The 2019 Siweb Travel A-List

Presenting ED’s first-ever curated list of the best-designed hotels, cruises, and destinations around the world.

Mosiac map
Jonathan Knowles

For 10 years running, Siweb has published our annual A-List of the top interior designers in the world. Now, we’re introducing our Travel A-List—a compendium of the best hotels, cruises, airlines, and destinations across the globe, all with a strong focus on design. So read on to see the winners in each category, and be sure to let us know whether you agree or disagree with our selections.


Winner: Etihad Airways
Poltrona Frau leather seats, mezze platters, and the best entertainment in the skies. First-class suites boast the most room if you’re not flying private.



    Winner: Seabourn
    Seabourn designs scaled-down ocean liners with the stylish ambience of a megayacht—add cuisine by Thomas Keller and a Dr. Weil spa, and it’s luxury on the high seas.

    Interior of ship's cabine
    Seabourn Cruises
    Courtesy Seabourn



      Winner: Portugal
      Go for the azulejos (hand-painted tiles) alone. Add singular new boutique hotels, freshly restored monuments, and pasteis de nata—the local custard tarts entrancing foodies around the globe—and it is no wonder Portugal is a top destination for design aficionados.

      Train station entrance in Porto, Portugal. 
      Train station entrance in Porto, Portugal.
      Mint Images


      Winner: Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Surfside, Florida
      Joseph Dirand’s masterful, palm-filled lobby has restored the glamour of this 1930s Florida landmark, a former haunt of Elizabeth Taylor and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

      Lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club
      Lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club


      • , Amsterdam
      • , Durham, North Carolina
      • , Bali, Indonesia
      • , Tel Aviv, Israel
      • , Arles, France
      • , Puebla, Mexico
      • , Marrakech


        Winner: Babylonstoren, Simondium, South Africa
        This 17th-century wine estate on South Africa’s Western Cape has eight acres of edible and medicinal organic gardens designed by French architect Patrice Taravella. A stream flows through it, irrigating wild olive trees and feeding ponds packed with lotus and lilies.

        Babylonstoren Garden, Simondium, South Africa
        Babylonstoren Garden, Simondium, South Africa
        Courtesy Babylonstoren Garden


        • , Palazzetto, Italy
        • , Payangan, Bali, Indonesia
        • , Somerset, England
        • , Comala, Mexico
        • , Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru
        • , Montecito, California
        • , Bangkok


          Winner: Holy Deer, San Lorenzo City Lodge, Rome
          This 17th-century palazzo suite (where Pope Innocent X once housed his mistress) has frescoed bedrooms and cashmere-lined closets, in a stunning restoration by designers Stefano and Giorgia Barbini.

          Bedroom of Holy Deer Hotel
          Holy Deer Hotel Guest Room/Suite
          Courtesy Holy Deer Hotel


          • , Palma de Majorca, Spain
          • , Lisbon, Portugal
          • , Georgia
          • , Jaipur, India
          • , New York City


            Winner: Firmdale Hotels ()
            Co-owner and creative director Kit Kemp blends classic English whimsy and style with a bold palette and contemporary art and craft at this chain’s boutique hotels in London and New York.

            Guest room of Firmdale Hotels 
            The Whitby Hotel, New York City, from Kit Kemp's Firmdale Hotels.


            • (Barry Sternlicht)
            • (Alan Faena)
            • (Micha family and Carlos Couturier)
            • (Marie-Louise Sciò)
            • (Jeff Klein)
            • (Carrie and Alexander Vik)


              Winner: Ian Schrager Company
              From his Royalton days to his latest, the Times Square Edition, this hotel guru divines hospitality trends—and sets them—long before anyone else.

              Interior of Hotel with inset of Ian Schrager
              Hotel Designer of the Year: Ian Schrager
              Courtesy Ian Schrager Company



                Winner: La Mamounia, Marrakech
                The iconic Marrakech hotel’s Moorish interiors feel even more sumptuous after Jacques Garcia’s masterful renovation. With every visit, we’re inspired by yet another detail, whether it is the color of the zellige tilework or the plantings in the aromatic gardens with views of the Atlas Mountains.

                Hotel room with door open to terrace, lush yellow curtains, carpeting over marble tilework floors
                Interior of La Momounia, Marrakech
                Courtest La Momounia, Marrakech


                • , Lenox, Massachusetts
                • , Jackson Hole, Wyoming
                • , Zichron Ya’akov, Israel
                • , Stockholm
                • , Cabarita Beach, Australia
                • , Santa Barbara, California
                • , Amsterdam
                • , Copenhagen, Denmark

                  LIFETIME AWARD

                  Winner: Aman
                  From a resort designed like a Balinese village to a line of Cubist villas in the Utah desert, Aman has made breathtaking architecture central to its mission and paved the way for hotels and resorts that put a premium on transcendent design.

                  Outside view of hotel terrace with desert and mountains in the far view
                  Lifetime Award Winner, Aman
                  Courtesy Aman

                  MODERN ARCHITECTURE

                  Winner: Playa Vik, José Ignacio, Uruguay (Carlos Ott)
                  Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott created a hotel that feels like a contemporary art museum.

                  Open-air seating deck facing the water
                  Playa Vik, José Ignacio, Uruguay7
                  Cristobal Palma


                  • , Newfoundland, Canada (Todd Saunders)
                  • , Merricks North, Australia (Carr)
                  • , Valldal, Norway (Jensen & Skodvin)
                  • , Cape Town, South Africa (Thomas Heatherwick)
                  • , Yangzhou, China (Neri & Hu)
                  • , Arraiolos, Portugal (Vora Arquitectura)

                    NEW HOTEL

                    Winner: Blackberry Mountain, Walland, Tennessee
                    Blackberry Farm, the beloved country inn, now has a sister property with a ridgetop lodge and elegant cabins handcrafted from local stone and reclaimed wood.

                    Hotel at the top of a mountain with fire tower at top
                    Blackberry Mountain, Walland, Tennessee
                    Courtesy Blackberry Mountain


                    • , London
                    • , Santo Estêvão, Portugal
                    • , Braemar, Scotland
                    • , Hampshire, England
                    • , Antwerp, Belgium
                    • , Maldives
                    • , Balearic Islands, Spain
                    • , Puglia, Italy


                      Winner: Mondrian, Doha, Qatar
                      Marcel Wanders capped this 24-story hotel with a stained-glass-domed indoor pool that makes you feel as if you’re inside a giant Tiffany lamp.

                      Pool with black-and-white tile design, stained-glass ceiling and chandelier
                      Mondrian, Doha, Qatar
                      Courtesy of the Mondrian


                      • , Fiji
                      • , Paris
                      • , Isla Holbox, Mexico
                      • , Grindavík, Iceland
                      • , Vals, Switzerland​

                        VILLAS & HOME RENTALS

                        Winner: Unique Properties & Events
                        Cédric Reversade and Paul-Maxime Koskas hold the keys to the world’s most spectacular rentals, from a restored Tuscan farmhouse to an 18th-century Austrian schloss.

                        Turreted villa in the countryside
                        Unique Properties and Events
                        Manuel ZUBLENA


                        • , Greece

                          This story appears in the July/August issue of Siweb.

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