Top 10 best Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today: Top 10 best Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts in the world

With an unshakeable credo and corporate philosophy of un-wavering commitment to service, The Ritz-Carlton is one of the most famous brands in the world of luxury travel and has been recognized with countless awards for being the gold standard of hospitality. The first Ritz-Carlton in America — The Ritz-Carlton, Boston — opened in 1927, playing host to jazz great Cole Porter, playwright Tennessee Williams, Winston Churchill and the like in its early Gilded Age days. Bolstered by the reputation of its European big sisters — The Ritz Paris and The Carlton in London, both managed by hotel legend Cesar Ritz — the hotel helped Americans first experience the meaning of luxury and style in travel and dining, and then came to define it. Today, the Ritz-Carlton Company is a subsidiary of the Marriott Hotel Group and operates more than 100 properties across the globe. Here’s my selection of the 10 best Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts that most impressed me during all my years of traveling.

There is more information (with reviews & YouTube videos) below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Ritz-Carlton hotel in the comments section.

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The architecturally renowned Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg is the most elegant hotel in Germany’s most prosperous city, which is home to Volkswagen’s worldwide headquarters. Adjacent to the Volkswagen factory, the hotel demands that you swot up on pioneering architecture before you arrive. Armed with the right terminology, you’ll be primed to describe the style nuances of the hotel’s interior designer Elliott Barnes. It will also help keep your mouth closed when you see the hotel’s jaw-dropping floating pool. Inspired by an industry that thrives on mobility, this luxury hotel offers 170 stylish guest rooms and exclusive suites, a soothing  spa, and award-winning restaurants, including the 3-Star Michelin-rated AQUA, the epitome of modern European dining.



Iconic design, incredible culinary experiences and the sparkling Mediterranean are what draw visitors to Barcelona, Spain. These elements are also what attract discerning travelers to Hotel Arts Barcelona. With famed architect Frank Gehry’s iconic fish sculpture – known as Peix in Catalan – anchoring its entrance, the property rises 44 stories above the seafront, making this Barcelona hotel’s façade of blue glass and exposed steel a true beacon of luxury. From a contemporary collection of artistic masterpieces to stunning accommodations that include 28 luxury duplex apartments, to award-winning dining, this luxury Barcelona hotel provides guests with unparalleled access to all this vibrant destination has to offer.

  • Hotel websiteHotel Arts Barcelona
  • Other accolades: Hotel Arts Barcelona, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Barcelona.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
  • Review: read my review of Hotel Arts Barcelona, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel here.


At Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, white sand and blue skies converge with the Andaman Sea to reveal one of the most captivating luxury beach resorts in Asia. From your first glance, Phulay Bay elicits a sense of jaw-dropping awe and blissful joy. Designed for discerning travelers from around the world, the 54 villas of this exquisite, eco-friendly Ritz-Carlton Hotel meld seamlessly into their stunning environs while providing incredible indulgences. You’ll find spacious verandas with inviting lounges, indoor/outdoor baths, rainforest showers and 24-hour attention to your every whim. Blending the soothing rhythms of the Andaman Sea with extraordinary treatment, the spa leaves you in a blissful state of relaxation. Phulay Bay’s restaurants present a culinary voyage inspired by the flavors of the world.

  • Hotel websitePhulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).



The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is a luxurious, modern hotel inspired by Japan’s traditional ryokan, offering expansive views of the Kamogawa River. Creating an experience that seamlessly blends the centuries-old traditions of Kyoto with the finest services and facilities that The Ritz-Carlton brand is renowned for, the property truly bring to life the cultural heart of Japan. Minimalist contemporary interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows define 134 accommodations; some suites offer traditional decor, including futons and tatami mats. Guests can enjoy traditional Italian cuisine at La Locanda, sushi at Mizuki, and signature cocktails at the bar; immerse themselves in local culture with the hotel’s customized Kyoto art activities; or get away from it all in the resort’s excellent spa center.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
  • Other accolades: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Japan.
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto here.


Within the sanctuary of Wadi Khadeja, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert offers the chance to experience romance and relaxation, adventure and natural beauty. Located in a 1,235 acre gated private Nature Reserve, the intimate resorts offers 100 private villas with terraces and pools amongst the natural desert landscape. The resort offers guests the opportunity to enjoy its equestrian center, adventure center, falconry school or alternatively the extensive spa and wellness offerings that include The Rainforest, a rejuvenating hydrothermal experience enhancing mind, body and skin. Additional access to the beach of its sister resort The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach adds a luxurious touch to a traditional Bedouin desert experience.



Somewhere between idyllic and perfection sits a Puerto Rico resort of such intimate luxury and rare character, it calls to those who believe every journey should be a voyage of discovery. Once a 1,400-acre sugar plantation, Dorado Beach caught the eye of visionary Laurance Rockefeller, who transformed the lush landscape into Puerto Rico’s most exclusive luxury resort. With its serene coastline, private residences, spa sanctuary, and a harmonious sense of place that blends masterfully into the natural surroundings, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve invites guests to arrive spellbound, and depart speechless. With only 115 guestrooms spread across 50 acres and one mile (1,6 km) of beachfront, an unparalleled level of individualized guest service awaits you.



