My Favourite Hotels Around the World

This Post Was Originally Published on the TuGo Travel Blog on November 25, 2019 by Mark Crone

The list of my favourite hotels around the world could go on and on—it’s almost unlimited. But I’ve put together a shortlist based on the hotel and the destination experience. There’s a mix of larger hotels and smaller properties. While it’s great to enjoy the hotel and its facilities, it’s also great to enjoy the area and destination. I’ve stayed at all 5 properties several times—they’re all comfortable and highly recommended. Here’s my shortlist of favourite hotels, in no particular order:

Flemings Mayfair, London

The Flemings Mayfair Hotel on Half Moon Street in London

In London, hotel choices are limitless and highly dependent on location. The Flemings is situated right in the heart of central London, in the prestigious Mayfair area. The first time I stayed there, I went for a walk through Green Park (down the street and minutes away) and literally came upon Buckingham Palace on the other side. The small hotel (129 rooms) is located on a quiet residential street which gives a homely feel to the hotel. Flemings Mayfair is an independent, family-owned property and the second oldest established hotel in London, dating back to 1731.
Room prices are available from £250 per night, which includes breakfast. It’s great value for central London and a well-equipped, recently renovated property!

Kristall Hotel, Austria

Winter view looking at the Hotel Kristall in Austria

The family-run Hotel Kristall in Perisau at Lake Achensee is a must-visit. In the winter, the area is a winter wonderland with skiing, skating, snowshoeing and more. In the summer you can go biking, hiking, golfing and trek mountains nearby. The small (50 room) hotel has a luxury feel and a comfortable ambience. There’s a renowned spa, gourmet dinners in the new vaulted cellar and weekly wine tastings in the wine repository. The hotel is a short walk from Lake Achensee, mountain attractions and nearby cable cars and mountain ranges. Staying at the Kristall is an escape holiday, where you simply lose track of days and time (the best kind of holidays)! The combination of the gorgeous landscape and the surrounding alpine world creates a lasting memory of Tyrol!
Suite prices start at 150 Euro per person with special inclusive packages available.

Royal York, Toronto

Inside a guest room at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Canada

The Fairmont Royal York, formerly and commonly known as the Royal York, is considered one of Canada’s grand railway hotels. It’s a large historic luxury hotel located along Front Street West, directly across from Union Station in the southern end of the Financial District, in central Downtown Toronto.
The hotel opened in June 1929 and has 1,363 guest rooms and suites, including Signature or Luxury, along with eight types of suites. In addition to first-rate facilities, the Royal York is connected to the PATH system, a series of pedestrian tunnels that connect numerous buildings in Downtown Toronto. There’s also a tunnel directly connecting the hotel to Union Station and to Scotiabank Arena (home of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA Toronto Raptors and major concerts).
You can’t beat the Royal York’s location in Toronto. Room rates start at $195.

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Caesar Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Caesars Palace opened in 1966 and is one of Las Vegas’s largest and best-known landmarks. The hotel is located right on the Las Vegas Strip between the Bellagio and The Mirage. Caesars is meant to give a Roman Empire feel with statues, columns and a 20-foot statue of Augustus Caesar near the entrance.
It’s a large deluxe resort property with 3,976 rooms and suites in six towers, a convention facility, a large range of restaurants and outdoor pools, among many other features. The hotel operates a large casino and “The Colosseum”, a venue for live music and sports entertainment, featuring major entertainers for one-night shows and residence stays. There’s also a sizable shopping mall attached to the resort called “The Forum Shops at Caesars”.
Despite its size, the hotel is very comfortable and has absolutely everything on site, making it a great choice for a Las Vegas stay. Rooms can be as low as $99 per night!

