Not every five-star hotel is worth the high sticker price, but some provide a truly unique luxury experience that’s worth paying extra for. Whether you’re looking for gourmet dining, unparalleled views, world-class spas or sprawling suites, you can find your dream stay if you pick the right place.
The Wynn, Las Vegas
- Average cost per night: $316
“What makes a resort stay at Wynn Las Vegas worth every penny is the unbeatable combination of a large, well-appointed room, fine linens and toiletries, a spacious and luxurious marble bathroom, refined service and gorgeous surroundings,” said travel journalist and Las Vegas expert David Yeskel, aka The Vegas Guru. “All in all, it’s a luxury value proposition that can’t be beat — in Las Vegas or in any other resort destination.”
It’s an especially good choice for foodies, as it’s home to the Michelin-starred restaurant Wing Lei.
“I’ve dined there several times over the years, and each time I’ve found that the combination of atmosphere, service and cuisine make it a one-time splurge that I’d recommend highly,” Yeskel said.
The Langham, London
- Average cost per night: $604
“I recommend The Langham in London for the ultimate luxury in the heart of England’s capital city,” said Jessie Moore, photographer and founder of the luxury travel blog Pocket Wanderings. “It’s an iconic hotel with a selection of deluxe rooms and suites, along with a sumptuous spa that includes a pool housed in an old bank vault.”
There are several dining options available on-site, including the Palm Court restaurant and private dining at Roux.
“A stay at The Langham would not be complete without indulging in the world-renowned afternoon tea,” Moore added. “Make your way through delectable sandwiches, scones and sweet treats, while a pianist plays away at the grand piano. With its exceptional facilities and world-class hospitality, The Langham is the epitome of five-star luxury and is worth every penny for a truly unforgettable stay.”
Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel & Spa, Norourljosavegur, Iceland
- Average cost per night: Starting at $1,349, according to The Retreat Hotel website
“While the sweeping landscapes of Iceland are pretty spectacular, staying at the five-star Blue Lagoon Retreat Hotel will take your vacation to another level,” said Astrid Thornton, founder of Seek Scandinavia, a website dedicated to the Nordic region. “Your room will either look out over the lagoon or lava fields — neither of which are views that I’ve heard of in other five-star hotels and really show why this is worth the splurge. Another great feature is that you can ask to be woken up if the Northern Lights appear after you’ve gone to sleep. Given that each room has large floor-to-ceiling windows to help you admire the view day or night, you can take in the wonder of the Northern Lights directly from your hotel room.”
The hotel is located adjacent to the famed Blue Lagoon, giving you easy access to the natural spa.
“With saunas, massages, yoga and more, all taking advantage of the minerals that naturally occur in the lagoon’s water — which is what provides the light, milky blue color that it’s known for — the hotel is both ultra-luxurious and incredibly relaxing,” Thornton said. “While it’s not cheap (not much in Iceland is), it’s an incredible experience that is well worth the price if you can manage it.”
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Canada
- Average cost per night: $819
“The Fairmont Chateau is located near Banff in the Canadian Rockies, and the view and access to Lake Louise, which is one of the most gorgeous places in all of Canada, is worth the price of the hotel alone,” said Samantha Hamilton, creator and writer for the travel blog New England Wanderlust. “This is also the only hotel right on the lake, making it an exclusive experience for guests of the hotel.”
Hamilton said to expect a “fairytale experience,” no matter what time of year you visit.
“In the spring, summer and fall seasons, you’ll have access to the picturesque, turquoise lake and rowboats for a memorable ride with the most amazing mountain backdrop,” she said. “In the colder months, the hotel turns into a winter wonderland with an ice skating rink and cross country ski trails on the lake, and an ice bar with awesome cocktails outside. The on-site restaurants are all incredible, especially Walliser Stube, and the staff goes out of their way to provide you with attentive and welcoming service. It’s one of the best hotel experiences I’ve ever had in all my years of travel.”
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey
- Average cost per night: $1,096
“Colorful Istanbul is a wonderful walking city, but in my opinion, the most magical way to experience it is along the Bosphorous,” said Andres Zuleta, founder of Boutique Explorer, a bespoke travel planning company. “As you would expect at any Four Seasons property, the rooms are spacious and well-appointed, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The star of this property is the huge open-air terrace overlooking the picturesque Bosphorous. If you’re like me, you’ll end up spending all your free time here, starting with a morning coffee admiring the waters, followed by a spectacular breakfast — the Sunday brunch here is legendary. In the afternoon, it’s the perfect place to enjoy cold drinks by the water, and at night the terrace becomes a lively meeting spot for guests and locals alike. Even travelers who typically don’t stay at Four Seasons hotels will find this luxury Istanbul hotel a worthwhile splurge.”
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Average costs per night are sourced from Google Hotels unless otherwise noted, and are accurate as of May 24, 2022.