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14 Things a Hotel Concierge Can Do for You (And 6 Things They Can’t)

Few travelers think to contact the hotel concierge for much more than directions or restaurant recommendations—but if you don’t, you’re missing out on a wealth of local expertise. A good hotel concierge has impressive powers and can assist with almost any travel problem you might face, so you shouldn’t be afraid to take advantage.[st_content_ad]

That said, a concierge is not a magician. Below are 14 things your hotel concierge can do for you, six more they can’t, and four tips for maximizing your moments at the hotel lobby.

What a Hotel Concierge Can Do for You

Save You Money

The concierge can tell you how to get to the airport for less, where to find nearby happy hours, what the best free sights and activities are, and how much is a fair price for a taxi.

Recommend Fitness Facilities

If your hotel doesn’t have a gym or lacks the equipment you want, the concierge can usually point you to an affiliated hotel with better facilities, recommend a good running trail, or give you a list of nearby fitness centers that offer daily or weekly passes.

Get You a Ride When There Seems to Be None Available

If it is rush hour, raining, or really late, finding a taxi or Uber ride can be tough. The concierge can make this happen with a phone call in many cases. This can even work if you’re not staying at the hotel in question. I once saw a friend walk into the lobby of a New York hotel and offer the concierge a tip; within seconds, we had a ride.

Get Tickets for You

Many concierges are careful to say they can’t get tickets for sold-out shows, but the truth is they sometimes can. They may have relationships with brokers, or know season ticket holders who may not be using their seats, or even have tickets themselves; Michael Fazio, author of Concierge Confidential, started to purchase tickets to certain shows that he would then sell to guests, usually at a markup that matched the secondary market.

Keep You Safe

A concierge can offer advice on whether a neighborhood, park, or activity is safe to visit, and what you can do instead if your idea is iffy.

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Help You Celebrate

Are you proposing to your partner or celebrating a landmark birthday? Your hotel concierge can help with anything from filling your hotel room with flowers and balloons to organizing a rooftop proposal, complete with a photographer to document the occasion.

Help You Do Your Job

A concierge can assist with all kinds of work-related tasks, such as getting materials to a printer, setting up a courier service, mailing packages, and setting up a meeting space.

Help You Look Good

A concierge can get you an appointment with a barber or hairdresser, get clothes pressed, and more.

Fix Sticky Travel Problems

A concierge can help you find an expeditor or make an embassy appointment if your passport is stolen, or facilitate repairs if your smartphone goes on the fritz. They can also accept overnight mail or late-arriving luggage.

Get You a Table

Restaurants will often find a way to fit in customers who are recommended by their preferred concierge contacts. If the restaurant is truly full, the concierge can often get you to the front of a waiting list.

Recommend Local Service Folks

Need a babysitter, an auto repair shop, or a dog walker? Your concierge can help.

Create a Custom Itinerary

If you have a bunch of stuff you definitely want to do but are uncertain how to make it all fit together, the concierge can take your list of attractions and put together a coherent and achievable plan. He or she can also help you avoid pitfalls such as road construction or closed subway stations.

Help with Special Needs

If you are disabled, aren’t feeling well, or have other special needs, a hotel concierge can offer considerable assistance—like calling wheelchair-accessible taxis, finding English-speaking doctors, and recommending restaurants that can accommodate certain food allergies.

Provide Assistance Before You Arrive

The concierge can be a resource not just once you’re at the hotel but beforehand as well. For instance, he or she could help you plan out your first day, including a restaurant reservation for dinner.

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What Your Hotel Concierge Can’t Do for You

Gossip

Discretion is an integral part of a concierge’s job, so they tend not to talk about other guests, including which celebrities might be staying in the hotel.

Illegal or Immoral Activities

You shouldn’t expose a concierge to risk by asking him or her to help with illegal—or dubiously legal—activities such as obtaining drugs, forging signatures, finding “companions,” or the like.

Babysit

A concierge can help you find someone else to look after your child, but he or she can’t actually do the babysitting while on duty.

Float You a Loan

They’ll help you with money concerns, but concierges are not banks; don’t ask them to dig into their pockets for you.

Sell Stuff for You

Concierges are also not your personal eBay or Craigslist; they can’t sell tickets you no longer need or items you don’t want to take home. However, he or she may be able to recommend a place where you can do the sale yourself.

Book Tickets to Sold-Out Shows

Truly sold-out shows tend to be just that; however, you can ask if the concierge has any ideas or contacts to help get you tickets, and he or she might have a strategy for you. If there is truly no way to get certain tickets, the concierge will tell you so.

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Tips for Using a Hotel Concierge

Don’t Be Shy

You might feel as though the concierge is only there for the folks in the penthouse suite, but this isn’t the case; he or she is there to help all guests, so feel free to ask.

Give Them Some Time

Concierges can often pull off difficult tasks, but to do so on very short notice is tricky, and it distracts them from helping other guests. Give the concierge some notice if you need something beyond simple advice.

Present the Concierge’s Card

When a concierge sends you to a restaurant or other establishment, it is often his or her name, not yours, that is the attraction for the proprietor. So if a concierge asks you to show his or her card, do it; these relationships are what makes concierges able to help you now and in the future.

Not All Concierges Are the Same

Concierges at the very best (and most expensive) hotels are notorious for pulling off near-miracles; those at less prestigious establishments typically don’t have the same pull.

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Ed Hewitt is a seasoned globetrotter who brings you a biweekly glimpse into the latest travel news, views, and trends—and how they could affect your travel plans.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated with the latest information.

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Beach Cities Island Luxury Travel Romantic Travel

12 Incredible Hawaii Hotels Where You Can Escape Completely

You’re scraping ice off your car’s windshield on yet another frigid winter morning or gritting your teeth through a stressful day at work, and you think: “I wish I were somewhere else.” How does Hawaii sound? Transport yourself to paradise with this list of dreamy Hawaii hotels where you can stroll along the beach, relax in a spa, and wake up to tropical birdsong.

Prince Waikiki, Oahu

Prince Waikiki, Oahu interior room

Every room and suite at the popular Prince Waikiki has an ocean view, plus windows that open to let in the tropical breezes. You can walk to the beach, the shops of Ala Moana Center, and a variety of restaurants—or take the complimentary hotel shuttle to Waikiki Beach. Catch a sunset from the infinity pool or treat yourself to a massage at the Naio Bliss spa.

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Hotel Wailea, Maui

Hotel Wailea, Maui Balcony view during breakfast

Perfect for honeymooners or anyone else seeking an adults-only getaway, Hotel Wailea offers 72 exclusive one-bedroom suites. Here you can focus on wellness with spa treatments or complimentary yoga classes, or head outdoors for kiteboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, or stand-up paddleboarding. The hotel can arrange several unique experiences, including a scenic drive in a 1957 Porsche and a tropical mixology class. The beach is a complimentary shuttle ride away.

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Kalaekilohana, Big Island

Kalaekilohana interior room with balcony

The owners of boutique inn Kalaekilohana have thought of every detail, from fresh flowers in the rooms to locally sourced fruit and coffee at breakfast. Past guests rave about the chance to learn about Hawaiian culture, with classes available on traditional weaving and feather arts. All rooms have private balconies and walk-in rain showers overlooking the surrounding treetops. Although the inn doesn’t have an oceanfront location, there are multiple beaches within hiking or driving distance, including Papakolea with its unique green sand.

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Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort, Kauai

Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort lava rock whirlpool

Ko’a Kea is a boutique resort on Kauai’s sunny southern shore. Its 121 rooms feature private balconies or patios and are located just a short walk from the beach. Relax at the pool overlooking the ocean, take a dip in the lava rock hot tub, savor a treatment at the spa, try your luck at surfing or paddling an outrigger canoe, or have dinner at the on-site Red Salt restaurant.

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Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head, Oahu

Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head room with balcony

Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head is close enough to downtown Waikiki that you can walk but far enough away that you won’t be swamped by noise and crowds. Guests can borrow bicycles to cruise around the area, then come back and enjoy complimentary wine each evening. Private balconies in each room look out over the ocean, Kapiolani Park, and/or Honolulu’s most famous landmark, Diamond Head.

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Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui

Montage Kapalua Bay view of pool and beach

Spread out in the condo-style accommodations at Montage Kapalua Bay, where you can choose among residences with one to four bedrooms—each with a full kitchen, separate living area, and private outdoor space. The spa includes a steam room, sauna, and infinity pool, as well as a fitness center offering a variety of classes. You can also play a round at one of two championship golf courses nearby.

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Volcano Rainforest Retreat, Big Island

Volcano Rainforest Retreat exterior view of lush forest entrance

The four guest cottages at Volcano Rainforest Retreat are shaded by giant tree ferns in a lush, misty rainforest, just three miles from Volcanoes National Park. Start your day with a private breakfast in your cottage before heading out for a day of hiking, cycling, scenic driving, or bird watching. When you return, relax in your private hot tub or enjoy a good book in front of the fireplace in your cottage.

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Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Four Seasons Resort Lanai

On the quiet, sparsely developed island of Lanai, you’ll find the exclusive Four Seasons Resort, one of the best luxury hotels in Hawaii. Spacious rooms include private balconies overlooking either the ocean or the resort’s lush botanical gardens. On-site amenities include multiple pools, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a spa, a yoga studio, tennis courts, and a children’s program. Dining options include the sushi bar at Nobu Lanai and a poolside restaurant serving up organic items from the resort’s farm.

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The Laylow, Oahu

The Laylow guest room

The Laylow offers a classic Hawaiian experience in the heart of Waikiki, with funky 1960s decor accompanied by modern amenities such as free high-speed Wi-Fi and mini-fridges in every room. Fun perks include free shaved ice in the afternoons and ukulele lessons in the lobby. The beach is a short walk away, as are countless restaurants and shops.

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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel pool and beach view

Located on one of the Big Island’s most stunning stretches of sand, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a resort where you can do as much—or as little—as you’d like. Play a round at the championship golf course, swim in the outdoor pool, enjoy a game of tennis or volleyball, learn to make a lei, go stand-up paddleboarding, have a spa treatment … or simply lie on the beach and watch the waves roll in.

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Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono, Maui

Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono guest room

If big resorts aren’t your thing, consider a stay at the Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono. Housed in a restored 1920s building, the B&B has 10 individually decorated rooms that capture the spirit of old Hawaii. Its location in the center of Maui makes it easy to drive to various island attractions, including Haleakala National Park and Kula Botanical Gardens.

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Waipouli Beach Resort, Kauai

Waipouli Beach Resort pool

The one- and two-bedroom condo units at Waipouli Beach Resort feature plenty of space to spread out, and the ocean-facing ones also offer the chance to wake up to gorgeous sunrises every morning. The resort’s location in Kapaa puts you within easy driving distance of most Kauai attractions, including plenty of hiking trails and beaches. The poolside Oasis on the Beach restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a side of ocean views.

What to Pack

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9 Haunted Hotels in New Orleans

With 300 years of colorful history, it’s no wonder New Orleans is a nexus of paranormal legend and lore.

Haunted Hotels in New Orleans

Whether or not you believe, these spirited tales offer an arresting, often spine-chilling, peek into the city’s rich heritage. Stay in one of these haunted hotels in New Orleans, if you dare.

Hotel Monteleone

haunted hotels in new orleans

Legend says one of New Orleans’ best hotels is also tops in ghostly activity. In life, luminaries like Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams roamed these halls, but it’s the afterlife raconteurs that bring haunt-hunters to this historic spot.

Some guests at this haunted hotel in New Orleans have claimed to see apparitions of former hotel employees still busy at work—a testament to their dedication. Others have reported seeing kids running the long corridors one second … only to vanish the next. Perhaps most chilling of all tales is of a young family staying on the 14th floor. After a night at Bourbon Street’s famous French Opera House, the party ended suddenly when the parents’ carriage overturned en route back to the Monteleone. Many believe faint cries heard in the halls are from the son still waiting for his beloved mom and pop to return.

 

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Dauphine Orleans Hotel

haunted hotels in new orleans

It’s no wonder this quintessential New Orleans hotel is so rich in charm and legend, with some areas of the structure dating to 1775. But age isn’t the only factor contributing to the hotel’s unique allure. During the city’s Red Light District heyday, a popular watering hole and brothel was housed on the spot that today still serves as a colorful bar (minus the red-light element), May Bailey’s Place.

