The Ten Coolest Hotels in the World
1. Vibeful Views:
Hotel Gansevoort, New York,
Nestled among warehouses and cobblestone streets, the Hotel Gansevoort features a sleek and striking exterior of glass and metal, and
18-foot internally illuminated glass columns that gradually change color. Breathtaking views from the landscaped roof garden along with a pool that emits soothing underwater tunes, makes it a popular, one-of-a-kind night-spot. The Gansevoort is super trendy, ultra modern, and a real hot spot to stay and be seen.
2. Surreal Sanctuary:
Sanderson, London, England
With its lips-shaped couch and silver swan chair, the Sanderson might make a suitable second home for Mick Jagger. If you feel like you're being watched, it could be the piercing eyes sketched on the stool seat-backs at the glowing Long Bar, possibly the most expansive of its kind in London. Suspended bubble-chairs, serene paintings on the ceilings, and glass-walled bathrooms create a surreal environment.
3. Style on the Strip:
"THEhotel" at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada
The lobby of Mandalay Bay's "THEhotel" shuns its vibrant rivals by setting the tone in dark wood and rich earth tones. Leaving the slot machines behind, the blissfully tranquil lobby is a soothing alternative to others on the Strip. This has to be the sexiest hotel in Vegas!
4. Down-to-Earth Haven:
Hotel St. Paul, Montreal, Quebec
A marble-encased fireplace lights up the lobby of the Hotel St. Paul, creating a toasty haven even on the coldest winter nights. Housed in a 1900 Beaux-Arts building, the hotel's ethereal design incorporates elements of fire, ice, earth and sky. Interior design is minimalist and simple to the point that it encourages you to relax on a very comfortable bed.
5. Museum Muse:
Claris Hotel, Barcelona, Spain
With its contemporary decor, spacious and elegant rooms and rooftop swimming pool and terrace, the Claris combines comfort with design. Art lovers can check out the in-house gallery featuring more than 400 pieces of ancient Egyptian, Roman, Turkish and Indian art, including etches ordered by Napoleon himself. Have a drink next to Andy Warhol's portraits of Madonna, hanging in the wood-paneled bar. Very comfortable with a hip atmosphere and a lot of artsy ambience.
6. Bay City Chic:
Clift Hotel, San Francisco, California
With its fusion of traditional and contemporary design, including Philippe Starck furniture, the Clift Hotel is a treat for the eclectic art lover. The amenities are as striking as the rooms, including the Redwood Bar, which features digital image displays and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. The Clift is for anyone looking to escape their normal life and enter an exciting hotel with buzzing public spaces.
7. SoBe Serenity:
The Setai, Miami, Florida
The oceanfront Setai distinguishes itself from other Miami hotels by indulging in rich browns and neutrals. The Asian accents and tranquil pools make this hotel a stylish Zen-gem right in the heart of South Beach. Amenities include plasma TVs and bathtubs designed for in-room spa treatments and don't forget the freshly baked cookies delivered daily. Everything from the teak loungers to the umbrellas and serving trays delivered with Evian spritzers (an aerosol can of Evian water vapour) and frozen rolled up towels to cool down are of the utmost quality.
Palazzo Versace, Gold Coast, Australia
With its classical Roman architecture, opulent decor, Italian craftsmanship and marble mosaics, Palazzo Versace remains true to its designer's Italian heritage. Palm trees, floor-to-ceiling glass and bright pastels bring a splash of Miami to the Gold Coast.
9. Your Cup of Tea:
Morrison Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
With its high ceilings, stone floors and abundant natural light, it's no wonder the Morrison Hotel has a wait for tea and coffee. At night, when the bar lights dim and lounge music plays, one guest describes it as "wonderfully chilled, a great place to sip cocktails, chat and enjoy the vibe."
10. A Lofty Idea:
Sezz Hotel, Paris, France
Although the exterior of the Sezz hotel is of typical Parisian style, the modern lobby "sezzles" with a mix of exposed stone, dim lighting and bright red furniture. The lofted beds, situated in the middle of each guest room, offer a unique perspective, allowing you to peer through a glass wall into the spacious and seducing bathrooms.
