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Trip List by dccab

My favorite hotels - worldwide

13 Nov 2007  Trips taken between 2004 and present
2.0 of 5 stars based on 3 votes

Best hotels I've stayed at - anywhere

  • 1. Peninsula Hong Kong
    The Peninsula Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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    Avg price: $660

    Service is incomparable. You will be spoiled. Everything about this hotel is first class and uncompromised. About the only thing you can say is that instead of chic, it's luxurious (but the Felix lounge on the 28th floor is chic and sexy). Buttons for everything -- lights, radio, tv, "do not disturb" light; you can request housekeeping or a butler with the press of a button, and they respond quickly. All staff is incredibly polite. The views on the harbor side are amazing. Have stayed here only once, but have been in HK only once. Would return.

  • 2. Crosby Street Hotel
    Crosby Street Hotel, New York City, New York

    A new entry to my favorite list, and it has shot up to the top as it is now my favorite place to stay in New York. Its understated elegance matches its location, on a quiet back street, secretly tucked away between the bustling SoHo shopping district and Little Italy. The rooms are beautifully designed to be roomy yet cozy and warm. The staff are a delight, always with a smile on their face, always willing to help. Walking distance to some great little places, one of which happens to be a favorite, the McNally Jackson bookstore on Prince St. Also a block away from a fantastic newsstand, the Lafayette Smoke Shop on Spring & Lafayette, open 24 hours. The Crosby Street bar and restaurant serves a great bloody mary! Bonus: If you get an upper floor room with an eastern exposure, you get a great view.

  • 3. Park Hyatt Tokyo
    Park Hyatt Tokyo, Shinjuku, Tokyo
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    Avg price: $566

    Simply one of the best in the world, in my humble opinion. Classic, elegant, superior service, unbelievable views and a central location. I'd go back in a heartbeat...one of my best hotel experiences of all time.

  • 4. Le Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris
    Le Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris, Paris, Ile-de-France
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    Avg price: $969

    One of the best hotels I've ever experienced. The Philippe Starck-designed room (suite) was full of original art and personal touches. As the hotel's website says, it's like staying at the home of a friend. All aspects of the hotel were nearly flawless from the restaurant to the room service to housekeeping. One memorable incident that was not so good, but which did not detract from my stay: Someone from the hotel, presumably a housekeeper, broke a shaving brush for which I'd paid about $120. They went out and replaced it, although not after a minor fuss first, in which they tried to convince me that I had broken it. (I came back to the room to discover it shattered on the bathroom floor.) The replacement was a slightly cheaper version, but made of metal, thus unbreakable. Smart. What can you do? It is just an amazing hotel and the staff are utterly professional and polished. I would jump at another chance to stay there, and probably will. The location is also dazzling, between the Arc de triomphe and the Champs Elysees (not my favorite vibe) and the Parc Monceau, in a lush quiet neighborhood (more my vibe). It's all exquisite.

  • 5. Gramercy Park Hotel
    Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $627

    Decor and atmosphere: comfortable, dark, rich and aromatic. In lobby and lounges, plenty of places for private, quiet conversation. Rooms are the same; beautifully appointed. The staff tends to be young and beautiful, but a little lacking in common sense and experience. There's a trade-off for everything. Have stayed here about 6 times.

  • 6. Park Hyatt Milan
    Park Hyatt Milan, Milan, Lombardy
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    Avg price: $730

    A memorable hotel experience. Arrived in the late morning on a Sunday, jet lagged, so I took a nap. Awoke at about 6 p.m. to the sound of classical piano being played somewhere, filtering in through an open window. This happened again at the same time the next night, so I investigated and found out there were free concerts being performed at the cross-section of the adjacent Galeria Gran Vittorio. (Delightfully, for a classical music fan, there is a good-sized classical music store in the center of the arcade as well.) This hotel, in a beautifully restored and maintained historic building, must be one of Milan's best places to stay, although it is the only place I've stayed there. It is a stone's through from il Duomo, and in the middle of the fashion district. The service is impeccable.

