Our favourite hotel stays.
1 FOUR SEASONS RESORT COSTA RICA AT PENINSULA PAPAGAYO
A 2017 reno lightened up 182 ocean-facing rooms, suites and villas with natural tones, breezy windows and screened-in balconies (thanks, peninsula location, for giving everyone beach views). It also transformed the lobby into an open-air hangout where we sipped coconut water straight from the fruit. WHAT WE LOVED Downward-dogging during a sunrise yoga class on the lawn as waves broke on rocks below, then tucking into Guanacaste eggs with red and green salsa at new alfresco restaurant Bahia. BEST FOR nature-loving families. Learn about sloths and howler monkeys during a wildlife workshop (then try to spot the creatures in their natural habitat), or take a moonlit stand-up paddle boarding tour on vessels retrofitted with LEDs.
2 MERCURE BUCHAREST CITY CENTER
BUCHAREST / BUCAREST
Local composer George Enescu inspired the decor at this property near the central Calea Victoriei Boulevard, where framed sheet music on bedroom walls sets the tone. NUMBER OF ROOMS 114. WHAT WE LOVED Walking five minutes to the National Museum of Art of Romania to see medieval and modern Romanian pieces before dropping by La Mama for some of the best papana i (traditional fried doughnut filled with sour cream and cherry jam) in town. ORDER the smoked salmon platter and a glass of Romanian bubbly at the Winestone Restaurant & Bar, adorned with images of monuments like Piata Revoluţiei.
3 THOMPSON SEATTLE SEATTLE
Luxury brand Thompson Hotels opened its only Pacific Northwest spot 100 metres from Pike Place Market. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Puget Sound made us feel like we were ensconced in a misty cocoon. NUMBER OF ROOMS 155. WHAT WE
LOVED Bellying up to the bar at woodsy on-site restaurant Scout PNW to order from the seafoodheavy menu, including rockfish crudo with jicama and grilled sardines in bagna cauda sauce. ROOM
PERKS Minibar collagen face, lip and eye masks are perfect for on-arrival buffing and de-puffing, or stash them in your carry-on to use on a red-eye to the East Coast.
4 MAGNOLIA HOTEL & SPA VICTORIA
Recent additions to this downtown property, just a short walk from the Inner Harbour, include the Courtney Room, a French-leaning modern finedining restaurant that opened in May. NUMBER OF
ROOMS 64. WHAT WE LOVED Finding sweet surprises in our room – milk chocolates on arrival and dark mint versions at turndown – by the family-run Dutch Bakery, a bake shop that’s been open for over 60 years. ASK THE CONCIERGE to borrow a cruiser bike and one of many hotel-curated biking maps. The craft-brewery circuit will take you to Phillips Brewing & Malting Co., which is one of the only breweries in Canada to malt its own barley.
MERCURE BUCHAREST CITY CENTER
MAGNOLIA HOTEL & SPA