Oyster's Best Celebrity Sighting Hotels
Dream of rubbing elbows with the stars? Check out the favorite haunts of the rich and famous.
The Gramercy Park Hotel is a choice hangout for the hip, beautiful, and famous, and its velvet-heavy Rose Bar is currently the epicenter of the New York bar scene. Our reporter glimpsed Sting during his stay. The week before Janet Jackson was spotted admiring the artwork in the Rose Bar; Kid Rock was seen outside smoking a cigarette; and Chace Crawford was there having a business meeting. 960 1280
Ashley Olsen, Blake Lively, and Rachel Bilson have all reportedly stayed at The Bowery Hotel, and Keifer Sutherland was snapped by the paparazzi as he stumbled into the hotel in the wee hours of the morning. Our reporter shared an elevator with comedienne Sarah Silverman, who told her she always stays here when visiting from L.A. 960 1280
The Mercer's 75 loft-style guest rooms, beautiful staff, personalized service and swanky SoHo location make it a go-to choice for celebrities -- from Leonardo DiCaprio, to fashion designer Calvin Klein, to oddball rock star Marilyn Manson, to Russell Crowe (who made headlines in 2005 for allegedly throwing a telephone at a Mercer check-in clerk). The engineer who installed our reporter's DVD player said he'd recently fixed the electronics in the room of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. 960 1280
The Hotel on Rivington is a secretive hot spot for well-heeled travelers who like their neighborhoods cool and their thread counts high. This monied group inevitably includes celebs; the bellman told our reporter that just the week before her visit, Jay-Z held a star-studded birthday party for rapper Fabolous in the three-level penthouse. Demi Moore, hubby Ashton Kutcher, and Edward Norton have also visited the hotel for parties. 960 1280
Chateau Marmont, a discreet movie star hideaway since it opened in 1929, attracts celebrities to its popular Bar Marmont, see-and-be-seen restaurant, and private guest bungalows. An Oyster reporter spotted both Stevie Wonder and Radiohead's Thom Yorke at coveted patio tables. Twilight stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson spent the night together at the hotel, while unlikely friends Tila Tequila and Meghan McCain were spotted having lunch. 960 1280
Rock stars have been flocking to the Sunset Marquis since it opened in 1963 as a cheap hotel for musicians playing at the nearby House of Blues, Roxy, and Viper Room. There is even a recording studio in the basement where Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Green Day, Lil Wayne and Faith Hill have all recorded. During our two-night stay, we spotted Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Joss Stone, and former Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen. 960 1280
Hidden away in a quiet residential section of Beverly Hills, this hotel has earned a reputation as a place where stars can recover from their plastic surgery in private -- Michael Jackson and Liz Taylor have been among them. Angelina Jolie has conducted interviews from the hotel, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes celebrated her birthday here, and part of Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny from the Block" video was filmed on site, as were scenes in the Julia Roberts movie Full Frontal. 960 1280
Most celebs come to this elegant and dignified 1912 hotel with 12 acres of gardens to hide away in one of the secluded bungalows. But head to the Polo Lounge and you might see Hollywood execs closing a deal, or spot Paris Hilton, as we did. Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Britney Spears, Jennifer Aniston, and John Mayer have also been spotted here recently. Other stars who have been spotted at the Polo Lounge include Nicole Kidman, Johnny Depp, Vince Vaughn, and Nicolas Cage. 960 1280
Caesars is the hotel of choice for the ultimate international A-lister, Barack Obama. The President slept among the imperial statues at Caesars Palace several times during his presidential campaign. More recently, Obama and his family checked in to a 22,000-square-foot suite with its own private pool while in town for a fundraiser. There have also been a slew of B-lister b-day bashes that have been hosted at Caesars' Pure Nightclub (Khloe Kardashian, Perez Hilton, and Nicky Hilton, to name a few). 960 1280
In February 2009, paps went wild when Brad Pitt checked in with his two sons, Pax and Maddox, for a boys' getaway. A month later, Paris Hilton announced that she would be headquartered in the hotel while shooting the second season of her MTV reality-TV show, My New BFF. Chris Brown was spotted post-domestic-violence-conviction at the ironically named club, Rehab. 960 1280
