26 Gorgeous Hotels You Won't Believe Are Under $150
Every so often, a hotel comes along that is both stylish and comfortable, close to the action and affordable. From the beaches of Mexico to the quaint courtyards of New Orleans, here are 26 properties that make the cut this year. You're welcome.
Known for its international party scene, Goa has its share of generic beach resorts to cater to the pleasure-seeking hordes. Travelers more interested in privacy than partying would do well to detour inland to Siolim House, a seven-room retreat 15 minutes from the beach that recalls a more refined time. Built in 1673 as a manor house for the governor of Macao, Siolim’s mixture of Goan and Portuguese architecture shows in the building’s colonnaded interior courtyard and shutters made from paneled wood and mother-of-pearl. The guest rooms also exude an old-fashioned elegance, with teak furnishings and period details like patterned-tile floors, lime-
plastered walls, hand-painted silk wallpaper, and heavy beamed ceilings with fans. Owner Varun Sood first restored Siolim to use as his private vacation home, and he still stays here when he visits.
siolimhouse.com, from $80.
When India’s maharajas went on turn-of-the-century hunting expeditions, they did it in style, erecting opulent safari tents at every stop. That’s the inspiration behind Amarya Shamiyana, a four-room encampment set in a grove of coconut palms on north Goa’s tranquil Ashvem Beach. Open and airy, the 700-square-foot tents have 20-foot ceilings and sit atop cool concrete footings. But this hardly qualifies as roughing it: French owners Alexandre Lieury and Mathieu Chanard have supplied each tent with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and en suite rain showers surrounded by wood decking. There’s an outdoor lounge with low sofas and metallic beanbag chairs, and each tent is splashed with a different color: The damask murals behind the beds are pink in one, blue in another. For the most secluded option, go for the gold.
amaryagroup.com/amaryashamiyana.php, from $122. Note: The hotel is closed during the monsoon season, May 1–Nov. 15.
With its striking Buddhist temples and fading French-colonial mansions, Laos’s riverside capital prides itself on being a tranquil alternative to other Southeast Asian hubs. Inside the year-old Salana Boutique Hotel, this calmer sensibility prevails. You’ll find a fresh take on traditional Asian design—intricate Laotian weavings, bamboo lamps, polished hardwood floors. Just one block from the mighty Mekong, the 41-room hotel butts directly up against Wat Inpeng, a lavish 16th-century temple with a red roof, carved frescoes, and a topiary garden. Talk about peaceful: All the rooms along the back of the hotel look out on the temple.
salanaboutique.com, from $90.
With its Indian, Chinese, and ethnic Malay influences, Malaysia sits at the cultural crossroads of Southeast Asia. So it’s no wonder that the Hotel Penaga draws so heavily on this rich confluence. Architect Hijjas Kasturi and his environmentalist wife, Angela, spent three years renovating the three art deco buildings that constitute the hotel, using found materials from across the region in the 45 rooms. Granite slabs in the garden came to the country as ballast on early 20th-century Chinese trading ships. Flooring incorporates Indonesian pressed tiles. Rugs are either Chinese cowhide, Indian sisal, Turkish patchwork kilims, or bamboo mats from eastern Malaysia. And much of the timber used was salvaged from demolished colonial buildings on the peninsula. The Kasturis also run an artist retreat near Kuala Lumpur, so you can expect to see original pieces created by both well-known and emerging artists hanging all over the Penaga’s walls.
hotelpenaga.com, from $134.
Located in the heart of Bangkok’s bustling central business district, Wow Bangkok’s most surprising feature may be its serenity. Despite the exclamatory name, the property exudes a calm and mellow vibe, thanks in part to its location, hidden away in a five-story town house on a quiet side street. Each of the seven rooms is decorated by a local artist to reflect a unique part of Thai mythology: The Sawan (“heaven”) Room is done up in pale blues and curlicue cloud motifs, while the Yak Room includes a fiery orange, red, and gold mural that climbs up the wall and onto the ceiling. Guests also have access to lounge chairs on the rooftop deck. With all this tranquility, you may actually forget that the city’s eclectic restaurants and high-end shopping center are just around the corner. ➼ wowbangkokhotel.com, from $58.