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At most wallet-friendly properties, you get the basics and nothing but: a stark room, clean sheets (hopefully), and, if you’re lucky, a dry bagel with some weak coffee to wash it down. But these 10 gems, beloved by the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith, prove that you never have to sacrifice style for savings whether you’re in need of a honeymoon spot, a fun stay for a girlfriend getaway, or a "bro-cation" for your hubby and his groomsmen. Each comes with clutch amenities like a sun-kissed roof deck and luxe bath products -- for a price that’s right.
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Basico, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If there’s one thing to say about this sleek, sexy property, it’s that it respects humble materials. Decor-wise, rubber, iron, and concrete are top dogs -- think car tires repurposed as drapes, lounge chairs made from old truck beds, and a pair of pools fashioned out of a chopped-in-half water tank. And guests aren’t the only ones who dig the hotel’s “recycling rules!” vibe. At night, expect to share the rooftop bar with swanky locals who flock here to see and be seen. (Definitely toss some heels into your suitcase alongside all those flip-flops.)
Room to book: Lucia, Fernanda, and Sofia, Basico’s trio of Sea View Rooms, offer some of Playa’s most beautiful panoramas of the Caribbean.
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Chateau de Saint Paterne, Alencon, France
Sure, castles are great and all, but sometimes the cold stone, heavy tapestries, and overall stateliness add up to something a little, well, dull. Not so at this 500-year-old flight of fancy in the region of Normandy, where coast meets countryside. The chateau’s chic, bohemian owners (one of whom is a self-taught chef) spruced it up with artful flourishes like floral wall murals and a 19th-century backdrop plucked from a Barcelona theater. And if you need more convincing of its honeymoon cred, know that French King Henry IV used to bring his mistresses here for a royal roll in the sack.
Room to book: The romance factor is high in L’Orangerie, a huge, stand-alone suite with a vast wooden bed and open bathroom.
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Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa, Koh Samui, Thailand
Along with ancient temples, elephant sanctuaries, and food so delicious our mouths are watering just thinking about it, Thailand offers major bang for your buck. Case in point: this glamorous, Morocco-inspired resort, where you can get a lavish room for a song. As you stroll from the sculpture-lined infinity pool through the landscaped gardens to the massage huts on the beach, you’ll realize that whoever first said less is more obviously never vacationed here.
Room to book: Deluxe rooms on the second and third floors have private balconies with cozy built-in sofas. Yes, please.
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International House, New Orleans
Two blocks from the beguiling French Quarter, this hotel let the neighborhood’s romantic history play muse to its decor: baths are lit by chandeliers, rich fabrics like velvet and damask create a boudoir effect, and decorative altars celebrate Catholic and voodoo holy days. Plan to eat at least one meal in the open-plan Rambla restaurant where Basque flavors enhance Creole staples. Highlights include cornmeal-encrusted Louisiana oysters, pork meatballs, and steak frites with chimichurri.
Room to book: Rates are so reasonable you can upgrade sans guilt to a Panoramic Corner King with 12-foot ceilings, an expansive California King bed, and two full walls of windows.
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Soho House Berlin, Berlin
This fashionable escape, in the cutting-edge Mitte district, is one branch of the London-based Soho House brand, a collection of private-clubs-slash-hotels (no worries, even nonmembers can book a stay). Like the other outposts, it has stylish rooms that just might inspire some decor decisions in your own newlywed nest. While you’re here, it’s all about taking advantage of the freebies: have a go at the ping-pong tables, soak up the sun on the rooftop pool deck, and get your culture fix by pondering the graffiti-style shark painting by Damien Hirst.
Room to book: Accommodations here are named for size, from Tiny all the way up to XL. Truth be told, the Tiny and Small rooms, in the eaves of the hotel’s right wing, are great value and aren’t nearly as miniscule as they sound.
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Little Good Harbour, Barbados
Rather than just sitting back and letting the beach-y beauty of its setting do all the talking, this Caribbean charmer has cultivated one of the island’s culinary hotspots. The Fish Pot, in a converted 17th-century fort, has a loyal fan base and with good reason: savory bouillabaisse, herb-crusted ahi tuna, and grilled lobster doused in basil-caper butter. And we could go on and on. When it comes to catching your zzz's, the sweet, whitewashed coral-stone cottages will send you right to dreamland.
Room to book: The one- and two-bedroom suites overlooking the little pool encompass two floors and a terrace.
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Casa la Concha, Marbella, Spain
It’s no surprise that this hilltop sanctuary was a private villa in a former life -- it’s the kind of place that encourages you to slip off your shoes, toss your bag in a corner, and make yourself at home. Of course, not many homes have insane vistas of the Mediterranean, or hosts who offer art exhibitions, cooking classes, and jazz nights. Off campus, explore the miles of beaches, and settle into a sidewalk cafe for some tapas and first-rate people watching.
Room to book: Natalia Cottage has sky-high ceilings and a lush, shaded terrace with chairs for lounging.
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Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs, California
It’s the 1960s and you’re in a roadside motel room with tie-dye sheets and a record player in the corner. No wait, it’s present day and you’re in the Ace Hotel, where it’s cool to be several decades behind. Not everything is retro, though -- the TVs are mod 42-inch flat screens, the on-site restaurant fills its menu with local and artisanal ingredients, and the crowd is most definitely of the moment. Chill by the pool, liquor-drenched snow cone in hand, or unwind in the spa with an organic-botanical treatment (that is, if you’re not zipping around the desert on one of the candy-colored Vespas available for rent).
Room to book: If you’re traveling with a group, book one of the Patio with Garden or Fireplace rooms (for their lounge area) and also a few of the Simple Double rooms, so everyone has a place to crash late night. Honeymooning? Ask to be far from the all-hours pool.
View more photos of the Ace Hotel & Swim Club.
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Maya, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Forget your iPod, at this century-old manor house the peaceful chirrups of the crickets and ribbits of the frogs is the only soundtrack you’ll need. There’s plenty to look at, too, like the midnight-blue pool, flower-rich gardens, and patchwork of rice paddies. Choose from the five breezy suites that each have 25-foot ceilings and elegant extras like four-poster beds and private courtyards, then browse through the hotel’s collection of books, CDs, and games (free entertainment is always good!). Maya also houses a restaurant serving delicious takes on local delicacies like marinated wild boar or curried goat.
Room to book: The two main-house suites are identical in layout, but Thekka has better views, while Khumbuk offers more privacy.
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The Pig, Hampshire, England
This pig may be more of a piglet (it’s only been open a short time) but nothing about it squeals of inexperience. In fact, you’d think the charming hotel had been around for years: The service is pitch-perfect, the lively eatery already has regulars, and the walled garden is already producing many ingredients used in the restaurant. Borrow bikes, play a few rounds of pool, or get a massage -- it’s fun to wallow around in this pigsty.
Room to book: For a freestanding bathtub, book a Spacious Room or better. Those in the stable yard are the most unusual, with original fittings from their days on the farm.
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