This Miami hotel's nightclub, the Florida Room, was designed by Lenny Kravitz, and its Lucite piano's keys have been tickled by both Kravitz and Jamie Foxx. Queen Latifah, Sean Paul, Ludacris, Wyclef and Grace Jones have performed here as well. George Clooney reportedly stayed at the hotel in the spring of 2009 while filming Up in the Air, and Justin Timberlake is also said to have laid his fair head down at the Delano. Players on the Miami Heat have been known to grab a drink at the Rose Bar. 960 1280
The regal old San Francisco Fairmont has hosted an impressive list of U.S. presidents, international royalty and heads of state, and A-list celebrities (a list that the hotel proudly displays on its website). President Barack Obama has been a guest here, as was Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and JFK, among others. The long line of celebrity guests includes greats like Fred Astaire, James Brown, and Ernest Hemingway, plus Hollywood stars of today including David Duchovny, Harrison Ford, Uma Thurman, Courtney Cox, Katie Holmes, and Mischa Barton. 960 1280
We found this hotel to be the most luxurious in Hawaii, so it's not surprising that it's a popular celebrity haunt. Oprah, John Stamos, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pamela Anderson, and Tommy Lee have all reportedly been guests, as were Britney Spears and K-Fed back when they were a couple. More recently, Paris Hilton and Doug Reinhardt were spotted at the Four Seasons in March 2009. 960 1280
With a breathtaking view of Arenal Volcano, Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa's pool takes full advantage of its natural setting. Lounging at a gorgeous pool gazing into the foot of a volcano doesn't sound too bad to us! 960 1280
If the Jacuzzis and beautiful pool aren't enough, head to the thermal springs to quench your nature thirst. The natural rocks, greenery and warm temperatures are blissful. 960 1280
At The Royal Corin Resort & Loto Spa, the pools have natural thermal waters and stunning volcano views. The property also feels more developed, and less lush, than others in the area. 960 1280
The luxurious and well-designed pools at the Gaia Hotel and Reserve are tucked into the hillside of a 14-acre nature reserve, so magnificent views are surely familiar here. 960 1280
After 18-holes on its unique Ted Robinson-designed golf course, an afternoon at Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort's colossal pool complex is a treat. 960 1280
The lovely infinity pool at Los Altos Beach Resort makes guests feel at home. The ocean views provide a beautiful backdrop to gaze at, so feel free to waste some time looking around. 960 1280
The 4 pools make it hard to choose where to relax for the day at Buena Vista Luxury Villas. Both infinity pools are stunning, and don't forget about the reception pool and the family pool. You'll never get bored here. 960 1280
Costa Rica's Best Pools 14 Photos
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado (Samana, Dominican Republic)The Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado is the only resort with its own private island in the Dominican Republic. Soak up the sun at the scenic beaches and beautiful pools, and relax in the luxurious rooms with private whirlpool tubs. 960 1280
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado (Samana, Dominican Republic)Located on the Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic, the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado has 2 gorgeous pools with bars nearby and plenty of lounge chairs, and both are exceptionally clean. The snack bar at the beach pool offers a basic buffet with hot dogs, hamburgers, rice, salad and selected entrees. 960 1280
Travaasa Hana (Maui, HI)Travaasa Hana has incredible service, a top-notch spa, excellent food and 77 rooms on acres of property. It may be hard to reach, but it's worth the trip. 960 1280
Jake's (South Coast, Jamaica)Jake's is a member of Island Outpost, Jamaica's trendiest hotel group. Guests come to unplug — there's no phone, internet or TV in the cottages. 960 1280
Jake's (South Coast, Jamaica)Jake's is a particular favorite because of the on-site painting and yoga classes, the excellent food and the Driftwood Spa. The spa has several open-air treatment rooms that are built into cliffs overlooking the ocean. 960 1280
Geejam (Port Antonio, Jamaica)The setting of the Geejam is gorgeous, the service is extraordinary, and one of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches is only 10 minutes away. The hotel offers guests peaceful isolation, but one of its drawbacks is that there are no pool or spa facilities. 960 1280
Geejam (Port Antonio, Jamaica)The Geejam is made up of only 5 private, high-tech cottages in the lush foothills of Port Antonio. Modern electronics in the rooms include 42-inch flat-screens, AppleTV, iPod docks and free Wi-Fi. 960 1280
Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort (St. John, US Virgin Islands)Caneel Bay sits on 170 acres of a protected national park, dotted with 7 remote beaches. The largest beach also attracts non-resort guests, but the other beaches on the property are much more secluded. 960 1280
Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort (St. John, US Virgin Islands)Caneel's attentive service and gorgeous setting make it one of the Caribbean's best secluded resorts. The most notable of the hotel's 4 restaurants is Equator, which was built inside and on top of an 18th-century sugar mill. 960 1280
Secluded Island Escapes 12 Photos
Heritance Kandalama HotelDesigned by architect Geoffrey Bawa, the Kachchan infinity pool (pictured) at the Heritance Kandalama Hotel blends into the view of Kandalama Lake. Take a swim or relax by the pool in the evenings while Siripala, a traditional flautist from a nearby village, plays soothing music. Located in Sri Lanka, this hotel also has 2 more pools: the Kaludiya Pool and the Rashmi Pool. The latter is the largest pool on the property and is equipped for sports such as water polo. 960 1280
Conrad Maldives Rangali IslandEscape to your own personal paradise at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Enjoy this Maldives resort’s 2 infinite-view swimming pools, as well as its other unique experiences, including the 180-degree views of reef and marine life while dining at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. 960 1280
Grace SantoriniThe Grace Santorini on the Greek island of Santorini has a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea as far as the eye can see. On the terrace, where the hotel’s infinity pool is located, grab a refreshing cocktail made by renowned mixologist Salvatore Calabrese. Pair the signature Grace cocktail with your dinner, or just pass the time sipping a delicious drink while watching the sun set. 960 1280
Ubud Hanging GardensThe infinity swimming pool at Ubud Hanging Gardens is perched over a rain forest in Bali. The pool stands on 2 levels surrounded by sun beds. In addition to the main pool, all rooms and suites have a pool for guests looking for a more private atmosphere. 960 1280
Jumby BayIn addition to the 82-foot Verandah Pool, Jumby Bay also has an oceanfront infinity pool, located at the end of the Jumby Bay Beach in Antigua. Unwind by basking in the Caribbean sun or enjoying a bite to eat at the Pool Grille. 960 1280
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & ResortLocated in a lush Thailand jungle, this pool offers guests at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort great panoramic views of Myanmar and Laos. After a dip in the pool, make friends with elephants on-site; master the art of Thai cuisine at the Lanna Cooking School; take a private tour to explore the hill tribe culture; and more. 960 1280
Fifty Ultra LoungeThe Fifty Miami Ultra Lounge at the Viceroy is one of the most exclusive lookout points in the city. Aside from being a hot nightspot, the Asian-inflected private pool offers guests amazing views of the city from atop the hotel tower. Enjoy the chic, sophisticated ambience and listen to some of Miami’s hottest DJs while lying by the pool or taking a quick dip to cool off. 960 1280
Fontainebleau Miami BeachWelcome to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The hotel’s beautiful poolscape features small dipping pools for kids and cabanas equipped with wireless internet, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, butler service, mini-refrigerators and digital safes for personal items. Rent a poolside bed or a variety of different cabanas, including a luxurious island cabana, located in the center of the Round Pool. 960 1280
Le Palais de la MediterraneeGuests at the Palais de la Mediterranee in Nice, France, have a beautiful view of the Bay of Angels from the outdoor pool. The hotel also has an indoor pool, but outdoors is where you really want to be if you’re visiting this French coastal city in the summer. 960 1280
Bondi Icebergs ClubIt’s not a hotel or resort, but we had to include the famous Bondi Baths on our list of the best places to take a dip. Located at the Bondi Icebergs Club, this 164-foot-long, Olympic-size pool has been a landmark on Australia’s Bondi Beach for more than 100 years. 960 1280
Lake Manyara Serena Safari LodgeThe Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge uses its vanishing-horizon pool as its centerpiece, surrounding it with rooms and suites, a poolside bar, a rustic reception area, a dining room, a bar and a veranda, which overlooks the lake. Located in Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania, the lodge lets guests go on a morning bird walk, a mountain bike ride, a canoe adventure, a night game drive, or a culture tour to learn about the local Iraqw and Sukuma people in neighboring villages. 960 1280
