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What are some of your favorite "non-obvious" luxury hotels?

What are some of your favorite "non-obvious" luxury hotels?

Old Dec 8, 19, 4:36 am
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What are some of your favorite "non-obvious" luxury hotels?

Not the usual suspects that are always recognized as amongst the best in the world, or perennially on top-50 or top-100 lists? For example, one of my absolute favorites would be Hotel Kamp in Helsinki. I go several times/year, the staff are always wonderful. The rooms are spacious and well appointed and have nice bathtubs (a big point for me). The location is incredibly central and I enjoy their bar.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Not the usual suspects that are always recognized as amongst the best in the world, or perennially on top-50 or top-100 lists? For example, one of my absolute favorites would be Hotel Kamp in Helsinki. I go several times/year, the staff are always wonderful. The rooms are spacious and well appointed and have nice bathtubs (a big point for me). The location is incredibly central and I enjoy their bar.
This is a great topic.

I havent been for years (sadly) but used to stay repeatedly at the JW Marriott Dehli Aerocity and my stays were flawless. It was, and hopefully still is, a great airport property that feels like a sanctuary from busy Delhi with a lovely pool area that was never really busy. The thing that made it a favorite for years was the staff. Genuinely some of the most caring people I have met in a hotel, they were really intuitive in service delivery. I got to know some over a period of years and it was obvious that the GM really cared about the staff.

I felt that it was a prime example of how any business can really shine when people who work there are treated with respect and valued. Even when I had the opportunities to stay in luxury hotels in Dehli I would forgo and stay at the JW - I only wish more hotels left me with that feeling.

Also, great bathrooms with massive shower and large soaking tubs.

I have never been to Hotel Kamp but sounds like similar themes for you? What do you like about the bar that sets the property apart?
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Old Dec 8, 19, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by Fly_IAD View Post

I have never been to Hotel Kamp but sounds like similar themes for you? What do you like about the bar that sets the property apart?
Not exactly the same, Hotel Kamp is still recognized as the best hotel in Helsinki and in my opinion competes for best hotel in Scandinavia, though I am sure many will have different opinions. I don't stay there FOR the bar, it's the whole package. It's a plus that the bar is crowded, aesthetically pleasing and a good central point to start a night out. They make pretty good cocktails as well. It seems to be crowded with locals a lot also. I have many Finnish friends and it seems like whenever we start our evenings at Kamp, they run into other friends who just happened to be drinking there as well.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 11:21 am
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Donīt get me wrong, this thread is a very nice idea, but also a challenging one. Kamp for excample is for me the logical choice when staying in Helsinki. I thought a lot which I can add but non which comes to my mind really qualifies in my eyes. Perhaps Chateau Sureau? More or less I guess all hotels I stayed over the last years are named here when it comes to this certain area. So as I said challenging..... Also the luxury-market is not that big.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 4:21 pm
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Great thread.

Iíll add one that wouldnít normally get much play here: the accommodation at Brae, which is one of Australiaís best restaurants. Brae is located in Birragurra, a tiny town about 90 minutes drive south west of Melbourne (great to combine with a trip to the Great Ocean Road). It has its own farm and an emphasis on sustainability and local produce. The best way to enjoy a meal at this fabulous place is to book one of the six suites on the property. Each is spacious, beautifully designed and has lovely peaceful views over the surrounding paddocks. They are filled with thoughtful touches like a turntable with a well-curated collection of vinyl (reflecting chef Dan Hunterís musical tastes!), a cocktail bar and excellent coffee (no Nespresso machines here). In the morning freshly baked, still warm bread and pastries are delivered to your door along with the paper.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Donīt get me wrong, this thread is a very nice idea, but also a challenging one. Kamp for excample is for me the logical choice when staying in Helsinki.
When staying in Helsinki, yes...however if someone has not looked into a trip to Helsinki, it's unlikely they would have ever heard of the Kamp. I figure perhaps this thread will lead to people learning about new hotels, doing some digging and perhaps planning stops places they might not have considered, plus trying new hotels in other cities.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 11:29 pm
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Dar Ayniwen in Marrakech is one of my favorite hotel stays. Great place.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 11:54 pm
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I was impressed by Green Island, Great Barrier Reef. It's a coral island about three miles in diameter that's a national park with about forty perfect suites and junior suites in the casual Queensland style of dark bare wood (mahogany I think) floors with stunning modern bathrooms. Buildings along the beach are designed to blend into the sand dunes. The property/island has a couple pools, lots of (private) beach, a boardwalk, a small zoo specializing in crocs, an underwater ocean viewing room, free glass bottom boat rides for the asking, and a private waiting room for the hydrofoil in Cairns. Good food and they encourage you to talk to the chef during breakfast to special order particular fresh fish/seafood or other things you want for dinner, to be acquired just for you during the hotel restaurant's daily market trip.

It's not fancy or traditional true luxury but for me it was a perfect way to see the GBR. [I had also considered Bedara Island, but it's more difficult to access and I decided that I didn't want the mandatory all inclusive F&B there.]
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Old Dec 9, 19, 3:26 am
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Not sure if this satisfied the definition--

1) Ett Hem in Stockholm
2) Chiltern Firehouse in London
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Old Dec 9, 19, 2:36 pm
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Just finished a stay at the Taj Green Cove in Kovalam. Was not expecting much, but it was fantastic. Iíd say this is now my second favorite hotel in India after Amanbagh. Kovalam was meh, but great hotel.
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Old Dec 9, 19, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by sophialite View Post
Not sure if this satisfied the definition--

1) Ett Hem in Stockholm
2) Chiltern Firehouse in London
iíd say for now Ett Hem fits although itís getting more and more well known. Are the rooms at Chiltern nice? Have only been there to party and in my experience hotels that are attached to a party usually have meh rooms and worse service
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Old Dec 9, 19, 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by sophialite View Post
Not sure if this satisfied the definition--

1) Ett Hem in Stockholm
2) Chiltern Firehouse in London
You had a good stay at Ett Hem? That wouldn't reflect my past experience ...
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Old Dec 9, 19, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Just finished a stay at the Taj Green Cove in Kovalam. Was not expecting much, but it was fantastic. Iíd say this is now my second favorite hotel in India after Amanbagh. Kovalam was meh, but great hotel.
how was the beach at Kovalam? This might impact my feb travel plans
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Old Dec 9, 19, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
iíd say for now Ett Hem fits although itís getting more and more well known. Are the rooms at Chiltern nice? Have only been there to party and in my experience hotels that are attached to a party usually have meh rooms and worse service
the rooms are nice but you have to pay $$$ for space, although thatís the case for many central London hotels.

and... yes my primary motivation for going there is to party. I usually end up staying the night there. Better than stumbling home in stilettos.

edit: service depends on where you are in the hotel and how well the staff knows you. The restaurant tends to be good and theyíve become a bit warmer since Iím a regular. The laddershed service is cold as ever. Biggest turn off of the whole joint. And hotel service is very warm.

once left a leather jacket at the hotel and I only realized it four months later. Hotel still had it and gladly held onto it for me.

Last edited by sophialite; Dec 9, 19 at 3:46 pm
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Old Dec 9, 19, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by mike_la_jolla View Post
You had a good stay at Ett Hem? That wouldn't reflect my past experience ...
excellent. Itís one of my favorite hotels in the world. Will try to go there again for midsummers in Stockholm this June. Speaking of which I should probably book that now hahaha
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