What do you do before you plan your trips? For me, I always look to see what hotels are available first. It’s probably because I generally already know what the must-sees are, but at the end of the day, if I can’t come home to a great room, then it’s not really a vacation. I’m probably crazy to admit this, but once I realized this, everything started falling into place.
So of course there’s a ton of information out there, but the good places generally stand out pretty easily: they’re across parks or near major embassies, and almost always near the major museums and shopping areas. But here’s my twist: while I’m checking out the properties online, I always look closely at pictures of the bathrooms. Why? One, because I don’t unwind in the lobby. And two, because in a bath you can really tell how much attention the designers paid to creating the perfect experience for their guests.
I look at everything — the light fixtures, the tiles, the towels, the bath accessories, and the soaps and lotions — and then I take it all in. Does everything belong there? Are there surprises along the way? Is there enough space for toiletries? I keep asking these questions until I can finally imagine myself there. Then I’m ready to look for flights.
Here’s a list of some of the hotels that have most inspired me, and ten great ideas on how to take a little of these special places home with you.
1. If you have a view, keep things airy and minimal.