A popular legend places a prostitute named Millie in the spotlight. It seems Millie and a solider of the Confederacy fell in love and planned to marry, but happily ever after wasn’t in her cards. On the wedding day, as Millie’s dreams were about to come true, the groom was shot over gambling debts. So when you stay at Dauphine Orleans, don’t be alarmed to catch a glimpse of white flowing fabric floating through the bar—that’s just Millie in her wedding gown, still searching for her groom.

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Lafitte Guest House

haunted hotels in new orleans

Like other French Quarter haunts, this space has a colorful and often tragic history. Before welcoming hotel guests to the French Quarter, part of the structure housed a hospital, where many bodies came and souls went. The 14-room haunted hotel in New Orleans is full of tragic stories of yore. The original owners’ daughter is believed to have fallen down the staircase and died—it’s said her ghost can be seen roaming the second floor in a nightgown. And two sisters are believed to have died in Room 21, one of yellow fever, the other of suicide—spectral crying has been heard in the room.

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Bourbon Orleans Hotel

haunted hotels in new orleans

This New Orleans luxury hotel has a long history of hosting prestigious guests and glittering social events. That spirit of playfulness and fun lives on, even among the non-living. Not merely your roaming-the-halls types of spirits, the ghosts at Bourbon Orleans are more interactive in nature.

One guest at this hotel claimed to have been slapped by a spirit after uttering a profanity, while another claimed to have received a soft kiss from an unseen figure. More than a few employees and guests have reported smelling cigar smoke in the lobby before spotting the apparition of an elderly man seated in the corner reading a newspaper and smoking. If you seek ghosts with gusto, this is your haunted hotel in New Orleans.

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Le Pavillon Hotel

haunted hotels in new orleans

Professional paranormal investigators are attracted to Le Pavillion Hotel for more than its beautifully appointed guest rooms. During a particularly active session, a team of ghost-seekers recorded up to 100 distinctive spirits in this haunted hotel in New Orleans.

Fortunately, the hotel’s elegant, spacious lobby ensures it never feels crowded, no matter the number of guests, past or present. Still, be prepared for a bit of give and take. A spirit may give your feet a tickle while you sleep, but you surely will take home an unforgettable memory from haunted New Orleans.

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Le Richelieu Hotel

haunted hotels in new orleans

This French Quarter charmer, composed of two buildings in a quiet, residential area, is known for casting spells. Many guests are bewitched by the classic charm and friendly service, choosing to return year after year. Sir Paul McCartney even called the hotel home for a few heady months.

But another type of lingering guest creates the most fanfare. It’s believed a band of Spanish soldiers was executed on the very spot. Dressed in full uniform and adorned with a defiant spirit, their presence can often be felt and seen marching through the historic courtyard of this haunted hotel in New Orleans.

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Omni Royal Orleans

haunted hotels in new orleans

The Omni is renowned for world-class service, making sure guests to the Four Diamond luxury property receive attention and care. And, apparently, the not-so-living believe in the brand’s philosophy, too.

Stories abound of spirits who delight in delivering personalized attention to guests. Maybe a jacket you threw on the chair somehow suddenly appears in the closet, or you wake in the morning to find your sheets firmly tucked around your feet. Don’t worry, simply let a “thank you” float into the air for the dedicated service at this haunted hotel in New Orleans.

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Hotel Provincial

haunted hotels in new orleans

If these walls could talk, the story likely would tell of suffering and tragedy. Once a military hospital, the space that is now the Hotel Provincial has played witness to the lives and misery of countless wounded soldiers. Reported paranormal activity in the hotel includes ghosts that change the radio station and flashes of the Civil War-era hospital scene as the elevator opens.

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Audubon Cottages

haunted hotels in new orleans

This small boutique property exudes charm, grace, and mysterious allure. If you hear country music drifting through the courtyard, don’t assume it’s coming from a bar in the surrounding French Quarter. A sweet-voiced soldier is said to have once occupied Cottage 4, where his song still lives on, night after night.

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– Original reporting by Jess Simpson

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Booking Strategy Experiential Travel Health & Wellness Oddities Travel Etiquette

33 Ways to Sleep Better at a Hotel

Rattling ice machines. Dinging elevators. Bachelorette parties down the hall. The sleep gods have their work cut out for them if you’re expecting to snooze well while staying at a hotel.

We’ve compiled one of the most comprehensive guides available to sleeping in a hotel, covering everything from what you should ask when you’re booking the room to how you can swiftly take care of noisemakers so you can get back to sleep.

When Making Your Reservation

1. Ensure that you get a quiet room. Two requests that are absolutely vital and pretty widely known when selecting your hotel room: a room on an upper floor and away from the elevators.

2. Book a room midway down a hallway. This is generally the quietest part of the floor, as it’s away from the ice and vending machines, guest laundry facilities, exits, housekeeping closets, and other places where noise can be made.

3. Ask for a room on the concierge or suite level, if the hotel has one. Sometimes those rooms have taller ceilings, giving you a little more air space from the people above you.

4. Avoid rooms facing a pool. While the view might be pretty, pools can be late-night gathering places—despite posted closing times—and noise echoes off water.

5. Ask what time the trash is collected if there are dumpsters or recycling bins outside your windows. If the time is too early for your liking, get a different room.

6. Request a room at the back of a low-rise hotel. They are generally quieter (especially if they’re away from the parking lot). Even if the view is poor, the peace is worth it.

7. Get a room at least two or three levels above banquet rooms, bars, or other public spaces if the hotel has them. You’d be surprised how many floors a pulsating and thumping bass beat can penetrate.

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8. Ask if the hotel is undergoing or has recently completed renovations. Usually these are done in segments—a floor or section at a time. You want to avoid floors that are adjacent to those currently being updated. But you do want to be on a floor that has finished being renovated—which will usually be cleaner, smell better, and have newer beds and linens.

9. Inquire whether guestrooms have blackout shades. These are the heavy, thick curtains that keep the light out, and you want to have them.

10. Make sure yours is a non-smoking room. If you’re not a smoker, the scent of old cigarette smoke will keep you from feeling at ease (awake or asleep).

11. Ask about pillow options. If you’re vulnerable to neck or back pain from using the wrong pillow, find out if pillows with different levels of firmness are available. Some hotels stock firmer ones in guestroom closets, or have a secret stash at the front desk. If the hotel doesn’t offer what you need, consider bringing yours from home.

12. Request two beds if you’re traveling with a friend. You’ll get a more peaceful night’s sleep if you snooze alone than you will if you bunk with someone you’re not accustomed to being next to.

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Packing for Your Stay

13. Pack earplugs. Uncomfortable as they can be, wadding little bits of foam in your ears is far less annoying than being kept up all night by noise. Better yet, invest in Bose’s Noise Masking Sleepbuds which play soothing sounds to cancel out noise and let you sleep. You can also bring your own travel-size white noise machine, download a white noise app onto your smartphone, or stream white noise from your laptop on a free website like SimplyNoise.com.

14. Bring an eye mask. They are for your eyes what earplugs are for your ears—and they’re especially important if your room doesn’t have blackout curtains. Look for ones that are contoured so they don’t restrict your eye movements during deep sleep.

15. Pack a sleep sack if you tend to worry about the cleanliness or comfort of your hotel linens. They also are helpful for folks with skin sensitivities who are worried about the detergents or bleach used to clean hotel linens.

16. Spray your room. The chemicals used to clean hotel rooms or launder sheets can be a little overpowering. Add your own scent with a spritz or two of a gentle linen spray you bring from home. (Consider one with a lavender scent, which is known to be soothing; here’s one travel-size option from Amazon.)

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Preparing to Hit the Hay

17. Don’t read, eat, or work in bed. Admittedly, this is not always possible, as seating can be limited in a hotel room. But try not to use your bed to do anything but sleep.

18. Don’t eat a large or overly rich dinner late at night. A belly that’s churning away digesting a big meal interferes with your ability to sleep soundly.

19. Abstain from alcohol. Although alcoholic beverages can help you fall asleep faster, even a moderate dose of alcohol right before bed can cause your sleep quality to suffer.

20. Sip tea. A small cup of chamomile tea or other warm, non-caffeinated beverage can induce sleep. Don’t drink too much though, or else you’ll need to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

21. Silence your cell phone notifications, especially if you’re in a different time zone than your friends and family. People could be trying to contact you when you’re trying to sleep. Turn off notification sounds for texts, emails, and calls before you go to bed so you’re not disturbed.

22. Take a melatonin. This supplement mimics the natural hormone that your body produces to go to sleep. According to Dr. Aleksandar Videnovic, Principal Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Sleep Center, “Melatonin helps our body recognize when it’s time to sleep, and it can be very helpful in alleviating symptoms of jet lag.”

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Just Before Bed

23. Hang the “do not disturb” sign on the outside doorknob. This is especially important if you’re planning to sleep in. Some housekeepers start their service at 8 a.m. or earlier. If your room doesn’t have a “do not disturb” sign, request one from the front desk.

24. Set backup wakeup calls. How many times have you set an unfamiliar alarm clock, only to wake up the next morning in a rush because it never went off (or awakened in the middle of the night worrying it wouldn’t work)? For greater peace of mind, use two alarms—such as the hotel’s wakeup call service, your cell phone, a wristwatch, or a travel-sized alarm clock. Even if you’re not using the hotel’s alarm clock, check it to make sure the previous occupant of the room didn’t set it to go off at an early time.

25. Take a warm bath. The relaxation can help you sleep better.

26. Adjust the room temperature. According to Sleep.org, most people sleep best in temperatures between 60-70 degrees.

27. Read a non-suspenseful paper book or magazine. Avoid the TV, smartphones, and laptops, as they emit an artificial blue light that can have a stimulating rather than soporific effect. An e-ink e-reader, like the Kindle Paperwhite is a travel-friendly way to read without blue light.

28. Try a meditation exercise that’s designed to induce sleep. There are plenty of apps out there (such as headspace)  that will guide you through nighttime meditations to help you relax.

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Once in Bed

30. Breathe deeply. Being out of your element can be stressful. Take some deep, slow breaths before bed to help you relax and unwind tense muscles.

31. Don’t wait to report noise. Hotel rooms have notoriously thin walls, and your neighbors may not realize their conversations are crystal clear to you. Sometimes a quick pound on the wall will do the trick to quiet down a noisy neighbor. (See: When the Hotel Guest Next Door Won’t Shut Up.) If you’re not comfortable doing so, just ring the hotel front desk. They’ll phone the guest or send security personnel to the room with a warning. Excessive noise or repeated warnings could result in the guest being asked to leave.

32. Ask to move rooms. All hotels should give a guest the option of relocating to a quieter room if uncontrollable noise—such as traffic, a humming ice machine, or the elevator—is persistent. Of course, it’s not exactly peaceful to have to pack up your belongings and relocate in the middle of the night, and the hotel might be sold out. But if you’re staying in a hotel for multiple nights, this could be an ideal solution.

33. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. This is a good all-around rule, for traveling or at home. Rather than tossing and turning, get out of bed, turn on a low light, and read a mindless magazine until you’re ready to try again.

Our Favorite Clothing to Wear for Better Sleep at a Hotel

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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Health & Wellness

These Cities and States Have the Cleanest Hotels, According to AAA

AAA has over 27,000 inspected and approved hotels in its network. For over 80 years, the company performs in-person inspections of these properties and also come up with the “Inspector’s Best Of Housekeeping” rankings. Since cleanliness is often top of mind for travelers when booking hotels, this list is especially useful. In order to qualify, properties must rank high in excellence for housekeeping two years in a row in their inspection and have no AAA member complaints. The federation notes that only about 25 percent of the 27,000 AAA Inspected & Approved properties get this ranking

View the full report release information, here.

States with the Most AAA Inspector’s Best of Housekeeping Hotels

  1. California (982)
  2. Florida (485)
  3. Texas (468)
  4. North Carolina (458)
  5. New York (406)
  6. Virginia (328)
  7. Pennsylvania (281)
  8. Tennessee (268)
  9. Maryland (238)
  10. Massachusetts (215)

Cities with the Most AAA Inspector’s Best of Housekeeping Hotels

  1. New York, New York (161)
  2. Houston, Texas (90)
  3. Washington, D.C. (78)
  4. Orlando, Florida (69)
  5. Charlotte, North Carolina (68)
  6. Austin, Texas (63)
  7. Nashville, Tennessee (61)
  8. San Diego, California (60)
  9. Anaheim, California (50)
  10. San Antonio, Texas (49)

Where does your state or city rank?

