The Most Instagrammable Hotel in the World 2021: Round 1

March is here yet again and that can only mean one thing—Luxury Travel Advisor is searching for The Most Instagrammable Hotel in the World. Inspired by the NCAA’s March Madness, this bracket-style competition pits 64 hotels from around the world against each other. You, the readers of Luxury Travel Advisor, will vote for your favorite in each matchup to determine who moves onto the next round.

Hotels are separated into four regional brackets: The Americas; Asia and Indian Ocean; Europe; and Africa, Middle East and Oceania. Round 1 will run through Monday at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. (Rounds will be open for half a week each—from Thursday to Monday, then Monday to Thursday and so on.) You may vote in as many or as few matchups as you’d like but you may only vote once per matchup per round. 

It needn’t be said that 2020 was a rough year for the industry, so as soon as you can (and feel comfortable doing so), be sure to reach out to a travel advisor and start planning your next trip to support the industry and local communities, and, of course, take some Instagram-worthy photos. 

Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel, The Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Edition

2020 put the nuptial plans of thousands upon thousands of couples on hold, but with the promise of widespread vaccine distribution in the near future, it’s time to get back to planning and ensure your clients live out the destination weddings & honeymoons of their dreams. Hear from top suppliers and destinations on wedding venue & ceremony options, romantic destinations & resorts and more when you watch the event on-demand.

With that said, have fun and good luck to all the hotels! 

The Americas

NIZUC Resort & Spa (1) vs. Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf (16)

Last year’s winner, NIZUC Resort & Spa gets the No. 1 seed in The Americas bracket. Guests can take in the views of Cancun’s white sand beaches from these nifty loungers. Throughout the resort, guests can expect fusions of Asian architectural forms with Mexican materials and Mayan iconography. 

The Brasserie Le Fouquet’s at Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf in St. Barth’s serves the great classics, along with a panoramic view of Gustavia overlooking the Marina.

The Don CeSar (8) vs. TWA Hotel (9)

Opened at the height of the Great Gatsby era in 1928, St. Pete Beach, Florida’s iconic “Pink Palace,” The Don CeSar, is reminiscent of a Mediterranean-style castle.

Step back into the 1960s at the TWA Hotel, John F. Kennedy International Airport’s only on-site hotel. Eero Saarinen’s landmark 1962 TWA Flight Center has been restored and reimagined as a lodging and dining destination, brimming with mid-century modern whimsy. 

La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel (5) vs. The Shore Club Turks & Caicos (12)

Guests can pull up adjacent to La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel’s freeform infinity pool with views of the Caribbean Sea. It’s the perfect place to lay back and soak up the island ambience.

By far the most popular location for Instagram shots at The Shore Club Turks and Caicos is on the hotel’s Colonnade Pool Swings. We can see why!

Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel (4) vs. Rosewood Washington, D.C. (13)

Kimpton The Rowan Palm Springs is a desert retreat that blends laidback cool and rugged beauty with high style and culture. Architecturally significant at seven stories tall, it’s also home to the city’s only rooftop pool.

The residential style of the Rosewood Washington, D.C. is reflected in the library, where a double-height ceiling, deep velvet sofas and armchairs and a chandelier invite guests to visit with friends or relax on ones own.  

Moxy Miami South Beach (6) vs. Fairmont El San Juan Hotel (11)

Lounge in the pool, bask on a daybed or watch a film in the outdoor movie screening area at Moxy Miami South Beach’s expansive rooftop—all accompanied by panoramic views of Miami Beach. Even better: The Upside is available exclusively to guests.

In 1958, Chico was Fairmont El San Juan Hotel’s speakeasy, a cozy secluded lounge hidden from the lobby. Now, the hotel is recreating that era with live entertainment, including burlesque, DJs, live musicians, singers and comedy.

The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago (3) vs. Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun (14)

Tucked away within the upper floors of this hotel in Chile, The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago’s spa provides a rooftop sanctuary rooted in healing and relaxation. Not to mention the views.

While guests have myriad activities and amenities to choose from at the all-inclusive Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun, we would be hard-pressed to tear ourselves away from its beach-facing infinity pool. Tip: Wake up at sunrise for these views.

