If you’re stuck for inspiration for your next deluxe hotel stay, consider this list a gold mine.
It’s Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2023, an annual guide to the most ‘outstanding’ hotels and resorts for ‘discerning travellers’ to visit around the world in 2023.
A former shooting lodge on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, a Hawaiian retreat where Ernest Hemingway once honeymooned, and an ‘extraordinary’ lakeside ranch in New Zealand are among the hotels to get the golden seal of approval.
Conde Nast Traveller’s Global Editorial Director Divia Thani says: ‘Our editors around the world – from California to Mumbai to London – have come together to spotlight some of the most sophisticated, innovative and extraordinary resorts and experiences around the world.
‘The list is designed to showcase the places our global network of editors feel most passionately about, and it will surely ignite the wanderlust among our audiences… who are still making up for lost time.’
Below are a handful of the swoon-worthy properties that make the cut. Scroll down to the very bottom to see the list in full…
HALEKULANI, WAIKIKI, OAHU, HAWAII: ‘Halekulani transports guests back to Hawaii’s golden era when honeymooners like Ernest Hemingway would come for sunset daiquiris at House Without A Key, the hotel’s restaurant and bar,’ declares Conde Nast Traveller. The hotel, which underwent a renovation during the pandemic, holds nightly mele (music) and hula and is home to a ‘renowned’ art collection. ‘Attentive staff always at the ready with sunblock or another hula punch make it hard to pull yourself away from the sparkling pool (above),’ the publication adds. Rooms from about £539. Visit www.halekulani.com
LE MEURICE, PARIS, FRANCE: This ‘masterpiece’ of a grand dame hotel is nestled right in the heart of Paris, and for all the ‘marble-lined grandeur’ of the property, it offers a ‘surprisingly cosy and contemporary’ stay, says Conde Nast Traveller. It reveals that guests can embark on private art tours, during which they pay a visit to the Belle Etoile penthouse for a view ‘almost identical’ to Monet’s 1876 study of the Tuileries Gardens.
THE SAVOY, LONDON: Conde Nast Traveller says that this lauded hotel, which opened in 1889, is a ‘gorgeous bundle of stylistic contradictions – high Victorian, plush Edwardian, flapper-tastic Art Deco – that adds up to much more than the sum of its parts’. It notes: ‘Before he returned to Florence to start his little luggage business, Guccio Gucci worked as a porter at The Savoy.’ In 2021, the Royal Suite (above) was restyled with ‘irresistible flair’ by the eponymous brand that Gucci went on to establish. Doubles from about £630. Visit www.thesavoylondon.com
THE NEWT IN SOMERSET, ENGLAND: This hotel, opened in 2019 on an 800-acre estate, is ‘so much more than 42 beautifully pitched rooms’, says Conde Nast traveller. It’s home to an interactive museum, a ‘corker’ of a spa, and a gelateria, and offers guests bee safaris and honey tastings. Gourmands are in for a treat, as ‘estate-to-plate food zings with freshness’, says the publication. It also recommends trying the hotel’s own cyder, made from apples from the walled garden. Rooms from about £433. Visit thenewtinsomerset.com
VILLA IGIEA, A ROCCO FORTE HOTEL, PALERMO, ITALY: This ‘graceful’ retreat was ‘bought as a private estate by the Florios, once one of Italy’s wealthiest families, but then converted in the early 1900s into a wellness retreat that was popular with royalty’, Conde Nast Traveller reveals. It says that hotel brand Rocco Forte revived the property in 2021, and now it feels like a ‘glitzy clubhouse of sorts for European dynasty families’. As for the decor, expect ‘whimsical frescoes and grand staircases’. Rooms are priced from around £472. Visit www.roccofortehotels.com
SAO LOURENCO DO BARROCAL, ALENTEJO, PORTUGAL: Set on a 2,000-acre estate, this 40-room hotel and organic working farm is home to ‘humble, whitewashed farm buildings’ that have been ‘sensitively transformed into sophisticated suites’, Conde Nast Traveller reveals. Food is a highlight, with ‘polished takes on traditional dishes’ served with local wines. During their stays, guests can enjoy beekeeping lessons, foraging, and stargazing, as the region is a Dark Sky Reserve. Doubles from around £352. Visit barrocal.pt
THE GORING, LONDON: Describing this property, Conde Nast Traveller says: ‘From the scarlet-coated concierges to the antiques-filled rooms, proximity to Buckingham Palace, and a dining room that was a favourite of both Margaret Thatcher and the Queen Mother, this is a true icon of the [UK] capital’s hotel scene.’ It adds that ‘discretion is everything’ when it comes to the service, and if you’re lucky enough to dine there, you ought to try the ‘legendary’ lobster omelette. Rooms from £549. Visit thegoring.com
MARBELLA CLUB, MALAGA, SPAIN: Conde Nast Traveller says that this seaside property, which offers the ‘intimacy of a members’ club’, has been ‘synonymous with unassuming luxury’ since the 1950s. Here, guests will discover a ‘rare combination of bohemian charm and specificity of service’, the publication notes. However, the resort’s ‘greatest triumph’ is the kids’ club, where ‘there are exhaustive activities, gorgeous free-flow creative spaces, and engaging, energetic staff who work subtle magic’. Doubles are priced from around £377. Visit www.marbellaclub.com
DEPLAR FARM, TROLL PENINSULA, NORTHERN ICELAND: ‘Though it almost looks like just another black timber farmstead on the drive up the valley, the 32-guest lodge is a lair of pure-grade hedonism,’ says Conde Nast Traveller of this Icelandic retreat. Indoor perks include a shuffleboard table, hidden game consoles and a movie projector, while guests can also enjoy outdoor pursuits such as ‘heli-skiing [transferred by helicopter] in the surrounding mountains’ and ‘fly-fishing for char in nearby Lake Miklavatn’. Rooms from around £2,781.