The best of luxury break hotels

By Emma Johnson

Editor and journalist specialising in luxury travel

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Choose from destinations of golden sands and palm tree groves, to a desert oasis and a city on water. Or savour ultra-cool city stays with glistening skyscrapers and rooftop pool views. Luxury-travel writer Emma Johnson rounds up some of the most exciting places to stay.

For a swanky city retreat: W Lexington NYC

Take time out in New York at the original W hotel, in the heart of everything that is hip and happening.

The lowdown…

Kick back in a place with soulful style in an ideal location for urban exploration. This W Hotel sits within walking distance to Times Square and Central Park. Start your day with an epic breakfast in the Heartbeat restaurant, with a choice of classics – such as benedicts, pancakes and more. Rest your feet after days of adventure and unwind in the two-story Bliss Spa for soothing treatments. Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure and watch a movie whilst having your nails pampered.

Kick back in a place with soulful style in an ideal location for urban exploration.

Insider’s tip…

Order Flirtinis in the Living Room Lounge – a sleek hangout for intriguing people watching, where you can nibble on small plates and try flavourful cocktails.

Book a stay at W Lexington NYC

  • Stay pretty in pink at The Royal Hawaiian’s exclusive Mailani Tower.
  • Enjoy Sunday brunch at Terrazza Danieli overlooking the Venice lagoon.

    Dine with the greats

    Since its lavish parties of the 16th century, the Hotel Danieli has become a haven for the artistic A-list, hosting the likes of Dickens, Byron, Wagner and Goethe.

    Plan your trip to Venice
  • View from the infinity pool at the Sani Club, Halkidiki. © 2018 Sani Resort.

    Gorgeous Greece

    The heated outdoor pool at Sani Club in Halkidiki is the perfect place to perfect your holiday tan.

    Book a stay

For an exotic island oasis: The Royal Hawaiian


Enjoy the most famous beach in Hawaii – this two-mile stretch of golden sand was once a glittering playground for Hawaiian royalty, who came here to surf and schmooze.

The lowdown…

Stay at the centre of the Waikiki Beach, in a resort bursting with grandeur. Renowned for its distinctive pink façade and Moorish architecture flanked by towering palm trees, soak up the views of Diamond Head from its private beachfront cabanas and luxurious suites. Rooms in the historic wing are some of the best, decorated in a colourful Hawaiian style. Water sports are a hotel speciality, with parasailing, catamaran cruises, surfing and snorkelling available – while dining options include a bakery and a legendary Mai Tai bar.

Insider’s tip…

On Monday and Thursday evenings, attend the Aha’aina Luau dinner and show for a taste of Hawaiian culture and culinary delights.

Book a stay at The Royal Hawaiian

For a sensational solo trip: W Boston


Kick it in Boston, at W Boston, a place to see and be seen. Spend days soaking up the delicious eats, colourful streets and an eclectic mix of history and culture.

The lowdown…

Enjoy the finesse of a central city hotel, featuring modern décor with a slice of Bostonian history. Make the most of your setting in Boston’s Downtown Theatre District, with enchanting views of the city’s shimmering lights. Take a break and listen to the blues on a comfortable lounger in the nail room of the Bliss Spa. You can even browse on an iPad as you get a foot massage, then take a bite from the brownie bar. Have a glamorous night-in at the W Lounge with signature cocktails. Hear the music play Thursday to Saturday, by resident and guest DJ’s.

Insider’s tip…

Rejuvenate in the hotel's award-winning James Joseph Salon in the hotel. Choose from a variety of beauty and cosmetic services to get ready for a glitzy night.

Book a stay at W Hotel Bostan

  • Take time out in the Floating City.

    Prestigious postcodes

    Holding the most-desired address in all of Venice, the Hotel Danieli sits on the waterfront of St Mark’s basin, just minutes from the Bridge of Sighs and St Mark's Square.£968 pp

    Book a stay

For a romantic trip away: Hotel Danieli


Savour the charms of Venice, with its water ways, captivating streets and striking architecture – a ride on a gondola is a wonderful way to admire the city’s beauty from afar.

The lowdown…

Just moments from the Bridge of Sighs and the Piazza San Marco, enjoy a stay at one of the most famous hotels in the world. A beautiful Gothic palazzo overlooking the lagoon, the entrance hall with its towering marble pillars and imposing staircase, is one of the most dazzling in the whole of Venice. Savour the flavours of the al fresco rooftop restaurant, with its unparalleled food and views of the lagoon. Once a sanctuary for kings, princes, ambassadors and Venetian noblemen pass through its doors, it now offers decadent stay on the Riva Degli Schiavoni.

Insider’s tip…

Grab your camera for glorious photos – you’ll want to remember the Venetian style of this hotel, with golden staircases, beautiful balconies, gigantic chandeliers and a maze of passageways.

Book a stay at Hotel Danieli

For surreal waterfront views: W Chicago Lakeshore


Find your way through a maze of skyscrapers, make a stop for brunch or head to the beach in Edgewater. Chicago is a hot spot for enthralling views and landmarks.