One of the highest hotels in the world, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is situated on the West Kowloon waterfront, a prestigious address with luxury residential development. Occupying floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre, it offers magnificent and unrivaled views of the city and the Victoria Harbor. Soaring architectural elements encrusted with custom glass artwork echo the signature glamour of the city below. All 312 luxurious guest rooms provide state-of-the-art technology. Guests can enjoy Italian specialties at Michelin-star Tosca or Cantonese favorites at two-Michelin-star Tin Lung Heen. The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA takes wellness to new heights with its infinity swimming pool with glass walls opening to the harbor below.


Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is one of just five properties in the exceptional Ritz-Carlton Reserve Portfolio – a collection of ultra-luxe hotels located in rare and exotic destinations around the world. Set along the dramatic coastline of San José del Cabo, the property’s striking design is a modern expression of Mexico’s artistry. The resort’s buildings are placed gently along the steppes of the land, as if they are one with the landscape, rising out of the earth to create the ultimate desert luxury. Luxurious guestrooms and suites, most which have their own plunge pool and terrace, are nestled within two-story villas with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortes. Standalone residential-style villas are a true home-away-from-home with a large pool, kitchen, fire pit and more, perfect for families looking.

  • Hotel website: Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, $150 USD resort credit, and for guests staying in one-bedroom suites and higher private roundtrip airport transfers).



Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word for “temple,” Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, stands as a tropical shrine dedicated to the self. Fronting the Ayung River near the Ubud jungle, the hotel replicates a traditional Balinese village, complete with working rice paddies. Showcasing the architecture and craftsmanship of the area, each of the 60 luxury suites and villas features a private outdoor space (some of them with pools) with views of the river or surrounding scenery. Four restaurants serve health-conscious cuisine sourced from the organic garden, although you can also arrange a romantic dinner overlooking the river or rice terrace. The spa offers a variety of programs focused on physical and spiritual well-being.


If butler-serviced villas, private infinity pools, and overwater hammocks sound like your kind of getaway, put The Ritz-Carlton Maldives – my favorite Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the world – at the top of your wanderlist. You won’t find typical thatched-roof villas here. What you will find is 100 modern yet minimalist accommodations, plus seven restaurants and bars serving an array of global cuisines (including mimosas, bloody mary, and prosecco served with breakfast). There’s also a tennis court, dive center, kids’ club with napping pods and a children’s pool, as well as a floating spa perched right in the center of the lagoon. The resort is situated on Fari Islands, a man-made archipelago that features three other luxury properties as well as Fari Marina – the archipelago’s communal beating heart with a vibrant beach club, charming boutiques and a range of dining options.

  • Hotel website: The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD resort credit).
  • Review: read my review of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands here.

*** Disclosure: I may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post ***



  1. Thank you for the great video and wonderful details! I have only stayed in a couple Ritz Carlton Hotels: The one Laguna Niguel, mentioned above, and the one in San Francisco. They were both delightful, but I have to tell you that the service, the food, and the convenience to off-property activities were much more to my liking in San Francisco. We paid over four times as much for our room in Laguna Niguel than in San Francisco and the SF room felt much more open, modern, and comfortable. The staff in SF appeared less “stretched” or rushed, and more experienced. Both hotels had very friendly, professional, and accommodating staff, and the Laguna Niguel hotel comp’d our room service order after making a series of mistakes with it, which was generous of them. Laguna Niguel also had a spectacular ocean view from their dining room and the food we had there was superb (The Dungeness crab mashed potatoes were great). However, even if the cost was taken out of the equation, I have to say that San Francisco was a much better overall experience. I am basing my comment on only one visit to each hotel, so maybe it was an unusual event, so will defer to your significant experience (not all hotel stays are entirely perfect!). Your wonderful blog is so enjoyable and educational that I look forward to learning something new each time I receive it. Thank you again!

  2. I’ve been to three of the ones on your list (numbers 2,3 and 4) and I think I agree with your order. Both Hong Kong and Kyoto had exceptional service. Both Ras Al Khaimah properties (Al Wadi and Al Hamra Beach) are amazing all villa properties but the service doesn’t compare to Hong Kong and Kyoto (although you get a villa and private pool instead of just a standard room). It’s a shame that the reserve properties are not part of the loyalty program.

  3. Thanks for the mandapa video and the 4s sayan, it helped a lot to choose my honey moon, I reserved with virtuoso in mandapa

  4. I love The Ritz Carlton hotels. We’ve visited so many & just got back from staying at the one in Laguna Niguel. We had an ocean front room & the views were amazing! At all of them, the ladies & gentlemen who work at The Ritz are always so nice & accommodating. I was just telling my husband that my goal in life is to stay at every single Ritz Carlton so I’m starting in the US, one state at a time😃

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