Two of the planet's five best hotels can be found in Hong Kong - at least according to The World's 50 Best Hotels 2023, the inaugural awards ceremony of which was held in London this week.
Furthermore, Asia accounts for four of the top five spots, with Rosewood Hong Kong (No 2), Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (No 3) in Thailand, Hong Kong's The Upper House (No 4) and the Aman Tokyo (No 5) in Japan giving the overall winner, Italy's 24-room Passalacqua, a run for its money.
The awards are a sister competition to the well-established World's 50 Best Restaurants (current No 1: Central, in Lima, Peru) and World's 50 Best Bars (Paradiso, Barcelona).
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Properties are voted for by the World's 50 Best Hotels Academy; 580 well-travelled experts in the hotel and travel industry, half of whom are women.
All voters, aside from regional "academy chairs", remain anonymous to eliminate the possibility of lobbying.
Each voter listed the seven hotels they liked best of those they stayed in during the 24 months preceding the vote.
As well as the overall best hotel category, properties were assessed in six sponsored subcategories:
Nikka Best New Hotel Award - winner: Capella Bangkok, Thailand
The Flor de Cana Eco Hotel Award - winner: Singita Lodges, Kruger National Park, South Africa
The Lavazza One To Watch Award - winner: The Lodge at Blue Sky, Utah, United States
The Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel Award - winner: Soneva Fushi, the Maldives
The Art of Hospitality Award - winner: Gleneagles; Scotland
The Carlo Alberto Best Boutique Hotel Award - winner: The Newt, England
In total, of the 50 "best" hotels that give the awards their name, 18 are in Asia, other notable inclusions being the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Thailand (No 10); Raffles Singapore (No 17); Nihi Sumba, Indonesia (No 18); Capella Singapore (No 28); Desa Potato Head, Bali, Indonesia (No 40); and Atlantis the Royal, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (No 44).
Indicative of the peculiarities associated with different attempts to rate experiences as subjective as hotel stays, the winner of another new ranking - Venice's Belmond Hotel Cipriani, which topped the 1,000 World's Best Hotels list by French company La Liste in June - failed to even register in this top 50.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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