I believe your choice of accommodation while travelling is part of the entire experience. It needs careful selection and ample deliberation in order to amplify your beach break, jungle escapade or mountain getaway.
For example, travelling all the way to Seychelles and staying in the city with a view of the municipality office doesn’t do justice to the what the place has to offer. You need to see the ocean, from your window, from the balcony. Wake up to it. Observe how it changes colour with the sun’s moods.
But it’s not always all about the view. Sometimes it’s about the character of the place, the history, the hosts, the architecture. And more often than not, on the more tangible side, budget, reviews, facilities, availability and the like also make quite an impact on your bookings.
After a lot of TripAdvisor digging, comparing rates and reviews, refining searches on booking.com, I have checked into some amazing properties, each unique either in location, view, architecture, service or experience.
From snowy Sweden and scenic Switzerland to rocky Cappadocia and glitzy Los Angeles, here are my top picks.
Cosy in a big bird’s nest, playing scrabble with friends and drinking vodka while it’s minus 15
degrees Celsius outside, and then stepping out to see the Northern Lights dance in the distance is an experience on its own. Our entire itinerary was adjusted and readjusted at least thrice just to allow us 3 days at this hotel owing to limited rooms and of course, huge demand.
Located in northern Sweden in a village called Harads, the Treehotel has only 7 rooms, each conceptualised and built in a forest by some of Scandinavia’s leading architects. We chose to stay in the Bird’s Nest, perched high on a tree. It comfortably sleeps 2 adults and 2 children or 4 adults. Hosts Kent & Britta’s hospitality makes you feel all warm and fuzzy even when the temperatures have a free fall. Depending on which season you visit, this is how the Bird’s Nest looks like.
Bubble Hotel, Switzerland
Imagine looking up at the blue sky, feeling as if you can touch it. Imagine being entertained by a curious bird looking down at you from the swaying branch overhead or challenging your partner to spot and name constellations… all while lying in bed. This is the only time ‘living in a bubble’ is positive, both in meaning and experience.
The Bubble Hotel offers a unique stay in a bubble room, in the heart of nature with simple comforts and can be reserved from April until October each year. The bubble is strategically located among the shrubs and trees, overlooking vineyards and well hidden from the public eye for your complete privacy. It is also just steps away from a former Carthusian monastery set in idyllic grounds with beautiful flower gardens, sloped vineyards, apple and pear orchards.
It’s a bit like glamping. You get to stay in the midst of nature, enjoy the sights and sounds
undisturbed, sleep in cozy comfortable beds and not worry about setting up or dismantling the tent. Check-in, stay and check-out.
Argos Cappadocia, Turkey
Set in the fairy land of Cappadocia, Argos delights the senses with a fascinating mix of history, gastronomy and over the top in-room indulgences. Complete with underground tunnels and cave cellars, this restored hotel can be a discovery in itself. We were booked in for the Deluxe Room but happened to see a photo of the Splendid Suite and I was instantly ready to sell a kidney for it.
After all, it’s not every day that you get to stay in a room with a private cave pool, did we add
temperature controlled? We did complete justice to the loosened purse strings and splashed
around every waking hour until we were pruned up.
Shangri-La Villingili Resort, Maldives
Ticking off one in the bucket list, staying in an over-water villa was an indulgence, both in price and experience. Thanks to a dear friend who got us staff discounts, we made it a once-in-a-lifetime perfect-for-birthday excuse! And glad we did.
These gorgeous villas offer an experience beyond private butlers and open-air showers. We would jump straight into the water from our villa and snorkel around it for the most spectacular display of corals and creatures. We would sit on the terrace and watch the sun sink, unobstructed into the azureness. We would lie on the wide hammock, right above the ocean and count stars until we fell asleep. We would dangle our feet just inches away from the circling baby sharks and feed them bread.
Certainly, worth every dime, dollar and dirham!
The Charlie, Los Angeles
This one’s a slice out of history. In the glamour and gloss of Hollywood, this is a hidden gem
which was once home to the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Ruth Gordon to name a
few. Consisting of 13 well-appointed suites named after stars, this boutique hotel exudes charm and glamour with understated elegance.
We stayed at the Ruth suite, once home to the famous American actor and playwright. It’s a beautiful 2-storeyed 1-bedroom suite with stained glass windows that allow you to bask in coloured sunlight! A private patio lined with grapevines is all yours to sit and imagine the stars gathering the sprawling courtyard with champagne and cigars.
The Old World charm you can never have enough of!
This boutique hotel in Oia Santorini, is where romance finds room. The cosy hotel is minimalistic yet tasteful in décor with beautiful terraces that open out into the deep blue Aegean.
Ideally located at the center of the traditional settlement. The cave rooms are carved into the soft pumice stone of the cliff-sides and ours even had a jacuzzi on the terrace. For rooms without a jacuzzi, they also have a gorgeous infinity pool at the edge of the cliff, creating a magical picture and experience any time of the day. Moonlit evenings and sun-kissed mornings all unfold unobstructed, right in front of your eyes.
This year has been a bummer for all of us. But when things get better and you are ready to
travel again, you know where to stay.
Feel free to reach out to Ipsita on her social channels for detailed personal experiences on any of the above!
Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in The Brew View – our opinion section – are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheBrew.ae, the company, or any of its members.