The Voting System

The Voting System

The World’s 50 Best Hotels is an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of 580 industry experts across the globe. Following the voting structure of other 50 Best rankings, such as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The World’s 50 Best Bars, it aims to create the ultimate reference list of the best hotels across the world.

What constitutes ‘best’ is left to the judgment of these trusted and well-travelled industry experts. The list is the result of a simple computation of votes. While there are no set criteria for voters, there are strict voting rules. This ensures the credibility and integrity of the list as a world-leading resource for discerning travellers.

How the voting works

The World’s 50 Best Hotels list is compiled by William Reed. None of the employees of the organiser or any of the sponsors associated with the awards has any influence over the results.

The list is created from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy, which comprises 580 international well-travelled experts within the hotel and travel industry, with a 50/50 gender balance. The Academy is split into nine regions across the world, where each region is headed up by an Academy Chair. A minimum of 25% of the panel is renewed each year. 

Voters range from hoteliers to travel journalists, seasoned luxury travellers, hospitality professionals and other experienced globetrotters. Each member of the Academy has seven votes. At the point of voting, they are simply required to list the seven best hotels they have stayed in over the past 18 months in order of preference. 

The voting rules

  • Voting is strictly confidential and anonymous
  • Voters must not reveal their status as a voter or their voting intentions – this includes any references on social media
  • Any hotel in the world is eligible for votes, provided it is open and will not close permanently within 3 months of the list being published
  • Voters must vote for seven hotels across the world in order of preference
  • Voters must have visited every venue they vote for during the voting period (18 months before voting opens) and state the precise dates when casting
  • Voters must have spent a minimum of one night at the property. Press trip stays, complimentary room nights and those achieved through loyalty schemes are valid for votes
  • Voters must not vote for more than three properties or imprints from within the same hotel group
  • If a voter works for, owns, consults for, has a financial interest or stake in a hotel, they are not permitted to vote for that property or any in its group

The lack of codified criteria for voting means that any hotel across the world can be nominated. As there is no requirement for size, number of guests, facilities or otherwise, voters have the freedom to nominate any property they deem worthy – from the planet’s best-known large resort hotels to small boutique venues. 

This method means that hotels cannot apply to be on the list and any hotel in the world is eligible to be featured, unless it has permanently closed at the time that the list is announced or 50 Best receives notice that it will be closing in the period shortly after results are published.

Learn more about The World's 50 Best Hotels Academy