Last week Ker & Downey President David Marek accepted our award as the World’s Best Safari Outfitter from Travel + Leisure Magazine. He celebrated with global partners who shared the honor of winning in their categories, thanks to public votes and dedication to delivering the best in service. We are in good company with some of the very best in the world.

World's Best Safari Operator |Luxury Africa Travel | Ker & Downey

World’s Best Safari Outfitter

This year we earned the coveted #1 spot as Travel + Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Safari Operator. Based on a perfect score of 100, Ker & Downey received an outstanding 98.44 from the combined scores of readers’ surveys. Read more about our award for World’s Best Safari Outfitter on the blog. So what does this involve? How did we get here? Below we cover many of our favorite properties who were also distinguished with World’s Best awards this year.

Best Hotels in the World

The Oberoi Udaivilas is in the Hall of Fame for making the World’s Best List for ten years. But this year, it took home the prestigious award for Best Hotel in the World with a score of 99.29 out of 100. The hotel’s grand setting is on the banks of Lake Pichola, the former hunting grounds of the Maharana of Mewar. The grounds include a 20-acre wildlife sanctuary, fertile gardens, and the spectacular hotel with gorgeous views of the sparkling lake. It’s a staff favorite at Ker & Downey. Explore the romance and splendor of the Oberoi Udaivilas and her sister properties on a fully custom Ker & Downey journey.

Oberoi Udavilas | Luxury India Travel | Ker Downey

Oberoi Udavilas | Luxury India Travel | Ker Downey

Ker & Downey President David Marek with Mr. Oberoi

Ashford Castle, with its 784-year history, came in third on the list this year, but it is consistently ranked as one of the top resorts in Europe. After a $75 million renovation, the castle boasts modern conveniences and luxurious amenities. While on the 26,000 acre estate, guests can enjoy falconry, clay shooting, archery, fishing, kayaking, and more.

Ashford Castle | Luxury Ireland Travel | Ker Downey

Also making the top 10 list this year is Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma California, coming in at number eight. It’s a romantic inn with a Michelin-starred restaurant and an award-winning spa, and it is the perfect place from which to explore California’s wine country. Taste some of the finest vintages from the region’s first wineries, and take in the luxurious lifestyle of Sonoma County wine country on our 9-day journey through California.

Farmhouse Inn | Luxury California Travel | Ker Downey

Best Lodges & Resorts in Africa & The Middle East Book with the World’s Best Safari Outfitter!

Singita Sabi Sand took top honors this year as the Best Lodge and Resort in Africa and the Middle East. It also made the top 10 list as number seven in the world for the World’s Best Hotels. Two lodges make up the Singita Sabi Sand collectionSingita Boulders Lodge, a lodge with high-design and lavish comforts in the bush, and Singita Ebony Lodge, which was just refurbished and is a contemporary take on the classic safari lodge.

Best Safari | Singita Boulders Lodge | Luxury African Safari | Ker Downey Best Safari | Singita Ebony Lodge | Luxury African Safari | Ker Downey

Also on the list: Singita Kruger National ParkThe Victoria Falls Hotel

Best Hotel in Africa & Middle East Another favorite of the World’s Best Safari Outfitter

The Saxon is tucked away in a quiet suburb of Sandhurst, with a tree-lined avenue that disguises its proximity to the upmarket business area of Sandburg. This quiet haven is set on six acres of undulating landscape, and the attention to detail in its suites is exceptional. See it for yourself on our Royal South Africa journey.

Best Safari | The Saxon | Luxury Africa Travel | Ker Downey

Also on the list: Cape GraceFour Seasons Hotel, AmmanOne&Only Cape Town

Best Hotel in Asia

Several of The Peninsula hotels made the list this year, with four in the top five for the Best Hotels in Asia, but it was The Peninsula Shanghai that topped the list at the coveted #1 spot. It’s an oasis of classic luxury with glittering chandeliers and marble floors, set in the historic city. Several of our favorite Eastern China itineraries feature The Peninsula Shanghai, allowing you to explore the international hub of Shanghai in utmost style and luxury.

Best Safari | The Peninsula Shanghai | Luxury China Travel | Ker Downey

Also on the list: The Peninsula BangkokThe Peninsula Hong Kong

Best Hotel in South America

Belmond Miraflores Park in Lima, Peru, secured the top spot as the Best Hotel in South America this year. Located in the exclusive Miraflores district, the hotel is renowned for its spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and has one of the city’s top rooftop infinity pools, offering equally stunning views. It’s an excellent choice to begin or end an exclusive Peruvian itinerary.

Best Safari | Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel | Luxury Peru Travel | Ker Downey

Also on the list: Four Seasons Hotel Buenos AiresPalacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos AiresAlvear Palace Hotel

Best Resorts in Central & South America

The Nayara Hotel & Gardens is one of Costa Rica’s best hotels, and this year, it tops the list as the Best Resort in Central and South America. It is surrounded by emerald green forests and tropical gardens, and every angle of the hotel has views of the Arenal Volcano, one of the youngest active volcanoes in the Southern Hemisphere. Explore the Arenal Volcano, and enjoy a stay at the Nayara Hotel & Gardens with our 10-day Venture to the Volcanoes journey.

Best Safari | Nayara Hotel & Gardnes | Luxury Costa Rica Travel | Ker Downey

Also on the list: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Best Hotel in South Pacific

The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is located in the historic Rocks District, with iconic views of the city outside each window of the 34-story hotel. This classic hotel took top honors as the Best Hotel in the South Pacific, and for good reason: it has some of the most decadent accommodations in Sydney. Explore the  Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and a host of other award-winning properties on our 13-day Escape Down Under journey.

Best Safari | Four Seasons Hotel Sydney | Luxury Australia Travel | Ker Downey

Also on the list: Park Hyatt Sydney

Best Hotels in Europe

Though it didn’t take top billing this year, Le Bristol did come in third for Best Large City Hotels (more than 100 rooms) in Europe. The prestigious Le Bristol in Paris boasts a 90-year history with luxurious 18th century-styled apartments and Michelin-starred cuisine. It’s the perfect addition for any stay in Paris on your next journey through France.

Best Safari | Le Bristol | Luxury France Travel | Ker Downey

Also on the list: Hotel Alfonso XIII; Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus

Ready to visit these award-winning hotels yourself? Contact your Ker & Downey Travel Specialist to begin planning your next journey. To stay up to date on all of our online content, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.