North Ari Atoll, Maldives — Not to immediately get political, but sometimes you feel like the only other person who understands you is the president of the Gilligan’s Island fan club. After all, you’re only truly alive when you’re surrounded by ocean, waves gently lapping at your feet, exotic creatures swimming playfully nearby. You’re stranded, but in a good way, because Kandolhu’s island is a touch more glamorous than Gilligan’s. Your bedroom is a luxury villa that’s literally on stilts — you can walk straight off your private deck into the sea. It sounds too good to be true, but you ain’t dreaming, little buddy.
Saratoga Springs, New York — When people think of motels, they often think of cheap, low-slung shacks, past their end date, and just barely hanging on along the side of a highway. Not you, though. You’re a wild one, and nothing revs your engine like the recent motor lodge revival. These old signposts of American history are getting tuned up and turned back into the masterpieces they once were. Case in point: The Brentwood. This is a throwback to the days when a motel stood for optimism and the freedom of the open road, not just saving a few bucks. It’s no museum piece, either. A Brooklyn-based design studio gave it a thorough transformation and a glimpse at your ideal future.
Torres del Paine, Chile — In No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that “Hell is other people.” Lately, you’re starting to think that maybe he had a point. It’s not that you don’t love your fellow humans, it’s just that right now you need a little space from them. Awasi Patagonia will take you far from mankind, but bring you close to some of the world’s most spectacular natural environments, and that’s a trade-off you’re willing to accept. This luxury lodge combines top-notch design and comfort with otherworldly landscapes, all working to create an experience that will make you think twice about ever returning to civilization.
Ise-Shima, Japan — As you’ve grown up, so have your tastes. Where once you appreciated the high art of a well-executed keg stand, now you now seek pleasures more subtle and refined. You’ve traded the sound of a thundering bass drum for gently chirping birds and bubbling streams, and you’ve traded the party hotel for the ryokan. But your younger self is still in there, and you want your Japanese country inn experience to be a bit more exciting than the traditional norm. Amanemu is what you’ve been dreaming of — a thoroughly modern interpretation of a timeless Japanese pleasure. A ryokan for the 21st century. A place for both of you.
Paris, France — You worked hard all week, dammit, taking care of everyone else. And now it’s your turn to get pampered. You deserve it, and you’re going to do it the right way: like an 18th century French royal (minus the whole guillotine thing). That’s why you’re spending your dream getaway at The Ritz, one of the best and most famous hotels in the history of the world. The service here is unmatched, and so is the guestbook, hosting everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Lady Diana to pretty much any other household name you can think of. “Good enough for them, good enough for me,” you say to yourself, as you stroll confidently through the lobby on your way to the spa.
Parrano, Italy — Just the other day, you were overcome by the urge to take your stupid cell phone and flush it straight down the toilet. The buzzing, the beeping, the endless emails from your boss — it never ends, and you can’t take it anymore. That’s why you’re heading straight to Eremito Hotelito Del Alma, where you’ll be mercifully separated from your technology. This is basically a medieval detox from modern excess, with no televisions, no phones, no mini-fridges or wi-fi signals. Your status updates will be spiritual, and your nightly entertainment will be the moon.
New York, New York — You’re the modern rustic type. You’re wracked with guilt about humanity’s wastefulness, but you’re also style-conscious, with a taste for the finer things in life. Those traits don’t always mesh seamlessly, but when they do, you’re in heaven (or in this case, New York City). When you finally take that big trip to the Big Apple, 1 Hotel Central Park is for you. It’s constructed largely from salvaged materials — there’s reclaimed lumber and brick in the guest rooms, and the fitness center’s floor was once the property of the University of Wisconsin’s basketball team — and it has a restaurant that serves impeccably sourced farm-to-table cuisine. This is the hotel of your socially responsible dreams.
Udaipur, India — Let’s just cut to the chase: you need more romance in your life. Things have been a little boring in the boudoir lately, and you’re yearning for some intrigue. And where better to find intrigue than in a palace? Enchantment lurks around every corner; behind each facade hides the chance of an intimate affair. It’s a magical backdrop, a dream come to life. RAAS Devigarh makes your fantasy a reality by marrying the contemporary with the ancient in a way most other palace hotels only wish they could. Just don’t get too carried away — you’ll have to go back home eventually.
Marfa, Texas — You’re the outgoing, creative type. When there’s nothing happening, you make something happen. When someone else is down, you pick them right up. That’s why El Cosmico is the stuff your dreams are made of. It takes some work getting to this remote part of West Texas, and you relish the challenge. Anyone can picture how much fun it would be to stay a few nights in a fully restored, vintage Airstream trailer — but your vivid imagination has you wondering if El Cosmico offers long-term rentals, because it’s the kind of place you can easily see yourself camping out at for a long while.
Maastricht, Netherlands — As Tablet’s biggest fan, you know how much we love when hotels repurpose existing structures, transforming them into something far removed from their original intent. Like us, you adore the combination of the old and the new, and you marvel at the work it must have required to bring these buildings up to date with modern standards of hospitality. And you know that the Kruisheren is one of the finest examples of the form, a fifteenth-century monastery that’s now home to a cutting-edge hotel. You’re no monk, but you know this is a hotel worthy of serious reverence.
Chicago, Illinois — You want to be one of the cool kids. We all do. They do too — that’s the dirty secret: nobody feels cool all the time. We all suffer from periodic insecurity and a lack of confidence. That’s why hotels like the Ace are so vital. They allow us all to feel cool, and that’s why you booked your stay there. You’re looking to feel plugged in, current, and alive, which is exactly the type of experience Ace Chicago offers. Your visit includes cutting-edge design, delicious local food, cultural happenings and a vibrant nightlife, and all you had to do was click a few buttons. You’re finally where you belong.
Troncones, Mexico — Sun. Sand. Surf. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. That’s your mantra, and you won’t stop until you make it your reality. So goodbye to that co-worker who never stops whistling, sayonara to your kid’s dirty friend who never takes a bath, adios to gridlock, and political commentary, and uninspired meals. You’re going on the run and your hideout is Lo Sereno — a simple, clean beach house hotel sitting right on the Pacific Ocean. It’s perfectly low-key, and the perfect place for you to lay low. And the town of Troncones, while known to locals and surfers, is far from becoming a resort. They won’t find you here.
Northleach, England — “Lately, I’m getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over.” That’s how Tony Soprano described the sense of being born a couple generations too late, but it could just as easily have come from you. This modern life has never quite agreed with you, and you gaze back longingly at past eras you can only dream of experiencing. Well, dream no more. The Wheatsheaf traces its ancestry back to England’s old coaching inns — early public houses where the weary stagecoach traveler could stop in for a pint, a bite, and a warm place to sleep. You’ll feel right at home, and you won’t have to sacrifice any of the contemporary conveniences that you’ve regrettably come to rely on.
Torres del Paine, Chile — It’s been said that God is brought into the world by great architecture. How else to describe that overwhelming feeling when you stand humbled before a particularly magnificent structure? You’ve known for a while now that you need to get more in touch with your spiritual side, and since there are no hotel rooms at the Sagrada Familia, Tierra Patagonia may be the closest you’re going to get. This monument of wood and glass is impressive beyond words, yet maintains a low profile so as to not compete with the stunning nature that surrounds it. This is the beginning of your quest, and there are few better places from which to launch it.