I found a hotel I like better than the $1 billion hotel considered 'the most luxurious in the world' — and it all comes down to location

ZanzibarBestMostLuxuriousHotel KilindiElewana (36 of 42)

  • I’ve stayed at a lot of luxurious places as I’ve
    traveled over the past year, including the Marina
    Bay Sands
    , the Burj Al
    Arab
    , and Nobu Hotel
    Ibiza
    .
  • On a recent trip to Zanzibar, I
    was surprised to find that I liked a boutique
    hotel
    called Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar better than all of
    those.
  • It was designed as a getaway for a member of the 1980s
    pop group ABBA, but has since been turned into a luxurious
    eco-friendly beach getaway.
  • The reason I liked Kilindi better was because of its
    incredible location. It is situated on 50 acres of gorgeous
    tropical gardens and possibly the most beautiful beach I’ve ever
    stepped foot on.

I’ve stayed in a lot of luxurious places over the past year.

There was the Nobu Hotel in Ibiza that
wows you with the novelty of having world-class cocktails and
sushi
at its own in-house Nobu Restaurant. There was the
Myconian Ambassador Relais & Chateau,
a regal getaway
where the rooms have a view straight out of an
influencer’s Instagram post. There was the Marina Bay Sands,

a $6.6 billion megahotel in Singapore
with its own luxury mall
attached and the world’s largest infinity pool.

And, who could forget the king of them all, Dubai’s Burj Al
Arab, named “the
best hotel in the world”
? Shaped like the sail of an Arabian
dhow ship and built for $1 billion, the Burj is full of
extravagances like a Rolls-Royce chauffeur, a 14-piece set of
Hermès toiletries, personal butlers, and 24-karat gold
everything.

Dubai Burj Al Arab Most Luxurious Hotel (19 of 74)

So it surprised me that my favorite hotel I’ve stayed in all
year was none of those. Instead, it was a boutique luxury hotel on
the stunning African archipelago of Zanzibar. 

Read more:
I stayed in a tiny, adults-only beach villa off the coast of Africa
that runs nearly $1,000 per night, and it was the closest thing
I’ve ever found to an ideal honeymoon destination

Originally designed as a getaway for a member of 1980s pop group
ABBA, Elewana Kilindi
Zanzibar opened to
swanky travelers
 in 2009 with the idea of turning the
all-inclusive beach vacation on its head.

Now, I can tell you straight up that Kilindi’s food is not as
good Nobu Ibiza, that it’s not on an island as swanky as the
Myconian Ambassador, and it doesn’t have service that approaches
Burj Al Arab’s 6:1 staff-to-guest ratio.

What it does have, however, is location. And sometimes, location
matters more than anything.

What makes Elewana Kilindi such a standout hotel

Elewana Kilindi is
located on the quiet northern coast of Zanzibar, an island I
consider to be one of the most beautiful in the world, even if the
US
News & World Report doesn’t include it
on its 20 Most
Beautiful Islands list.

ZanzibarBestMostLuxuriousHotel KilindiElewana (39 of 42)

Zanzibar is full of wildlife, nature, and spice farms. The
waters off the coast are a more mesmerizing turquoise than you’d
find in the Mediterranean or Caribbean — and the powder-white
beaches are quiet and private.

Elewana Kilindi sits on 50 acres in the middle of this paradise.
Each guest stays in one of 15 eco-friendly villas. The hotel has
the luxury of a swanky hotel, but dropped in the middle of nature.
You wake up in the morning to the birds chirping, even as you are
served a coconut lobster Benedict breakfast next to the private
pool on your private deck.

Dubai Burj Al Arab Most Luxurious Hotel (34 of 74)

The other fancy places I’ve stayed in left me feeling like I
didn’t need to go back. Nobu Ibiza is on one of the island’s less
inspiring beaches. The Burj is in Dubai, which often feels more
like a business hub than a getaway. The Marina Bay Sands in
Singapore had me feeling like I was staying in a luxury mall.

Elewana Kilindi struck me as the platonic ideal of a honeymoon
spot. That’s not to say it’s considerably cheaper than the other
places I’ve mentioned: It still costs approximately $1,000
a night
 to stay there.

SEE ALSO: The
top 14 boutique hotels in the world that should be on every luxury
traveler’s list


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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
I found a hotel I like better than the billion hotel considered 'the most luxurious in the world' — and it all comes down to location