Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Favorite Hotels

Tripadvisor has compiled lists of the "top hotels" in several categories. Of the top 25 hotels in the world, according to Tripadvisor, the only ones in the United States are the Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle, Henderson's Wharf Inn in Baltimore, and the French Quarter Inn in Charleston, S.C.

One of my favorites didn't make any list. It's the Duchamp in Healdsburg, Calif. The photo here of the spa and pool area gives some idea of the serenity offered by this inn in an olive grove. Almost all travelers can recall at least one place that for one reason or another seemed absolutely perfect. I've stayed at a lot of excellent hotels, but the minimalist design of the Duchamp, the fact that each room is its own tiny villa, and its almost invisible location in the heart of town make it a favorite. By the way, Healdsburg is a must on any serious tour of California's Napa and Sonoma wine country.

Do you have a favorite hotel? Please post a comment!


  1. My favorite hotel is the Drake in Chicago. Great service, great location. I'd recommend it to anyone going to Chicago who can afford it.

  2. For some reason my company once booked me at the George V when I had to be in Paris on business. My wife loves Paris and was along for the trip, so we both got to enjoy this fabulous hotel. This was four or five years ago -- I think it's been redone or has a new owner now. We haven't been back to Paris since, but we still talk about how much we enjoyed the hotel. Amazing staff, beautiful room, more toiletries than we've ever seen anywhere.

  3. My favorite hotel was the old Plaza in New York before it got chopped into a bunch of condos and a much smaller hotel. What a crime! Now when I'm in New York I stay at the Regis or the Four Seasons, neither of which I especially would recommend. Friends of mine love the Hudson, which is cheaper and a whole different type of hotel. I've tried to stay there but it's been totally booked.

  4. The Peninsula Beverly Hills in L.A. is absolutly my favorite hotel. It's close to everything, has a world-class spa, there is a pool on the roof. You might see some celebrities at the restaurant.

  5. Why not ask people for the most over-hyped hotels? Ones that are highly rated but ultimately disappointing because your paying loads of money for what is still four walls and a bed. I'm thinking of the St. Regis in NY. Nothing really wrong with it, it just isn't worth the mega-dollars. And I saw the earlier comment on the Drake in Chicgo. Same thing as far as I'm concerned.