The best Ritz-Carltons in the world

Among the many hotel brands that exist today, few have the historical heft or continuing

Among the many hotel brands that exist today, few have the historical heft or continuing cachet of Ritz-Carlton. The storied brand’s legacy stems from 19th-century Swiss hotel impresario Cesar Ritz, who was known as “the king of hoteliers and the hotelier to kings.”

But those bygone hotels bear little resemblance to the Ritz-Carlton brand of today, which is one of the crown jewels in Marriott Bonvoy’s globe-girdling portfolio of luxury hotels.

There are just over 100 Ritz-Carltons around the world currently, including a new Ritz-Carlton in New York City’s NoMad neighborhood. While some are upscale yet admittedly humdrum convention hotels, many continue to embody the original Ritz qualities of timeless luxury, sense of place and service excellence.

From this collection of distinctive lodgings, here are 14 of the best Ritz-Carltons in the world and why you might want to book your next stay at each.

Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Best for: Intimate luxury in the middle of the Balinese jungle.

Why stay here: Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties are among the most rarefied in the entire Marriott portfolio and this one, cascading down forested slopes to the Ayung River, is a truly unique experience.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credit while earning Marriott points; reserve via American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts or Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection; or redeem your points by booking with Marriott directly.

One of just five ultra-exclusive Reserve-branded Ritz-Carlton resorts around the world, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve welcomes guests with genuine and warm Balinese hospitality and some of the most gorgeous accommodations and unique spa experiences on the island.

The resort cascades down a jungle-covered valley on the outskirts of Ubud. Guests descend past pools and paddies of rice, shrines and flower-bordered pathways to their private villas, all of which include personalized butler service, and some of which sit right above the torrent of the Ayung River (yes, you can hear whitewater rafters hooting it up at times).

Suites start at around 1,100 square feet, while villas range from over 4,700 square feet and up, including expansive outdoor areas with daybeds, dining areas and private plunge pools as well as separate indoor living rooms. Colorful murals are inspired by Bali’s lush flora, and handmade local artworks adorn the walls.

Near the resort’s quiet main pool, Sawah Terrace serves a sumptuous breakfast buffet and Indonesian specialties like rich beef-cheek rendang for lunch and dinner. There’s also a casual pool bar for bites like burgers and pizza during the day. The clubby Library Bar, along with Ambar Ubud Bar, serves specialty cocktails and both English and Indonesian afternoon tea, plus Japanese fusion fare. The signature dining experience here, though, is at riverside Kubu, where guests are seated in nest-like bamboo structures and dine on either degustation or a la carte menus of gourmet Mediterranean dishes using Bali-sourced ingredients.

The impressive spa and fitness complex is also down in the part of the resort near the river, and a treatment here is an absolute must. Therapies draw upon both Ayurvedic and traditional Balinese healing techniques. The resort can even arrange for purifying sessions with a local healer, though you can also go for just plain over-the-top indulgence, such as with the 24-karat gold age-defying facial, which incorporates gold leaf and mogra, the so-called “queen of jasmine,” to reinvigorate the skin and banish fine lines.

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Rates at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve start at $1,005 or 96,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland


Best for: Marriott Bonvoy members looking for unrivaled luxury in one of Europe’s most picturesque cities.

Why stay here: Classic grandeur along the lake’s edge in Geneva, beautifully appointed rooms and suites and mouthwatering Nordic-fusion cuisine at Fiskebar.

Best way to book: Book directly through Marriott to earn or redeem Marriott Bonvoy points and enjoy any elite benefits.

Hotel de la Paix means Peace Hotel, so it’s fitting that this Ritz-Carlton crowns the hotel scene in the so-called “Peace City,” as Geneva is sometimes known thanks to its history as the backdrop for significant treaty negotiations and its current affiliations with the United Nations and the Red Cross.

