Design: The Leading Hotels of the WorldSpencer Bailey, with a foreword by Paul Goldberger

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Explore iconic destinations with The Leading Hotels of the World in this celebration of exceptional hospitality through architecture and design

Embark on a stunning visual journey through The Leading Hotels of the World, a collection of the world’s most exclusive independent luxury hotels, which consistently dominates prestigious awards, securing top honors in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

Richly illustrated, exquisitely arranged, and expertly edited, this lavish volume celebrates legendary hospitality and extraordinary design, featuring a carefully curated selection of over 70 hotels from LHW’s 400-plus-member collection across 80 countries. From Norman Foster’s sinuous courtyard structure in Singapore, to Jacques Garcia’s indulgent interiors in Paris, to Axel Vervoordt’s Zen penthouse in New York City, discover how great aesthetics serve exceptional luxury hospitality. This volume – the first in a multi-volume series – includes five in-depth feature stories capturing LHW’s essence: Ambiente A Landscape Hotel in Sedona, Arizona; Botanic Sanctuary in Antwerp; La Réserve in Paris; The Okura in Tokyo; and Portrait Hotel in Milan.

Edited and produced by Spencer Bailey and the New York–based editorial studio of The Slowdown, the book comprises a foreword by the Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger and contributions from leading design and travel writers such as Maria Cristina Didero, Mark Ellwood, Christina Ohly Evans, Cynthia Rosenfeld, Warren Singh Bartlett, and Janelle Zara. Two feature-length interviews – Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm in conversation with fashion designer Gabriela Hearst in New York City, and architect Michael Rojkind with fashion designer Carla Fernández in Mexico City – are also found in its pages, as well as expert travel tips from dozens of notables, including André Fu, Stephanie Goto, Samuel Ross, and Kulapat Yantrasast.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 288 × 250 mm (11 3/8 × 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 304 pp
  • Illustrations: 300 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580936552

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., founded in 1928, is the premier collection of over 400 independent luxury hotels in more than 80 countries. From alpine chalets to safari camps, LHW curates unique properties for curious seekers and luxury enthusiasts, uniting them in a passion for distinctive travel experiences.

Spencer Bailey is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the media company The Slowdown, co-host of the Time Sensitive podcast, and former editor-in-chief of Surface magazine. He is the author of In Memory Of: Designing Contemporary Memorials (Phaidon, 2020).

Paul Goldberger is an architecture critic, educator, and writer. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism at the New York Times and was previously the architecture critic for The New Yorker.