Company Overview

A Brief History

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is the prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing more than 430 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas. Headquartered in New York City, the company maintains a network of 25 offices in key cities around the world.

The company was established in 1928 by a group of influential and forward-thinking European hoteliers.


With 38 initial members, among them Hotel Negresco in Nice, the Mena House in Cairo and King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the organization was initially known as “The Luxury Hotels of Europe and Egypt”.

Recognizing the importance of establishing direct contact with the traveling public and travel agencies in the North American market, the founders opened an office in New York, calling this satellite operation “Hotel Representative, Inc.” – or HRI.

By the end of the 1980s, there were 235 Leading Hotels of the World, serviced through offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America.

Today, it is the largest luxury hotel collection, with more than 430 of the world’s greatest properties in over 80 countries.

By the end of the 1960s, HRI had grown to represent 70 hotels – all of which were in Europe.

Early in 1971, the board of directors and management of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. decided to expand the scope of the organization. It would include new members from around the globe, to meet the demands of the increased numbers of international luxury travelers.

Hotel membership continued to grow through the next two decades, and with it, the need for the establishment of regional offices.

Member Requirements

Requirements for becoming a member of The Leading Hotels of the World stipulate that a hotel must meet exacting standards of excellence in all areas affecting guest comfort, convenience and well being. Upon successful completion of a rigorous application and inspection process, only the most eminent hotels are accepted for admission.

Member Directory

This is a book of discovery and adventure.

Our Directory is intended to inspire travelers to embark on enriching journeys of discovery to far-off places with intriguing traditions and alluring cultures. The strength and appeal of each Leading Hotel lies in its distinctiveness and relationship to its location. You’re invited to delve into over 430 unique stories of our grand palaces, intimate city hideaways, luxury tent enclaves and island resorts.

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