PHOTO: The Hotel Chelsea in Miami's South Beach is an under-the-radar boutique gem. (Photo via Twitter/ChelseaHTL)
When you’re looking for a hotel for your next vacation, it’s commonplace to look at the big chain names. You’re familiar with them and know their reputation. However, travel agents suggest that there are some of the best hotels are the ones that you probably haven’t heard of.
Here are three hotels at the top of the list.
Lynn Belles, an independent vacation specialist with Cruises Inc. in Rockford, Illinois, said that the best hotel in Miami, perfect for those waiting to catch a cruise, is a boutique hotel in the South Beach Group.
“Our favorite one in the group is the Hotel Chelsea, but there are multiple locations that are all affiliated with this hotel group,” she said.
According to Belles, this area of South Beach where Hotel Chelsea is located is famous for its historic art-deco boutique hotels and residential architecture. Hotel Chelsea is an Asian Oasis with a modern edge and South Beach flair. It has a 42-room boutique haven that features a Zen-like atmosphere.
“These smaller hotels offer a more intimate experience where you can expect the unexpected,” she said. “Guests will enjoy the bikini-clad beachgoers who share the streets with people in chic business attire.”
Trish Mercer adores the Old Edwards Inn, which is located in Highlands, North Carolina. “It’s less than five hours driving distance from places like Atlanta, Charlotte and Greenville, but because it is in a small town and listed as North Carolina, most people have no idea of this gem,” said Mercer, with Georgia Travel Experts, an affiliate of Travel Experts.
“Every room has heated tile floors, heated towel bars, big bathtubs, fireplaces, a fantastic spa and amazing, caring service,” she said. “There is great shopping and fun dining spots. The dining room at the hotel is Relais & Château. When reserving with a Virtuoso agent it comes with breakfast and a round of golf at the only true Mountain golf course in the U.S.”
According to the Old Edwards website, their newest addition is Falls Cottages, which comes with a heated mineral pool, whirlpool and freestanding double-sided fireplace.
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Tammi R. Van Volkinburgh is an affiliate of Travel Experts who said that the best hotel she thinks that clients haven’t heard of is The Gainsborough Hotel & Spa in Bath, England, which just opened in July, 2015.
According to the Gainsborough Hotel website, the original bath spa, which was named after the artist Sir Thomas Gainsborough, was built in the 1800s, and occupies two Grade II Listed buildings with distinguished Georgian and Victorian façades. Here guests have access to the thermal, mineral-rich waters.
“It is the only hotel in Bath with direct access to the natural mineral waters that gave the city their name,” she said. “The only other way to enjoy these waters is in the public city baths.”
With 187,000 hotels in the world, what do you think is the best hotel that no one has ever heard of?