Luxury Hotels for a Unique Experience

Local Insights August 30, 2017

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Grab your pen and notebook, your bucket list is about to get a lot longer. If you are looking to make your next holiday truly memorable then staying in a unique accommodation can provide an experience like no other. All over the world, there are incredible places to call home for the night. Try getting up close to wild animals at safari lodges in Tanzania, exploring traditional English style country houses in Myanmar, sleeping in -5° at Snow Hotels in Finland, or relaxing by an infinity pool in Bali. This guide is an inspiration for your next holiday, find where you want to go, grab your prepaid travel money card and pick a luxury accommodation for the ultimate experience.

Kemi SnowCastle

SnowHotel

Al Jabal Al Akhdar

Serengeti House

Capella Hotel/Rosewood Washington D.C

SnowCastle, Kemi, Finland

Each year since 1996 the impressive SnowCastle of Kemi is constructed, where it proudly stands on the Bothnian Bay from January until April when it begins to melt away. Made only from snow and ice from seawater-converting snow machines this massive fortification with walls over 12 feet high is a real marvel. Decorated with stunning snow sculptures and illuminated with mesmerising lighting the SnowCastle attracts 100,000 visitors who want to enjoy the fairytale-like scenes. As well as the castle, there is also a SnowRestaurant, SnowHotel, and a SnowChapel that has hosted dozens of marriages and christenings.

Snowcastle of Kemi

Image: saudigazette.com

Useful Information

SnowHotel, Finland

A 2016 world luxury hotel winner, the SnowHotel in Kemi, Finland is made entirely from snow and ice providing you with an experience like no other. The hotel guarantees a comfortable night sleeping on a bed of ice with lambskin covers, fleece blankets and an arctic level sleeping bag in a -5℃ room surrounded by decorative lit up wall carvings. The hotel is part of the Snow Castle which is built each year and opens from late January to April. With a capacity for only 48 guests, this is a unique accommodation that is popular with guests from all over the world.
Prices include entrance to the SnowCastle, access to a luggage room, toilets, showers and locker rooms and breakfast. Guests can also make reservations for the SnowRestaurant.

The ice bar at the snow hotel in Kemi

Image: Jennifer Pickens, Flickr 

Useful Information

  • Available: January 19 – April 13 2019
  • Location: Walking Distance from the city centre (10-minute drive from Kemi airport)
  • Recommended Clothing: Ski hat/cap, woollen socks, long underwear (for both sleeping and in the restaurant)
  • If you’re heading to Finland, make sure you remember to buy your euros. 

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman

Perched at almost 3000m above sea level Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Oman is one of the world’s highest luxury hotel and resorts. Located on the Green Mountain, the resort provides dramatic canyon views surrounded by desert. In true Anantara style, the hotel features exceptional spa facilities with a Private hammam suite, 5 treatment rooms, Aroma sauna room, beauty salon and their signature treatments. This is matched with fine dining across 5 bars and restaurants serving local and international food as well as options for private dining on the viewing platforms.

Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in Oman

Image: georgerishan.com

The hotel has 82 canyon view rooms with luxurious bathrooms, dressing rooms and a balcony. Those looking for more space can take one of 33 private pool villas which offer complete privacy and a personal villa host. Guest can take part in mountain hiking adventures, explore Oman’s historic forts and ancient villages and watch the making of rose water with Damask roses.

Singita Serengeti House, Tanzania

Located right up in the North of Tanzania in the famous Serengeti National Park, this exclusive home has a lot to offer. Up to 8 guests can comfortably stay with 2 suites in the main house and a further 2 garden suites. The accommodation has a 25m infinity swimming pool, private tennis court, tented spa suite, gym, and media room. This relaxed environment is the perfect way to explore the grassy plains of the Serengeti. Guests can go on game drives, safari walks, anti-poaching post visits, and community visits. Children are welcome and the house can provide both babysitting services and bespoke activities for each family.

infinity pool at singita serengeti house

Image: Tripadvisor

What is included?