Along with tranquility, though, guests at this grande dame, which dates to 1865, can expect to find more than a modicum of luxury thanks to a recent $23 million renovation that has evolved the classical elegance of its guest rooms into contemporary elan with an art deco edge. Chrome and gilt accents glint from the light fixtures, and curvaceous furniture pieces richly upholstered in pellucid blues and shimmery grays reflect the hotel’s lakefront location and the snow-covered peak of Mont Blanc in the distance.

Whether in town for business or a spot of luxury shopping (this is the watch capital of the world, after all), guests can dine at its four distinctive outlets, including Dans le Noir, which only opens for dinner on the weekends and serves “surprise” three-course menus … completely in the dark so you have to use all your other senses to get the full experience.

In the mood for a more typical dining experience? Head to the hotel’s contempo-Nordic Fiskebar, where you can treat yourself to a signature caviar and Champagne tasting, or go for intriguing la carte options like halibut with fermented plum, coffee and barley. The bright Living Room Bar & Kitchen off the lobby serves upscale continental cuisine and proffers an unparalleled list of Switzerland’s under-the-radar wines.

The fitness center is small but equipped with up-to-date cardio and weight equipment.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva start at $740 or 80,000 points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Fari Islands North, Maldives


Best for: Luxury lovers who will settle for nothing less than stunning overwater accommodations.

Why stay here: Great points availability in one of the world’s most stunning natural settings make this a top redemption choice for Marriott Bonvoy members.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credit while earning Marriott points; reserve via American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts or Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection; or redeem your points by booking with Marriott directly.

Although it opened in the midst of the pandemic, in June 2021, the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands made quite a splash as one of the most exciting new resorts to appear in the Maldives in years — not least of all because you could use Marriott Bonvoy points to book a stay here at relatively reasonable rates.

The 100-key, all-villa resort offers accommodations in a variety of configurations and orientations, including beach and overwater villas, as well as a choice of lagoon or ocean view. No matter which category you book, though, you can expect the services of a personal butler who can attend to everything from restaurant and spa reservations to off-island excursions. These stunning structures also feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors, huge outdoor decks and curvilinear infinity-edge pools that take full advantage of the watery vistas (and don’t worry if yours is at the end of the long boardwalk, you’ll have a complimentary bike to use to get around the resort faster).

Even if you stay for a few days, you won’t get bored thanks to the plethora of activities available, including snorkel and dive trips arranged out of the resort’s dive center, photo workshops, sunset sails and more. There is a Ritz Kids Club to keep the tots occupied while adults enjoy more mature pursuits like a treatment in the stunning circular overwater spa, such as the signature Bamford full-body exfoliation and the lavender-peppermint after-sun body treatment with soothing wheat-germ oil.

The hotel is home to seven bars and restaurants, including La Locanda for southern Italian cuisine (yes, there’s also pizza), Summer Pavilion for sumptuous contemporary Chinese like bird’s nest with crab and abalone, Iwau for ultra-fresh Japanese-inspired tasting menus (including a vegan one), Arabesque for Indian-Lebanese fusion that honors the traditional influences on Maldivian cuisine due to its location along ancient trade routes and Beach Bar, where you can enjoy tasty tapas with your toes in the sand, among other options.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands start at $1,759 or 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

Bachelor Gulch, Colorado, USA


Best for: Those who want a rustic-chic sojourn right on the slopes but in a quieter part of the resort where you can really unplug.

Why stay here: This resort is like a fairy-tale mountain getaway, with a wonderful outdoor heated pool and a location steps from the chairlift. It’s a place to be pampered and to relax in front of a big fireplace when you aren’t busy at the lively apres-ski scene.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy free breakfast plus on-property credits, or via American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts.

Practically since it opened back in 2002, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch has been one of the most popular resorts in the Ritz-Carlton portfolio thanks to its stunning Rocky Mountain setting, high caliber ski experience and a family-friendly log-cabin aesthetic.

