A lipstick red, baby grand piano reclines in the vast white marbled reception area. Look up, and above you are 20 glamorous floors of luxury, each with a seemingly endless array of unobtrusive staff, making sure that everything is just so.
This is the fabulous Oberoi Mumbai, in the heart of the up-scale business and shopping district and one of three hotels attacked by terrorists in November 2008. In April 2010, the Oberoi re-opened after a $40 million makeover, and boy, does it show.
With its considerable style and comfort and W1 location, it's a mystery why the Marylebone Hotel remains a well-kept secret. Perhaps because, disguised by a grim '60s facade on one of the anonymous, shop-less streets which run behind the Oxford Street department stores, it is unrecognisable from the street as a four-star hostelry.
No matter how hot the weather - and when I was last in Israel last month it was well into the nineties - or how wearying the antics of other Israeli hotel chains, the minute one steps into a Dan Hotel, everything feels cool, calm, collected.
My favourite is the Dan Tel Aviv, where I've stayed four times now.
As with all the best rendezvous, being there makes you feel excited and tranquil, both at once.
Is it possible to live up to guests' expectations when a room costs £900 a night and your name is synonymous with the very finest in hospitality?
The answer, in the case of the Cipriani, is not only live up to, but in many respects exceed, expectations.
Relatively small – it has 79 rooms and suites – low-key and on an island in the Venice Lagoon, a six-minute trip by shuttle boat from St Mark's Square, the hotel works very hard to be a very grand, but a very comfortable home-from-home for guests who have luxury hardwired into their DNA.
This bijoux hotel, located in a quiet courtyard, has been given a lobby-to-loft boutique makeover by new owners, Campbell Grey. Close to St James's Palace and Piccadilly, and many of the capital's other attractions, the hotel was built in 1908.
Following refurbish-ment and renovation, and hidden behind a facade festooned with floral hanging baskets, it fields 90 rooms and suites, 24-hour gym, treatment and steam rooms and restaurant.
The Green House Hotel, just a block from Bournemouth's East Cliff, the clifftop promenade once dotted with kosher hotels, is a stucco'd, Grade 11 listed building. But its imposing Victorian façade conceals a hip, boutique-style interior fielding a clean minimalism in the lobby and rooms, aligned with a glam rock vibe for its bar.
What distinguishes the Green House Hotel from most boutique properties is its claim to be "the greenest hotel in the UK", with everything run according to five core "green" principles that include "reduce, re-use and recycle".
If you want a spectacular aerial view of Manchester, you have only to go to the Hilton Manchester Deansgate and take the express lift to the 23rd floor.
When the doors open you'll be in, or rather on, Cloud 23, the hotel's buzzy cocktail bar. Wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows provide jaw-dropping views while you sip something exotic from an extensive drinks menu.
When David Levin opened The Capital in 1971, it seemed daringly moderne for its surroundings. Genteel Basil Street, between Knightsbridge and Harrods, had never seen the likes of the silver-spaceship foyer and the bold canopy proclaiming in chrome letters London's first true boutique hotel.
But all that is gone now - except the repu-tation. Within a few years of opening, the Capital got recognition from Michelin, and it continues to make all the top award lists for the hotel and its eponymous fine restaurant.
There must be many a case of mistaken identity in the hunt for smart lodgings in the tiny, picturesque pair of Cotswold villages known as the Slaughters.
For the upper and lower villages, separated by a bridge, have three manor houses between them. And despite having the only Michelin-starred restaurant, the Lords is not the huge pile at the top of the hill - that's a private house - nor the Relais & Chateaux property two minutes down the street in Lower Slaughter.
It's just a little old inn perched at the top of a slipway in a tiny Cornish hamlet, but The Lugger at Portloe has somehow achieved iconic status. Perhaps because its owners have injected seaside simplicty with a measure of chic without adding an ounce of pretension. Or simply because its romantic harbourside location is unbeatable.