InterContinental Hong KongAt the InterContinental Hotel in Hong Kong, the infinity swimming pool with 3 hot tubs offers guests a relaxing dip overlooking Victoria Harbour. Here’s the bad news: The pool and hot tubs are open only to hotel guests. So you'd better book a stay. 960 1280
Fullerton Bay Hotel SingaporeTake a look at the stunning architecture and cityscape surrounding the outdoor infinity pool at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. This 82-foot-long pool overlooks the Singapore River in the heart of the city. 960 1280
Banyan Tree SeychellesEnjoy the stunning view of the Indian Ocean from the main infinity pool at the Banyan Tree Seychelles resort. Each villa has a private pool, but we think you may spend most of your time at the main pool, which has a bar that serves creative fruit cocktails and tasty snacks. 960 1280
Grand WaileaOn Maui’s Wailea Beach, the Grand Wailea has 9 pools, including the Wailea Canyon Activity Pool, which is equipped with waterslides, rapids and more. We like the Hibiscus Pool (pictured) for guests 18 and older. On the bottom of the pool, a mosaic hibiscus flower was designed with 630,000 pieces of Mexican glass. The 4,850-square-foot pool also has 2 Jacuzzis — perfect for a romantic retreat away from the kids. 960 1280
Hotel Villa MahalThe Hotel Villa Mahal has a 55-foot-long infinity pool with a Jacuzzi that allows guests to gaze at a stunning view of the Kalkan Bay. The Lycian coastline has become one of Turkey’s most popular vacation destinations, thanks to the area’s great beaches and several historical sites, including Xanthos, the ancient capital of Lycia. 960 1280
Marina Bay SandsOn the 57th floor, get a phenomenal view of Singapore from the Marina Bay Sands’ Tower 1 pool. This massive, 500-foot-long infinity pool at the hotel's SkyPark is not for the faint of heart. 960 1280
SLS Hotel South BeachThe SLS Hotel South Beach's pool deck is for travelers who are willing to splurge. Spanning more than 8,000 square feet, the pool deck features a pool, beach, garden and covered cabana area. Beyond the pool, Hyde Beach is where Miami's hip, chic crowd converges to hear the hottest DJs and where rich locals and guests throw private events and receptions. 960 1280
The Standard, Downtown LAGet a panoramic view of LA from the heated rooftop pool at the Standard. And after a dip in the pool, lounge around with friends on one of the canopy waterbeds nearby. Each bed holds up to 10 people. 960 1280
SkyBarAt Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, snuggle up in a private booth or dance poolside at SkyBar, a rooftop pool with views of the Petronas Towers and the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Just a word to the wise: Don’t jump in — this pool is not for swimming. 960 1280
Shaw HouseThe ultra-luxe Shaw House in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a 3,068-square-foot waterfront residence with a lap pool on the roof of the house’s west side. The pool acts as the ceiling, filtering the sunlight into the central area of the house. It’s not open to the public, but we can still dream of plunging into this unique pool of pure bliss, can’t we? 960 1280
Nemo 33It’s the world deepest indoor swimming pool. Nemo 33 in Brussels, Belgium, showcases a unique design that includes several “underwater caves.” Take a 108-foot plunge to explore these submerged houses. And for the inexperienced diver, scuba lessons are offered on-site. 960 1280
Habita MonterreyLocated in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, Habita Monterrey has 2 pools that are separated by a bar. Visitors can swim in the 90-degree hot pool during the winter months or cool off in the cold pool during the summer. Both are on the eighth floor of the hotel, where guests can see the city skyline surrounded by the Sierra Madre Oriental. 960 1280
Kempinski Hotel IshtarHead to the Dead Sea in Jordan to experience the Celestial Pools at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar. Surrounded by gardens and lagoons, this hotel’s 9 swimming pools and waterfalls offer guests picturesque views of the Dead Sea. And don’t miss out on a visit to the 108-square-foot Anantara Spa — it’s the largest spa in the Middle East. 960 1280
Alila UbudHigh above Bali’s Ayung River, this rectangular infinity pool at the Alila Ubud seems to fall off into the jungle. This eco-friendly resort on the Indonesian island encourages guests to get to know the local Balinese culture through countryside treks, visits to local farmers markets and more, while also supporting the local businesses and community. 960 1280