The 180-key hotel underwent a recent makeover that’s left it feeling more contemporary, but it still extends the same welcoming ambiance to guests young and old. The accommodations these days feel much brighter thanks to a lighter color palette and fun features like exposed-beam ceiling recesses and wall panels featuring mountain fauna but retain fan favorites like Egyptian cotton linens crafted in Italy, white-marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs set into custom-designed woodwork and high-tech features like 65-inch 4K TVs, all with stunning mountain or valley views. Many feature stone fireplaces for those cold high-elevation evenings, too.

During winter, of course, skiing is the main activity, and Beaver Creek boasts 2,000 acres of terrain. The resort is ski-in, ski-out and a recent expansion includes 17 new trails and 250 more acres (you can also go snowmobiling and snowshoeing, among other options). Summer activities include hiking and mountain biking, and guests can tee off on the famous Beaver Creek golf course nearby as well.

If relaxation is the order of the day, book a treatment at the 21,000-square-foot spa, which features a stone-lined relaxation pool and grotto. Therapies incorporate local minerals, plants and herbs to soothe muscles tired from days out on the slopes.

The hotel fields six dining outlets. Start your morning with a cappuccino and pastry at The Market, then wind down after a few chutes with apres-ski drinks and snacks at Fireside Bar on the outdoor terrace or with appetizers and cocktails by the wood-burning fireplace in the resort’s Great Room lounge. Buffalos serves comfort food and plenty of on-tap Colorado beers, while those looking for something lighter can tuck into sushi at Sakaba. The flagship restaurant is Wyld, where mountain-fresh fare includes dishes like slow-cooked Colorado lamb shoulder over couscous with pickled cauliflower with spicy zhoug sauce.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch start at $342 or 65,600 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Dorado, Puerto Rico


Best for: Couples and families looking for a luxury vacation where the beach is never more than a two-minute stroll away.

Why stay here: This was Ritz-Carlton’s first Reserve property, and it’s arguably Puerto Rico’s most exclusive resort.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits while earning Marriott Bonvoy points. You can also book directly with Marriott to redeem points.

Another Reserve-branded property, this resort on a former sugar plantation 22 miles west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was originally opened back in 1958 by Standard Oil heir and hotel impresario Laurance S. Rockefeller. Dorado Beach immediately began drawing the who’s who of the time, including Joe DiMaggio and Elizabeth Taylor, not to mention several U.S. presidents. Like with some of his other famous properties, including Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Rockefeller envisioned a resort that blended into and enhanced the surrounding nature rather than overwhelming it, and today, that legacy lives on in buildings that do not overtop the plentiful palm trees, and whose orientation takes advantage of its stunning coastal location.

Villas and suites aim to bring nature inside with color palettes inspired by the jungle and sea, plus stunning limestone tiling to reflect the Caribbean sunlight that streams in through floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, not to mention large private patios for sunbathing, some of which have private plunge pools. Guests are assigned personal embajadores, or butlers, to see to their every need, including making restaurant and spa reservations or arranging for private experiences like photography lessons or cooking classes.

Among the dining venues, La Cocina proffers delicious pastries and Puerto Rican coffees along with various sundries. Beachfront Coa is the spot for a leisurely buffet breakfast or gourmet dinners with international specialties like seared sea scallops with cream, sweet corn, tamarind foam and purple potato confit. Sip and nibble in swanky surroundings with your feet in the sand at the Japanese-inspired Positivo, where menu items include miso-marinated black cod along with various sashimi slices and maki rolls.

The sprawling spa and fitness complex is crisscrossed by gardens and tree-lined paths, and treatments incorporate local botanicals, such as the pineapple body massage and polish that utilizes fruit from the hotel’s own gardens plus freshly grown turmeric, ginger, mint and sugar.

Rates at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve start at $1,595 or 177,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

West Kowloon, Hong Kong


Best for: Some of the best skyline and harbor views in Hong Kong.

Why stay here: Gorgeous rooms with even more stunning views, plus some of the city’s most exciting bars and restaurants mean you might not even want to leave.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credit while earning Marriott points; reserve via American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts or Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection; or redeem your points by booking with Marriott directly.

