By John Wogan
July 08, 2020
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Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai. Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kyoto. Some of Asia’s biggest, most dynamic, and most in-demand cities are fascinating hubs of culture, food, and architecture — and their stellar hotels have impressed Travel + Leisure readers once again.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

In Hong Kong, the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong (tied for No. 6) is considered an icon by its regular guests. “It may not be the splashiest hotel in Hong Kong,” said one reader, “but it is the gold standard for service and style. It's pure class that never fades.” (The property ranked No. 1 among Hong Kong city hotels; it was tied for No. 57 worldwide.) “The Captain’s Bar on the ground floor is my favorite bar in the world — why can’t every bar have padded leather cushions to rest your elbows on while sipping a cocktail?” the same voter wondered. The hotel’s Clipper Lounge is another favorite of guests, in part because of the afternoon tea that’s become an honored Hong Kong tradition among locals and visitors.

In Japan, the ryokan-style Hoshinoya Tokyo earned the No. 5 spot this year, as readers appreciated its strong combination of “Japanese culture with modern design,” according to one. The wide, deep soaking tubs — in all 84 guest rooms — celebrate the quintessential Japanese ritual, the bath. But guests who want to seek out the sites will be delighted with its location within walking distance of the Imperial Palace and the roughly 1,300-year-old Kanda Shrine. Other hotels in Japan also won accolades this year, including, at No. 15, the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, and, at No. 11,  the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo.

India also had a strong showing in this year’s awards, with both the Taj Palace and the Leela Palace New Delhi ranking, at No. 13 and No. 2 respectively. Other winners include the Peninsula Shanghai, at No. 3 on this list and No. 34 in the world, and the Sukhothai Bangkok, which was No. 4 on our list of city hotels in Asia and No. 37 worldwide.

Still, this year’s No. 1 slot went to an even more impressive hotel, the Oberoi, Mumbai, which ranked No. 28 in the world. Scroll on to learn why T+L readers say it’s topped the list of the best city hotels in Asia.

1. The Oberoi, Mumbai, Mumbai, India

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Score: 97.05

More information: oberoihotels.com

Located just off the city’s famed Marine Drive, this Oberoi overlooks the Arabian Sea while also putting guests in the heart of Mumbai’s commercial and cultural district, a short walk from museums, shops, and historic sites. After earning the runner-up spot last year, the hotel took top billing from readers this year. It’s not hard to see why, with a spa that’s open 24 hours a day and 287 sleek guest rooms, all decorated with contemporary art, silk-covered armchairs, and Italian marble bathrooms — and many also have ocean views. “It’s a fabulous hotel,” one voter said, summing it all up.

2. The Leela Palace New Delhi, India

Score: 96.85

More information: theleela.com

3. The Peninsula Shanghai, China

Courtesy of The Peninsula Shanghai

Score: 96.80

More information: peninsula.com

4. The Sukhothai Bangkok, Thailand

Courtesy of The Sukhothai Bangkok

Score: 96.71

More information: sukhothai.com

5. Hoshinoya Tokyo, Japan

Courtesy of Hoshino Resorts

Score: 96.42

More information: hoshinoya.com

6. The Reverie Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Courtesy of The Reverie Saigon

Score: 96.00

More information: thereveriesaigon.com

7. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, China

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 96.00

More information: mandarinoriental.com

8. The Middle House, Shanghai, China

Courtesy of The House Collective

Score: 95.80

More information: themiddlehousehotel.com

9. Rosewood Beijing, China

Courtesy of Rosewood Beijing

Score: 95.47

More information: rosewoodhotels.com

10. The Temple House, Chengdu, China

Courtesy of The House Collective

Score: 95.43

More information: thetemplehousehotel.com

11. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, Japan

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Score: 95.09

More information: mandarinoriental.com

12. The Peninsula Hong Kong, China

Courtesy of The Peninsula Hong Kong

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.00

More information: peninsula.com

13. Taj Palace, New Delhi, India

Courtesy of THE INDIAN HOTELS COMPANY LIMITED

Score: 94.80

More information: tajhotels.com

14. Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok, Thailand

Courtesy of Lebua at State Tower

Score: 94.53

More information: lebua.com

15. The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

Chris Cypert/Courtesy of Marriott International

Score: 94.50

More information: ritzcarlton.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.