  • All meals and beverages (excluding Champagne)
  • Private guide, house host, chef and house staff
  • Land Rover Safari
  • Tennis
  • Return transfers between the Sasakwa airstrip and the lodge
  • Laundry service
  • Various currencies accepted (buy your currency online with us here).

 

 

Capella Hotel/Rosewood Washington D.C

Capella opened up its boutique hotel in D.C in April 2013. This highly intimate property is ideally located between the historic C&O Canal and cobblestone sidewalks of Georgetown. With 49 luxury guest rooms, Grill Room restaurant, Rye Bar, Rooftop bar and personal assistants, this is the perfect place to explore the rich culture of Washington D.C. Following 3 years in the capital, Capella Georgetown was sold to Dallas-based Rosewood in 2016 who continue to offer the incredibly high level of service and luxury. You can enjoy stunning views of the iconic landmarks whilst relaxing in the infinity pool or adjacent rooftop bar. Dine at the Grill Room, experience premium rye whiskies at the famous Rye Bar or have food and drink served to your room 24hrs a day.

Rye Bar at the Rosewood Hotel

Image: hotelmanagement.net 

Features:

  • Marble bathrooms
  • King size bed
  • Corner rooms available
  • Pratesi linens
  • Rainfall shower
  • Luxury suites available
  • Spa & Fitness centre

Lebua Devigarh

Housed in an imposing 18th-century palace, this heritage, all-suit hotel is set on a hilltop overlooking the town of Delwara. It lies 9 km from the ruins of the 10th-century SahastraBahu Temples. Contemporary suites with bright, minimalist decor provide flat-screen TVs, minibars and coffeemakers, as well as balconies, or private gardens and tented terraces. A Jacuzzi and a plunge pool are available in 1 suite.

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There’s an elegant restaurant with a terrace, plus private dining areas and a bar with a tasting menu. Other amenities include a full-service spa and an exercise room, in addition to an outdoor pool, a hot tub and a croquet lawn.

 

Hiep Hoa Resort

Located in Mui Ne, 300 yards from Windchimes Kitesurf School, Hiep Hoa Resort has air-conditioned rooms and a private beach area. With a garden, the property also has a terrace, as well as a shared lounge. The resort provides garden views, an outdoor pool, and free WiFi is available.

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This beach guesthouse also offers an outdoor pool, a terrace, and tour/ticket assistance. Complimentary self parking is available on site.

 

Palais De Mahé

This elegant hotel is 2 blocks from the beach, a 10-minute walk from Puducherry train station and 1.1 km from the Manakula Vinayagar Temple. The airy, polished rooms come with contemporary furnishings, and en suite bathrooms with bathtubs. There are no TVs.

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Amenities include an outdoor pool, flanked by a yellow colonnade and a poolside lounge. There’s also a rooftop restaurant, a cafe and a spa.

 

Hotel Rex

Inspired by the art and literature of the 1920s and the 1930s, this boutique centrally located hotel is located in San Francisco’s Theater District, just 4 minutes’ walk from Union Square. Hotel Rex San Francisco offers charming guest rooms with WiFi.

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Hotel Rex San Francisco offers a unique hotel atmosphere, complete with period furnishings, antique books and exotic objects. Cozy guestrooms at the hotel are furnished with state-of-the-art amenities, including flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and mini-refrigerators.

 

The Saguaro Hotel

The Saguaro isn’t so much a resort as a full-fledged experience, and although Scottsdale has a large number of resort hotels, this one is something special. With its colorful mod architecture, its sprawling pool area, and its perfect location in Old Town, The Saguaro is the height of luxury.

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Golfers can golf, health-seekers can get their spa treatments, and you can easily organize tours of the surrounding region. The “southwestern style” can get a little cheesy (e.g. the Turquoise Sage Mountain Arnica Massage), but the resort’s restaurant is nothing to scoff at: Distrito might be the most sophisticated Mexican restaurant in the valley.

 

 

Clift Hotel San Francisco

Designed by Philippe Starck, this stylish hotel is a 6-minute walk from upscale shopping at Union Square and 4 minutes’ walk from a Muni Metro station.

