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This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.

Sparkling new hotels emerge in China's metropolises every year, but it's the mainstays that continue to enchant readers, especially in Hong Kong, which claimed three spots on this list of the best hotels in China. No. 3 went to the Peninsula Hong Kong, a grand dame that opened in 1928 and has made Travel + Leisure's World's Best lists every year since the awards' inception. The property is famous for being the city's arbiter of elegance — and for its afternoon tea, which is served among the palms in the lobby: a string quartet plays classical music, and guests order plates of finger sandwiches, scones, and cups of Assam and Darjeeling tea as they people-watch. The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, in the popular Central district, snagged the No. 5 spot. Though it opened 16 years ago, the 42-story tower still feels fresh and modern — especially its infinity pool, from which guests can look out across Victoria Harbour at the Kowloon skyline. 

The Opposite House
Credit: Courtesy of The Opposite House

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value.

"Amazing rooms and love the hotel grounds," said one reader when describing Chengdu's Temple House (No. 2). The hotel has a loyal following, thanks to the sleek, minimalist design of its 100 rooms — an intriguing contrast to the ancient lanes and courtyards outside. 

But its sister hotel — the Opposite House, in Beijing — claimed the top ranking this year. Read on to find out why readers hold it in such high esteem.

1. The Opposite House, Beijing

The Opposite House
Credit: Courtesy of The Opposite House

Designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who wrapped the building in emerald glass, this Chaoyang district property is just as much a gallery as a hotel, with permanent and rotating exhibitions of works by contemporary artists. "By far one of my top three favorite hotels," exclaimed one reader of this Swire Hotels property. "Beautiful art everywhere." Another notable design feature? The origami-inspired sculpture that was created by Kuma himself to anchor the lobby. The clean lines and materials (stone walls, polished wood furniture) of the 99 rooms add to the serene vibe. 

Score: 99.47
Website: thehousecollective.com

2. The Temple House, Chengdu

The Temple House
Credit: Courtesy of Swire Hotels

Score: 98.94
Website: thehousecollective.com

3. The Peninsula Hong Kong, Hong Kong

The Peninsula Hong Kong
Credit: Courtesy of The Peninsula Hong Kong

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.11
Website: peninsula.com

4. The Upper House, Hong Kong

The Upper House
Credit: Courtesy of Swire Hotels

Score: 93.60
Website: thehousecollective.com

5. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Hong Kong

The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
Credit: Courtesy of Four Seasons

Score: 93.00
Website: fourseasons.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.