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9 Luxe Hotels You Can Actually Afford to Book

Looking for a honeymoon or treat-yourself getaway at a luxurious hotel, but for a nightly rate that won’t max out your credit card? It’s possible if you’re adventurous enough to head somewhere with an advantageous exchange rate, or even just if you opt to stay in a slightly offbeat locale home to some luxe hotels.

Affordable Luxury Hotels Across the Globe

Beachfront infinity pools and palace-like digs don’t need to cost a fortune. Here’s where to go for a surprisingly affordable hotel experience that you’re unlikely to ever forget.

Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ready to stay in an ornate Thai palace? Or so it feels—Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai‘s colonial-style suites make this luxe hotel look like a temple complex with its sprawling pools and patio gardens.

The price of an average four-star New York hotel ($300 per night) will get you a jaw-dropping affordable luxury hotel in Chiang Mai thanks to Thailand’s favorable exchange rate for Americans. The Dhara Dhevi is a standout luxury resort known for its 60 acres of lush tropical scenery, a stark contrast from busy Bangkok and tourist-overrun Phuket.

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Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort, Jamaica

It’s no secret Jamaica offers up affordable beachfront resorts, but you might be surprised by just how much value there is to gain by upgrading to a luxe hotel. The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa is a timeless yet massive option with open-air atriums, infinity pools, beachfront activities, a spa, and a slew of stylish dining options including seven restaurants and 16 bars. This five-star hotel takes up its own massive beachfront section of Lucea on the north coast, and rooms start around $260 per night. Plus, you won’t have to convert your U.S. dollars.

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Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge and Kempinksi Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Hungary

The value of Eastern Europe’s Austro-Hungarian getaways includes some surprisingly luxe hotels, like usually pricey rooms with a view for under $200 per night at Kempinksi and Sofitel options in Budapest—both of which are five-star hotels. Sofitel’s Budapest Chain Bridge Hotel has sweeping views of the Danube and its historic bridge, while Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest overlooks the Budapest Eye and and is home to Europe’s first Nobu restaurant, the world-famous sushi fusion eatery from Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

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NU Hotel Brooklyn, New York City

You can hardly say Brooklyn is off the beaten path anymore, but it’s one of the few remaining spots in New York City where you can get a deal while staying close to Manhattan. NU Hotel Brooklyn is a favorite boutique option for its in-room murals and hammocks, art studio connections, bike rentals, and spacious bar, all in the heart of downtown Brooklyn.

Rates around $200 for all that are hard to find elsewhere in this city—making it perfect for a weekend of splurging on restaurants and admission to all the best landmarks, like VIP access to Top of the Rock or the main deck of the Empire State Building.

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Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey is another bucket-list spot worth crossing off while the exchange rate for Americans makes luxe hotels a steal. Opt for a historic hotel fit for a king at the five-star Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul, where colonial Ottoman decor and views of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque can cost you well under $200 per night. Famous figures that have stayed in this historic yet affordable luxury hotel include Greta Garbo, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, and Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Ataturk.

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The Conrad Algarve, Portugal

Lagos, Portugal is home to some of Europe’s best white-sand beaches, endless sunset views, but staying slightly inland from the beach can get you some luxe hotels that won’t cost an arm and a leg. The Conrad Algarve comes in at $300 per night and has one of the sleekest spas in Europe, including an infinity pool, steam room, and rooms with large balconies. The golf course and kids club make it ideal for families to be comfortable away from the coastal Lagos party scene. The Conrad Algarve is just a ten-minute drive from stunning cliff-lined beaches like Vale do Lobo and Praia do Ancao.

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Pullman Hotel Berlin Schweizerhof, Germany

Trendy Berlin is a surprisingly inexpensive European city in every way, but especially when it comes to its affordable luxury hotels. It’s easy to find a luxe five-star hotel in Berlin for under $200 per night, like the Pullman Hotel Berlin Schweizerhof. This hotel stays true to the city’s stark modern vibe, overlooks bustling Budapest Strasse and the historic Berlin Zoo, and has its own pool, sauna, and steam room to escape the busy city when you need it.

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Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico

Gran hotel ciudad de mexico, mexico

Mexico City’s history and colonial culture come alive at the stately Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico near central Zocalo Square, steps from the National Palace’s Diego Rivera art and some remaining Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan. Marble floors, a terrace restaurant, and stained-glass Tiffany windows will throw you back in time. Grand doesn’t describe the nightly rates, however, which are often under $150—so you don’t have to think twice about staying in the beating heart of Mexico City.

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SmarterTravel Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel and loves a good luxe hotel deal. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider,,, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC,, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

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