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Featuring custom furniture, the warm rooms come with flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi (fee). Elegant suites add living rooms with plush sofas and dining areas, and upgraded suites have formal dining rooms. Spa treatments and 24-hour room service are available. There’s an opulent lounge with velvet sofas, and a glamorous redwood-paneled bar offering dinner and live music. The lobby displays a collection of furniture by famous artists and designers. There’s also a 24/7 gym.

 

Redwood Restaurant, Clift Hotel

If you’re visiting the Clift Hotel, then you’d be crazy not to visit the Redwood Room too. The eye-popping interior is part hunting lodge, part hospital operating theatre, though it still boasts a bar that, according to local legend was carved from a single redwood tree.

Flickr

Flickr

There’s also an ever-changing array of digital art displayed on giant plasma TV screens (so don’t ask them to change the channel and put the game on). Doormen keep the riff raff out while celebrities and socialites sip sweet, powerful drinks brought to them by waiflike waitresses in the skimpiest of skimpy outfits.

 

 

Lebua Resort Jaipur

Lebua Resort Jaipur is a modern boutique hotel, spa destination, and event facility inspired by the area’s color, vibrance and cultural splendor. Jantar Mantar, the Royal Observatory of Jaipur built in 1728, influenced the luxury resort’s geometric shapes and structures, while the region’s famous gem craft is reflected in its materials and intricate details.

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The 60 suites and 3 villas are styled in one of Jaipur’s famous jewel colors of fuchsia, emerald green, or blue sapphire. Each villa is surrounded by latticework that forms a jewel box-like courtyard. Planned along crescent-shaped streets at varying heights, each suite has a view of the Aravalli Hills.

 

Plaza Athenee, Paris

This elegant, landmark hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Alma-Marceau metro station and a 7-minute walk from the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Luxe rooms and ornate suites feature flat-screen smart TVs and Wi-Fi. Some add bedrooms, dining areas, kitchens and/or balconies with Eiffel Tower views. Room service is available 24/7.

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There are 4 renowned restaurants, including a refined eatery helmed by Alain Ducasse, plus a seasonal courtyard, and an acclaimed cocktail lounge with a transparent bar. A swanky spa offers treatments (fee), a beauty salon, a sauna and a gym. Other amenities include meeting space, a grand ballroom and limousine service.

 

 

 

Peninsula Chicago

Set in a landmark high-rise, this elegant luxury hotel is a 3-minute walk from the Museum of Contemporary Art and a 4-minute walk from the Chicago Ave. subway station. Sophisticated rooms and suites offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars and iPod docks, plus marble bathrooms with TVs. Some have floor-to-ceiling windows and/or views of Lake Michigan. Room service is offered.

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Dining options include a swanky Chinese eatery, a European-style cafe, a cocktail bar and an ornate international restaurant. A rooftop spa offers a fitness center, a swimming pool and a sun terrace. There’s also more than 11,000 sq ft of meeting and event space.

 

Peninsula Hong Kong

Overlooking Victoria Harbor, this regal hotel, built in 1928, is a 5-minute walk from the Avenue of Stars waterfront promenade and 3 minutes’ walk from the Hong Kong Space Museum. Airy rooms with city views feature free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Posh, upgraded rooms add floor-to-ceiling windows with harbor views. Polished suites have separate living areas and walk-in closets, while lavish, upgraded suites add bathtubs and fireplaces; some include use of a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.

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There are 7 restaurants, including French, Swiss and Asian options. Other amenities include a bar, posh spa, a gym, and an indoor pool with city views.

 

 

The N64 “Lodgenet”

The Lodgenet is a gaming/tv system which you’ll still find in some hotels, mostly in the USA. The cool thing about the Lodgenet is that it is often hooked up to an N64 controller, meaning you play N64 games while you’re staying in a hotel.

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The less cool thing? You usually have to pay around $7 per hour to play it. Unsurprisingly though, lots of people are more than willing to pay that price to play some N64 games during their trips, especially when the Lodgenet allows you to play games like Paper Mario, Mario Kart and Ocarina of Time.

