12 Hotels That Are Worth the Splurge
12 Hotels That Are Worth the Splurge

While many travelers are looking to save as much money as possible on their trip, sometimes it’s worth it to splurge for a few nights in a luxury hotel. Whether it's a stunning location, historic building or just some flat-out incredible amenities, splurging on a fancy night in a luxurious hotel can be worth the extra expense. Here’s a look at 12 hotels around the world that are worth increasing your travel budget for.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler — Canada

Snow covered Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler.
Credit: Four Seasons

Named Canada’s Leading Resort (for the third time) in 2023 by World Travel Awards, this five-star, family- and pet-friendly ski resort has something for everyone. Just five minutes from the base of Blackcomb Mountain, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler is especially popular during winter but boasts beautiful views of the Fitzsimmons Range year-round. The charming European-style architecture of its alpine village perfectly complements its surroundings.

The excursions are part of the world-class experience. Book a helicopter tour for afternoon tea atop a mountain or a romantic evening snowmobile ride to an isolated cabin for a three-course dinner. The spa is another draw. Its heated swimming pool and whirlpools are open year-round. Guests can get cozy with a cocktail at the Library by the Macallan (a hotel bar) or enjoy the complimentary hot cocoa stations and wine tastings.

Hotel Marqués de Riscal — Spain

Exterior of Marques de Riscal Hotel Winery - La Rioja Alavesa Spain
Credit: Renato Granieri/ Alamy Stock Photo

This avant-garde structure was designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry (famous for designing structures such as the Bilbao Guggenheim). It's situated on the grounds of Marqués de Riscal, a vineyard in Rioja, Spain, that has landed the No. 2 spot on the 2023 list of the World’s Best Vineyards (for its third year in a row). The hotel first opened in 2006, boasting 61 guest rooms with views of the medieval town of Elciego and the rolling hills of the Spanish countryside.

The vineyard is much older than the hotel, dating back to 1858, making it one of the oldest wineries in the Rioja region of northern Spain, home of the namesake wine. The hotel boasts fine dining with Michelin-starred Chef Francis Paniego and has laid-back à la carte offerings to pair with its excellent wine. Guests are invited to tour the vineyards, take a dip in the heated indoor pool, relax in the Finnish sauna, or even partake in a grape pomace barrel bath during their stay.

Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa — Argentina

Hotel with view of water, mountains, and city.
Credit: Matthew Williams-Ellis Travel Photography/ Alamy Stock Photo

The Patagonia region of South America harbors awe-inspiring views of the Andes Mountains and glacial fjords. Located at the southern tip of the region in the town of Ushuaia (nicknamed the “End of the World”) is the Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa, where luxury meets the edge of the rugged wilderness. The five-star hotel hosts many tourists passing through the town to continue on Antarctic cruises, but this resort is worthy of at least a few nights’ stay.

Guests can spend an evening relaxing in a hot tub overlooking the Beagle Channel after a delicious dinner at La Cravia with views of the Vinciguerra Glacier. Just steps outside the hotel is a hiking trail through Cerro Alarkén Natural Reserve, with beautiful views year-round. As for the views from the rooms, all accommodations boast views of the Andorra Valley or the Bay of Ushuaia; both are breathtaking.

The Fife Arms — Scotland

Hotel lobby. Fife Arms, Braemar, United Kingdom.
Credit: Ed Reeve-VIEW/ Alamy Stock Photo

In the central Scottish Highlands, where the red deer roam the heather-covered hills, is the charming village of Braemar, home to a renovated 19th-century hunting lodge turned hotel. Today, the five-star Fife Arms boasts 46 guest rooms and Royal Suites, each intricately decorated with historical artifacts. Over 16,000 antiques adorn this hotel, making visitors feel like they stepped into a museum of Scottish history. The artwork alone is worth the visit; guests can view a drawing of a stag by Queen Victoria, along with “Femme Assise dans un Fauteuil” by Pablo Picasso.

Dining is part of the experience at the Fife Arms. Head to the Clunie Dining Room for a traditional Scottish meal made over a wood fire, or try the Fog House for traditional Swiss fondue — but don’t forget a local whisky tasting at one of the bars. The hotel is situated in Cairngorms National Park, just 15 minutes down the road from Balmoral Castle, a residence of the British royal family.

The Oberoi, Marrakech — Morocco

Tray with traditional Moroccan mint tea with sweets
Credit: Ekaterina Pokrovsky/ Shutterstock

Ranked as the No. 1 Best Resort in North Africa and the Middle East for two years in 2023 and 2022, the Oberoi Marrakech blends history with modern opulence. It's situated on 28 acres of citrus orchards and landscaped gardens just east of downtown Marrakech. The tranquil setting transports guests away from the city and into a secluded world of mountain views and fine dining.

