Best Hotels in the World – A Bucket List for Lodging (page 2 of 2)
Click here if you missed the first part of this Best Hotels Bucket List of Lodging (#30-#15).
#15 BEST OLD WORLD CHARM HOTEL – The Splendid in Venice, Italy.
The patina that casts its ageless shadow over Venice makes it one of the most unique and interesting places in the world. Venice is also one of the most recognizable cities due to the fact that there are no roads or cars, but rather a labyrinthine of canals and pedestrian-only alleyways. The Splendid Hotel in Venice is located in the heart of the city, in a quiet, yet central area near the city’s primary landmarks. The sublime setting offers guests a rare opportunity to be away from the throngs of tourists, while being centrally located. The rooms are a tranquil reprieve from bustle of Venice, they are sumptuously furnished with a sophisticated sense of detail.
#14 BEST NATURE-INSPIRED HOTEL – The Theatre Hotel in Olomouc, Czech Republic.
The Theatre sets the stage for a performance that will impress even the savviest of travelers. This hospitality experience will leave you yearning for an encore. The entrance is a chic display of sophistication, with supple leathers, rich textiles, opulent lighting and dramatic functional furniture. The space invites guests to relax and mingle, while sipping a cup of espresso brewed from a copper contraption that looks like a work of forged art. The Scene Wellness Center is for letting nature (and the skilled therapist) wash your stress away. Nature is woven within everything at the Theatre Hotel, including Entrée, their exceptional fine dining restaurant. For example, the bread serving platter is a piece of wood (driftwood-looking) and the butter is displayed on a piece of dark slate. The drapes have what look to be twigs stitched into the fabric to emphasize the outdoors. Even a dead tree has new life inside this hotel. Click the following link to read more about the Theatre Hotel in Olomouc, certainly one of the best hotels in the world.
#13 BEST HISTORIC RESTORATION – The Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington.
The Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane conjures up emotions of years gone by. This wonderfully restored hotel will make you feel like you’re in another era, but with modern refinements. Originally built in 1914, The Davenport lived a long and lustrous life, until 1985 when the downtown area began to see its age and the doors were finally closed. The Hotel was purchased in the year 2000 by local entrepreneurs who marveled at the history and saw what could be once again. After pouring countless dollars into restoration to bring The Davenport back to life, back to its glory days, the hotel re-opened in 2002 to much fanfare. The Davenport has an old-world flair, from the refined architecture, decor, accents and embellishments, to the impeccable staff and service, The Davenport gives you a sense of how hotels were once operated.
#12 Best Retro Hip Hotel – Andaz in Scottsdale, Arizona has been highly celebrated as one of the best hotels in Arizona.
Located along Scottsdale’s hotel row, the Andaz is obscured from view by residential and commercial structures, creating a sense of a hidden oasis in the heart of Scottsdale. Everything about the Andaz is remarkable, from the unconventional check-in service, to the layout of the grounds. You don’t feel like you’re staying at a resort, but rather a mid-century communal living space. Unlike a traditional hotel where the rooms are under one roof, Andaz is made up of a series of pods or bungalows with straight architectural lines broken up by meandering pathways. A stunning series of glass panels supported by modern stainless steel hardware elements blend in with the blue waters of the pool. The chaise lounge chairs and poolside bar welcome guests to relax while taking in the incredible views of the iconic landmark known as Camelback Mountain. Furthering the communal vibe, the brilliantly named Weft & Warp Art Bar and Kitchen blends ingredients and flavors creating a finished dish that is simple, yet sophisticated. There are so many thoughtful details throughout the property, that after a week, you may still be discovering them.
#11 BEST HOTEL BREAKFAST – Sofitel in Manila, Philippines.
Dining at the Sofitel’s Spiral restaurant for breakfast is like going on a gastronomic voyage around the world to the most renowned countries—from India, China, France to the Americas, and of course, the Philippines. Spiral is divided into 21 dining ateliers and spans more than 8200 square feet. In France, an atelier is an artist’s special workshop, and in Spiral, it is where secret recipes are masterfully prepared by seasoned culinary artisans. I have stayed at 100s of hotels around the world, dozens and dozens of them have been top-notch five star properties. While all of the high-end resorts have had a lovely breakfast, the Manila Sofitel stands out above the rest. I stayed at the Sofitel for five nights, and during that time, I barely had an opportunity to visit each of the 21 stations.
