Ok, so we know what your thinking- aren’t themed hotels a little naff? Here at H&L we say no! We love a good themed hotel and the giddy childhood excitement it creates in grown adults. Grab your partner and check out our pick of 9 themed hotels around the world you need to visit this year.
- Music Themed – Aria Hotel Budapest
The musically-themed Aria Hotel Budapest, is Hungary’s new luxurious design hotel and spa, and a little birdy tells us that it was recently ranked the #1 Hotel in the World on TripAdvisor. Who said themed hotels had to be naff? The Aria Hotel is definitely highbrow and has created an extraordinary musically inspired experience for guests. Even the rooms are named after some of the world’s great musical legends from Tchaikovsky to Ella Fitzgerald and from Rachmaninoff to the Rolling Stones. Most of the rooms offer a private, open air balcony with a view overlooking the beautiful Music Garden Courtyard and the High Note Sky Bar has an incredible rooftop view of historic St. Stephen’s Basillica.
For more information please visit www.ariahotelbudapest.com/
- Museum Themed – Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City
For couples seeking a hotel drenched in culture then we have found a fabulous museum themed hotel in Quebec City. The Auberge Saint-Antione is located in the heart of Québec City’s Old Port and is both a hotel and museum. The property is built on a major archaeological site and displays hundreds of artefacts from the French and British colonial regimes, all unearthed during several years of archaeological excavation. Probably more exciting is the fact that each room is decorated with an artefact—one fragment on the wall outside the door and one fragment displayed in the top of the night table. An explanation of the historical significance and a sketch of the artefact are also displayed on a card in the night table. But don’t be fooled into thinking that that may be the only artefact you will get to see during your stay- numerous artefacts dating as far back as the early 1600’s are on display throughout the hotel and museum tours are offered for those wishing to learn more.
For more information please visit saint-antoine.com/en/
- Coffee Themed- Costa Rica Marriott San Jose
The world’s favourite morning pick-me-up may seem like an unusual theme for a hotel but here at H&L we love it. Costa Rica Marriott San Jose is a colonial hacienda set on a 30-acre coffee plantation. Honouring the plot of land that it’s housed on, the hotel has implemented coffee-themed programing such as launching an on-site Coffee Curator who hosts latte design classes to teach groups about the Costa Rican coffee bean, and recently introduced a breakout Café Chorreado experience for attendees to experience making coffee in the traditional way through drip process. If you haven’t quite got enough of your coffee fix then head out on one of the guided tours of the nearby Café Britt coffee plantation and roastery to see first-hand how coffee is harvested.
Possibly out favourite part of the hotel- the Kuö Spa features coffee-themed treatments including a signature Candlelight Experience which places couples outdoors under Coffee Arabica trees at night-time to bask in a coffee-themed treatment.
For more information please visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sjocr-costa-rica-marriott-hotel-san-jose/
- Beatles Themed- Hard Days Night, Liverpool
For a Beatles super-fan you can’t get much better than a stay at our next themed hotel. Hard Days Night Hotel can be found in the heart of Liverpool and is a must stay for a truly unique Beatles experience. The hotel has 110 rooms which are all individually designed and finished with specially commissioned Beatles-inspired artwork, as well as four suites which are inspired by Beatles legends, Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Guests can dine at Blakes Restaurant, named after the artist who created the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album cover, surrounded by original Beatles artwork. The hotel is also within walking distance of Walker Art Gallery and tours such as The Beatles Story Experience and Beatles Walking Tour in Liverpool.
For more information please visit www.harddaysnighthotel.com/
- Ice Themed- Icehotel, Swedish Lapland
Located in Swedish Lapland, each year, the Icehotel becomes an exclusive ice art exhibition in which you can stay. Artists use only frozen water from the Torne River to create this ‘pop up’ hotel which opens in December and is left to melt back into the river in April. The design of the hotel is unique and beautiful and offers a variety of suite options from igloo-shaped Ice Rooms to top-of-the-range Art Suites, with no two alike.
For the first time ever this summer, the iconic Icehotel in Swedish Lapland is offering guests the unique chance to ‘sleep on ice’ during the summertime in its brand new year-round Icehotel 365. Having first opened its doors earlier this winter, Icehotel 365 really comes into its own as the sun melts the frozen landscape, the Torne River begins to flow and the hotel sheds its snow and its meadow roof begins to bloom. And as the outside temperature creeps up, the interior is kept chilled by solar panels powered by the Midnight Sun, ensuring the interior of the hotel remains a as a winter wonderland. A choice of 20 different artist-designed ice suites and an Ice Bar are offered in this permanently frozen part of the Icehotel, constantly kept at a cool -5°C.