Acre Resort (7) vs. Chicago Athletic Association (10)

Acre Resort

Tucked away in the foothills of San Jose del Cabo, Acre Hotel + Villas is set on 25 acres of farmland and lush greenery complete with thousands of palms, citrus trees, cacti and agave plants.

Take in the quintessential view of downtown Chicago from Cindy’s Rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, offering panoramic views of Millennium parking, Lake Michigan, The Art Institute of Chicago and beyond.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort (2) vs. The Ben, Autograph Collection (15)

Situated at the water’s edge with views of the sea, the Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort’s main pool has become synonymous with the Los Cabos resort experience. The winding curves of the expansive infinity-edge pool add to the serene atmosphere.

Downtown West Palm Beach’s first waterfront hotel, The Ben, Autograph Collection offers expansive views of the Intracoastal Waterway from its rooftop pool—which is complete with private cabanas and an outdoor fire pit

Asia and Indian Ocean

Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort (1) vs. The Fullerton Bay Hotel (16)

Surrounded by the natural beauty of the East Sea, the Ray River and a mangrove forest is Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort, 2020’s runner-up. The most Insta-worthy spot on property is its Level Pool with its picture-perfect sun beds.

The Fullerton Bay Hotel is a sleek modern hotel, located on the waterfront in Singapore’s vibrant heritage precinct. We love how the pool reflects all the lights of the city at night.

W Shanghai – The Bund (8) vs. Aman Kyoto (9)

W Shanghai – The Bund’s WET Deck invites guest to recline on sunbeds by day and order Shanghai-Tikis until moonrise over the Suzhou River and the Huangpu Creek. Just look at those skyline views!

Located in Kyoto’s natural settings, complete with scenic gardens and close proximity to many of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Aman Kyoto’s rooms and pavilions are inspired by traditional Japanese design.

Soneva Fushi (5) vs. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives (12)

For Soneva Fushi’s “Once Upon a Table” is a culinary theatre showcasing some of the biggest names in fine dining. There is no menu, allowing the creativity and skills of the chef to take centre stage—well, maybe second to the views.

The water villas at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives have private decks, which offer free access to the lagoon for snorkeling and swimming amidst clear-blue waters. Not bad!

Alma Resort (4) vs. Park Hyatt Tokyo (13)

Alma Resort is situated on Vietnam’s emerging Cam Ranh peninsula fronting Long Beach. Any time we can sit back, relax, and take in views like these, we’re happy.

Perched on the 52nd floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo is the dynamic New York Grill, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering views of Tokyo. The contemporary and sophisticated interior features four substantial paintings of New York scenes.

COMO Cocoa Island (6) vs. FCC Angkor by Avani (11)

COMO Cocoa Island is an understated private island resort in the Maldives’ South Malé atoll. We love that rooms are inspired by local dhoni boats in bleached wood with kajan roofs and are reached via planked walkways stretching out into the lagoon.

The epitome of tropical cool, this spot at the FCC Angkor by Avani in Cambodia is as much about cooling off as it is about living it up under the swaying ferns and pristine greens.

Anantara Quy Nhon Villas (3) vs. ÀNI Sri Lanka (14)

Surrounded by mountain on three sides and overlooking the Bay of Quy Nhon, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas’ accommodations dot seven acres of lush landscaping fronting a private cove. We just love any bath tub with a great view.

ÀNI Sri Lanka’s property overlooks the calm swimming waters of Dickwella Beach, which is protected by sandbars and reefs. We’re big fans of the infinity pool with its fire features lit at night.

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur (7) vs. Asaya Hong Kong (10)

Located on an island in the midst of a lake (as its name suggests), Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur affords every room breathtaking views of the neighboring City Palace, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills and Jag Mandir. We love the views from the Neel Kamal restaurant.

Asaya Hong Kong is a hotel-within-a-hotel concept at Rosewood Hong Kong. This wellness-focused concept is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city—and to take some pretty impressive pics of its skyline.