#10 BEST HOSPITALITY HOTEL – Aghadoe Heights Hotel in Killarney, Ireland.
Every detail seems to have be considered for the accommodations as Aghadoe Heights—from the full oscillating T.V. (to be viewed in the sitting area or from the bed) to the high fidelity Bose stereo system, the high-end Nespresso machine to the sophisticated halogen lighting. There are even plenty of charging ports, including a North American style plug along with USB ports. The accommodations also included something I’ve never seen before… a local tour guide mobile device. This smartphone-like device allows guests to stay connected without having to get a local SIM card or use their own data while touring the area. With built-in apps that allow guests to take a self-guided tour, make phone calls and surf the web, it’s a really nice added touch to the overall experience. From Irish hospitality to contemporary comport, Aghadoe is easily one of the best hotels in Ireland. Click the following link to see more photos and read all about Aghadoe Heights Hotel.
#9 BEST ALL INCLUSIVE HOTEL – Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico.
The Grand at Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico is a luxury lodging experience you will never forget. The resort fully embodies the name as it is grand on an epic scale. You will marvel at the scale of this property and be in awe of how all the moving parts seem to work together seamlessly. Luxurious solid surfaces can be found everywhere, from intricate tile work, to lots of rich marble. The style is on the sophisticated contemporary side with some incredibly unique lighting. There are endless places to sit, little alcoves provide perfect places for an intimate conversation with a glass of wine, or for a business meeting. They have their own signature scent that you can smell throughout the hotel, from the lobby, elevators to the spa and beyond. Staying at The Grand at Moon Palace is hedonistic indulgence at its finest, and without a doubt, one of the best hotels in Cancun.
#8 BEST THEMED HOTEL – The Aria in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Aria is ensconced within a musical composition that is carried through every aspect of the property. Each floor of the hotel is themed in a different genre of music (jazz, opera, classical and contemporary), with each of its 51 lavish rooms and suites highlighting a different artist within the floors’ musical style. Guests will find artwork adorning the walls, books, symbolic references and other odes to musicians and composers such as: Smetana, Dvorák, Elvis Presley, Gershwin, Beethoven, to Billie Holiday and Mozart. If weather permits, don’t miss dining on the roof-top deck overlooking Prague, where even the plates continue the musical theme, each painted with a different artist. I have stayed at the Aria twice and believe it to be one of the most remarkable hotels in the Czech Republic.
#7 BEST SPA EXPERIENCE – Shangri La Resort in Cebu City, Philippines.
I’ve had my fair share of spa experiences at 4 & 5 star resorts around the world. This was one of the best overall experiences I’ve ever had. For starters, the spa setting is sensational. The walk toward the spa entrance is like walking on a floating bridge with a large koi pond on both sides. When you enter the lobby of the spa a massive round dome with very high ceilings envelopes you into the zen-like space. After being greeted, you are provided with a soothing warm drink while waiting for a therapist. The therapist guides you through an outdoor labyrinth of private treatment rooms. Each structure has its own bathroom/changing area, along with a walled off outdoor area with tubs/shower and other venues for particular treatments, such as a mud bath. The massage room are very comfortable and relaxing, and the treatment itself is is matched only by the outstanding ocean side setting.
#6 MOST OVER-THE-TOP HOTEL – Adventure Suites in North Conway, New Hampshire.
Adventure Suites is a hotel like none other! It’s a boutique property with 18 uniquely themed rooms located in the small town of Conway, New Hampshire. These outrageous suites combined innovations that are one-of-a-kind in hotel lodging. Each room is completely different from the next, from the “Club” that emulates a high-end disco, complete with state-of-the-art sound system and dance floor. Then, there is the “Motorcycle Madness” room where you can spend your vacation in a diamond-plated suite dedicated to the classic American motorcycle while listening to music, watching movies, soaking in a giant hot tub, or, playing some poker on a Harley Davidson poker table. These suites are meant for entertaining and encourage you to have guests over to enjoy in the fun. Your neighbors next door need not worry about the late-night parties because the sound insulation is stupendous.
