50 Totally Charming Hotels for Under $150
Chic, stylish, boutique--blah, blah, blah. What we want in a hotel is that unique mix of warmth and personality. In other words, we want it to be totally charming. Here are our picks, from Argentina to Vietnam.
Hotel Empress Zoe
Empress Zoe is cobbled together from artifacts of previous ages; the barrel-vaulted passages off the lobby date to the Ottoman era, and the central garden's walls are ruins of a hammam built in 1483. The 24 rooms and suites are dressed in Turkish textiles and folk art; two roof terraces face the Sea of Marmara. Information: 011-90/212-518-25-04, emzoe.com, from $116, with breakfast and tax.
Hotel Nomade: $116
Rooms at Istanbul's Hotel Nomade--decorated with hanging carpets made from antique rugs resewn into modern, abstract designs--feel spacious even if they aren't. The rooftop terrace, four flights up, boasts direct views of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia--accompanied, in the morning, by an impressive Turkish breakfast. Information: 011-90/212-513-81-72, hotelnomade.com, from $116, with breakfast and tax.
The Bull Hotel
A roadside tavern since 1385, The Bull Hotel in Wrotham, Kent, plays up its country heritage with brick fireplaces, exposed oak beams, and hardwood floors--though its 11 rooms have been recently refurbished. The restaurant serves fish-and-chips and local brews, as a proper British pub should. Information: 011-44/1732-789-800, thebullhotel.com, from $141, with breakfast and tax.
The Cawdor Arms
As a 200-year-old Welsh coaching inn, the Cawdor still has its original flagstones, though its 25 rooms--with Egyptian cotton sheets, TVs, DVD players, and Internet access--don't resemble any of the nearby castles they're named after. Information: 011-44/1558-823-500, thecawdor.com, from $131, with breakfast and tax.
A converted motel directly on the beach, Casa Malibu has more than its location going for it: The 19 rooms, some with whitewashed furniture, fireplaces, and exposed-wood ceilings, feel like cottages. (There are also two suites.) Guests can lounge on the private beach and take in the ocean from the shaded brick courtyard. Information: 800/831-0858, from $129, with breakfast and parking.
The furnishings of this downtown L.A. hotel are mostly Moroccan, though they also include Iraqi wall hangings, Indian curtains, Kurdish grain-sack pillows (used as chairs), and anything else that catches the eye of owner Uno Thimansson. The poolside terrace is one of L.A.'s best hotel bars. Information: 213/627-8971, figueroahotel.com, from $134.
Juniper Lane Guest House
Run by ebullient Juniper Maas, the five-room cedar-shingled guesthouse--and a cabin sleeping four more--is on Washington's San Juan Island. Rooms are decorated with art from Maas's travels; regional pieces hang in the common spaces. A shared kitchen is stocked with free fair-trade coffee and organic fruit in season. Information: 888/397-2597, juniperlaneguesthouse.com, from $65.
The Tallman Hotel
In addition to restoring this 1896 hotel in Upper Lake, Calif., owners Lynne and Bernie Butcher built four additional two-story garden cottages next door. All the garden rooms have a veranda or balcony; those on the ground floor also have an outdoor shower and teak soaking tub. Information: 707/275-2244, tallmanhotel.com, from $119, with breakfast.
Life Wellness Resort Quy Nhon
Before the resort opened in 2003, all that stood on this coastline was a fisherman or two. Now, besides solitude and fresh seafood, there are lounge chairs, yoga lessons, and a poolside bar. The 63 rooms have balconies and bathrooms with sea views. Information: 011-84/56-840-132, life-resorts.com, from $98, with breakfast.
Mui Ne Sailing Club
Surrounded by tropical gardens on the beach, the hotel's 29 rooms are colonial chic, with bamboo beds, red stone floors, and silk cushions. All come with air-conditioning and TVs; some have open-air bathrooms for a late night soak while stargazing. Information: 011-84/62-847-442, sailingclubvietnam.com, from $66, with breakfast and tax.