When you are looking for a home away from home while travelling, what you discover when you reach your hotel room is incredibly important. From the quality of the fixtures and fittings, to the aesthetics of your surroundings and the view when you look out of your window, it’s the little details which have the potential to make your stay a memorable one. With all of this in mind, here are my top twenty hotel rooms of all time.
1. Best City View
The first thing I do when I enter a hotel room is rush to the window to look at the view, and I remember the one at Raffles, Dubai completely taking my breath away. The Dubai skyline, with the gargantuan Burj Khalifa dominating the view, is iconic, and I am struggling to believe that there is a better place in the whole of the city to view it from than the balcony of our suite.
2. Best Ocean View
Just outside our room at the Monastero Santa Rosa was the most beautiful sun deck, to which Mr Sunshine and I retired in the evening to watch the world go by, a glass of Prosecco in hand. It was almost impossible for us to tear ourselves away from the view before us – can you see why?!
3. Best Iconic View
We had a very mixed experience during our stay at the Hotel Marincanto on the Amalfi Coast (so much so that I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it yet!), but one thing that both Mr Sunshine and I firmly agreed upon following our stay was that the view over the recognisable pastel houses of Positano was utterly breathtaking.
4. Best Sunset View
Back in Summer 2014, Mr Sunshine and I set out on a month-long tour of the US. Our first stop was The Intercontinental, Miami, and we arrived just in time to watch the most beautiful sunset over the roofs and skyscrapers of the city. It felt like a very fitting beginning to the trip!
5. Most Generous Gifts
We began our honeymoon last year with a stay at the Gran Melia, Rome
where we were quite literally showered with congratulatory gifts from the hotel. Every
day, we would return from exploring the city to find new
cakes/sweets/chocolate covered strawberries had been laid out for us,
with yet another bottle of Prosecco. The nicest touch however, were the
thoughtful and thought-provoking hand-written notes and quotes which accompanied them, signed
by the Red Glove Department.
6. Best In-Room Amenities
From the laptop and flat screen TV, to the state of the art coffee machine and L’Occitane bath goodies, our bedroom at Casa Angelina in Praiano on the Amalfi Coast had it all. If it wasn’t for the views beckoning us from our balcony, I’m not sure we would have left our room at all!
7. Best Original Features
Can you imagine my glee when I discovered that there were original tiles on the floor of our room in the family-run 18th Century Palazzo that is Le Sirenuse?! I had to take several footfies before I let Mr Sunshine lay his suitcase on the floor! There will be a blog post to follow on this stunning hotel in due course.
8. Best Room Service
I can’t remember enjoying a breakfast quite as much as the one we ordered to our room a The Conrad St James, London. I was newly pregnant, not feeling too great and craving something stodgy but healthy. Snuggled in the Egyptian cotton sheets, my new husband at my side, eating this sumptuous feast was about as good as life could get in that moment.
9. Comfiest Bed
We arrived at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Muscat absolutely shattered following an overnight flight, and were delighted to find that the bed could have comfortably slept six. What’s more, it had one of those mattresses that you slowly siiiink into…and never want to leave. But we only had 48 hours there, so unfortunately we did.
10. Best Bath
I have always had a ‘thing’ for a stand-alone rolltop bath, but my absolute favourite bath of all time in a hotel room was actually a bog-standard rectangular one at The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa …OK it wasn’t completely bog-standard because there were steps up to it, and shutters next to it which opened up into the bedroom so that I could chat to Mr S while lounging in my deep, warm bubble bath. Bliss!
11. Best Decor
I haven’t encountered many hotels quite like The Ampersand in London, which has a ‘theme’ running throughout the whole of its interior. Astronomical, botanical, architectural, geometric and ornithological motifs adorn the walls of each room, and they are matched in quirkiness by the brightly-coloured soft furnishings and pretty monochrome bathrooms.
12. Best Pool Access
I loved everything about Anantara, The Palm, Dubai but the best thing about it was that rooms on the ground floor had balconies which led straight out into the enormous natural lagoon-style pools which cover the resort, meaning that you could literally roll straight out of bed and into the azure water in the morning!
13. Best Furnishings
The Nomad, New York City is housed in a turn of the century Beaux-Arts building which has been sympathetically renovated with interiors by French designer Jacques Garcia. The attention to detail extends to the fittings and furnishings which are all of a classic, timeless style. Each room has its own hand-selected, richly textured and custom-designed furniture and original artwork.
14. Most Mod Cons
From the mobile phone we had access to for the entirety of our stay, to the in-built entertainment system, with separate volume controls for the bedroom and bathroom, there wasn’t much that Hotel Indigo Kensington hadn’t thought of to make our stay as easy and relaxing as possible.
15. Best Music Player
One of my most memorable moments in a hotel room was curling up on our bed in The Redbury, Miami with a book, Mr Sunshine by my side listening to records on the stunning Crosley record player while a storm raged outside. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!
16. Most Modern Interiors
I love the style and sophistication of the rooms in The Mondrian, London which also reflect the quirky, arty nature of its location on the Southbank. Award-winning designer Tom Dixon has made his mark, and the rooms combine functionality with unique design items such as the drip wall painting and Tom’s signature wingback chair.
17. Best Use of Space
I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a suite so cleverly laid out than the one at the Grand Hyatt, Doha.
was a large living room, study area, bedroom, dressing room and
marble-clad bathroom, as well as an expansive balcony, all of which were
interlinked with one another in a fairly compact space, which was not
only homely but also super convenient to navigate.
18. Best Renovation
Formerly the site of Whitbred & Co, Britain’s first purpose-built mass production brewery, the original building of The Montcalm at the Brewery, London dates back to 1750 and has been renovated to a high standard to produce incredibly luxurious yet cosy rooms with some original features.
19. Most Eco-Friendly
The individual cottages connected by winding pathways which house the rooms and suites of Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana, Sri Lanka are not only ISO certified but also award winning for their green credentials. The energy-efficient and naturally-constructed spaces feel completely at one with the 37 acres, 2000 trees and small farm which make up the grounds of this stunning Lodge.
20. Best for All-Round Luxury
In the four years that we have been together, Mr Sunshine and I have stayed in more luxury hotels than we could count on both of our hands, but the rooms in one of them stands out above all the others for their timeless elegance, Middle Eastern-inspired touches and luxurious attention to detail. The St Regis Hotel, Doha is one of a kind, offering a 24/7 butler service to fulfill your every need; stunning panoramic sea views; a multitude of different lighting options to create the mood you desire; 42 inch flat screen TVs (plus an additional one in the bathroom); an in-built sound and entertainment system; marbled bathroom with deep bathtub and separate rain shower and a comfortable lounge/working space in every room. Plus, nothing says luxury quite like a velvet drape hanging over your king sized bed!
I look forward to adding to this list next year following our trip to Bali where we are planning to stay in a few more of the world’s most luxurious hotels, including Alila Villas Uluwatu and The Oberoi. I can’t wait to find out which unique features can be found in the hotel rooms here!
What’s been your favourite find in a hotel room?
I am posting this as part of the monthly travel link-up with Emma, Angie and co-host Aftab @ Fresh and Fearless – this month the theme is the most interesting thing you’ve discovered in a hotel room or accommodation. Join in before the 7th October!