Over the years Carrie and I have stayed in a lot of hotels, some average, and others superb and beyond our expectations. Finding a gem of a hotel can turn a good trip into an amazing trip. Here are 3 hotels you must stay in based on the uniqueness of the property, quality, and comfort of the hotel and the room, and unexpectedly stunning views and excellent locations, all aspects that enhance your stay.
Finca Barlovento - Parque Tayrona, Colombia
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the intimate 4 room Finca Barlovento provides an experience tough to match. The hotel, designed by world-famous Colombian architect Simon Velez is perfectly located at the confluence of the Rio Piedras, which forms a lagoon and the Caribbean Sea, just outside of Parque Nacional Tayrona.
The sea facing side of the hotel is open to the crashing waves below, while around back you have the majestic sight of the looming Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, dense forest, and a lagoon. The hotel is within walking distance from the entrance from Parque Nacional Tayrona, should you grow tired of the isolated beach and lagoon setting.
Both breakfast and dinner, prepared by cooks using local produce have been described by past guests as “sensational” and we completely agree. Meals are had at a communal table with the other guests. The intimate location cannot be matched and a stay at Finca Barlovento is an absolute must for those who enjoy nature, off the beaten path travel, and who find themselves traveling in northern Colombia. During our trip to Colombia, we traveled to both Cartagena and Parque Nacional Tayrona Tayrona, read more about that trip.
Hotel San Damianu - Sartene, Corsica
The first thing you notice as you arrive at Hotel San Damianu are the breathtaking views of central Corsica. The hotel is located in the town of Sartene and provides its guests with sweeping views from the restaurant and the rooms large balconies, perfect for an evening drink and/or a morning coffee. The hotel’s on-site restaurant has a great selection of Corsican food and wines which pair well with the sunsets. Should you tire of the view from your room or the restaurant the hotel has a pool, perfect for a relaxing morning swim, which also provides views of the Corsican countryside.
There is more to the hotel than just stunning views. The rooms named after famous musicians (our room was the Vivaldi) are beautifully designed with a clean and modern look. It’s the room you’ll want to spend time in. So if you find yourself traveling to Corsica then a night in southern central Sartene at the Hotel San Damianu is a must. From Sartene we headed south to Bonifacio where we caught a ferry over to northern Sardinia, read more about the rest of our trip.
Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn - Bangkok, Thailand
The best way to experience Bangkok is high above the cacophony, lounging poolside. The Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn has just that with comfortable and stylishly designed rooms spread out over 32 floors. When booking you are given the choice of upgrading to a room on a higher floor called the Superior Sky, which we did. The sweeping views of Bangkok are well worth the splurge. If you tire of the view from your room then head down to the infinity pool and bar on the 14th floor, the perfect place to sip on a cocktail and watch the busy city below.
Another important asset is the hotel’s central location. Bangkok, a megacity can be a challenge to navigate and the hotel’s direct connection to the city’s metro, location off of a major roadway (Sathon Tai Road), and blocks away from the Central Pier where you catch boats to Wat Pho, The Grand Palace, and Wat Arun just to name a few, make it the obvious must stay for those visiting the city.
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