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Luxury Hotels

Like to be pampered? At these high-class hotels, indulgence is the specialty.

The Chains

And we don't mean Motel 6. A few large chains achieve five-star service without a cookie-cutter feel. Ritz-Carlton has more than 30 resorts and hotels around the world, and a dozen of them landed on Travel & Leisure's Top 100 list. The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Maui is ranked third in the world.

Another well-known chain, Four Seasons, operates almost 50 hotels and resorts around the globe, including the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay -- where visitors stay in one of 147 private villas. (It was rated No. 7 on T&L's list.) Also worth investigating are Westin Hotels and Resorts; Nikko Hotels International; and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, which owns The Oriental in Bangkok -- T&L's No. 1 pick.

The Directories

If brand loyalty isn't an issue, the following sites offer a wide selection of the world's most distinctive hotels. Small and Elegant Hotels International and Small Luxury Hotels can book reservations at first-rate resorts, country houses and chateuxs around the globe. Best in the World highlights top accommodations for the discriminating traveler.




   --- R.M.


 
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