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Aerial view of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven emirates forming the United Arab Emirates, and it’s a very unique destination . It’s one of the most sought-after destinations for travellers from around the world, with its endless choices for fine dining, shopping, and luxury accommodations. The 7-star Burj Al Arab is perhaps the top choice in Dubai (and possibly anywhere).
The Burj al Arab is the iconic “sail” hotel located directly on the Persian Gulf in Dubai. It features all-suite accommodation, which includes butler service and a private beach. You don’t need to leave the property (and might not want to with room rates). The Burj has 201 suites, 9 restaurants, 5 pools, a spa, fitness centre and much more. If you’d like to make a grand entrance, you can arrive by helicopter on their roof or by chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce. It’s the lap of luxury and pure fantasy rolled into one: a once in a lifetime hotel experience.
It’s still one of my favourite hotels of all time! Rates start at $4,300 USD including breakfast for two.

These are my 5 favourite hotels, but my hotel list continues to grow! What’s your favourite?
Safe travels,
Mark

10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021

Couple walking on the seashore during sunset

After the wedding, it’s finally time to take the ultimate couple’s getaway to a romantic destination. You’ll make unforgettable memories and start your new life together doing what you love. Some “just married” couples love being lazy on a beach and diving into the depths of the sea, while others like active vacationing and exploring medieval towns. Some prefer driving in a safari, while others enjoy all-inclusive packages and various spa treatments for a week or two. Discover the 10 most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021, find your fit, and start planning right now.

#1 MALDIVES

The Maldives has some of the top tropical islands in the world. This destination is famous for deep blue ocean waters, crystal clear beaches, and luxury overwater bungalows. Little islands in the midst of the Indian ocean are just perfect for newlyweds. You can enjoy the underwater spa and various massage facilities. While here, make sure to try spa treatments with island-sourced ingredients like seaweed, pineapple, or papaya. A honeymoon is an ideal opportunity to visit Undersea Restaurant. If you’re a water sports lover, this will be your paradise. For an ultimate experience, don’t miss a scuba dive excursion with your partner. You can also explore the capital city, Male.

Overwater bungalows, the Maldives
Maldives – one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021

#2 BORA BORA

Known for its protected coral reefs, Bora Bora in French Polynesia is a remote destination for couples who are up for a big splurge. Many resorts and hotels will give you the option to book photo sessions. Furthermore, you can book spa treatments and special honeymoon mealtimes. After relaxing on a white sandy beach, try some adventures such as safari and parasailing. Moreover, visit Bora Bora Lagoonarium, Coral Gardens, and Mount Otemanu. Take a boat tour, try Shark and Stingray Feeding, or other activities available on various tours.

#3 INDONESIA – BALI

This popular Indonesian isle is visually stunning. There is much more to it than just mind-blowing beaches that first come to mind. Bali is filled with gorgeous ancient temples, lush green rice fields, and beautiful rainforests with bushy palms. Once here, you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like. You can stretch out on the loungers and enjoy views of the Indian Ocean, and indulge in a calming couple’s massage. Alternatively, try something adventurous, such as riding mopeds around the island to discover some of its secrets.

Man and woman walking towards palm trees
Bali can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you’d like.

#4 THE CARRIBIAN GEM – ST. LUCIA

St. Lucia offers sparkling Caribbean waters, breathtaking mountain views, and luxurious accommodation. To explore the Caribbean atmosphere, visit blissfully quiet and romantic Marigot Bay. Apart from stunning beaches, be sure to visit Pigeon island – a national landmark. Furthermore, don’t miss The Pitons- volcanic plugs, Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, Splash Island Water Park, Tet Paul Nature trail for some hiking, and Castries Flea Market for souvenirs, local food, and spices.

#5 GREECE – SANTORINI

This Greek island is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations for 2021. Santorini has an undeniably magical atmosphere with dreamy white terraces and an unobstructed view of the water. You’ll enjoy romantic walks down the neat alleys of the historic town. Make sure to discover all its beauties, from red and black sand beaches to wineries and historic tours. Don’t miss visiting the ruins at Ancient Akrotiri and Ancient Thira. Santorini has a great choice of luxury accommodation and clifftop restaurants. For a breathtaking view, take a catamaran cruise around the caldera. Then, you’ll see for yourself why Santorini sunsets are famous around the world.

