Traveling can be an amazing experience of culture, food, and sightseeing but it can be quickly spoiled by horrible airline travel or crappy hotels. Nothing is worse than walking into your hotel room to discover it wasn’t you expected (or worth what you are paying). In an effort to make your next weekend (or weeklong) getaway a little better, we’ve tested, asked and researched to find you the top hidden gems around the world- hotels that you are happy to come back to at the end of the day, no matter how gorgeous your destination. In no particular order:
Boston - Hotel Marlowe
Located in Cambridge the Hotel Marlowe isn’t the most centrally located place to sleep, but what it lacks in hustle and bustle it makes up for with a view of the Charles River and the Longfellow Bridge. According to Jonna, a Boston resident who directs all of her out town friends to the Marlowe, the hotel “Is a quick hop on Memorial Drive by cab, T or foot will have you in Harvard Square lickety split. In summer, you can watch the sailboats along the river, and if you plan far enough in advance, you can have plum access to the Head of the Charles Regatta in October.”
Rome, Italy- The Beehive
Run by an American couple, The Beehive is a great place to stay for the European traveler on a budget, or for anyone looking for quiet, lovely accommodations. To save money you can select a room that shares a hall bathroom (common in Europe) or you can upgrade for your own private bath. You can even stay in a room with a kitchen if you are there to try your hand at cooking local cuisine. According to CGG reader Megan, “The hotel is run by a couple from California, and they are just so nice. They will help you book appointments, tours, whatever you need. They even helped us book an Audience With the Pope when I was there the first time! They have a great little courtyard out front that is a nice place to sit and have a glass of wine and you aren’t sitting right on the busy street. The hotel is a couple of blocks away from Termini, the main train station/central subway hub, so it is in a convenient location from which to launch all of your sightseeing day trips.”
Morro Bay, California – Sundown Inn
According to SueBob the Sundown Inn is the place to stay in Morro Bay. Walking distance to the waterfront, inexpensive with a kind owner and clean rooms, the Sundown Inn puts you in a prime location to go sailing, take in the marine life, visit the nearby museums and aquarium, enjoy the funky downtown area, or take a day trip to Hearst Castle. Sounds relaxing!
New Orleans - Iberville Suites Hotel
Staying in the French Quarter is both a blessing a curse – you are so close to amazing food, culture and museums but sometimes the Quarter can get just a little, how do we say, loud. Lucky for you the Iberville Suites have soundproof guest suites and they share a building with the Ritz-Carlton so you have access to the fanciest spa and work out facility in the city. You can even bring Fido to stay with you (with a pet deposit) and the suite set up allows you to share a room with a few of your friends. This is the place to stay whether you are in town for business…or something a little more fun.
Chicago- DoubleTree Hotel, Magnificent Mile
Tucked between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan, the DoubleTree is perfectly situated for all of your Chicago touristing without putting you in the middle of the loudest traffic. Set between residential buildings in the trendy Streeterville area the DoubleTree looks unassuming until you walk in. Kind staff, clean rooms, a great hotel bar and in close proximity to kid friendly breakfast and lunch joints as well as Navy Pier make it the perfect place to stay for the weekend.
Paris, France - Hotel De L’Esperance
Paris can be a pricey, pricey town to stay in and you often have to give up central air conditioning or private bath to afford your lodging. Never fear, Hotel De L’Esperance has air conditioning, ice machines, private baths and typically runs at less than 100 Euros a night. CGG reader Domestic Deity tells us it was the perfect place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing and enjoying the food, even in the sticky summer months.
Tampa Bay – The Floridan Palace Hotel
Maybe you are visiting Tampa for a long weekend or you are just there for an evening on your way to take a cruise, but no matter your reason, Tampa natives tell us this is the place to stay. Recently renovated into its former glory, the Floridan Palace boasts its famous Crystal Ballroom and a ledger of hotel guests including Elvis Presley and Gary Cooper. With original details from 1927 preserved, such as the front desk and the bar’s cedar ceiling, the Floridan is sure to impress even the pickest of guests while you explore historic Ybor City, the local museums or Hyde Park Village.
Napa Valley – Napa Valley Marriott & Spa
You might wonder what a chain hotel is doing on the list, but this hotel is so loved by the Curvy Girl Guide one of our writers had her wedding here and I spent my honeymoon here. Perfectly located on Highway 29, with well appointed rooms and the best concierge floor ever (totally worth the upgrade for the breakfast spread, bottled water to go and concierge who can finagle you a table anywhere), this hotel is willing to do just about anything to keep you as a satisfied guest. Be sure to save some time to enjoy their happy hour on the gorgeous grounds. A quick drive to the nearby vineyards and downtown Yountville and prices that leave you with plenty in your budget for wine, the Napa Valley Marriot & Spa is where to stay.
In order to help make your next vacation a reality, the Napa Valley Marriott and Spa is giving one (1) lucky reader a one night stay between now and December 31, 2013. Just leave a comment between now and 11:00 pm EST, on Sunday, September 30th telling us about your favorite hotel or vacation destination. You may manually enter as many times as you wish. The winner will be selected at random at 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, September 30th. Prize delivered upon email confirmation.
All opinions and reviews of hotels are uncompensated and honest opinions of CGG writers and readers. The Napa Valley Marriott and Spa did not provide compensation for its review, or any perks for CGG writers.
Congratulations to comment #4, Domestic Deity, for winning the one night stay at the Napa Valley Marriott.
Daisy is a lawyer married to a lawyer (insert lawyer jokes here) living in a small condo in a big city with a new baby and beagle. She breaks up the legal-speak by blogging about life in Chicago, which is filled with escapades of urban living. In the summer she enjoys patio dining and in the winter wonders what she was thinking when she moved here. You can read more from Daisy on her blog, Just Daisy.