My Hotel Wish List (and Where We Actually Stay)

Hotels have magic qualities. They are featured in films. Cruise ships are floating hotels. My wife and I travel a lot. I have a wish list for where I would like us to stay, at least once. It’s accompanied by the practical side of where we actually stay.

  1. London

Wish list hotel: It’s The Savoy. It’s featured in so many films! It’s been around forever!

Our hotel: For years, it was the Basil Street Hotel near Harrods. It was quirky. Some rooms still utilized the bathroom down the hall. As I recall, rooms 301 and 302 were on the 2nd floor. Rooms 201 and 202 were on the mezzanine. It was straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.

  1. Venice

Wish list hotel: Here, it’s The Danieli. It’s on the Grand Canal. It prominently featured in The Tourist (2010) starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. It was in the James Bond movie Moonraker. I think the Bellini (cocktail made with Prosecco and peach purée or nectar) was created there. We had some in the lobby on one visit.

Our hotel: We actually stayed in the Hotel Cipriani, which is every bit as famous. One night was included on our Orient Express train trip.


Editor’s note: Prices start at $525 for a Double room or Dogaressa Suite from $9,000 per night at Hotel Cipriani. Or at The Danieli, which utterly captures the feel of old Venice, rooms begin at $483 per night and the ultimate Doge Dandolo Royal Suite starts at $9500 per night. See terms and conditions below*

To book any of these rooms please email Faith@CruiseCompete.com and she will introduce you to a travel specialist. Please send information regarding dates of travel, number of nights and budget. 


  1. Hong Kong

Wish list hotel: It’s The Peninsula. Ever since I saw the green Rolls Royce house cars in another James Bond film, The Man With The Golden Gun. We wanted to stop for tea, but the line was really long. We had a drink at the bar instead.

Our hotel: We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard. It was close enough to be able to walk to places. The streetcar line ran nearby. It was on the edge of the Central Business District.

  1. Lisbon

Wish list hotel: It’s The Ritz in Lisbon. We stayed there once. It was built in the 1950’s when hotel rooms were enormous. I recall you could have your choice of marble color for your bathroom. Everything was giant sized.

Our hotel: We stayed at the Lisbon Marriott. It wasn’t exactly centrally located, but taxis were reasonable and busses and the subway were nearby. Very nice hotel.

  1. New York City

Wish list hotel: The Plaza Hotel. It’s another film favorite. It featured in the film Arthur. It has a Palm Court and the Oak Room bar. It really looks great!

Our hotel: We stay at another Marriott, The Lexington, part of their Autograph Collection. It’s in Midtown. Its claim to fame was Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe lived there for a while. My favorite feature has been the Moet Champagne vending machine in the lobby!

  1. Barcelona

Wish list hotel: The Hotel Arts. It’s big. Great modern design. It’s on the beach. Looking at the skyline, it’s difficult to miss.

Our hotel: On our most recent visit, it was the Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal. It’s located near major transportation, yet far enough away from Las Ramblas, which can get crowded with tourists. The really cool feature is there’s a mini version of the pedestrian boulevard Las Ramblas, running from the hotel to the beach nearby. Lots of shops and restaurant, but a much more local feel.

  1. Madrid

Wish list hotel: The Ritz Madrid. It’s part of the Mandarin Oriental group. My wife still has a “Do Not Disturb” sign from her visit in the 1970’s. I would love for her to have the opportunity to return.

Our hotel: It’s part of Marriott’s AC hotel brand. The Carlton is a small, modern hotel. It’s a short walk from the main train station and near streets with lots of restaurants.

  1. Rome

Wish list hotel: It’s got to be the Hassler Hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps. Lots of people talk about it, but I’ve never met anyone who actually stayed. The implication is that it’s very pricy. We had dinner at the top on one visit. That was amazing.

Out hotel: We’ve Stayed at the Marriott Grand Hotel Flora. It’s centrally located on the Via Vittorio Veneto. It’s an elegant, updated hotel in a central location.

  1. Philadelphia

Wish list hotel: The Ritz-Carlton. It looks incredibly elegant. It would be great to stay.

Our hotel: We occasionally have our “Marriott nights” when we pack a picnic and head off for an overnight stay. Center City Philadelphia has lots of Marriott’s. There’s the Marriott Downtown, the Courtyard, Residence Inn and The Notary all a short walk away. They are all high rises.

Hotel breaks can be a vacation in themselves. It’s good to have some favorites if you are cruising and choose to extend your vacation at either end.


*Terms and Conditions:  New bookings only. Taxes/Fees/Resort Charges are additional.  Subject to change without notice.  Prices based on tine of booking and dates of booking. Rates cannot be confirmed without deposit. We reserve the right to correct any errors or omission.

To book any of these rooms please email Faith@CruiseCompete.com and she will introduce you to a travel specialist. Please send information regarding dates of travel, number of nights and budget. 


Cover photo: Evening traffic on Ocean Drive in South Miami Beach at the art deco Colony Hotel ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews

All Things Cruise Official Photographer, Dennis Cox – All Things Cruise

Leave a Comment