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Hotels: Luxury for Less

Think luxury hotels and high prices always go hand in hand? You might need to take a second mortgage on your home to stay at some upscale properties, but there are deluxe hotels around the world where you can live like a king while paying a common man’s prices. Here are six of them.

Four Seasons Resort, Carmelo, Uruguay071121_four_seasons_uruguay.jpg
Visitors here will stay in one of 44 bungalows situated on the Rio de Plata River. Even the smallest ones are an enormous 1000 square feet and have hand-carved beds, terraces with dining tables, private gardens with outdoor showers, and baths with heated floors and deep soaking tubs. Guests can occupy themselves at the resort itself — there is a large pool, an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, a spa, sailing, and a library with free high-speed Internet. Other sights in the area include several local wineries and Colonia, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rooms start at $200. For more information, visit

Tu Tu Tun Lodge, Gold Beach, Oregon
Lovers of the outdoors will relish a stay at this seven-acre property, which is steps from the Rogue River and has clear water views from practically every window. The 20 rooms have Italian linens, granite baths, and patios with cascading plants. A stay includes most activities such as kayaking and golfing, morning coffee and juice (delivered to your room), afternoon tea with cookies warm from the oven, an array of evening hors d’ouvres, and a hearty helping of homemade white-chocolate fudge with evening turndown. The hotel also has a pool and a dock where guests can take guided fishing and boating excursions. Rooms start at $195. For more information, visit

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Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
071121_shangri_la_hotel_bangkokF.jpgLocated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the heart of Bangkok, this property has 799 rooms with balconies and water views. Each is decorated with teak furniture, Thai silk bedcovers and drapes, and has a spacious bathroom with oversize robes and slippers. The hotel has nine restaurants, a 100,000-square-foot fitness center with a spa overlooking the river, an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, tennis courts (with night lighting), and beautifully landscaped gardens. Guests are near major sightseeing, including the floating market and the Royal Grand Palace. Rooms start at $150. For more information, visit

Il Gattopardo Relais, Rome
In a city where reasonable prices and upscale surroundings aren’t usually synonymous, this hotel seems like the ultimate contradiction. For starters, it’s situated in Rome’s historical Prati district, in a stylish art nouveau building, and has a plum location next to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. The property is intimate — there are only six rooms, and each is uniquely decorated in an 18th-century style and has satellite TV, a large marble bath and Internet access. A daily breakfast of cappuccino and croissants is included in the rate. Rooms start at $160. For more information, visit

On the Avenue, New York071121_ontheavenue_newyorkF.jpg
Even the standard accommodations at this 282-room contemporary New York property feature 310-count Egyptian cotton linens, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, Italian black marble baths, high-speed Internet, and coffee makers with Godiva coffee. All guests get access to the large 16th-floor landscaped Adirondack balcony, which has skyline views and lounge chairs for sunning or relaxing. The hotel is located on the Upper West Side, just two blocks from the subway and within walking distance of Central Park, Lincoln Center, and the American Museum of Natural History. Rooms start at $186. For more information, visit

Aqua Miami
You couldn’t ask for a better location — the 45-room hotel is right on Collins Avenue in the heart of South Beach, just steps from the ocean. Bright colors and minimalist décor make for a hip atmosphere. Rooms have queen-size beds, newly renovated baths, and modern granite floors. Enjoy the property’s sundeck or 12-person Jacuzzi, which is built in the middle of a tropical garden. Extras include a buffet breakfast and a happy hour with domestic wine and beer. You can even snag a junior suite with a kitchenette for as low as $125. Rooms start at $90. For more information, visit

Shivani Vora

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