyatt House have been created to provide stylish budget and extended-stay getaways. The company's most distinctive offering, the boutique-inspired Andaz, welcomes high-end hipsters in some of the hottest cities around the globe, including London, Shanghai and Hollywood.

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
www.jumeirah.com
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts was founded in 1997 and has since become one of the most luxurious and innovative hotel groups in the world, with a world-class portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts, as well as residences, restaurants, retail stores, a spa and even a water park. Jumeirah’s destinations include Dubai, London, New York, Frankfurt and Shanghai, with plans to expand its constantly-growing portfolio of hotels and resorts.

Kimpton Hotels
www.kimptonhotels.com
This hotel group features chic hotels with hip restaurants in well-located and often historic buildings. But unlike his counterparts, such as Ian Schrager and Andre Balazs, hotelier Bill Kimpton wants guests to feel at home. His locations are for travelers who crave haute (or funky, or idiosyncratic) style, but who still appreciate value. Kimpton Hotels are also pioneers in the personalized service arena. Wine hours, dedicated yoga channels and pet-friendly amenities are among the complimentary perks. Kimpton specials are among the most creative in the industry.

Langham Hotels International
www.langhamhotels.com
Ever since The Langham London opened in 1865, their name has come to represent hotels that are the epitome of elegance in design, displaying a passion for innovation and genuine service. You can immediately sense these qualities in the style and the décor of each of the properties. Many of the comforts and luxuries found in their five-star hotels were pioneered by the first Langham and to this day they are dedicated to providing the same commitment to innovation in hospitality. Langham properties are located in Boston, Pasadena, Melbourne, Auckland and throughout Asia. Their staff display a mix of dignity and eagerness, presented with a natural and engaging friendliness.

The Leading Hotels of the World
www.lhw.com
Established in 1928 by a group of European hoteliers, The Leading Hotels of the World provides global distribution, reservations and luxury marketing support to more than 400 hotels and resorts, from offices in cities around the world. Hotels must apply to join, and complete a rigorous inspection process before being accepted. The advantage to travelers is the opportunity to browse a diversity of properties on a single website and then make reservations online. Leaders Club members enjoy room upgrades, a personal preference registry, welcome gifts and more.

Limited Edition by Virgin
www.limitededitionbyvirgin.com
Seeking the ultimate in exclusive? Look no further than this hotel group from Richard Branson, chairman and CEO of the Virgin Group. Branson hand selected the four properties in this collection: Necker Island, a private island resort in the Caribbean; Ulusaba, a private game reserve in South Africa; Sa Terra Rotja, a villa in Mallorca; and Kasbah Tamadot, a restored kasbah in Morocco. Along with singular style, extraordinary locations and beyond-the-norm experiences are emphasized.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
www.mandarinoriental.com
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group owns/operates some of the world's most celebrated lodgings, including the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and The Oriental, Bangkok. It began with its flagship Hong Kong property in 1963 and today is considered one of the top luxury hotel groups in the world, with established properties in Asia, the Americas and Europe, and more on the way. The hotels are well known for their tasteful style and discreet service, which can be sourced to the group's Asian origins. Upscale spas are among the notable facilities.

Morgans Hotel Group
www.morganshotelgroup.com
Formerly Ian Schrager Hotels, this intimate collection is comprised of some of the hippest hotels in the world. These properties set the bar for “see and be in the scene” accommodations, with hotels in New York, Miami Beach, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London. Included in the group are the legendary Clift hotel, which saw an overhaul by Schrager and Philippe Starck; the Hollywood haunt, Mondrian; and the white on white Delano. Expect whimsical furnishings, heightened dining experiences and plenty of celebs around the pools.

Orient-Express Hotels, Trains and Cruises
www.orient-express.com
From landmark luxury hotels, to classic rail journeys, to exotic sailings, Orient-Express is known for romantic and distinctive travel experiences---its Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has been traveling between Paris and Istanbul since 1883, and its Road to Mandalay offers an exclusive river's eye view of ancient Burma. Travelers may choose from safaris and private jet tours, which can be crafted to suit individual wishes, as well as World of Distinction programs, which unite classic Orient-Express tours with stays in Orient-Express Hotels, such as the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the Hotel Cipriani in Venice and Cape Town's Mount Nelson. Orient-Express' newest acquisitions include the Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant'Andrea in Sicily and the Hotel Rio Sagrado in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru. Currently, the company consists of 41 hotels, two cruises, one restaurant and six trains.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
www.preferredhotels.com
Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is a global brand of independently owned luxury hotels and resorts that provide the highest standards of quality and extraordinary service. Founded in 1968 as a referral service for top guests of six independent hoteliers, the association has grown into its current status as a for-profit stock corporation representing more than 120 hotels worldwide. To qualify as a Preferred hotel or resort, each property must pass an exhaustive quality assurance program that includes an annual, unannounced inspection, which consists of a 1,600 line-item, 5,800-point standards and practice audit.

