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

Best Family Vacations in Canada – Spring Edition

There’s a vacation spot in Canada for everyone: restless youngsters, demanding adolescents, and moms and dads. From eastern beaches to northern lakes, ziplining to horseback riding, puffins to dinosaurs, no person would be able to remain indifferent – especially families. Reconnect with your kids and Canada’s natural wonders this spring. The following is a list of some of the best family vacations in Canada.

Toronto

Toronto is among the best destinations for family vacations in Canada because it is home to so many fantastic sights to see and things to do. And visiting in spring will allow you to move around with fewer visitors than in the summer months.

The Science Museum and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada are great options for families, so you can make these your first stop. Next, kids of all ages can enjoy visiting Little India. Here, they can sit in a tuk-tuk and try many different national dishes. It’s an excellent chance for them to explore other cultures and cuisines! Finally, a trip to the Toronto Islands, where an old-school amusement park for children under ten is housed, is an excellent choice for exhausted moms and dads who want to relax rather than race from one attraction to the next. Parents who enjoy craft beer will be delighted to learn that Toronto is home to a large number of breweries that welcome children.

Overall, Toronto is the place to go if you want ample city conveniences with a neighborhood feel. That’s why the best part of the city is exploring all its diverse communities. So, make sure to uncover the true beauty of Toronto by following local’s guides on where to go and what to see.

A skyline of Toronto during a sunset
Toronto offers a wide variety of activities for families

Quebec City

Quebec offers the feel of a genuine European vacation without ever having to leave North America. It’s one of the most family-friendly places in Canada, with the best schools and daycare and so many fun activities for both the kids and the parents. This is why so many new families settle here every year. In the upper and lower ancient towns, you can go for a walk, stop at a patisserie or sweets shop, and dine. For families with young children, the Funicular and a tour to the Chateau Frontenac are must-dos. 

And, if you ever need a break from the historic city center, you can quickly change the vibe. One of the most stunning places to see in Quebec is Montmorency Falls and the beautiful Ile d’Orleans. A cable car takes you to the top, where you can walk across a bridge that spans the falls and return via cable car or stairs on the other side. If you’ve got young children, consider stopping at the summit’s playground. If you don’t stop, the island features a one-hour-long circle road. But don’t forget to stop by the chocolate shop, visit the roadside stalls offering jam, maple syrup, and other homemade delights, and snap a few shots before returning to the city.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls are a must-see, but it might seem intimidating at first for families with kids. But don’t worry! It’s all about making it as easy as possible for visitors to take in this natural treasure. And it might just become one of the most memorable travels with your children.

On the Hornblower Cruise, you go so near the falls that you can feel the water on your face. The variety offered by Niagara Falls makes them one of the best family vacations in Canada.

Visitors with more time on their hands can take advantage of numerous family-friendly attractions in town, including an indoor water park, miniature golf, and out-of-this-world culinary establishments.

Those who prefer a slower pace and more natural surroundings may find Niagara’s skyscrapers a little overpowering. However, there are a plethora of other options. Niagara on the Lake, for example, is a picture-perfect town with charming shops and a small village atmosphere and is just a short drive from the Falls. Families seeking a peaceful, leisurely getaway would also appreciate Ontario Wine County located nearby.

Algonquin Park

Even though Canada is home to several magnificent cities, Algonquin Park offers a sense of the country’s untamed wilderness. Moose, polar bears, and beavers are Canada’s most recognizable natural species. And if you’re eager for wildlife encounters, Algonquin Provincial Park, located three hours north of Toronto, is the Canadian wilderness you imagined: clear lakes, towering pines, and flowing rivers. 

Rent a canoe and go for a paddle on one of the lakes for a truly Canadian experience. By camping, you can enjoy Algonquin Provincial Park in the evening while baking smores around the campfire. Non-campers can rent Yurts in the Park, and there are hotels and inns all around it. Only a few eateries can be found in the park, but you must try the world-famous Beavertails: a deep-fried, sugar-coated pastry that includes no beaver.

A high-angle photo of Algonquin Park’s forests.
Algonquin Park is an ideal family vacation for more active families.

Montreal

Montreal is a lovely and easy-to-enjoy city in both its old and new neighborhoods. Green areas and outdoor cafes make any summer day out in town a delight. Montreal’s fresh produce markets deserve their high reputation for the quality of their produce.

The Botanical Gardens, the Biodome, and the Science Museum of Montreal are among the must-sees. Still, the city has a robust cultural calendar, and many museums that cater to both adults and children, and you could quickly fill a vacation to Montreal with activities every single day.

A skyline of Montreal in the evening
Montreal will capture your family’s hearts with its amazing sights and pleasant atmosphere.

Final words

We hope you liked our selection of the best family vacations in Canada. From the hustle and bustle of the cities to the incredible wilderness, Canada really has it all! Spring has just started, so pack up your entire family and get on to traveling! Have an amazing time!