  • 7. Peninsula New York
    The Peninsula New York, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $1224

    Like the Peninsula Hong Kong, only not quite as good! All the same features, excellent staff (still, not as polished as in HK), and a very good spa. Try the gym on the 22nd floor. For a hotel gym, not bad, and you have a great view while you sweat. Nice pool, rooftop, enclosed with an outdoor deck (seasonal). Have stayed here at least a dozen times.

  • 8. Delano Hotel
    Delano South Beach Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida
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    Avg price: $607

    Historically has been No. 1 on my list and I've stayed here probably 30 or 40 times. It begins to move down the list of favorites, however, as veteran employees begin to leave and new management takes over. Still an all-time classic place with a glittering scene filled with excitement, but disappointingly, bearing the traits of its corporate owner more and more each visit. Morgans Hotel Group has done an admirable job keeping the Delano relevant in a competitive landscape and it is clearly "the dean" of the hip hotel set. But economic demands have apparently taken their toll and, at least to me, it is beginning to lose its personal touch. Employees seem coached to talk up the new restaurant scene, for example and it sometimes feels forced. If you don't care about that sort of thing, by all means, the service is still above and beyond, and no other property in Miami Beach comes close in beauty and style. An old favorite, it soon may be time to start searching for its South Beach replacement.

  • 9. Royalton Hotel New York City
    Royalton New York Hotel, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $501

    Recently remodeled; I haven't made up my mind yet whether I like the new Royalton or the old one. I am partial to the old hotel. One major drawback: rooms with fireplaces are heavy with the aroma of soot. Some people like that, apparently, but I find it overpowering. Haven't tried a fireplace room in the remodeled hotel yet. Have stayed here a dozen times or more.

  • 10. Rivington Hotel
    Hotel on Rivington, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $431

    Very strong point: views and a real presence of the surroundings. You are in a building that sticks up above the rooflines on the Lower East Side, and the windows are floor to ceiling. Can be very stunning, depending on where you are. Minimalist feel to the whole place. Loved it. (Have stayed here once, summer 2007; intend to stay again)

  • 11. Mandarin Oriental New York
    Mandarin Oriental, New York, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $1329

    Have stayed here twice and really liked it both times. This hotel is faultless, although I would have to say, lacks the charm and soul of my other favorite hotels. Still, it is ultra comfortable and beautiful. Best of all, the views from every room are stunning; the hotel's lobby is on the 35th floor, and the rooms are between 37 and 50-something. The restaurant on 35, Asiate, is very good but I would probably try other places before returning here. Also, this is the only hotel I can think of with a real "full-length" pool, meaning, at least 25 yards long (you can do a real workout in it) although it's only 2 lanes wide. Pool is on the 36th floor.

  • 12. St. Regis Hotel San Francisco
    The St. Regis San Francisco, San Francisco, California
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    Avg price: $686

    Modern, minimalist and immaculate. They have opted for the zen theme here. I use that word only because I'm fairly sure that is what they are trying to achieve. More than just a hint of Asian art and overall feel. Lots of clean lines, gleaming surfaces and if I recall, the bathroom even had wall tiles made of leather. Very, very pleasant place to stay. It's just south of Market Street, near the financial district and next door to the museum of modern art. The neighborhood is interesting in that it's full of important attractions, but for SF, it's not a terribly colorful one (nothing south of Market is, in my opinion).

  • 13. Hotel Montalembert
    Hotel Montalembert, Paris, Ile-de-France
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    Avg price: $363

    Incredibly charming hotel in the 7th Arrondissement. Rooms, elevators and other spaces are all, in the Parisian style, very small but immaculate in every way. The staff is professional if not particularly friendly, but Parisians are not known to be obsequious. Very romantic place. The top floor is, I believe 7 or 8th and one room has a view of the Eiffel Tower. Also, there is a bell tower next door and at regular intervals hotel guests are treated to an amazing feast for the ears. (Don't worry... it doesn't go on all night)

  • 14. One Aldwych
    One Aldwych, London, England
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    Avg price: $637

