My Favourite Hotels

16 Dec 2016
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If you read my earlier post on why I don’t like Airbnb, you by now already know that I prefer hotels over the home/apartment style accommodation. If you also read my post on my travel habits, you also know that the biggest portion of my travel budget is spent on accommodation and especially for design hotels. I find hotels to be great sources of inspiration for some of my design choices at my own apartment. So with all my adoration of design hotels, here is part one of my post where I will be listing some of my favourite hotels. Today’s selection covers five of my favourites.

Design hotel in Isfjord
Lounge area at Isfjord Radio.

#1 Isfjord Radio – Svalbard

The loneliest yet the most amazing hotel in the World. It is just sitting on the far end of the World  in – literally – the middle of nowhere. The hotel is run by the Base Camp Explorer Group that has properties in two countries, Kenya and Svalbard. You can get to this wonderful hotel either on a speed boat cruising the Arctic sea if it is summer or on a snow mobile if you are in Svalbard in winter.  Always departing from Longyearbyen. The hotel also offers gourmet style dining and you can easily spot reindeers from inside the hotel. This can also be the case with polar bears – so you are not allowed to get out of the hotel on your own without a guide carrying a riffle. You can check out my Svalbard photos here in the Norway gallery.

#2 Kilima Camp – Masai Mara, Kenya

Tent v. lodge.  Not maybe for your entire trip as it is considerably more expensive than lodge style accommodation but you have to try, at least for part of your trip, a tent style accommodation during your safari trip to Kenya. You will feel like living in the movie Out of Africa and trust me, no exaggeration here. Do not be afraid though if giraffes meet you at the door when you walk back into your tent in the afternoon. As for the night, you are not allowed to walk back to your room on your own.

#3 Ace Hotel – Portland, USA

Welcome to Portlandia. Base yourself at Ace Hotel located in the Pearl district of Portland and you will get a great sense of Portland even if you do not walk out of the hotel (as it is sometimes hard to walk out of the hotel during those super cold winter days of Portland). I can say that staying at Ace Hotel in Portland was an experience on its own. There are Ace Hotels also in Seattle, NYC, Los Angeles, London, Palm Springs and – do not be surprised – in Panama!

Hotel Anteroom

#4 Hotel Anteroom – Kyoto, Japan

Hotel Anteroom is surprisingly affordable for Japan, yet still amazing. I last stayed at Anteroom in January 2015 and paid around USD 60 for a single room per night. You know it is a great deal for a hotel of this quality if you have ever been to Japan. Anteroom is about ten minutes away from Kyoto train station on foot and is not in the middle of the touristic areas but with the price and its stylish design, it will always be my top choice in Kyoto. I about a year ago wrote a separate post just devoted to Hotel Anteroom in Kyoto.

Eliassen Rorbuer

#5 Eliassen Rorbuer – Hamnoy, Lofoten Islands, Norway

I daydream about many places but I think Lofoten comes up on the top of my daydream locations and specifically this spot that I have been lucky enough to visit twice in my life. This rorbuer complex offers great accomodation right in Hamnoy (for me the most picturesque area in Lofoten Islands) in cabins where you get your own kitchen, bedroom and small living room. There is a also a restaurant nearby which is an important bonus as the number of restaurants is quite limited in Lofoten Islands especially if you are in Moskenes area. Norway is my all time favourite travel destination on Earth and I separately wrote about the great Eliassen Rorbuer. I also finished the second part of the list where I list my favourite design hotels.