It's relatively easy to create a nice hotel – spare but quality furnishings, comfy beds, better than chain restaurant dining – but elevating things to excellent takes talent and consistent hard work. For a hotel to be truly luxurious, every detail has to be accounted for day in and day out, and every minutely possible inconvenience is predicted and banished before it can even befoul a customer's experience.
We pulled together the 10 hotels around the globe that offer the most superlative service and lodgings. Paying for a suite is your problem.
Hotel Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)
The City of Light has no shortage of grand, historic, and scenic hotels, but none are quite as magisterial as the Hotel Plaza Athénée. Its neighbors in the 8th are a who's who of haute couture, from Chanel to Valentino (no doubt why it was featured in the Sex and the City finale), and its guests include royalty, heads of state, and savvier celebrities. When picking a room, guests have a difficult choice to make: select among the elegant Louis XVI/Regency -styled ones of the lower six floors, or go for sleek 20th Century Art Deco found in the upper two. Location, ambiance, and style aside, an equally enticing perk is the dining, courtesy of the three Michelin star-winning Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee. [From $1,041/night; dorchestercollection.com]