Top 10 coolest hotels in the world
Get inspired for your next holiday with these dream destinations!
What’s cooler than being cool? Nope, not ice cold – it’s kicking back in one of the world’s coolest hotels, preferably with the sun beating down, a cocktail by your side and not a care in the world.
Shack up in one of these epic boltholes – from architectural marvels to shabby-chic hipster hangouts – and not only will you be in for the holiday of a lifetime, but you’ll have a lifetime to bask in the reflected cool you’ll get from staying there. Win win.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
What do you get when you mix contemporary design, undiluted luxury and the untouched wilderness of one of Africa’s biggest game reserves? One of the most remarkable hotels on the planet, that’s what, with a wallet-melting pricetag to match. Rooms look like they’ve been dropped in from Scandinavia; and landed on a cliff-side that just happens to be the perfect place to see big game and the dramatic N’wanetsi river. You’ll never want to leave, but you’d be wise to – Land Rover safaris from the lodge get you up close and personal with lions, elephants, giraffes, zebra and more.
Mexico City, Mexico
It’s all about the rooftop bar at this boutique hotel in Mexico City’s young and hip Condesa district. Knock back cocktails and nibble on sushi while looking out over the lush green Parque España and soaking up some chill, before you venture out into one of the world’s most chaotic and thrilling cities. Actually, maybe we’ll have another cocktail first.
When was the last time you stayed in a hostel that had its own tattoo parlour? Or where there are daily hangover-busting runs, an in-house yoga expert and a bike shop on site? Nope, us neither. Urban House – which has a craft beer and burger bar too (of course it does) – is all about the good times, with an unpretentious vibe to go with it. Or to go with the full-sleeve tribal tat you just got on a whim.
Jade Mountain is conclusive proof that you can have it all. Not only do you get eye-popping levels of luxury and madcap architecture, but the views – looking across a shimmering bay to St Lucia’s famous piton mountains – are probably the best not just on the island but in the Caribbean. Better still, you can see it all from the comfort of your open-sided room while kicking back in your private infinity pool. Tough life, eh?
Post Ranch Inn
Big Sur, California, USA
Not so much a town as a stretch of road that just happens to wrap around the most beautiful and dramatic coastline you’ve ever seen, Big Sur is California’s hippy heartland. If you’re there – and you’ve got a few dollars (ok, a lot of dollars) rattling around – check into the Post Ranch Inn, where super-modern architecture meets a laidback west coast attitude. It’s perched right on the edge of a cliff, so you’ll need a head for heights…
Sofitel Legend Metropole
Hanoi is a 24/7 riot of bustle and noise, where colonial France, ancient China and modern Vietnam collide to dizzying effect. The Sofitel Legend Metropole isn’t just an oasis of calm among the crazy – it’s a Southeast Asian icon that’s been pulling in the rich, famous and beautiful since it opened in 1901. If you’re struggling with the rich bit, pop into the bar for a Charlie Chaplin martini – the silent-movie star spent his honeymoon at the Metropole after his secret marriage to actress Paulette Goddard in 1936.
Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, UK
Designer rooms are cool. Great, locally sourced food in a buzzy restaurant is cool. World-class eco credentials are cool. But none of that beats sitting in a wooden hot tub on the cliff edge, sipping a glass of champagne and watching the sun set over a rugged bay below. You’ll get all that and more at the Scarlet in Cornwall, and you won’t even have to leave the UK to get it – which is extra cool, obviously.
If your idea of cool is slick urban glitz and beautiful people, turn the car around now – Explora Patagonia [lead picture] is the antithesis of all that. The hotel itself is modern and stark, but with a backdrop like Chile’s jaw-dropping Torres Del Paine National Park, it doesn’t need bright lights and architectural tricks. The hotel even has its own stables and in-house horse expert, so you can check out the mountain scenery from the saddle like a proper gaucho. Yee ha! (Or whatever that is in Spanish.)
On looks alone, MONA Pavilions is one of the most striking hotels in the world, but the angular modern design’s just the tip of the iceberg. Looking out over the Derwent river on the south coast of Tasmania, MONA’s technically an art museum (the Museum of Old and New Art, hence the name) with a hotel, rather than the other way around. The hotel’s no afterthought, though – each room has Bang & Olufsen tech, original artworks and its own temperature-controlled wine store. How did we ever manage without one of those?
In case you haven’t got the memo, Puglia – it’s the heel of Italy’s boot, plus a bit of extra coast – is pretty much the place to go in Italy right now. Not only is it overflowing with stunning coastline, packed with olive and fig orchards, and dotted with ancient hilltop towns, but it has Borgo Egnazia – an impossibly sophisticated place that feels less like a resort and more like the most chilled-out village on the planet. Oh, and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel got married there. Just saying.