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Rooms Hotel Kazbegi

Stepantsminda, Georgia

There’s something deceptively understated about the name Rooms Hotel — the connotation being, perhaps, that it’s a practical, utilitarian sort of hotel, nothing more than a place to hang your hat. But both properties in the Rooms Hotels line, one in Kazbegi and the other in Tbilisi, offer quite a bit more than four walls and a roof over one’s head. Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, in fact, is grand and memorable, and the setting, in northern Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains, is downright cinematic.

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The Press Hotel

Portland, ME

As the name suggests, the Press Hotel is newspaper-themed. If a hip hotel with vintage journalist-inspired decor sounds like a concept ripe for Portlandia-style satire, reserve judgment for a moment and consider two things. First, we’re talking about the other Portland — the east-coast Portland, the largest city in Maine. And second, the place is steeped in real newspaper history. Located in the Old Port neighborhood, the corner building served as the headquarters of Portland’s Press Herald from 1923-2010. Now it’s a 110-room hotel, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

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Batu Karang Lembongan Resort

Bali, Indonesia

It’s not Bali, technically, but it’s perhaps all the better for that. Batu Karang Lembongan is a half-hour’s speedboat ride from the east coast of Bali proper, on the island of Nusa Lembongan, and this precise level of proximity turns out to be the sweet spot. In climate, in culture, and in natural gifts it’s essentially identical, but what it leaves out are the crowds. This is more or less what it felt like to visit Bali when the tourism boom was just picking up pace — and if you’ve been to Bali lately you’ll have no trouble imagining the appeal.

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21c Museum Hotel, Durham

Durham, NC

When the first 21c Museum Hotel opened in Louisville, Kentucky — a properly stylish boutique hotel with a real, museum-worthy art collection, and far from the coastal capitals where you’d expect to find such a thing — we hoped for the best. But we expect we didn’t expect them to flourish quite like they have. And now that the fourth one is open, in Durham, North Carolina, it might just be time to start thinking of them as an empire in the making, rather than an against-all-odds upstart. Simply put, every city in America (if not beyond) needs one of these.

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Baur au Lac

Zurich, Switzerland

It doesn’t get much grander than a 19th-century palace hotel in Europe’s banking capital. Baur au Lac, a Zurich institution since 1844, played host to pretty much anyone who was anyone, from royalty and heads of state to artists and Alfred Nobel. It’s kept itself in fine shape, and its antique-strewn opulence is a chastening reminder that today’s design hotels might not age quite so gracefully.

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Rooms Hotel Tbilisi

Tbilisi, Georgia

A gracious welcome and a leisurely pace, balmy temperatures and mountain vistas: it’s a typical Georgian getaway. No, not that Georgia. The other Georgia, as in the small country located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Considering its position, it’s no surprise that the country has a long and fascinating history, nor that its capital city, Tbilisi, is called the “Paris of Eurasia.” Well, there are a lot of Parises around lately, but you’ll see the sense of it when you’re sitting at a sidewalk café in Old Town. Tbilisi has worked hard to restore its original charm after the grim Soviet and post-Soviet era...

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