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Lori Metze's List of the Best Hotels in the World

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I'm often asked by people after they learn I am a travel writer, "Which hotel is your favorite?" This seems like it would be an easy question to answer, especially considering my occupation, but I think it's often harder to choose out of many than to choose out of a few. The solution, I've decided, is to choose a favorite in my own list of categories. After all, you can't exactly compare a mega resort with a bed and breakfast, can you?

Another consideration is, "What is a hotel?" Do resorts, bed and breakfast inns, and villas count? My answer is yes and I've lumped them altogether for this article. When you see the word "hotel" below, it includes every category of lodging except vacation homes.

After considerable thought, I'm happy to present my list of the best hotels in the world in my own set of categories.

Best Hotel in a Tropical Location

Balaji Palace at Playa Grande, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic

Why? Easy. This 13-room villa on a private beach has the most attentive staff on the planet in a setting so beautiful I've decided it's my official happy place.

Best Fairy Tale Come True Hotel

Ashford Castle, County Cong, Ireland

Why? Staying in this REAL 800-year-old castle where my favorite John Wayne movie was filmed (bonus!) with my prince was my inner princess' dream come true.

Best Urban Hotel

The InterContinental New York Times Square, New York City, USA

Why? The Manhattan Suite made me, my husband and our teenage son feel like millionaires with its view of Times Square, the largest couch I've ever sat on in front of a giant TV. We were all saying, "This is the life!"

Best True Luxury Hotel

Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt Dublin, County Wicklow, Ireland

Why? Many hotels say they are in the luxury category, but few match up to this one with high-end EVERYTHING, stunning decor everywhere you look, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, PLUS it's located on the Emerald Isle.

Best Hotel Once Owned by Swanky Famous Person

The Villa by Barton G (formerly the Versace mansion) in Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Now unfortunately closed, staying here made me feel like a VIP more than anywhere else.

You've heard my list. Which hotels are on yours? Write to me at to let me know - I'll publish the best ones right here on

See some of these awesome hotels in video by going to