Occupying the top floors of the 118-story International Commerce Centre in Kowloon, the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is one of the highest hotels in the world … and does indeed take luxury to new heights, even in a decadent hotel market like Hong Kong. At that elevation, guests are treated to some of the best city and Victoria Harbour views from pretty much any vantage point. It’s convenient, too, since you can take the Hong Kong Airport Express directly to the airport from the station beneath the tower.

The 312 guest rooms and suites start at 540 square feet and have panoramic windows to take advantage of their prime perch – just be sure to double-check the category you book so you get the vista you want. They also feature luxury linens, large marble bathrooms stocked with Diptyque products, and understated decor with dark wood or upholstered paneling and jewel-toned silk accents.

Among its dining establishments, Tosca di Angelo has a Michelin star and serves refined coastal Italian fare like paccheri with Sicilian red shrimp, while the two-Michelin-starred Tin Lung Heen proffers a panoply of elegant Cantonese specialties including such as steamed garoupa filet of fish topped with Jinhua ham and bird’s nest.

Make time for the fabulous and fun afternoon tea at Cafe 103 (on, you guessed it, the 103rd floor), or stop by the Lounge and Bar for international small bites one floor below. For something truly special (and expensive), reserve a tasting of caviars, Champagnes and vodkas at Almas Caviar Bar, or keep things casual and head up to level 118 for the trippy decor and festive atmosphere at Ozone Bar, where even the delicious drinks can’t compete with the skyline views from the outdoor terrace.

Of course, you can get (nearly) the same views in a healthier way from the fitness center and infinity pool on the 116th floor, where you’ll also find the hotel’s spa, a secluded cocoon from the city’s hustle and bustle. The lava shell jet lag solution treatment is just the thing to soothe tired and sore muscles before or after a long flight.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong start at $560 or 79,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


Best for: A sunny sojourn in the Caribbean where you can earn or redeem Marriott Bonvoy points by the thousands.

Why stay here: For a prime spot on famous Seven Mile Beach, not to mention plenty of family-friendly amenities like a huge pool and a kids’ waterpark, plus a fine-dining restaurant from celebrity chef Eric Ripert.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elite-like benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking through Marriott directly.

Home to the famous Cayman Cookout every January, which is hosted by celebrity chef Eric Ripert (who also has a restaurant here) and draws foodie luminaries from around the globe, the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, sits right on the island’s famous Seven Mile Beach. It underwent a thorough renovation of its facilities and grounds in 2021, so it’s looking as bright and welcoming as ever, with a British-Caribbean flair of bright palettes and tropical prints to its refreshed look.

Rooms start at a spacious 480 square feet with garden, beach and ocean views, along with stylish elements like minimalist two- and four-poster beds, palm-inspired privacy screens, small terraces and balconies, and marble bathrooms stocked with Asprey products.

The family-friendly resort has plenty to keep the whole brood occupied, from its enormous oceanfront pool to a Greg Norman-designed nine-hole golf course, a tennis complex with five courts plus two pickleball ones, an outdoor basketball court, the Starfish Cay water park for young ones and a game room for kids and teens with the usual crowd pleasers like Xbox and PlayStation 4.

Parents seeking relaxation can stop by the spa for a treatment with products from ESPA and 111Skin. After a day in the sun and water, the celestial black diamond non-surgical facelift sounds like a heavenly way to wind down.

Or you could head to one of the resort’s six bars and restaurants. There’s the relatively new beachfront Saint June, serving healthy, organic dishes by day and more experimental menus by night; the tropical-chic Silver Palm for coffee and tea throughout the day plus fun experiences like rum-cigar-cacao pairings; Taikun for ultra-fresh sushi; Seven for succulent steaks; and the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Eric Ripert’s Blue, where guests can choose for a la carte service or both six- and eight-course tasting menus that might include specialties such as scallops with wild mushrooms and smoked butter.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman start at $597 or 80,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

Berlin, Germany


Best for: One of the most luxurious stays in one of Europe’s most dynamic capitals.

