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3 Indian hotels among world's BEST

Last updated on: August 14, 2013 14:42 IST

3 Indian hotels among world's BEST

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Travel + Leisure magazine asked its readers to rate hotels globally based on rooms, location, service, food, and value.

Surprisingly, the top hotels turned out to the ones ‘off the grid’. For example, the best hotel in the world, as rated by the readers, is the one located in the jungles of Africa and the second best offers experience of a beautiful country side.

Hotel stay is an experience that goes beyond the amenities offered. Probably, that’s why few hotels in the urban landscape find place in the top 20.

The hotels from India in the top 20 list, too, offer a cultural experience entwined with a rich history.

Here are the top 20 hotels in the world.

Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp

Rank: 1

Location: Moremi Game Reserve

Country: Botswana

Imagine a hotel inside a jungle with big cats, elephants, and other wildlife around. That is Mombo Camp for you. Add to this, outdoor bathrooms, plunge pool, great service, warm hotel staff and responsive management and you get the best hotel in the world.

The camp is constructed under big trees raised two metres above the ground. It overlooks the plains where guest can see wildlife all-round the year.

Wilderness Safari, a luxury ecotourism company, runs Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp. It has similar camps all over Africa.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Wilderness Safaris

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Castello di Casole - A Timbers Resort

Rank: 2

Location: Casole d’Elsa, Tuscany

Country: Italy

This former castle, which is now a 41-suite boutique hotel, is surrounded by miles of Tuscan countryside. Vineyards and orchards of olive trees pattern the hillsides of the estate.

One of the delights here is the traditional Tuscan food that guest savour at the hotel's restaurants.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Timbers Resorts

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Singita Kruger National Park

Rank: 3

Location: Kruger National Park

Country: South Africa

If staying in a hotel inside the Kruger National Park does not sound exotic enough, you can try Singita’s game lodge. It has just six double suites which accommodate 12 guests.

Situated on the banks of Sweni River, guests can expect to spot the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard) at the water body.

Despite being in the remote location, the hotel boasts of five-star amenities such as swimming pool, spa and gym and wi-fi access.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Singita

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Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens

Rank:  4

Location: La Fortuna

Country: Costa Rica

This five star luxury boutique hotel is located on the outskirts of the Arenal Volcano, and is surrounded by lush green rainforest.

Guests come here for wildlife spotting, volcano tour, adventure and white water rafting.

The hotel has 50 bungalows ranging from 855 to 1,905 square feet. Each of these has a secluded garden with an outdoor shower and a terrace overlooking the volcano.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens

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Four Seasons Resort Bora-Bora

Rank:  5

Location: Bora-Bora

Country: French Polynesia

The most enticing thing to do at this luxury resort is stay in one of the 100 over-water bungalows on the beautiful private beach. It also has beachfront villas with private pools.

The resort is located at Motu Tehotu on the island of Bora Bora, in the Society Islands of French Polynesia.

The spacious bungalows and villas feature traditional wooden furnishings, thatched roofs and walls made of volcanic stone.

Each accommodation has extraordinary view of the turquoise-blue sea.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Four Seasons

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The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

Rank:  6

Location: Matauri Bay

Country: New Zealand

Set on 6,000 acres near Matauri Bay, Northland, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs offers spectacular 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, and overlooks a championship golf course.

This plantation lodge has a spacious living room, two private rooms and a dining room with outdoor. Guest can also enjoy swimming in an infinity pool, fitness centre and spa.

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Photographs: Courtesy, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs

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The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

Rank:  7

Location: Berlin

Country: Germany

Located at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz Square, The Ritz-Carlton has elegant rooms that offer tantalising view of the Berlin skyline.

Guests can enjoy food at Restaurant Desbrosses, an authentic French Brasserie from 1875, or head to The Curtain Club bar for a drink.

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Photographs: Courtesy, The Ritz-Carlton

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Oberoi Udaivilas

Rank:  8

Location: Udaipur

Country: India

The hotel’s architecture is inspired by the palaces of Rajasthan and features three restaurants, two heated outdoor pools and a luxurious spa. The interiors are as grand as the exterior and features hand painted frescoes and artefacts.

Other than the regular 5-star amenities, guests can also practice yoga, learn a Rajasthani folk dance, and attend a cooking lesson with the in-house chef.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

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Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Rank:  9

Location: Kruger National Park Area

Country: South Africa

At Sabi Sabi, you can experience the wildlife in four completely separate luxurious lodges that have distinct characters and atmospheres. They are themed as "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow".

Selati Camp is themed ‘yesterday’ for a romantic experience. The more contemporary lodges of Bush Lodge and Little Bush Camp are themed as ‘today’, and ‘tomorrow’ is the theme at the Earth Lodge.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

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Singita Sabi Sand

Rank: 10

Location: Kruger National Park Area

Country: South Africa

The Sabi Sand is a privately owned game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. The reserve is owned by the Bailes family who have acted as the custodians of this area since 1926.

