My Favourite Hotels

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. 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 hotels, here is a list of some of my favorite hotels. 

#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. For further reading – you can check out my Svalbard post.

#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, New Orleans, London, Palm Springs and – do not be surprised – in Panama and soon in Kyoto, Japan.

#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.

#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

#6 The Burrard, Vancouver BC – Canada

The layout of this hotel reminds me of the motel where the movie the Identity took place. It looks more like a motel rather than a motel. Quirky decoration and colors but more importantly, a 24 hours open coffee house is attached to the hotel. It comes very handy if you did not yet beat your jet-lag. Very reasonably prices – yet sufficiently well designed and walking distance to major Vancouver attractions.

#7 The Pelham Hotel, London – UK

It probably rarely gets any more Londoner than this hotel. I am not a fan of London but sure a fan of this hotel located in South Kensington. It has a nice little sitting area downstairs where you can also enjoy some drinks in an absolute British environment.

#8 Belludi 37, Padova – Italy

If you are going to Venice, you should consider staying in Padova which is 25 minutes train ride away from Venice. Much cheaper accommodation, nice little town but more importantly – amazing quality/price parity for Italy. When I travel to Venice, I always stay at this hotel and go on day trips to Venice on a train and if I stay long enough, I usually spend a lazy day in Padova, both enjoying its small town charm and the amazing Belludi 37. Even the tiniest rooms in Belludi 37 has a proper desk that you can use to work, photo editing or whichever way you want, which makes it a really ideal base for me and the hotel also has a great breakfast.

#9 Buri Rasa, Koh Phangan – Thailand

At the quite end of Koh Phangan, this is a great beach retreat. Spacious rooms and very tranquil environment. As we are walking about Thailand, I don’t need to say how nice the entire hotel staff is. You can also rent a long tail boat right from the hotel and go to the Bottle Beach, which is a quite and more hipster type beach for those who want to get a feeling of the movie the Beach.

#10 Claska, Tokyo – Japan

In Meguro neighbourhood of Tokyo, Meguro is a great find from Tablet Hotels. Very stylishly design and has good food facilities and an amazing online store where you can buy good priced handmade goods (bags etc.). This hotel reminded a lot of Anteroom in Kyoto as it is again not in the most central part of the city but still easily accessible and with a great price for a quality of its level.  I think I will at some point complement this list of my favorite hotels with a list of my favorite hostels.