The world's most 'exceptional' hotels for 2021 revealed

Make your next holiday gold standard: The most exceptional hotels for 2021 revealed, from Beverly Hills to Bali via Perth

  • Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2021 provides inspiration ‘for discerning travellers on where to stay’
  • Making the list is a Marrakech hotel with ‘head-turning rooms’ and ‘a no-expense-spared’ Maldives resort
  • Here MailOnline Travel presents a selection of the 33 hotels that have been deemed ‘classic and exceptional’ 

When it comes to booking a hotel, don’t settle for bronze or silver – go for gold every time.

And don’t waste time hunting around for top properties on the internet, simply consult  Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2021.  

The guide pinpoints ‘classic and exceptional’ hotels from around the world and ‘provides inspiration and authoritative critiques for discerning travellers on where to stay’.

Among the 33 hotels making The Gold List 2021 are a ‘delightfully homey’ Paris property, a Marrakech venue with ‘head-turning rooms’, a ‘gold standard’ safari lodge in South Africa and a ‘bright and cheery, but restrained’ Beverly Hills legend.

Melinda Stevens, editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveller, said: ‘This year it feels even more vital to share our recommendations and support the truly trustworthy classics that can be relied upon again and again. We work with the best people in the business to give the best quality travel recommendations and we hope that The Gold List 2021 will inspire our readers to dream, plan their next adventure, and explore new places as soon as we are able to do so.’

Scroll down to see a selection of the hotels making the new list, from swanky city properties to beach escapes…

GRAND HÔTEL DE CALA ROSSA, PORTO-VECCHIO, CORSICA: Run by the Canarelli family since the late 1970s, this hotel has ‘the lively, everyone-knows-everyone vibe of a sprawling beachfront villa with white-stucco domed ceilings and plenty of inviting linen sofas to curl up on’, says Condé Nast Traveller. It adds: ‘The hotel has its own lick of sandy beach dotted with sunbeds and parasols, and its gardens hum with the sound of birds and insects in the summer months.’ Pictured is the hotel’s beachfront restaurant. Rooms from £163 per night. Visit

LE BRISTOL PARIS: ‘Fresh from a summer spruce, everyone’s favourite hotel in Paris is in irrefutably fine fettle,’ writes Condé Nast Traveller. It continues: ‘Despite being classified as worthy of having even more than five stars, the twinkling edifice manages to feel delightfully homely.’ Pictured is the Elysee Suite. Rooms from £892 per night, see 

TENUTA DI MURLO, UMBRIA, ITALY: The accommodation here ranges from ‘B&B-style rooms and one-bedroom cottages to Castiglione Ugolino, a gorgeous castle that sleeps 20’. Condé Nast Traveller says: ‘The first thing you notice is the space. In every direction are rolling hills of deep emerald – and almost nothing else.’  Rooms from £104 per night. Visit

THE ALBATROZ HOTEL, CASCAIS, PORTUGAL: This hotel first started operating as a tiny inn in the 1960s and has ‘blossomed to become one of the first five-stars in town’. Condé Nast Traveller says its buildings ‘jut out on a rocky promontory, close enough for the pounding waves to weave through any pillow talk with the beach of Conceicao just steps away’ and that inside ‘there is an enduring sense of elegance’. Rooms from £118 per night. Visit

HOTEL ASTORIA, ST PETERSBURG: ‘The 21st-century version of this hotel could not be more contemporary or refined – and the rooms are supremely comfortable,’ says Condé Nast Traveller.  ‘Ask for one with a view of the towering church to feel as if you could reach out of the window and touch its golden dome.’ Pictured is the hotel’s restaurant. Rooms start from £130 per night. See for more information

MACAKIZI, BODRUM, TURKEY: This hotel has 74 rooms ‘spread across four bougainvillaea-bright terraces on a sweeping site overlooking a beryl-blue bay’. Condé Nast Traveller writes: ‘The white and taupe bedrooms are lovely but most of the action takes place outside: the beach deck, the breezy restaurant, the waterside bar for Bellinis.’ Rooms from £380, visit


Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa, Porto-Vecchio, Corsica

Le Bristol Paris

Tenuta di Murlo, Umbria

Santa Clara 1728, Lisbon

The Albatroz Hotel, Cascais, Portugal

Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg

Alcuzcuz, Andalucia, Spain

Maçakizi, Bodrum, Turkey


Angama Mara, Great Rift Valley, Kenya

El Fenn, Marrakech, Morocco

&Beyond Benguerra Island, Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

Londolozi, Sabi Sands, South Africa

Singita Pamushana Lodge, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe


Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Middle House, Shanghai

 The Peninsula, Hong Kong 

Bujera Fort, Udaipur, India 

Hoshinoya Bali

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

The Nautilus, Baa Atoll, Maldives

Raya Heritage, Chiang Mai, Thailand


Como The Treasury, Perth

Raes on Wategos, Byron Bay,


Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla

Cobblers Cove, Barbados

Rosewood Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands

Hotel Tivoli, New York

Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, Hawaii

SingleThread Farm, Sonoma, California

The Beverly Hills Hotel


La Isla, Patagonia, Argentina

Calanoa Lodge, Amazonas, Colombia

Verana, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Source: Condé Nast Traveller Gold List. You can also see the full list online at Condé Nast Traveller and find a curated list in Condé Nast Traveller’s January/February 2021 issue, on newsstands now.

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