London West HollywoodTake a refreshing swim in the London West Hollywood's rooftop pool, where panoramic views are only improved with pool concierge services, poolside cabanas and fitness facilities. Dine poolside at Rooftop by Gordon Ramsay, which features cuisine from the celebrity chef under the direction of chef Anthony Keene. 960 1280
Hotel Udai KothiTravel to Udaipur, India, to see why this pool is making a big splash at Hotel Udai Kothi. One of the perks of this pool is the view overlooking the palaces in Old Town Udaipur. 960 1280
La Casa Que CantaThis freshwater infinity pool at La Casa Que Canta overlooks Mexico’s Zihuatanejo Bay — and seems to flow directly into it. Guests can easily get lost in thought gazing ahead at the amazing panoramic views seen from the perimeter of the main pool. 960 1280
Hotel Del Coronado (San Diego)Located just across from the San Diego Bay, Hotel del Coronado is one of the largest wooden structures in the US. Built in 1888, the hotel has gone on to host presidents, royalty and celebrities, like Charlie Chaplin back in the day. 960 1280
The US Grant Hotel (San Diego)A fixture of downtown San Diego, the US Grant Hotel was built by Ulysses S. Grant (son of the president). The younger named the hotel in his father’s honor; today the hotel boasts 270 guestrooms and a roster of famous guests that have included 12 US presidents. 960 1280
Beverly Hills HotelOpened in 1912, the famed Beverly Hills Hotel hosted the Silent Age’s great stars, from Rudolph Valentino to Gloria Swanson. The hotel was designed by Pasadena architect Elmer Grey, in the Mediterranean Revival style. 960 1280
The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs, CO)The Broadmoor was built in the early 20th century as the “Grand Dame of the Rockies.” Sitting at an elevation of 6,230 feet above sea level, the hotel was one of the finest resort destinations during the Gilded Age. 960 1280
Nottoway Plantation & Resort (White Castle, Louisiana)Take a stroll through the largest antebellum mansion in the South. Built in 1859, Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, LA, has 3 floors, 6 staircases, 3 bathrooms and a whopping 64 rooms. 960 1280
The Cincinnatian HotelThe Cincinnatian Hotel has been a landmark of downtown Cincinnati since 1882. The hotel, originally known as the Palace Hotel, spans 8 stories, and was built in the French Second Empire architectural style. 960 1280
Colorado's Stanley HotelWe all know of this historic Colorado hotel as the setting for The Shining. Overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park, this 140-room neo-Georgian hotel in Estes Park also boasts a ghost adventure package; a stay in a haunted room is included. 960 1280
Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa (New Hampshire)Set against New Hampshire’s White Mountains, this property dates back to 1865, and is spread across 1,700 acres in the town of Whitefield, NH. 960 1280
Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island)This historic hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island, stretches back to 1887. The hotel boasts views of the Straits of Mackinac, which you can enjoy from the comfort of a rocking chair, on the world’s longest porch. 960 1280
The Biltmore Hotel (Coral Gables, Florida)The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL, with built by a business magnate in 1926. At the time of its construction, which cost a total of $10 million, the property was the tallest building in all of Florida. 960 1280
Biltmore Estate (Asheville, North Carolina)The Biltmore Estate, nestled on 8,000 acres, was built by a member of the Vanderbilt family between 1889 and 1895. The property is still in the family, with tours of its gardens and stunning interiors open to the public. 960 1280
Reethi Rah, MaldivesOn a man-made island in the Indian Ocean, Reethi Rah boasts 130 private villas, each with its own personal stretch of coastline. The bamboo ceilings and open architecture beautifully blend the indoors with the outdoors.
Ultimate indulgence: Receive an Indian Ayurvedic Healing treatment in one of the 2 over-water spa suites.
More stunning Indian Ocean hotels: The Prince Maurice, Mauritius; Six Senses Samui, Ko Samui, Thailand; The Lemuria, Seychelles; Soneva Gili, Maldives 960 1280
The Atlantis Palm, DubaiInspired by the legend of the lost city of Atlantis, The Atlantis Palm is a $2.5 billion mega-complex composed of a hotel, waterpark and aquarium.
Spectacular suite: Book a night at the Bridge Suite, one of the most grand rooms in all of Dubai. Some of the most famous people in the world have stayed there -- Oprah, Michael Jordan, Celine Dion and Bill Gates -- for $35,000 a night.
More luxurious Dubai hotels: Raffles Resort; Desert Palm; The Address 960 1280
Dunton Hot Springs, ColoradoSurrounded by 14,000-foot-high peaks in the Colorado Rockies, Dunton Hot Springs is a rustic village that's part wild west, part ghost town and all top-notch comfort.
