Economically speaking, a luxury good is one for which demand increases in proportion to rising income – hence, the richer the world becomes, the greater the demand for luxury items will be. This applies perhaps uniquely to luxury hotels and luxury travel, as the number of holidays people have been taking has risen dramatically in the last couple of decades.

So, as travel and tourism has become increasingly important within people’s lives, the prevalence of luxury hotels in the world’s most visited destinations has skyrocketed. But while every four-star hotel may claim to provide luxury, the true nature of a luxury hotel is harder to pinpoint. It relies on providing an original service, as well as an authentic experience, pleasing design and the utmost comfort.

Arguably, the top 5 luxury destinations in the world are London, New York, Paris, Rome and Dubai. London, for example, possesses many eminent luxury hotels. These include the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, which overlooks Hyde Park and includes gourmet cuisine and a spa; Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, which was famously refurbished by Olga Polizzi, who also redesigned Tresanton on the Cornish Coast; and, of course, The Dorchester also in Mayfair. Luxury hotels in New York include the Four Seasons, which is home to a spa, spectacularly designed suites and is even child-friendly; and Carlyle in New York’s Upper East Side, the hotel in which JFK had his notorious affair with Marilyn Monroe.

Luxury hotels in Paris tend to be concentrated on the Right Bank, or the Etoile and Champs Elysees region. Perhaps the best French-owned luxury hotel in Paris is the Hotel de Crillon, which offers a wonderfully romantic setting, with its intricate designs and boutique shopping outlets. The Ritz Paris is a similarly classic Parisian luxury hotel, with a long historical tradition, and is perfect for both business and pleasure. Rome’s Via Veneto may appear to have the highest concentration of luxury hotels in the world, but how many of them actually deliver? Among the best luxury hotels in Rome are the St Regis Grand of the Piazza Repubblica, a wonderfully restored historic landmark that acts as a cultural centre of the city as well as a place for fine dining. The Westin Excelsior and Hotel Eden, both of Veneto, also offer fabulous luxury at the heart of Italy’s capital; Hotel Eden even provides a fabulous Michelin-starred rooftop restaurant.

Dubai, as one of the world’s youngest destinations for luxury holidays, has attracted a variety of global hotel chains as well as locally-owned luxury hotels. Among the best luxury hotels in Dubai are the Metropolitan Palace Hotel, located in the prominent Al Maktoum Street at the heart of Dubai’s business district, and The Fairmont, which is conveniently situated in the centre of the city. The selections mentioned above, however, offer only a small taste of some of the world’s best luxury hotels; faced with all this choice, it can be confusing when it comes to choosing a luxury hotel for your own holiday. However, a variety of travel websites, can help you pick the right one – so all you have to do is make the most of your luxury holiday.