It opened just over a year ago, but a luxurious 24-key Italian property has already been named the best hotel in the world.
Passalacqua, which overlooks Lake Como, beat off stiff competition to receive the top spot on the first-ever edition of the World’s 50 Best Hotels list, which was announced at an awards ceremony in the UK on Tuesday night.
Open since June 2022, the boutique hotel owned by the De Santis family – local hoteliers – was one of 21 Europe-based hotels included on the list, along with the Four Seasons Firenze in Florence, which came in ninth place.
Asia also did well in the rankings, with 18 hotels from the region making the list, including second, third, fourth and fifth place, awarded to Rosewood Hong Kong, Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River, The Upper House in Hong Kong and Aman Tokyo, respectively.
Taking the No. 25 spot, Aman New York, another relatively new addition to the hotel scene, was the highest US entry, while the five-star Equinox New York, located at Hudson Yards, came in at No. 48.
Host city London was well-represented, with stalwarts like Claridge’s (No. 16), The Connaught (No. 22) and The Savoy (No. 47) making the list, along with the more recent NoMad London (No. 46), the first international outpost from the NoMad Hotel brand.
Rosewood São Paulo, a former medical complex turned luxury hotel, was the only South American to make the list, coming in at No. 27, while urban resort The Calile in Brisbane was the sole Australian entry at No. 12.
The highly-anticipated list honored 50 hotels from 35 destinations across the world.
“Because we are a family-owned independent hotel. And we’re quite small. We just opened one year ago.”
“It was really unexpected. And it was beyond our wildest dreams to get to the top part of the top 25. So we couldn’t be prouder.”
The hotel’s general manager Silvio Vettorello said the award was “the best gift.”
The De Santis family, who also own Lake Como’s Grand Hotel Tremezzo, purchased the 18th-century property, a former home of composer Vincenzo Bellini, in 2018.
It opened last year after undergoing a three-year renovation and has earned rave reviews.
“It was a villa where a very noble family from Lake Como were spending holidays,” says De Santis, who describes Passalacqua as a “love affair.”
“And this is what we want to bring guests. So the biggest compliment that we can receive is that they feel at home (there).”
Several hotels received special awards, including two UK properties. Gleneagles (No.32) an 850-acre estate located in the heart of Scotland, received the Art of Hospitality Award. The Newt in Bruton, Somerset, which came in at No.37, was given the Best Boutique Hotel Award.
At No. 11, The Capella Bangkok, set along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, was the highest-ranked hotel to open within the two-year voting window, and subsequently received the Best New Hotel award.
The smallest property to make the list was Singita Lodges in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, which came in at No.15 and also received the Eco Hotel Award.
The Lodge at Blue Sky, a remote lodge in the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah, was named “One To Watch,” an award given to hotels that the 50 Best organization believes have the potential to appear on the list in the future.
“After seeing the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality industry, it’s been especially fulfilling to see so many hoteliers from around the world gather in London to celebrate each other’s achievements under one roof for the first-ever awards ceremony of The World’s 50 Best Hotels,” Tim Brooke-Webb, managing director for the World’s 50 Best Hotels, said in a statement.
“Our heartfelt congratulations go out to each and every hotel on the list, and we hope this list inspires travel lovers to book somewhere truly spectacular for their next trip.”
The World’s Best Hotel list is decided by the World’s 50 Best Hotel Academy, which is made up of 580 hotel industry experts, including hoteliers and travel journalists, from across the globe.
The World’s 50 Best Hotels: Full list
1. Passalacqua (Moltrasio, Italy)
2. Rosewood Hong Kong
3. Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River
4. The Upper House (Hong Kong)
5. Aman Tokyo
6. La Mamounia (Marrakech, Morocco)
7. Soneva Fushi (Maldives)
8. One&Only Mandarina (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
9. Four Seasons Firenze (Florence, Italy)
10. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
11. Capella Bangkok
12. The Calile (Brisbane, Australia)
13. Chablé Yucatán (Chocholá, Mexico)
14. Aman Venice
15. Singita Lodges (Kruger National Park, South Africa)
16. Claridge’s (London)
17. Raffles Singapore
18. Nihi Sumba (Wanokaka, Indonesia)
19. Hotel Esencia (Tulum, Mexico)
20. Le Sirenuse (Positano, Italy)
21. Borgo Egnazia (Savelletri, Italy)
22. The Connaught (London)
23. Royal Mansour (Marrakech)
24. Four Seasons Madrid
25. Aman New York
26. The Maybourne Riviera (Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France)
27. Rosewood São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil)
28. Capella Singapore
29. Le Bristol Paris
30. Park Hyatt Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan)
31. La Réserve (Paris)
32. Gleneagles (Auchterarder, Scotland)
33. Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc (Antibes, France)
34. Cheval Blanc Paris
35. Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
36. Soneva Jani (Maldives)
37. The Newt in Somerset (Bruton, United Kingdom)
38. Amangalla (Sri Lanka)
39. Hoshinoya Tokyo
40. Desa Potato Head (Seminyak, Bali)
41. Eden Rock (St. Barths)
42. The Siam (Bangkok)
43. Badrutt’s Palace (St. Moritz, Switzerland)
44. Atlantis The Royal (Dubai)
45. The Oberoi Amarvilas (Agra, India)
46. NoMad London
47. The Savoy (London)
48. Equinox New York
49. Six Senses Ibiza (Balearic islands, Spain)
50. Hôtel de Crillon (Paris)