World’s Best Hotels in 2012: HotelsCombined’s Top 10

World's Top 10 HotelsWorking for HotelsCombined is a tough job – every day, we’re tortured with images of stunning hotels in exotic locations, which we stare at wistfully from the confines of our desks. While this leads to plenty of daydreaming and some rather unproductive work days, it’s fair to say that at this point, our team has gotten pretty familiar with the plentiful accommodation options around the globe. And while we have a staggering 350,000 hotels in our database, there are still a handful of properties that continually stand out for their amazing amenities and breathtaking views. Without further ado, here are our selections for the top 10 hotels in the world (in no particular order):

Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia

Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia

Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia

Why we picked it:
This resort may have cutting-edge architecture and boast superb views of the Coral Sea and the Whitsunday Islands, but it’s the top-notch amenities here that really impress us. From infinity-edge swimming pools to private sundecks, we’re head-over-heels in love with this Aussie gem.

Accolades and awards:

  • Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards 2012 (Best Resort in the World 2012)
  • UK Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2012 (Best Leisure Facilities)
  • TripAdvisor Travelers Choice List 2012
  • Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine 2012 Traveller Awards (Best Spa, Best Australian Island Resort)

Santa Caterina Hotel, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Santa Caterina Hotel, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Santa Caterina Hotel, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Why we picked it:
The Amalfi Coast offers up some of the most picturesque panoramas on the planet and the best place to enjoy views of its rugged coastline is undoubtedly at the Santa Caterina. The fragrant gardens on the property – which feature olive groves and fruit orchards – just make this place even more special.

Accolades and awards:

  • TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2012
  • Travel and Leisure World’s Best Awards 2012 (Top 50 Hotels)
  • UK Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2012
  • Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards, Platinum Circle

One&Only Capetown, South Africa

One&Only Capetown, South Africa

One&Only Capetown, South Africa

Why we picked it:
One&Only resorts are renowned for their spas, and the one at their Capetown property is especially extraordinary. Treatments include the likes of Chakra Body Balancing and traditional African massage techniques and guests have the option of booking a couples or thermal suite. Oh, and all the rooms at the hotel have views of South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain.

Accolades and awards:

  • Travel and Leisure World’s Best Awards 2012 (Top 50 Hotels)
  • World Spa Award (Best in Africa)
  • 2012 SpaFinder Wellness Readers’ Choice Country Award

Post Ranch Inn, California, U.S.A

Post Ranch Inn, California, U.S.A

Post Ranch Inn

Why we picked it:
The Post Ranch Inn is one of those rare hotels that just seem to have it all – amazing scenery, innovative eco-friendly initiatives, an acclaimed restaurant and beautiful guest rooms. If we could, we’d move in tomorrow.

Accolades and awards:

  • Wine Spectator 2012 Grand Award
  • Robb Report, The World’s Top 100 Resorts 2012
  • Travel and Leisure World’s Best Awards 2012 (Top Hotel in California)
  • 2012 Andrew Harper’s Readers’ Choice Awards (Top 20 Spa Resorts, Top 20 Food and Wine Resorts, Top U.S. Hideaway)

Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver Island, Canada

Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver Island, Canada

Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver Island, Canada

Why we picked it:
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting this fabulous property and can assure you that it’s one of the most incredible places I’ve ever seen – which is why it’s on pretty much every Canadian’s must-do list. And it’s also a rare Canadian destination that can be enjoyed year-round – in the summer for surfing and whale-watching, and in the winter for an awe-inspiring storm watch.

