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Best Hotel Brands & Chains: World’s Best 2021


This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three year period. We hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.


During a year that upended the entire world — and, with it, the entire hospitality industry — hotel groups large and small have demonstrated incredible perseverance. They’ve navigated lockdowns, donated rooms to first responders, found ways to support their staff, and, as conditions improved, welcomed back guests with service that may have looked a bit different but felt no less gracious. In fact, T+L readers awarded hotels even higher marks, on average, than last year, which is especially impressive given all of the COVID-19 safety protocols brands had to implement.


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.


Courtesy of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Belmond, with its collection of 34 properties, made this year’s list at No. 22, earning raves for sterling service and elegant properties that deeply reflect a sense of place. “Every trip I take, if there is a Belmond option, I splurge for a few nights,” wrote one reader. “Worth it every time. Each property is different and feels unique based on the location — but they’re all consistent in their commitment to quality.”


Generally speaking, more and more travelers are gravitating toward hotels that support guests’ well-being and follow responsible business practices. It’s no wonder then that T+L readers gave two of this year’s spots to brands known for their efforts on both fronts. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas earned the No. 6 rank, while Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts came in at No. 19. One reader touted Six Senses as a “good example for sustainability and wellness.” Of Banyan Tree, a fan wrote, “You can definitely fully relax and recharge your energy.”


Small brands also won big this year. With 11 hotels in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America, No. 4 Oetker Collection captured hearts and votes with warm, gracious service: “They make me feel like family every time I visit one of their magnificent places,” wrote one reader. No. 2 Capella Hotels & Resorts, which also took second place last year, swayed readers with the “top-notch” service at its eight “beautiful” hotels, readers said.


But it was The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, an India-only brand with just nine properties, that ranked No. 1. Keep reading for details on what makes it so special to T+L readers — and which other hospitality groups made this year’s list of best hotel brands.



1. The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Courtesy of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Maintaining the top spot for the second year in a row, this nine-property brand proved that it’s not always a globe-spanning footprint that makes the difference for travelers. Though India has been hard hit by COVID in the past year, the country remains a bucket-list destination for travelers eager to experience its one-of-a-kind draws, including the jewels and handicrafts of Jaipur, the beaches of Goa, and the historic sights of Delhi. In each of those destinations, The Leela’s hotels provide top-tier accommodations with “excellent staff and beautiful rooms and suites,” one reader wrote. In fact, “excellent” was the most common adjective used by T+L readers to describe the brand.


Score: 98.40
More information: theleela.com



2. Capella Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Capella Hotels & Resorts

Score: 97.82
More information: capellahotels.com



3. The Red Carnation Hotel Collection

Courtesy of Red Carnation Hotels

Score: 97.54
More information: redcarnationhotels.com



4. Oetker Collection

Courtesy of Oetker Collection

Score: 96.77
More information: oetkercollection.com



5. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 96.46
More information: oberoihotels.com



6. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Courtesy of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Score: 96.35
More information: sixsenses.com



7. One&Only Resorts

Courtesy of One&Only Resorts

Score: 95.31
More information: oneandonlyresorts.com



8. Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris

Courtesy of Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris

Score: 95.20
More information: tajhotels.com



9. Auberge Resorts Collection

Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 95.16
More information: aubergeresorts.com



10. Raffles Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Raffles Hotels and Resorts

Score: 95.03
More information: raffles.com



11. The Peninsula Hotels

Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

Score: 94.92
More information: peninsula.com



12. Aparium

Joe Vaughn/Courtesy of Aparium Hotel Group

Score: 94.72
More information: aparium.com



13. Rocco Forte Hotels

Courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels

Score: 94.50
More information: roccofortehotels.com



14. Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

Score: 94.45
More information: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com



15. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Score: 94.29
More information: rosewoodhotels.com



16. Montage Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Montage Hotels and Resorts

Score: 94.09
More information: montagehotels.com



17. Mandarin Oriental

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Score: 93.85
More information: mandarinoriental.com



18. Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

Score: 93.65
More information: shangri-la.com



19. Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

Score: 93.20
More information: banyantree.com



20. COMO Hotels and Resorts

Courtesy of COMO Hotels and Resorts

Score: 93.14
More information: comohotels.com



21. Aman

Kyle RM Johnson

Score: 92.92
More information: aman.com



22. Belmond

Courtesy of Belmond

Score: 92.84
More information: belmond.com



23. Swire Hotels

Courtesy of Swire Hotels

Score: 92.71
More information: swirehotels.com



24. Park Hyatt

Courtesy of Park Hyatt

Score: 92.44
More information: hyatt.com



25. Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Score: 92.30
More information: fourseasons.com


See all of our readers’ favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World’s Best Awards for 2021.



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