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My Favourite Hotels That I’ve Ever Stayed In: From Budget To High-End

..from London to L.A and a few spots in-between.

*This post contains links to hotels where I was kindly gifted my stay (denoted by ‘gifted’)

Fancy a holiday? Not sure where to start? Allow me to help you out with a list of TAE-recommended hotels across the U.K, Europe and the U.S. Now this list isn’t exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, and often we stay in airbnbs – especially if we’re going away as part of a group – but if you want a touch of luxury, then here are my favourite spots from across the globe. Some are pricey, some are more budget-friendly, but all are in fab locations and have beds that I quite frankly find myself day-dreaming about.

So here’s the list and the ones that made the cut, along with my top tips for finding the best beds and how to make hotel-hunting the easiest part of your hotel booking process. Anyone want to book some flights like NOW?

U.K

The Hoxton, Holborn, London (gifted and I’ve paid for my own stay too). I’ve stayed here a few times for various different events and work commitments and it’s my favourite budget hotel slap-bang in the centre of town. There are no bells and whistles and the room is compact, but the facilities are fab, with a brilliant workspace/bar downstairs to bash out some emails between meetings.

The Beaumont, London (gifted). This place is absolute 5 star perfection. I’ve only ever stayed here as part of fancy pants press trips but I was seriously, seriously impressed. The rooms are grand, the food incredible and there’s no expense spared here. Extremely pricey, but a nice treat or a place to stay as a one-off.

Heckfield Place, Hampshire (gifted). Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to stay in some pretty special places, but this newly opened and recently refurbished country manor just out of London is unlike anywhere I’ve ever spent the night. Everything is so high-tech, whilst still feeling homely and cosy. So good that I’m booking Mark and I an overnight stay there for March (goodbye money!).

The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel, Bath. Mark booked us in for a two-night stay here a couple of years ago when it first opened and what a beaut of the place! Hotel guests have free-run of the spa facilities in the early morning and late evening and we ended up going there twice a day because it was just so nice. Bath is easily one of my favourite U.K city breaks and I would 100% recommend staying here.

EUROPE

Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam (gifted and I’ve paid for my own stay too). I often think about this hotel and how sad I was the last time we stayed here because I had to get up at 5am every morning to finish off my book edits and it was possibly the best bed I’ve ever slept in. I would happily book another day here just to lie in bed for 24 hours. A fab hotel that’s made up of old townhouses that have been stitched together – every room is different. Oh and the breakfast is something else.

SP34, Copenhagen. This was the hotel that birthed this whole blog post idea because IT HAD A FREE WINE HOUR FOR ALL GUESTS. I know. And it was at a time of day that wine hour should be! Just after you get back from the day and just before you leave for your evening dinner. A perfectly designed hotel that wasn’t too pricey. Although the breakfast spread was SO GOOD, I’d save your pennies and pop to the bakery around the corner instead.

U.S.A

The Viceroy, New York. We stayed here a couple of years ago when we ran a 5k around Central Park for New Year’s Eve (so much fun – can highly recommend). We mainly stayed here because of it’s close proximity to the finish line and so we could get back to our room snappily instead of brace ourselves for a cold walk home. A nice room, although compact and a good spot if you want to be slap bang next to Central Park.

11 Howard, New York. Probably my top pick for New York. It’s reasonable price-wise, the rooms are pretty quiet given where it’s situated and it’s just beautifully done out, plus the location is PERFECT. Right in the centre of SoHo, I find that that’s where I spend a lot of my time wandering around when I visit NYC, so it’s great to be in the thick of it.

1 Hotel, Brooklyn Bridge, New York (gifted). Easily one of the most memorable hotel rooms that I’ve ever stayed in. An eco-hotel, every single detail is so wonderfully thought out and there’s a great communal space downstairs too that’s just Instagram gold (and smells incredible – they actually sell the candle they burn and I just couldn’t leave the hotel without it). If you can fork out for a room that overlooks the Statue of Liberty. DO IT.

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas (gifted). I stayed here as part of a ridiculously lovely launch with NARS and it was LUSH. I actually have about three sets of friends who have also stayed here when they visited Vegas, so it comes highly recommended. The rooms are huge (I’ve heard that most Vegas rooms are), but the food spots available in this hotel are INSANE. Milk bar, Beauty & Essex, Egg Slut. Sign. Me. Up.


HOW TO PLAN YOUR HOTEL STAYS

The best option? After we book our flights, the next thing we look into is whether to book a hotel or an airbnb – often the latter is cheaper, but sometimes the former works better with flight times/our plans/jet-lag, to have somewhere that offers room service and a place to store your bags if you’re getting there early or leaving late. It can be worth paying the premium. Do some research, look at prices and work out what will fit best into your holiday.

Initial research. I conduct my initial search based off of a couple of google searches. ‘Best Boutique/Budget Hotel in X’ always seems to bring up some good lists. Newspaper and magazine travel sections – like The Telegraph and Condé Nast Traveller always bring the goods and I like to check The Culture Trip too. Then I have a quick search of the city I’m going to, paired with some of my favourite bloggers to see where they stayed if they’ve ever visited and always a quick scroll of my Instagram saved section to see if there are any hotels that have tickled my fancy on there.

Dig into TripAdvisor. Whilst TripAdvisor can be a goldmine when it comes to travel recommendations, I often find that the smaller, more boutique offerings can be hidden under the larger chain hotels. So if you want something a little off piste, information might be a little thin under the ground. Once I’ve got a couple of places on my list thanks to my previous searches, I go on here to check two things. One – comb the reviews for any noise complaints as a noisy hotel room is my idea of hell (feel free to sub in whatever your particular grumble is). Two – look at the photos taken by guests because you know they aren’t going to be a shiny as the official ones; if it still looks good, then you know you’re on to something.

Book directly. I always, if possible, book directly on hotel’s website. I’ve just had a couple of rough experiences booking with third party websites, so now I book hotels and flights directly and I find the service side of things always runs smoother. At 11Howard I wasn’t too chuffed with the initial room that I’d been given (that looked nothing like the band of room that I’d paid for on the website), so the following morning asked if it was possible to swap and when the lovely guy on reception saw how long I was staying for, and that I booked directly, I was moved into a seriously lush room that was taken straight from the fancy schmansy images that made me book in the first place. It might be slightly pricier, but hotels are always sending through discounts via email which are DANGEROUS.


Photos by Mark & I, taken on a Canon EOS 33

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