My top 10 "hotel" stays


Level 2 Member
Please share your favorite stays and your lodging strategy.

There are 2 reasons for sharing this list. 1) to give people some general ideas. 2) despite hotels (as opposed to hostel, airbnb, etc) being the majority of my stays, they only account for about half of the top 10. I'm more and more enjoying the non-traditional lodging types (for this community), and I want to use my experience to encourage folks to look beyond chain hotels - not to replace it, but to supplement. Anyway, here's the list, roughly in order.

1. Hilton Bora Bora Nui

2. Hyatt Carmel Highlands
I was lucky to receive ungodly generous upgrades, allowing me to enjoy unobstructed views of the NorCal coast from the comfort of the sweet suite. This area is profoundly beautiful, and the hotel location is majestic.

3. La Maison de Baviere - Val David, Quebec
I stayed at this B&B before there was AirBnb. It was such a warm, relaxing, comfortable (not luxurious) experience, where we also met the other wonderful guests. It's the kind of warm and fuzzy feeling I never get staying in a hotel. Doesn't hurt that the area is beautiful in the fall.

4. Hostel Kucha, Sarajevo
That's right - a hostel. I just stayed here last month. Like #3 above, the people I met are absolutely great, from staff to guests. It really felt like family. What more can I ask for when I'm traveling alone? The rain shower was a nice touch. The entire facility is spotlessly brand new.

5. Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Back to something more conventional... the DSU-confirmed suite had, as expected, breathtaking views of the harbour. Great breakfast in the restaurant. Lounge is legendary - even has dinner. Very good pampering. Watching NYE fireworks from the room was a highlight.

6. Holiday Inn Resort - Lodge at Eagle Crest - Redmond, OR
A family resort for "normal" people. The hotel is only ~5% of the grounds; most of it is golf and vacation rentals. After sunset, deer and elk roam the golf courses in search for food. I managed to get very close to them, somehow earning their trust. Lots of outdoors in vicinity, and the view of distant Mount Hood never gets old.

7. Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver
A true 5-star hotel. The junior suite is GIGANTIC. It also had a perfect balance between modern and classy/romantic. Even the sofa bed was highly comfortable.

8. Comfort Hotel Diana, Venice
Best location in the world. Two minute walk from the absolute center of historic Venice, while still tucked away in a small alley away from most of the bustle. Otherwise just a normal 2.5-star hotel, but that location...

9. Courtyard Hangzhou Wulin
Everyone here treated me like a king, from the check-in staff to the lounge staff to the restaurant staff. As one of them said: "we don't have the best location or facility, but we have the best service, it comes from the heart."

10. The Flying Pig, Amsterdam
The ultimate party hostel, pretty much what you'd expect when you throw a bunch of college kids in Amsterdam. I was fresh out of college and looking for a good time. Well, I had a great time. Let's leave it at that.

Were this list to continue, next would be the likes of the Refugios at Torres del Paine, Park Hyatt Vendome, and Le Meridien Chiang Mai. Alas, I said top 10.

Another interesting observation is that none of my many Airbnb stays made it to the top. In fact, none of them comes close. I've had some good ones, but none super memorable. So I'd rather stay at hostels for better socializing (can always recover at a chain later). I love B&Bs but they are expensive.

My current strategy is to alternate between pampering and going to places I want which don't have redemptions.
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