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.
My dentist thinks this spa is no good for my teeth. He is right: an over-abundance of brown in the interior decoration, and an insistence on dreadful Muzak - sometimes played at earbleed volume - certainly led to an unhealthy level of molar-gnashing on my part.
On the other hand, Moddershall Oaks - just off the M6 between Stafford and Stoke - could just be the fun place for you to get an enjoyable couple of days' worth of rest and relaxation.
No British hotel is quite so bound up with its home town as the Randolph (which we are now supposed to call the Macdonald Randolph since it fell under ownership of the Scottish hotel group).
You could blame this on Inspector Morse (an episode of the iconic ITV series was filmed here and Morse's creator, Colin Dexter, is a regular in the Morse Bar).However, the hotel was famous long before TV became the norm - it was a favourite for decades with Oxford's flamboyant academics.