Saturday, November 25, 2006

My Favorite Hotels

I love going to amazing hotels in beautiful places. Here's a list of my favorite hotels and hostels so far.

The Westin Kyoto, Japan

This is supposed to be the best hotel in Kyoto and I can see why. The room I had was incredible with the biggest bed I've ever seen! It was so comfortable. The hotel had its own little Zen Garden, the room service was expensive (of course), but the most impressive part was how courteous the housekeeping was. I believe that the true measure of a great hotel is the housekeeping. Whenever I saw the housekeepers in the hall they would give me very big smiles and bows. Of course, I know this is a sign of respect all over Asia, but why can't Western hotels be the same?

Hotel Tom Beach, St. Bart, Caribbean

Although I didn't stay at Tom Beach Hotel, I did have lunch there and used their beach, the famous St. Jean which is spotted with celebrities. The airport is so close by that planes fly right over your head when taking off. It's perfect!

I liked that the hotel was decorated in deep, rich and vibrant colors. The pool lounge area was padded with comfy pillows and beds covered in willowy curtains.

Coffee Shack, Coffee Bay, South Africa

The Coffee Shack come close to near perfection. If you enjoy the idea of an earthy, laid back beach bungalow I can't imagine anywhere better. Coffee Shack is a backpacker, which means no creature comforts. But what you give up in room service you make up for in location and culture. I went for one day and stayed for a week.

Library Hotel, Manhatten

The Library Hotel in Midtown Manhatten is located on Madison Avenue and 41st Street, also known as Library Way, just down the street from New York Public Library, Bryant Park, Pierpont Morgan Library, and newly renovated Grand Central Station.

The hotel emulates a library with each floor a new subject and each room a variation of that theme with books in that subject placed on shelves. I stayed on the History/Social Sciences floor in the Psychology room, which is one of the smaller rooms. But the best room I imagine is the Erotic Literature room.

I enjoyed the fact that they offer turndowns every night, an office with internet access, and complimentary wine and cheese every evening.
However, my room was a bit too small for the price (it felt very European).

Claridge Hotel, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I felt first class staying at the Claridge my last few nights in Buenos Aires. My room was absolutely huge, soft and comfortable. I had complimentary treats in my room (I thought) and English and Spanish channels on cable, including MTV International and CNN International. After not speaking English for a week, I enjoyed hearing the news in "American."

Rates for the room, room service and concierge were perfect. The view from my room overlooked the pool and I found the staff to go way beyond their way to make my stay nice. They also spoke perfect English. Housekeeping was friendly and very good. English teas served at 4pm!

Ferntree Rainforest Lodge, Daintree, Australia

The beautiful area of Australia where the Great Barrier Reef meets land. Nice property as long as you don't mind sleeping or showering with lizards.

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