What makes a hotel one of a kind? What separates the good from the bad? What makes a hotel worth visiting? Is it the location, the hospitality, the luxury, the service or is it something totally different? I thought the best way to figuring out this question, is to start with the best hotel in the world. The only problem is… What is the best hotel in the world?

Umad Baiwan Palace Jodhpur

 The Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur is the best hotel of the world in 2016 according to tripadvisor.com

According to tripadvisor.com the best hotel in the world in 2016 is the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur (India). Over 90% of the people gave this hotel 5 stars. Booking.com seems to confirm the uniqueness of this hotel. It gets a whopping 9.7 out of more than 100 reviews! However… If you look at another famous list, the 100 best hotels of the world in 2016 made by Travel + Leisure, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is not number one. It’s the Nihiwatu in Sumba (Indonesia) who takes the top spot on this list.

But that’s not the problem. I can imagine that it’s very hard to choose the best hotel. So I don’t expect them both to choose the same hotel as number one. It’s like choosing the sportsman of the year. If you ask different people, you’ll get different answers. But normally, you’ll get a number of recurring names. So what I do expect is that the Umaid Bhawan Palace, as best hotel in the world according to tripadvisor.com, is at least top 10 material in the top 100 of T+L. Or maybe top 20. Top 50 in the worst case scenario. As a matter of fact. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is not even mentioned in the entire list! And to make it even stranger, tripadvisor.com has not listed the Nihiwatu, the best hotel according to T+L, on their top 25 hotels of the world.

Nihiwatu

Nihiwatu is the best hotel in the world of 2016 according to Travel + Leisure

There are only four hotels that appear on both lists: The Milestone Hotel in London (United Kingdom), The Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens in La Fortuna de San Carlos (Costa Rica), The Singular Patagonia in Puerto Natales (Chile) and the Casa Gangotena in Quito (Ecuador). So both lists have just 16 percent in common.

Another strange thing is that two of the hotels mentioned above are not the number one in their region/city. For example, if you look up all London hotels on tripadvisor.om, The Milestone Hotel is not number 1. That’s the Hotel 41. The same applies to the Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens. There takes the Nayara Springs the first spot of all hotels in La Fortuna de San Carlos. Both hotels are in the top 100 of best hotels according to T+L, but are not in the top 25 hotels in the world according to tripadvisor.com. Although they both appear in their other top 25 of the most luxury hotels of 2016. The Nayara Springs occupies the top position on this list, Hotel 41 is eighteenth…

Nayara Springs

Nayara Springs is the number one luxury hotel in 2016 according to tripadvisor.com

I think it’s clear that the answer to the question “Which hotel is the best hotel in the world?” is not that simple. Maybe it’s one of the hotels above. Maybe it’s another. And maybe it depends on how you look or what you’re looking for.

Anyway, I think it makes sense to take a close look at these 8 hotels. What makes them special? What do they have in common? Is one of them better or more unique than the other? Etc. I hope that it will make us wiser and learn what a hotel should do to become top rated.

The lists discussed here:

The 100 best hotels of the world in 2016 according to Travel+Leisure: click here

The 25 hotels of the world in 2016 according to Tripadvisor: click here

The 25 luxury hotels of the world in 2016 according to Tripadvisor: click here