The New Year means new trips to plan. Avid travelers may have their old standbys, but in 2010 you may want to try something new. Check out 2009’s highest rated hotels to fill some of your 2010 options.
Conde Nast Traveller named Nuss in Buenos Aires, Argentina to it’s best of the year list. The hotel, which opened in February 2009, is a remodeled 1930s convent. Local interior designer Sofía Camps created the décor for the destination’s 22 rooms. The vibe is chic and modern, but down to earth - like a home away from home. The hotel is located in Palermo Soho, near plent of bars, restaurants and art galleries. Rooms at Nuss start around $200.
One of the magazine’s North American picks was Pur in Quebec City, Canada. Located in the up-an-coming neighborhood of Saint Roch, the hotel is a former Holiday Inn with some major design upgrades. Instead of your run-of-the-mill standard windows, Pur’s room have floor to ceiling panes to bask the super sleek décor in natural light. Throughout the hotel the color scheme is gray, white, and orange and bathrooms feature Japanese tubs. Rooms start around $165.
If old-world Europe is among your travel plans, Belgium would be a pleasing stop. The city of Bruges is a perfectly preserved medieval city and a popular sight-seeing destination. But until this year, the city had no grand hotels to speak of. Finally, Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace brings five-star luxury to the city by way of the remodelled15th century residence of the Duke of Burgundy. Though the décor is updated, visitors are still treated to historic touches, like stained glass windows. Rooms start about $290.
Paris is one of the most common European destinations, but you can still find uncommon accommodations in the City of Lights. Prolific designer Philippe Starck teamed with architect Roland Castro to open Mama Shelter - A high-design, but surprisingly affordable, hotel located in an off-the-path area of the famed city.
This is not the place to go if you want to be at the center of everything. But if you like quirky design, gadgets (each room features an iMac computer), and a taste of “real” Paris, this is the place for you. Despite the humble pricing and location, the hotel was named one of Travel and Leisure’s best design hotels of 2009. Grab a room reservation for as little at $125.
On the African continent, get a way from the hustle and bustle on a peaceful safari trip in Botswana. But don’t be fooled - safari doesn’t mean giving up the comforts of modern accommodation. The Xudum lodge in the Okavango Delta makes sure of that. The suites in the lodge are very spacious and very private. Making you feel as though you have your own African sanctuary. Prices start at $1,100.
The Diva resort on the Maldives islands is more like a village than a hotel. The resort is well-stocked with restaurants featuring international cuisine and there are plenty of night spots for bar or club-hopping. If partying isn’t your thing, water sports abound and there is, of course, a beautiful spa. One of the most intriguing features are the over-water villas that make the clear blue water a very present part of the décor. Villas start at $840.