Here is a list of my all time favorite hotels with a little description of why and some photos to show you what to expect. I've stayed in hundreds of hotels over the years, and have become quite the connoisseur. As you'll see, I'm not loyal to one specific brand.
When I travel, I love to switch up the hotels I stay at and do a few nights at each to get different experiences. While it might be a pain to haul your luggage around, I think it's a great way to explore different areas of the city. Plus, it's much easier to splurge for a night or two if you can't stay in one place the whole time. These hotels are my favorites because of location, service, aesthetic, amenities and of course bath robes-which I find very important.
Are there any on your all time favorites that I should check out? Send me an email or comment below!
Hotel Plaza Athénée
If I have to pick a favorite hotel of my favorite hotels, this would be it. Hotel Plaza Athénée is perfectly luxe, beautiful, and exactly what you think of when you think Paris. If you’re a fan of fashion, this is the place for you. Dior became Dior at this hotel. Carrie Bradshaw stayed here in the series finale of Sex and the City. So many icons have graced this hotel and you feel like royalty when you walk in. With the Dior Institut spa, a three Michelin Star restaurant, and Eiffel Tower views, this is a hotel definitely worth the splurge.
The St. Regis
New York, New York
When I think of the most classic New York hotel, I think of the St. Regis. The hotel is in the heart of 5th Avenue, Central Park and has one of the most iconic bars (make sure to have a Bloody Mary here.) The hotel holds a very special place in my heart, as Mark and I stayed here in the Tiffany Suite over the weekend that we “officially” got married in New York before our destination wedding in Mexico. Having butler service at the St. Regis in a suite full of Tiffany crystal is one of those moments that you can’t feel any more like a New Yorker.
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Mayakoba is a lagoon about 30 minutes from Cancun and Riviera Maya and in my opinion one of the best hidden gems in Mexico. There are a few other luxury properties in Mayakoba but we stayed at the Fairmont in one of the villas. I loved getting both the lagoon and the beach within a few steps. You can take a boat ride through the lagoon and you can dine at any of the other hotels and charge things back to your room, which makes the trip super convenient. Also, if you go here, request Gerardo for your butler. He made our trip incredible!
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
The Greenbrier is one of the hotels that makes you feel like you’re living back in time. The resort is pretty much in the middle of nowhere but there is so much to do on property, that you don’t ever need to leave. We were here for a wedding and I can’t wait to go back. The décor is so charming and you will appreciate how friendly and helpful the staff is.
The Dorchester in London is the epitome of what I had always imagined London to be like, and it did not disappoint. I stayed here for a few days with my mom last year and we had the most wonderful experience. The rooms are regal (without being stuffy) and make you feel like royalty (which is suiting because many celebrities, royals and VIPs have stayed here.) Even if you don’t stay, you should go for afternoon tea or one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve ever had. And be sure to look out for Liberace's sparkling piano at the bottom of the staircase while you're there.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
There is no shortage of hotels in Maui, so you will have plenty of options. We were able to visit several of them in our stay earlier this year and the Ritz was my favorite. The location is very accessible in Kapalua but also feels very remote. I would highly suggest checking out the spa (one of the best massages I’ve ever had in my life) and reserving a cabana at the pool for the day. The service is incredible and a nice way to experience the pool area without having to fight for a chair.
Montage Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills, California
Montage hotels are one of my favorite independent hotel brands and the Beverly Hills property is a great representation of the brand. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills (and across from Sugarfish) the hotel has mastered service, décor and the details. They even put a pillow on your bed with the letter of your last name on it, which is one of my favorite little touches. They have plenty of options for dining, drinking and lounging by the pool.
Another one of the hotels that will always hold a special place in my heart is Jade Mountain in St. Lucia, where I got engaged. Jade Mountain is unlike any hotel I’ve ever been to in my life. Built on the side of a mountain and facing the Pitons, each room is open-air and makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of nature (but without any bugs…I still don’t understand how!) There is nothing better than having your own pool, privacy and only being a few steps from the beach.
The St. Regis Bal Harbor
The St. Regis Bal Harbor is the perfect place to go when you want to be close to Miami but want to avoid the madness of South Beach. The hotel is a great escape and steps from great restaurants and shopping in Bal Harbor. The hotel feels very upscale for a beach property but still has the St. Regis level of service (and butlers) and the pool options are plentiful. It’s hard to beat the views from the rooms and that bright turquoise water.
Gurney's Montauk Resort
Montauk, New York
Gurney’s Montauk is a pleasant (and surprising) escape from the bustle of Montauk if you’re looking to spend a weekend in the Hamptons. Gurney’s actually owns two properties in Montauk (and one in Newport, which I’ve also been to and highly recommend) and they each come with charm, great service and remind you that you’re in the heart of the Hamptons. The property is the only beach-front resort and while they’re mostly known for their packed-lines and beach bottle service in the summer, I highly suggest visiting any time of year for a quick escape just a few hours from the city.
New York, New York
The Surrey is a quintessential Upper East Side hotel in New York City, just steps from Central Park, the Met, and of course the best designer stores. The hotel is New York City’s only Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel and includes an art collection that should not be missed. My husband and I were lucky enough to stay in the Penthouse Suite in February which includes a wraparound terrace, diptyque bath products, and a Duxiana bed. If you’ve never heard of that, I highly suggest a Google Search. It’s probably the closest I’ve ever felt to sleeping in the clouds.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
San Diego, California
This hotel is only 30 minutes north of the heart of Downtown San Diego, but staying here feels like you’ve escaped to Tuscany. The property includes four pools, a spa, golf-course and several dining options, which makes it not only luxury but kid-friendly as well. The Fairmont sits on 400-acres just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, so this is a great option if you’re looking to be close enough to all that San Diego has to offer, but far enough to feel like you’re half way across the world.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Most people think that winter is the best time to visit Beaver Creek (or other ski towns outside of Denver) but visiting Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in the summer reminded me that off-season can be the best time to visit a new place (especially if you’re not a big skier, which I’m not.) Regardless what time of year you visit, this is the perfect way to experience a small but luxurious mountain town. The resort is ski-in, ski-out, has an award winning-spa, and is pet-friendly (which is enough in itself to make me a fan!)
