2015 is finally here and with it comes a new year of making exciting travel plans. If you're a fan of five-star hotels and resorts like I am, you're always on the look-out for the latest and greatest properties to visit. I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite luxury hotels around the world, all of them not only amazing hotels in their own right, but they also offer amazing activities and access to nearby sites that can't be beat.
Built in 1766, this classic Virginia property is one of the oldest in America, and one of the country's most spectacular. Built around naturally occurring hot springs, the Homestead has soothed the aching joints of visitors from Jefferson to European royalty. Today it's a great escape all year round in Virginia's beautiful Allegheny Mountains, and in addition to the hot springs offers dozens of other family-friendly activities including: world class golf, full spa, skeet shooting, falconry, mini-golf, and more. It's a destination resort, meaning that the hotel is the main draw, and the size of the property means that you never feel trapped or bored. Add in some amazing food, and you have the perfect five-star getaway in the mountains of Virginia.
It's hard to go wrong at any Ritz-Carlton Hotel, but their Berlin property is something extra special. Conveniently located in Potsdamer Platz, it really is the ideal location for business and leisure travelers alike with easy access to important sites and the underground. Inside the hotel, they've gone to great lengths to bring some of the edgy Berlin vibe to the swanky property with a comprehensive bike share program and elements of style, like traditional Berlin graffiti inspired signs and artwork. Of course the service at the Ritz-Carlton is second to none and they, above all others, are my top pick when it comes to attention to detail.
Hong Kong is a city full of amazing hotels, but one of my favorites is the InterContinental. Located in Kowloon, the hotel has an enviable position on the waterfront providing one of a kind views of beautiful Victoria Harbour. The standard rooms are of course great, but the $13,000 a night Presidential Suite can't be beat. This massive condo within a hotel comes with its own private pool, hot tubs, grand piano, sauna, steam room, butler service, and so much more. But don't worry, if the Presidential Suite isn't in your budget, their normal rooms are still generously outfitted, spacious and comfortable. The restaurants in-house are also out of this world, featuring critically acclaimed chefs and delicious menus.
For something a little more exotic, why not head to Jordan and stay at this luxurious resort located right on the Dead Sea. I'm usually skeptical of any massive resort complex, but Kempinksi manages to keep their high standards of style and service even on this large scale. Of course the main draw is the Dead Sea, and the hotel offers unique and private access to it through their own beach. Walk down to the water's edge, lather on some of that famous Dead Sea mud, and go for a float in this unusual and oddly relaxing area. The Kempinski also makes a great home base from which to explore other parts of Jordan including Petra and Madaba.
Budapest has always straddled the line between East and West, and the beautiful Four Seasons Gresham Palace captures this spirit beautifullly. Located in a historic building that has served as everything from private residence to the headquarters for an insurance company, the style and grace of the Belle Epoque is alive and well in the lobby and rooms of this luxury hotel. Many of the rooms also feature views of the mighty Danube River and the Buda skyline, which also means that the Four Seasons enjoys a great location. It's easy to explore the rest of Pest and Buda from the hotel, making it the perfect spot for an urban getaway.
What is your favorite luxury hotel?