Why stay here: Thanks to its prime spot on bustling Potsdamer Platz, this hotel is a great choice for frequent and first-time visitors alike. Plus, a recent renovation means public spaces and rooms have a new dash of Weimar glam to them.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elite-like benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking through Marriott directly.

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin underwent a $44 million renovation in 2019 that took it from a sophisticated but somewhat standard stalwart on the capital’s hotel scene to a glamorous redoubt inspired by German film’s 1920s heyday, right on central Potsdamer Platz.

The lobby’s focal point is a sweeping marble staircase with intricate wrought-iron railings lit from overhead by starburst chandeliers and reception desks backed by geometric metallic fixtures — it feels like you could be on the set of “Metropolis.” The public areas abound with intricately patterned marble floors, gleaming chrome and mirrored elements, along with eclectic art pieces hanging on the walls and adorning minimalist shelves and scallop-edged credenzas.

The guest rooms also got a silver screen-style makeover with dramatic wood and velvet headboards, a heady mix of Champagne and aubergine hues and fun touches like minibars meant to evoke the wardrobe boxes of silent film-era starlets, plus an all-marble bathroom with black vanities that any film noir vixen would kill for. (Accommodations also start at a spacious-by-European-standards 430 square feet).

After a day out exploring this thriving city, guests can take advantage of a new fitness center to work up a sweat using a variety of new equipment or simply melt into the Finnish-style sauna.

Guests can start their day with coffee and a pastry at The Lounge or stop in for afternoon tea led by a Jing tea sommelier. The hotel has an on-site partner restaurant called Ishi by Henssler, serving refined Japanese cuisine. However, its flagship is Pots, which serves both a la carte and set-course tasting menus of hyper-seasonal plates that are novel takes on traditional dishes, such as gilthead bream with cucumbers and mustard sauce.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin start at $380 or 46,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Kyoto, Japan


Best for: Contemporary luxury in the ancient heart of Japan’s former capital.

Why stay here: Rooms filled with traditional Japanese arts and crafts, lovingly manicured Zen gardens and unparalleled views of the Kamogawa River and Higashiyama Mountains imbue this hotel with a true sense of place.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elite-like benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking through Marriott directly.

Although Kyoto might conjure images of meandering, lantern-lit alleys and lively taverns and teahouses, it was also once the grand capital of ancient Japan, and the Ritz-Carlton there draws on that imperial past both to impress and immerse its guests in the city’s distinctive role in Japanese culture.

Perched on the banks of the rushing Kamogawa River with views of the Higashiyama Mountains in the distance, in a district where Japan’s nobility once took in entertainment in parks and theaters, the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is within walking distance of the city’s historic Gion district and embodies the best the city has to offer.

Its architecture was inspired by traditional Japanese design, with muted colors, windows that showcase the surrounding landscape and traditional timber, including oak, horse-chestnut and zebra wood, to evoke Edo-era Japan, not to mention the abundant use of decorative lacquer in furnishings throughout the public spaces and guest rooms.

Speaking of guest rooms, there are just 134 accommodations, which start at over 500 square feet and feature city, garden, or river views. The ambiance is tranquil, but the amenities are undoubtedly upscale, with special, site-specific touches like traditional shippo enamel cloisonne decorative pieces, cherry blossom-patterned yukata bathrobes and Shabonya-Kyoto handmade soaps.

Hotel guests can continue the immersive experience by sampling sushi, kaiseki, tempura and teppanyaki menus at Mizuki or a full culinary journey through Japan and its 72 microseasons led by chef Katsuhito Inoue and featuring hyper-local, hyper-seasonal produce. There’s also La Locanda traditional Italian bites and the Lobby Lounge and Bar for coffee, tea, light bites and cocktails.