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Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

Categories
Oddities

The 14 Most Unique Hotels in the World

[st_content_ad]After you’ve been traveling a while, every hotel begins to look the same—unless, that is, you’ve booked a much more unusual place to stay. For those who’ve gotten bored of the standard overnight setup, here are 14 of the most unique hotels in the world.

Treehouse: Treehotel, Sweden

treehotel

Kids don’t think twice about sleeping in a treehouse, but as adults, we forget how much fun it is. Revive that childhood magic at Sweden’s remarkable Treehotel, which consists of seven living pods suspended in tall pines up to 20 feet above the forest floor. (You get into them via ladder, suspended bridge, or electric stairs.)

Choices include an abode that looks like a humongous bird’s nest, one shaped like a UFO, and the reflective “Mirrorcube.” Guests get enchanted views of the woods, the Lule River, and (at the right time of year) the aurora borealis. From September to March, the hotel’s employees give guided northern lights tours; all year long, you can eat at the on-site restaurant, which specializes in northern Swedish cuisine, and explore the 600-person village of Harads.

Other worthwhile treehouse hotels around the world include British Columbia’s globular Free Spirit Spheres, Quebec’s Canopée Lit in the Boreal forest, Peru’s Amazonian Treehouse Lodge, Texas’s new Treehouse Utopia, and Washington state’s Treehouse Point and 50-foot-high Cedar Creek Treehouse, with its rainbow-painted suspension bridge. For more ideas, see The 10 Most Incredible Treehouse Hotels in the World.

Undersea Accommodations: The Muraka, Maldives

muraka undersea bedroom

In late 2018, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, already known as an extraordinary place to stay, debuted a two-story, three-bedroom undersea residence with a modern, domed design and 24-hour butler service. But the Muraka’s most impressive feature is its full, glassy immersion in the Maldives’ mesmerizing ocean life. World-class architects and engineers teamed up to construct the unique hotel room in Singapore; they then transported it to the Maldives, anchoring it in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The only catch: The Muraka costs $40,000 per night.

Those of us not stocked with that level of disposable income can have a meal at the Conrad’s undersea restaurant, Ithaa. Or travel instead to Key Largo, Florida, to stay at Jules’ Undersea Lodge—named after Mr. Verne, natch. You’ll have to scuba dive down to this strange guest room, at the bottom of a fish-filled lagoon.

Other undersea suites around the world include those at Tanzania’s Manta Resort, Dubai’s Atlantis, The Palm, and Singapore’s Resort World Sentosa. Bali’s Bambu Indah resort has a glass-bottomed room that lets its guests observe the sea life below. And coming soon, supposedly: Fiji’s 40-foot-deep Poseidon Undersea Resort.

Igloo: Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland

kakslauttanen arctic resort

By now, everyone knows about Sweden’s remarkable Icehotel and its frozen brethren: Quebec’s Hotel de Glace, Norway’s Snowhotel Kirkenes, and Ice Hotel Romania—all artist-sculpted hotels that arise gorgeously every winter, only to melt away in summer.

But if you’re more interested in finding out what it’s like spend the night in a real-life igloo, head to Finland for a stay at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Most images of it show its rows of glass-domed “igloos,” which are eminently worthwhile in and of themselves, particularly for their unobstructed view of aurora borealis. For the true igloo experience sans quotation marks, however, opt for one of the property’s dozens of actual snow igloos, where you’ll find calm, quiet, and a sleeping bag to keep you toasty in the room’s below-freezing temperature.

Traveling farther south? Iglu-Dorf lets you experience igloo living in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.

Crane Hotel: The Yays Crane Apartment, Netherlands

yays crane apartment

What to do with an old crane? Why, turn it into a hotel, of course. This is exactly what a company called Yays did with a retired Figee—it commissioned Dutch designer Edward van Vliet to create a stylish interior for a three-story apartment with vertiginous views over the IJ River. The crane operator’s box was left intact, so guests can still hear his recorded stories play.

Apparently, transforming cranes into hotels isn’t a one-off thing to do in the Netherlands: There’s also the 164-foot-high Crane Hotel Faralda, as well as the Harlingen Harbour Crane, whose movement you can control yourself.

Should you find yourself getting hooked on overnighting in industrial contraptions, you can continue on to sleep on a decommissioned oil rig at Malaysia’s Seaventures Dive Rig, in a granary at New Zealand’s SiloStay, in a wine barrel at the Netherlands’ De Vrouwe van Stavoren Hotel, or in a drainpipe at Austria’s Das Parkhotel.

Lodge with Live Animals: Giraffe Manor, Kenya

giraffe manor

At the 12-room Giraffe Manor, one of the unique hotels in Africa’s Safari Collection, the welcoming employees teach each guest how to feed giraffes. This is because the elegant property, built in 1932 at an elevation of almost 6,000 feet, is home to a herd of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes who are fond of stretching their long necks into the hotel’s large windows for a snack. Every guest room is stocked with giraffe food so that when you receive the inevitable long-necked visitor, you can nourish it appropriately. (For a similar experience, but with elephants instead of giraffes, book at Zambia’s Mfuwe Lodge.)

If you can’t get out of the U.S. but still want to sleep where animals dominate, you have at least one option in Texas—The Lodge at Fossil Rim—and three in California: Safari West in wine country, Vision Quest Safari B&B at the Monterey Zoo, and Farm Sanctuary, which also offers accommodations in upstate New York.

Hyper-Themed Hotel: Fantasyland Hotel, Canada

fantasyland hotel space room

Everyone loves a good theme. And while amusement parks are famous for making good use of them, it’s harder to find hotels that are themed through and through. In Canada, Edmonton’s Fantasyland Hotel is in a shopping center, but that’s hardly the most unique thing about it. True to its name, Fantasyland offers 120 fantasy-themed rooms, and you choose your surroundings. Options at this novelty hotel include rooms that look like a spaceship, a gas station, Polynesia, Rome, the Arabian desert, and a prison cell. Plus, the attached mall has a waterpark, thrill rides, miniature golf, and a bowling alley.

Other unique hotels with hyper-themed suites include Denver’s Curtis Hotel (Star Wars rooms and Star Trek and Ghostbusters suites), New Hampshire’s Adventure Suites (room names include “Motorcycle Madness,” “Dragon’s Lair,” and “Cupid’s Corner”), and Fort Worth’s Western-themed Stockyards Hotel, where Bonnie and Clyde once slept in a suite that bears their names.

For Dog Lovers: Dog Bark Park Inn, Idaho

dog bark inn

Idaho’s Dog Bark Park Inn is on virtually every list of the world’s most unique hotels for good reason: It’s shaped like a dog. Also, everything inside the homey B&B is over-the-top dog-themed, including the pillows, the bedrest, the books, the cookies, the board games and puzzles, the curtains, and the canine chainsaw art (also sold in the on-site gift shop) handmade by the property’s welcoming mom-and-pop owners. More than a quirky roadside attraction—though it’s that, too—”Sweet Willy,” built in 2003, is made from wood, metal, and stucco. And yes, you can bring your own pup.

If you’d rather sleep inside a Trojan horse, book at Belgium’s uber-whimsical La Balade des Gnomes.

Cave Hotel: Ottoman Cave Suites, Turkey

ottoman cave suites

If you’ve ever had the craving to sleep in a cave, put Turkey’s magical Cappadocia region on your bucket list. There, many of the unusual hotels are carved right into the land’s ancient stone. There are plenty of cave hotels to choose from in Cappadocia, including the lovely Seraphim Cave Hotel, but Ottoman Cave Suites, in a town called Goreme, is perhaps the most unique hotel of the bunch. Its dramatic, Ottoman-themed rooms feature velour furnishings, Turkish art, and—the distinguishing feature—scalloped stone walls and ceilings of cool, hollowed-out volcanic stone.

Elsewhere in the world, you can also stay in Grand Canyon Caverns’ cave suite, at Kokopelli’s Cave in New Mexico, and at Switzerland’s Felsenhotel La Claustra.

Train Hotel: Red Caboose Motel, Pennsylvania

red caboose motel

Train buffs will be pleased to learn that the world has a set of unique inns situated in retired locomotives. Pennsylvania’s Red Caboose Motel, for example, has turned the world’s largest privately owned collection of cabooses into a quirky hotel that’s surrounded by Amish farms, with an on-site dining car called Casey Jones’ Restaurant, and the impressive Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania just down the road. The sleeping quarters resemble basic motel rooms—except that they’re set in real caboose cars.

Fans of the iron horse can also sleep in retired trains at California’s Featherbed Railroad and Railroad Park Resort, Minnesota’s Whistle Stop B&B, Montana’s Izaak Walton Inn, Indiana’s Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station, Alaska’s Aurora Express, and South Africa’s Santos Express.

Eccentric Lodging: Helga’s Folly, Sri Lanka

helga's folly

Here’s a line from Helga’s Folly‘s website: “If expecting a regular hotel experience, best look elsewhere, thank you.” This is an understatement. One of the world’s truly weird hotels, this property in Kandy, Sri Lanka, is covered from top to bottom in psychedelic hand-painted art, skeletons, wax-dripped candelabras, and a clutter of other creepy-cool decor. Staying here is guaranteed to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Tim Burton movie. If you’re not quite up for a full-on overnight, you can visit just for dinner.

For other properties approaching this level of wackiness, check out Vietnam’s Crazy House and Chile’s hobbit-like Montaña Mágica Lodge.

For Art Lovers: Angad Arts Hotel, Missouri

angad arts hotel room

The recent opening of the Angad Arts Hotel in St. Louis is good news for anyone who’s ever wished they could sleep in their favorite art museum. At the Angad, there’s striking artwork throughout, pop-up performances, a musical playroom, and a refined David Burke eatery. You choose which color you want your guest room to be saturated with: a bold red, green, yellow, or blue. Calling itself an “incubator for the arts,” this unique hotel is in the city’s Grand Center Arts District, surrounded by more than 40 thriving arts venues.

Art lovers can also stay at Japan’s Benesse House, which displays original works by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Yayoi Kusama, and David Hockney, as well as Florida’s Art Ovation Hotel, or any of the 21c Museum Hotels.

Celebrity Connection: Villa Casa Casuarina, Florida

villa casa casuarina suite

Miami’s Villa Casa Casuarina, better known as the Versace Mansion, has been many things: Gianni Versace’s over-the-top villa, a rundown apartment building, and the home of the Standard Oil heir Alden Freeman, who built the property in 1930 as a replica of Christopher Columbus’s son’s house. It became a murder landmark in 1997 when the famous fashion designer was gunned down on the mansion’s front stairs. After that, it was the backdrop for FX’s American Crime Story television series—then, finally, a hotel. Spanning its three palatial stories are 10 bedrooms, including the aptly named “Extravagant Villa Suite,” where Versace himself slumbered. Overnight guests can luxuriate amid hand-painted frescoes, a fountain courtyard, hand-carved wood doors, elaborate mosaics, Italian marble, opulent furnishings, and a swimming pool lined with 24-karat gold.

If your particular interest is staying at hotels that are owned by celebrities, there’s also Australia’s Palazzo Versace (owned by Gianni’s sister, Donatella), Florida’s Costa d’Este (Gloria and Emilio Estefan), Morocco’s Kasbah Tamadot (Richard Branson), Belize’s Blancaneaux Lodge (Francis Ford Coppola), Italy’s Palazzo Margherita (also Coppola), Utah’s Sundance Resort (Robert Redford), Dublin’s The Clarence (Bono), and two in Carmel, California: Cypress Inn (Doris Day) and Mission Ranch (Clint Eastwood).

Salt Hotel: Hotel Palacio de Sal, Bolivia

palacio de sal

True to its name, Bolivia’s Hotel Palacio de Sal is built entirely of salt. Its walls, ceilings, and sculptures, as well as the majority of its furniture—including the beds—are made from large salt bricks. The floors, for their part, are covered with a thick, crunchy layer of the stuff. The sodium-themed property, which sits at an elevation of 12,000 feet, also offers a full-service spa, a fine-dining restaurant, and an in-house tour operator that takes guests out onto Salar de Uyuni, the planet’s largest salt flat—an otherworldly white-desert destination that should be on any serious traveler’s bucket list.

Another unique hotel to consider on Bolivia’s vast Salar de Uyuni is Kachi Lodge, a new luxury dome camp that looks as though it would be right at home on the surface of the moon.

