The Cloister’s beautiful courtyard
Kimpton Hotels– wonderful, moderate priced hotels with all creature comforts a business traveler or city vacationer could ever need. Their morning coffee service and evening wine/beer hour facilitate a feeling of community among the guests – a great way to meet people to dine with when traveling alone.
Chicago Sofitel – the only thing that gets me out of their wonderful cloud-like bed is knowing the amazing apricot danishes will be gone if I don’t get down to breakfast quickly.
The Monaco Chicago – a Kimpton Hotel with great river views from most rooms. Excellent service. When the Sofitel rates are too high, I stay at the Monaco.
Donovan House – Washington DC’s newest Kimpton. Beautifully decorated and well equipped rooms (great sheets and silent AC), great rooftop pool and the usual superior Kimpton staff. Click here for our August 2013 review.
The Ames, Boston – click here for our October 2011 review.
Shangri La, Bangkok- an older hotel, but a great one. Impeccable service, excellent location on the river makes it easy to get around.
The Oriental, Singapore- after a month of rough travel in Thailand, this was the perfect spot to recover. The best service in the world.
The Hotel Bastille Speria, Paris – a nice, moderate priced hotel with decent sized rooms in one of the best locations in Paris – the Bastille/Marais. Ask for an inside room in the summer if street noise bothers you. Several metro and bus lines are steps away, and Bofinger is next door. So many reasonable nearby places for breakfast, I never investigated the (pricey) hotel option.
Luz en Yucatan, Cascadas de Merida, and Hacienda Merida in Merida, Mexico. In June I spent 6 nights at Luz, left for a night at a hotel near a Mayan ruin – then returned for a night at Hacienda Merida. When I was planning the trip I met the wonderful Ellyne who owns Cascadas, which was closed for renovation but she picked me up and drove me all over town, with a stop at her gorgeous B&B. I would highly recommend any of them. Luz is laid back and relaxed; Hacienda Merida is upscale and chic; Cascadas is a beautiful, peaceful B&B with an owner who will take great care of you.
Cabanas Conchitas, Tulum, Mexico - comfortable, well equipped, well located casitas and rooms on the beach. Accommodating management and staff.
Hotel Cielo, Playa del Carmen, Mexico- I’ve only spent the night here to be positioned for the Cancun airport after traveling around the Yucatan. Steps off 5th Avenue, a block from the beach, close to the Cozumel ferry, and bus station. Moderate priced. Great rooftop bar that’s part of the well regarded Carboncito’s restaurant. The less expensive rooms do not have a window to the street but its quieter that way.
Eco-Hotel El Rey del Caribe, Cancun Centro, Mexico - a short walk from the bus station in downtown Cancun, the perfect place for a night before or after traveling around the Yucatan. A surprising, peaceful oasis close to the main drag with restaurants and the Mega supermarket where you can stock up on salsas, dried peppers, etc. before flying out. Their breakfast is pretty decent too (chilaquiles!).
Banana Beach on Ambergris Caye, Belize - great rooms with gorgeous sea views. A good restaurant, convenient tienda across the street, in-house tour desk and wonderful staff make this my favorite place to stay on Ambergris Caye.
Mopan River Resort – Benque, Belize- under new management since I was last there, but I’ve heard the new owners maintained the quality of this well thought out place. Small resort with well equipped casitas and great food. Day trips to Tikal, Caracol, cave tubing, Chechem Ha and other major Maya sites – all included in the very attractive price.
The Pisac Inn, Pisac, Peru – if photography, markets and ruins interest you, a night at this spot instead of the common day trip to Pisac is a great idea. Not a 5 star hotel – or even a 3 star, but comfortable, with a beautiful courtyard and views over the square and market. Watch the market set up and be there first thing in the morning before the tours buses roll in.
The Foreign Correspondents Club – Phnom Penh, Cambodia- history, location and great rooms. Pub food if you need a break after weeks of Asian. You can hear restaurant staff and guests stomping over your head when you’re in the bedrooms, but you’ll probably be so tired from running around all day, it won’t matter.
Pavillion Indochine, Siem Reap, Cambodia- a gem on the outskirts of town. Lovely pool area, great food, helpful staff. Simple, elegantly designed rooms – you know the owners are French.
The Red Tree House, Mexico City- located in one of the best, safest neighborhoods of Mexico City – Condesa/Roma near great shopping, excellent restaurants and significant art galleries and museums. Jorge, the owner, is a wealth of knowledge about the city and has impeccable taste. The art filled well decorated rooms, setting and breakfasts are noteworthy.
Meson Sacristia, Puebla- centrally located near the main square, with a great restaurant and a well known cooking school. It’s a little strange sleeping/eating among an antique store (many items have price tags) but the rooms are gorgeous, the location is great and the staff is helpful.
Palacio San Martin, Madrid- the first time I was ever in a palatial single room in Europe. This former American embassy has large rooms, high ceilings and a quiet location that can’t be beat. Next to the hard to get into Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales – home of a gazillion dollar art collection donated by aristocratic families as their daughters entered the convent.
Continental Palacete, Barcelona- OK rooms, but conveniently located a block from the Gaudi houses on Passieg Gracia and a short walk to the Boqueria Market, Las Ramblas, great tapas bars, the Barrio Gothic. 24 hour buffet (including bottled water, coffee, wine, beer, fresh fruit, snacks) in a grand room with a great view of the street.
The Cloister, Antigua, Guatemala- spectacular. The antique and art filled rooms are so well equipped, you never want to leave. Fireplaces, great sheets – every detail is perfect. Even the constant church bells didn’t disturb this light sleeper. Also – a perfect location for a single woman – close to great shops, restaurants and bars.
The Solamar, San Diego- typical Kimpton service and funky rooms. On the edge of the Gaslamp district, well located for the convention center too.
Mongoose Apartments, Tortola, BVI - helpful management, and the best spot on Cane Garden Bay. Fully equipped kitchens, big units and a short walk to the beach make it perfect for people seeking longer stays.
Marina Cay off Tortola, BVI- owned by Pussers, this small outpost has a few rooms up and over the hill from the bar/restaurant that is popular among boaters and yacht types. The rooms and views are gorgeous – the wind can keep you up all night.
Harbour View Apartments, Grand Cayman - very comfortable, moderate priced, well located hotel run by marvelous hosts with the assistance of wonderful staff. The type of place guests return to annually. Room #10 or one of the apartments with private balcony if you need more space, although my room was perfectly fine.
The Sagebrush Inn, Taos, New Mexico - the older building is in need of a major renovation, but knowing you’re sleeping in the room below the one Georgia O’Keeffe painted in makes the old plumbing and carpet worthwhile. Very historical. On the outskirts of town, away from the thick of the tourists and the major traffic jam of Taos. Great drinks and good food.
Hotels I Dream of Visiting
Any Aman Resort
Ladera, St. Lucia
The Caves, Negril