That makes Atlantis special could fill volumes. There is the largest open-air marine habitat, a 600-room resort within the hotel, a dolphin habitat and a flurry of nightclubs and fine dining. And of course, Atlantis has the largest casino in the Caribbean. And the 30,000-square-foot spa is just waiting to pamper the weariest of travelers.
Walk into the lobby of San Diego’s Se Hotel and the sedate tone appears as soothing as the earth-toned décor—that is, until you realize that just steps away is the entrance to the bar, filled on any given night with a riotous mixture of savvy guests and beautiful locals dressed in downtown chic. Se takes full advantage of its prime location—the spacious rooms boast balconies with stellar views of the city’s Gaslamp Quarter (1047 5th Avenue, San Diego; 619-515-3000).
From presidents to scandalous politicians (exhibit A: disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer), the capital city’s “second-best address” has hosted the nation’s most powerful dealmakers and dealbreakers for more than seven decades. The elegant historic site, located near the White House, is as well known for its inaugural balls—first held in 1925—gilded halls and rich décor as it is for the name recognition factor of guests partaking in intricate afternoon teas. Through February, indulge in the Mayflower’s 85th anniversary package ($185 per night), which includes breakfast and a customized bottle of the hotel’s signature sparkling wine (1127 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C.; 202-347-3000).
The Concorde Berlin’s rich, warm colors offset by textured woods and eye-catching contemporary artwork serve as attractions for many holiday visitors, but the hotel’s central location and such standard touches as free wifi, 24-hour room service and multiple phones throughout each space make it an ideal stop for busy business travelers. Groups large and small can choose from among multiple stylish meeting spaces, while solo travelers can enjoy French-flavored dining in surroundings that range from casual to uber-chic (berlin.concorde-hotels.com; 800-888-4747).