More interested in staying amid other minerals? Consider Zandotel Oss, in the Netherlands, to sleep in a bona fide sandcastle, or Sweden’s Sala Silvergruva, a historic silver mine whose “Mine Suite” is the world’s deepest hotel room at 508 feet underground (claustrophobes, steer clear).

Airplane Hotel: Hotel Costa Verde, Costa Rica

hotel costa verde plane

Never been able to sleep on a plane? You won’t be able to say that any longer after staying at Costa Rica’s Hotel Costa Verde, the site of an upcycled Boeing 727 that used to belong to Avianca Airlines. The innkeepers hollowed out the fuselage, paneled the interior in Costa Rican teak, added furniture, and perched it high in the jungle for elevated views of trees and sea, making for a completely unique getaway.

A similar experience can be had at Stockholm’s Jumbostay Hotel, a grounded 1976 Boeing 747 spiffed up with comfy beds—book the cockpit, if you like. Aviation aficionados will also be interested to know that New York City’s TWA Hotel is set to open this May at John F. Kennedy International Airport, as an upscale tribute to the defunct but beloved airline. Request a runway-view room if you’d enjoy watching as jets take off.

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Booking Strategy Budget Travel

Where to Stay in Germany: Lodging Tips You Need to Know

With so many tempting possibilities, deciding where to stay in Germany can turn into a dilemma. Should you choose ultra-modern hotels or charm-filled historic properties? Should you dream away your nights at country inns, fairytale castles, or pampering spa resorts? Even if you’re on a budget, Germany’s lodging options include hotels, B&Bs, and hostels that are among Europe’s very best. Or, for a change of pace, you can spend a few days on a farm or a countryside vineyard. Can’t choose? The best plan may be to mix and match as you travel through the country, sampling some of Germany’s best accommodations.

Traditional Hotels in Germany

Germany uses the international rating system of stars for hotels, from modest one-stars to five-star luxury. In one- and two-star hotels, you’ll find smaller rooms and perhaps shared bathrooms. From three stars up, hotels will have an on-site restaurant, luggage service, private bathrooms, and a reception desk that stays open at least 12 hours of each day. At four- and five-star hotels, you’ll enjoy room service and plenty of amenities, including robes and washcloths.

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German lodging standards are very high, and you can generally expect clean and comfortable rooms with breakfast included. Better hotels may serve a lavish morning buffet that includes eggs, meats, yogurt, fruits, and cheese. Many hotels in all price ranges have Wi-Fi, though sometimes for a fee.

Europeans still tend to smoke more cigarettes than Americans do, so if you’re sensitive to smoke, it’s worth requesting a nonsmoking room or floor when you make your reservation. Be aware that in a climate where air-conditioning is seldom necessary, many older hotels may not have it. If you are planning a summer trip, be sure to check.

Keep a copy of your reservation confirmation with you to make sure the promised rate is honored. Always check hotel sites directly for specials and deals, such as low weekend rates in cities when business travelers go home. During major events like Munich’s Oktoberfest or the Frankfurt Book Fair, rooms are scarce and rates can double or even triple. You can also find great deals on Germany hotels via TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) and Hotels.com.

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Germany’s Romantik Hotels

While star ratings tell you about amenities, they do not measure charm, and many older European hotels have great appeal. Among the most enjoyable places to stay in Germany are the aptly named Romantik Hotels, found in Germany’s major cities as well as in its smaller towns. The hotels in this group are all in historic buildings and owner-managed.

Another romantic experience is to choose a schlosshotel, or castle converted into a hotel. Germany has more of these special accommodations than anywhere else in Europe. You can find many of them listed at TripAdvisor, and at a site called Castle and Palace Hotels.

Note that some of Germany’s older hotels do not have elevators, so if stairs are a problem for you, make sure to request a room on the ground floor.

[st_related]10 Castle Hotels in Europe That Are Worth the Splurge[/st_related]

Germany’s Country Hotels

The German countryside has so much beauty and so many attractions that it is well worth your time to plan part of your itinerary in Germany away from the cities. This will give you the chance to experience delightful places to stay such as gasthofs and gasthauses, atmospheric country inns that also serve good local food.

For a different experience, spend time at a countryside bauernhof, a farm that offers rooms for travelers. These are great fun for families, especially for city dwellers. You can also stay amid scenic vineyards at a winzerhof, a winery guesthouse. A site called LandReise is an excellent source for these types of lodgings (though it’s only in German; use the Chrome browser for translation). Bavaria alone boasts more than 1,000 farmstay listings, along with its own association and website to help find them: Farm-Holidays.com.

[st_related]Homestays and Farmstays: A Traveler’s Guide[/st_related]

Germany’s Spa Hotels

Ever since Roman times, visitors have been coming to Germany to “take the waters” in health spas surrounded by hot mineral springs said to have healing properties. “Bad” means bath, and hotels in cities such as Bad Reichenhall, Wiesbaden, and chic Baden-Baden share access to the coveted spa waters. Many of these cities also have diversions like casinos and fine eateries. Hotels vary from modest to super-luxurious. Check listings in each town to make your choice, as well as Booking.com.

Germany’s Budget Hotels, B&Bs, and Homestays

For those who are looking for a well-priced hotel in Germany, booking services like Expedia and Hotels.com offer good values in all price categories. Another good source is Best Western. The chain’s listings in Europe are not motels as they are in some parts of the U.S., but rather small hotels that have been inspected and are reliable. If you’re willing to stay outside the city center and take public transportation to get around, you can often find lower rates in better hotels. Just be sure that quick connections are near the hotel.

Germany has its full share of economical bed and breakfast choices, as well. B&Bs, also known as pensions, may be small hotels, but most often, they’re private homes with live-in hosts. They are a far more personal experience than staying in a hotel. The best way to find listings is by contacting the local tourist offices in the areas you plan to visit. You can also find listings at international online services such as BBOnline, BnBFinderBedandBreakfast.com or, of course, Airbnb.

At the lower end of the lodgings scale in Germany are zimmer, meaning simply “rooms,” in private houses, offered by families that have a spare bedroom or two. These can be especially handy if you’re looking for an overnight while touring the country by car. Watch for signs that say “Zimmerfrei” (room available), check with the local tourist office for locations, or try Homestay.com.

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Germany Vacation Rentals

Apartment and home rentals provide more spacious quarters and can be less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms when traveling with family or a group of friends. The agencies and websites that specialize in offering these types of properties have listings ranging from studios in the city to villas in the country. Among the sources to try are AirbnbHomeAway, and TripAdvisor’s vacation rentals page.

Ask for references or read reviews from people who have previously rented the property that you’re considering. Be sure that someone will be on call to help in case of emergency, like a lost key or a plumbing problem. If you’re hungry for more information before making your reservation, read up about what you need to know about booking a vacation rental.

If you’re planning to stay in Germany for a week or longer, you could consider a house swap. A German family might be delighted to trade their home or apartment for yours, saving each of you a lot of money. Specialized agencies such as HomeExchange or Intervac have listings all over the world, including many in Germany. As with rentals, references from others who have stayed in the property are invaluable. Not quite sure how to arrange this type of accommodation? Read more about how to set up a home exchange.

Hostels in Germany

Germany helped pioneer the idea of youth hostels, and today has more than 500 hostel properties that are among Europe’s most modern. While they still offer the bunk rooms that are popular with thrifty students, many hostels also offer private double rooms and family-style rooms that appeal to budget-conscious older travelers. Rates are modest and often include breakfast.

The best hostels book up fast, so reserve well in advance. Find listings at the German Youth Hostel Association or via Hostelling International, an organization that covers countries around the world. You may also want to consider investing in a Hostelling International membership, as this will allow you to stay worldwide at deeply discounted rates.

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–original research and reporting by Eleanor Berman

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Booking Strategy Budget Travel Luxury Travel Money Travel Trends

The 25 Best Bargain Hotels in the World

If you want to stay at the best hotel in the United States, head to the French Quarter Inn in Charleston, South Carolina. And if you’re looking for the best bargain hotel stay in the world, it’s in a small town in northern Spain. That’s according to TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, which just shared the best hotel ratings for multiple categories heading into 2019.

The hotel rankings are based on millions of yearly reviews from ordinary travelers paired with the average hotel rates. TripAdvisor compiled separate best hotel lists for the U.S., the world, bargain hotels, and more. For the most part, regardless of price and location, all winners consistently provided the best quality, service, and value in their area—but also stood out more broadly. Accordingly, the best in the U.S. and best in the world are slightly pricey.

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Here are the best hotels across the top categories, starting with bargain hotels, which you don’t often find reliably ranked.

Editor’s Note: TripAdvisor is SmarterTravel’s parent company.

The 25 Best Bargain Hotels in the World

Keep in mind that rates in many tourist areas are highly seasonal, and a “bargain” rate offseason might become much less of a bargain at peak season.

  1. Hotel Lurdeia: Bermeo, Spain
  2. Pax Guest House: Dingle, Ireland
  3. The Elm Tree: Llandudno, United Kingdom
  4. Doonmore Hotel: Inishbofin, Ireland
  5. Riverside Oasis Villa: Hoi An, Vietnam
  6. The Trails Inn: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  7. Hotel Villa Sirena: Casamicciola Terme, Italy
  8. Popular Residence Hotel: Siem Reap, Cambodia
  9. The Escape Inn: South Yarmouth, Massachusetts
  10. Dar Hafsa: Fes, Morocco
  11. Cabo Vista Hotel: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  12. Lazy Lizard Motor Inn: Port Douglas, Australia
  13. Splash Inn Dive Resort: West End, Honduras
  14. Kaiya House: Varkala, India
  15. Posada Margot: Tucacas, Venezuela
  16. Posada del Sauce: Villa General Belgrano, Argentina
  17. Falcons View Manor: Knysna, South Africa
  18. Phocas Cave Suites: Cavusin, Turkey
  19. Hotel Quero Quero: Gramado, Brazil
  20. Coconut Row: Hopkins, Belize
  21. Black Rock Lodge: Black Rock, Belize
  22. Jade Hotel Hoi An: Hoi An, Vietnam
  23. Udaya Residence: Siem Reap, Cambodia
  24. CC’s Hideaway: Karon, Thailand
  25. Hotel Venus & Suites: Kalamaki, Greece

This is an eclectic mix. Five of the 25 are in Southeast Asia, only two are in the U.S., and most others are spread around areas that are mostly recognized as low-cost visitor destinations. Rates at most are less than $100 a night, less than $50 at many, and in the $20 range for a few. But Belize’s Black Rock Lodge and Coconut Row, South Africa’s Falcons View, Ireland’s Pax Guest House, and England’s Elm Tree are in the higher $125 to $200 range.

The 10 Best Hotels in America

If you’re more intrigued in spending a little bit more for the best of the best, here are the best hotels in the U.S. (and across the globe, further below).

  1. French Quarter Inn: Charleston, South Carolina: TripAdvisor average annual price $463 per night. This hotel also ranked sixth overall in the world and 12th for Best Service in the U.S.
  2. The Nantucket Hotel & Resort: Nantucket, Massachusetts: TripAdvisor average annual price $787 per night.
  3. The Spectator Hotel: Charleston, South Carolina. TripAdvisor average annual price $467 per night.
  4. The Inn at Lost Creek: Mountain Village, Colorado. TripAdvisor average annual price $403 per night. Also ranked #1 Best Service in the U.S.
  5. Hotel Jackson: Jackson Hole, Wyoming. TripAdvisor average annual price $587 per night.
  6. Williamsburg Inn: Williamsburg, Virginia. TripAdvisor average annual price $490 per night.
  7. Trump International Hotel: Washington D.C., Washington, D.C. TripAdvisor average annual price $594 per night.
  8. Hotel Emma: San Antonio, Texas. TripAdvisor average annual price $486 per night.
  9. The Peninsula Chicago: Chicago, Illinois. TripAdvisor average annual price $627 per night. Also ranked #1 Top Luxury Hotels in the U.S.
  10. Sonnenalp: Vail, Colorado. TripAdvisor average annual price $555 per night. Also ranked #2 Top Luxury Hotel in the U.S.

With room rates starting at $403 to $787 per night, you won’t find these hotels on any “bargain” lists. And several were also in the 10-best worldwide ranking. The list also includes two unexpected clustering patterns: Three of the top 10 are in Rocky Mountain ski centers and two are in Charleston, South Carolina. Among the largest cities, Chicago and Washington got only one entry each and Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco struck out completely.