 

The Peninsula Shanghai

In the Bund area facing the Wusong River, this luxury hotel in an art deco–style building is a 7-minute walk from a metro station and 1 km from shops along the lively Nanjing Road. Featuring city or river views, the refined rooms offer lounges and marble bathrooms, plus free Wi-Fi, flat-screens, DVD players, iPod docks and safes. All provide minibars and Nespresso machines; some come with terraces. Posh suites add living rooms and/or fireplaces. Room service is available 24/7.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Amenities consist of 3 elegant restaurants (1 with a terrace and river views), 2 bars, and a spa with a gym and an indoor pool. Event space includes a grand ballroom.

 

The Peninsula Manila

This luxury hotel is an 8-minute walk from the Ayala Museum and a 12-minute walk from the Ayala Centre malls.

Flickr

Flickr

The airy rooms have Filipino-inspired decor and furnishings, plush beds, marble bathrooms and mood lighting, plus flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, minibars and coffeemakers; club rooms include free breakfast, snacks and evening cocktails in the club lounge. The 1- and 2-bedroom suites are more lavish and add separate living rooms, some with dining areas. There’s also an opulent upgraded suite with hand-painted murals and a resident butler.

 

Rosewood Hotel, Jumby Bay, Antigua

On a private Caribbean island, this luxe beachfront resort is accessible only by boat, and 2.5 km from Dutchman Bay on Antigua.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Featuring wraparound terraces, the elegant rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screens and iPod docks. They also have minibars and Nespresso machines. Suites have outdoor showers, tubs and/or plunge pools. Upgraded suites offer living areas and private infinity pools. Room service is offered, and villas and homes with up to 8 bedrooms are available; minimum stays may apply.

 

The Royal Playa Del Carmen

Only steps away from Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue, this AAA Four-Diamond resort boasts lavish all-suite accommodations, all with private balconies or terraces and whirlpool tubs, plus special options such as swim-up suites and beachfront walkouts. Beach butlers provide amazing service as you enjoy the great cuisine from seven gourmet restaurants or sip a cocktail at one of the lounges, such as the swim-up bar.

 

Royal Playa Del Carmen

Royal Playa Del Carmen

 

You can also unwind by the relaxation pool or in the luxurious SPAzul, featuring a hydrotherapy experience and steam bath. Play volleyball in the oceanfront pool or enjoy snorkelling, tennis, culinary classes and live music. There are endless options and ultimate luxury are all included in our adults only resort.

 

 

Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort

Set atop a coastal cliff, this upscale golf resort is 1.9 km from the 16th-century Tanah Lot Temple and 10 km from Taman Segara Madu amusement park. Light, contemporary rooms with marble bathrooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and tea and coffeemakers. Family rooms have bunk beds, while suites add living areas and private balconies. Villas offer private gardens and plunge pools. Room service is available 24/7.

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Local shuttle services and valet parking are free. Other amenities include 4 restaurants, 2 bars and an outdoor pool. There’s also a kids’ club and a fitness center. Spa services are available.

 

 

Capella Pedregal,Cabo San Lucas

Set along the beach, this luxury resort on the tip of the Baja California Peninsula is 1 km from Museo de Cabo San Lucas. The elegant rooms and suites feature custom-made furnishings, handcrafted Mexican motifs and sitting areas with fireplaces, as well as ocean views, and terraces with plunge pools. All also have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and minibars. The 1- to 4-bedroom suites add living rooms; some feature kitchens. Upgraded suites offer butler service. Room service is offered 24/7.

Wicker Paradise, Flickr

Wicker Paradise, Flickr

Amenities include 2 upscale restaurants, 2 casual eateries and a bar, plus an outdoor pool, a spa, a gym and a tennis court.

 

Playa Gran Caribe, Cancun

Set on the Caribbean coast, this upscale, all-inclusive resort is 2 km from the Interactive Aquarium Cancun and 6 km from the Museo Maya de Cancún.

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The bright, elegant rooms come with pull-out sofas, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, as well as minibars, and tea and coffeemakers. Some provide balconies/terraces and/or ocean views. Suites add living rooms and whirlpool tubs. Room service is available. All meals are included, and there are 5 varied restaurants. Additional amenities include 2 bars, a fitness room and 2 pools with oean views, plus lounge areas with hammocks. There’s also a water park and a full-service spa.