I think the first word to describe the way I felt when I walked in to Faena is speechless. This South Beach hotel is less than 2 years old, but truly unlike any other property in the Miami area (or the US to be honest) which makes sense since the original Faena is in Buenos Aires. The hotel has made such an impact that an entire area encompassing several city blocks surrounding the hotel has been named “Faena District.” The hotel is full of jaw-dropping artwork which is no surprise since Baz Luhrmann helped design the hotel which includes art from Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, including and a 24-karat gilded wooly-mammoth skeleton sculpture. Not to be missed is the hotel restaurant Pao, which is one of the most memorable dinners I’ve ever had.
Hotel Bel Air
Los Angeles, California
Most people are familiar with the Beverly Hills Hotel, but a lesser known property under the same portfolio just a 10-minute drive away makes for the perfect escape to Hotel Bel-Air. Located on a 12-acre oasis, you immediately forget that you’re in one of the busiest cities in the world. This property is not only beautiful but one of the most serene hotels I’ve ever been to, complete with an award-winning spa, over half of the rooms being suites, and a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. This hotel has hosted some of Hollywood’s greatest including Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. (It was also the location of Marilyn Monroe’s last Vogue shoot, just six weeks before her death.)
Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort
I visited the Scottsdale/Phoenix area for the first time a few years ago and immediately fell in love. The city is beautiful and so unlike most of the big cities I’m used to, and one of the best parts of my trip was my stay at the Four Seasons Scottsdale. Located in Troon North, which is about 30 minutes North of the Phoenix airport, the resort is luxurious, peaceful and stunning. One of my favorite things about the property is that it’s steps from Pinnacle Peak, which is the perfect way to take in the beauty of Arizona with a moderate hike. I woke up at sunrise to do this hike, and my husband (who is usually begging me to hike with him) was extremely jealous that I actually hiked (alone nonetheless) without him. I then spent the afternoon relaxing by the resort pool with a cocktail in hand. If you’re in the Scottsdale area, I highly suggest making the Four Seasons your home for part or all of your trip.
There is nothing I love more than a hotel that fully encompasses the area its located in, and The Laylow is a perfect example of one the does just that. The Laylow is brand new but has already gained a lot of popularity in its short time. The Laylow is an Autograph Collection so it falls under the Marriott umbrella, and is ultimately how I discovered this property in Honolulu. The hotel is not on the beach like many others in Waikiki, but it’s also much less crowded which in my opinion is a plus. Laylow has a great restaurant called Hideout (of only two days in Honolulu I think we ate here 3 times) an adorable coffee shop, and a pool which makes it easy to spend all of your time here. Each room has a palm leaf wallpaper made for Instagram, and a welcome basket with local treats and flip-flops to match. The rooms even have a ukelele and they offer lessons a few days a week- how cute!
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn, New York
If you aren’t yet familiar with 1 Hotels, you will be soon. They are the first mission-driven luxury hotel brand, are eco-friendly, made with reclaimed and recycled materials. It’s truly amazing to experience how much thought and detail has gone in to these properties. One of my favorite things about the brand is not only what they’ve built, but how they encourage the guests to become part of their mission as well. Around the holidays, the rooms have donation boxes which gives guests the opportunity to leave behind gently used items of clothing that will in turn be donated to Housing Works. This property is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park and has some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline you can get anywhere. The hotel has plenty of options for food & drinks including 1 Rooftop Garden and Bar, Brooklyn Heights Social Club, The Osprey and a lobby café.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
Beverly Hills, California
The Beverly Hills Hotel is one of my favorite hotels for many reasons. It’s the quintessential Hollywood hotel and if you’re looking to spot a celebrity on your trip to LA, spend an afternoon at The Polo Lounge and you’re likely to see a few. From the moment you arrive and walk the red carpet, you immediately will understand the hype. One thing I learned on my last trip is that the hotel was actually built before the city of Beverly Hills existed, so you could say that the hotel actually created the city as we know it. I love this hotel because it’s 5-star and the rooms are luxurious, charming and have the Dorchester Collection service, but without feeling the least bit stuffy. I’m obsessed with the Martinique palm print wallpaper, and love that the hotel is constantly collaborating with designers to bring a piece of the hotel all over the world.
Cotton House Hotel
I studied abroad in Barcelona and hadn’t been back in almost 10 years when my mom and I took a mother daughter trip together last year. When we were looking for hotels, I stumbled across The Cotton House Hotel, which is part of the Autograph Collection. The hotel is on the site of the former headquarters of the Cotton Textile Foundation so it has a rich history which still feeling modern and updated. One of the coolest features in the hotel that honors its past is the “L’Atelier” space which offers guests an artisanal tailor service by the professionals of Santa Eulalia, the most prestigious tailor establishment in Barcelona. Upon request, a tailor from will come and take your measurements, advise and help select unique fabrics to make garments for any guests. The centrally located property has sweeping views of the city, a rooftop saltwater pool and a restaurant called Batuar, which is perfect for a meal anytime of the day (they’re open from 7 am to midnight.)