The Most Instagrammed Luxury Hotels of 2016
(Bloomberg) -- If you’re using Instagram as a way to figure out where the cool kids are traveling, expect to be steered to the largest hotels on earth. At least that’s the indication based on this year’s list of most Instagrammed luxury hotels, which the company has shared exclusively with Bloomberg. All the properties on the list were classified as five-star stays, but they didn’t earn their spots on this list by virtue of their excellent service or comfortable beds. They’re not purveyors of exclusivity or gateways to glamorous cities, but mega-destinations unto themselves. Forget Instagrammable moments—these hotels are Instagrammable universes. So here’s what not to miss when you inevitably plan your own trip.
1. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The most Instagrammed hotel in the world is hands-down Las Vegas’s coolest. Go for drinks at the property’s burlesque-inspired Rose Rabbit Lie bar and make sure you’re booked into one of 21 brand-new Boulevard Penthouse suites, which start at a massive 2,000 square feet and include private gaming salons.
2. Atlantis, the Palm, Dubai
As if the 113-acre Atlantis wasn’t already big enough, it’s spawning a sibling resort called The Royal Atlantis next year with 44 floors and 800 rooms. The crown jewel of the $1.4 billion project will be its duplex bridge suite, with a glass-bottomed pool that will literally hover between two sections of the building. But until that opens, you’ll have to settle for a glass-walled underwater room that’s submerged in the stingray-filled Ambassador Lagoon.
3. Fontainebleau Miami Beach
There’s still time to get this year’s most coveted Fontainebleau Instagram: The hotel is hosting Justin Bieber for its New Year’s Eve celebration. But that just speaks to the nightlife prowess at this Miami Beach institution: It’s where you’ll find epic clubs such as Liv, plus such lounge-y restaurants as Hakkasan and Michael Mina 74.
4. Wynn Las Vegas
Lots of visitors Instagram the Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio when in Vegas, but the flower displays at the Wynn are even more eye-catching (where social media are concerned). That’s your money shot, but there’s another, lesser-known photo opp you should hit up, too. The Lake of Dreams show, centered around a lit-up, 40-foot waterfall, runs nightly on the half hour—like the Bellagio’s fountain, but hipper. (Do you sense a theme?)
5. Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel
The fact that this hotel makes the top 10 list is a truly impressive feat, given that it’s open only during the summer season. But it’s where you’ll find Avicii and David Guetta pretty much every Sunday and Monday night next summer—so you know it’s likely to appear on next year’s list, too. Don’t even think about Instagramming the rooms here. If you’re not shooting the scene, a snap of the oysters at the seaside champagne bar is de rigueur.
6. Venetian Macao
Those ubiquitous photos of the Grand Canals are mind benders: Are you in Vegas? Italy? Certainly not Asia. So have some fun with your followers and include some Chinese signage in your shot of the Venetian—it’s what will set it apart. Then go shopping for Celine handbags at the duty-free shops and pose (with swag) in front of the Eiffel Tower replica—you’ll really throw your audience for a loop.
7. Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
Here’s the strategy for winning at Aria: Head straight to Carbone, where everything is served with a heaping side of dramatic effect, be it the Caesar Alla ZZ (tossed tableside) or the sticky sweet Cherry Pepper Ribs (a dish with foodie cred). It’s as much a theatric experience as O, the Cirque de Soleil production that plays four nights a week near the Poker Room and the Buffet.
8. Atlantis Hotel & Casino, Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas
Since it’s really a complex of nine hotels (and 20 pools and 21 restaurants and 19 bars), it’s no wonder this massive property gets lots of traction on social media. Focus your attention on the Cove Club, the most luxurious place to stay on site. Then wake up early and grab a spot on the bright red daybeds that float in the middle of the Cove’s 9,000-square-foot pool for the best photo opp anywhere on the island.
9. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
In keeping with Hard Rock’s roots, this property’s Music Lab lets you get into a recording studio for a day—perhaps in hopes of hitting it big on YouTube. Not your jam? Hit the moon pool at cocktail hour for a #sunset shot that tops the charts.
10. W Barcelona
It’s all about the views at this sleek city hotel—set in a sailboat-shaped building right on the edge of the Barceloneta boardwalk. Request a high-floor room that faces both the city and the ocean—or get your ’gram from the rooftop bar instead.
To contact the author of this story: Nikki Ekstein in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.