A Few of My Favorite Hotels…

Note that I didn’t say “the best,” although some of them are. At the same time, some of them are down-at-the-heels and far from fashionable, but I offer my rationale for each.

The Bangkok Oriental, Bangkok…

…because in one of the world’s most exotic cities, it sets the gold standard for luxury and service

 

 

 

 

 

Twin Farms, Barnard, VT…

…because there actually is a world-class, ultra-luxurious inn (complete with its own ski mountain) in Vermont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Villa La Massa, Florence, Italy…

because this Medici Villa on the banks of the Arno (where David Bowie and Iman got married) is the sister hotel of the Villa d’Este in Lake Como, and it feels like the Tuscan countryside but it’s only 10 minutes from the Ponte Vecchio

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Serena Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania…

…because it overlooks one of the most extraordinarily wild places on the planet but remains so civilized that the gin martini’s are chilled to 28 degrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerson and Green, Zanzibar…

because I can’t even confirm whether or not it exists anymore, but when this pair of converted 19th-century merchant’s mansions operated, it was a time machine back to the days when the Sultan of Oman ruled his empire from Stone Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.’s…

…because it’s the apex of laid-back Caribbean luxury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kona Village, Ka’Upulehu, Hawaii…

…because this ancient Hawaiian fishing village is the authentic Big Island place to unplug

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Casa Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico…

…because it remains as colorful and charming as the town surrounding it

 

 

 

 

 

 

The King David Hotel, Jerusalem…

…because it’s the grande dame overlooking the Gold Dome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel Isla Seca, Zapallar, Chile…

…because it might not be as grand as it pretends to be but it’s the only game in town in Chile’s answer to the Hamptons

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Kunsterlerheime, Louise, Berlin…

….because art is what Berlin is all about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Seasons, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt…

…because it retains a touch of the old Sharm amid the rampant development

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Connaught, London…

…because it’s the ultimate Hooray Henry hotel, and even though the Dorchester has the Krug room, I was a groomsman at a toff’s wedding breakfast here

 

 

 

 

 

Langham Place Mongkok, Hong Kong…

…because in a city built on 24/7 retail, it offers 5-star accommodations and luxury shopping, high atop the frenetic, down and dirty city markets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills…

…because the suites and the spa are the only things that can justify a movie as bad as “Pretty Woman”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hotel Hassler, Rome…

…because when I was five years old, one of the waiters tried so hard to please me that he brought hot chocolate with ice cubes in it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel de Colegio, Sao Miguel, The Azores, Portugal…

…because this former convent is the ideal place to explore one of the most beautiful volcanic islands in the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunglow Ranch, Pierce, AZ…

…because this rustic but elegant ranch is nestled in rugged Apache-country, at the foot of the Chiricahua mountains, where Geronimo and Cochise fought the last Indian war against the U.S. government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel Winery El Juncal, Ronda, Spain…

…because there’s no more romantic area of Spain, and no more romantic place to stay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lodge at Sun Valley, Sun Valley, Idaho…

…because it’s old-school glamour in the Sawtooth Mountains, and regardless of the season, there’s literally something for everyone to do outdoors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rendezvous Bay Hotel, Anguilla…

….because it might be the ugly step-sister to more expensive resorts like Cap Juluca and Alta Mar, but it’s located on the island’s prettiest beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanta Hotel, Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand…

…because by the time you read this, the island will probably have become as developed as Phuket, Ko Samui and Phi Phi, but at one time, these funky little bungalows offered a genuine paradise on the Andaman Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada…

…because it’s nice to stay in a castle after a long day of skiing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Casa de la Marquesa, Queretaro, Mexico…

…because I met a ghost there once, with the help of a Scottish terrier named after the Emperor Maximilian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Real Macaw, Caye Caulker, Belize…

…because there’s no muss and no fuss, and the best diving in the world is right outside the front door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chateau Andre Ziltener, Burgundy, France

…because it’s on the Cote d’Or, within biking distance of such wine-lover’s pilgrimages as Beaune, Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits Saint-Georges, and the domaines of Corton-Charlemagne and Romanee Conti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beit Zaman Hotel and Resort, Petra, Jordan…

…because there might be fancier European chain hotels nearby, but there’s no place better than this recreated Bedouin village to explore the wonders of one of the world’s great archaeological sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brava Hotel, Buzios, Brazil…

…because it might be trying hard to be Miami, but it’s outside town, near the nude beach

 

 

 

 

 

The Regent Esplanade, Zagreb, Croatia

…because it was built in 1925 to house guests on the Orient Express, and they’ve retained the original art deco details but beautifully updated them with the help of a London-based Greek interior designer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L’Auberge de Sedona..because it’s the one spot in Sedona where ¬†looking down is as stunning as looking up

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