A summer stay in the area allows couples to swap the usual sledding and snowmobiling for forest mountain biking, hiking, fishing, paddle boarding and kayaking under the Midnight Sun, still with the chance to don a snowsuit and enjoy indoor ice sculpting, cocktails at the Ice Bar and a night on ice snuggled up in a cosy thermal sleeping bag. Plus, don’t miss the Icehotel Restaurant’s spectacular six course ice menu (served on plates made from the same Torne River ice, which Icehotel itself is built out of).
A 3 night Icehotel Summer Stay is available from £1,028pp based on two sharing (2x nights in a Kaamos Room and 1x night in a cold Art Suite in Icehotel 365) on a B&B basis including return flights and 4x day’s car hire. For more information or to book please visit www.discover-the-world.co.uk
- Fictional University Themed- JW Marriott Phu Quoc
Ok, so this took us a little while to understand too but actually it is a really interesting theme- if not a little bizarre.
JW Marriott Phu Quoc is a fascinating Bensley creation and a hotel unlike any other. Bensley’s design narrative for the site was a fictional academy of learning, ‘Lamarck University’, inspired by French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck. An evolution in the architectural style, from its supposed beginnings in the 1880s through to the 1940s, ensures that resort feels like a collection of individual boutique hotels, rather than a large resort, and each building is modelled after an academic department. For instance, the best spot for cocktails would be The Department of Chemistry, for those wanting to test out their sporting ability the Department of Physical Education is the place to go and the main hub of the resort Rue De Lamarck is where boutique shops, traditional entertainment and cafes can be found. Each ‘departments’ theme is very evident with 5,000 individual artefacts placed around the hotel to give each space a truly unique charm, and it doesn’t stop there. ‘Students’ aka guests at the hotel are able to indulge in a variety of ‘Extra Curricular activities’ such as learning how to manoeuvre a traditional Vietnamese basket boat, take lessons in the Vietnamese language or take pastry classes in the French Brasserie. There’s also exclusive field trips based on the academic departments so guests can depart on tours to discover more about zoology, the islands marine life and how to survive on their own private island for a day- albeit with a personal chef.
For more information please visit www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pqcjw-jw-marriott-phu-quoc-emerald-bay-resort-and-spa/
- Jimmy Buffett Themed – Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina
Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author, Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville hotels and resorts offer a tropical escape for guests looking to drift away to paradise- and where better to drift into paradise than Key West, Florida. Ideally located right on the waterfront of Old Town Key West, just steps from the famous Mallory Square, and one block from Duval Street is the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina – a hub of luxurious relaxation in the middle of all of the excitement that Key West is famous for. As visitors set foot on property, they are greeted by iconic Margaritaville features, such as Jimmy Buffett lyrical touches on wall décor, a margarita glass chandelier and the well-known giant blue flip flop sculpture. So in the words of Jimmy Buffett himself, “If life gives you limes, make margaritas”.
For more information please visit www.margaritavillekeywestresort.com/
- Crocodile Themed – Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel
Possibly one of our more unusual choices on the list is the Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel. The indigenous owned four-star accommodation is uniquely shaped to represent Kakadu’s most famous inhabitant, the saltwater crocodile. The hotel’s unique design was selected because of the crocodile’s significance to the local Gagudju people, the traditional owners of Kakadu National Park. Not only is the crocodile of cultural significance to the Gagudju people, it also commands great respect in their past and present lives. Ginga, the giant crocodile, is a spirit ancestor of the Gagudju people. With the opening of the Crocodile Hotel (known locally as ‘The Croc’), the legend continues.
Being located in a world heritage listed national park listed for both its cultural and environmental significance, the hotel is committed to sustainable development for the environment and local people. The hotel has invested in green initiatives such as the Energy Eye System designed to increase energy efficiency in rooms, dramatically reduce the amount of energy required to produce hot water, and reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint. The hotel has also developed & operates an Indigenous Employment Program which provides education & employment for the local indigenous population as part of its commitment to “reduce the gap” & ensure there are opportunities for the next generation of First Australians.
For more information please visit www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-9616-mercure-kakadu-crocodile-hotel/index.shtml
- America On Screen Theme- The Roxbury Motel, New York State
Our final pick is one of our newly discovered treasures that we are just itching to visit. The Roxbury Motel has themed rooms down to a fine art and provides guests with an unbeatable one of a kind experience. The idea is to make the rooms whimsically elegant to provide a fantastical experience and we think that they’ve hit the nail on the head. The majority of the rooms are inspired by American television shows, films, and cartoons of the 1960’s and 70’s. Think, bathing inside of a real-life Genie’s Bottle, sleeping under moving stars as if you’re in a spaceship, taking a shower with exotic saltwater fish in Cleopatra’s underwater tomb, following the yellow-brick-road from your bed to the bathroom, hanging out in Fred Flintstone’s cave, or eloping under the accepting eyes of Amadeus’ Bride – to name just a few. Quirky coolness meets suave glamour is what you will find at The Roxbury Motel and we LOVE it.
For more information please visit www.theroxburymotel.com/