The 25 Best Hotels in the World

TripAdvisor selected 25 hotels in the world’s best category, but this list does not include average room rates:

  1. Tulemar Bungalows & Villas: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
  2. Hotel Belvedere: Riccione, Italy
  3. Viroth’s Hotel: Siem Reap, Cambodia
  4. Kenting Amanda Hotel: Hengchun, Pingtung
  5. Hotel Alpin Spa Tuxerhof: Tux, Austria
  6. French Quarter Inn: Charleston, South Carolina
  7. The Resort at Pedregal: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  8. Belmond Palacio Nazarenas: Cusco, Peru
  9. Kayakapi Premium Caves, Cappadocia: Urgup, Turkey
  10. Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa: Hanoi, Vietnam
  11. Golden Temple Retreat: Siem Reap, Cambodia
  12. Quinta Jardins do Lago: Funchal, Portugal
  13. The Oberoi Rajvilas: Jaipur, India
  14. Hotel Amira Istanbul: Istanbul, Turkey
  15. Hotel 41: London, United Kingdom
  16. Ikos Oceania: Nea Moudania, Greece
  17. Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve: Ubud, Indonesia
  18. Nayara Springs: La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
  19. Rosewood Mayakoba: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  20. Valle D’incanto Midscale Hotel: Gramado, Brazil
  21. Hotel Spadai: Florence, Italy
  22. Constance Prince Maurice: Pointe de Flacq, Mauritius
  23. O’Gallery Premier Hotel & Spa: Hanoi, Vietnam
  24. The Nantucket Hotel & Resort: Nantucket, Massachusetts
  25. AYADA Maldives: Maguhdhuvaa, Maldives

Surprisingly few big-city hotels made this list, with only one from London and none from Paris, New York, San Francisco, or Tokyo. Although supposedly the word’s “best,” they’re not all the most expensive: Current rates shown for June are $150 a night or less at the Amira, Kayakapi, La Siesta, O’Gallery, and Viroth’s. Clearly, TripAdvisor reviewers place a high value on service and location (which are not necessarily dependent on price category) rather than elaborate features like high-end hotel lobbies and bars.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

Categories
Arts & Culture Booking Strategy Budget Travel Cities Historical Travel Luxury Travel Student Travel Weekend Getaways

10 Best Hotels in Boston

Boston attracts tops scholars, business travelers, and tourists from the globe-trotting set, lending its hotels a sophisticated atmosphere.

The Best Hotels in Boston

Instead of being concentrated in one area, Boston luxury hotels and boutique accommodations are found throughout the city’s diverse neighborhoods. We’ve handpicked the best hotels in Boston, so no matter what area you want to explore most, you can find the perfect spot to lay your head.

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The Liberty, A Luxury Collection Hotel

[st_content_ad]The Liberty originally opened its doors in 1851 as the Charles Street Jail, housing some of the city’s most notorious criminals. It closed as a prison in 1990. You may not file a jail under “Boston luxury hotels,” but The Liberty painstakingly fuses comfortable modernity with preserved historic elements (you’ll find jail cells within the hotel restaurant). The former exercise yard is now a private courtyard.

Ask the hotel concierge for a historical tour. Onsite restaurants like Scampo from Boston-based Lydia Shire provide world-class dining. From the hotel, you’re ideally positioned to explore the Charles River Esplanade and the posh Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Amenities: Sparkling wine welcome beverage, two waters daily, Molton Brown bath products, bathrobes, floor-to-ceiling windows, overnight shoeshine, Wi-Fi, pet beds, morning coffee in lobby, 24-hour fitness center, bicycles and kayaks (seasonal), jogging maps, running concierge (seasonal), Saturday yoga (seasonal), and business center.

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XV Beacon

Housed in a Beaux Arts building on the National Registry of Historic Places, XV Beacon is steps from the Boston Common and Faneuil Hall. Inside, you’ll find an original caged-glass elevator and museum-worthy artworks, such as an ancient Roman mosaic and works by Gilbert Stuart.

The individually designed rooms are each decorated with pieces especially commissioned for the hotel. In warm weather, visit the rooftop deck to soak in the sun or step outside to stroll along Beacon Hill’s gas-lamp-lined brick sidewalks.

Amenities: Gas fireplaces, rainforest showers, Frette linens and robes, heated towel racks, cashmere throws, evening turndown service, custom bath amenities, complimentary shoe shine and newspapers, free Wi-Fi, umbrellas, pet-friendly rooms with bed and homemade biscuits, 24-hour concierge and room service, 24-hour fitness center, and courtesy Lexus.

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Kimpton Nine Zero

Not only is the centrally located Kimpton Nine Zero one of the best hotels in Boston, it also has some of the best views in Boston. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, but opt for a Skyline View Room or Suite for sweeping views of the city.

If you’re traveling with your four-legged companion, you’ll find a plush bed, food and water bowls, a list of pet-friendly area attractions, courtesy bags for walking your dog, and more in your room. There’s no limit on the number of pets and no charge. There are plenty of perks for pet-free travelers, too, like the hosted evening wine hour.

Amenities: Complimentary morning coffee and tea, custom-designed PUBLIC bicycles, Frette linens, bathrobes, complimentary newspaper of your choice, complimentary shoe shine, in-room yoga mat, Highball Lounge, in-room spa services, concierge, 24-hour fitness and business centers, and 24-hour room service. 

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Ames Boston Hotel

The Ames Building, on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1893 and is considered the city’s first skyscraper. Now it’s the state’s first Curio, A Collection by Hilton. Oversize windows look out on historic landmarks like the Custom House Bell Tower, Faneuil Hall, and the Old State House. Bruins fans will want to check in to the Bobby Orr Suite, decked out in black and gold, and lined with hockey memorabilia. Pop by Culitvar from Chef Mary Dumont, who uses ingredients from the onsite Freight Farm hydroponic garden.

Amenities: White marble bathrooms, iHome clocks and docking stations, soothing sound machines, Molton Brown bath amenities, in-room spa services, in-room coffee maker, complimentary bicycles (seasonal), free Wi-Fi, 24-hour fitness center, concierge, pet-friendly rooms, decorative fireplaces, and historic Romanesque arched windows.

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Boston Harbor Hotel

The Boston Harbor Hotel takes the cake for Boston luxury hotels. Arrive by land or sea at this Rowes Wharf icon. The 60-foot archway leads you between the waterfront and the city’s Rose Kennedy Greenway. Light-flooded rooms are decorated in whites and blues, reflecting the seaside location. The staff, many of whom have been with the hotel since its opening, have thought of every detail. Even if you forgot to pack gym clothes, there are shorts, shirts, and socks available to fitness center guests. 

Amenities: Harbor or city views from every room, marble bathrooms, twice-daily housekeeping with nightly turndown, Lorenzo Villoresi Firenze bath amenities, in-room illy coffee machine, Frette linens, in-room tablets, spa with 60-foot lap pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center with complimentary fruit and beverages, saunas and steam rooms, choice of newspapers, three onsite restaurants and bars, 24-hour concierge services and business center, 24-hour in-room dining, gift shop, free Wi-Fi, children’s amenities, water taxi service, and complimentary transportation within a two-mile radius.

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The Langham, Boston

Once home to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, The Langham Boston is still located in the Financial District. The hotel offers glimpses into its 1920s past, but modern amenities keep you firmly rooted in the present. Each room has views of either Norman B. Leventhal Park at Post Office Square or the Boston skyline.

Amenities: Twice-daily housekeeping service, bathrobe and slippers, complimentary newspapers upon request, Italian marble bathrooms, Chuan Spa bath amenities, Chuan Body + Soul spa, heated indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, whirlpool, sauna, three onsite restaurants and bars, free Wi-Fi, iHome docking station, 24-hour private kitchen, and in-room coffee and tea.

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Battery Wharf Hotel, Boston Waterfront

Located in Boston’s North End neighborhood along the Harborwalk, Battery Wharf Hotel embraces its seaside locale. Visit the onsite Maritime Museum or take in the fleet outside your windows from the 24-hour observation deck. Rooms overlook the neighboring U.S. Coast Guard Base, waterfront, or North End. Part of Leading Hotels of the World, Battery Wharf is also home to Aragosta Bar + Bistro, offering a twist on New England classics.

 Amenities: Granite bathrooms, spa with hammam and sauna, Zen lounge, discounts at Exhale Spa, use of Battery Wharf bicycles (seasonal), 24-hour health club access, use of universal chargers and travel adapters, in-room dining, fire pits, in-room water bottles, water taxi service to airport, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary outdoor yoga (seasonal).

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Four Seasons Hotel Boston

One of the top Boston luxury hotels, the Four Seasons overlooks Boston’s Public Garden in the Back Bay. The 273-room hotel exudes status. From the moment you walk up to the door, you’ll likely spot a few cars worth a double-take. A 15-million-dollar renovation in 2017 has further leveled up the luxury standard. Rooms offer soaring windows and proprietary mattresses designed in partnership with experts and consultations with guests.

Amenities: Marble bathrooms, L’Occitane bath amenities, bathrobes and slippers, daily bottled water, twice-daily housekeeping services, complimentary coffee and pastries, newspapers delivered upon request, 24-hour fitness center with running shoes and clothes available for loan, heated indoor pool and whirlpool with complimentary fruit and flavored water, steam room, sauna, 24-hour business center, concierge, movies, Bristol restaurant and bar, complimentary house car drop-off within two miles, complimentary cookie-making classes, complimentary amenities for teens and children, board games, overnight shoe shine, and babysitting services.

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Lenox Hotel

High ceilings, crystal lamps, wood-burning fireplaces—it’s this attention to detail that makes the Lenox one of the best Boston hotels. That attention applies not just to the furnishings, but to you, too. The hotel prides itself on personalized one-on-one service that allows you to make the most out of your Boston visit.

Amenities: Complimentary bottled water, complimentary newspapers, Beekman 1802 bath amenities, in-room mini fridges, 24-hour room service, nightly turndown service, complimentary morning coffee and tea, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour business center, three onsite restaurants and bars, pet-friendly rooms, Cue radio with Bluetooth, 24-hour fitness center, in-room spa treatments, bike and helmet rentals, and filtered water stations on every floor.

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InterContinental Boston

Overlooking the Fort Point Channel and the Rose Kennedy Greenway at the start of the hip Seaport District, InterContinental Boston places you in the ideal location for exploring this walkable city. The Boston Tea Party Museum is visible from the hotel, and the North End, Chinatown, and Quincy Market are all within walking distance. But what makes it one of the best hotels in Boston is the waterfront and skyline views from each room.

Amenities: Marble bathrooms, Agraria bath amenities, in-room coffee, complimentary newspapers, indoor heated lap pool, steam room, SPA InterContinetnal, 24-hour fitness center concierge services, gift shop and newsstand, limo and town car service, notary public service, 24-hour in-room dining, health club, three full-service restaurants, water tax service, and a 24-hour business center.

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– Original reporting by Kate Sitarz

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5 Reasons to Visit the Jersey Shore in the Off Season

The Jersey Shore is synonymous with summer—think ice cream, amusement parks, and long, sunny days on the sand. But while most visitors flock to New Jersey beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the quieter months of the year have their own pleasures. Below are a few reasons why you should visit the Jersey Shore in the off season.

Cheaper Rates

[st_content_ad]In August, I found a rate of $334 per night at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City on a weekend, but they’re just $243 per night over a weekend in October. Off-season prices drop even further at the nearby Golden Nugget, which costs $514 a night in August but just $289 a night in October.

Vacation rentals offer similarly dramatic discounts for stays outside the summer months, and many B&Bs are also affordable, especially on off-season weeknights. If your dates are flexible, planning your trip during the off season could be the single best way to save money on a Jersey Shore vacation.

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No Crowds

Especially on summer holiday weekends such as Labor Day or the Fourth of July, visitors often find themselves sitting in long lines of traffic en route to New Jersey’s barrier islands or swimming shoulder to shoulder beside dozens of others in the ocean. But come late September or early May, you’ll find that the crowds have melted away. This is the time of year when beaches are blissfully uncrowded, and it’s easy to find your own oceanfront stretch of sand.

In particular there are few families at the Jersey Shore in the off season, which makes this a good time of year for seniors or couples looking for a quieter romantic getaway.

