Luxury: The word alone conjures an immediate barrage of decadent images like Italian marble bathrooms, sumptuous silk robes, on-call butlers, and infinity pools that touch the horizon. The word is also powerful enough to immediately remind most mortals that the trappings of the well-heeled are frequently far out of reach.
With a little hotel-search savvy, though, it’s possible to land in the lap of luxury at a price that’s more palatable. Visiting during off-season means rates will be lower; the same goes for mid-week stays. Certain cities -- like Bangkok and Las Vegas -- are also generally cheaper than other major destinations. Knowing all this, it’s not so surprising you can book these 10 beautiful luxury hotels for under $200/night.
Rates are based on August 2016 dates.
1. Bellagio, Las Vegas
With a name that’s lifted straight from the shores of Italy’s ultra-luxe Lake Como, this hotel is one of Vegas’ most storied luxury properties. Rooms here have just the right amount of glitz and glamour -- helpful reminders of flashy Las Vegas just outside. Dining is some of the city’s best and most popular, including a Le Cirque outpost and the world’s largest chocolate fountain at Jean-Philippe. With its iconic dancing fountains, amazing botanical gardens, tons of elegant shopping, and a central location on The Strip, it’s hard to beat the Bellagio.
2. Mondrian South Beach
In a city that’s packed with seemingly endless luxury options, the Mondrian South Beach is still one of our favorites. The hotel’s spacious, quirky rooms -- by designer Marcel Wanders -- feel like Tokyo by way of a minimalist doll-house dream. Many have lovely views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. The spa and gym are both welcome additions, and dining at Caffe Mondrian is upmarket casual. While the hotel isn’t on the beach, the pool feels every bit South Beach.
3. Hansar Bangkok, Thailand
The 94-room luxury Hansar Bangkok offers the intimate atmosphere of a boutique property along with impeccable style and generous amenities. From the seasonal tasting menus at Eve restaurant to the beautiful teak wood throughout much of the hotel, this property deserves its place on the many “best hotels” lists on which it's been included. All rooms are suites, with jaw-dropping features ranging from sleek kitchenettes to cantilevered bedrooms to garden walls. The hotel is convenient to Bangkok’s exciting Lower Sukhumvit neighborhood and 10 minutes from the skytrain.
4. Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
On an island that’s chock full of both wallet-busting luxury resorts and divey all-inclusives, Casa de Campo is a gem. With a name that translates to “house in the country,” here the grounds stunning and sprawling. The hotel hasn’t skimped on its interiors either. Rooms have a sexy island-home vibe, with details like light marble floors, tasteful contemporary art, Nespresso machines, and sleek bathrooms featuring separate showers and soaking tubs. Multiple golf courses, a stunning beach, private golf carts for every room, a proper gym, a secluded spa, and lots of excellent dining -- including an outpost of Le Cirque -- all make this a surprising bargain for the Caribbean.
5. Sofitel Casablana Tour Blanche, Morocco
Yes, Casablanca will be hot in August, but it’s hard to pass up the chance to kick back in one of Sofitel’s nicest branches. The see-and-be-seen crowd can be found lounging in the lobby, which pulls influences from classic Moroccan riad architecture and trends in contemporary art. Velvety rooms include high-end technology like Bose sound systems, and many have views of the Atlantic Ocean or the city’s stunning Hassan II Mosque. The spa here -- dark, moody, and awash in glossy surfaces -- is a real stunner, and dining is varied and outstanding.
6. Mio Buenos Aires, Argentina
Good things do come in small packages -- and with only 30 rooms, the Mio is one of the smallest properties on this list. Lots of features set this apart from its posh Recoleta neighbors, but we love the bathrooms and polished rustic-chic style throughout this little property. Decor here includes an abundance of white marble and travertine, plus gorgeous hardwood details. Soaking tubs in many rooms are individually crafted from calden trees by artist Mario Dasso, giving the spaces an undeniable romantic appeal. The hotel has lots of extras not often seen in central Buenos Aires, including a pool, spa, and fitness area, making it a steal in a neighborhood that’s normally a playground for the rich and famous.
7. The James, Chicago
A visit to America’s best cities is rarely cheap in the summertime, but that’s not the case at The James. Set just off Chicago’s bustling Mag Mile, here interiors blend old-school design details with funky, eclectic accents -- think: classic caricature murals next to bolted leather pieces and sophisticated hardwood furniture. Rooms have a vintage-travel vibe, and come with premium minibars, MP3 docks, and organic bath products. The apartment and Penthouse options are particularly swish, with one-of-a-kind details like solid wood panels and mid-century modern furniture. The James also has a popular restaurant by celebrity chef David Burke on-site, making it hard to top the value here.
8. InterContinental Madrid, Spain
There’s a lot to love about Madrid -- beautiful people, amazing food, stunning art, and vibrant nightlife are just some of its assets. Most people don’t know that cheap hotels are also at the top of that list. So what makes the InterContinental Madrid such a bargain? For starters, the hotel feels akin to staying in an Old World palace. Marble floors spread out in every direction, while dazzling chandeliers hang over jewel-tone furniture. There’s a romance throughout this hotel, from its Southeast Asian spa to the elegant El Jardin restaurant, which hosts sophisticated brunches with live music. Luxury shopping in the Salamanca neighborhood is just a five-minute walk away, and Madrid’s historic core is a 10-minute metro ride from the hotel.
9. Taj Palace New Delhi, India
One of New Delhi’s most classic -- and classically elegant -- luxury options, the Taj Palace here is one of this brand’s crown jewels. There are tons of high-end dining options on-site, including cuisine from Vietnam, India, and China, as well as a proper Indian afternoon tea service. Rooms feature ornate wood details and elegant fabrics, plus luxury Forest Essentials bath products in marble bathrooms. Higher-category rooms up the ante with Murano glass chandeliers. There’s also a massive pool that’s a tranquil respite from Delhi’s heat and grit. While some (not surprisingly) urge to avoid India during monsoon season, this is when domestic travel is at its peak. Many ex-pats return home during the summer months, and the atmosphere throughout the country takes on a decidedly local flavor.
10. Aleph Hotel, Rome, Italy
Europe can be prohibitively expensive during the summer, but the Aleph makes it possible to experience high design at reasonable rates, right in the heart of Rome. Yes, the decor is quirky, and maybe even a bit over-the-top for some travelers, but there’s a lot to love about this bold property. Situated in a historic bank building, interiors are a playful blend of Asian sensibilities and traditional European details. Expect to see Japanese warrior statues next to sharp mahogany walls and shimmery glass panels. Rooms are a more sober affair, with strong Art Deco influences and lovely mosaic-tile bathrooms. The hotel is within walking distance to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, a major plus in a city where location is everything.