You don't expect an airport hotel to be glamorous, but that's the first word that comes to mind arriving at the Sofitel Gatwick. Blame it on the soaring atrium and impressive water feature which greet guests emerging from the tunnel which links this hotel (it looks like such an anonymous box from the outside), with the North Terminal.
Of all the gin joints in all the world, you won't find one with more varieties of mother's ruin than The Feathers in Woodstock. But there are more reasons to visit this charming country inn than a quest for the ultimate G&T.
It may not be apparent at first glance why Gwyneth Paltrow and Johnny Depp have graced such an unassuming establishment. The tiny reception area is a lot less showy than that of the neighbouring Bear, and with its proximity to Blenheim Palace, Oxford and the Cotswolds, pretty Woodstock is positively spilling over with places to stay.
Unlike the Californians, who have honed coastal living to a fine art, we British are not great at seaside hotels. We do grand Victorian piles and grim corporate boxes, but hardly ever affordable, contemporary chic which salutes the sea.
So The Place at the Beach in East Sussex is a treasure - an award-winning seaside hotel which is smart yet unpretentious and welcomes families and dogs while still managing to convey a chilled adult vibe that weekending couples will enjoy.
It is entirely appropriate that the refurbishment of Flemings in Mayfair feels as if it was done by some giddy socialite dabbling in interiors rather than a dedicated designer.For there is nothing remotely corporate about this conversion of six Georgian townhouses on Half Moon Street, as you can tell from the moment you walk into the lift disguised as a faux library. Flemings celebrates its 250th birthday as a hotel next year, and with its slogan "chic and discreet", it was surely the scene of some dangerous liaisions.
To the traveller, it's a boutique hotel at one of Budapest's swankiest addresses. But during World War II the Bauhaus building at Andrassy ut 111 meant life over death for dozens of Jewish orphans.
Mamaison Andrassy, a two-minute stroll from Heroes' Square, was built as a Jewish boarding house in 1937, and after the outbreak of war became an orphanage. It was one of the precious "safe houses" in which Raoul Wallenberg and other diplomats were able to protect up to 10 per cent of the city's Jews from deportation.
Forget those Manhtattanite jibes in Sex and the City and Gossip Girl about Brooklyn being Siberia. This outer borough where so many Jewish immigrants lived, is now very cool. Or at least, that's true of areas like Park Slope, New York's answer to Notting Hill with its restaurants, shops and brownstones that a growing number of young professionals call home. No surprise, then, that Hotel Le Bleu should emerge here as Brooklyn's first boutique hotel, though putting it on 4th Avenue is a bit like a London developer plonking a Westbourne Grove hotel beneath the Westway.
How does a new London hotel gain credence with the five-star crowd in an off-centre location far from the capital's buzz? By ramping up the glamour quotient - something the Israeli-owned Plaza on the River has managed in spades.
From a window table in the Bistro, I watched an imposing-looking off-roader pull into the mini lay-by. Two equally imposing blokes got out and exchanged pleasantries with passers-by.
"That's security," said a waiter. "We are a hotel and we like to keep it that way."
That was probably why, on the first Friday of 2010, I was able to emerge later to enjoy what is widely regarded as one of Brighton's coolest bars in the company of well turned out guests, not pub crawlers .
Given all the chocoholics in the world, it's surprising it took so long for a hotel to arrive that is dedicated to their whims, and OD'ing on the sweet stuff is not hard to do at the 13-room Chocolate Boutique Hotel in the West Cliff area of Bournemouth.
An Edwardian house painted Milky Bar cream piped in chocolate brown, its rooms are named for the varieties foodies are likely to seek out in their local Waitrose.