Pleasant Weather

Not a fan of the summer heat? While the ocean temperatures may not be ideal for swimming much past mid-September, Jersey Shore air temperatures are typically mild enough in April, May, September, and October to enjoy biking, strolling the boardwalk, or relaxing on the beach with a good book—though you might need to bring a sweatshirt or light jacket.

Biking at the Jersey Shore in spring and fall is especially nice, not just because of the pleasant temperatures but also because of the lack of traffic. With fewer people in town, it’s easier and safer to ride along the streets and boardwalks.

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Festivals and Special Events

The summer months boast a series of baby parades, fireworks, and concerts on the beach, but there’s still plenty of action up and down the Jersey Shore in the off season. This includes music festivals like the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May, held in November, and the Fabulous 50s and Beyond weekend in Wildwood every October. Foodies shouldn’t miss Belmar’s New Jersey Seafood Festival in May or the Que by the Sea BBQ Festival in Seaside Heights, held each September.

To find more events, check out VisitNJ.org or ShoreVacations.com.

Holiday Celebrations

Winter is by far the quietest season at the Jersey Shore, but things liven up around the holidays. The historic town of Cape May is a particularly festive spot to visit during Christmastime, when its Victorian homes are decorated with twinkling lights and traditional greenery. Consider a Christmas Candlelight Tour or Holiday Lights Trolley Ride to get in the spirit.

On New Year’s Eve, events include family-friendly First Night festivities in Seaside Heights and Ocean City, complete with fireworks. Other fireworks displays are held in Atlantic City and Sea Isle City. Many people even start the New Year with a polar plunge into the ocean in communities such as Asbury Park, Ocean City, and Brigantine.

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11 Beautiful English Villages to Discover Before the Crowds Do

You’ve toured the museums of London, paid tribute to the Beatles in Liverpool, and walked the hallowed halls of Oxford’s famous university—but if major cities are all you’ve seen of England, you’re missing out. For a slower pace of life and an up-close glimpse of rural life, you’ll want to visit the following English villages that haven’t yet been spoiled by tourism.

From fishing hamlets in Cornwall to traditional market towns in North Yorkshire, these are some of the most beautiful villages in England, featuring cobblestone streets, quaint churches, and cozy pubs—but not motorcoaches and crowds.

Painswick, Gloucestershire

[st_content_ad]The Cotswolds region is ground zero for picture-perfect English villages, but some of them feel overly touristy. That’s not a problem in Painswick, a quiet hilltop village with charming narrow streets and relatively few international visitors. Don’t miss a stop in the colorful Painswick Rococo Garden, originally designed in the 1740s. There are also plenty of lovely walks in the area.

Where to stay: Located in the heart of the village with rooms overlooking the Cotswold hills, The Painswick is the most elegant spot in town.

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Polperro, Cornwall

Polperro england

Once a fishing village (and shelter for smugglers), Polperro is now a popular summer holiday spot—but it’s maintained its unspoiled charm. Walk the footpaths along the coast on either side of the harbor to soak up the salt air and discover uncrowded beaches, or stay in town to explore its art galleries and shops. You’ll find tasty, fresh seafood on menus around town.

Where to stay: With just 12 rooms, Penryn House is a cozy lodging spot within walking distance of Polperro’s pubs, shops, and restaurants.

Kettlewell, North Yorkshire

Kettlewell england

Kettlewell is an ideal base for walking and hiking in Yorkshire Dales National Park, but it’s also a beautiful village in its own right, with welcoming pubs and quaint stone cottages. The most popular time to visit is in August for the annual Scarecrow Festival, when the community comes together to hunt for whimsically themed scarecrows hidden around town.

Where to stay: The Pennycroft Guest House draws raves from past guests for its comfy beds and warm hospitality.

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Rye, East Sussex

Rye england

With its quiet cobblestone streets and well-preserved medieval and Tudor buildings, Rye is the type of English village where it feels like time simply stopped centuries ago. One of the greatest pleasures in Rye is simply walking around and taking photos, but you can also visit a 13th-century castle and browse local art galleries. Don’t miss a stop in St. Mary’s Parish Church, where you can climb the tower for views over the surrounding countryside.

Where to stay: Individually designed rooms at The George in Rye feature quirky touches like antique mirrors, built-in bookshelves, and colorful vintage wallpaper. The hotel has been in its current High Street location since 1719.

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Robin hoods bay england

If you love wandering on foot, you’ll appreciate this beautiful English village overlooking the North Sea. Leave your vehicle in the parking lot at the top of the main street and head downhill to stroll along the coastal path, rummage through shops and galleries, or visit the clean sandy beach—where you might even find a fossil or two. You can also learn about the town’s seafaring and smuggling history at the Robin Hood’s Bay Museum. Despite the name, Robin Hood’s Bay has no known affiliation with the famous outlaw, and the origins of the moniker remain a local mystery.

Where to stay: The Raven House Bed & Breakfast offers a comfortable home away from home with sweeping sea views and homemade breakfast.

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Stamford, Lincolnshire

Stamford england

If this elegant Georgian town looks familiar, it might be because it was used as a filming set for the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. You can easily spend a day wandering among its well-preserved churches, shops, and pubs, which overlook the Welland River. Also worth seeing is Burghley House, a grand Elizabethan estate just a few minutes’ drive from downtown.

Where to stay: The William Cecil at Stamford is located on the grounds of the Burghley Estate but still within easy walking distance of Stamford’s main attractions.

Turville, Buckinghamshire

Turville england

With just 100 inhabitants, the tiny English village of Turville offers a quiet break from the London crowds. It’s less than 90 minutes from the English capital, and worth a quick detour en route to Oxford. Stroll up to Cobstone Windmill for views of the village; have lunch at The Bull and Butcher, a traditional pub; and visit St. Mary the Virgin Church, which served as the featured church in the 1990s British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.

Where to stay: Turville is so small that it doesn’t have any hotels of its own, but you can stay overnight just a few miles away at the Row Barge Inn, a traditional B&B in Henley-on-Thames.

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Helmsley, North Yorkshire

Helmsley england

This beautiful English village features historic stone buildings, a peaceful walled garden, and a square where you can check out a traditional market every Friday—all in the shadow of medieval castle ruins. Love wildlife? Pay a visit to the National Centre for Birds of Prey, where you can have hands-on experiences with hawks, falcons, and owls. Also nearby are the rolling hills of North York Moors National Park.

Where to stay: The 45-room Black Swan Hotel has been hosting travelers for more than 500 years. Rooms have garden or market square views.

Hawkshead, Cumbria

Hawkshead england

It’s almost impossible to find hidden gems in England’s popular Lake District, but Hawkshead hasn’t yet been spoiled by the tourist hordes. Because cars aren’t allowed within the village, visitors can enjoy its whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets, and medieval square the same way locals have for centuries. Stop by the grammar school where poet William Wordsworth studied, and see drawings by children’s author Beatrix Potter at the gallery named after her in town.

Where to stay: A flower-filled courtyard welcomes you into Ivy Guest House, a Georgian building with a half-dozen cozy rooms. The hosts serve a full English breakfast each morning.

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Beaulieu, Hampshire

Beaulieu england

A cluster of historic buildings overlooking the scenic Beaulieu River, this beautiful English village dates back to the 13th century. The area’s main attraction is the Beaulieu Estate, home to the National Motor Museum, a collection of nearly 285 classic vehicles. Also on the estate grounds are the Palace House (a Victorian mansion) and Beaulieu Abbey. But you’ll want to leave plenty of time to stroll the streets of the village, browse its shops, and wander along its riverside path.

Where to stay: The Montagu Arms Hotel oozes with Old World charm, from its classic English gardens to its conservatory serving afternoon tea. Upgraded rooms include lavish four-poster beds.

Mousehole, Cornwall

Mousehole england

Just a few miles down the coast from the better-known town of Penzance, Mousehole (pronounced “Mowzel”) is one of Cornwall’s prettiest seaside villages, with stone buildings overlooking a harbor filled with sailboats and fishing boats. The most popular times to visit are summer, when you can relax on the sandy beach, and the period from mid-December through early January, when the harbor is decked out in twinkling holiday lights.

Where to stay: Thanks to its bustling pub and convenient location, The Ship Inn is the center of the action in Mousehole. Many of its eight rooms overlook the harbor.

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The 10 Most Dreamy Riads in Morocco

If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, I highly suggest booking a stay in a traditional riad. These welcoming guesthouses, often run by locals, are located near or in a city’s medina, offering a more authentic experience than a stay in a resort or chain hotel. Many riads in Morocco have terraces, open patios and gardens, local food, spas, pools, and design elements like intricate tilework and wood carvings.

Incredible Riads in Morocco

Boasting luxurious courtyards and an intimate selection of suites, these are the best riads in Morocco to visit.

Riad Yasmine, Marrakech

If you haven’t seen this riad on Instagram, well, then you probably don’t have an Instagram account. Riad Yasmine is, in fact, an Instagram-worthy place to stay. Boho-chic vibes flow from the rooms to the emerald-tiled pool, and the rooftop views at breakfast are just as gorgeous as the riad’s design. Located in the Marrakech medina (or old city), this riad only has eight rooms and books up fast.

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L’Hotel Marrakech, Marrakech

This swanky hidden gem is located in the heart of the old city and only has five suites. L’Hotel’s seasonal rooftop terrace overlooks the Marrakech medina, and guests love the excellent service and food. Book a stay in the Asilah Suite for views of the garden and pool.

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Dar Kawa, Marrakech

Dar Kawa is a quaint, four-room riad located in the Marrakech medina. The building dates back to the 17th century when it was home to a religious brotherhood, Derkaoua. This riad in Morocco is all about serenity: Relax at the on-site spa, eat locally sourced cuisine on the patio, nap under orange trees, or lounge on the covered terrace. 

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Dar Hanane by Pure Riads, Marrakech 

This riad feels like a jungle in the middle of an ancient city. With a tree-filled patio and fountain, the common area is perfect for lounging with a glass of mint tea. In the winter, Dar Hanane’s fireplace in the salon is a welcome addition at night for eating dinner or catching up on email (this area is also home to the Wi-Fi connection). Its terrace overlooks the medina, Atlas Mountains, and Koutoubia Mosque, and is a perfect place for meals and sunbathing.

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Riad Yamcha, Meknes

If you’re traveling to Meknes, Riad Yamcha is the best riad to stay in. Its location in the medina is convenient for sightseeing, and the all-white decor is modern and refreshing. Travelers rave about the friendliness of the hotel staff, as well as the large breakfasts and roomy, comfortable beds.

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Riad Idrissy, Fes

Located on the outskirts of the massive Fes medina are Riad Idrissy and its restaurant, The Ruined Garden. This riad in Morocco is more than 400 years old and is named after the descendants of the city’s founder and important religious figure, Moulay Idriss. The small, five-room riad feels like your own private home, and the restaurant, located in the garden, serves locally sourced food and even offers cooking classes. Riad Idrissy is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to learn more about Moroccan culture.

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Riad Mokhtar, Tangier

With a terrace boasting views of the Casbah, medina, and Bay of Tangier, you can’t go wrong with a stay at Riad Mokhtar. Travelers love the service, price, food, and location. This is a newly renovated riad in Morocco, so there is an elevator and free Wi-Fi throughout.

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Lina Ryad & Spa, Chefchaouen

Located in Morocco’s famous blue city is the equally blue Lina Ryad & Spa. Complete with a spa, a hammam (traditional bath), an indoor heated pool, and sweeping mountain views, this riad is a must-stay if you’re headed to Chefchaouen.

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Riad Dar Maya, Essaouira

You’ll find this contemporary riad in the coastal town of Essaouira, tucked into the medina. Everything about the design at Dar Maya evokes luxury—from the lime-plaster walls to the sunken-in marble bathtubs—and it’s not as expensive as you’d think. Choose from the five rooms at this riad and relax in the spa, dine at the restaurant (serving local seafood), and take in ocean views from the rooftop hot tub. 

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Riad Soleil d’Orient, El Jadida

For those looking for a riad in Morocco near Casablanca, consider the coastal area of El Jadida—it’s about 50 miles from Casablanca and offers a more intimate experience. Riad Soleil d’Orient is located close to two golf courses, the beach (known for surfing), and famous Portuguese Cistern. Book one of the seven decadent rooms and enjoy the traditional food, large bathrooms, and rooftop terrace.

