World records are being broken every year, and with the demand from travelers for more outrageous experiences and destinations, developers are angling to create the best of the best. Territories like China and Dubai are leading the pack with the most record winning properties, and now Guinness World Records has selected the winning properties from around the globe.
I spoke with Hannah Ortman, Head of Record Management at Guinness, and she explains the process of selecting the titles, “Our team oversees the process of record-breaking from start to finish. Of the titles we monitor, there are a number of records in our database that are superlative facts. Because they are research-based, we do not accept applications for them and do not require documentation from the record holders. For this record, our internal Records Management Team, as well as our third- party consultants, who have expertise in their specific field, have gathered information in order to verify it as a Guinness World Records title.”
I have personally visited many of these record breakers and encourage you to explore all of them as they are truly remarkable.
First World Hotel, Malaysia
Featuring a total of 7,351 rooms, the First World Hotel features two towers with 3,164 standard rooms, 292 deluxe rooms, 649 deluxe triple rooms, 480 superior deluxe rooms, and 136 world club rooms. In 2015, First World Hotel extended the Tower 2 to offer a new total of 1,286 rooms with the average room size of 170 square feet. The hotel also includes a 500,000 sf plaza, retail and dining outlets and indoor theme park attractions.
The world record will eventually be broken when Abraj Kudai in Mecca, Saudi Arabia opens in 2021. The massive resort faced financial problems and its opening had been delayed but is reportedly back in construction. With 12 towers, a height of 45 stories, 10,000 bedrooms, 70 restaurants, and four rooftop helipads this will eventually be a game changer.
Eh’häusl Hotel, Germany
This record breaking eight-foot wide hotel in the city of Amberg, Germany was built in 1728, and totally renovated in 2008 as a luxury retreat.
When it was first built, it was required to provide proof of landownership to the city council if a young couple wanted to get married. A clever businessman built the 8 foot wide house where a couple could buy the house, get married, and sell it to the next prospective groom. Ever since then this house has been called the Eh’haeusl (marriage house).
The house was built between the two neighboring houses. Though tiny in size the hotel has modern amenities like flat screen TV, a mini spa and several other amenities for its guests.
Gevora Hotel, Dubai
With a height of 1,167.98 feet, the four-star hotel opened its doors in 2018 after a construction period of twelve years. It offers a total of 528 rooms spread over its 75 floors and a number of facilities including restaurants, and a pool on top of its parking garage building. The Gevora beat the previous record holder, the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai.
The highest hotel room actually belongs to the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong which occupies only the top floors of the 1,588 building.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, Japan
This famed hot spring hotel near Mt. Fuji and at the foot of the South Japanese Alps, was founded in 705 AD. It has been continuously operated by 52 generations of the same family for over 1,300 years. Since its creation, the hotel has had all its hot water sourced directly from the local Hakuho Springs. The hotel was last renovated in 1997 and has 37 rooms.
LARGEST HOTEL SUITE
Grand Hills Hotel & Spa, Broummana, Lebanon
Spread out over an impressive 44,000 square feet, the five bedroom Royal Residence at the Grand Hills includes three pavilions, two private swimming pools, seven stories filled with art and antiques, two saunas, a Turkish bath, a gym, security quarters, and private gardens. The nightly rate starts at a modest $8,000 per night.
TALLEST RESIDENTIAL HOTEL
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
This five-star, 312-room property is the tallest residential hotel in the world. The hotel begins on the 102nd floor, at 1,394 ft. On top is the hotel’s gym, spa and spectacular infinity swimming pool on the 116th floor. I have taken the breathtaking 60 second ride on the elevator to the 118th floor and the views of Victoria harbor and surrounding areas are outrageous.
LARGEST SPA RESORT
Mission Hills Haikou, China
This resort includes the World’s largest spa, and can accommodate 4,000 guests in one weekend with over 61 suites. There is an 18 story spa building that overlooks the mineral springs with 168 pools water. There are multiple themed spa areas from the Middle East inspired caves with Persian lanterns to Oceania, Asia, European, and even an Amazon river themed area with winding caves and waterfalls. The resort is also the world’s largest golf resort, with 12 separate courses.
MOST RESORT SWIMMING POOLS
Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, Malaysia
The most swimming pools in a resort is 643. Guinness only considered pools which exceeded 1.5 m x 2 m in size. Each villa at this resort has its own private swimming pool.
MOST OVER WATER VILLAS
Lexix Hibiscus Port Dickson, Malaysia
The most over water villas at a single resort is 522. Guinness considered all resorts containing villas over salt or fresh water. Nearly all of the holiday villas are situated above their own private swimming pool at Lexis Hibiscus.
That record will be broken with the 2024 launch of Lexis Hibiscus 2 which will feature 582 water villas and 178 sky pool villas. Each villa will come with its own private dip pool for exclusivity and privacy. The new resort will feature a sunken aquarium with a built-in restaurant.
Bawabet Dimashq Restaurant, Syria
The largest restaurant in the world is the Bawabet Dimashq Restaurant (Damascus Gate Restaurant) which has 6,014 seats. The total floor area of the restaurant is 215,277 sf. with a 26,910 square foot kitchen. The restaurant has features such as waterfalls, fountains and replicas of archaeological ruins of Syria including the famous meteorite called ‘Sikhote-Alin’ displayed for the public.
Restaurante Botin, Madrid
Founded in 1725, the restaurant is made up of four floors, all of which have preserved as a traditional tavern. The restaurant was opened by a French cook called Jean Botín and his wife at the beginning of the 18th century with the intention of working for a nobleman of the Spanish Royal Court. Today the restaurant is run by the third generation of the Gonzalez family, Antonio and Jose Gonzalez. Located in the heart of Madrid near the Plaza Mayor it now has four floors which retain the original 18th-century interiors as well as the original firewood oven.
HIGHEST REVOLVING RESTAURANT
Canton Tower and TWIST, Guangzhou, China
The highest revolving restaurant is atop the 1,387 foot Twist building, on the 106th floor of the Canton Tower. This Mediterranean food dining spot also features some of the most dramatic views in the world.
The largest revolving restaurant is Bellini, located on the 45th floor of Mexico City’s World Trade Center. The restaurant has an area of 11,244 sf with a capacity for 332 people .
At.mosphere at Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The highest restaurant from ground level situated at a height of 1,450 ft, and located on the 122 floor of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. I was fortunate to have dined here, and the 60 second elevator ride alone was like being in a futuristic space ship.
Make sure to spend extra to reserve a window seat, with a minimum per person order of $100. The restaurant has four seating areas each with 20 window seats.