We’re often asked for recommendations on where to stay in various destinations around the world, so I thought I would put our favorites all into a guide. We’ve listed the accommodations alphabetically by country and put together a price guide to help you easily identify price range. Our guide includes everything from budget to luxury hotels, apartments, and even igloos and a Bedouin camp.
Grand Park Hotel and Spa, Bad Hofgastein
The 5-star Grand Park Hotel in Bad Hofgastein offers a program that includes 7 nights in a double room with half board and all treatments at the Bad Gastein Healing Cave. We did a mini version staying two nights with half board and our healing cave treatment. The hotel is also pet friendly. $$$
Radisson Blu, Salzburg
The Radisson Blu is just a short walk from the old town center of Salzburg and we really liked the spacious rooms and comfy beds. Dogs are allowed and there is a nice grassy area along the river to take Emma out just a one minute walk from the hotel. We also always like when breakfast, parking, and wifi are included. $$
House Sebalj, Grabovac (Plitvice Lakes)
There are no shortage of guesthouses in the area. We stayed at House Sebalj in Grabovac, just 6 kilometers from the park, and our hostess was wonderful. While the room was simple, we did have a private bathroom and wifi. Our hostess offered us cold beers and cheese on her terrace. And she even sent us home with a wheel of cheese upon our departure. $
Villa Kate, Split
Less than a 10 minute walk from Riva and Diocletian’s Palace, Villa Kate is an apartment rental and we stayed in the studio, which sleeps 3 people, has a stove, fridge, and balcony to relax on. A 2-bedroom is also available and sleeps 4. The location couldn’t have been better and we loved the bright, sunny apartment. Mirela, Villa Kate’s owner and proprietor, kindly contacted us before our trip to offer directions to the apartment and her phone number. She met us upon our arrival and offered us tips on where to eat, the best way to get to the Old Town and beach, and where we could take Emma swimming. At less than €100 per night, we couldn’t have picked a more perfect place to call home during our time in Split. $$
The Caesar, London
In a city of thousands upon thousands of hotel rooms, how do you choose? Location is a big factor for me personally. London is an easy city to get around by way of the Tube, but I like to be near a central station that has easy access to the airports and all of London’s attractions. The Caesar is located within easy walking distance of Paddington Station (where you’ll need to go for the Heathrow trains) and to the Lancaster Gate Station where it’s incredibly easy to pick up several of London’s main lines. I also like that this boutique hotel is steps away from Hyde Park and an easy walk to the Bond Street. $$
Hotel Glo Kluuvi, Helsinki
Located right in the center of Helsinki, Hotel Glo Kluuvi is everything I ever imagined of Finnish design. Sleek, modern, hardwood floors, and spacious beyond belief! A sleep menu let me chose just the right type of pillow to lay my goldilocks down on (you might notice a theme that I like these sleep menu options at several hotels!). And, in a country where there are nearly as many saunas as people, it’s no surprise the hotel had a sauna to relax in before bed. $$$
La Maison du Village, Saint Remy de Provence
I felt like we were locals and living in our very own 18th century Provençal home staying at La Maison du Village. Right in the heart of Saint Remy but quiet as could be as you stepped through the door and into a what felt like a secret garden. I worried a bit that temperatures were easily in the 90’s during our stay and there was no air conditioning, but the stone house stayed pretty cool and comfortable. $$
Hotel Elysses Ceramic, Paris
Hotel Elysses Ceramic is steps away from the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysses. It’s also an easy walk to the Eiffel Tower. More importantly, since Paris is big and not completely walkable, it is steps away from a main metro stop. I love the art nouveau decor in the boutique hotel with just 57 rooms. And when this hotel is unavailable, I book elsewhere on Avenue de Wagram because of the superb location. $$
Golden Stars Apartments, Budapest
On our first trip to Budapest, we stayed in a hotel. The location was great, but Hungarians like to smoke and despite asking for a non-smoking room, the room still had a strong smell of smoke. So for our second visit, we booked an apartment rental with Golden Stars Apartments that doesn’t allow smoking. It was perfect! The apartment was gorgeous and spacious and had we been staying longer, even had a washing machine if we needed to do laundry. We were on a pedestrianized street literally one minute walk to the river and close to the Chain Bridge. We felt right at home and enjoyed living like a local in Budapest, if only for a few days. $
32 Tungata, Reykjavik
32 Tungata is an apartment rental right in the heart of Reykjavik. I couldn’t have asked for a better location. It was right amongst the Embassies and just a few minutes walk to Reykjavik’s shops, restaurants, and harbor. I liked having a small kitchen and popping into the supermarket to stock up on Skyr and a few other snacks. Had we not enjoyed sampling the Icelandic cuisine so much, we could have even cooked in the kitchen. $$
Hotel Berg, Keflavik
