I used to say that hotels don't really matter. "You're just there to sleep." Then I started to stay in great hotels and realized how wonderful it is to have those lovely sheets, great service and all the amenities. But don't think they have to be the best hotels in the world. I also love the unique ones—the converted convent, the hotel on an island or the hotel in the middle of the rice paddies.
25 Matheson St., Healdsburg, CA 95448
One of the loveliest hotels in the Valley, this place is my number one choice for an overnight or two! The rooms are big, the sheets, sublime, the service, second to none and the breakfasts, excellent! Don’t miss this one!
580 Lommel Road, Calistoga, CA 94515
This place is the ultimate! After a day of wine tasting in the Valley, there’s nothing better than coming back to your room at the Ranch. Sexy, warm and inviting, this place is so classy! Well worth the price!
4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559
This place, from the outside, reminds me of farm worker’s housing. When you get inside though, it’s shear elegance with every single amenity. It’s luxurious, warm and inviting. And the restaurant with Kimball Jones at the helm is wonderful.
1712 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515
An Olympic-size pool filled with warm waters from the hot springs makes me want to float the night away. Bungalows fit out with mattress-ticking couches and white washed floors, a kitchen and a grill make this a home-away-from-home. Just don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine at one of the wineries.
757 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Only one word can describe this hotel… DIVINE!
57 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022
This is another one of my favorite hotels in the world. After a crazy day of shopping in midtown, where could there be a better place to put your shopping bags down and your feet up? Maybe stop on your way up to your room at Fifty Seven Fifty Seven Bar for the best martini in town!
1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
If a hotel were ever to feel like going home, it would be the Heathman. The service is over-the-top. Everything from snazzy herbal teas in the room to eye masks and earplugs make this hotel one of my all-time American favorites. A reason alone to come to Portland!
2332 Leonard Street Dallas, TX 75201
Sensual, impeccable attention to detail and the "can-do" staff are a perfect formula for a great hotel! Totally hip! Make sure you grab a bite in the fantastic restaurant where Steven Pyles mans the stove!
1705 South Quinlan Park Road, Austin, Texas 78732
800.847.5637 (U.S.) or 512.372.7300
I teach here but it hardly feels like work when you are pampered by 25,000 square feet of spa luxury! I took full advantage of the wonderful facilities and the food at the their spa cafe is delicious too.
1200 Carillon Point, Kirkland, WA 98033
Not really in Seattle but in Kirkland along the lake. One of my favorite features: "Raid the Refrigerator," a party late every night where you can grab a sandwich or a salad before retiring to your lovely room.
199 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Rooms are small but the views are not. Anytime I want to be able to see the Sydney Opera House from my bed, I head to this gem!
A small slice of heaven accessible only by plane. And their own airstrip! Make sure you indulge in one of their massages staged under a white gauzy casita along the sea. If the massage doesn’t lull you into oblivion, the sound of the waves will.
When you want to get away from it all, head to Pura Vida, a yoga retreat and spa set just outside of San Jose. This mountain retreat is a perfect get-away-from-it-all kind of place.
Place de l'Eglise 84410 Crillon le Brave
(33) 4 90 65 61 61
This hotel is set in the village of the same name. Every room is so romantic and homey, the staff is absolutely fantastic and their restaurant is equally superlative. A delicious breakfast or lunch at their little outdoor café can be enjoyed gazing at the gorgeous views of Mont Ventoux! This is one of my favorite little hotels in all of France!
via della Faggiola 12/14 - 56126 Pisa, Italy
A fabulous luxury hotel in Pisa - they made my stay so memorable!
Via Mario de' Fiori 28 - 00187 Rome, Italy
What a find! Crossing Condotti is an elegant boutique downtown house with only 5 perfectly appointed rooms, mere steps from Piazza di Spagna, where you can move in and feel like a true Roman.
Via Bocca di Leone 7 - 00187 Rome, Italy
Another boutique all-suite building, where you can unpack and feel right at home in Rome.
Via Camerelle 2, Capri, Italy
Grand indeed, with prices to match. This white palace crowns Capri's highest point. Great service and, if for no other reason, stay here just for the balcony views from every room!
P.za Santa Maria Novella 1 - 50123 FIRENZE
+39 055 271840
Every time I am in Florence, I call this address home! Though it isn’t a small hotel, it has a small hotel feel. The rooms are cozy, the staff very helpful and the location perfect. Just blocks from my favorite shopping street Tornabuoni, check this one out!
Piazza della Repubblica 7, 50123 Florence, Italy
The savvy Savoy is hip, cool, trendy and thoroughly modern. An amazing place to crash after a day amidst the Florentine Renaissance. The tubs aren’t bad either.
Piazza Trinità dei Monti, 6 - 00187 Roma, Italy
A bit of a stretch on the pocketbook but well worth it for the level of service and location atop the Spanish steps. And check out the brand new state-of-the-art wine school next door.
Via Ludovisi 49 Rome 00187, Italy
Seeing this hotel from outside, you would never suspect that it could be so gorgeous inside. Service is sublime! And my favorite part, having a glass of prosecco at twilight at the bar on the top floor looking out over all of Rome.
00186 Roma - Via della Penna, 22, Italy
If you only have a few Euros to spare, Locarno is a great choice. Terrific location, friendly staff and a fantastic bar. All in the heart of Rome.
San Marco 1459, 30124 Venice, Italy
A quiet respite from the crazy, bustling Venetian streets below. Ask for a room that overlooks the canal. And lunch along the Grand Canal isn’t too shabby either. It may set you back a few Euros, but it is so worth it.
Via Torino 7, 14046 Mombaruzzo (AT), Italy
Tel: +39 0141 793 890 or +39 347 281 8843
My favorite place to teach and to stay when I am in the Piedmont region. Chris and Nicola are fabulous hosts, and with truffle hunting, an incredible grappa distillery, my favorite amaretti producer - Moriondo Carlo, and La Spinetta nearby - this is a dream location!
Avenue Bab Jdid, 40 000 Marrakech, Morocco
Never have I stayed at a more sensual, romantic hotel in my life. The smells, the sights, the sounds... This place is a must if you visit Marrakech. It’s even worth a detour. Set among olive and orange trees, the rooms are decked out with everything Moroccan. Try the buffet lunch served outside. (I want to be there right now!)
Plaza Santo Domingo de Guzmán, 6
26230 Casalarreina - La Rioja
+34 941 324 730
This hotel couldn’t be more elegant and well cared for. Last time I was in Spain, I spent a week here and absolutely didn’t want to leave. Our bathroom was the size of a small living room and the bathtub could have doubled as a swimming pool. The staff goes out of their way to make you feel that you’re home! If only…..
Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34 Madrid 28014
Tel: +34 91 787 77 70
Plaza de las Cortes, 10 Madrid 28014
Tel: +34 91 420 37 67
Owned by the same reputable hotel group, these two hotels offer excellent service and lovely rooms. The location couldn’t be better nor could the price. What more can you ask for?
Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50180
Waking up here is like waking out of a dream. Surrounded by rice fields and palms, this hotel has to be one of my favorites in the world. The massages alone are enough to justify a trip to Thailand.