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Best Cheap Hotels in Phoenix

You don’t have to sacrifice anything when on a budget in Phoenix. Many cheap hotels in Phoenix offer upscale extras, including luxe bedding, sparkling pools with cabanas, and on-site restaurants.

The 10 Best Cheap Hotels in Phoenix

For impressive accommodations at a fraction of resort prices, stay at one of these 10 best cheap hotels in Phoenix.

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Graduate Tempe, Tempe

[st_content_ad]Located across the street from Arizona State University, the Graduate Tempe plays up the college theme with student IDs serving as room keys, pencils and notebooks in every room, and colorful décor throughout the hotel. It’s priced to fit even a college student’s budget, but is aimed at nostalgic grown-ups.

Amenities: Outdoor pool, two onsite restaurants, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, 24-hour fitness center, complimentary bicycle rentals, and complimentary shuttle service.

Book it: Get prices for Graduate Tempe and other Phoenix hotels

The Clarendon Hotel & Spa, Phoenix

Hip with a retro vibe, The Clarendon Hotel & Spa attracts millennials and families with its free soft drinks and snacks, and swimming pool with underwater speakers. A classy renovation of an older property, this cheap hotel in Phoenix also boasts a rooftop deck overlooking the city and one of the world’s largest outdoor water walls.

Amenities: Free soft drinks and snacks, full service spa, rooftop deck, pool with underwater speakers, fitness center, and on-site restaurant.

Book it: Get prices for The Clarendon Hotel & Spa and other Phoenix hotels

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak

Bordered by 3,000 acres of Sonoran Desert, Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak has 563 family-friendly rooms and suites. It also offers perks you’d expect to find at much more expensive resort—including a lazy river and kids’ camp—for a fraction of the price, making this a cheap hotel in Phoenix that feels anything but cheap.

Amenities: Four acres of pools including a lazy river and water slide, miniature golf, four tennis courts, basketball court, kids’ center, spa and salon, four tennis courts, and free parking.

Book it: Get prices for Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak and other Phoenix hotels

Inn at Eagle Mountain, Fountain Hills

Nestled in the foothills above the Golf Club at Eagle Mountain’s 18th green, the Inn at Eagle Mountain is a peaceful retreat with panoramic city views. Rooms come with luxuries you wouldn’t expect at a cheap hotel in Phoenix, including in-room fireplaces and oversized whirlpool spa tubs.

Amenities: “Kiva style” gas fireplace and sitting area in each room, oversized whirlpool spa tub and private balcony or patio in each room, spa with 10 treatment rooms, Zen aromatherapy room, and onsite restaurant.

Book it: Get prices for the Inn at Eagle Mountain and other Phoenix hotels

Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale

A Native American-run casino hotel, the 15-story Talking Stick Resort is minutes from some of Phoenix’s most popular attractions including OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, and Topgolf. In addition to an on-site florist and barbershop, it houses one of the largest collections of Native American art maintained outside of a museum.

Amenities: Three pools, Native American-inspired spa, six restaurants including an acclaimed fine dining venue with award-winning wine list, 650-seat showroom, and complimentary trolley service to nearby attractions.

Book it: Get prices for Talking Stick Resort and other Phoenix hotels

Saguaro Scottsdale, Scottsdale

Ideally located in Old Town Scottsdale, the Saguaro Scottsdale features the bold colors of desert flowers.  Think bright yellow and orange walls in the lobby, red couches in the rooms, and purple patios with colorfully-pillowed lounge chairs. Pro tip: The on-site restaurant is known for its killer margaritas.

Amenities: 42-inch flat screen TV and large desk in every room; all rooms have either a patio or balcony; spa; restaurant; and, cruiser bikes available for checkout.

Book it: Get prices for Saguaro Scottsdale and other Phoenix hotels

Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino, Phoenix

With its Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture and luxury touches, Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino doesn’t feel like a cheap hotel in Phoenix despite its 70,000 square foot gaming floor—it feels like a desert oasis. Vee Quiva is tucked along the base of South Mountain, just minutes from South Phoenix.

Amenities: 90 rooms with Sealy pillow-top mattresses and up to 70-inch TVs, fine dining and 24/7 dining options, and free parking.

Book it: Get prices for Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino and other Phoenix hotels

The Grand Canyon University Hotel, Phoenix

Just because The Grand Canyon University Hotel is run as a hands-on learning environment for students enrolled in the college’s hospitality management program doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice anything. In fact, the hotel goes out of its way to provide exceptional service at an exceptional value.

Amenities: Resort style pool, outdoor sitting area with large fire pit, 24/7 security guards as an additional precaution for student safety, onsite restaurant, and free parking.

Book it: Get prices for The Grand Canyon University Hotel and other Phoenix hotels

The Scottsdale Plaza Resort, Scottsdale

A 404-room resort on 40 acres, The Scottsdale Plaza Resort features Spanish Mission-inspired architecture and gardens filled with desert flowers. Some suites have fireplaces, wet bars, and 50-inch flat-screen TVs (many of the premium suites are bi-level as well), and all accommodations have spacious bathrooms and premium bath products.

Amenities: Four onsite dining options, five pools, 24-hour fitness center with complimentary yoga, Zumba and Barre classes, putting green, two lighted tennis courts, full service spa and salon, and complimentary shuttle service within a five-mile radius.

Book it: Get prices for The Scottsdale Plaza Resort and other Phoenix hotels

The McCormick Scottsdale, Scottsdale

One of the best cheap places to stay in Phoenix, The McCormick Scottsdale sits on the shores of Camelback Lake. Rooms come with a private balcony or patio, and the resort offers plenty of perks, including complimentary bikes, canoes, and kayaks.

Amenities: Three dining options, pool, 24-hour fitness center, complimentary bikes, complimentary canoes and kayaks, “Ask Alfred” child’s amenity kit, and complimentary shuttle service within a five-mile radius.

Book it: Get prices for The McCormick Scottsdale and other Phoenix hotels

More from SmarterTravel:

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—Original reporting by Teresa Bitler

Categories
Beach Budget Travel Cities Family Travel Holiday Travel Miscellany Student Travel

10 Cheap Hotels in Fort Myers

Take a cue from local college students, spring breakers, those traveling for sports tournaments, and families on a budget who have already discovered these clean, cozy and cheap hotels in Fort Myers.

Cheap Hotels in Fort Myers

Choose your Fort Myers motel wisely and you won’t even have to sacrifice extras like free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast. Here are 10 dependable cheap hotels to consider if you’re on a budget for your Florida vacation.

Holiday Inn Edison at Midtown

cheap hotels in fort myers

[st_content_ad]With its choice location in the historic Downtown River District, this colorful, value-driven facility (also known as the Holiday Inn Fort Myers – Downtown Area), shouts Southwest Florida. A shimmering, tropically landscaped pool is a highlight, as is the location: As the name indicates, it’s so close to the Edison-Ford Estates that you can walk there. Renovated in 2015, the hotel features upgraded, comfortable bedding and furniture. All rooms have flat-screen TVs and micro-refrigerators; there’s even a private-access floor for those business travelers seeking quiet.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, micro-refrigerators, private-access floor, 24-hour business center, meeting room, tropically landscaped pool, fitness center, laundry services, free self-parking, free shuttle, concierge services, and 24-hour front desk. (Pet-friendly.)

Book it: Find rates and dates for the Holiday Inn Edison at Midtown and other Fort Myers hotels

Riverview Inn

cheap hotels in fort myers

This clean, contemporary roadside motel is a real find. It overlooks the Caloosahatchee River, which offers stunning views of wildlife and sunsets alike. Done in shades of blue, gray, and silver, there’s an obvious effort made at design, with an Art Deco curvilinear sign outside advertising the space as the “Riverview Boutique Inn & Suites.” Inside, the compact rooms make great use of space with everything racked on the walls, including a flat-screen TV and an iron and ironing board. Friendly staff fronts the desk 24 hours. Most of Fort Myers main attractions—the River District, Centennial Park, and performing and visual arts venues—are less than two miles away, and plenty of restaurants and bars are within walking distance.

Amenities: Flat-screen TVs, iron/ironing board, and river view.

Book it: Find rates and dates for the Riverview Inn and other Fort Myers hotels

Econo Lodge North

cheap hotels in fort myers

Though travelers usually think of cheap lodgings as free of frills, Fort Myers’ Econo Lodge North does have a few extras, including complimentary Wi-Fi, free parking, and breakfast included daily. There’s also a business center and an outdoor pool. The location is central as well: The Harborside Event Center, the Franklin Shops, the Art of the Olympians Museum and the River District are all under two miles away. And multiple North Fort Myers restaurants and recommended businesses are in the immediate area.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, breakfast included, business center, and outdoor pool.

Book it: Find rates and dates for Econo Lodge North and other Fort Myers hotels

Holiday Inn Ft. Myers Airport-Town Center

cheap hotels in fort myers

Although not as inexpensive as other cheap hotels in Fort Myers, this new Holiday Inn delivers great overall value. Shuttle transportation to and from the main airport, only three miles away, is available. Clean, neat rooms and suites feature microwaves, mini-refrigerators and coffeemakers, as well as flat-screen LCD TVs with cable television, plus bathrooms with hand-held European-style showers. Outside, a fire pit overlooks a lake; there’s also a landscaped indoor/outdoor “Oasis” pool and hot tub.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi; breakfast included; free parking; air conditioning; in-room microwaves, coffeemakers and mini-refrigerators, flat-screen LCD TVs with cable; hand-held European-style showers; indoor/outdoor pool; hot tub; fitness center; self-serve laundry services; dry cleaning services; multilingual staff; restaurant/bar; room service; live entertainment; fire pit; shuttle bus; and airport transportation.

Book it: Find rates and dates for Holiday Inn Ft. Myers Airport-Town Center and other Fort Myers hotels

Fairfield Inn & Suites Fort Myers Cape Coral

cheap hotels in fort myers

More inexpensive than cheap, these large, clean and comfortable rooms—recently renovated—are great for families. The in-room microwave and refrigerator offer a budget-friendly alternative to eating every meal at a restaurant. Don’t worry about breakfast, though—it’s complimentary. With its central location, this hotel makes it easy to attend the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox spring training baseball games, stroll through the Bell Tower Shops, take in the wildlife refuges and preserves, or see a show at night at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

Amenities: Pool, free parking, free Wi-Fi, fitness center, breakfast included, laundry service, self-service laundry, dry cleaning, multilingual staff, air conditioning, and in-room microwave and refrigerator.

Book it: Find rates and dates for the Fairfield Inn & Suites Fort Myers Cape Coral and other Fort Myers hotels

Rock Lake Resort

cheap hotels in fort myers

These quirky cottages—a total of 36 units—were built in the 1940s by architect James Morre, who constructed them around a lake. Don’t worry—the resort has been renovated since its historic beginnings, with all units featuring new furniture and BeautyRest mattresses. Many of the unites even include kitchens. The cottages have covered porches that face the lake. Billy Creek, which feeds right into the Caloosahatchee River, runs behind the resort, and there are plenty of places around the property to take a nature walk or play horsehoes or ping-pong.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, heated pool, nature walk, canoeing/kayaking Billy’s Creek, fishing, kitchens in 19 units, access to Caloosahatchee River, horseshoes, and ping-pong.

Book it: Find rates and dates for Rock Lake Resort and other Fort Myers hotels

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fort Myers – The Forum

cheap hotels in fort myers

Upgraded digs and professional staff have made this Holiday Inn a pleasure to visit. Comfort, convenience, and value are the primary goals here: The business center, conference facilities and meeting rooms are available for use; breakfast is included daily; and a microwave and refrigerator are included in each room.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, breakfast included, free parking, flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, in-room microwaves and refrigerators, business center, meeting rooms, banquet room, conference facilities, heated outdoor pool, fitness center, self-service laundry services, dry cleaning, and multilingual staff. 

Book it: Find rates and dates for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fort Myers – The Forum and other Fort Myers hotels

La Quinta Inn Fort Myers Central

cheap hotels in fort myers

Situated just east of the Caloosahatchee River on US41, the city’s main drag, this Southwestern-motif hotel highlights value, location, and amenities as its main attractions. Rooms come equipped with a coffee/tea maker, iron and ironing board, and flat-screen HDTV with more than 30 channels (as well as plug-and-play options to connect your own technology). Other perks include the chain’s free daily Bright Side Breakfast, a heated outdoor pool, and a tennis court.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, breakfast included, free parking, heated outdoor pool, dry cleaning, laundry service, self-serve laundry, meeting rooms, concierge, multilingual staff, tennis court, HDTV, coffee maker, and iron/ironing board.