I arrived late at night in Iceland on my first night and booked Hotel Berg, which was just a few minutes drive from the airport in Keflavik. It was pouring rain (and when it rains in Iceland, it rains sideways), foggy, and pitch black as we made our way from the airport to hotel. But I awoke to the most amazing view looking out over the harbor from this chic little hotel. And I sat eating my breakfast dreamily looking out the floor to ceiling picture windows wondering why awaited me. Hotel Berg gave me a nice, warm welcome to Iceland. $
Castel Bigozzi, Siena
Who doesn’t want to stay in an actual castle?! Located just outside of Siena in the village of Strove, we enjoyed looking out from our Castel Bigozzi tower window over the rolling hills and vineyards, getting up for morning runs through the vineyards, and just relaxing in the Tuscan countryside. The castle has a pool, free wifi, and breakfast. It is even dog friendly. $$
Gallery Hotel Art, Florence
The trendy Gallery Hotel Art is literally steps away from the Ponte Vecchio, has free WiFi, and features the exclusive bath amenity line Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo. Contemporary artwork is featured throughout the hotel lobby, restaurant, library, and in the 74 rooms. $$$$
Palazzo Avino, Ravello (Amalfi Coast)
The 5 star Palazzo Avino is one of our all time favorite hotels we’ve ever stayed in. How could it not be with a suite with stunning panoramic views over the Amalfi Coast and the Mediterranean, a jacuzzi bath made for two, Vietri tiled floors, antique furniture fit for a king, and one of the most comfortable hotel beds I have ever slept in. We could even select cotton, satin, or silk bedding from the bedding menu card. Palazzo Avino oozed luxury in every way and the staff went out of their way to make us feel right at home. Can I just move in? $$$$$
Doria Park Hotel, Lerici (Cinque Terre)
Doria Park Hotel is the perfect location for a Cinque Terre holiday. Removed from the hustle and bustle of historic Lerici, it sits on the hillside amongst an olive grove overlooking the Gulf of Poets. Just a five minute walk and we were in historic Lerici with a convenient hop on hop off boat service to Portovenere and the the five villages of Cinque Terre. And did I mention the award-winning breakfast buffet that Tim said has been his favorite in all of Italy? It is also dog friendly. $$
Hotel Griso, Lecco (Lake Como)
Hotel Griso has lake side rooms with balconies overlooking Lake Como and the town of Lecco. We enjoyed sitting on our balcony just relaxing and looking at the beautiful views. For around $100 per night with free wifi, free onsite parking, and breakfast we think this hotel can’t be beat! It’s even dog friendly. $$
Grand Hotel Savoia, Genova
The Grand Hotel Savoia is just that. Grand and luxurious but a small price tag. I booked us a room for less than $100 for the night and not only was it huge, but it was gorgeous! A bed fit for a princess, separate jacuzzi bath and shower. What more could I need? We stayed in summer and so breakfast (included) was served on their rooftop terrace with sweeping views over the hear of Genova and the harbor. And I always love when breakfast buffets include a cook-to-order omelet station. Egg whites with veggies for me, please! And if I need to cite any more reasons why this hotel was fab, it’s dog friendly to top it all off. $
Hotel Raffaello, Rome
I stayed at Hotel Raffeallo on my first visit to Italy in 2006. My friend Jess and I arrived late at night with no Euro on hand. But not to worry, Hotel Raffeallo came to our rescue and covered out taxi fare until we could get to an ATM in the morning. While the rooms are small (it is Rome after all), the hospitality of the staff could not have been better. And once in the daylight, we realized we were just a 10 minute walk from Termini station. The Colosseum was even closer.
I enjoyed the hotel so much, I didn’t even consider another hotel when I returned with my mom and her friend, Melody, in 2007. They loved Hotel Raffaello just as much and the staff even remembered me from my visit the year before. $$
Villa Farinella, Viterbo
Villa Farinella is a beautiful stately home that was built by the architect Prada in the 18th century. The three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, shared breakfast room and summertime pool make the lovely bed and breakfast a perfect choice for exploring Viterbo, Bomarzo and Civita di Bagnoregio.
Capri Tiberio Palace, Capri
Capri Tiberio Palace is located in the heart of Capri’s old town and we loved the gorgeous panoramic view from our balcony. Our balcony so fab that we enjoyed take out pizza while lounging on it watching the sun set one night. And we had the biggest roman bath tub either of us has ever seen. It was perfect for soothing sore muscles in a bubble bath after our impromptu hike halfway around the island.
It rained quite a bit on our visit, so we took advantage of the spa. The spa water zone has four different hyrotherapy showers with varying water temperatures, pressure, and even aromatherapy. We tried out each of the showers and then moved on to the Finnish sauna and steam room. When we would get hot, we’d take a plunge in the frigidarium before sprinting back into the sauna. Lounge chairs line the low-light room and we relaxed sipping herbal teas to rehydrate after the sauna.
Movenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay, Aqaba
Where do I even start? We were blown away by the Movenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay. The lobby was dripping with crystal chandeliers and luxurious touches while the floor to ceiling windows gave way to the amazing private beach and Red Sea just beyond.