Top Ten Quirkiest Hotels in the World
1. Ice Hotel Quebec-Canada, Quebec
Breathtaking hotel made of ice, features an ice chapel, theme suites, an ice bar, and an art gallery - with ice sculptures, of course. Activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing, archery, snowmobiling, snow tubing and even dogsled driving. It's like sleeping in a 5-star igloo. The "icetablishment" is only open from January to April, just don't forget your parka and long johns.
2. Malmaison Oxford Castle, England
Everything about the Malmaison Oxford Castle is authentic enough to make you feel as if you are in the confines of an actual prison, but with better company. Can a jail hotel be romantic? Reports one guest: "My husband and I decided to 'honeymoon' at the Malmaison Oxford Castle, feeling that this magnificent converted prison would make a grand setting to begin our 'life sentence' together. It certainly did not disappoint." The first UK prison to be converted into a hotel, rest assured the property was renovated to ensure more comfortable accommodation.
3. Imperial Boat House, Ko Samui, Thailand
With 34 authentic teakwood rice barges converted into land-locked luxury suites, the Imperial Boat House on the beach is nautical nirvana. The lavish outdoor pools are surrounded by a lush and lovely garden. A final touch - the remarkable beach-front, boat-shaped pool, features cannon, no doubt, to keep the pirates at bay.
4. Fantasyland Hotel and Resort, Edmonton, Canada
With over-the-top fixtures and themed rooms, the Fantasyland Hotel and Resort is a shock to the senses, and a perfect escape from the reality of Edmonton's winter. Great for families, it boasts a 217,800 square foot indoor water park, an indoor ice rink, indoor golf and indoor roller coaster ride. Why all the indoor activities? Remember this is Edmonton, not Ibiza.
5. Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel, Manaus, Brazil
Seventy feet up into the tree-tops of the Amazon, the Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel features catwalks connecting the entire complex. Activities include a jungle walk, swimming with dolphins, a caiman hunt and even piranha fishing. The rooms are rustic, but what else would be appropriate? Don't be surprised to see a wide variety of flora and fauna in this authentic jungle environment, where it's okay to hand-feed the monkeys and parrots.
6. Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai
Unique in its setting in the middle of the Dubai desert, the Al Maha Desert Resort is an oasis with luxurious accommodations, including private pools and an authentic Bedouin encampment design. Activities that might be hard-to-find anywhere else include sand dune driving, falconry and camel trekking, and the panoramic views of the Hajar Mountains are a sight to be seen. Oryx and gazelles are known to come around the rooms at night and drink water from the private swimming pools.
7. Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Arizona
Operating along historic US Route 66, the Wigwams are actually tepee-style, cement tents. The bargain motel features the authentic feel of a 50s desert town - from the furniture, to the vintage cars in the parking lot, to the sounds of the old locomotive passing through town. The rates are also a blast from the past - the average room costs about $45 a night. Cash and credit only, wampum not accepted.
8. Yunak Evleri, Urgup, Turkey
Carved out of a stunning mountain-side cliff, the honeycombed hotel includes six cave houses, with rooms connected by narrow, maze-like passageways and stone stairways (think Land of the Lost, without the creatures). Decorated in Ottoman style, Yunek Evleri provides private patios offering dramatic views of the Turkish mesa, a serene land with its seventh century caves, outdoor archaeological museums, and the best baklava ever.
9. Quinta Real Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico
Built around a 17th Century bullfighting ring, it's no longer operational, so leave the red cape at home. The Quinta Real Zacatecas incorporates the feel of "Old Mexico," with its colonial architecture. Beautifully illuminated at night, the hotel also faces the city's ancient arched aqueduct and the local village's quaint shops complete the unique experience. Be sure to enjoy the comfy robes. Buy a pair to take home!
10. Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, California
Most often referred to as kitschy, perhaps the best description for the Madonna Inn is "It's what happens when Barbie moves in with Barney Rubble, all pink and rock." But that's part of the charm of the Madonna. A garish, chalet-style inn, the hotel features 45 rooms with varying themes and color schemes. To many travellers, an indescribably unique experience, but perhaps the only thing you need to know is that there is a famous waterfall urinal in the men's room.