#6 DUBAI

Dubai is known as “The city of Gold”, famous for its glamour. It rises from a desert as a buzzing metropolis with tall and modern skyscrapers, including the highest building in the world – Burj Khalifa at 2,717 ft (828 m). Don’t miss going up to the lofty observation deck on the 154th floor. Some of the world’s best hotels are located in Dubai, along with luxury boutiques and abundant entertainment opportunities. Enjoy a taste of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Take a tour and visit sand dunes for a camel ride, sandboarding, and a Bedouin-style feast. To experience the best of Dubai, book a helicopter tour over the Palm Jumeirah, and admire this amazing city from high up in the sky.

Burj Al Arab hotel, lake, and palms in Dubai
Dubai is a great destination for a honeymoon in 2021.

#7 THAILAND

Tropical Thailand is a wonderland of exotic flora and picture-perfect beaches. Visit Bangkok for opulent palaces and glittering gold temples. Make a reservation at an all-inclusive beach resort to unwind fully. Koh Samui island, with its crystal-clear waters, is excellent for couples with a tight budget. It has some affordable yet authentic and comfortable beachside bungalows. The more remote island is Ko Muk, where you can find jungles and a traditional village encircled by incredibly blue-green lagoons. While here, try local Thai food, admire exotic wildlife and exquisite ocean vistas. Enjoy your post-wedding escape to the fullest.

#8 MEXICO – CANCUN BAY

Mexico is still a great vacation spot, and a perfect place to celebrate the start of your life together is Cancun Bay. Enjoy fabulous beaches, clear aquamarine seas, lagoons, and coral reefs. Cancun is not only popular for its natural beauty but also for its urban sophistication, shopping, handicraft markets, fantastic food, and mysterious Mayan remains. Take a rainforest adventure trip, go swimming with the whale sharks and take a night cruise on the lagoon. Furthermore, visit the archeological remains and museum at El Rey, and whenever you want – just relax on a beach.

#9 HAWAII, USA

Hawaii is one of the top honeymoon destinations for 2021. The soft-sand beaches, turquoise, and deep waters invite long, lazy days on the beach. Still, if you want an active vacation, you can also have it. Here are few suggestions:

  • Explore the Na Pali coast of Kauai by catamaran
  • Take a nighttime snorkel to view manta rays
  • Enjoy hiking or fishing
  • Try whale watching
  • Book a tour at Volcano National Park
  • See Maui and the Big Island from a helicopter

#10 ZANZIBAR

This East African island paradise is still a lesser-known, peaceful honeymoon destination, away from the big cities. Apart from the beautiful beaches, there are many popular places which you should visit, such as Stone Town, Old Fort, House of Wonders, Jozani Forest, the famous Rock restaurant and much more. Experience authentic Zanzibar food and take a dhow cruise while enjoying a beautiful romantic sunset. Try kitesurfing, scuba diving in pristine ocean water, and swimming with dolphins in the Kizimkazi area.

Please be aware that, when traveling overseas to remote, exotic destinations, some people may experience anxiety and have to deal with negative feelings. Many things can cause those feelings, such as cultural shock, leaving your comfort zone, and interruption of daily habits. If you plan your honeymoon much ahead, research the destination well and pack everything you might need, you’ll be able to enjoy it without worries.

Final words

Now that you know the 10 Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations for 2021, you can make a decision based on your priorities and preferences. Whenever you decide to go, your honeymoon should be memorable and filled with joy and love.

Best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas

birds view of a beach and waves

The Christmas season is typically a time of joy, happiness, Christmas movies, and delicious food. Although spending time at home with your family members never loses its appeal, some people like to celebrate Christmas away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, busy streets, family discussions, and snow. If you are considering going away to a destination in 2021, here’s your chance to get a chance to get a tan instead of a few pounds from excessive holiday eating. This short article describes the best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas. So, let’s dive in.

