Best Resort Hotels in Asia: 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.

From overwater bungalows in the Maldives to a Mewari-style palace in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Asia offers a varied and diverse world of resorts. And the best resorts in Asia, according to Travel + Leisure readers, are the ones bearing a strong sense of place that makes them feel truly transportive.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L 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. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Among the resorts that have excelled in connecting guests to their destinations: the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, India (No. 12), an opulent property with views of the Taj Mahal; Nihi Sumba (No. 9), a surfer’s paradise in tropicalIndonesia; and the Halekulani Okinawa (No. 7), the Japanese outpost of a famed Hawaii hotel.

Dewandra Djelantik/Courtesy of Capella Hotels & Resorts

“A bucket-list property” is how one reader described the Leela Palace Udaipur, in India, which earned the No. 8 spot this year. “It’s a beautiful property with stunning views.” Guests of the hotel arrive by a private boat ride across Lake Pichola, and the serene compound, which encompass 80 guest rooms, extensive gardens, and a swimming pool, seem to float atop the water.

Four resorts in the Maldives on the list, including Soneva Fushi (No. 5). Located in the Baa Atoll, the tranquil resort occupies the otherwise uninhabited island of Kunfunadhoo, with 63 beachfront villas and eight “water retreats” that hover over the Indian Ocean and feature both a waterslide and a private pool. “Very friendly ambiance, amazing food and beverage, beautiful biodiversity, and great service,” one reader enthused.

But the property that earned the highest scores from readers was Capella Ubud, Bali, an escape that is firmly rooted in its setting, yet immerses guests in a whimsical world of its own. Below, find out what readers had to say, and which other hotels join it on this year’s list of the best resorts in Asia.

1. Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Courtesy of Capella Hotels & Resorts

Celebrated hotel architect and designer Bill Bensley transports guests to an extravagant expedition camp from the 19th-century with a series of tented, one-bedroom villas surrounded by the Keliki jungle. Antique furnishings and vintage telephones evoke a bygone era, and views out to the dense, verdant foliage add to the sense of tech-free timelessness, which readers seem to appreciate. “The most exciting hotel in Bali,” declared one reader, who added that the “food and service were truly amazing!” The staff is known to deliver experiences that illuminate local culture and traditions, including Balinese painting and dance.

Score: 99.34
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2. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India

Martin Harvey/Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 99.12
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3. Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa, India

Courtesy of Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa

Score: 98.76
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4. The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort, Ranthambhore, India

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 98.72
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5. Soneva Fushi, Baa Atoll, Maldives

Courtesy of Soneva

Score: 98.59
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6. Alila Manggis, Bali, Indonesia

Courtesy of Alila Manggia

Score: 98.50
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7. Halekulani Okinawa, Japan

Adam Bruzzone/Courtesy of Halekulani Okinawa

Score: 98.21
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8. The Leela Palace Udaipur, India

Courtesy of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Score: 98.13
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9. Nihi Sumba, Indonesia

Read McKendree/Courtesy of NIHI Sumba

Score: 98.00
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10. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, India

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 97.66
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11. Soneva Jani, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

Sandro Bruecklmeier/Courtesy of Soneva

Score: 97.45
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12. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India

Courtesy of The Oberoi Amarvilas

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 97.44
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13. (tie) Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Ubud, Indonesia

Courtesy of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Score: 97.00
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13. (tie) Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

Courtesy of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Score: 97.00
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13. (tie) Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, South Malé Atoll, Maldives

Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

Score: 97.00
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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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