Let’s talk breakfast. The buffet was literally the biggest I have ever seen. There were no less than seven different kinds of juices including everything from orange to green apple. There was traditional breakfast fare like eggs, waffles, and pancakes in addition to Jordanian cuisine. I think it is safe to say that this is the best breakfast buffet we have ever come across in our travels.
While there is a reef right in front of the hotel and we even saw an octopus snorkeling there, we decided to check out the Dive Center at the resort. For just $35 USD each, we could go out on a full day trip with lunch included. We thought it was a steal and signed up for the next day. Expecting a little boat to pull up, our eyes widened in awe as a yacht pulled up and announced it was our ride for the day! With only eight of us plus crew on board, there was plenty of space to spread out and relax as we yachted around the Red Sea.
I don’t honestly know how we could have had a better stay at the Movenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay. $$
Rum Stars Bedouin Adventures, Wadi Rum
Camping under the stars in a Bedouin camp in the desert of Wadi Rum is a must when visiting Jordan and we did just that with Rum Stars Bedouin Adventures. Not only did we spend a day exploring Wadi Rum by Jeep and running up and down sand dunes, our guide Ahmed took us to the best spot to watch the sun set the desert ablaze as it dipped below the horizon. We stayed in a Bedouin tent woven from goat hair by the women of the tribe and drank sweet tea around a campfire while Ahmed and his tribe told us about Bedouin life. $$
Scandic Ishavshotel Tromso
The Scandic Ishavshotel Tromso is uniquely located on the quay, jetting out over the water in the heart of Tromso. We had the most magnificent view of the harbor and the Arctic Cathedral. We even slept with the curtains open just in case the Aurora Borealis decided to dance for us.
The Scandic also has an award winning breakfast buffet fit for Olympic athletes. Literally. It was designed in collaboration with the Norwegian Olympic Team and features foods to give you energy for a day out in the Arctic. I especially liked the yogurt bar where I could select a yogurt flavor and various granola and toppings to make a custom yogurt parfait. Every kind of fish fresh out of the Arctic waters was available including no less than five different kinds of caviar.
And if the views and the award winning breakfast weren’t enough to win us over, we returned to the hotel the day of my birthday to find a huge fruit basket and birthday card from the hotel. $$$
Beograd Art Hotel
Beograd Art Hotel is located right in the center of Old Belgrade on the pedestrianized Knez Mihailova shopping street with chic shops and cafes. We were just a few minutes walk from the park and castle. The hotel and room itself were modern and spacious. Breakfast and wifi were included. $
Hotel Kompas, Bled
Only 200 meters from the lake and set slightly uphill, Hotel Kompas has a great view directly across to the castle and of the lake. We stayed here during the Bled Days and Bled Night Festival and watched the floating candles continue to burn on the lake before heading to bed. Dogs are welcome and there is an indoor pool and spa that is included. Free breakfast, wifi, and parking make this hotel a great value! $
Grand Hotel Portoroz, Portoroz
If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you know our dog, Emma, loves to swim and goes to Slovenia frequently. Sometimes a day trip for swimming just isn’t enough and we’ll stay overnight at Grand Hotel Portoroz where dogs are welcome. The hotel is right on the beachfront promenade, has free parking, and breakfast. I’ve also indulged in their spa services and had a Thai massage with warm herbs. It was fantastic! $$
Probably the most fun accommodation we have stayed in yet was an igloo at the Eskimo Village in Slovenia! With sheepskins, a special expedition sleeping bag (-30° C), and dressing properly, we were never cold. And I would stay at the Eskimo Village again in a heartbeat. We enjoyed tubing down the ski runs after the ski resort closed, snowmobiling, and snow biking before having a fondue dinner and a sauna before bed. (Read more about our igloo adventure.) $$$
Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Arosa
With dreamy mountain views, 5-star spa, on-site Michelin-starred restaurant, a bowling alley and private mountain railway it’s no wonder Prince William and Duchess Kate have been guests of Tschuggen Grand Hotel in the postcard-perfect Swiss village of Arosa. This lush resort is perfect for a romantic ski getaway. (Read our full review of Tschuggen Grand Hotel.) $$$$$
Hotel Hecht, Appenzell
Hotel Hecht is charming little boutique hotel in a village I have described as fairytale like. I mean, it’s not to often you arrive in a village to bears blowing bubbles off the roof of a building and a horse and carriage come galloping through carrying a bride that looked like a princess. We really liked the hotel and the staff couldn’t have been more accommodating. Dogs are welcome, breakfast is included, and there is free wifi. Free parking is nearby.
Hotel Solsana, Gstaad
Situated at 1150 meters in the village of Saanen, Hotel Solsana is just minutes from Gstaad. The hotel offers stunning views of Gstaad and the Swiss Alps. The hotel has a fitness center, sauna and on-site restaurant. It is also pet friendly. $$$