You might think that when you’re travelling across the globe, it’s the great restaurants, art galleries and sunbathing opportunities that will provide the bulk of your great memories.  For some holidaymakers or business travelers, however, the hotel needs to be just as good. So for those people, we thought we’d list 30 of the world’s finest hotels, ranging from the most celebrated, luxurious and expensive, right through to the quirkiest and weirdest little bolt-holes.

1. No Man’s Fort, Portsmouth, England

In the Solent near Portsmouth, England, you will find this remarkable former Victorian fort that was built to protect the town from an attack from Napoleon III, but which is now a four-star hotel.  You certainly can’t beat such a secluded spot for privacy, while the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Lighthouse Suite afford you a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding seascape.

no mans fort 1

What it takes to stay there

You thankfully don’t need to swim – guests are taken there by private boat – but the price we found for one night at the earliest available date was a whopping £499, or $652. Still, at least we’re reassuringly told that such a hefty price tag includes “taxes and fees”.

no mans fort 2

2. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam

Built in the French colonial style and opened in 1901, this five-star luxury hotel has long been one of the most famous hotels in Southeast Asia, in no small part thanks to the many famous people who have passed through its doors. Joan Baez, Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda and W. Somerset Maugham are just some of those to have hung out here.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam

What it takes to stay there

You could be paying as little as $216 a night for a room here, which sounds like pretty good going to us.

3. Dream Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

The Cappadocia region of Turkey is home to a fair few cave hotels, and this one’s as good as any, with its rooms built inside the famous rock formations, or ‘fairy chimneys’.  You’ll find it in the town centre of Goreme, and the available amenities are pretty good as well, including satellite TV, Internet and kitchen facilities. The terrace restaurant’s also quite a perk, not least given its majestic view of Cappadocia.

Dream Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

What it takes to stay there

We struggled to find pricing information easily online, so you’ll have to get in touch directly with the hotel for the most up-to-date deals.

Dream Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey 2

4. Treehotel, Harads, Sweden

Harads - located just 31 miles south of the Arctic Circle - may not be the most likely of holiday destinations. However, the 'Treehotel' complex - devised by entrepreneur Kent Lindvall - has been truly putting it on the map with its unique series of 'treerooms' sporting such names as The Cabin, The Mirrorcube and The UFO.  You'll find them dotted around the pine forest surrounding Harads, so you can expect all of the tranquility you need to get a good night's sleep, too.

tree hotel 2

What it takes to stay there

As well as the imagination to even consider staying in such an unsung location, there's the prices that start from 4900kr a night - a princely $590 to you and me.

tree hotel 3

5. Hotel Ritz Paris, France

How could we start with any establishment other than the legendary Ritz? Since it first opened its doors in 1898, it has welcomed a cascade of famous guests, from Coco Channel and Ernest Hemingway to Diana, Princess of Wales, shortly before her tragic death in a car crash in 1997. It has also appeared in many movies and other works of fiction.  After a major four-year refurbishment, the Ritz reopened in June 2016, and remains very much on top form.paris france

What it takes to stay there

For a one-night stay, you can expect to be charged a princely €1,000 – that’s $1,145.

Hotel Ritz Paris, France 2

6. Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, England

This 17th-century Italianate-style country home would be historically significant enough purely on account of such famous past guests as Sir Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin. However, it may forever be best known as the site for key events of the notorious early '60s Profumo affair that greatly damaged then-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's government.  It has also been home to countesses, dukes, an earl, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor.

Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, England 1

What it takes to stay there

We found a Junior Suite room at this splendid property from a whopping £865 a night, or an impressive $1,134. That's as cheap as you can expect, so we would suggest that you start saving.Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, England 2

7. The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, USA

So historic is this iconic hotel that it was established in May 1912, before Beverly Hills was even incorporated as a city, and it's fair to say that it's been associated with the height of Hollywood glamour ever since.  Long after the days when the hotel's Polo Lounge was a favored drinking haunt of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the Rat Pack, the 'Pink Palace' remains one of the places in town to be seen.The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, USA 2

What it takes to stay there

How does $795 a night in an entry-level one-bedroom, one-bathroom Superior Room sound? That price excludes taxes, by the way.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, USA

8. Dasparkhotel, Linz, Austria

In today's crazy postmodern world, what more inviting place to stay could you hope to find than the inside of a concrete sewagepipe? Don't worry - these things on the banks of the Danube have been thoroughly cleaned and kitted out with the creature comforts that you need for a restful night's sleep, well away from the stresses and distractions of the wider world.  As far as post-industrial bolt-holes go, you would struggle to beat this one.