The lowdown…

Soaring into the Chicago skyline, this lakeside hotel is one of the hottest places in the city. Rise early to catch an enchanting sunrise, then wander around the nearby Navy Pier and pristine parks. Enjoy seventh floor heaven at the Wet Deck – a heated pool with dazzling views of Lake Michigan, that will elevate your Instagram feed. Spend an afternoon rejuvenating in the Chicago Bliss Spa, followed by a tantalising dinner in restaurant CURRENT. Feel the energy of this contemporary hotel, with a prime location just outside of the city centre, at a great value.

Insider’s tip…

In the summer, catch firework displays on Wednesday and Saturday nights from the Living Room Bar. Simply grab a cocktail and a chair to watch all the action above Navy Pier.

Book a stay at W Chicago Lakeshore

For a family holiday: Sani Club


Relax on endless golden Grecian beaches backed by 1,000 acres of beautiful protected forest. Part of the famous Sani Resort complex in heavenly Halkidiki, Sani Club offers a picturesque break.

The lowdown…

Cleverly meeting the needs of little travellers and weary parents, this hotel is both a soothing spa retreat and a dynamic destination for children. Whilst you can enjoy all five spas in the Sani Resort complex, visit your hotel’s Club Spa to be pampered with the help of gorgeous Anne Semonin products. There are even junior spa treatments for children over the age of 12 – book them in for a glamorous manicure. The hotel itself offers airy, open-plan family suites, a large heated swimming pool with a designated children’s section, and a beach which shelves gently into the sea – where the clear water is perfect for snorkelling. Use the ‘Babewatch’ service and experienced staff will watch your kids whilst you have a little downtime.

Insider’s tip…

Whilst your little ones are kept busy at the Peppa Pig creche, children’s club or teenager’s club, have a go at paddleboard yoga, or simply relax on a sun lounger.

Book a stay at Sani Club

  • W South Beach Miami ©2018 Marriott International, Inc.

    Kick it the Miami way

    The ultimate beach city stay – chill, party, play.£1110 pp

    Plan your trip

For a super chic beach break: W South Beach


The ultimate trendsetting beach destination, Miami, is packed with art-deco, colourful districts and foodie delights, don't forget the cool beaches and a lively party scene either.

The lowdown…

Choose an oceanfront retreat in the heart of South Beach, with views that will make you melt. Unwind on your balcony with a cocktail in hand as you gaze over the views of Miami beach. Recline on luxury cabanas by the poolside of WET and feel the glow of the sun or pose on a chaise lounge. Tread across powder-soft sands on South Beach and catch a prime spot. Then let the wonderful Ambassadors bring you refreshing drinks and snacks as you kick back. Once you're rested, head to the lavish Living Room Bar, a perfect adult playground, bursting with South Beach style.

Insider’s tip…

Eat in at the sensational MR CHOW, where celebrities and locals come for deluxe dining. Dig into delicious Asian cuisine, in a show-stopping, artsy setting with a glossy style.

Book a stay at W South Beach

  • Kick back in the W Lounge, W Boston. ©2018 Marriott International, Inc.

    Enjoy the best of Boston

    Venture around the quirky neighbourhoods of the city, then unwind and sip on cocktails, in the coolest bar in town.

    Book a stay
  • W Lexington NYC ©2018 Marriott International, Inc.
  • The WET deck at the W Hollywood. ©2018 Marriott International, Inc.

    Do it in Hollywood style

    Grab your big shades and colourful swimwear, for superstar moments at the rooftop pool.

    Book a stay

For that luxury desert island feeling: Al Maha

See the other side of Dubai – just outside from the glitz and glamour of this opulent city, see a dazzling conservation area with natural wonders of the UAE’S first National Park.

The lowdown…

This beautiful hotel offers a luxurious palm-filled oasis, rising out from the dunes of the desert. Offering tented Bedouin style suites, in a magical dune landscape, it’s possible to feel entirely alone under the stars here. The rooms are all spacious suites with their own private pool, terrace and desert views, while daily desert activities are included in your stay. The Timeless Spa takes inspiration from local and traditional treatments and offers a soothing retreat from the desert sun.

Insider’s tip…

Enjoy the convenience and intimacy of dinner delivered straight to your very own veranda. Savour the flavours of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, paired with the finest wine.

Book a stay at the Al Maha

For a rooftop rockstar experience: W Hollywood

Chill out with a trip to beach chic Los Angeles. Get a snap of the Hollywood sign, rollerblade along Venice Beach and wander around Beverley Hills.

The lowdown…

Savour a location close to the best of Hollywood. Just a short stroll away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Studio District. Stay here for everything stylish and vibrant, from cocktail sipping and celebrity spotting in the glistening Living Room Bar, to the pirate-themed Hollywood escape room. For the ultimate 'cool' experience, chill out at Los Angeles’ famous rooftop pool. Relax on your lavish W lounger and sip Champagne from a private luxury cabana with sprawling views of the city. Feel the glow of the Californian sun, take a dip in the pool and dance to DJ beats at weekends.

Insider’s tip…

Catch a show at W Hollywood’s outdoor year-round festival. See a movie, documentary or concert on a drop-down screen under the stars with cocktails in hand.

Book a stay at the W Hollywood