Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
This 1,600-foot-tall design juggernaut claimed the title of world's highest hotel when it opened on floors 102 to 118 of Kowloon's International Commerce Center in March 2011. Designed by cutting-edge firms including Singapore's LTW Designworks and Japan's Spin Design Studio and Wonderwall, the 312-room hotel is a showstopper: the top-floor infinity pool has a ceiling of LCD monitors showing videos of the sea and skyline, the Lounge has sparkling crystal firepits, and 8,500 bottles of wine line the walls of the Tin Lung Heen Cantonese restaurant. The clean-lined chocolate and cream furnishings in the 312 rooms keep the focus on the views, which you can observe from between 600-thread count sheets or through complimentary telescopes. When you've had your fill, the Blu-Ray players, iPod docking stations, and 42-inch LCDs in the bedroom and 17-inch ones in the marble baths might distract. The more than 9,000 square-foot futuristic ESPA spa on the 116th floor marries Western and Eastern techniques for treatments like Jade Stone Eye Treatments and hot lava shell massages. Also on the upper floors? Local favorite bar for a see-and-be-seen scene, Ozone, the highest in the world.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.