W Austin
     

W Austin

Austin, Texas

Yes, it's a chain hotel — but as anyone who's ever stayed at a W hotel can tell you, they rarely feel like one. The W Austin is no exception. Blending disparate design elements to form a style all it's own, this downtown hotel offers 251 guest rooms — including several VIP suites of varying size and luxury, from "Fantastic" all the way up to "Extreme Wow". The grounds are also home to a fantastic fourth-floor pool with cabanas, a bar, and a fireplace, the obligatory fitness center, a spa, Trace restaurant serving food from surrounding farms, and The Living Room bar that features four distinct areas: a tequila bar, a record room with over 8,000 vinyl selections and a McIntosh stereo system, a red-hued secret bar, and a screened porch. It might be worth the trip all by itself.

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The Wickaninnish Inn
     

The Wickaninnish Inn

Tofino, Canada

Enjoy a different kind of beachside escape with a trip to The Wickaninnish Inn. Set along Chesterman Beach, each of the 75 rooms at this upscale retreat offers panoramic ocean or beach views, as well as a fireplace, soaker tub, and balcony. Beyond the walls of your room, you'll find an excellent restaurant, the On the Rocks Bar and Lounge, a full-service spa, a beach-level cafe, a fitness center, a carving shed, a library, and plenty of paths and walkways from which to observe the surrounding natural beauty.

Photos: Anthony Redpath, Adrian Dorst
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La Suite Sans Cravate
     

La Suite Sans Cravate

Bruges, Belgium

Sans Cravate is known as one of the best places in Bruges to grab a bite to eat, and there's nothing quite letting the full belly and warm, fuzzy feeling of a couple glasses of wine let you carry directly to bed after a meal. The folks behind La Suite Sans Cravate must agree. Serving as an extension of the restaurant, this three-room bed and breakfast offers unique spaces that blend rustic building materials with sleek, contemporary furnishings, as well as upscale features like rain showers, flat panel TVs, LED mood lighting, espresso machines, and, of course, a custom Sans Cravate breakfast in the morning.

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The Opposite House
     

The Opposite House

Beijing, China

There's no shortage of upscale accommodations in China's capital, but if you're looking for an ideal mix of old and new, The Opposite House is the place to go. Located in Sanlitun, a former red-light district that's now home to many upscale shops and restaurants, this striking building features an emerald glass exterior inspired by traditional Chinese wood lattice, a large atrium, a stainless steel swimming pool and state of the art gym, and 98 studios and a Penthouse, all featuring clean furniture, underfloor heating, and spa-inspired bathrooms with rain-style showers. And while the streets outside offer plenty of eating and drinking options, the House itself is home to two restaurants — the Chinese spot Bei and the Mediterranean eatery Sureño — as well as the low-key Mesh lounge.

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Endémico
     

Endémico

Baja California, México

The rooms at Endémico — or Encuentro Guadalupe, as it's now called — may be small, but once you get an eyeful of the views they provide, their size simply won't matter. Set on a hill overlooking the Valle de Guadalupe wine region, this unique luxury hotel features 20 luxury cabins, each of which provides unobstructed views of the valley. The hotel is somewhat remote, but thanks to an on-site pool, restaurant, and bar, there's little reason to leave — and since it's just 90 minutes from San Diego, you won't have far to go when you do decide to leave.

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Adara Hotel
     

Adara Hotel

Whistler, Canada

Seaside getaways are all well and good, but if you prefer shredding slopes to catching waves, the Adara Hotel is an ideal destination. Located just a five minute walk from lift access — as well as shopping, dining, and nightlife — this alpine retreat offers 41 guest suites ranging from basic double queen rooms to two bedroom lofts, each offering in-room PS3s, fridges, microwaves, and walk-in rain-style showers. Other features include an outdoor pool and hot tub, free Wi-Fi, a lobby lounge serving coffee, tea, breakfast bars, and cookies, and complimentary ski, golf, bike, and luggage storage. But just like with a beach resort, the real draw is what's outside your door.

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Louis Hotel
     

Louis Hotel

Munich, Germany

The building itself is 100 years old, but you'd never know it after stepping inside the Louis Hotel. Located on the lively Viktualienmarkt, this 72-room hotel is just a short walk from the city's most desirable destinations. Each of its rooms is individually designed, offering features like custom-made furniture, oiled oak floors, bathrooms with Stella fittings and heated floors, and even balconies in select rooms. The hotel is also home to the excellent, Japanese-inspired Emiko restaurant and bar, as well as a fully-equipped gym and a rooftop terrace that offers excellent views of the city.

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Villa San Michele
     

Villa San Michele

Florence, Italy

Don't be surprised if you wake up feeling a little spiritual after spending the night at Villa San Michele — the place used to be a monastery, after all. But where monks once roamed, a luxury hotel has taken root, allowing common folk to enjoy the fantastic views of the city below. The hotel offers a full range of double rooms, junior and standard suites, and the Limonaia Suite and Villa, which is housed in the former orangery in the Italian gardens. The hotel is also home to a pool with adjoining restaurant and bar, a cooking school, a fitness center, and a bar housed in a former cloister. Oh, and as for unexplained feelings, you might feel a bit of deja vu when sitting down at the San Michele's signature La Loggia restaurant, but that's only because it was used as a filming location for one of the final scenes in The Dark Knight Rises, a fact that we can only imagine has boosted the bar's sales of Fernet Branca.

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Hotel Casablanca
     

Hotel Casablanca

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico might not be the first place you'd expect to find a Moroccan-themed hotel, but trust us, Hotel Casablanca works all the same. Located in the vibrant old town, this 35-room hotel offers carved wood furniture, canopy beds, an ornate lobby, a rooftop terrace with stone bathtubs, a cafe serving up delicious breakfast, plenty of nearby restaurants, shopping, attractions, and nightlife, reasonable rates, and the beach just a short 5 minute walk away.

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Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
     

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Cuzco, Peru

For most tourists, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are a single-day trip: go up the mountain, sightsee, head back down. But for the lucky few who book a stay at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the ruins are just part of the package. Located adjacent to the ancient Inca Citadel, this unique hotel features 29 rooms and two suites, offering either patio or mountain views, as well as a terrific restaurant serving both Peruvian and international dishes, a spa offering massages and hot stone treatments for bodies sore from exploring the mountainous terrain, and a cozy bar for unwinding after an eventful day.

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Hotel de Windketel
     

Hotel de Windketel

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

You're not going to hosting any grand parties there — the entire place is a total of 48 square meters — but if you're looking for interesting, intimate accommodations for you and your traveling partner, the Hotel de Windketel should be on your list. Originally built as part of the Municipal Water Company complex, this smallest of the buildings has been converted into a three-story, two-person room with a kitchen on the ground floor, a living room on the second floor, and a bedroom/bathroom at the top beneath the wooden roof timbers.

Photos: Peter de Wit
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Algodon Mansion
     

Algodon Mansion

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Housed in a 1912 French Classical building, the Algodon Mansion might look old from the outside — but it's far from it on the inside. Completely restored, this luxury hotel — located in the upscale Recoleta district — offers ten suites, ranging from 600 to 1,300 square feet — and if that's not enough space, you could always just rent out the entire place. Other amenities include well-appointed rooms with comfortable King beds and 80-jet showers, a celebrated restaurant and lobby bar, a full-service spa, and a rooftop that boast both a pool and a Davidoff cocktail/cigar lounge.

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