If you could go anywhere in the world, wouldn’t you want to stay in the most beautiful place there? With constant flight deals, discounted group travel and even payment plans to fly, getting out of town is a breeze these days. But knowing where to stay —knowing a spot you’ll immediately fall in love with after a long flight— is not so easy. Having traveled to some gems this year, we’ve compiled a list of instant winners. Below are five hotels around the world that seriously impressed us.
Non-discretely named after the hipster neighborhood it's in, The Williamsburg Hotel is a bold attraction. Designed by Michaelis Boyd Studio, the suites' lush accent pillows, crisp white sheets, tufted leather furniture and insanely perfect view of Manhattan are just a few things this boutique hotel offers. Having opened this year, the new London-influenced establishment will soon host a watertower bar, roof deck pool, large event space and cozy library. Bonus: Its lobby bar has a delicious remix to a Chex mix that's hand-rolled fresh every day with butter and spices.
Toronto has a good amount of fabulous hotels, but The Bisha in the city's downtown is most exceptional. Spearheaded by Canadian nightclub mogul Charles Khabouth, the luxury dwelling was partially designed by Alessandro Munge, artist Grace Zeppilli and Lenny Kravitz (yes, that Lenny). Aside from its bar that looks like a scene from Mad Men, its 44th floor restaurant has a breathtaking 360 view of Toronto. While you're in Toronto make sure to visit the diverse Kensington Market for great food and vintage finds, grab a meal at La Banane and treat yourself to a Turkish bath at Hammam Spa.
If you'd like to keep your travels domestic but still feel like you've gone somewhere completely new, head to Los Poblanos in Albuquerque. First of all, it's a lavender farm. So think rows and rows of fragrant lavender (25 acres to be exact), lavender bath products and a gift shop filled with lavender goodies. Then there's its the rich Poblano history that the staff is eager to share as the grounds were designed in 1932 by the region’s foremost architect, John Gaw Meem the “Father of Santa Fe Style." And last but not least is the locally-sourced restaurant on the grounds that produces some of the freshest, flavored-filled dishes in town.
Not so long ago, the historic Old Quarter where the American Trade Hotel stands used to be a stomping ground for Panama's fiercest gangs. Now it's been revived into one of the most eclectically quaint places in Central America. Rehabilitated by K.C. Hardin, the former Ace Hotel property was originally built in 1917 and is considered a meeting place for creatives in Panama City. Using the same design elements of its surroundings, the boutique hotel is a stunning combination of neoclassical Spanish architecture and modern aesthetic. While there make sure to enjoy a show at Danilo's Jazz Club, located on their first floor.
You'll gladly spend every coin for this one. If you want to talk luxury, beauty, insanely good service, tasty food and worthy getaway —we urge you to book a stay at Kapama Karula in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It'll require a small but short flight from Johannesburg or Cape Town to get to this oasis in the bush but once you arrive —and drive past giraffes, nyala antelope and vervet monkeys— you'll be greeted with heaven in the wild. Each room has its own private pool, outdoor shower and giant bath tub. Crisp white sheets and industrial decor show an appreciation for modern design. And the full-service spa, restaurant, library, gym and game rides offer plenty to do. The only problem you'll have: wanting to leave this beautiful place.