Henrik Ibsen’s favourite hangout, this venerable institution, with its opulent draperies and 19th-century-styled restaurant, still retains its fin-de-siècle atmosphere. Nobel Peace Prize winners stay at the Grand when collecting their award. The rooftop bar, accessible to all, has a beautiful view over parliament, Oslo’s main avenue, Karl Johans gate, and the fjord. A standard double room comes in at 2,190 kroner.
Karl Johans gate 31; Tel: 23 21 20 00;
The fruit of collaboration between Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck, with stunning views of the city. Double en-suite: prices from £220 (as of August 10).
45 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4HX; Tel: 0207 300 5500; Tube: Leicester Square; www.morganshotelgroup.com/
Widely considered the place to be seen staying in Tokyo, the Park Hyatt is a favourite haunt of visiting VIPs and assorted celebrities. The hotel is housed in the Shinjuku Park Tower, three pointed towers designed by local architect Kenzo Tange. Room rates start at around 40,000 yen, and the impressive choice of bars and restaurants could leave you parting with at least as much again. But it’s unavoidable if you want the ultimate chic Tokyo experience.
Park Hyatt Tokyo, 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku; www.parkhyatttokyo.com/
To stay at the Hotel Okura is to travel back in time. The hotel, a stone’s throw from the British and American embassies, is dark, and wooden and would probably bring on palpitations in contemporary interior designers. What it lacks in street credibility it makes up for in attentive service and a sense of detachment from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Kamiyacho government and business district. Prices start at 33,000 yen.
Hotel Okura, 2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku; home.okura.com/tokyo/index.html/
Excellent location, a stone's throw from the Luxembourg Gardens and right opposite the Pantheon, this classy 18th-century, 34-room hotel was renovated in 2001 in Louis XVI style and boasts - besides some spectacular views of the last resting place of France's great and good - a delightful courtyard comeplete with chestnut tree.
19 Place du Pantheon; Tel: 01 46 34 19 60; www.hoteldupantheon.com/
How much boutique hotel style can you take? Choose either 11 Didsbury Park or Didsbury House, two cool as can be Victorian villas in Manchester’s Hampstead. Essential trimmings include side-by-side baths and polished floors. Room prices from £135 to £300. The same company also runs the Great John Street Hotel, converted from an old school in the city centre. “New York loft meets vintage chic”, they say. All this and a hot tub too. From £235 to £750.
11 Didsbury Park, Didsbury Village; Tel: 0161 448 7711; Didsbury House Hotel, Didsbury Park, Didsbury Village; Tel: 0161 448 2200; www.eclectic-hotel-collection.com
Grand listed building from Manchester’s golden age. Inside, sophisticated comfort with much-lauded beds and heated mirrors (for shavers who steam up?). From £101 a night.
18-24 Princess Street (on the edge of China Town); Tel: 0161 236 8999
Probably the city's most luxurious hotel, the five-star Alvear's French-style architecture, thick carpets and courteous service reek of old-world splendour, as do the prices which begin at $410 for a double room.
With rooms available from $74 to $107, this hotel is a well-kept secret. Ideally located in the posh Recoleta district, it is a stone's throw away from Recoleta Cemetery, the city's main museums and arts centres and some of its fanciest restaurants.
Schiaffino, 2189; Tel: 4804 9631; www.hotelplazafrancia.com/
A fun art hotel run by two Germans in the colonial San Telmo district. Each room is decorated with works by different artists. Its modern restaurant serves kitsch cocktails and there are art events, poetry readings and DJ parties on weekends. Prices range from $30 to $50 a night.
Modelled on the Carlton in Cannes, this is the location that gave Rio its glamour in the 1950s. Even if you don’t stay here its worth coming for a caipirinha by the pool.
Avenida Atlântica 1702; Tel: 021 2548 7070; www.copacabanapalace.com.br/
Sod it. If you're going to break the bank, you might as well have a laugh doing it. At around $700 a night you'll need a sense of humour. Right on top of Central Park, it is in a great location. There are nicer hotels, I'm told, but none that give you quite so many bragging rights.
One Central Park West New York; Tel: 212 299 1000; www.trumpintl.com/
It’s downtown and near the social centre of Dupont Circle, but it also on a quiet street and has preserved an old-world bookish feel that is rare in America. It has a pleasant lounge with an open fire in winters that feels like the common room of some old college, and a very decent restaurant. A room is about $100.
1739 N Street, NW, at Connecticut Avenue; Tel: 1-202 785 1277; Dupont Circle Metro; www.tabardinn.com/home.htm
Although high-end budget, it’s worth shelling out that little bit extra for this boutique hotel in the heart of ancient Athens. Its upper back rooms and bar terrace have an unrivalled view of the Acropolis and its ramparts. Recently renovated, the hotel is a stone’s throw away from the bars, cafes and restaurants of Plaka and trendy Psirri. Double room: €95 (low season); €145 (high season). Single room: €85 (low season); €115 (high season).
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