There’s a special breed of hotels that cater to the most discerning and tasteful of luxury travelers, so profoundly unforgettable and special you want to keep them all to yourself.
Set apart by their location, sheer luxury, history or venerability — and in many cases, all of the above — we’ve handpicked 25 of the world’s most exclusive hotels where you can stay:
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Bali
Private villas have come with their own lily ponds and meditation areas.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Hidden amid jungles and rice paddies in Bali’s lush central highlands, the Four Seasons Sayan feels like a secret tropical hideaway in Indonesia. Its 42 private villas, outfitted with plunge pools, lily ponds and meditation areas, have hosted the likes of Julia Roberts and even Barack and Michelle Obama.
Not surprisingly, there’s a huge emphasis on wellness, with a holistic Sacred River spa, on site Balinese healers and hyperlocal, seasonal cuisine.
Even the cultural diversions are next level — think water purification rituals with a Hindu high priestess, river rafting around UNESCO World Heritage sites and traditional Balinese massages on the shores of the Ayung River.
Rooms from $569.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Sayan, Ubud, Bali 80571; +62 361 977577
Hotel Bel-Air, the Dorchester Collection, Los Angeles
Hotel Bel-Air is a celebrity favorite.
Tucked high in the canyons of Los Angeles’ ritziest neighborhood and hidden among 12 acres of landscaped gardens, the Hotel Bel-Air is as exclusive as it gets.
The iconic hotel features 103 secluded rooms and suites, many of which have wood-burning fireplaces, patios and heated pools.
Thanks to its discreet location and secluded vibes, the hotel has been a longtime celebrity favorite, hosting legends like Robert Redford, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly (who frequented the hotel so often she had a suite named after her).
Hotel highlights include a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, a cozy lounge with nightly live music, and a real-life Swan Lake — filled with swans, naturally.
Rooms from $545.
Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077; +1 310 472 1211
Royal Mansour, Marrakech
Beyond lavish: Marrakech’s Royal Mansour.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI spared no expense when he commissioned the Royal Mansour to be built on the edge of the historic Medina, and it shows.
Each of the hotel’s 53 two-story riads feature stained glass windows and handcrafted mosaic tiles as well as silk carpets, velvet brocade furniture and Venetian crystal statues.
Opulence aside, the hotel practically functions as its own walled city, with four restaurants, three bars, art gallery, library and hammam.
And thanks to a network of subterranean passages accessed only by staff, service is discreet (and flawless).
The Brando Resort, Tahiti
The Brando Resort is part of a 12-island atoll that encircles a lagoon.
When it comes to super exclusive, over-the-top, no expenses spared luxury experiences, The Brando rules supreme.
Built on a private island on the Tetiaroa atoll, the resort (named in honor of actor Marlon Brando, who purchased the island) features 35 upscale but eco-friendly villas, each with their own pool and direct beach access.
All-inclusive offerings include cuisine by a two-starred Michelin chef, spa treatments, and a seemingly unlimited menu of diversions, from scuba diving to cooking classes.
Not surprisingly, recent guests have included top-tier names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, Beyoncé and Barack Obama.
Rooms from $3,700.
The Brando Resort , Onetahi, French Polynesia; +689 40 86 63 00
The Peninsula Manila
The Peninsula Manila is a Philippines landmark in its own right.
The Peninsula Manila
Opened in 1976, The Peninsula Manila is not just Manila’s oldest and most venerable luxury hotel, but a landmark unto itself.
Its iconic, four-story neoclassical lobby — with its 50-foot-high ceiling, marble staircases, towering palms and sun-shaped chandelier — is the grandest in the city, and its rooms equally elegant and refined.
Hotel highlights include an award-winning spa, five restaurants and two cozy bars, which are perfect for people-watching and celebrity spotting.
The Peninsula regularly hosts the likes of Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, David Hasselhoff, Daniel Craig, Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz, among many others.
Rooms from $205.
The Peninsula Manila, Corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, 1226 Makati City, Metro Manila; +63 2 887 2888
Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
Ashford Castle dates back 800 years.
Courtesy Ashford Castle
Flanked by lush woodlands and perched on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib, Ashford Castle is straight out of a fairytale.
First built in 1228, the castle is unsurprisingly grandiose, decked out in Connemara marble and adorned with brocade silk, Donegal crystal chandeliers, antiques and original Irish artwork.
And with just 82 guest rooms — individually furnished, many with four-poster beds, fireplaces and clawfoot tubs — it’s easy to feel like you’ve got the entire castle to yourself.
Rooms from $488.
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