On average, I spend anywhere from 25-30% of my year traveling. One of the secondary effects of this frequent movement around the globe is that I stay in a lot of hotels and resorts, many more than I could ever highlight here on the site. So today I want to share some of my favorite luxury hotel experiences from the past 6-9 months or so that I haven’t written a lot about. They each probably deserve their own post, but at least this is a first step in sharing what I think are some unique and luxurious hospitality experiences around the world.
Four Seasons Bogota (Bogota, Colombia)
Bogota, Colombia enjoys several world-class hotels and not one, but two Four Seasons properties. Located in one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods, this intimate hotel is barely noticeable from the street, adding to the feeling of exclusivity within. Inside are the public spaces and room styles that have forever endeared the Four Seasons to me and many others around the world. Elegant design that is tasteful and not ostentatious, relaxing and sophisticated – perfect for any traveler. Here though I think the star of the show is the culinary side of things, including a chic Japanese restaurant, Kuru that is a work of art in its own right. I personally think that this property ticks all the boxes from location and hospitality to the ability to get work done and even relax a little.
Hotel Omm (Barcelona, Spain)
I’m always a little cautious when first staying at a hotel that isn’t part of a larger company or collection, and I know I need to change the way I think. But I’m always a little wary of independent hotels, no matter how many stars they have after their name. I’m slowly changing the way I think though and it’s thanks to hotels like the Hotel Omm in Barcelona that I’m evolving on the issue. The first stop on my Abercrombie & Kent tour of Spain, immediately I knew that my stay there would be amazing, from the ultra-modern interiors to the perfect location in the city. Easy walking distance to many shops, restaurants and attractions, it made my short time in the city easy and convenient. The rooms themselves were like a gallery with clean lines and lots of gadgets to keep me occupied. One thing not to miss is their restaurant, which surprised me after an incredible dinner I enjoyed there my first night in town. If you’re passing through Barcelona, this is definitely the place you should stay.
Fairmont Palliser (Calgary, Canada)
I love a hotel with a great story and when visiting Canada, that means patronizing the luxurious Fairmont properties. In Calgary the Fairmont Palliser was once part of the storied hotel chain’s remarkable railroad hotels and since 1914 has been the premier hotel in Calgary. While carefully maintaining the fin-de-siècle lobby and interior finishings, I was thrilled to see that the rooms themselves had been recently updated, adding modern comfort and style to a classic luxury experience. The hotel enjoys a fantastic location in the heart of the city as well as all of the normal comforts one would expect from any Fairmont property. Add in the Gold Lounge with food and drink presentations throughout the day, and this is the perfect home base from which to explore the city.
Parador de Ronda (Ronda, Spain)
Before arriving into the small town of Ronda in southern Spain, I had never even heard of it, one of many fun surprises on my tour of the region with Abercrombie & Kent. Housed in the former town hall of the ancient city, that history today means it enjoys what is arguably the best location in town. Quite literally in the heart of the historic section, the hotel also sits next to one of the city’s biggest attractions, the Puente Nuevo bridge and the massive gorge it spans. In fact, those sights became an important aspect of my stay at the hotel thanks to the views of both I enjoyed from my large and recently updated room. Add in good food and gracious hospitality and this hotel was one of the highlights of my hospitality experiences in Spain.
The Glasshouse Hotel (Sligo, Ireland)
Last year I had the great opportunity to spend a few days driving around the Wild Atlantic Way in Northwestern Ireland, including a personal favorite city, Sligo. It didn’t hurt that the sun was shining and the weather warm when I was there, but what greatly improved my travel experience in town was staying at the Glasshouse. A modern hotel, it also enjoys the best location in town – right in the middle of everything. Echoing the maritime history of the city, the Glasshouse Hotel is meant to look like a docked ship, perfect for its position straddling the Garavogue River that bisects Sligo. Modern and comfortable, it had everything I love in a hotel, but its location really is the main reason why anyone should stay there. I only realized just how perfect it was as I explored the city later on in the afternoon; location is everything when it comes to hotels and staying at the Glasshouse greatly enhanced my overall experience.
Schlosshotel Münchhausen (Hameln, Germany)
Originally a 16th-century castle, today both the main building and the incredible grounds surrounding the Schlosshotel Münchhausen come together to form one of the best hotels in Germany. A luxury, 5-star hotel-resort, this wasn’t only one of my favorite hotel experiences of my drive along the Fairy Tale Route, it was the most relaxing. Sitting on the terrace, enjoying a fantastic dinner as the sun slowly set was leisurely and fun, exactly what you want from any great hotel experience. The rooms though aren’t what one expects from a 400-year old castle. Inside, the rooms and public spaces are modern, but in keeping with the castle’s tradition, light and airy and incredibly comfortable. It’s also located within just a few miles of Hameln, making it the perfect stop to spend a few hours relaxing and decompressing after a long day.