Pop quiz: What's the capital of Australia? If you said Sydney, guess again — while Canberra might not be at the top of everyone's Down Under checklist, it's more than worth a visit, and Hotel Hotel is the place to stay while you're there. Taking up three floors of the Nishi building on Lake Burley Griffin, it offers 68 sleek, stylish rooms outfitted with an eye on sustainability, as well as a cinema, grocery store, bicycle shop, gym, library, gallery, spa, hair salon, and multiple eateries, bars, and lounges all just steps from your door.
It's not big in terms of rooms — there's only three suites in the entire place — but it's certainly big in terms of height. The Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel, as the name suggests, is built inside a crane, with its three rooms sitting at 35, 40, and 45 meters up, respectively. Each room has its own theme, with interesting art, eclectic furniture, and an upscale bathroom. And should you feel like grabbing an even better gaze of the city, head to the top deck, where you'll find a jacuzzi and unencumbered 360º views.
There are plenty of palatial places to stay in Paris — but if you truly want to experience the opulence of old-world France, book a few nights at Chateau de Villiers Le Mahieu. Built in 1642 on top of the remains of a 13th century castle, this unique estate offers 93 rooms, each of which blends modern style and colors with neo-classical elements, and features an attached bathroom. Also on the grounds, you'll find a restaurant, bar, orchard, gardens, spa, pool, a sauna, and a fitness room — and if that's not enough for you, the City of Lights is just 30 short minutes away.
There are certainly flashier places to stay in Nevis, but if you're looking for a more authentic experience, The Hermitage Plantation Inn is your best bet. Located at the base of Nevis Peak some 800 feet above the Caribbean and just a few miles from the beach, this quaint hotel offers 15 hotel rooms, each housed in a traditional style cottage and furnished with antiques. As the cottages are scattered throughout the garden, the property feels more like a small village than a resort, with the Main House — built around 1700, and claimed to be the oldest house on the island — serving as the town hall, as it serves up delicious meals prepared by cooks from nearby villages, and an amazing rum punch made using a local recipe that dates back 350 years. Like we said: Authentic.
What better name for a place welcoming world travelers than the Wanderlust Hotel? Fortunately, this interesting Design Hotels property is far more than a clever name. It offers 29 rooms across four levels, each with its own theme. Lobby level rooms feature an "industrial glam" design, while second level "eccentricity" rooms boast colorful designs, neon lights, and access to an outdoor deck. Third level rooms sports a black and white palette, while top-level rooms boast friendly "monsters" in each room. Add in a welcoming bar and French eatery Cocotte and you have an ideal base for your local adventures.
The city of Amsterdam does a great job of blending the old with the new — so it's no surprise it's home to a hotel that does the same. Designed by Piero Lissoni, the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam is based around a 19th century building that was once home to the Sweelinck Music Conservatorium, which has been combined with a huge glass-covered atrium to create a space all its own. Inside, you'll find 129 rooms featuring modern furniture, free Wi-Fi, and upscale bathrooms with TVs in the mirrors, as well as a lounge, cafe, restaurant, and bar. Outside, the P.C. Hoofstraat and the city's best museums are just steps away.
There are plenty of modern hotels to choose from in Beijing — but if you're looking for something with a bit more character, book a stay at The Temple Hotel. Housed in a temple compound that dates back over 600 years, this unique property offers close proximity to The Forbidden City, while also housing eight rooms, ranging in size from monk's quarters to the lavish Dragon & Phoenix suite. Also on site are a bar, restaurant, art gallery, and large garden and courtyard areas to let you escape the bustling city outside. [Scouted by Alec]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.