An extravagant resort in the Maldives which features free-standing, overwater suites and is accessible only by boat, has been named the overall world's best luxury hotel at the 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards.
At the 11th edition of the awards, which took place in St. Moritz, Switzerland over the weekend, the Jumeirah Vittaveli was named the 2017 Global Hotel of the Year for offering "...unmatched diversity, subtle luxury and personalized exploration."
Winners are based on the votes of 300,000 travelers who were invited to vote for their favorite luxury hotel over a four-week period.
Made up of 89 villas and suites, each with their own swimming pool, the Jumeirah Vittaveli plays up its tropical, paradisiac setting with suites that open up to the turquoise sea, open-air restaurants, an overwater bar, and coconut oil-based spa treatments.
New this year, the resort is upping the ante in outrageously extravagant amenities by opening the first ice rink in the Maldives, where the average temperature in December is about 27C.
For guests seeking another level of privacy and luxury, there's also the free-standing Ocean Suites, which is accessible only by boat, and elevated on underwater stilts
Spanning two floors, the suites feature king size beds, floor to ceiling glass windows, and transparent glass floors for watching the silent underwater world.
And for those who travel with large entourages, there's also the newly built Royal Residence, a five-bedroom guest house that can accommodate up to 14 guests with its two private pools, spay, gym, private overwater bar and full-scale restaurant.
Here's a selection of winners from the 99 categories at the 2017 World Luxury Hotel Awards:
- Luxury ski resort: Stock Resort, Finkenberg, Austria
- Luxury wellness hotel: Chenot Palace Health Wellness Hotel, Qabala, Azerbaijan
- Luxury adventure destination: Machaba Camp, Tarlton, Botswana
- Luxury gourmet hotel: La Grande Maison de Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux, France
- Luxury hotel: Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris
- Luxury romantic beach resort: Pimalai Resort and Spa, Krabi, Thailand