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Another year of travels is wrapping up for the team at admirablejourneys.com In our treasured free time we have once again gone around the globe to experience affordable luxury, slow travel and do it ourselves journeys.
Hotels are our homes away from home, an essential part of our travels because we choose to make them part of our destination. We follow new openings, outstanding service and book these luxurious accommodations when we can get them according to our travel motto of affordable luxury, slow travel and do it yourself trips. The result each year is that we tally up the places that have impressed us most to create: The Exceptional List. Our personal experiences of great hotels which have yielded one of a kind luxuries, personalized service and memorable ambiance to our trips. Enjoy The Exceptional List 2016!
Ritz Carlton Almaty
This high rise tower embodies elegance and the luxuries of central Asia with excellent service and all the comforts of a modern Ritz Carlton. The executive lounge service is superb, the six senses spa is indulgent and the views of the city and mountains are unparalleled.
St. Regis Atlanta
This property is at the center of the upscale Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, steps from luxury shopping. The signature St. Regis amenities are evident with the classical architecture, wonderful wellness facilities, impressive bar and fine dining.
Ritz Carlton New Orleans
Located in the heart of the funky French Quarter still classy and stylish. The hotel building inside is a modern, luxurious rendering of a classic structure. The a la carte breakfast and the wellness facilities stood out to us as memorable.
Tcherassi Hotel Cartagena
In a city with many boutique hotels, the Tcherassi stands out for its style and delivery of one of a kind experiences. The on site Italian restaurant offers an atmosphere and culinary delicacies that is marvelous. The open air patios and halls make relaxing on site a pleasure within the historic city walls.
JW Marriott Venice
Set on its own private island in the lagoon, the new JW Venice is a property that gives new perspective to the romantic city. The renovated monastery has acres of gardens, wellness centers, modern styled rooms and a rooftop pool with a panoramic view of Venice that you want to enjoy.
M Gallery Murano
This splendid hotel offers quiet luxury on a lovely island in the Venetian Lagoon. The interior is an ultramodern renovation of a classic edifice. It is well connected to all of Venice, the price is great for the quality of service and the room standard especially in this hotel market.
Conrad Knysna South Africa
This hotel offers a front row seat into South Africa’s scenic oceanfront by location, but stands out to us most memorably for its standards of service. Everyone on staff goes above and beyond to make your stay excellent and the hotel offers marvelous food, facilities and all villa accommodations.
Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi
A grand scale hotel that is wall to wall luxury. The decor is as glamorous as a palace. Rooms are spacious with incredible balconies. The lounge is a panoramic wonder with expedient service and the spa is a labyrinth of exquisite enjoyment. There is so much to do and explore here it is an attraction in itself.
The level of service at this Conrad was amazing. The staff knew right away our names and preferences, the exclusive lounge had constant service throughout the day. The hotel location was great for downtown Dubai excursions.
The hotel’s standards of hospitality were impressive. The lounge offered a delectable service during the whole day. Every inch of the hotel exudes the atmosphere of a traditional Egyptian palace. The hotel is conveniently connected to a shopping center and offers a great view of the Dubai skyline.
A newcomer to the Manila hotel scene, Nobu is a cornerstone in an impressive casino, hotel and restaurant development. The overall atmosphere is upbeat and electric while the hotel itself is a tranquil abode of Japanese simplicity and praiseworthy attention to detail.
Park Hyatt Siem Riep
A refuge for those with discerning taste, this Park Hyatt truly brings personalized service to the forefront. The hotel captivates its guests with relaxing pools, gardens, wellness facilities and comfortable rooms right in the heart of the city.
St. Regis Singapore
An impressive hotel in an impressive city, the St. Regis leaves no slack when it comes to state of the art rooms, downtown luxuries and comfort. What really blew us away was the spa and wellness facilities. It is just unparalleled presentation and mind blowing relaxation.
In a tropical paradise this hotel with so many thrilling luxuries stands out by itself. It is a one of a kind resort that while being big has wonderful service, views to die for, a beautiful spa and an excellent seafront.
JW Marriott Changfeng Park Shanghai
This is a bastion of hospitality and friendliness in the outskirts of Shanghai. The hotel sits next to an amazing city park, is well located near all forms of transit and has an impressive lounge with personalized hospitality and expansive rooms.
JW Marriott Anji China
The newest JW we have visited to date. It is a surreal location, sitting in the hill country of a mystical bamboo forest. Rooms have impressive comforts and views it is a retreat from everything where all employees will strive to make you feel comfortable. You will really feel in heaven in the midst of the mountainous wonders of Anji.
Ritz Carlton Kyoto
A combination of the best ritz carlton hospitality with a millenary tradition of an imperial city, incredible spa facilities, one of a kind service culminating in one of the best Ritz Carlton properties we have ever visited.
St. Regis Osaka
In the midst of a bustling city this is a lofty perch of comfort with signature butler service, a beautiful room and excellent city views. Staff were very friendly and personable.
This hotel is a modern palace in the heart of Myanmar’s new capital city. Space is found in abundance, rooms blend the best of modern architecture with the ornate art and traditions of this captivating country. The hotel staff and service were truly hospitable and eager to please.
M Gallery Naypyidaw
A grand scale hotel with many wonderful aspects. The decor is very rustic, the staff are attentive, the breakfast indulgent and the grounds are beautifully tropical.
JW Sahar Mumbai
Location steps from the airport is a major asset of the hotel and the interior beauty is radiant. Staff go above and beyond to be welcoming in the whole hotel and especially the lounge. The room was spacious and full of detailed design and modern amenities. The 24 hour wellness area was very enjoyable.
The luxury of Raffles in the upscale neighborhood of Makati is unparalleled. The writers bar is an excellent place to enjoy lounge privileges. The rooms had a downtown and colonial luxury atmosphere to them. The gym, spa, pools and cuisine were all quality in every regard.
Rio Perdido Costa Rica
This eco resort in Guanacaste is far from the beach and unlike anything we’ve seen in Costa Rica. The sprawling resort makes use of ravines, thermal waters, unique forest villas and quality ingredients to befriend travelers who love nature and top notch luxury all at once.
This hotel offers Beautiful suite villas with private plunge pools, personalized service and a place where the staff will go the extra mile to please you. The dining options are excellent as well and the beach goes without saying as spectacular.