Local’s guide on Toronto places you should not miss

Toronto at night

It can be challenging to decide where to go in Ontario’s capital city because there are so many hidden gems. While well-known attractions such as Nathan Phillips Square and the CN Tower are always exciting, Toronto has so much more to offer. If you wish to see the city in a new light, following the local’s guide can be beneficial. There are plenty of Toronto places you should not miss.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

The Ripley’s Aquarium, located near the foot of the CN Tower, is one of Toronto’s newest top attractions. This fantastic facility exhibits a wide variety of marine life. It’s one of the most popular family attractions in Toronto. If you’re wondering why this is one of the Toronto places you should not miss, you will find out once you visit it. It has the largest underwater tunnel with a moving sidewalk, which is just the most fantastic feature. As sharks glide by and sawfish linger on the tunnel roof, you can watch the water world unravel all around you. For people of all ages, this is genuinely both an exciting and relaxing experience.

Niagara Falls is one of the Toronto places you should not miss

Niagara Falls, Canada
If there’s one near to Toronto place you should not miss, it’s Niagara Falls.

An easy day journey from Toronto to Niagara Falls is well worth the time. In just over an hour, you can be standing on the edge of the falls. This is also a great honeymoon spot if you’re in the area. If you don’t want to drive yourself, a tour to Niagara Falls from Toronto might be more convenient. Tours include hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as a Hornblower Niagara Cruise, which takes you up close to the iconic Horseshoe Falls’ crashing wall of water.

Art Gallery of Ontario

If you’re looking for an insider’s guide to Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario is a must. The renowned Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of North America’s largest museums. The more than 95,000-piece collection comprises works from all over the world. This gallery has it all from European masterpieces to contemporary art and an excellent collection of Canadian art, including an extensive collection of Group of Seven works. Throughout the year, a range of temporary exhibitions is staged. If you’re keen on culture, you should not miss this Toronto place.

Dine in the Entertainment District or catch a show

The Entertainment District in Toronto encompasses a significant section of the city center. It’s home to several of the city’s most popular attractions, including the CN Tower, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre, and several museums. Various things make it a Toronto place that you should not miss. It’s also known for its delicious food and, most importantly, live music. King Street West is where the majority of the action takes place, between Spadina Avenue and University Avenue. It’s Toronto’s version of New York’s Broadway. It comes alive in the evenings and is a terrific spot for nightlife. This is where you may witness major theater productions such as musicals, concerts, and other forms of entertainment.

Visit the animals at the Toronto Zoo

With around 5,000 animals, the Toronto Zoo offers an impressive and diversified array. Pygmy hippos, lions, tigers, giraffes, penguins, orangutans, and other animals can be found here. The zoo is separated into numerous parts, each of which represents a different part of the world. You definitely should not miss this Toronto place if you’re an animal lover.

Tour Casa Loma

Casa Loma, one of the best places in Toronto that you should not miss
If you’re able to, be sure to visit Casa Loma.

Casa Loma is an impressive building that resembles a medieval castle and stands on well-maintained grounds. It was built in 1914 for Sir Henry Pellatt, an eccentric Canadian multi-millionaire who was the first to identify and capitalize on Niagara Falls’ financial potential. It’s one of the Toronto places you should not miss because it makes for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. The home is now a museum, with about 100 rooms and three dozen bathrooms. Visitors can travel back to a time when Europe was a place of grace and splendor.

Eat and Shop in the Distillery District

If you’re looking for a Toronto place that’s one of the favorite spots for locals, the Distillery District should go on your to-do list. It’s a restored historic district that has been turned into a hip entertainment and shopping spot. The landmark buildings are rich with charming stores, galleries, artist studios, and cafes. This is a fun location to visit at any time of year, day or night. The annual Toronto Christmas Market is one of the most famous of the many entertainment events here. Unique products are sold, and warm outdoor spaces are set up for people to gather around and enjoy themselves.

Relocation to Toronto

If you have fallen in love with some of these Toronto places that you should not miss, you’re not alone. Of course, you can permanently relocate here if you wish to spend more than a holiday exploring it. Hiring a moving company would be the best way to go about this affair. Once you’ve made up your mind, reach out to experts that’ll help you plan everything out. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of reliable Toronto movers for your to choose from.

Enjoy nature at High Park

High Park is one of the Toronto places you shouldn't miss if you like nature
If you’re looking for Toronto places you shouldn’t miss and you love nature, High Park is a must.

Finally, if you’re someone who loves nature and taking road trips with your family and friends, you’ll love High Park. Swimming and wading pools, playgrounds, picnic spots, and a picturesque train journey are all available. Additionally, there are replicas of 19th-century gardens, a Coach House, and the Howards’ Tomb on the grounds.

Where can you stay in Toronto during your visit?

The most fabulous area to stay in Toronto for sightseeing and entertainment is right downtown, in the heart of the activity. From here, you’ll have no trouble visiting all the Toronto places you should not miss since many of the major attractions are within easy walking distance.