Accolades and awards:

  • Andrew Harper Readers’ Choice Awards 2012 (Top 20 International Hideaways)
  • 2012 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards (Best Resort Dining)
  • Travel and Leisure World’s Best Awards 2012 (Top Resort in Canada)
  • Conde Nast Johansens Award 2012 (Most Excellent Spa Hotel in the United States and Canada)

The Leela Palace, Udaipur, India

The Leela Palace, Udaipur, India

The Leela Palace, Udaipur, India

Why we picked it:
We really appreciate the range of activities at this luxury, five-star hotel – there’s croquet, bocce, yoga sessions, heritage walks, cooking classes, astrology lessons and lamp lighting ceremonies to enjoy. There are also palace musicians, cultural performances, chauffeur driven BMWs, an arrival in a traditional boat, puppet shows and sunset boat cruises… Ok, we just started daydreaming…

Accolades and awards:

  • UK Conde Nast Traveller 2012 Gold List
  • Robb Report, The World’s Top 100 Resorts 2012
  • World Luxury Spa Awards 2011 (Best Luxury Resort Spa)

Four Seasons Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Four Seasons Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Why we picked it:
Let’s be honest – Bora Bora is on everybody’s bucket list. And if you’re going to take the trek to paradise, you might as well stay at the top-rated hotel in the region. Just look at the photo –those cozy over-water bungalows are all situated upon a ridiculously gorgeous private lagoon. The whole place is so perfect it nearly blinds us!

Accolades and awards:

  • TripAdvisor 2012 Traveler’s Choice Romance Awards (Best Romantic Hotel in the World)
  • Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2012 (Best in French Polynesia)
  • UK Conde Nast Traveller 2012 Readers’ Travel Awards (Best in Australasia and South Pacific)
  • Travel and Leisure World’s Best Awards 2012 (Best in French Polynesia)

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Why we picked it:
In addition to being a picture-perfect spot, this fab hotel – which has the distinction of being Cambodia’s first luxury private island resort – is also the Mecca of sustainable travel. They’ve established the country’s first protected marine area, they work to conserve local wildlife and they’ve partnered with local villages to improve water quality. What’s not to love?

Accolades and awards:

  • 2012 Virgin Responsible Tourism Awards (Best Accommodation for the Environment)
  • 2012 Travel and Leisure Global Vision Awards (Sustainability)
  • Elite Traveller 2012 (Top 101 Best Hotel Suites of the Year)
  • International Hotel Awards (Best Small Hotel in Cambodia, Best Sustainable Hotel in Cambodia, Best Hotel Interior in the South Pacific)

Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancun, Mexico

Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancun, Mexico

Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancun, Mexico

Why we picked it:
This idyllic Mexican haven really goes the extra mile to ensure its guests are being taken care of – the property boasts a ration of nearly one staff member per guest. Add to that in-room Jacuzzis, pool concierges, top-notch restaurants and BVLGARI bath products and we’re hooked.

Accolades and awards:

  • TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice 2012 (Best in Cancun)
  • Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2012 (Best in Cancun)
  • AAA Five Diamond Award 2012

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand

Why we picked it:
Private beach barbeques, land-based fishing, guided bird watching, boar and possum hunting, mountain biking and clay pigeon shooting make this scenic Kiwi escape a must for outdoor enthusiasts. Then there’s that luscious waterfront golf course of theirs… Fore!

Accolades and awards:

  • Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2012 (Best in New Zealand)
  • Travel and Leisure World’s Best Awards 2012 (Ranked Number 16 in the World)
  • Golf Digest 2012 Top 100
  • UK Conde Nast Traveller Gold List 2012

Watch the official video (available in HD):


Are there any hotels you think we should have included in this list? Let us know!

8 Responses to World’s Best Hotels in 2012: HotelsCombined’s Top 10

  1. Boeodsoaw212 says:

    BURJ AL ARAB

  2. Goowai Adele says:

    Wow! Santa Caterina looks breathtaking! No wonder it is one of the best hotels in Italy. Well, actually there are a lot and I can say that most of the beautiful hotels in the world are from Italy. Whether you are looking for luxury or budget friendly, Italy is the place to be. :)

  3. Ana says:

    Jumeriah devanfushi at Maldives! It’s heaven!! Specially for romantic couples! The private villas will make you feel like a princes straight out of a movie!

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