The hotel’s spa is predicated on the ancient Japanese philosophy of seido, or stillness within movement, and has a 20-meter pool plus a full menu of unique treatments drawing from Japan’s traditional healing techniques. The signature Ryokucha serenity ritual, for instance, utilizes antioxidant-rich green tea leaves and warm essential oils in a rhythmic massage to imbue guests with serenity to match the city’s spectacular surroundings.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto start at $890 or 88,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA


Best for: Frequent travelers with high standards and a penchant for impeccable service.

Why stay here: You’ll want for nothing at this 54-acre resort with incredible views and fabulous accommodations, especially after a $100 million reimagining completed in 2022.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elitelike benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking directly with Marriott.

This family-favorite Hawaiian resort set along 54 acres on Maui’s northwest shore underwent a comprehensive $100 million renovation in 2022 that included placing new works of local Hawaiian art throughout the resort, re-conceiving the entire pool area along with all-new cabanas, refreshing the guest rooms and even creating a whole new room category, among other enhancements. But if this high-end vacation spot is one of your old standbys, don’t worry; you’ll still recognize plenty that you already love about it.

The 466 rooms and suites look bright and fresh after their refurbishment, with ocean-inspired blue accents and artworks, glossy hardwood floors, tech touches like 65-inch flat-screen TVs and marble-tiled bathrooms and private lanais for a bit of fresh air.

The resort’s 20,000-square-foot pool deck features three ocean-facing pools, but you’ll have to hike or drive to one of the six beaches in the area. There are plenty of other activities to keep guests entertained, though, including courts for tennis and basketball, access to Kapalua’s two championship golf courses and the Kapalua Golf Academy, multiple hiking trails, horseback riding and ATV tours, and one of only six outposts of Ritz-Carlton’s Ambassadors of the Environment program in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, which features family-focused excursions like outrigger canoeing.

Hawaiian cultural programming includes complimentary hula and origami lessons, a nightly sunset conch-blowing ceremony and various other activities. The hotel also has a large, well-equipped gym and offers yoga and stretching classes. If wellness is your focus, be sure to spend some time at the spa, where treatments such as lomi lomi massages and the “Touch of Honey” experience with a sugar body scrub, a hot stone massage and a lavender-honey body wrap are inspired by ancient Hawaiian healing techniques.

It’s easy to venture off-property for dining, but if you decide to stay put, you can choose from seven bars, cafes and restaurants. Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Ulana, then tuck into pupus and cocktails for lunch at Olu Cafe or grab a hamburger and milkshake at Burger Shack. Alaloa Lounge is the place for hand-crafted cocktails, but save room for a sumptuous supper of locally and sustainably sourced coastal cuisine at the plant- and flower-filled Banyan Tree.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua start at $823 or 82,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Al Bustan Palace

Muscat, Oman


Best for: A taste of true Arabian hospitality fit for a sultan.

Why stay here: Spend your days enjoying Muscat’s landmarks, then retire to this opulent (and family-friendly) resort’s oasis-like grounds, bordered by the dramatic Al Hajar mountains and the tranquil Gulf of Oman.

Best way to book: Book directly through Marriott to earn or redeem Marriott Bonvoy points and enjoy any elite benefits.

For those looking to explore Oman’s cultural riches, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel is an ideal base. It’s close enough to Muscat to be convenient for city excursions but far enough outside town for those who want more of a beach vacation.

Hemmed in between the Gulf of Oman and the jagged Al Hajar mountains along a golden stretch of sand, Al Bustan Palace is a lavish landmark of traditional Arabian grandeur and hospitality (it was originally built in the 1980s as a royal palace – just look at the crystal chandeliers and intricate inlay work in the lobby), but with all the hallmarks of modern-day international luxury.

The hotel last underwent a major renovation in 2018, but its 250 rooms and suites still look crisp and fresh, with white linens, bright blue accent decor and a creamy-beige palette that evokes the rugged splendor of Oman’s deserts. There are also marble bathrooms with walk-in showers and deep soaking tubs, and private balconies or terraces to take in views of the oasis-like grounds and swimming pools.

