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.
Khao Yai, Thailand
At Ndol Villas, a water view doesn’t cost extra: Each of the 15 rooms at this year-old jungle retreat faces a running stream. Ndol lies only 94 miles outside of Bangkok, but with its Zen-like features—the sound of rushing water, orchids sprouting from tropical gardens, a lagoon-like swimming pool framed by towering trees—it might as well be in another universe. The relaxing vibe extends to Ndol’s century-old teakwood villas, which have been restored and filled with antiques from across Asia, including giant Buddhas from Thailand and carved dragon heads from China. ndolvillas.com, from $117.
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
You don’t have to be a surfer to dig Casa de Olas, but it helps. Set atop a cliff overlooking the fishing village of San Juan del Sur, the hotel, whose name aptly translates to “house of waves,” affords Pacific Ocean views, free shuttle service to local beaches, and proximity to some of Nicaragua’s best breaks. Opened this year by Australian expats Fred and Carla Batty, the seven-room spot (which also has a dorm that sleeps eight) throws in a free breakfast—pancakes, eggs, bacon, and tropical fruit grown on-site—to fuel your surfing adventures. Need a rest from the waves? Grab a cocktail made from local, award-winning Flor de Caña rum at the thatch-roof Freddy’s Bar and sip it by the 40-foot-long infinity pool. Or you could always just hang out with Buzz, the casa’s resident monkey.
casa-de-olas.com, dorms $20, doubles $69.
Colonia Valdense, Uruguay
La Vigna began life in 1880 when a family of Italian immigrants opened the Renaissance revival–style estate and winery in Uruguay’s fertile southwest corner. More than a century later, Argentine owners Agustin Battellini (a former architect) and his wife, Lucila Provvidente (a former psychologist), have maintained the five-room B&B’s rustic charms: milk pails on the walls, llama-wool bedding, furniture made from repurposed sheep pens. They also grow their own organic peaches, watermelon, and figs, which show up in their homemade jams and liqueurs. Ducks, goats, and sheep roam freely—until, well, let’s just say that the hotel makes its own lamb pizza, as well as pecorino cheese, served in La Vigna’s on-site bistro. Sound tempting? Thankfully, both breakfast and dinner are complimentary at La Vigna. In between meals, there are exercise options, too: In the afternoon, you can borrow a mountain bike (free) and cruise the surrounding countryside.
lavigna.com.uy, from $150.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg was founded in 1886, and that’s where the hotel 12 Decades begins, too. Each of its 12 guest rooms is dedicated to a successive 10-year span in the city’s evolution, with themed designs by 12 South African creative teams. Furniture stars Dokter and Misses, for example, filled the 1916–1926 room with their angular, Bauhaus-
inspired pieces, while T-shirt designers Love Jozi went graphic in their 1946–1956 room: The toilet bowl is stamped with the names of racist apartheid laws. The year-old hotel is an ideal jumping-off point for exploring the Maboneng
Precinct, a regeneration project that also includes the Arts on Main gallery complex and a handful of low-key restaurants and cafes.
12decadeshotel.co.za, from $113.
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