Regent Hotels & Resorts
www.regenthotels.com
The Regent brand encompasses luxury hotels, resorts, residences and cruises throughout the world, offering discerning travelers “The Regent Experience,” with unique and personalized service. Its first hotel opened in Oahu, Hawaii in 1970. Currently, there are Regent properties in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. Locations include: Turks and Caicos; Singapore; Shanghai; Beijing; Taipei; Berlin, Germany and Zagreb, Croatia. The hotel group is on a fast track to bringing its luxury experience to more locations.  New properties are in development (or have recently opened) in Costa Rica, Bangkok, Dubai and Boston, among others.

Relais & Châteaux
www.relaischateaux.com
Relais & Châteaux is an exclusive collection of 480 of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in 56 countries. Established in France in 1954, the Association’s mission is to spread its unique art de vivre across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character. Furthermore, Relais & Châteaux is also a family of hoteliers and Grands Chefs from all over the world who share a passion for, and a personal commitment to, ensuring their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony. To choose Relais & Châteaux is to experience an unforgettable celebration of the senses. From the vineyards in Napa valley to the beaches in Bali, from the olive trees in Provence to the lodges in South Africa, Relais & Châteaux offers a chance to explore the Route du Bonheur and discover a special place in a variety of destinations. The Relais & Châteaux signature reflects this ambition: “ALL AROUND THE WORLD, UNIQUE IN THE WORLD.”

The Ritz-Carlton
www.ritzcarlton.com
If you've ever wondered why everything at The Ritz-Carlton hotels seems to go so smoothly and effortlessly, it's because the company's 38,000 employees function by its founding principles, collectively called Gold Standards: The Credo, The Three Steps of Service, The Motto, Service Values, The 6th Diamond and The Employee Promise. In case the ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton forget one of these noble truths, a pocket-sized, laminated card will serve as a reminder. In order to experience these values (and posh lodging) in action, check into any of the approximately 80 properties worldwide. Check out videos from The Ritz-Carlton here.

Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts
www.shangri-la.com
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is the largest Asian-based deluxe hotel group in the region with 52 properties. The group is known to harmonize Asian serenity with Western needs for comfort and service. As a result of Shangri-La's commitment to environmental awareness, 27 hotels have received ISO 14001 certification, the international Environmental Management System standard. James Hilton's legendary novel Lost Horizon, by the way, inspired the name Shangri-La: "a tranquil haven in the mountains of Tibet, [it] casts a spell on all who resided there."

Sofitel Luxury Hotels
www.sofitel.com
The Sofitel mantra is simple — "Legendary places. Legendary people. Legendary service." The product of these three things combined has grown into what is now known as the Sofitel Luxury Hotels brand. Since 1968, Sofitel has been dedicated to providing guests with unique hotels, each with its own history, but with the same quality expected of the collection of historic hotels. Each iconic property of the brand's 130+ hotels is among the finest in the world, with luxurious décor that evokes a bygone age of hotel keeping, world-class service and landmark architecture.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts
www.starwood.com
In the hotel and resort world, the Starwood group has one of the most diverse collections around. Its properties range from the business-friendly Four Points by Sheraton brand to the made-just-for-hipsters W brand, which debuted in the U.S. and then hit the road to bring its distinctive style to such far-flung destinations as Seoul and Mexico City. For budget travelers, the Aloft and Element names can be counted on for much more than just saving money, with their numerous freebies. More conventional but still upscale are Starwood's Westins and Sheratons, which tend to take their cues from the W's sleek, clean style, but without the flash. At the top of Starwood's list are Le Meridien, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and The Luxury Collection, which features one-of-a-kind lodgings, including Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice and Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa in French Polynesia.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
www.tajhotels.com
India’s premier hotel group, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces opened its initial property, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, in 1903. This venue prompted numerous firsts, including the country’s first air-conditioned ballroom, licensed bar and 24-hour coffee shop. Following in the grand hotel tradition, the company now operates 57 hotels throughout India and an additional 18 in the Maldives, Mauritius, UK, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. Hotels are grouped in three categories: luxury, leisure and business. Among the top properties are the Rambagh Palace in Jaipure and Fort Aguada (within the walls of an old Portuguese fort) in Goa.

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
www.waldorfastoria.com
Known as one of the top luxury hotel brands in the business, Waldorf Astoria represents a growing number of hotels and resorts in landmark destinations worldwide. Their properties combine breathtaking surroundings, renowned style and legendary personalized service to deliver an unforgettable luxury resort vacation, along with championship golf courses, fine dining, rejuvenating spa treatments and luxurious accommodations. Each hotel has its own distinct personality, marked by inspiring architecture and authentic history.

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(Updated: 09/03/13 CT)

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