After years of traveling the world I thought I would share some of my favorite hotels. I stay in a wide range of accommodations based on the type of trip. I’ve stayed at a 5 star JW Marriott and I’ve stayed in hostels. But my sweet spot is the small affordable boutique hotel. …that gem that you can’t believe you found and pushes the trip over the edge as extra special...that place that you talk about years later. Here are those memorable ones from the past 8 years.
(I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, with any of these properties. I stayed there based on my independent research and these are the places I loved and remember).
Granada, Nicaragua – Miss Margrit’s Guesthouse. This charming place is right in the city with beautiful courtyards, friendly staff and wonderful breakfasts.
Costa Rica, Montverde – Montverde Lodge and Gardens. This lodge is more expensive than my typical choice, but it was worth it to stay in the middle of the rain forest with a balcony over- looking the jungle. The lodge has a butterfly conservatory and the food was amazing.
Bocas del Toro, Panama – Koko Acqua Lodge. These overwater bungalows were simple and perfect. They are a fraction of the cost of what you will see advertised elsewhere but just as relaxing and comfortable.
Salta, Argentina – Hotel Boutique Balcon De La Plaza. There is wood, tile, and rod iron everywhere. It is simple yet comfortable. The staff was exceptionally helpful and friendly.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Colonial 154 H Boutique. An open air small hotel right in the middle of the old city. The hotel staff was fantastic and there are several open areas to hang out.
Luang Prabang, Laos – Mylaohome Hotels & Spa is so beautiful it looks like a museum. It blends perfectly with the UNESCO town.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Okay Boutique Hotel. Despite its name – it is more than okay. It is centrally located, has amazing wood work, a roof top pool and restaurant and very comfortable rooms.
Pokhara, Nepal – Hotel Blossom was small, simple and charming. It had a great location and a great staff. We switched hotels when we returned to Pokhara after our trek and I was sorry we did. Next time I come back, I’ll return to Hotel Blossom!
Bhaktapur, Nepal – Hotel Baha Restaurant and Café is superb. It is a newly established boutique hotel inside of the old city. It has beautiful wood and a courtyard with views of the temple. Rahul (the co-founder) is always there and exceptionally helpful! This is one of my favorite places I’ve stayed – EVER.
Bucharest Romania – Cismigiu Hotel is a historic hotel built in 1912. It is grand and yet personable. Also in a perfect downtown location.
Lake Orhid, Maccedonia – Villa St. Sofija. This hotel in this location is one of my fondest travel memories. The hotel felt more like a bnb than a hotel.
Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland – Hotel Budir. This is a luxury hotel in a rugged windblown landscape. It is another place I definitely hope to return. It is the perfect destination if you want to get off the beaten path and stay somewhere special.
Villafranca-Montes de Oca, Spain – Hotel San Anton Abad. At the top of the hill near the church, this feels more like a small castle than a hotel. The fire, stone and rich tapestries made this an awesome find!
Istanbul, Turkey – Hotel Spectra. I’ve stayed there at least three times due to the location and staff. Although my good friend also feels strongly about the Hotel Seraglio and Hotel Nena so I might try one of those next time.
I will also add the Hotel Nemzeti Budapest MGallery in Budapest and No12 in Tbilsi. I haven’t stayed at either but both are highly recommended by the same friend and on my list when I am next in those cities.
Two last honorable mentions are two large chain hotels that I loved. The first is the JW Marriott in Jakarta and the Best Western Premier Hotel Slon in Ljubljana. Both were superior but don’t fit the criteria of a small boutique hotel.