'Best Luxury Hotels For 2020' Ranking Reveals New Frontier Of Exclusivity

New era.

LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence – has rounded up the best hotel brands for when you want every pillow plumped, every mojito measured, and every view panoramic. From Moët to mind-melting mattresses, the recommended brands own some of the most sought after hotels and resorts around the globe.

The global members-only organization uses a thorough assessment process to rank the top brands each year.

However, things have changed somewhat in recent jaunts around the sun. This list used to be dominated by stiff, expensive institutions (or as CNN Travel put it in 2015, hotels and resorts that are “lavish, grand – and costly”). While the price tags (and lavish elements) haven’t changed, the 2020 rankings show the pompous notion of ‘grand’ may now be taking a backseat to ’boutique ideals’.

Why? Names like Shangri-La and Ritz Carlton have dropped down the list, and the world’s rich are now losing their AMEX’s over chains that don’t feel like chains, and perfect little resorts that blend stylishly with their surrounds.

Case in point: Six Senses (a brand whose manicures and gorgeous Uluwatu villas DMARGE reviewed in 2019), which has taken out the rankings this year, for the first time.

As Luxury Travel Intelligence explains, this is not just another World’s Best list: the organisation has taken the past 12 months, it claims, to “apply the perfect assessment process – a rigorously defined algorithm that measures the performance and values of luxury hotel brands.”

“Our algorithm includes 123 touch points relevant to the luxury hotel sector. Each has its own weighted score value with a total maximum accumulative score of 4494*.”

“The 123 touch points relate to overall brand performance, rather than the performance of individual properties. It’s all about a brand’s ability to deliver: its passion, commitment, ethos and values, as well as the quality of its management and staff.”

“Continuing investment and how well it is executed is also a major factor, particularly in regard to new properties and the refurbishment of existing ones,” Luxury Travel Intelligence adds.

This year’s results are reflected as percentages, with last year’s positions in brackets.

1. Six Senses 82.8% (8)

2. Aman 82.3% (2)

3. Auberge 79.3% (5)

4. Belmond 78.7% (1)

5. Mandarin Oriental 78.0% (2)

6. One&Only 76.6% (11)

7. Rosewood 76.0% (7)

8. Four Seasons 74.5% (3)

9. St Regis 73.3% (9)

10. COMO 72.8% (10)

11. Peninsula 72.1% (0)

12. Alilia 69.9% (0)

Jan Crompton, co-founder of Luxury Travel Intelligence, said of this year’s rankings (and the methodology behind them): “No other organisation connects with the global luxury hotel industry as LTI does. We are out there 365 days a year, with our researchers engaging with everyone from CEO’s of the brands we have rated to thousands of management, staff and guests.”

“Primarily, this is all part of the process for creating our destination led reports for our members (affluent, discerning travellers) but it also allows us to utilise our findings to create this unique report. Every year the process starts again – the results from previous years have no bearing on the following year. This does inevitably lead to volatility in each year’s results (such as this year), but this is a dynamic sector and we want to reflect what is really happening out there.”

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