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5-Star Hotels and Resorts

What is a 5-star accommodation?

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There's no higher benchmark for luxury than a 5-star rating in the hospitality industry. It indicates a property that goes above and beyond in terms of the services it provides, the quality of those services, the amenities available, and even the décor.

While the prerequisites for a 5-star rating aren't unanimous across countries, guests can, at minimum, expect an exceptional experience at a 5-star establishment. A perfect example of an excellent 5-star hotel is Burj Al Arab, which has proved itself to be luxurious enough for people to jokingly call it the "only 7-star hotel in the world."

Typical features of 5-star hotels and resorts

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  • Upscale accommodations

Guests are often treated to lovely features such as floor-to-ceiling windows with blackout drapes, stylish overhead light fixtures and table lamps at appropriate places around the room, plush furnishing, and more in a 5-star establishment. Another common feature is a luxurious king-size bed, often fitted with a custom mattress, such as the famous Westin Heavenly Bed. These rooms also always have spacious bathrooms with oversized bathtubs and all the luxury toiletries one could need, from brands such as Le Labo.

Amenities for in-room relaxation in 5-star accommodations often include large TVs for that home theater experience and a private balcony where guests can enjoy beverages from the mini-fridge or tea and coffee machine. It's also possible to find additional perks when booking more expensive options. Some properties offer executive suites that grant their guests exclusive access to the executive lounge and its complimentary food and beverages.

  • Wellness amenities

What's a vacation without a little indulgence? 5-star accommodations, in particular, understand this philosophy well and include top-notch spas with expert masseuses, saunas, pools, and hot tubs to work out every bit of stress. Speaking of working out, gyms and yoga rooms with personal trainers are also included in these properties. Fashion is not left behind either as salons are available, too!

  • Recreational amenities

A bored guest is an unhappy guest, and so, 5-star properties come packed with as much entertainment as possible. Everything from sports amenities to fun cultural events organized by the property is available to keep guests amused. Beachside hotels and resorts might even go the extra mile and have facilities and trainers for watersports on site or off site, along with a lifeguard to ensure safety. Other amenities to keep guests of all ages busy include movie or game rooms, kids' clubs, playgrounds, and more.

  • Dining options

Decadent food offerings are an essential feather in any 5-star accommodation's cap, so guests will find gourmet menus aplenty. You might also be lucky enough to dine in a celebrity-chef-run restaurant! Some properties even offer private dining rooms to help facilitate intimate gatherings or events. For something even more private, guests can avail of exceptional room service. However, it's recommended to visit the on-site restaurants at least once, especially if there's a themed restaurant or one with an open kitchen.

It's common to find multiple dining options on site, with each offering a different mouth-watering cuisine. For a pleasant buzz at the end of the day, bars and lounges are available, too.

  • Attentive service

Most 5-star properties pride themselves on the exceptional personalized care they provide to each guest, so it's not surprising that butler and concierge services are often available to guests. Some places might even have a dedicated butler or concierge for each guest to ensure the best stay possible. Apart from this, round-the-clock room service and daily housekeeping are common amenities found in a luxurious property.

For guests thinking of hosting events or celebrations, 5-star hotels and resorts also often provide help with planning and arrangements. A hotel geared for destination weddings, for instance, might have a wedding planner on site to take care of everything, from the decorations to the food.

  • Transportation facilities

While some lower-star hotels also offer the possibility of a shuttle, 5-star accommodations take this a step further by offering luxury cars as shuttles and for hire to take guests around the destination. Personal chauffeurs could also be on call to make the experience even better.

  • State-of-the-art technology

From hydrotherapy showers to super-fast Wi-Fi, 5-star hotels and resorts are prepared to provide guests with all the modern comforts they need. This extends to features such as phone keycards, which are useful for both easy accessibility and security. Digital safes are also found in rooms to store valuables.

  • Amenities for business travelers

Business travelers usually prefer hotels that have top amenities to aid their work and meetings, such as ergonomic in-room workstations and business centers with the latest projectors, audio systems, photocopy/fax services, and stable Wi-Fi. 5-star properties usually have most, if not all, of these amenities, along with banquet spaces for larger work events or retreats.

  • Childcare services

Parents need breaks too, and 5-star hotels and resorts take care of that by providing extra services such as paid or complimentary babysitting and cribs, beds, and toys for infants and toddlers. Even slightly older children will often find kids' clubs to keep them busy while their parents relax by the pool.

  • On-site shops

5-star properties might feature bonus amenities such as boutiques and galleries to allow guests to indulge in retail therapy with luxury brands, without having to leave the premises. Souvenir shops are also common in these properties.

Top destinations with 5-star hotels around the world

Destinations with 5-star hotels in the United States

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  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Sitting on the southeast corner of Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City is famous for the many outdoor recreation opportunities it offers, with nearby attractions such as Great Salt Lake State Park. It's close to not one but two mountain ranges and is a beloved destination for hikers, skiing enthusiasts, and watersports lovers. It has a lively downtown area, where travelers can go to enjoy the night after their adventures outdoors. The downtown area is also home to one of the city’s best 5-star properties, The Grand America Hotel.

