- 1 Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Hungary
- 2 Shangri-La Sydney, Australia
- 3 Como Point Yamu, Phuket, Thailand
- 4 Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, Indonesia
- 5 Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul, Turkey
- 6 Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, St. Lucia
- 7 Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, Iceland
- 8 Hotel Kompas, Croatia
8 Luxury Hotels That—Gasp!—You Can Actually Afford
Luxury for less? It's possible at these eight properties, whose prices prove that you don't have to blow an entire paycheck to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous. What are you waiting for?
Please note: rates fluctuate depending on season and availability and were accurate at time of publication.
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Hungary
It may not boast a 19th-century mansion address like so many other Budapest grand dames, but dare we say Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is just as swish and swanky. Behind a façade of glass and stone, you’ll find central Europe’s first Nobu outpost, an opulent spa, a brasserie with a summer terrace, and classic, spacious guest rooms featuring marble bathrooms, über-comfortable beds with pillow menus, and (in the best) views of beautiful Erzsebet Park. Service here is next-level (don’t miss high tea in the lobby lounge, where live music from the lobby wafts in), as is the location just a few blocks from the Danube and the Chain Bridge.
Shangri-La Sydney, Australia
Real estate doesn’t get much better than Sydney’s sky-high Shangri-La Hotel, one of the city’s most unabashedly luxurious stays in the heart of the Rocks district. The 36-floor tower soars over the neighborhood, delivering staggering panoramic views of the city and harbor; inside, more than 500 rooms are all spacious and elegant, and service is attentive yet inconspicuous. The amenities are of equal caliber: after a treatment at CHI spa, head to top-floor Blu Bar for mixologist-made cocktails before a multi-course dinner at Altitude next door—both feature all-glass walls overlooking Circular Quay, Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House.
Como Point Yamu, Phuket, Thailand
You get far more than what you pay for at COMO Point Yamu, a luxurious castaway paradise on a secluded hillside overlooking Phang Nga Bay. Rooms are open and airy, with spa bathrooms and glorious water views. There's a large infinity pool ringed with white loungers as well as a spa, where you can relax post-snorkel or take a hatha yoga or tai chi session. Wood-fired pizzas and tropical fruit spreads are two highlights at the sun-filled La Sirena restaurant; for dinner, Nahmyaa serves authentic Thai specialties like river prawns and crab curries. If, after all that, you’re still pining for the sand, a staff-manned boat or car is at your disposal for reaching Como’s Beach Club.
Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, Indonesia
This glam beach retreat on Bali’s southwest shore deftly marries East with West. Expansive balconies, rich dark woods, and lots of natural light flood the 60 guest rooms, which are kitted out with traditional Balinese beds, lattice woodcarvings, and terrazzo tubs overlooking the beach and Indian Ocean beyond. There's a world-class spa that's worth booking a treatment at, but you'll find most guests sprawled out by the property's many pools (there are four, including a show-stopping infinity pool that's a prime hangout at sunset), the bar, and the open-air rooftop restaurant, which serves up creative twists on Asian cuisine like braised pork knuckle with shiitake mushrooms and brownies flavored with Bali chocolate and chilli.
Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul, Turkey
For an atmospheric taste of bygone Istanbul, check in at Pera Palace Hotel, an 1892 icon from local architect Alexander Vallaury whose ultra-glamorous heritage décor attracted such illustrious guests as Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo, and Alfred Hitchcock. Sumptuous linens and antique furnishings are hallmarks of every room, but lit lovers will be particularly entranced by the moody, black-and-burgundy Agatha Christie room—an intriguing fourth-floor suite where, rumor has it, she penned her most famous mystery, Murder on the Orient Express. The hotel's location in the Beyoğlu district isn't too shabby, either: you're within walking distance of Istanbul's greatest sights, including the Bosphorus, Galata Tower, and shopping along Istiklal Caddesi.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, St. Lucia
The grounds of St. Lucia’s oldest cocoa plantation sets the scene for this 14-lodge resort and foodie paradise from luxury British chocolatier Hotel Chocolat. You'll find romance in every corner, from the four-poster beds with their billowing sheer curtains to the seductive bathrooms with their double sinks and open-air rainfall showers and those views of the island's iconic Pitons—best taking in by the pool. As its name suggests, Boucan is all about the haute chocolate experience, from cocoa-infused spa treatments to restaurant meals where chocolate is the star ingredient of every drink and dish. Not to be missed: learning the art of chocolate-making during the "Tree to Bar" experience, where you begin by harvesting your own pods from the estate's own cocoa groves.
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, Iceland
Not yet as recognizable as Reykjavík, Iceland's second city of Akureyri is slowly appearing on the global travel map as more and more visitors seek out its quaint town center, cozy bars, geothermal pools, and—due to its location so far north—an increased chance at spotting the Northern Lights. In the thick of it all, this sleek eco-retreat is like a microcosm of everything we love about its home country: 99 guest rooms are stylish and cool, decked out with Nordic-inspired furniture, Icelandic art, and large windows looking out over the lush (or snowy, depending on the season) landscape; there's an outdoor patio and fire pit for borealis viewing; and the on-site restaurant spotlights local ingredients like salmon, lamb, and fresh berries.
Hotel Kompas, Croatia
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