Can't-miss quirk: Grab a drink at the Saloon and look for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's names carved into the old countertop. Legend has it they hid out here in 1889 after robbing the Telluride Bank.
More offbeat resorts: Hotel Adrere Amellal, Egypt; The Harbor Crane and Lighthouse, The Netherlands; Hotel Yunak Evleri, Turkey; Hotel Hotelito Desconocido; Mexico 960 1280
Capri Palace, Capri, ItalyOff the Italian mainland on the island of Capri, you'll find the Capri Palace high in the hills. The lobby features an eccentric mix of Louis the XVI chairs, Venetian lamps and 3-D pop art.
Worth the splurge: The wine cellar at the Capri Palace has almost 10,000 bottles to choose from, talk about la dolce vita!
More Mediterranean Coast hotels: The Splendido, Portofino, Italy; La Posta Vecchia, Rome; Hotel Katikies, Santorini, Greece; The Caruso, Ravello, Italy; Palazzo Sasso, Ravello, Italy; Reid's Palace, Funchal, Madeira 960 1280
Longitude 131, AustraliaUluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is home to Longitude 131. At the center of this resort is the Dune House, a restaurant, lobby and lounge all rolled into one. There are also 15 luxury, tented suites, raised on stilts above the sand dunes offering optimal views of Ayers Rock.
Once-in-a-lifetime view: Guides can take you out to view the monolith every day at dawn when it is at its most spectacular.
More awe-inspiring Australia hotels: The Blue Hotel; Byron Bay; Rawnsley Park Station; The Prince Melbourne; Prairie Hotel 960 1280
Claridge'sA prestigious hotel with an art deco twist, Claridge's has a royal pedigree. When Queen Victoria stayed at Claridge's in 1860, it unofficially became known as Buckingham Palace Annex. The hotel's high tea offers more than 40 varieties and its signature scones with Cornish clotted cream.
Reality-TV connection: Claridge's is also home to a restaurant run by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
More chic London hotels: Brown's Hotel; The Berkeley; Durley House; Blakes Hotel; Soho Hotel; The Savoy 960 1280
Singita Lebombo, South AfricaThe No. 1 safari destination in South Africa, the Singita Lebombo is located in Kruger National Park, home to 127 species of large mammals and over 90,000 animals. Its 15 luxury suites have floor-to-ceiling glass windows giving you a front-row seat to the wildlife.
Sleep under the stars: You can even sleep outside on protected beds for striking views of the plains.
More spectacular safari lodges: Vumbura Plains, Botswana; The Kings Pool, Botswana; Kapinga Camp, Zambia; Little Ongava Lodge, Namibia; Shompole Lodge, Kenya 960 1280
The Adlon Hotel, BerlinSteps from the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin's premier 5-star hotel, The Adlon. Built in 1907, Kaiser Wilhelm, the country's emperor, was the hotel's very first guest.
Official accommodations: The 2,000-square-foot Presidential Suite has its own butler on-call 24 hours a day and the best view of the square. In fact, it's where US presidents stay when they're in Berlin.
More classic city hotels: The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok; The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India; The Danieli Hotel, Venice; The Savoy, London; The Pierre, NYC 960 1280
The Ice Hotel, Sweden800 miles from Stockholm, in the town of Kiruna, the Ice Hotel provides one-of-a-kind accommodations: The entire building and all of its furniture are made of ice. Each December, artists carve every detail of the hotel by hand.
Cool detail: Even the beds are frozen rock solid and topped with a thermal sleeping bag and reindeer skins to keep you warm.
More unusual hotels: The Banyan Tree, Lijiang, China; The Park Hyatt, Tokyo; The Palace of the Lost City, South Africa; The Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India; The Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai 960 1280
The Raleigh Hotel, MiamiIn Miami's Art Deco District, The Raleigh Hotel is a standout landmark. You'll feel like you've been transported back in time in the lobby's cafe styled like a 1950s soda shop and the upstairs '40s-inspired martini lounge.
While you're here: Take a dip in its legendary curved-shaped pool and cascading waterfalls, which were once the backdrop for actress Esther Williams' movies and MTV's The Grind.