The Anam (2) vs. Nishimuraya Honkan (15)

With a design inspired by the Indochine era, The Anam is home to beautiful reflecting ponds and swimming pools. The Anam’s open-air lobby offers this stunning view of a reflecting pond with the ocean beyond. 

The Relais & Châteaux ryokan Nishimuraya Honkan is located in the heart of Kinosaki. Visitors may enjoy multiple serene bathhouses and receive a pass to all seven public onsen. Relaxing and Gram-worthy.


Ashford Castle (1) vs. Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna (16)

This 800-year-old Ashford Castle is a grand structure with national significance. Red Carnation’s five-year restoration, drawing on local experts and artisans, has brought these walls and storied rooms back to glorious life

A special place in the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna is the Ottoman-style Kempinski The Spa, which has wooden panels and mosaic sauna and steam baths, as well as the hydro pool, wonderfully lit in shades of red, pink and blue.

Summer Lodge Country-House Hotel & Restaurant (8) vs. Hôtel Martinez Cannes by Hyatt (9)

Surrounded by beautiful Dorset, England countryside, Summer Lodge Country-House Hotel’s rooms are designed with rich fabrics and elegant furnishings. 

For the ultimate French Riviera experience, the most exclusive rooms and suites at Hôtel Martinez, a part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, offer views over the sea. Take in the Golfe de La Napoule from one of Hotel Martinez’s luxurious suites, complete with a decked-out and terrace.

NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi (5) vs. The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection (12)

NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi’s outdoor infinity pool offers uninterrupted views of the Amalfi Coast and out to sea. It’s edged by a stylish stone terrace and plenty of sun loungers.

At the top of The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection’s grand staircase, guests can find the top shelf-only bar, 1824 Bar & Terrace. A luxe, intimate and sophisticated atmosphere is set with low lights and rich wood panelling.

Hotel Principe di Savoia (4) vs. Gstaad Palace (13)

Guests of the Dorchester Collections’ Hotel Principe di Savoia who stay in the Presidential Suite will have access to their own private swimming pool, sauna and Turkish bath—all set in an opulent, hand-painted and mosaic tiled lounge. 

Gstaad Palace opened as a hotel with with turrets and mountain views over 100 years ago (in December of 1913, to be exact). While the views from the hotel are impressive, we most like this pic of the hotel.

Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski (6) vs. Laqua Charme & Boutique (11)

While the terrace of Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski’s Maximilian Suite offers one of the highest vantage points in Munich’s Old Town, the freestanding tub in the bathroom is the real highlight for us. 

Located just outside of Sorrento, Italy, Laqua Charme & Boutique offers impressive views of the Mediterranean. Just imagine taking in the sunset while relaxing in the pool.  

The Dolder Grand (3) vs. Calilo (14)

Situated high above Zurich, The Dolder Grand offers a wonderful view out over the city, lake and mountains. Originally opened in 1899, it underwent a complete Reno in 2008 and is looking better than ever.

Calilo, part of the LuxurIos family-owned sustainable hospitality company, showcases nearly all local materials—including the 205,000 handcrafted marble pieces in the Calilo Suite alone. Now that’s an impressive en-suite. 

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa (7) vs. InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu (10)

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is a reimagined wine-country retreat spread across a Modernist wing and a 19th-century Post House. We especially like how the boutique hotel embraces its storied surroundings through views like this.

Located on the 1st Floor, InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu’s breathtaking Soufflot Dome towers over 230 feet high. The vibrant heart of the hotel is also home to Le Dôme bar.

The Milestone Hotel & Residences (2) vs. Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski St. Moritz (15)

Our favorite spot at The Milestone Hotel, located opposite Kensington Palace, is its stylish Conservatory. Guests can expect black and white leather armchairs and sofas and a glass ceiling, creating an al fresco vibe. 

The Alpine-style Kempinski The Spa at Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski St. Moritz has four different saunas, a steam bath, a laconium, an indoor pool, Kneipp bath and more—including some very Insta-worthy sights.

Africa, Middle East and Oceania

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat (1) vs. Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel (16)

Locate in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains on South Africa’s dramatic lesser-known west coast, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat showcases open plains, sandstone formations, ancient bush art sites dating back 10,000 years and beautiful night skies.

Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel’s dramatically lit rooftop pool offers views of the city’s record-holding skyscrapers and technicolor sunsets—the best of Dubai summed up in one frame.

Jackalope Hotel (8) vs. W Dubai – The Palm (9)

Jackalope Hotel, located on a pristine vineyard in Australia’s Mornington Peninsula wine region, is not a typical vineyard cottage escape. The hotel looks like something out of a modern science fiction movie with its dark art pieces, concrete decor and “Lair” rooms, juxtaposed against rolling vineyard views from almost every space, including its pool deck.

The WET Deck, W Dubai – The Palm’s beach and pool club, includes a series of wave-shaped swimming pools, oversized birdcage-like rattan lounges, an assortment of fun pool floats and a poolside bar serving cocktails in pink disco-ball-shaped cups.

One&Only Nyungwe House (5) vs. King David Hotel (12)

Located in the heart of Rwanda’s, One&Only Nyungwe House is situated in dramatic mountain landscapes and draped in greenery. Images of the infinity pool overlooking the misty rainforest are enough to make you book a trip ASAP.

The King David Hotel was built in the 1920s and has hosted a roster of royals, dignitaries and celebrities throughout its history. At ground level, guests can enjoy a new mega-sized swimming pool, encompassed by the hotel’s beautiful lawns and gardens. 

Aga Reef Resort (4) vs. Singita Kwitonda Lodge (13)

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the lush green mountain backdrop of Upolu’s south coast, Aga Reef Resort is an intimate boutique resort surrounded by gorgeous Samoan scenery. For guests looking for absolute luxury, Aga Reef Resort also has an exclusive VIP villa with stunning lagoon views and a private plunge pool.

The newest luxury accommodation option to open near Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Singita Kwitonda Lodge is a sight to behold. Situated near the foothills of the volcanic mountain range and just minutes away from the starting point for Rwanda’s mountain gorilla treks, the lodge provides guests with opportunities for unique experiences and impressive photos.

Bisate Lodge, Wilderness Safaris (6) vs. Clifftop at Hepburn (11)

Wilderness Safaris’ Bisate Lodge is located within the natural amphitheater of an eroded volcanic cone, creating dramatic views of the nearby volcanic peaks from any of the resort’s six forest villas. Pretty cool: Each forest pod is made from recycled materials. 

Clifftop at Hepburn takes luxury, tranquil escapes to a new level with its boutique, ultra-luxurious converted shipping containers. We particularly like this lounger with views both through the floor-to-ceiling window and the glass floor itself! 

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort (3) vs. Little Kulala (14)

Perched 6,500 feet above sea level on Oman’s Green Mountain, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is a secluded haven for the intrepid and discerning. Recently launched, The Royal Edge is the perfect spot for a special dinner or celebration, with a spectacular view over the surrounding canyon.

Little Kulala by Wilderness Safaris is located along the dry Auab riverbed in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve of the Namib Desert. Each of the 11 thatched suites has a private plunge pool and merges seamlessly into the desert setting.

Longitude 131 (7) vs. Alila Jabal Akhdar (10)

If you want an Instagram picture in a private infinity pool with Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the expansive outback in the background, Longitude 131 is the only place where you can get it. This resort with only 16 glamping tents connects a relaxing and high-end experience with the rugged and beautiful outback.

Alila Jabal Akhdar sits amid an alpine landscape and is perched more than 6,500 feet above sea level in Oman, making it a one-of-a-kind backdrop for guests’ Instagram feeds. Overlooking the cliff’s edge, the property’s restaurant, Juniper, has al fresco seating, where guests can view the stunning scenery and rocky exterior of the hotel.

Kasbah Tamadot (2) vs. La Residence (15)

Kasbah Tamadot owned by Sir Richard Branson, is located in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, just outside of Marrakech. The hotel’s Reflecting Pool, covered in floating rose petals, is the top spot for grabbing a pic for your Instagram feed.

La Residence, a  luxury wine estate, surrounded by Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vineyards, is located in Franschhoek in South Africa’s Cape Winelands. Guests lounging at the pool can take in views of the mountain backdrop. 

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