Dasparkhotel, Linz, Austria 2

What it takes to stay there

You'll have to complete the hotel's convenient online contact form to find out the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information, but we suspect that this isn't going to be budget accommodation.Dasparkhotel, Linz, Austria 1

9. Raffles Hotel Singapore

You surely can't pay a visit to Singapore without also taking in Raffles, the colonial-style luxury hotel where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented. It has attracted such celebrated figures down the years as W. Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, and has made various appearances in popular culture, such as Ryu Murakami's novel and its film adaptation, Raffles Hotel.  As of 2017, the hotel is undergoing what has been described as a "careful and sensitive" process of restoration.

sinapore

What it takes to stay there

680 Singapore dollars, or about $496, was the lowest price we found for a room here. It was for a Raffles Inc Stateroom boasting such perks as a King bed, complimentary Wi-Fi and tea and coffee-making facilities.Raffles Hotel Singapore

10. Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China

Whatever you perceive it to be shaped like - a magnet, doughnut or horseshoe have all been mooted - there's no question that this 27-storey luxury hotel on Lake Tai between Nanjing and Shanghai makes quite the visually spectacular place to stay.  There are an additional two floors below the water, creating a complete oval, and the luxury trimmings include a lobby paved with Afghanistan-sourced White Jade and Brazil-sourced Tiger's Eye Stone.Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China

What it takes to stay there

Rooms here are priced from as low as 1,516 CNY, or $224 - so there you go, your dreams of a night or two residing in a futuristic tribute to fried dough are perfectly attainable.

Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China 2

 11. San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California, USA

You would struggle to find a more beautiful - or legendary - Californian hotel than this ranch set in 500 acres lined with olive trees and lavender, and which has welcomed such figures as Sir Winston Churchill, Groucho Marx, Audrey Hepburn and Oprah Winfrey among its guests. It was also a honeymoon spot for John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline.

San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California, USA

What it takes to stay there

A Romantic Garden Hideaways room will set you back just the $845 a night - yes, that's the lowest price we could find, although you can also rest assured that even the cheapest rooms here are thoroughly lovely.San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California, USA 2

12. Hotel Inntel Zaandam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

We're not sure that you could get a hotel much more zanily Dutch than this spectacular mishmash of different architectural styles in one building, very much resembling a load of the country's traditional houses grafted together, complete with their respective pediments, gables, windows and roofs.  Far from a curiosity of many generations long gone, this wacky notion of a hotel was actually only built in 2010, which means that on the inside, you will find no shortage of modern-day comfort.Hotel Inntel Zaandam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

What it takes to stay there

The €130.35, or $150 per night charge for a Craft Deluxe room seems very reasonable compared to many of the other hotels in this list, and you can rest assured that you will have quite the experience for your money.Hotel Inntel Zaandam, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2

13. GoldenEye Boutique Hotel & Resort, Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica

Fans of all things 007 simply have to spend a night or two here at some point in their lives. The legendary Bond author Ian Fleming's first visit to Jamaica was during the Second World War, as he had been sent there by the Navy to investigate U-Boat activities in the Caribbean. After hostilities ceased, he had his dream home built here and called it GoldenEye.  That home has now become this luxury hotel, where you can even find the desk at which Fleming wrote.

GoldenEye Boutique Hotel & Resort, Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica

What it takes to stay there

With rooms starting from $425 a night, it's far from financially impossible to experience the paradise that ultimately inspired Fleming's creation of Bond.

GoldenEye Boutique Hotel & Resort, Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica 2

14. Capsulevalue Kanda, Tokyo, Japan

Capsule hotels are just so unspeakably Japanese in concept that you simply have to try one on your next visit to this ever-fascinating city. The capsules in question are stacked on top of each other and side-by-side to make the most of the available space.
The amenities are also a lot more generous than might expect - the free Wi-Fi and printer and fax services should certainly be convenient if you are visiting for business reasons, for instance.Capsulevalue Kanda, Tokyo, Japan

What it takes to stay there

Prices start at about 3,500 Japanese Yen - that's an astoundingly low $31. If you want to sleep both cheaply and with a great deal more comfort than you might imagine at this price point, how could you pass up the chance?Capsulevalue Kanda, Tokyo, Japan 2

15. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d'Antibes, France

It's the Cote d'Azur's prestigious Grand Dame and the ultimate place to stay during the Cannes Film Festival, so it should be no surprise for you to learn that it has hosted so many of Europe's cultural 'great and good', ranging from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to Marc Chagall and Marlene Dietrich.  It's also a hotel that is a stickler for tradition, having only accepted cash and wire transfers until 2006. However, a $67 million renovation in 2011 has also helped to preserve its elegance and desirability for a new generation of legendary guests.Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d'Antibes, France 2

What it takes to stay there

A Traditional Room - decorated in a classic 18th-century style overlooking the hotel's courtyard towards majestic swaying pines - can be booked from €560 a night, which works out as $642.Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d'Antibes, France

16. Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico

Many hotels claim to combine the best of the traditional and modern, but how many of them are literally built around a former bullfighting ring? With the last bull run here having taken place in 1975, where the bullpens once were is now occupied by a brick-walled bar, while the restaurant encircles and offers a fine view of the arena at which the action used to take place.

Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico

What it takes to stay there

The prices we found from as little as the equivalent of $113 a night sound like great value to us, given that you are - after all - getting to experience an immaculately preserved slice of history, and not simply somewhere to rest your head for the night.Quinta Real Zacatecas, Mexico 2

17. Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, USA

Much of the chatter about this ever-popular celebrity haunt since its 1929 opening has focused on misbehavior by its famous guests; John Belushi, for example, died of a drug overdose here in March 1982, while Judy Garland was known to have a go with the lobby piano and Howard Hughes also holed up here.  All manner of other artists and writers, ranging from Sofia Coppola to F. Scott Fitzgerald, have also been inspired by this glamorous West Hollywood setting.

Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, USA

What it takes to stay there

You can't really expect prices any lower than $835 a night here during the summer months.

Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, USA 2

18. The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania

If you’ve ever fancied effectively staying in an aquarium for your next hotel break, you can’t do much better than the Underwater Room at The Manta Resort.  It’s not exactly a city break hotel – its location on a remote island off Africa’s east coast is as far away from civilization as you can really get – but it’s all worth it to be able to watch the shoals of reef fish lazily swimming past you from your bed.The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania

What it takes to stay there

Expect to be charged $900 a night for the Underwater Room itself, although more affordable deals are available for rooms elsewhere in the hotel – a Standard Garden Room, for instance, will set you back just $342 a night.

The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania 2

19. The Library Hotel New York, USA

It’s not exactly a new thing to combine the concepts of the library and hotel in one building. However, The Library Hotel in New York goes further than most in catering to book-lover clientele, with each of its 10 floors honoring one of the 10 categories in the Dewey Decimal System.
With floors dedicated to everything from The Arts to Technology, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect room to indulge the bibliophile in you.

The Library Hotel New York, USA

What it takes to stay there

Looking for rooms for the summer, we found a best price of $231.20 – plus tax – for a one-bed Petite Room. You’ll get a lot of amenities for that outlay, including the likes of a mini refrigerator, private bathroom, makeup/shaving mirror, writing desk and flat screen TV and DVD player.The Library Hotel New York, USA 2

20. Baur Au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland

There’s no competition for the title of Zurich’s Grand Dame – it is, quite simply, this remarkable luxury hotel that is set in its own park overlooking the Alps.  It is, after all, only the hotel where the Nobel Peace Prize was dreamed up, as well as a favorite haunt of Austria’s Empress Elisabeth. It was also the site of the premiere of the first act of Richard Wagner’s Die Walkure opera, and it remains a fine place of privacy and tranquility in today’s city.Baur Au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland

What it takes to stay there

As you might expect, this one will seriously empty your wallet. The cheapest room we could find for a summer date was priced at 570 Swiss Francs, or $592 a night. That gets you a single room furnished in a classic style and with a free minibar.Baur Au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland 2

21. Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

We’re particularly interested here in the vintage refurbished Boeing 727 airframe that juts out of the jungle atop a concrete plinth and accommodates a lovely two-bedroom suite.  It’s certainly a place to stay that scores highly for visual impact, both inside and outside – the furnishings are hand-carved teak, while the rear bedroom sports a hand-crafted deck on top of the wing.Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

What it takes to stay there

We had a look at prices for a November stay, and found that the 727 Home Fuselage suite was being offered at $260 a night. The hotel does have various other rooms available at reasonable prices.Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica 2

22. The Imperial, Delhi

The Imperial would be historically notable even if it was simply the place where Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten met to discuss the partition of India for the creation of Pakistan.  However, this elegant establishment has a glory far exceeding that – indeed, it was one of the legendary “Four Maidens of the East” that also included Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, The Strand Hotel in Rangoon and The Great Eastern & The Oriental in Calcutta.The Imperial, Delhi

What it takes to stay there

For an entry-level Deco Room with space for two guests, a queen size bed and an ensuite bathroom, you can expect to be charged about $162 a night.

The Imperial, Delhi 2

23. Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

How many hotels in the world present you with the chance to (almost literally) share your breakfast with a giraffe?  Yes, Giraffe Manor is undoubtedly most distinguished by its resident herd of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes who like to poke their long necks through the windows from time to time in search of a treat.  However, it is also an elegant and long-established property, dating back to the 1930s when the first European visitors turned up to enjoy safaris here.

