My 2018 Top Five Favourite Hotels
I spent 80 nights in hotels in 2018 staying at 29 different ones. No wonder the other half says I’m never at home.
Picking my Top Five Favourite Hotels from 2018 was extremely difficult as I was very fortunate to stay in some great places, a few I’d been to before such as last year’s favourite, the 1 Hotel in Miami.
I spend a lot of time in the United States, so that dominated my picks, but there was one lovely charm too in South America. So, without further ado here are my 2018 Top Five Favourite Hotels:
1. Hotel Emma, San Antonio, Texas
A very close run thing but the beautiful Hotel Emma constructed within the brick shell of a giant 19th-century brewery was my top pick. Mammoth cast-iron tanks and steel machinery still stand inside the lobby and the place oozed charm, history and eclecticism with added wonderful Texas cowboy charm.
2. The Nomad, New York City
This Bohemian style hotel has an open concept with some wonderful fine details like a claw feet bathtub and reclaimed maple floors in the rooms, large by NYC standards. I had a lovely dinner in the wood paneled library and The Elephant Bar was a brilliant place to hang out.
3. Sagamore Pendry, Baltimore
I spend quite a bit of time in Baltimore, which is not an easy place to love. The area around the historic Fells Point has been thoughtfully revitalized with the original 1914 built pier restored into a stunning hotel. There’s large pieces of artwork everywhere, the rooms are huge, and the infinity pool butting the harbor adds to a cool vibe.
4. Sofitel Santa Clara, Cartagena, Colombia
Built within the compound of a 17th-century converted monastery, the Sofitel Santa Clara is located in Cartagena’s old town perched on the northerly edge of the ancient city walls. The hotel is on a tiny side street and you enter through a large marble archway into a charming historical cloister. Tropical plants and crowded vines surround the open courtyard inside. The hotel is luxurious with service and amenities to match. And the breakfast’s were so good.
5. Four Seasons Surfside, Florida
Squeezed between North Miami Beaches less glamourous resorts and Bal Harbour this hacienda-style hotel was originally a private members club and has been beautifully extended to include two 12-story glass towers. In its heyday, the hotel was graced by the likes of Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor, but sadly we only had one night there but I was in awe of its sublime style. Cracking restaurants too.
Honourable mentions: LaLit, London; Chicago Athletic Association, Chicago; 1 Hotel, South Beach, Florida.