Bang for your Buck: Oyster's Top Picks for Affordable Luxury This Month
It's true that every traveler is unique, and our mission at Oyster is to find the best hotel for each one's specific needs. But most travelers can agree on one thing: wanting the best hotel for the lowest possible price. And we can certainly help with that, too. We used some database wizardry to discover the least expensive four- and five-pearl hotels on Oyster, and layered on our editorial expertise to select which of those were also truly awesome hotels. The result? Take a look!
Southwestern Gem: Hotel St. Francis, Santa Fe
- Price: $110 and up
- Pearls: 4
This 81-room upscale boutique, housed in a historic building two blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza, underwent a complete renovation in 2011 and now features simple, mission-style decor inspired by the principles of St. Francis of Assisi. The elegant, minimalist rooms have original wood floors, sturdy wood furniture made by local artisans, and a color scheme of gray and white -- but, as in many historic buildings, they're small. The hotel features a fine dining restaurant serving New Mexican cuisine, as well as a bar, with outdoor seating available, that offers appetizers and cocktails. But there’s no pool or Jacuzzi, and guests will have to pay a daily fee for parking. If a pool is a priority, consider the nearby Inn and Spa at Loretto.
Vegas Party Hub: Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas
- Price: $59 and up
- Pearls: 4
This off-the-Strip hotel is known for its crazy parties and celebrity stopovers. The three-tower 428-room resort has modern rooms and numerous popular clubs. While there are some good restaurants, the food is not a main attraction, like it is at similarly priced Strip centerpieces such as MGM or Mandalay Bay, or even at off-the-Strip Hard Rock, which boasts a Nobu. With a $50 million renovation in 2012 and tons of amenities, however, the Palms is sure to have something to please all parties.
South American Swank: Lennox Hotel Buenos Aires
- Price: $90 and up
- Pearls: 4.5
The 57-room Lennox Hotel Buenos Aires is located in the central Congreso area, close to government offices. Quirky decorations and artwork, interesting wall patterns, and unusual color schemes make a stay here a distinct and memorable experience -- from the spacious lobby dressed in sleek shades of black, to the chic, dramatically lit private outdoor garden. All aesthetics aside, the hotel also offers top-notch comfort, luxury, and hospitality. There’s a restaurant serving international dishes using local ingredients, a free breakfast buffet with fresh fruits and hot eggs, and a spa for relaxation. And the rooms -- large and stylishly furnished like the rest of the property -- come with kitchenettes, big closets, iPod docks, and quaint dining areas.
Chi-Town Boutique: Allerton Chicago
- Price: $100 and up
- Pearls: 4
The 443-room Allerton is one of the few hotels right on the Magnificent Mile, and its rooms -- with soothing blue-and-white color schemes, iPod docks, and flat-screen TVs -- are more modern and stylish than those at the neighboring Omni and Intercontinental hotels. But unlike its neighbors, the Allerton lacks a pool and its rooms offer significantly less space than the Omni's two-room suites.
Sexy & Spanish: Axel Hotel Barcelona
- Price: $105 and up
- Pearls: 4
This 105-room hotel in the heart of Barcelona bills itself as a "gay hotel" that is "hetero-friendly." It is in the heart of the Eixample neighborhood, the city's dynamic gay area with great restaurants and nightlife. The theme here is seduction -- nude photographs adorn the walls, naked mannequins hang out in the hallways, and see-through glass bathroom walls make for little privacy in the rooms. The rooms are large here, and upgrading to a suite will get you a very nice private terrace. Amenities include a top-notch fitness center, rooftop pool and bar, and a relaxing spa. This is a good choice for couples, gay or straight, looking for a sexy atmosphere and a modern scene.