More Miami Beach hot spots: The Pelican Hotel; The Sagamore Hotel; The Standard Hotel; The Biltmore Hotel; The Mandarin Oriental Hotel 960 1280
Hotel de Tuilerieën, Bruges, BelgiumDown by the banks of the Dijver Canal is the Hotel de Tuelerieën. This 15th-century building used to be a nobleman’s private residence. Everything’s been renovated except for the Murano crystal windows, which cast a pinkish glow inside.
Honeymoon central: It’s a favorite among newlyweds, who can reserve the intimate pool for themselves and drink in views of the charming city from their canopy bed.
More romantic city hotels: Los Patos, Granada, Spain; Lapa Palace, Lisbon, Portugal; Cour de Loges; Lyon, France 960 1280
Soneva Fushi, MaldivesThe Soneva Fushi’s 65 open-air villas are held up with teakwood posts, and each has its own private stretch of beach and saltwater swimming pool. Nestled in the beachfront jungle, its Six Senses spa also has a extensive list of rejuvenating treatments.
A holistic approach: In addition to offering several healthy dining options, the entire island is completely organic.
More private island getaways: Pangkor Laut, Malaysia; Dhoni Island, Maldives; Huvafen Fushi, Maldives; Fregate Island Seychelles; Taha'a, Polynesia 960 1280
Hotel Guanahani & Spa, St. BarthsA 16-acre resort, Guanahani opened in 1986 and was one of the first luxury hotels in St. Barths. Its 71 bungalows are traditional Creole-style, with private decks and pools.
Can't-miss meal: Guanahani's beachside restaurant, Indigo, is serving up delicious food anytime you’re hungry, and the fresh menu is constantly changing deepening on what's in season.
More eastern Caribbean hotels: Raffles Resort, Canouan, St. Vincent; Discovery Hotel, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia; Isle de France, St. Barths; Hotel Eden Rock, St. Barths; Cap Juluca 960 1280
The Ishtar, JordanJust outside of Amman lies one of the most over-the-top resorts in the world, the Ishtar Villas. The 117 villas all have views of the Dead Sea. Catch rays on the deck, lounge by one of the 9 huge pools, or enjoy a drink on your private roof deck.
Know before you go: Plan your trip (way) ahead of time -- this place book up 5 years in advance.
More insane private villas: Hippo Point, Kenya; The Alfajiri Villas, Kenya; The Palms, Zanzibar; The Taj Exotica, Maldives; Murtoli Villas, Corsica 960 1280
The One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise IslandThis 1940s colonial-style resort is as high-class and upper-crust as it gets. Every fountain, marble slab and statue in the Ocean Club's Versailles-inspired gardens was imported from France.
A-List accommodations: It regularly attracts celebrities like Cindy Crawford, who was married at the outdoor seaside chapel.
More beautiful Bahamas hotels: The Cove at the Atlantis, Paradise Island; Compass Point, New Providence Island; Pink Sands, Harbour Island; The Landing, Harbour Island; Tiamo, Andros Island 960 1280
Four Seasons, Ubud, IndonesiaYou'll be greeted by a lotus pond at the UFO-looking Four Seasons Resort at Sayan. You can choose from one of 18 1,000-square-foot suites or 42 private open-air villas with their own plunge pools.
What to do while you're here: Rent a bike or scooter and hit the Balinese country roads for some breathtaking view.
More unbelievable Bali hotels: Bali Villa Mathis, Umalas; Jimbaran Puri, Jimbaran; Villa Balquisse, Jimbaran; Villa Shaba, Jimbaran 960 1280
San Domenico Palace, Taormina, SicilyThe San Domenico is a former monastery founded in 1384, transformed into a luxury hotel. There are 104 rooms and suites divided between the hotel's 2 wings. The monastery side has spacious suites with their own private terrace with stunning views.
Legendary romance: In the grand hotel wing there is a suite where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once stayed.
More magnificent Mediterranean hotels: Hotel Anassa, Polis; Hotel Almyra, Paphos, Cyprus; Caol Ishka Hotel, Siracusa, Sicily; Pikes Hotel, Ibiza, Spain 960 1280
The Bryant Park Hotel, New York CityInside the landmark American Radiator Building is the modern, minimalist Bryant Park Hotel. Towering at nearly 350 feet, the hotel offers a prime view of the Empire State Building.