 

Shangri-La Paris

Occupying a former royal home situated among elegant buildings, this ritzy hotel in the 16th arr. is a 2-minute walk from Iéna metro station, 11 minutes’ walk from the Eiffel Tower and 1 km from the Seine river. Featuring marble bathrooms with heated floors, the plush rooms offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus minibars, and tea and coffeemakers. Some have Eiffel Tower and/or river views, and upgraded rooms add balconies or terraces. Lavish suites come with living rooms; some provide dining rooms.

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There are 3 posh dining options, including an acclaimed restaurant, as well as a chic bar. There’s also a spa with an indoor pool and a gym.

Lambert Arms Hotel

This beautifully renovated inn has comfy, modern rooms with air conditioning. The Lambert Arms is near junction 6 of the M40, on the borders of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The restaurant offers freshly-prepared and carefully sourced produce, served in relaxed surroundings. All rooms have plasma TV screens and internet access. On-site parking is available.

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In the mornings, The Lambert Arms serves full English breakfast. The Lambert Arms is ideal for visiting Oxfordshire and the towns and villages in the Thames Valley. (thanks to http://www.greenfieldentertainment.co.uk for this)

Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, Dundee

Across the street from City Quay, this contemporary hotel is a 6-minute walk from Caird Hall and a 9-minute walk from McManus Galleries. Colourful, contemporary rooms have free Wi-Fi and 42-inch flat-screen TVs, as well as tea and coffeemaking equipment. Suites add separate living areas with minifridges and views of the quay or Tay Bridge.

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A bar and brasserie offering global fare serves breakfast, lunch and evening meals. The spa has a fitness suite, an indoor pool, hot tubs, a sauna, a steam room and 5 treatment rooms. Other amenities include meeting spaces for up to 375 people and free parking.

 

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes

The musée des beaux-arts de Valenciennes is a municipal museum in the French town of Valenciennes. Its collections originated as the collection of the Académie valenciennoise de peinture et de sculpture. It opened to the public for the first time in 1801 and was moved into the town hall in 1834.

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A competition to design a new building was held at the end of the 19th century, won by Paul Dusart. The new building was opened on 27 June 1909 and in 1995 was totally renovated and the display space expanded, with the addition of a basement displaying archaeological remains and artefacts.

 

740 Park Avenue

740 Park Avenue is a luxury cooperative apartment building on Park Avenue between East 71st and 72nd Streets in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, which was described in Business Insider in 2011 as “a legendary address” that was “at one time considered (and still thought to be by some) the most luxurious and powerful residential building in New York City”. The “pre-war” building’s side entrance address is 71 East 71st Street.

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The 19-story building was designed in an Art Deco architectural style and consists of 31 units, including duplexes and triplexes. The architectural height of the building is 78.03 metres (256.0 ft). The building was constructed in 1929 by James T. Lee, the grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – Onassis lived there as a child – and was designed by Rosario Candela and Arthur Loomis Harmon.

 

citizenM Amsterdam

A 6-minute walk from the Amsterdam Zuid train station, this glass-sided, tech-savvy hotel is also a 16-minute walk from Amsterdam RAI convention center and 1.8 km from Olympisch Stadiom Amsterdam.

mrpbps, Flickr

mrpbps, Flickr

Ultra-modern, soundproof rooms come with free WiFi and movies, flat-screen TVs, unique wall-to-wall beds with plush bedding, and sleek bathrooms with podlike showers, plus international power outlets and tablets for controlling the window blinds and temperature.

 

Armani Hotel Dubai

This high-end hotel in an ornate, high-rise glass tower is a 10-minute walk from the Dubai Mall, 5 km from the Dubai World Trade Centre and 14 km from the Dubai Gold Souk traditional market.

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Modern rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and city views, plus minifridges and Nespresso machines; upgraded rooms add living areas. Posh suites feature dining areas, bars and studies, as well as gyms, and views of Dubai Fountain or the Arabian Gulf. Room service is available. There’s an outdoor terrace with city views, plus 8 chic restaurants, including Italian and Japanese options. Other amenities include a luxe spa, a gym and an indoor pool.

