1. Travel

The Best Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Every Kind, Everywhere

By

Choosing a luxury hotel is like shopping in a candy store. Everything's so tempting, it's impossible to decide -- till you figure out what you truly crave. Here are dozens of sweet luxury hotels and resorts of all kinds. So what do you really want?
  1. Top Luxury Hotel Brands
  2. Grand Hotels
  3. Boutique Hotels
  4. Design Hotels
  5. Beach Hotels & Tropical Resorts
  6. Romantic Getaways for Two
  7. Historic Hotels
  8. Castle, Château, & Mansion Hotels
  9. Monastery & Convent Hotels
  10. Spa Resorts
  1. Family Hotels & Resorts
  2. All-Inclusive Resorts
  3. Golf Resorts
  4. Culinary-Focused Hotels
  5. Eco-Hotels, Ranches, & Safari Lodges
  6. Casino Hotels
  7. Pet-Friendly Hotels
  8. Villas & Vacation Home Rentals
  9. The Best Hotels in the Best Places
  10. The Practical Luxury Hotel Guest

Top Luxury Hotel Brands

The top luxury hotel brands offer more than famous names. They promise reliabiity and consistency. You can count on these luxury hotel "flags" for what they do best. And they're not all the same. Find out what you can expect from these luxury hotel names.

Grand Hotels

Grand hotels are landmarks: a place's most historic, most celebrated digs. A grand hotel's rooms are dignified, and its lobby is the local center of social life. Stake out a cushy lobby chair and watch high society flutter by.

Boutique Hotels

EPIC, a boutique hotel in Miami.

Boutique hotels -- fashionable digs under 150 rooms or so -- are an increasingly popular alternative to big-box hotels. Here's a sampling of the world's best boutique hotels, according to About.com's travel experts.

Design Hotels

Art surrounds you at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Design hotels are for the Wallpaper Magazine crowd: architects, artists, aesthetes. You know who you are, and how hard it is to please your expert eye. See if these divine design hotels rate.

Beach Hotels & Tropical Resorts

If your luxury vacation wish list skews toward sun, sand, and serenity, meet your match. These tropical options are complete relaxation stations.

Romantic Getaways for Two

You know what you want when you're planning to slip away with your playmate. You want a secluded, serene, seductive hotel or inn. With privacy, a big, cushy bed, an intimate restaurant and (of course) room service. Check out these sensual spots; maybe you'll check in.

Historic Hotels

When you stay at a historic hotel with a famous legacy, you become part of its legend. Share some of the luster of these historic hotels, all a century old, more or less.

Castle, Château, & Mansion Hotels

If you demand the royal treatment when you travel, you may feel at home in a castle or mansion hotel. These aristocratic hotels boast regal pedigrees and ducal decor.

Monastery & Convent Hotels

Monks and nuns were privileged folks in their time: the well-fed, beautifully housed sons and daughters of the well-to-do. Today, many monasteries and convents have been desanctified and rededicated as lovely, low-key inns. Some luxury travelers worship them.

Spa Resorts

Aah...spa. A great hotel spa, and the pampering facials and massages they furnish, are the icing on the cake of a luxury resort. These splendid hotels and resorts are known for their exceptional spas. Check in and bliss out.

Family Hotels & Resorts

Sometimes you two can slip away on your own, but most of the time your crew travels as a family. And you're all choosy about where you stay. These luxury hotels and resorts are nice enough for the pickiest kids -- and their been-there, done-that parents.

All-Inclusive Resorts

Once known as singles' beach getaways, all-inclusives nowadays are stylish, luxurious affairs set on prime Caribbean and Mexican beachfront. Some "AIs" are family-oriented, some adults-only. What they share: a one-time expense covering your room, meals, drinks, activities, and tips. And AI vacations are often packaged with airfare and airport transfers. What could be easier?

Golf Resorts

Guacalito-Golf-Course-Mukul-Nicaragua.jpg

If golf travel makes your world go round, a golf resort is your kind of hotel. Here are links to the world's top links.

Culinary-Focused Hotels

Hotel Belles Rives in Antibes Juan-les-Pins, French Riviera.

The question is not, do you eat to live, or live to eat? The question is, do you travel to eat? If you do, you're a confirmed foodie and culinary traveler. But the wow chow at these hotels would get anyone in the mood for food.

Eco-Hotels, Ranches, & Safari Lodges

Cimarroncita Ranch in New Mexico.

Today, tourism can take you to the world's most remote natural places. So if you get away to get back to the land, you'll want to check out these eco-minded resorts, which showcase our green planet and the creatures we share it with.

Casino Hotels

When your travel companion is Lady Luck, one thing you don't need to gamble on is your hotel. These international casino resorts are winners.

Pet-Friendly Hotels

Some enlightened hotel brands acknowledge that our furry little ones are a part of the family. These hotels and resorts accept smaller dogs, and usually cats too. Paws up to them!

Villas & Vacation Home Rentals

Some luxury travelers prefer villa and home rentals to hotel stays. Villas are quieter and more secluded. Especially if you're a celebrity who requires extreme privacy.

The Best Hotels in the Best Places

A wonderful luxury hotel adds to the excitement of an urban vacation. These are some of the nicest, most welcoming hotels in international cities that luxury travelers treasure.

The Practical Luxury Hotel Guest

When in Quito, Peru, be ready for impromptu concerts.

When planning a luxury hotel stay, a little knowledge is not a dangerous thing. More information means fewer surprises. Here are some insider tips on finessing luxury hotel stays. Get the hotel, the room, and the service you seek!

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.