by Stephanie Block
My Hallowed Hotels List!
Below, I share my secret collection of world retreats, my homes away from home, and which properties most make me feel at home. I only recommend properties that I know and love, or that my most trusted friends with fabulous taste swear by, and this list is not only my top hotel choices on the planet, but a trip down memory boulevard (these memories are so grand that they overwhelm a mere lane) of my most decadent, once-in-a-lifetime, 4000-thread count nights away from home.
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Top 4 Life-Altering Hotels:
Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo, Monaco
To feel like a princess, to be treated as a princess, to yourself believe that you have become a princess…romance, elegance, charm, style…the world’s elite stay here. You must indulge at least once in your lifetime. My nights here, traced with magic and strewn with waltzes during gala season, are the ones I will wistfully tell my grandchildren about, over and over. And over.
Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE
If you haven’t been to the Burj, you haven’t been to Dubai. Iconic architecture, exquisite service, a private beach on the Gulf, very strict security to keep out the riff-raff, ample suites, some appointed in gold leaf, and a fleet of Rolls Royce Phantoms at your disposal, the world’s only 7-star hotel never disappoints.
New York City, Four Seasons, USA
I love the bar, I love the rooms, I love the location, I love the style. From family reunions to engagement parties, I feel like half my life occasions have been spent at this true home away from home.
Hotel Byblos, St. Tropez, Riviera, France
Luxury meets the jetset here. Leave the starched linen tablecloth set behind and park your yacht out front. If you’re not here to seriously play, then stay home. Because you need to bring IT to this jetset mecca–the jewels, the $600 sunglasses, the taste for Dom. Or at least look the part and wait for the jetset boys to treat you to the rest…
Editor’s Pick: Stephanie Block’s Favorite Hotels:
Barcelona, Spain: Hotel Claris–5 star charm
Belgrade, Serbia: Aleksandar Palas Hotel–5 star in Serbia!
Berlin, Germany: Adlon Kempinski Hotel–Berlin’s best hotel
Bucharest, Romania: Plaza Athenee Hilton–city’s best hotel
Capri, Italy: Capri Palace and Spa–beloved leg clinic for stars!
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Pucic Palace–city center cozy elegance
French Riviera: Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc–VIP for Cannes Film Fest
Gstaad, Switzerland: Palace Hotel–5-star
Hamburg, Germany: Hotel Atlantic Kempinski–100 years of elegance
Jukkasjarvi, Sweden: ICEHOTEL–original hotel made entirely of ice
London, UK: The Dorchester–classic elegance
London, UK: Sanderson Hotel–super cool
Monte Carlo, Monaco: Hotel de Paris–ultimate indulgence
Paris, France: Costes Hotel–urbane hip
Paris, France: Plaza Athenee–Alain Ducasse restaurant
Paris, France: Hotel Ritz–Hemingway’s home away from home
Rome, Italy: Grand Hotel Plaza–great deal, great locale
St. Tropez, France: Hotel Byblos–ultimate jetset
Valencia, Spain: Hotel Neptune–fun beach hotel
NORTH AMERICA/ CARIBBEAN
Las Vegas: Bellagio–elegant Vegas
Las Vegas: Palms Hotel–party, party, party!
Los Angeles: The Peninsula–supreme elegance in Beverly Hills
Los Angeles: The Standard–party, party cheap!
Los Angeles: The Grafton on Sunset–party, party cheap!
Los Angeles: Chateau Marmont–stars galore!
Los Angeles: Hotel Bel-Air–an oasis beyond elegant
Montreal, Canada: Place D’Armes Hotel–urban luxury
Negril, Jamaica: Grand Lido Resort–super luxe
Negril, Jamaica: Hedonism; Hedonism II–enough said…
New York City: The Four Seasons–awesome locale, awesome bar
Quebec City, Canada–Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac–tres belle!
San Francisco: St. Regis–new and hip, ain’t your mom’s St. Regis
San Francisco: The Clift Hotel–rock star bar in the lobby
San Francisco: Hotel Vitale–great location, great bar and patio
Santa Monica: Shutters on the Beach–Diva weddings
Dubai, UAE: Burj Al Arab–the world’s only 7-star hotel
Jerusalem: King David Hotel–luxury well-located
Jerusalem: The American Colony Hotel–old world elegance
Jordan: Movenpick–luxury hotels at all main tourist sites
Hong Kong: The Peninsula–one of the world’s best hotels
Rangoon, Myanmar: The Strand–old colonial elegance
Singapore: Ritz Carleton Millenia–fabulous
Shanghai, China: The Portman Ritz-Carlton–luxury after a long trip
Shanghai, China: Peace Hotel–historic hotel on the Bund
Tokyo, Japan: Park Hyatt Hotel–where Lost in Translation was filmed
Tokyo, Japan: Grand Hyatt Roppongi Hills–chic expat area
Udaipur, India: Taj Lake Palace–seeing is believing!
*One sad note is Myanmar. Now is not the time to visit. Let us hope that peace finds a home in this exceedingly lovely country.
Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater: Plantation Lodge–organic elegance
Zanzibar: Zamani Zanzibar Kempinski–utter paradise
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Faena Hotel + Universe–uber hip!
Cartagena, Colombia: Sofitel Santa Clara–old monastery converted
Rio de Janiero, Brazil: Copacabana Palace–top luxury