 

 

Reflections Hotel Bangkok, Thailand

Reflections Hotel Bangkok is a 3-star venue placed about 4 km from Jim Thompson House. The venue is 3.1 km from Baiyoke Sky Tower. The center of Bangkok is 10 km away from the hotel. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from BTS-Ari train station, offering a direct train link to Don Mueang airport.

 

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The property is set in Din Daeng district, within about 5 minutes’ walk of Jamesons Irish Bar and Lhao Lhao Restaurant that serve delectable meals. The Reflections Rooms is located in the center of the bustling city of Bangkok. More than just a simple hotel, it’s an art hotel, a veritable artistic project sprung from the imagination of multi-millionaire designer and art lover, Anusorn Ngernyuang. Situated in an apartment building, repainted in a flashy pink color, the Reflection Rooms propose 28 rooms each decorated by a different artist. No two rooms are the same although the tone is consistent: fun, colorful and accessible to everyone.

 

The Pierre Hotel, New York

Open for almost 90 years, this stylish hotel is literally across the road from Central Park and a only mile from iconic attractions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The rooms feature free Wi-Fi and marble bathrooms, as well as Bose sound systems, and some even have views of the park. Suites include living rooms and soaking tubs. The upgraded suites offer personal butler service to make you feel even more posh!

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Flickr

There is a fine-dining American restaurant displaying contemporary artwork, and there are 2 lounges serving afternoon tea, light meals and evening cocktails. There’s also a pretty well kitted out fitness centre. Something for everyone!

Taj Boston

Overlooking the famous Public Garden, this hotel is set in a building that’s almost 90 years old, and that is only steps away from the various shops of Newbury Street. The stylish rooms feature flat-screen TVs, marble baths, and free Wi-Fi. The suites, many of which have park views, are kitted out with wood-burning fireplaces (which are serviced by a fireplace butler when you need), and are equally stylish.

Wikimedia

Wikimedia

Extras include free Jaguar chauffeur service, 24/7 business and fitness centre access, and a private club on the 15th floor of the hotel. There is even a grand ballroom. The hotel also has a chic bar, a cafe, and an opulent lounge serving afternoon tea – so plenty of places to relax after a day exploring the city.

The Rambagh Palace

This hotel is based inside a converted palace that’s almost 200 years old – it’s only 4 km from both Gandhinagar Jaipur train station, and art and history exhibits at the Albert Hall Museum. All of the rooms feature free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, as well as minibars. If you go for one of the lavish suites then you’ll also get a living room, dining areas and/or a marble bathroom.

Wikimedia

Wikimedia

Dining options at the Rambagh Palace include 2 genteel restaurants, 2 bars and an open-air cafe. There’s also a gym and a spa, as well as indoor and outdoor pools, with the option to take a yoga or meditation class. If you’re looking for a luxury place to stay, you could do much worse than this converted palace.

Das Hotel, Berlin

This small little bar is usually full because it’s a great venue – known for hosting DJs. Covered in flowers and lit by candle light with lovely cocktails, it’s a cozy, and simply beautiful bar for those wanting a romantic and intimate catch up with friends.

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The bar is a well kept secret with locals, however if you’re in Berlin as a visitor then you should definitely check it out and go for a dance.

 

 

King’s Highway, Palm Springs

King’s Highway is the roadside diner at the Palm Springs hotel in California. It’s a very cool and stylish diner with a Cal-Mexican menu, offering an eclectic mix of dishes. It’s a proper American roadside diner – the kind you’d find in a movie, and is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Joe Bielawa, Flickr

Joe Bielawa, Flickr

 

Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is a diner though, as it’s far from being a greasy spoon type joint. The menu offers a great selection of fresh and exciting dishes inspired by Mexican cuisine, plus the coffee is made with beans sourced from the nearby Stumptown. Monday nights are the famous bingo/trivia nights, so head along on a Monday if you’re in the mood for a laugh!

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