Oh golly, I'm such a sucker for a nice hotel. And not just the plush ones, but the well-designed, detailed, thoughtful and interesting ones. Staying at hotels makes me happy, always has. When we were young my parents would spend school holidays on the road between Sydney (where we're from), and Adelaide (where we lived). It was an 18 hour drive - sometimes we'd do it in one go in the old van, and sometimes we'd stop halfway. Our preferences at that time were for hotels with a pool (for tiring us out after a day in the car) and bunk beds. We once stayed in a cabin that had triple bunks which was so amazing and revolutionary that my sister and I barely slept and my little brother forgot to pack his Lego the next morning and it had to be posted home to us. My favourite part was always the breakfast card that came with a TINY pencil and I would sit there for ages deciding whether to tick the 'cornflakes' or 'ricebubbles' box, saying things like 'I wonder if the apple juice is good'. In the morning we'd all stare transfixed at the small door in the wall where they slid the breakfast tray through, the toast in a little paper bag and the plastic samples of honey an absolute prize to be treasured and carried home in case you might, sometime, somewhere, need just a tablespoon of honey.
On this last trip I was able to stay with friends a bit, and found some very good AIR BNBs (CPH and Paris). Other towns I was only there a night or two, or landed late and wanted something easy to just walk in to (the emails and key handover coordination can be tedious if you're not staying long). Not to mention there's something I love about the anonymity and ease of hotels, the way time feels in-between and of course, the crisp white sheets. My stays are as follows (clockwise from top left):
* SP34 in Copenhagen - this gem was close to the station and an absolute dream after a day of trains and buses in the UK, and a late flight to Denmark. I managed to marvel at the lobby, have dinner and a wine in the bar, then crawl into my little bed. It was super central and from here I got a good feel for the town before heading out to Lasse's.
* The Michel Berger in Berlin was perfect - very relaxed, fun and super comfy. Hurrah for interesting details, beautiful big courtyards and a damn fine selection of cocktails.
* HTL Kungsgatan was a nice little find in Stockholm. It was on the city side of things, close to the station which was useful, but not a very interesting area. It ended up being cheaper than the AIR BNBs I found in Sodermalm though (a more dynamic part of town), and it was pretty sweet to have all the niceties of a good hotel, especially the Swedidh breakfast with berry jams.
* The ACE in London (pictured) for my first few nights was brilliant. But I had a last night in London before I flew home as well, and booked The Hoxton at Holborn on the recommendation of my boss. She has very good taste and, as expected, I loved it. So much so I forgot to take a picture, but I'll tell you it was my favourite of the lot - wonderful space, just-right details (cute paperbag of breakfast at your door in the morning - granola, yoghurt, juice and fruit so you can get straight out into your day) amazing location (Holborn is between Covent Garden and Bloomsbury, if you don't mind) and just all the good parts of a big hotel with the charm of a small one.