Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
A stem-to-stern renovation completed in 2006 (to the tune of $150 million) renewed the luster of this legendary property—a decades-long favorite of visiting dignitaries like Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger. Many of the 501 rooms have been enlarged (by enclosing the balconies in glass); high-tech amenities like Wi-Fi, and touch-screen lighting and temperature control have also been added. The décor’s been updated, too, with plush velvety fabrics, wood wall panels, and colorfully glazed Asian ceramics. Though there’s a spa on three floors with Chinese herbal steam rooms, bathing beauties may be perfectly content to languish in their own airy marble bathrooms, kitted out with Hermès toiletries. The real choice comes in the form of 10 different restaurants and bars. Our favorites: Man Wah, with its classic Cantonese cuisine, and the sophisticated French-influenced Pierre, helmed by chef Pierre Gagnaire.