The hotel offers a Ritz Kids program with various activities to keep young ones occupied, though they may prefer to play on the half-mile-long beach, in the enormous infinity pool or by one of four lagoon pools. The resort can also arrange for snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding and taking a catamaran sail.

The 33,000-square-foot beachfront spa was inspired by ancient Arabian forts and even features a ladies-only beach and six hammams, as well as separate men’s and women’s areas with infrared saunas and ice rooms. Treatments here draw from traditional Omani culture, and many feature locally sourced ingredients, such as the “Sense of Oman,” which includes a body scrub using dates grown on the grounds and a massage with frankincense oil.

The selection of restaurants here is equally impressive, with regional Chinese cuisine at China Mood, grilled seafood and steaks by the beach at The Pavilion, afternoon tea at The Atrium under the hotel’s recognizable 125-foot-high dome, casual international all-day dining at Al Khiran Kitchen and drinks and small plates at the 1920s-inspired Al Maha Jazz Lounge, where there’s nightly entertainment.

Rates at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel start at $230 or 32,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

South Beach, Miami, Florida, USA


Best for: Travelers who want to be part of the heartbeat of South Beach.

Why stay here: It’s walking distance to the hottest bars, restaurants and galleries in South Beach.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elitelike perks and on-property credits. It’s also available on American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts and Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, where you can get valuable perks like credits to use on property, room upgrades and late checkout, depending on the program. Or, reserve your room directly with Marriott if you wish to redeem points for your stay.

Originally designed in 1953 by renowned “Miami Modern” architect Morris Lapidus in his signature updated midcentury art deco style, the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach is an architectural gem anchoring South Beach’s bustling Lincoln Road. After a $90 million renovation in 2020, the 376-key resort — its curvaceous facade resembling a glamorous 1930s oceanliner — looks as vibrant and colorful as ever, with new decor touches that hearken back to the hotel’s original heyday.

Guest rooms have been redone in crisp tones of cumulus white, pelagic blue and yellow gold, with curving, tufted velvet bed headboards, custom woodwork in the furnishings and hand-blown, hand-cut pendant crystal lights. Guests will still find the same black-and-white marble bathrooms with dual vanities, walk-in showers and separate deep soaking tubs, all stocked with Diptyque products. Some categories have balconies or lanais with pool and Atlantic views.

Visitors can spend their days by the lively lounger- and cabana-lined pool or take advantage of the hotel’s beach chair and umbrella service (you’ll pay for this as part of the $45-per-night resort fee, along with complimentary two-hour bike rentals). The hotel’s spa centers on rejuvenation treatments, including the JetPeel dermal infusion facial, which exfoliates and suffuses the skin with bioactive nutrients.

No visit to the hotel would be complete without a round of drinks at the signature Lapidus Bar, which is a tribute to the classic Miami watering holes of yesteryear with a moody ambiance and eye-catching bronze elements, including leaf-shaped chandeliers. Fuego y Mar is the hotel’s all-day dining outlet with Caribbean-inspired dishes, while DiLido Beach Club serves light Mediterranean fare on a terrace between the pool and beach. An outlet of Bagatelle is the perfect place to start a night out on the town with fancy French food and live DJ sets setting the tone.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach start at $341 or 73,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California, USA


Best for: A coastal California getaway in the lap of luxury that you can enjoy while earning or redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points.

Why stay here: The allure of its picturesque perch on the bluffs above the Pacific is only rivaled by its large but cozy rooms (many with fireplaces) and the expansive spa complex where unique treatments include the oh-so-Californian citrus-avocado body scrub.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to earn Marriott points while enjoying elite-like benefits and on-property credits, or redeem your points by booking through Marriott directly.

For those who want to visit Santa Barbara without being in the heart of a party-hearty college town, the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara provides the ideal alternative. It’s set about 15 minutes northwest of the city along a scenic set of oceanfront bluffs, with Mediterranean-style buildings dotting its 78 gorgeously landscaped acres.

