A List of the Top 20 Luxury Hotel Brands in the World?

B efore I reveal to you this revered list of the supposed top 20 luxury hotel brands in the world, please allow me to refresh what is the definition of luxury as according to the Oxford Dictionaries:

luxury |ˈləkSH(ə)rēˈləgZH(ə)-|noun (pl. luxuries)
the state of great comfort and extravagant living: he lived a life of luxury.

Keeping that definition in mind, I now present to you the top 20 luxury hotel brands in the world:

  1. Travelodge
  2. Days Inn
  3. Best Western
  4. Fairfield Inn
  5. Quality Inn
  6. Motel 6
  7. Microtel Inns & Suites
  8. Super 8
  9. Knights Inn
  10. Ramada Inn
  11. Howard Johnson
  12. Red Roof Inn
  13. La Quinta
  14. Rodeway Inn
  15. Sleep Inn
  16. Hampton Inn
  17. Four Points by Sheraton
  18. Country Inns & Suites
  19. Sol Meliã
  20. Ibis Hotels


While there are some good hotel properties amongst the lodging brands listed above, it would be absolutely ridiculous to call even the best of them luxury hotel brands; but although the following list from the World Luxury Index Hotels report as the result of a collaboration of Digital Luxury Group partners with Samad Laaroussi — who is the chairperson of luxury hospitality at École Hôtelière de Lausanne — would be considered significantly closer to real than the mock list I conjured, much of it would be considered absurd as well by purists of those who patronize luxury hotel properties:

  1. Hilton
  2. Sheraton
  3. Westin
  4. Four Seasons
  5. Ritz-Carlton
  6. Hyatt
  7. Renaissance
  8. Embassy Suites
  9. InterContinental
  10. Hyatt Regency
  11. Shangri-La
  12. Wyndham
  13. Grand Hyatt
  14. Fairmont
  15. JW Marriott
  16. Sofitel
  17. Loews
  18. Mandarin Oriental
  19. Conrad
  20. Peninsula


…so where are St. Regis, Jumeirah, Waldorf Astoria and Oberoi on this list — and how are Hilton, Sheraton and Westin ranked above Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont?

What the heck is Wyndham doing on that list? Wyndham? A luxury hotel brand? The state of great comfort and extravagant living?!?

I must be missing something here.

Please do not misunderstand me: I have enjoyed what I considered to be excellent experiences — comfortable room, attentive service, excellent food, spectacular views, executive lounge access — with some of the hotel brands listed above; but many of them would not be considered luxury, in my opinion.

“Please, let’s not compare FS to Waldorf-Astoria or St. Regis”, opined FlyerTalk member oneworld82 in response to this article I wrote on March 27, 2013 pertaining to Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts reportedly set to launch its own frequent guest loyalty program. “This is simply another league! If anything, you can put FS, R-C, Peninsula and MO on the same league… perhaps only, though.”

Do you agree with oneworld82? Better yet, do you agree with the list by Digital Luxury Group and Samad Laaroussi?

Please list your top luxury hotel brands in the world in the Comments section below; and also feel free to list your favorite luxury hotel properties — even if they are independent hotel properties and not part of a brand or chain.

5 thoughts on “A List of the Top 20 Luxury Hotel Brands in the World?”

  1. Joey says:

    It probably varies by region too.

    I know Aman hotels are simply top notch throughout the world. Serena hotels are AAAAAMAZING in Africa. Mandarin Oriental in Asia.

    I recall the Holiday Inn is a top luxury hotel in Asia, yet here in the USA it’s just an ordinary hotel.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      …and I understand that Ramada Inns worldwide are supposedly significantly superior to their counterparts in the United States; but still not up to the standard of being categorized as “luxury.”

      Thank you for listing those luxury hotel brands, Joey.

  2. jorge escobar says:

    Some brands on the second list just make no scene. It includes Hyatt Regency but not Park Hyatt. Anyways two other lux brands that quickly comes to mind are Banyon tree and Kempinski.

  3. icicle says:

    How do I define “luxury”, in the sense of: best, rich, decadance, velvet glamour of dreams?

    It starts, at the very top, with the “Hôtel de Crillon”. It is all alone at the top. Everything else starts downwards from there.

    How do I define “luxury” as a common, normal person that will work forever because she’s not rich? Well, I do like my Hampton Inns! Some people might knock ’em, but have you been to the one by Chinoteague? Fantasique! Bascially it’s own mini-resort (and compared to some of these photos I’ve seen of Hyatts and Sheratons- right up there with them.) Of course, this isn’t true of every hotel in this chain- but then again, no hotel in any chain represents the stated chain definition perfectly. I once stayed at one of the best hotels in L.A., and my response was…meh. So, take each propertly independently, I suppose.

    Maybe there ought to be a better definition of “luxury”, as this definition “the state of great comfort and extravagant living” could have defined my college dorm! (I had my own sink, lived above the dining hall, had a single room… LOL)

    Everyone has their own interpretations, I guess 🙂

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have not been to the Hampton Inn by Chinoteague, icicle — but I have noted that, as well as the Hôtel de Crillon…

      I had a conversation with someone earlier today about really nice hotel properties versus ones which are considered luxury; and because it was difficult to place an exact definition on what is considered a luxury hotel property, I agree with you: everyone has their own interpretations of luxury.

      Thank you, icicle.

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