This private reserve spans over 45,000 acres and is famous for easy sightings of wildlife, especially leopards.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Singita

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Discovery Shores Boracay

Rank: 11

Location: Boracay Island

Country: Philippines

Discovery Shores Boracay is located on a stretch of fine white sand known as Boracay's White Beach. It provides all possible 5-star amenities and rooms here feature views of the pool or the man-made waterfalls.

The resort also offers jet skiing, parasailing, banana boat rides, island hopping, cliff jumping, paddle boarding, wake boarding, and kite boarding.

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Photographs: Courtesy, The Discovery Leisure Company

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Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest

Rank: 12

Location: Budapest

Country: Hungary

The hotel was built in 1906 and renovated in 2004. It combines vintage architecture with modern services and features luxury rooms, infinity pool and fitness centre.

The hotel has 179 rooms including 19 suites. Many of these have private balconies.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Four Seasons

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Triple Creek Ranch, Darby

Rank: 13

Location: Darby

Country: US

Slip your boots on, put on your cowboy hat and set off to explore the scenery of Montana while you lodge at this ranch inside the jungle.

The website of the hotel states, “Triple Creek Ranch is a favourite destination for those who want to unwind, refresh and reconnect. This spectacular setting is a haven for those who want privacy and pampering.”

The getaway also boasts of an award-winning wine cellar that features more than 500 fine wines and champagnes, representing every major growing region in the world.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Triple Creek Ranch

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Jade Mountain St. Lucia

Rank: 14

Location: St. Lucia

Country: St. Lucia

Some people prefer to describe it as ‘more than a hotel’ and term it as an ‘experience’. Some say it has the ‘best hotel room’ in the entire Caribbean. Every critic, traveller, and holiday maker is enamoured by the resort.

The resort is constructed on top of a mountain and offers jaw-dropping view of the Caribbean and St. Lucia’s famous twin peaks, the Pitons. The rooms have 15-foot ceilings and open air private infinity pools in different coloured tiles.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Jade Mountain

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Umaid Bhawan Palace

Rank: 14

Location: Jodhpur

Country: India

Set amidst 26-acre of lush garden, this monument took 15 years to build. It is one of the largest private residences in the world and has served as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family.

According to the hotel’s website, The Palace is divided into three functional parts - a luxury Taj Palace Hotel (in existence since 1972), the residence of the erstwhile royal family, and a Museum focusing on the 20th century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family. The hotel has 64 rooms and suites.

Guests can stroll through the private museum, test their skills on the marbled squash courts or enjoy a game of billiards in the panelled recreation room.

The hotel also provides a vintage car to drive through Jodhpur accompanied by a butler and if you want to see what future holds, there is an astrologer’s service available, too.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

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The Lodge Sea Island

Rank: 16

Location: St. Simons, Georgia

Country: Untied States

The main feature of this lodge is private butlers assigned to guests, who can accommodate most requests. Guests flock here to play on the 18-hole golf courses.

The 40 rooms at The Lodge Sea Island have an elegant and traditional design, with Oriental rugs and floral fabrics.

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Photographs: Courtesy, The Lodge Sea Island

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Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise

Rank: 17

Location: Lake Louise, Alberta

Country: Canada

The Post Hotel, located in the Banff National Park, offers stunning views of the Canadian Rockies.

It features a spa and an indoor Roman-styled pool. Each room provides Mountain views, free Wi-Fi and cable TV.

The Post Hotel also features a wine cellar with 32,000 bottles to choose from.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Post Hotel & Spa

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The Peninsula Hong Kong

Rank: 18

Location: Hong Kong

Country: China

Opened in 1928, and expanded in 1994, the hotel combines colonial and modern elements. To celebrate the Hotel's 85th anniversary in April 2013, it launched a refurbishment programme and now features digital enhancements ranging from touch-screen tablets, DVD library of 3D movies to High-Definition televisions.

The decor of the rooms are in pared-down Oriental chic, with plain cream upholstery and vintage luggage-inspired drawer handles, according to Wikipedia.

According to the hotel’s website, it features a Roman-style indoor pool, a spa and 9 award-winning restaurants and bars.

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Photographs: Courtesy, The Peninsula

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Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

Rank: 19

Location: Jaipur

Country: India

The hotel’s architecture is inspired by Rajasthan’s forts. Sprawled over 32-acres, the hotel has luxury villas and ‘royal’ tents surrounded by lush gardens, flowering trees and cascading fountains.

The hotel has a helipad for high fliers to directly land in the premises.

The hotel also features two great restaurants - Surya Mahal and Raj Mahal. It also has Rajwada Library Bar that hosts an hour long discussion with an acclaimed local historian about Jaipur and the Rajputana twice a week.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

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Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza

Rank: 20

Location: Mendoza

Country: Argentina

The hotel is located amidst 14 hectares vineyard at the foot of Andes mountain range. The hotel is built in a Spanish colonial style. It features a wellness-centre and Arabian style patios. Each room has a private outdoor hot tub and a stunning upstairs terrace.

Some of the best things to do here include, strolling in the vineyards, taking a walk in Andes, and watching the sun go down with a glass of wine in hand.


Photographs: Courtesy, Cavas Wine Lodge

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