For celeb-spotting: Head to the hotel's basement to the cellar bar for an after-hours cocktail and to catch a glimpse of the star clientele, especially during Fashion Week.
More trendy NYC hotels: Grace Hotel; Night Hotel; The Alex; The Rivington; Mandarin Oriental New York City; Four Seasons Hotel New York 960 1280
The Parrot Cay Hotel, Turks and CaicosYou can only get to Parrot Cay by boat. It even limits the number of planes that can fly overhead to keep the prying eyes of paparazzi off celeb guests like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, who got married here.
The secret weapon: If you want to venture out of seclusion, take a dip in one of the largest freshwater swimming pools in the Caribbean.
More western Caribbean hotels: Amanyara, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; Azulik Hotel, Tulum, Mexico; Casa Colonial, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic 960 1280
Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, FranceLes Sources de Caudalie is a first-class spa and boutique hotel hidden in the middle of the grape fields of the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Vineyard.
Amazing amenity: The thermal room at the spa is where you can soak in natural mineral spring water piped in from 1,700-feet underneath the resort.
More relaxing spa hotels: Palais Rhoul, Marrakesh, Morocco; Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Spain; Pres d'Eugenie, Gascony, France; Les Fermes de Marie, Megeve, France; The Reserve Hotel, Geneva 960 1280
Hotel Carl Gustaf, Gustavia, St. BarthsThe Carl Gustaf Hotel, the most glamorous hotel in Gustravia, dominates the port here. It's also had a celebrity guest list since it opened in the 1990s. All of the 1 and 2-bedroom suites have a living room, private terrace and swimming pool.
When adventure calls: The hotel has its own 52-foot yacht that you can book for excursions.
More luxe St. Barths hotels: The Sereno, Gustavia; La Banane, Gustavia; Manapany, Cayes Cove; Guanahani, Grand Cul de Sac; La Vie en Rose, Petit Cul de Sac 960 1280
Villa San Michele, Florence, ItalyFive miles up the hillside is Villa San Michele. The former Franciscan monastery was founded in the 15th century -- and experts think the hotel's stucco facade was designed by Michelangelo.
Hungry for more? In addition to having one of the best gardens in all of Florence, it also hosts a school where you get hands-on lessons in classic Tuscan cooking.
More 5-star hotels in Tuscany: Hotel Relais Santa Croce, Florence; Riva Loft, Florence; Castello del Nero, Florence; Villa Mangiacane, Florence 960 1280
The Taha'a, Taha'a, French PolynesiaLe Taha'a Island Resort has 48 stilted bungalows, each with private access to the lagoon. About 100 feet below the spa, the lagoon showcases abundant marine life in crystal clear 80-degree waters.
Enchanting scent: One of the most magical things about this resort is how it smells -- like vanilla. About 75% of all Polynesian vanilla comes from this island. And the resort uses it at its 3 restaurants and spa.
More exotic Polynesia hotels: Pearl Beach, Bora Bora; Intercontinental, Bora Bora; Bora Bora Nui, Bora Bora; The Radisson, Papeete, Tahiti 960 1280
Hotel Habita, Mexico CityHidden in Mexico City's fashionable Polanco District, Hotel Habita is a hideaway from the chaotic city. Formerly apartments, the 7-story modern hotel has 36 rooms decorated in a very minimal style and an uber modern pool.
Don't forget to eat: Most of the food at Habita is contemporary European, but the real star is the sushi. Order the avocado wrap with Asian-inspired spaghetti, but it's definitely too big for chopsticks.
More swanky Mexico hotels: Hotel Deseo, Playa Del Carmen; Mosquito Blue, Playa Del Carmen; The Condesa Hotel, Condesa 960 1280
GoldenEye Hotel, Ocho Rios, JamaicaIn Oracabessa Bay is the former home of Ian Fleming, the spy-turned-novelist who created James Bond, GoldenEye. He lived at GoldenEye for almost 20 years and wrote 13 of his 007 books here. Today, it's a resort with 4 villas on 18 acres.
A Villa worthy of 007: GoldenEye's Fleming Villa has its own pool and a private beach dotted with hidden coves where you can read, gaze at the sea, or have a romantic, dinner, Bond-style.
More amazing Jamaica hotels: Strawberry Hill Resort, Irish Town; Jake's Hotel, Treausure Beach; Geejam, Port Antonio 960 1280