Hotel Connoisseur Part 2 – Luxury Stand-Alone Hotels
September 28th, 2011

In a pervious post, I mentioned that I’m doing a two part-blog about some of my favorite hotels around the world. As I focus on luxury travel, most of these hotels fall into the upscale/luxury category. In the first post, I focused on hotels that are part of a chain or group. In this post, I’m focusing on hotels that are more stand-alone properties.  Because I believe in full disclosure, while these are amongst my top choices, no hotel is perfect (though some seem close) so I’m listing both the pros and the cons of each. Of course this is my interpretation, my pros might be other people’s cons and vice versa, but from my perspective, these are some of the top places to stay around the globe. These are not in any particular order, other than the one in which I came up with them!

Capo d’Africa, Rome

Pros: Standing in front of the hotel, you can see the Coliseum. The rooms are a large size for Europe, Internet is included in the room price and it’s all together an interesting concept with a modern African theme. Quality customer service is also a big plus.

Cons: I’d advise against getting your laundry done here – it’s very expensive! While in walking distance from the Coliseum, it is slightly farther to sites like the Spanish steps and the Trevi Fountain.

Plaza Lucchesi, Florence

Pros: Located on the Arno River, near the Ponte Vecchio and close to many of the squares and cathedrals.  The service is great and they have a fun hotel bar. Rooms are a decent size as well.  Full buffet breakfast is included with most room options.

Cons: It’s an older hotel, so some furnishings might look a little outdated.

Le Sirenuse, Positano

Pros: Noticing a theme – Italy has some amazing stand-alone hotels. The view is to die for. It’s practically worth staying here for the view alone. Almost every room has a private terrace or balcony that overlooks the beach, bay and hills of Positano. The rooms are very large, even by U.S. standards, the large soaker tub with jets is quite enjoyable the rooms have a clean, white washed décor. Service is impeccable and very friendly. The location is quite accessible to Positano’s shops, restaurants and bay.

Cons: This is hotel near a beach – it’s décor, though clean and airy, might not suit those looking for chandeliers and fancy furniture. I didn’t consider this a “con” but some might. Check that the hotel is open during your stay if you are there in the winter – it was not during mine, though there are so many wonderful places to eat it really won’t matter if it is closed.


Chobe Game Lodge, Botswana

Pros: Large A-frames with walkouts right to the lawn, where (non-dangerous) animals are allowed to wander and graze; 2 daily game drives and river safari plus all (very good) meals included in room rates; personal safari guide assigned to your party; personalized service

Cons: It can be tough to access. Flew into Victoria Falls airport in Zimbabwe, had to switch vehicles to an open-air jeep once we crossed the border into Botswana and it was a several hour ride total. Part of the adventure, but does increase travel time.

Victoria Falls hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Pros: Gorgeous old hotel with a ton of history – multiple famous and royal figures have stayed here and many of their visits are documented by photos throughout the hotel; can view and hear the Falls from the back terrace/restaurant, top-notch, friendly service.

Cons: As with most luxury, high quality hotels, it comes with a hefty price tag. It’s an old hotel, and therefore some of the amenities aren’t quite as up to date as they might be in a new modern hotel, though that can be part of the charm.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.