#5 BEST SOPHISTICATED HOTEL – Hotel Augustine in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Hotel Augustine is one of the premier hotels in Prague, near the Prague Castle and Wallenstein Garden. This extraordinary property has quite an interesting story…it’s part of an old 13th century monastery, where four remaining monks still worship. The hotel is near embassies and major attractions, yet it stands in a quiet area removed from urban activity. The hotel has two signature accommodations, one is a 3 level suite with a stunning 360 degree view from the top-floor bedroom. The second, a massive Presidential suite, both rooms showcase the creme de la creme of hotel lodging in Prague. The Augustine Restaurant, which is housed in a glass-covered courtyard, offers a sophisticated European menu including both local Czech cuisine as well as international fare.
#4 BEST HOTEL FOR SERVICE – The Oberoi in Bombay, India.
There is no better lodging choice in Bombay (Mumbai) than the Oberoi. Located in an enviable spot overlooking the Arabian Sea, giving way to the glittering “Queen’s Necklace” at night. The elegance of the atrium lobby with its massive windows overlooking the sea, the red grand piano and contemporary seating is echoed around the hotel. Artwork and sculptural water features add to the sophisticated ambience. Where the Oberoi really shines is their unparalleled service…the best I think I have ever encountered. Every 5-star hotel provides amazing service, but the staff at the Oberoi are genuinely interested in making sure your stay is unlike any other.
#3 MOST ELEGANT HOTEL – Canyon Suites in Phoenix, Arizona.
Those looking for the ultimate in luxury will feel right at home at Canyon Suites, which is situated in an alcove of the Phoenician Resort and shares some of its extensive resort amenities. Canyon Suites epitomizes high-end lodging, which is rooted in luxury and layered with details that define its destination. The world class accommodations are harmonized by its stunning surroundings, which includes a massive waterfall at the base of Camelback Mountain, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Phoenix. The grounds are manicured like a desert botanical garden featuring Sonoran cacti and desert flora, peppered with culturally significant sculptures.
#2 BEST FAIRY TALE SETTING HOTEL – Dromoland Castle in County Claire, Ireland.
The Dromoland Castle evokes a feeling like that of stepping back in time, into the pages of a storybook fairy tale. Where stately gates. towers and turrets set the stage for visitors and stern-looking suits of armor greet guests at check-in. Classic paintings adorn plush wallpaper walls, while dimly lit chandlers light the way down long corridors. In true castle fashion, guests can participate in a number of old-world activities, from falconry, archery, afternoon tea, horse riding, pony & trap rides, to fishing, golf and loads of other things.
#1 BEST MOST EXCLUSIVE HOTEL – Amangiri in Southern, Utah.
Amangiri is located in a rural setting of southern Utah and is one of the most expensive and exclusive hotels in the world. It’s one of those places that, if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it. There are five star resorts, and then there are properties like Amangiri that are exclusive to the very rich and famous. For the rest of us, this is one of the best hotels in the world that we can only hope to add to our bucket list for lodging for one of those special celebrations. Amangiri is quite special as it seamlessly blends in with the awe-inspiring nature surrounding it. The road leading up to the resort meanders through the property, showcasing the magnificent landscape in a very purposeful way, as if the architect is setting the stage for the illustrious experience ahead. The initial impressions are a bit overwhelming; like being in an art gallery and not knowing what painting deserves your attention first. The Southwestern landscape is on display at every turn and the architecture takes full advantage by framing out scenes that literally look like paintings. Long corridors have square openings that deceive the eyes into thinking a framed painting is hanging on the wall. Various water features throughout the property provide a sense of being in an oasis, which is exactly where guests have been transported. Click the following link to see more photos and read all about Amangiri.
Click here if you missed the first part of this post, #30-#16 on this best hotels bucket list for lodging. Leave a comment below and share your impressions on which these best hotels you’d like to stay.