  • Florida Keys, Florida

This stunning set of islands is wildly popular among leisure travelers seeking a little fun under the sun, and literary connoisseurs wanting to visit The Hemingway Home & Museum. Aside from opportunities for watersports, you can find several seafood restaurants to satisfy your hunger. The destination has many 5-star hotels nearby for a lavish stay. You may check into Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, which caters to thrillseekers with facilities for watersports and access to beaches. This resort also happens to be North America's only private island resort, so it's worth checking out!

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

Who hasn't heard of Las Vegas? Its many, many cameos in Hollywood movies and reputation as a nightlife hotspot have cemented its place in international culture. Therefore, it's natural that there are incredible 5-star hotels in its vicinity, including the popular Bellagio Hotel & Casino, which happens to be right on the renowned Las Vegas Strip and has its own attraction, Fountains of Bellagio.

Other North American destinations with 5-star hotels

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  • Montreal, Canada

Home to the famous Cirque du Soleil, Montreal surely knows how to party and relax at the same time. Quebec's largest city offers a lot of unforgettable things, including many festivals. Its art scene is legendary, along with its storied past and delightful blend of French and North American culture. This is a destination for lovers of the finer things, fearing amazing 5-star hotels. It's also a popular stop during warmer months, thanks to its summer activities and events it offers.

  • Mexico City, Mexico

Delicious food, rich history, and stunning art — what's not to love about Mexico’s vibrant capital? From the intriguing sites of Teotihuacan and Templo Mayor to lush green spaces such as the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, the city has much to do and see. For a plush stay, there are also multiple luxurious properties in the city center, including The St. Regis Mexico City, a 5-star property known to be one of the best in the city.

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Gorgeous deserts meet pristine beaches in this popular destination. Cabo San Lucas is known for many things, but being boring isn't one of them. Each day here will be packed with adventure, thanks to attractions such as The Arch of Cabo San Lucas and El Medano Beach. Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is one of the most popular 5-star hotels here and offers a surreal cliffside location and stunning ocean views to boost any holiday to the next level.

Destinations with 5-star hotels in the United Kingdom

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  • Oxford, England

Oxford is also known as the “City of Dreaming Spires” thanks to Victorian poet Matthew Arnold, who was quite taken by the tall spires of the famous University of Oxford. The university is rumored to be the second oldest in the world and is best known as being the alma mater of not one but many Nobel prize winners. However, the city has much more to offer, such as the must-see exhibits in the Ashmolean Museum and inspiring music. Visitors can easily book one of the 5-star hotels here for a splendid stay.

  • Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast is best known as the birthplace of RMS Titanic and has many attractions to commemorate this, including Titanic Belfast, a museum built to resemble a huge ship that recounts the unfortunate history of the vessel. The best way to explore the city is by joining one of its walking tours. Belfast also has excellent 5-star hotels to facilitate an invigorating stay.

  • Glasgow, Scotland

Not only is Glasgow Scotland’s largest city, but it's also one of the most interesting, thanks to its long history as a center for trade and commerce. Its lovely Victorian buildings are also well known, such as the imposing Glasgow City Chambers. Even its 5-star hotels are gorgeous. Take, for instance, Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, which was built in the Georgian style and offers a unique experience.

Other European destinations with 5-star hotels

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  • Costa Adeje, Spain

Visitors in Costa Adeje get to experience a surreal combination of sunny coastlines and luxurious 5-star hotels offering the best of amenities. From GF Victoria, which is only a minute away on foot from Plaza del Duque Shopping Centre, to the adults-only Iberostar Selection Sabila, there are many options in this gorgeous city.

  • Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia offers the best of both worlds with breathtaking beaches and mountains for all kinds of adventures and relaxing yoga retreats for some rejuvenation. It even appeals to history buffs, thanks to its nuraghe, which are prehistoric circular monuments thought to have functioned as defensive towers. The city is also known for its rich culture, which you can explore at your own pace from its 5-star accommodations.

  • Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes has everything one might need for the perfect Grecian holiday—golden beaches, historical attractions such as Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, and excellent all-inclusive and 5-star hotels. 10GR Boutique Hotel & Wine Bar is one of the best on the island and has unique rooms and suites dedicated to different Greek icons.

Destinations with 5-star hotels in Asia

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  • Osaka, Japan

Located in the heart of Japan, Osaka is a great vacation spot for anyone looking to learn more about Japanese culture. Its streets are adorned with historical attractions, such as Osaka Castle, alongside themed cafés, modern nightlife stops, and buzzing stores. It even has multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, such as the famous Pierre and Again. The former also happens to be located in one of the best 5-star hotels in Osaka, InterContinental Hotel Osaka.

  • Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta is the lively capital of Indonesia, meaning it's chock-full of luxurious 5-star hotels. One of its best offerings is Raffles Jakarta, where guests are assigned personal butlers for an added touch of luxury. Meanwhile, for those who prefer being in the thick of the action, a centrally located property such as Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta might be a better option. The city is also home to Kota Tua, once known as Batavia, which still carries remnants of Dutch colonization. Moreover, you'll find plenty of nearby destinations for exciting day trips.

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is a destination for the adventurous traveler and offers many things for solo visitors to enjoy, such as swimming alongside sharks and turtles in a massive oceanarium in Aquaria KLCC. Travelers will also have great 5-star hotels to relax in once the adrenaline wears off. More laid-back activities include food tours and city expeditions.

Destinations with 5-star hotels in Oceania

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  • Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown can best be described as something straight out of a fairytale. It's nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains, making it perfect for those looking for a serene getaway. It's even possible to have a great time with your fur babies in this town, thanks to the many pet-friendly accommodations. You can also book rooms overlooking the lake at properties such as QT Queenstown, one of the best 5-star hotels here, if traveling with your partner.

  • Sydney, Australia

Sydney is one of the most well-known global cities and has much to explore. It stands on the shores of the gorgeous Sydney Harbour, boasts a vibrant nightlife, and is home to iconic sites such as Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. To sustain the heavy influx of tourists every year, the city also has great 5-star options to suit every need.

Factors to consider when booking a 5-star property

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  • Location

Location is often a deciding factor when choosing a property to stay in. No matter how luxurious, accommodation that's too far away from an airport or railway station might not appeal to guests who need to be in and out quickly. Similarly, a hotel too close to noisy streets might not be suitable for someone looking for some peace. Travelers looking for easy access to the most fascinating spots in the city will find hotels in city centers most to their liking.

Solo travelers might also need to evaluate whether or not a location is safe before heading there.

  • Budget

Since 5-star properties tend to be more on the expensive side, it's important to plan one's budget accordingly to ensure there's enough for stay, transport, and food, along with a little extra for shopping.

  • Ambiance and vibe

Aesthetic appeal is one of the strongest selling points for 5-star hotels and resorts, so it's wise to look at photos beforehand and verify that the décor and furnishings provided are up to the mark before booking. For instance, 5-star properties set in historic buildings will have a very different ambiance compared to those that are newly built, and will therefore draw different crowds. There are also themed hotels and resorts that can have, for instance, interiors styled to look like castles or beaches.

  • Room type

Accommodation preferences can vary from guest to guest based on factors such as space needs, privacy, or amenities. For instance, guests traveling with their families tend to book private villas to be able to stay together and enjoy enough privacy and space, while solo travelers might be happy with a smaller hotel room.

  • Amenities, facilities, and services

The phrase “different strokes for different folks” truly comes into play when choosing where to stay. Since tourists travel with different goals in mind, they must verify that their chosen property has all the amenities they need to enjoy their stay to the fullest. A great example of this would be that while business travelers prioritize work-related amenities, others might prefer luxe spas or fitness centers. Similarly, beachgoers will be enticed by amenities such as private beaches and water sports facilities.

  • Connection to a reputed chain

Brand names such as Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and InterContinental, among others, carry a guarantee of a certain standard of accommodation and service, which could be what discerning guests are looking for. This could include signature spa treatments, custom furnishings in rooms, and even staff conduct. Some chains also offer loyalty programs with extra perks such as free room or suite upgrades and complimentary wine for members.

  • Property policies

Property policies are especially important for guests traveling with kids or pets. For kids, some hotels or resorts might offer extra facilities such as kids’ clubs, special menus in restaurants, and even complimentary stays up to a certain age.

Pets, meanwhile, are only allowed in properties that declare themselves pet-friendly. These hotels and resorts can also offer facilities such as pet bowls and gardens where the animals can walk, so it's a good idea to keep an eye out for those.

  • Accessibility

The availability of accessible features such as ramps, handrails in bathrooms, and Braille, is usually mentioned on the hotel website and can easily be verified by guests with disabilities or their loved ones before booking. It's also wise to contact the staff directly for this kind of information.

  • Reputation, reviews, and ratings

When booking a hotel, there's no better way to judge how good it's than by reading reviews from guests who have already stayed there. These reviews can be found on booking sites or on Google and paint an accurate picture of the property and its advantages and shortcomings.

Experience unparalleled luxury in 5-star hotels and resorts

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5-star properties set the benchmark for truly indulgent experiences for travelers. From long lists of amenities to extra perks to delight their guests, these hotels and resorts aim to please. Set in popular cities all over the world, these properties are often destinations in themselves, thanks to their grand ambiance. If you have the budget and the desire to experience the charms of 5-star properties for yourself, use the guide above to find the perfect choice for you and get started on a surreal journey.

5-star hotels in the United States

5-star hotels in other North American countries

5-star hotels in the United Kingdom

5-star hotels in Europe

5-star hotels in Asia

5-star hotels in Oceania

5-star hotels in Africa

5-star hotels in the Middle East

5-star hotels in the Caribbean

FAQ's about 5-star Hotels and Resorts

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