Hotels to Stay in Before You Die

HOTEL CIPRIANI, VeniceClooney's bachelor pad when in town for the Canne Film Festival. This 50 year old legendary hotel perches on Giudecca Island facing San Marco, amid a sea of quiet streets, sprawling gardens, and that giant saltwater pool (hotel lore says it was planned in feet but the designer built it in meters, thus tripling its size).Hotel CiprianiDoubles from $1,260; lagoon-view doubles from $1,580POST RANCH INN, Big Sur, California

Wow! Exquisite new rooms unveiled in spring 2008 feature private terraces, customized sound systems, and outdoor hot tubs.For the best view in the place, book one of the five “Ocean Houses,” wrapped with floor-to-ceiling windows, that sit about a hundred feet from the dramatically beautiful rock coast.Post Ranch InnDoubles from $550SINGITA, Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa

In addition to the comforts of spa, butler, gourmet chef – yeah you're really roughing in on the Safari, aren't you? .. Part of what makes Singita so compelling is the diversity of species scampering about–leopards, lions, elephants, hippos, giraffes–some of which you might spy from your own room.Singita Private Game Reserve$1,120 per person per night, including meals, alcohol, and daily safari excursionsHTEL PLAZA ATHNE, Paris

Toasted as the freshest property in the city, while still preserving its terrific sense of place and style. What's good?* Hip glass bar designed by Patrick Jouin is the unofficial office for fashion week insiders* Over-the-top Alain Ducasse outpost, with its gorgeous “exploded” crystal chandeliers* Secret garden of La Cour Jardin, perfect for a quiet drink or tea on sunny spring days.* Great location on the Avenue Montaigne, close to Champs Elyses shopping* Large rooms divided into classic and Deco decor (all come with sumptuous marble bathrooms), some have a view of the Eiffel Tower. Tres chic.Htel Plaza AthneDoubles from $940EXPLORA EN PATAGONIA, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Natural beauty of the wilds of Patagonia. Damn near impossible to get to – a four-hour flight from Santiago and then a five-and-a-half-hour journey by auto – which makes it so cool. The property sits in the shadow of the jagged, snowcapped Torres del Paines mountains. Unobstructed views and you have the wilderness all to yourself. Make nature your bitch by partaking in daily glacier hikes, horseback rides, and for the unfaint of heart, swims in the ice-cold lake. Don't worry, they also have heated indoor pool and outdoor hot tubs.Explora en Patagonia$1,240 per person per night, including meals, alcohol, and excursionsCHATEAU MARMONT, Hollywood, California

Chateau Marmont remains the epitome of cool Hollywood.Throughout its venerable history–built in 1927, it was modeled on the Chteau d'Amboise in the Loire Valley–it has served as a home away from home, crash pad, liaison spot, and even final scene for a legion of Hollywood legends. Vivian Leigh nursed a Laurence Olivier–broken heart here; Jim Belushi had a fatal drug overdose in a garden bungalow; and Lindsay Lohan rode out her DWI furor on the grounds. Its bungalows (complete with stove-tops) feel like home, or a friend's apartment complex, except that you will run into half of US Weekly magazine on the way to the mailbox.Chateau MarmontDoubles from $370PARK HYATT, Tokyo

Tokyo hotel, not Tokio Hotel. hehe (I just had to).Look familiar? Lost in Translation was shot here The service here is exemplary. Large rooms look out onto Mount Fuji and the pulsing city skyline. Its glassed-in 45th-floor swimming pool is famous.Park Hyatt TokyoDoubles from $632LE SIRENUSE, Positano, Italy

The small and family-owned Le Sirenuse holds its head high on the Amalfi Coast as a bastion of glamour, luxury, and independent personality. Most nights, owners Franco Sersale and son Antonio can be found chatting with guests at the bar or in the restaurant. The 18th-century palazzo sits above the colorful town of Positano, a charming tangle of pastel buildings and church domes leading to the shimmer of the sea below.Two caveats: You must must must get a room with a view of the Mediterranean (the higher the floor, the better) or it's just not worth the money, and don't book a trip in vastly overcrowded August. Consider instead April and May, when the weather is sunny but cool and the tourist troupes haven't arrived for the summer circus. Now that's Italy.Le SirenuseDoubles from $508; sea-view doubles from $915FOUR SEASONS, New York City

In addition to having everything quintessential to the Four Seasons brand. This one boasts a prestigious locale, concierge with mad skills, and at 600 square feet, even standard rooms are larger than most New York apartments. The Parkview Tower room comes with an unobstructed vista of Central Park; and the newly unveiled penthouse – a 4,300-square-foot palace that cost $50 million to complete and has fulfilled I.M. Pei's original design for the building – comes with 23-foot-high windows, a 360-degree view of the city, and a personal trainer, butler, and Rolls-Royce, oh BTW $30,000 a night.Four Seasons New YorkDoubles from $995BANYAN TREE MALDIVES MADIVARU, the Maldives

Ultra exclusive — with only six units and up to 18 guests at a time, the four-acre private island of Madivaru becomes your personal playground. Luxury camping at its most ridiculous — get queen-size beds, plunge pools, deep-soak bath tubs, outdoor showers, teak decks, personal butler, massages and facials in room, private meals on your private veranda or on a deserted beach nearby. If you've taken a loved one, he/she pretty much has to ..Banyan Tree Maldives MadivaruVillas from $3,900, including meals and excursionsOBEROI UDAIVILAS, Udaipur, India

Overlooking the gorgeous Lake Pichola in a magnificent palace fit for a maharaja, the hotel's design is equal parts sublime and decadent, with gold-leaf domes, exquisite chandeliers, and gorgeous Indian textiles. The grounds are enormous–30 acres–and include an animal sanctuary with peacocks that parade through the gardens. Ask for a Premier Lake View room with a private patio overlooking the water and steps that lead right into a semiprivate pool (five suites come with completely private ones). Not to be missed: a sunset boat trip around the lake followed by a private dinner on a floating dock–it'll make you the star in your own Bollywood flick.Oberoi UdaivilasDoubles from $745CLARIDGE'S, London

A new injection of British cool. At the center of Mayfair, a storied residential neighborhood recently reinvented with a spate of fashionable boutiques and restaurants, the Art Deco gem maintains old-school traditions like afternoon tea, uniformed elevator attendants, and discreet service. But it also injects an exhilarating dose of modern style: a Champagne bar so hip that Kate Moss hosted her 30th there, 21 new suites designed by the Queen's nephew David Linley, and Gordon Ramsay's flagship (and still best) restaurant. Other draws: one of the best dry martinis in the city at the Fumoir bar, and Thomas Keatley, the concierge, who has been taking care of high-maintenance requests for 30 years.Claridge'sDoubles from $1,080All out of this world beautiful, all costly, all worth it if you can make it.(via: Concierge)

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