To me, staying in a hotel is an event. An occasion to be savoured and enjoyed to the max. Despite staying in some pretty grotty places during our backpacking adventure, I would go through the same excited ritual in each room, exclaiming at every detail and giving Jamie a verbal review of the facilities before he’d barely stepped through the door. Considering my day job back in the UK was working in Marketing for a 4* hotel, you’d have thought the novelty would wear off but apparently not!
So, now that I’ve admitted that I’m some sort of freaky obsessive when it comes to hotels, it’ll come as no surprise to you that I have a bucket list of places I’d love to stay. Most of them are WAY out of my price range but hey, a girl has to have big dreams. I FINALLY managed to cross one off last month when we stayed at the Almodovar Hotel in Berlin but as you’ll be able to tell from this list, there are many more still to come. Prepare yourself for some pretty awe-inspiring destinations as I reveal my top 10 bucket list hotels…
Lux South Ari Atoll, The Maldives
It’s on everybody’s bucket list to visit The Maldives, right? Working for a luxury travel company has only made my obsession worse as I’m now seeing photos of these incredible hotels almost daily. This is how I discovered the incredible Water Villas at Lux South Ari Atoll – just look that infinity pool! Being nestled on the swing, reading a book and dipping into the water whenever it gets too hot is my idea of total bliss. Plus, could you imagine the views when you come into land? If I ever got to stay here, I’d be a lucky girl indeed.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York
I saw this NYC hotel in one of Lily Pebbles’ vlogs a while back and it immediately popped into my head when I was thinking of places I’d really love to stay for this post. As well as the gorgeous furnishings in the hotel rooms (designed by local artists), the crowning jewel of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is…well, the view of Brooklyn Bridge! You can see right across to the lights of Manhattan as you drift off to sleep which sounds pretty damn perfect to me.
The Sarojin, Khao Lak
The Sarojin was another discovery I made when browsing some hotels in work – I know, as if t I’m being paid for that! This luxury resort in Thailand’s Khao Lak looks like the most serene place to kick back and enjoy some relaxation. Our experience of Thai accommodation was on the significantly cheaper end but one day, maybe I’ll get to go back and experience this. If you really want to be in for a treat, check out all the private dining options they offer – I guarantee you’ll be blown away by the photos! A romantic stay wouldn’t be complete without treating yourselves to one of these experiences.
Sultan Cave Suites, Cappadocia
Ah, my first purely-Instagram based discovery. If a picture of Cappadocia makes its way onto my feed, it’s almost always shot from this rooftop where influencers flock to get the now-famous rooftop brunch snap overlooking masses of hot air balloons. But if you look below this well-known spot (literally, right below), the cave-like bedrooms are pretty damn cool too. Sultan Cave Suites is actually on the more affordable end of the scale so who knows, maybe this will be one of the next off my hotel bucket list!
Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa, England
While my focus is usually on exploring anywhere except the UK, it’s really quite shameful that I’ve barely seen any of my own country. Over the next couple of years, I’d like to change this with a few staycations and the Bedford Lodge Hotel looks like it has a beautiful balance of modern and classic design. It has definite similarities to the hotel I used to work in so maybe that’s why it feels like it’s tugging on my heartstrings but the incredible looking spa area speaks for itself. With this being the closest location-wise of all my selections, I’m hoping that it should be an easy one to tick off the list!
Hanging Gardens of Bali, Ubud
Ah, this hotel. The infinity pool of dreams at the Hanging Gardens of Bali lives in my imagination and all I wanted from my trip to Bali was a stay at this place. Unfortunately, it’s a complete impossibility on a backpacker budget but when my lottery win finally comes through, you’ll be able to find me peacefully gazing out at the lush jungle surroundings. But if lounging until your entire body turns into a prune isn’t your thing, there are cooking classes, jungle yoga and a luxurious spa that are bound to keep you entertained throughout your stay. It’s a hard life.
Riad Yasmine, Marrakesh
Yep, it’s another Instagram favourite – I dare any of you travel addicts not to recognise the beautiful Riad Yasmine in Marrakesh. It’s possibly one of my biggest disappointments that I’m not staying here during my trip in May but hopefully, we’ll get to peek our heads in to feast our eyes on this beautiful outdoor area. When I’m looking for a sunny holiday, it’s always the pool that draws me in – anybody else base their choices almost solely on this?! – so this courtyard area never fails to give me wanderlust.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
We actually spent a lot of time in Singapore’s most famous building but alas, none of it was swimming in their renowned rooftop infinity pool. Our lodgings were in a much more modest – although still pretty cool – capsule hostel but in a desperate bid to escape the cloying humidity of the city, we’d frequently duck inside for a shop, sit down and even a peek inside the casino. However, I do still dream of swimming through the sky with a backdrop of skyscrapers so the Marina Bay Sands remains on my wishlist of places to stay.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
So, holidays where the temperatures are below freezing aren’t usually my thing. I’d opt for sun and a pool over snow (no matter how beautiful) almost every time. But if I was staying in one of these beauties, I’d be investing in some thermals ASAP because there’s no way I’d ever turn down an experience like that. Seeing the Northern Lights is pretty high up on my bucket list and being able to watch the colourful skies dance WHILE in bed? That sounds like the dream to me. Anybody else want in?
Aqua Dome, Austria
This is the newest discovery on my hotel bucket list but I’ve become a little bit obsessed with it over the last month or so. The sparkling winter backdrop of snowy mountains makes this spa look that little bit more etheral, with huge plumes of steam twisting around the domes and into the air. The spa is undoubtedly the star of the show at Aqua Dome but the hotel rooms look beautiful too with a neutral colour palette that just screams relaxation. I’d love to explore more of beautiful Austria, especially since the one day I spent there was full of damp mist and rain, so hopefully I’ll manage to go back one day!
Maybe you can tell from my overenthusiastic writing but I just had so much fun writing this post! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything like a wishlist (throwback to my fashion / beauty posts circa 2013) but honestly, it’s left me feeling so happy that maybe I’ll chuck one in every now and then. Is that something you’d like to see?
Oh, and let me know if you’re dying to visit any of these amazing places too! I’d love to hear where you dream of staying in your lifetime – there’s always room for more on my hotel bucket list.
Disclaimer: this post was brought to you in collaboration with the wonderful Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa! Affiliate links are used throughout and as I haven’t stayed in these hotels, full photography credit goes to their websites!
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