Enjoy dinner on the patio at Rivayat with Indian cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Rohit Ghai, or try the international fare at Tamimt, made with locally sourced ingredients and organic produce grown on-site. Guests will never get bored here. Sign up for a sunrise yoga class or various exercise classes in scenic locations around the grounds, or make your Moroccan food in a cooking class with one of Oberoi’s master chefs.

Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle — France

Gardens of the Versailles Palace
Credit: PhotoFires/ Shutterstock

Le Grand Contrôle is the only hotel on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. Here, guests can walk the same paths as some of the most famous French monarchs, including Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI. Less than 30 minutes from Paris by train, the stunning hotel was a private home opened nearly 200 years ago. Today, 11 lavish guest rooms and two suites boast views of the expansive manicured gardens. The rooms are decorated in traditional 18th-century style, much as they would have been when the French kings held court there.

Unsurprisingly, guests are treated to amenities fit for royalty. Despite being centuries old, the hotel boasts a state-of-the-art spa, gym, and pool area. Guests will also experience some of the finest cuisine in France, including a breakfast made by Michelin-starred Chef Alain Ducasse. All guests also receive private tours of the palace and other areas on the grounds.

Raffles Singapore - Singapore

Credit: Phillip Maguire/Shutterstock

The Raffles Singapore is synonymous with luxury, even earning itself a cameo in the recent box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians. But, that’s not the only reason to splurge for a stay at the Raffles Singapore. The hotel is over 100 years old and is an integral part of Singapore’s history, also earning distinction as the location where the iconic Singapore Sling cocktail was invented. The hotel has been closed for a major renovation and reopens later this year with a major culinary focus — there will be more dining tables than beds, and new world-renowned chefs running the show in 10 different food spaces.

Giraffe Manor - Kenya

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You've probably seen the incredible Instagram photos of travelers enjoying breakfast with a giraffe sticking its head through the window. This experience is available to anyone willing to splurge for a stay at Giraffe Manor in Kenya. The luxury property shares the grounds with the Giraffe Centre that is home to around 10 endangered Rothschild giraffes. The Giraffe Centre operates a breeding program to help reintroduce breeding pairs into the wild to help get the subspecies numbers back up. The manor itself is a stunning boutique experience with 12 rooms in an elegant building that dates back to the 1930s.

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong - China

Credit: samxmeg/iStock

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong dominates the Hong Kong skyline on floors 102-118 of the International Commerce Center (ICC) in Tsim Sha Tsui. The hotel once had the distinction of being the tallest hotel in the world, and it still holds bragging rights to the world’s tallest bar. Ozone commands impressive views from its 118th-floor location and many make the trip up the dual elevators just to grab a drink. For those staying in the hotel, splurge for a club level room where you’ll have access to an endless bounty of culinary delights in an even more exclusive setting. Interested in Hong Kong’s high-end dining scene? You’ll only have to take an elevator down a couple floors to try two Michelin-starred restaurants — Tosca with one star and Tin Lung Heen with two stars.

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge, Belize

Courtesy of Viva Belize

Tucked amidst the lush landscape of Belize’s mainland, Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge offers a number of luxury accommodation options, but the real gem here is the mountain view penthouse suite. You’ll get your daily workout in climbing the 78 stairs, but it’s worth every burned calorie. Penthouse furnishings showcase beautiful Belizean hardwoods and local art. The massive balcony has a spacious plunge pool and a two-person whirlpool tub where you can marvel at the views of the namesake Sleeping Giant Mountain. Enjoy upscale Belizean cuisine in Sleeping Giant’s treehouse restaurant, The Grove House by Chef Adan, which was named Restaurant of the Year in Belize multiple times.

Velaa Private Island - Maldives

Credit: Lyubov Timofeyeva/Shutterstock

This jaw-dropping private island resort in the Maldives offers more than just splendid coral reef views and luxurious accommodations. Velaa Private Island Maldives has a notable culinary focus. Oenophiles will appreciate the artistic ivory Tavaru Tower that houses Velaa’s impressive wine collection. There are over 500 bins, making it home to the largest wine collection in the Maldives. Set on the Noonu Atoll, the hotel offers on-island villas and overwater bungalows. Though you'll share the island with other guests, every minute will feel private and exclusive, as if you were all alone.  

Chateau de Bagnols - France

Credit: ricochet64/iStock

Staying in a castle is a dream for many travelers, and Chateau de Bagnols makes it a reality. Located in the vineyards of Beaujolais, this majestic medieval fortress dates back to 1217. One of the showpieces here is the massive gothic fireplace that adorns the restaurant. This castle hotel is only about 20 miles away from France’s gastronomic capital city, Lyon. Not surprisingly, renowned Chef Jean-Alexandre Ouaratta has elevated the culinary experience at Chateau de Bagnols, helping restaurant 1217 earn its first Michelin star.

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