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

What it takes to stay there

With rates as high as $2,975 for the Karen Blixen Suite, only lowering to $1,100 for other rooms, Giraffe Manor will certainly empty your purse. But then, is there any other hotel in the world that offers quite as unique an experience?Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya 2

24. Hotell Utter Inn, Lake Malaren, Sweden

This floating hotel – the brainchild of local artist Mikael Genberg – resembles a traditional Swedish house above the surface, but offers quite the dreamlike experience underneath, where the bedroom is located.  It’s a wonderfully peaceful place to spend time with a loved one, quite apart from the experience of seeing fish swimming past you from your bed, thanks to the windows in all four directions that give you a truly panoramic view of the underwater world.Hotell Utter Inn, Lake Malaren, Sweden

What it takes to stay there

You could be paying as little as 1,200 Swedish Krona – or $144 – a night for this nigh-on incomparable experience.

Hotell Utter Inn, Lake Malaren, Sweden 2

25. The Liberty, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The mid-19th century Charles Street Jail has been re-imagined as a 298-room luxury hotel, albeit one that has preserved vestiges of its former life, including jail cells, catwalks and three-storey arched windows. The names of the CLINK restaurant and Alibi bar are also evocative of the history of this intriguingly ornate architectural gem.

The Liberty, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 2

What it takes to stay there

If it’s the lowest possible price you’re after, you might be interested to learn that a Deluxe, Non-Smoking room here with a King Bed could be yours for just $397 a night.

The Liberty, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

26. Hotel CasAnus, Stekene, Belgium

Even by the standards of some of the entries on this list, this one’s a bit weird. It’s a hotel shaped like – we’re not quite sure how to say this – a human colon.  As you might imagine, the CasAnus started life as a tongue-in-cheek work of art, rather than as a serious alternative to the hotels in Antwerp near its home in the Verbeke Foundation Art Park.Hotel CasAnus, Stekene, BelgiumHotel CasAnus, Stekene, Belgium

What it takes to stay there

It’s possible to stay here from as little as €120 or $137, which as far as we’re concerned, is far from a bum deal.

Hotel CasAnus, Stekene, Belgium 2

27. Villa d’Este, Cernobbio, Italy

This Renaissance patrician residence – originally built for a 16th-century cardinal – became a hotel in 1873.  It’s fair to say that if you want the very last word in luxury in one of the most idyllic settings imaginable – on some 25 acres along the shores of Lake Como – you won’t be disappointed by this exquisite property.Villa d’Este, Cernobbio, Italy

What it takes to stay there

Why would rooms at such an establishment as here come cheap? The minimum asking price we found for a one-night stay in the summer was €720 for a Classic Double room with a courtyard view.Villa d’Este, Cernobbio, Italy 2

28. Hotell Hackspett, Vasteras, Sweden

Yes, it’s that man again, Mikael Genberg, who came up with what is better known among English speakers as The Woodpecker Hotel. You’ll find it 13 meters up a 130-year old oak tree in Vasteras’ central park near Stockholm, Sweden.  You can only reach it via a rope ladder, and not a single nail has been used to anchor it to the tree – instead, it is suspended by wires. Nonetheless, it’s much sturdier and better-equipped than you would probably expect.Hotell Hackspett, Vasteras, Sweden

What it takes to stay there

At the time of writing this article, it was sadly not possible to book a stay at Hotell Hackspett, although we hope this incredible accommodation will become available again very soon.Hotell Hackspett, Vasteras, Sweden 2

29. Claridge’s, London, England

How could we possibly risk missing Claridge’s off this list? It is one of the most famous, celebrated and opulent hotels in the world, with royal connections so strong that it has sometimes been described as an “annex to Buckingham Palace”.  This finest of fine establishments in Mayfair has welcomed the likes of the Queen Mother, Jackie Onassis and Kate Moss through its doors. Come to think of it, its stunning Art Deco décor may be as much a reason for Claridge’s fame as its links to the greatest of the ‘great and good’.Claridge’s, London, England

What it takes to stay there

Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you… if you want a room during the summer, even an ‘entry-level’ Superior Queen Room will take £510 a night out of your bank account. That works out as $666.Claridge’s, London, England 2

30. The Plaza Hotel, New York, USA

The Plaza Hotel seems to be as famous for its fictional guests as its real-life ones, with an obvious example of the latter being Eloise of the children’s book series.  Among the actual celebrities and elite to be associated with the 20-storey landmark are the writer Truman Capote, who hosted his acclaimed “Black and White Ball” here in 1966, and jazz legend Miles Davis, who recorded a live album in the Persian Room in 1958.The Plaza Hotel, New York, USA

What it takes to stay there

As you might expect, this is no place for a budget break. The lowest price we could find for a one-night stay here during the summer was $531, but you could easily end up paying many thousands of dollars a night here for the most luxurious and exclusive experience.The Plaza Hotel, New York, USA 2
So, that’s our list! No fewer than 30 of the finest hotels from across the globe, some of them notable for their luxuriousness, others for their sheer fame, and others simply for being quirky or a little bit daft. As you can see, there is no shortage of different ways to spend a night in all manner of both popular and isolated locations on every continent.