The 358 rooms and suites start at a spacious 450 square feet, each with its own patio or balcony (the view will depend on the category you book). The look is inspired by California’s string of missions, with two-poster wooden beds dressed in Frette linens, beautifully carved wooden furnishings and fireplaces or outdoor fire pits in some. The bathrooms are tiled in marble and have separate showers and soaking tubs along with Asprey products.

Although you’ll probably want to get out and explore the area’s restaurants and wineries, if you stick around, you’ll have a choice of nine bars and eateries. Curate your own wine tasting at Bacara Wine Tasting Room or select a glass to sip at Bar de Vino. Grab coffee and snacks to go at Caffe, or spend the afternoon nibbling bites and having cocktails from Haskell’s Bar by the pool. Other highlights include San Setto for sushi, Latin cuisine at O Bar and succulent steaks at Angel Oak, which also boasts a 12,000-bottle wine collection.

This is California, so you can expect health and wellness to be front and center. Case in point: The hotel’s 42,000-square-foot fitness center and spa is the area’s largest health facility. Spagoers can take a eucalyptus steam or detox in the redwood sauna. Therapies include a signature Bacara massage, which incorporates organic herbs and salts to ease the joints and relax sore muscles.

As for other activities, guests can laze the day around three infinity pools, walk down to two beaches, play a round at the nearby Sandpiper Golf Club, or rent electric bikes and explore the area on two wheels.

Rates at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara start at $646 or 53,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Phuket, Thailand


Best for: Those seeking a private villa getaway to soak in the sun, ocean, pool, or (in select cases) even a personal pond.

Why stay here: It’s an extravagant oasis of lush gardens, infinity pools and private villas that’s removed from the bustle of Phuket and best reached by helicopter.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elite-like benefits and on-property credits. You can also book through American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts for value-added benefits like upgrades and late checkout based on availability, plus on-property statement credits.

The first of Ritz-Carlton’s rarefied Reserve-branded resorts to open way back in 2008, Phulay Bay is set along a picturesque stretch of Thailand’s west coast, looking out over the waters of the Andaman Sea, which are dotted with emerald-green islands and dramatic karst rock formations.

From the moment you arrive in the tranquil arrival courtyard with its ripple-less reflection pool, everything is taken care of for you by your personal butler, who will be on call 24/7 to attend to your every need, including whisking you around the sprawling beachfront property in a golf cart should you prefer not to walk.

There are no rooms here, just ultra-private pavilions and villas, the smallest of which comprises over 1,100 square feet of indoor and outdoor lounging spaces. Depending on the category you book, you might have a private pool or an outdoor bath. Most have the hotel’s signature oversize beds, which resemble two king beds joined end to end for the ultimate lounging experience. Colorful wall panels depict traditional Thai motifs, while the skylit bathrooms are anchored by scallop-edged sinks and have separate walk-in showers and egg-shaped soaking tubs.

It’s worth tearing yourself away from your accommodations, though, to snag a lounger by the enormous infinity pool (we dare you not to spend an hour trying to get just the right shot for the ’gram looking out to sea), enjoying a morning boat ride out to nearby islands for an impromptu snorkel, or hiking to waterfalls along the jungly paths of Naga Mountain. The resort’s peaceful spa might also beckon, with treatments ranging from traditional Thai herbal compress massages to decadent pearl-and-caviar radiance facials.

The resort can set up a variety of private dining experiences — in your villa, alone on the beach at sunset, you name it — but is also home to five bars and restaurants. Get your reservations in early for the intimate, 22-seat Lae Lay for fresh grilled fish and seafood as you gaze out to sea or enjoy the evolution of contemporary Thai cuisine at Sri Trang. For more informal international cuisine, there’s Jampoon, with its open kitchen so you can watch the action as it unfolds, while poolside Plai Fah serves light lunch items. Make sure to head to the Chomtawan bar before dusk to secure a lounger as you watch the sun set with a tropical cocktail in hand.

Rates at Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve start at $370 or 84,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.