It’s hard to keep up with what’s cool and what’s not.
It feels like only yesterday we were writing our wrap of the best spots of 2017, now we’ve already got a new hot list, and by golly, we’re going to follow it.
Virtuoso has just released its 2018 Best of the Best list which catalogs the world’s best hotels and experiences.
The largest edition to date, featuring 1,250 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in 108 countries alongside 54 one-of-a-kind experiences, Best of the Best showcases Virtuoso’s Hotels & Resorts Program, a hallmark of this renowned global luxury travel network.
New this year: a record-setting addition of 110 properties, courtesy of unprecedented expansion.
Virtuoso’s curated collection of hotels boasts diversity in both size and feel, with properties ranging from four to 4,004 rooms.
The portfolio’s impressive breadth spans hotels, resorts, lodges, tents, camps, private islands, villas and apartments.
More than 550 of the featured hotels work exclusively with Virtuoso, choosing not to associate with other travel organisations.
Almost half of Virtuoso’s hotels are under 100 rooms, and a similar number are independent properties not affiliated with a collection or brand.
Here are the most significant trends observed among the new additions to the industry-leading collection:
The Cool Factor: Stunning design, on-point amenities and unique character define a new breed of Virtuoso lifestyle hotels and resorts, which deliver a cutting-edge experience unlike traditional properties.
- Trusted luxury brands grew their Virtuoso presence with Pendry San Diego, Thompson Seattle, Andaz Scottsdale and The London EDITION
- NUO Beijing offers a dynamic atmosphere where Ming Dynasty tradition meets hip modernity
- Sao Paulo’s innovative Hotel Unique is where architecture, design, gastronomy and service intersect:
Adventure Abounds: With its wide appeal to all travellers, the allure of adventure remains hot, with experiences ranging from soft adventure to nature immersion all the way to the extreme.
- Guests at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort in Sri Lanka can discover the area by bicycle, go whale watching and explore national parks
- Tutka Bay Lodge and Winterlake Lodge in Alaska offer activities such as deep-sea and freshwater fishing, river rafting, bear viewing, glacier trekking, ocean kayaking and hiking.
Cities Rule: Virtuoso stayed ahead of the curve by adding an array of properties in the world’s most alluring cities. Shopping, spa treatments, art and architecture, and culinary wonders abound at these urban retreats.
- European grande dames steeped in history are what define properties such as Hotel Kamp in Helsinki, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich and the Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris.
- Understated elegance reigns at properties including London’s The Langham and Four Seasons New York Downtown
- Indulge passions such as art at The First Hotel Roma and cultural immersion at Hoshinoya Tokyo.
Exotic Glamping: Demand for luxury camping thrives as interest in authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences grows.
- Minor Hotel’s tented camps in Kenya and Tanzania provide valuable perks for Virtuoso clients. At Loisaba Tented Camp guests learn about preserving the local wilderness, then enjoy a private sundowner with cocktails and canapes. The Manor at Ngorongoro offers a coffee tour of the estate and private gourmet picnic with sparkling wine.
- The Ultimate Travelling Camp offers unprecedented access to India’s mountains, deserts, jungles and festivals. These deluxe camps include spacious tents, complete with a private butler
Family Fun: The 2018 Virtuoso Luxe Report identified family travel as a dominant niche, bolstered by the network’s portfolio of family-friendly properties.
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania houses a Wildlife Academy with animals from all over the globe to educate and entertain guests.
- Switzerland’s Kulm Hotel St. Moritz offers a variety of perks as part of its Very Important Kids program, including free hot chocolate and ice cream
- VILA VITA Parc Resort in Portugal provides an array of children’s activities including an adventure playground, painting and baking
Best of the Best is currently being distributed to the homes of 150,000 of Virtuoso’s best clients worldwide, as selected by their advisor.