For 10 years running, ELLE Decor has published our annual A-List of the top interior designers in the world. Now, we’re introducing our Travel A-List—a compendium of the best hotels, cruises, airlines, and destinations across the globe, all with a strong focus on design. So read on to see the winners in each category, and be sure to let us know whether you agree or disagree with our selections.
Winner: Etihad Airways
Poltrona Frau leather seats, mezze platters, and the best entertainment in the skies. First-class suites boast the most room if you’re not flying private.
CRUISES, POOL VILLAS & HOME RENTALS
Seabourn designs scaled-down ocean liners with the stylish ambience of a megayacht—add cuisine by Thomas Keller and a Dr. Weil spa, and it’s luxury on the high seas.
Go for the azulejos (hand-painted tiles) alone. Add singular new boutique hotels, freshly restored monuments, and pasteis de nata—the local custard tarts entrancing foodies around the globe—and it is no wonder Portugal is a top destination for design aficionados.
Winner: Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Surfside, Florida
Joseph Dirand’s masterful, palm-filled lobby has restored the glamour of this 1930s Florida landmark, a former haunt of Elizabeth Taylor and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
- Conservatorium, Amsterdam
- The Durham Hotel, Durham, North Carolina
- Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Bali, Indonesia
- The Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
- L’Arlatan, Arles, France
- La Purificadora, Puebla, Mexico
- Royal Mansour, Marrakech
Winner: Babylonstoren, Simondium, South Africa
This 17th-century wine estate on South Africa’s Western Cape has eight acres of edible and medicinal organic gardens designed by French architect Patrice Taravella. A stream flows through it, irrigating wild olive trees and feeding ponds packed with lotus and lilies.
- Borgo Santo Pietro, Palazzetto, Italy
- Como Shambhala Estate, Payangan, Bali, Indonesia
- Durslade Farmhouse, Somerset, England
- Hacienda de San Antonio, Comala, Mexico
- Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru
- San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito, California
- The Siam, Bangkok
Winner: Holy Deer, San Lorenzo City Lodge, Rome
This 17th-century palazzo suite (where Pope Innocent X once housed his mistress) has frescoed bedrooms and cashmere-lined closets, in a stunning restoration by designers Stefano and Giorgia Barbini.
- Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden, Palma de Majorca, Spain
- Palácio Belmonte, Lisbon, Portugal
- Sea Island, Georgia
- Suján Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur, India
- The Tribeca Penthouse in the Greenwich Hotel, New York City
Winner: Firmdale Hotels (Kit Kemp)
Co-owner and creative director Kit Kemp blends classic English whimsy and style with a bold palette and contemporary art and craft at this chain’s boutique hotels in London and New York.
- 1 Hotels (Barry Sternlicht)
- Faena Group (Alan Faena)
- Grupo Habita (Micha family and Carlos Couturier)
- Hoshino Resorts
- Il Pellicano (Marie-Louise Sciò)
- JK Hotel Group (Jeff Klein)
- Le Méridien
- Maisons & Hotels Sibuet
- Vik Retreats (Carrie and Alexander Vik)
- Zannier Hotels
HOTEL DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Ian Schrager
From his Royalton days to his latest, the Times Square Edition, this hotel guru divines hospitality trends—and sets them—long before anyone else.
- Alexandra Champalimaud
- Bill Bensley
- Dorothée Meilichzon
- Jean-Michel Wilmotte
- Joseph Dirand
- Kelly Wearstler
- Liz Lambert
- Olga Polizzi
Winner: La Mamounia, Marrakech
The iconic Marrakech hotel’s Moorish interiors feel even more sumptuous after Jacques Garcia’s masterful renovation. With every visit, we’re inspired by yet another detail, whether it is the color of the zellige tilework or the plantings in the aromatic gardens with views of the Atlas Mountains.
- Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts
- Caldera House, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- Elma Hotel, Zichron Ya’akov, Israel
- Ett Hem, Stockholm
- Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, Australia
- Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara, California
- Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam
- Hotel Sanders, Copenhagen, Denmark
From a resort designed like a Balinese village to a line of Cubist villas in the Utah desert, Aman has made breathtaking architecture central to its mission and paved the way for hotels and resorts that put a premium on transcendent design.
Winner: Playa Vik, José Ignacio, Uruguay (Carlos Ott)
Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott created a hotel that feels like a contemporary art museum.
- Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada (Todd Saunders)
- Jackalope, Merricks North, Australia (Carr)
- Juvet Landscape Hotel, Valldal, Norway (Jensen & Skodvin)
- The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa (Thomas Heatherwick)
- Tsingpu Retreat, Yangzhou, China (Neri & Hu)
- Villa Extramuros, Arraiolos, Portugal (Vora Arquitectura)
Winner: Blackberry Mountain, Walland, Tennessee
Blackberry Farm, the beloved country inn, now has a sister property with a ridgetop lodge and elegant cabins handcrafted from local stone and reclaimed wood.
- Belmond Cadogan Hotel, London
- Dá Licença, Santo Estêvão, Portugal
- Fife Arms, Braemar, Scotland
- Heckfield Place, Hampshire, England
- Hotel August, Antwerp, Belgium
- Joali, Maldives
- Menorca Experimental, Balearic Islands, Spain
- Palazzo Daniele, Puglia, Italy
Winner: Mondrian, Doha, Qatar
Marcel Wanders capped this 24-story hotel with a stained-glass-domed indoor pool that makes you feel as if you’re inside a giant Tiffany lamp.
- Laucala Island, Fiji
- Molitor, Paris
- Punta Caliza, Isla Holbox, Mexico
- The Retreat Hotel at the Blue Lagoon, Grindavík, Iceland
- 7132 Thermal Baths & Spa, Vals, Switzerland
VILLAS & HOME RENTALS
Winner: Unique Properties & Events
Cédric Reversade and Paul-Maxime Koskas hold the keys to the world’s most spectacular rentals, from a restored Tuscan farmhouse to an 18th-century Austrian schloss.
This story appears in the July/August issue of ELLE Decor. SUBSCRIBE
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