Book it: Find rates and dates for La Quinta Inn Fort Myers Central and other Fort Myers hotels

Travelodge Fort Myers North

cheap hotels in fort myers

Just one mile from the Harborside Event Center and similarly close to JetBlue Park at Fenway South Hammond Stadium, this cheap hotel in Fort Myers is perfectly placed for sports fans. Free breakfast daily adds to the value. There’s also self-serve laundry and room in the lot to park buses and RVs. And you don’t have to leave Fido out of the action—this motel welcomes family pets, as does Dog Beach on Estero Island, about 30 minutes away.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, outdoor pool, free parking, room service, 24-hour reception desk, multilingual staff, laundry services, self-serve laundry, air conditioning, in-room microwave and mini-refrigerator, coffee/tea maker, flat-screen TVs, cribs available, rollaway beds available, daily housekeeping, and bus/truck parking. (Pet-friendly.)

Book it: Find rates and dates for Travelodge Fort Myers North and other Fort Myers hotels

Golf View Motel

cheap hotels in fort myers

A true old Florida roadside motel, this serviceable facility is a choice option for anyone looking for a cheap hotel in Fort Myers while exploring the area’s wildlife refuges, beaches, and attractions. The motel offers in-room microwaves and refrigerators, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, a clean outdoor pool, and a front desk that’s staffed 24/7. 

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, in-room microwave and refrigerator, air conditioning, outdoor pool, 24-hour front desk, and flat-screen TVs.

Book it: Find rates and dates for the Golf View Motel and other Fort Myers hotels

More from SmarterTravel:

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– Original reporting by Jen Karetnick

Categories
Beach Cities Family Travel Miscellany

10 Best Fort Myers Beach Resorts

The West Coast of Florida is famous for its sugar-spun, shell-filled beaches. Fort Myers Beach, on Estero Island, offers just this sort of iconic beaches with a variety of luxury resorts. Fort Myers Beach resorts deliver beach vacations that don’t skimp on amenities.

Fort Myers Beach Resorts

Some Fort Myers Beach resorts are ideal for families with small children; others are perfect for honeymooners and couples. Many are great for family reunions or large groups of friends who are visiting Fort Myers Beach together. Find the right one for you here:

Best Western Plus Beach Resort

fort myers beach resorts

[st_content_ad]The soft sand beach. The heated, beachside pool. The fact that every room faces the Gulf of Mexico, where the sun breaks like a yolk into the horizon nightly. The rooms may not offer the glam décor of some of the other resorts, but they’re modern and clean, and come with both kitchenettes and private balconies. The front desk staff is also extremely polite and helpful with planning activities and booking tours. In the mornings, guests enjoy complimentary breakfast before venturing out for a day of swimming, shelling, and water sporting. The resort is situated on the northern side of the island, which is a bit quiet, but it’s only a few blocks from Times Square and the majority of the activity. For those who value alone time—and also like free Wi-Fi—welcome to the Best.

Amenities: Complimentary continental breakfast, shuffleboard, barbecue grills, water sports, private balconies, heated pool, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:80445″ /]

Cornerstone Beach Resort

fort myers beach resorts

For those seeking privacy, the Cornerstone Beach Resort is the chef’s kiss of Fort Myers Beach resorts: The hotel offers only eight single-bedroom and four two-bedroom suites to house guests. The property is also located in the middle of the island, away from the buzz, where more solitude is available. But don’t let its small stature and quiet nature fool you. It’s big on particulars, including a wall of glass doors that opens to a Gulf-side lanai. The Cornerstone is also close to the local grocery store and fine-dining restaurants.

Amenities: Fully equipped kitchen, flat-screen TVs, HDTV, stereo radio, password-protected internet, king-size bed, tiled walk-in shower, washer/dryer, and heated pool.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:677414″ /]

DiamondHead Beach Resort and Spa

fort myers beach resorts

With 350 feet of Gulf of Mexico shoreline to call its own, this all-suite Fort Myers Beach resort is an iconic beachfront hotel. Parents especially love it for the kitchenettes that make vacationing with kids so convenient, as well as for the private, screened balconies where adults can relax in the evening. There’s also an activities room for kids, and an array of water sports—which a Beach Concierge can arrange—for all ages and levels of experience. If swimming, sunning, and shelling isn’t enough to hold your attention, play volleyball, borrow a guest bicycle, or hop aboard the island trolley to explore the region.

Amenities: Pool, beach seating, beach concierge, water sports, high-speed wireless internet, two LED TVs with cable, private screened balcony, king-size bed in separate bedroom, queen sleeper sofa in living room, daily housekeeping, daily newspaper service, coffee and tea maker, fully-equipped kitchen and dining area, walk-in showers, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, hair dryer, handicap-accessible suites available, local and toll-free phone calls, and cribs and high chairs upon request.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:87551″ /]

Gullwing Beach Resort

fort myers beach resorts

With one-, two- or three-bedroom suites, GullWing Beach Resort is the Fort Myers beach resort that befits large groups and family reunions. Feel like you’re living in a condo with a fully equipped kitchen, a separated living and dining area—and, if you’ve booked a beachfront suite, floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase some of the most fantastic views you’ve seen. On the south end of Estero Island, where locals claim the beaches are a little finer, the Gullwing doesn’t cater to kids or spring breakers with all-day programming. Instead, there’s adult-style entertainment with an elevated tennis court, beach volleyball, a fitness center, a business center for those who need to check in even on vacation, barbecue areas, a heated pool and whirlpool spa, and of course, the main attraction: the beach with chairs and umbrellas for rental.

Amenities: Wi-Fi, cable TV and DVD player, private screened balconies, living room with sleeper sofa, fully-equipped kitchen, breakfast bar and wet bar, dining area with tables & chairs, daily newspaper delivery to suite, housekeeping services available, cribs and high chairs upon request, handicap-accessible suites available, local and toll-free phone calls, hair dryer and plush bath robes, washer and dryer in suite, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, pool towels, heated swimming pool, whirlpool spa, elevated tennis court, fitness center, trolley stop, and beach chair and umbrella rentals.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:231921″ /]

Lovers Key Resort

fort myers beach resorts

Lovely and hospitable, these luxury suites—decorated in pastel tropical prints and high-end wicker furniture—court couples, groups, and extended-stay visitors. This Fort Myers beach resort is adjacent to Lovers Key State Park, which also makes it appealing to those who like the isolation and adventure of boating, hiking, biking, birding, wildlife viewing, swimming, and shelling on this two-mile stretch. The property caters to guests with a chic on-site restaurant run by a trained chef, a lagoon-style heated pool and spa, private beach access, a fitness center, a business center, and even nanny or babysitting services for those who want to spend an evening out at the nearby restaurants, or head to the mainland for a day of shopping.

Amenities: On-site restaurant, lagoon-style heated pool and spa, private beach access adjacent to Lovers Key State Park, continental breakfast (weekdays from May 1st through Dec 15th), complimentary fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi, business center with guest computer and printer, multilingual staff, nanny/babysitting services, limousine/private car services, on-site laundry facility, complimentary parking, and water and bicycle rental deliveries.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:231922″ /]

The Neptune Resort

fort myers beach resorts

A touch more reasonably priced and do-it-yourself than most Fort Myers Beach resorts, The Neptune offers roomy accommodations, superb access to the Gulf, and cheerful front desk service. The 71 renovated suites, complete with full kitchenettes and flat-screen TVs, are draws for families looking to make the most out of a week’s vacation. The property includes a contemporary, on-site fitness center and a business center—plus a place to grill some burgers or veggies for those nights you don’t feel like setting out to Times Square or a shopping plaza. While the hotel itself doesn’t plan activities, the staff is always happy to help you find something to do, whether it’s booking a deep-sea fishing trip or finding a spring training baseball game. 

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, on-site fitness center, free parking, coin-operated laundry machines, grilling area, picnic tables, two heated swimming pools, business center, vending/ice machines, full kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and shuffleboard.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:278390″ /]

The Outrigger Beach Resort

fort myers beach resorts

From rooms to efficiencies, the Outrigger has you outfitted. Comfortable and decorated in tropical prints, with noon check-out times so you can enjoy your last night of vacation, the resort is located on Estero Boulevard, where the island trolley stops. Climb aboard for delivery to Times Square cafes and Lovers Key State Park. The Outrigger also sits on the largest—and, some say, the silkiest—white sand beach in the region. A tiki bar with live music and two restaurants on premises cater to your drinking and dining needs, whether you want to sit indoors out of the hot sun or have a romantic al fresco evening.

Amenities: Adirondack chairs, two-person cushioned beach cabana rentals, pool towels, indoor and al fresco dining options, board games at front desk, live music, gift shop, heated outdoor pool, beach volleyball, nearby bicycle and water sports rentals, guest service center, and reservations for most area attractions and tours.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:115763″ /]

Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina

fort myers beach resorts

Consistently voted number one in travel magazine polls and awards programs, the Pink Shell has a slogan to vacation by: “The only thing we overlook is the beach.” It’s true—it’s almost impossible to find an amenity that this fabulous resort forgets. Originally built in the 1950s as one cottage, the beach rooms, suites and villas now encompass 12 acres, backing an entire shopping plaza. The staff can even fetch you groceries, filling your fridge while you’re off having fun. And that fun is as varied as you want it to be: Learn how to sail at the Offshore Sailing School; rent boards or boats of all kinds; take little ones into the splash pool with fountains and sprayers and bigger ones to the infamous, lagoon-style “Octopool;” or book spa sessions at Aguagene. Then explore your options for dolphin tours or fire pit rentals, because the activities don’t stop until you do.

Amenities: Two breakfasts with room, two drinks with room, two in-suite bottles Voss water, a Pink Shell Resort beach bag, daily beach lounge chair and umbrella, Wi-Fi, valet services, steam room, fitness center, three heated swimming pools, splash pool, sailing school, souvenirs and shopping, grocery delivery, cabana rentals, tours, fire pit rentals, water sports rentals, spa, and dining on premises.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:80438″ /]

Pointe Estero Beach Resort

fort myers beach resorts

How family friendly can one resort be? The answer lies at Pointe Estero, where the guest services range from a gazebo with a barbecue grilling deck and beachside picnic tiki huts to badminton rackets and cornhole games. In addition, to the 60 fully equipped, one- and two-bedroom condominium-style suites, there are also movies and board games for rental, a kids’ art program, beach watersport rentals, beach chair and umbrella rentals, beach volleyball, a heated pool with a whirlpool spa, and plenty more to keep every single member of the family occupied. Take a guest bicycle out for a spin or hop on the local trolley. There’s also a fitness center and a computer station so you can keep up your daily routines.

Amenities: Wi-Fi, cable TV, DVD and Blu-ray player, private screened balconies, living room with sleeper sofa, fully equipped kitchen, dining table and chairs, wet bar (beachfront suites), rooftop sundeck (penthouse suites), daily newspaper delivery, cribs and high chairs on request, handicap-accessible suites available, local and toll-free phone calls, washer and dryer in suite, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, hair dryer, coffee or tea in the lobby, tennis, heated pool, whirlpool spa, pool deck chairs and umbrella, beach chairs and umbrellas for rental, water sports for rental, beach volleyball, computer station, fitness center, guest services desk, guest bicycles, guest parking, and housekeeping services (extra fee).

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:87539″ /]

Wyndham Garden Fort Myers Beach

fort myers beach resorts

Every hotel claims it has the most gorgeous stretch of sand on the island, but the Wyndham Garden has outside confirmation: The American Sand Sculpting Championship chooses it for its competition, as do national volleyball tournaments. If you want to get in on the action—and yes, there’s action, especially during spring break, as well as every night at sunset—book one of the pleasant, tropically decorated rooms. The resort also specializes in destination weddings, so you can be sure there’s usually something going on despite the fact that this part of the island is less densely populated.

Amenities: Wi-Fi, in-room coffee maker, bar, breakfast available, daily housekeeping, dry-cleaning services, early check-in available, express check-out, fitness center, laundry services, meeting room, multilingual staff, non-smoking hotel, onsite parking, outdoor pool, restaurant, room service, safe deposit box, banquet room, wedding services, and weddings and events.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:87542″ /]

More from SmarterTravel:

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– Original reporting by Jen Karetnik