    This hotel had seemed impeccable to us in almost every way. It was - and still is - fashionable, comfortable, VERY well lcoated and even innovative... it even used vacuum-based plumbing in its bathrooms to cut down on water use; sort of high tech at the moment. We stayed there a total of 5 times. But we had one very disconcerting experience. On our 5th stay here, we (embarassingly enough) booked 3 nights when we meant to book 4... by entering the wrong check-out date on the reservation web site. When the 4th night came along and we weren't gone yet (unbeknownst to us, this was all going on) we were actually *moved out* of the hotel while we were out for the day, because they needed our room! (Mind you, upon our arrival we were greeted with a bottle of wine and a note that said how glad they were to see us on this, our 5th visit... warm and fuzzy feelings all around.). In all fairness: it was our mistake, and they ever-so-gently kicked us out by rebooking us at the Four Seasons. Our credit card was never billed for the night at the Four Seasons, so we gather that the Aldwych picked up the tab. Very classy. I'm not sure how I would have handled this situation if I were them, but it did make us think twice about a lot of things. It was very awkward to come to our room and find them packing up our personal belongs, right down to the last piece of underwear! And they had already gotten into the safe and removed our valuables. Very, very awkward to say the least... and upsetting. Personally, I'm not sure I could ever stay there again after that experience, but it was one of my favorite hotels for a long time. I would still recommend it to others and it would be wrong to overlook all of its other stunning qualities.

  • 15. The Huntley Hotel
    Huntley Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica, California
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    Avg price: $400

    A fashionable, comfortable hotel in one of the best neighborhoods possible. Walking distance to the beach or if you're in a shopping mood, the 3rd Street Promenade. A nearby personal favorite is the Hennessy + Ingalls art & architectural bookstore on Wilshire. (It's a mecca for those who love this genre.) The rooms at the Huntley are light, airy and full of interesting textures even though the overall feel is sleek. For instance, most rooms I believe feature a faux snakeskin sitting chair seemingly floating on a rug that looks like it's made of rabbit's fur. Delicious.

  • 16. The Mercer Hotel
    The Mercer Hotel, New York City, New York

  • 17. Hotel Costes
    Hotel Costes, Paris, Ile-de-France

    Fashionable right bank hotel. The interior is exquisite, although admittedly not for everyone. Minimalist it is not; overstuffed everything, lavish colors and fabrics, heavy curtains, dimly lit rooms (guest rooms as well as lobby, smoking lounge, restaurant); the pool in the lower level is a grotto-like space- one of the best features. Comfort and utility still take a bit of a back seat to style, but not to a ridiculous degree (in my humble opinion). For example, it is a bit hard to find the dimmer switches on the lamps, and they are initially set very, very low. The staff is very smart, professional and, for the most part, friendly (but still sophisticated). One of my favorite things about this hotel is the signature scent - it is everywhere. (Have stayed here twice)

  • 18. The Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa
    The Scarlet Huntington, San Francisco, California
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    Avg price: $592

    This has got to be the most charming, old-school hotel in San Francisco! Its personality is just right for old world Nob Hill. Try the restaurant in the lobby with its clubby old feel. You'll forget what year it is. The service is genteel to match. Or sit and read your favoriate newspaper in the lobby and watch the hum of activity.

  • 19. XV Beacon
    XV Beacon, Boston, Massachusetts
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    Avg price: $492

  • 20. W New York - Union Square
    W New York - Union Square, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $529

  • 21. Hotel De Russie
    Hotel De Russie, Rome, Lazio
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    Avg price: $814

  • 22. W New York
    W New York, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $382

  • 23. W New York - Times Square
    W New York - Times Square, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $555

  • 24. Hotel De Russie
    Hotel De Russie, Rome, Lazio
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    Avg price: $814

  • 25. The St. Regis Hotel New York
    The St. Regis New York, New York City, New York
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    Avg price: $1132

  • 26. Hotel Condesa
    Hotel Condesa, Zacatecas

  • 27. Halekulani
    Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu, Oahu
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    Avg price: $610

  • 28. Windsor Arms
    Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
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    Avg price: $399

  • 29. Viceroy Hotel
    Viceroy Santa Monica, Santa Monica, California
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    Avg price: $472

    Like a trip back to the 70s, but in a very comfortable present-day California kind of way. Loved it. I've gone back to the restaurant time and again. Can't beat the location either, very close to the beach.