Dubai

December is a perfect month to visit this breath-taking city. The main reason for this is that the temperatures never go under 73 degrees, which is considered cold in this part of the world. Considering this is the lowest the thermometer can show, with daily temperatures maintaining the perfect beach-ready heat that oscillates around 86 degrees, you will be able to travel without your puffer jacket and winter shoes. 

But Dubai’s phenomenal climate is not the only reason to visit this fantastic place. This city is also a marvel of contemporary architecture. There is never a dull moment here since there are plenty of conventional and unconventional tours you can take if you happen to get bored with what the city has to offer (which is highly unlikely).

a woman walking on a Dubai beach
Dubai has terrific sand beaches alongside breath-taking marvels of contemporary architecture

Our suggestion is to head on down to the dunes for a day of dune bashing in Al Qudra, or a desert safari where you will be able to capture amazing photos of the desert landscape. Visiting Qudra lake is also a must, especially if you are a bird-watching enthusiast. After experiencing the natural wonders in and around Dubai, you can still do your Christmas shopping – the 26th of December marks the start of Dubai’s shopping festival where you might find luxury items at reduced prices – with up to 90% discount! 

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the hottest locations in the world on Christmas day. The temperature bar reaches up to 93 degrees in December, making it the perfect place to work on your tan during the holidays. Apart from sunbathing until you start to sweat, there are many other things you can do in this lovely, sun-kissed city.

Also, since Brazilians are devoted Catholics, you might even have an opportunity to try the Brazilian version of Christmas dinner. Namely, they eat turkey or chester with rice, fruits, and farofa. Or head on down to Copacabana beach. On Christmas Day and Eve, Brazilians spend these days at family lunches. Copacabana beach is not so visited on these two days, so you can enjoy the beach the way you usually can’t. So, get festive and build a snowman out of beach sand to celebrate your sunny and sandy Christmas, or put on a Santa’s cap and go surfing.

Tampa, Florida

If you are looking for a great place to spend your winter holidays in the U.S., Tampa is the perfect city to escape the freezing temperatures – the temperature bar in Tampa is merciful in December, with daily temperatures typically ranging from 58 to 78 degrees. So, no snow in sight this Christmas. 

Although the typical Florida summer craze may not be as pronounced at this time of the year, the fun vibes are still there. Some people even decide to settle down in Tampa for good due to its outstanding historical architecture, the melting pot of cultures with Cuban and Spanish influences taking the lead, and its vibrant economy intertwined with tropical bars and cafes.

Essentially, there is never a dull moment in Tampa, regardless of the season or weather conditions, especially since one of the most beautiful beaches in the US is right here in Florida.

Gran Canaria

If you are searching for the perfect melange of tropical and European, the Canary Islands are the place to go. The temperatures are pleasantly above 68 degrees at this time of the year, making this archipelago a wonderful tropical getaway. In fact, all of the islands were formed through volcanic eruptions, making Gran Canaria a true natural wonder.

Of course, the volcanoes are dormant nowadays, leaving incredible volcanic lakes and breath-taking vistas safe for you to explore on Christmas. Of course, the Canary Islands are famous in Spain and beyond for their vibrant culture, with bars and restaurants remaining open and lively even on Christmas day. 

a beach on a Spanish island
Islands of the Gran Canary have the best beaches in Spain and beyond.

Cayman Islands

If you opt for the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean as your holiday destination, you can choose between three islands in the archipelago. There is a Christmas tradition in the islands in which locals collect white sand from beaches on a night when the moon is bright. Afterward, that sand is spread around backyards as a makeshift, Caribbean version of snow. This exciting custom is definitely something to experience while you are enjoying the exotic Cayman Islands. The temperatures in December vary from 78-84 degrees, so there is no need to worry about cold days this Christmas.

There are many more places you can escape the winter blues, but we have picked out the best destinations for escaping a cold Christmas. Most of these places are incredibly affordable, culturally diverse, historically relevant, and, perhaps most importantly, warm compared to most U.S. states. Whichever spot you choose, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.