Top Secret Travel - Full-Time Travel

Top Secret Travel

Top Secret Travel

Behind the Bookcases at These 7 Elegant Stays

The old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” rings true for these impressive hotels as well. Behind their opulent design and luxurious amenities, there is rich history, hidden speakeasies and secret rooms to be discovered. Read on to uncover the surprising corners and shocking pasts of these seven hotels around the globe.

@Montage Beverly Hills

£10 at Montage Beverly Hills

Located within the famed 90210 zip code, the Montage Beverly Hills is an unmissable Los Angeles retreat just steps from the lavish shops and eateries of Rodeo Drive. So what’s so secret about this SoCal icon? Tucked away on the second floor is the secluded lounge £10, specializing in a single malt whisky Montage deems the “world’s most precious.” Sipping the spirit out of Lalique glasses while surrounded by decadent mahogany walls, marble accents and dim lighting, you’ll feel pretty special, too. 


The Drake, Chicago

Since 1920, The Drake hotel has hosted personalities as grand as its decor: Walt Disney, Ronald Reagan, Princess Diana and more. But leading up to a visit from President Barack Obama, the Secret Service found more than crystal-beaded chandeliers and plush, jewel-toned furnishings: A hidden door disguised as a bookshelf was unearthed inside the hotel manager’s office. The doorway leads out to a private outdoor balcony, rumored to have once been used by Al Capone and his friends.

@Stephen F. Austin, photo by Kristen Kaiser

The Whisper Room at the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin

Austin’s InterContinental hotel is no stranger to the excitement of the Roaring Twenties — this historic property opened its doors in 1924, and has been a destination for high society ever since. Inspired by the Prohibition Era of its early days is The Whisper Room, a speakeasy where classic cocktails are given a modern twist thanks to local mixologist Justin Elliott. Each drink is prepared tableside on a 1930s Aldo Tura bar cart, and a full cigar menu is also available on their private patio. Just note that reservations are required for this transportive hideaway.

@St. Ermin's Hotel

St. Ermin's Hotel, London

A tree-lined courtyard feeds into the expansive, white columned lobby at St. Ermin’s Hotelin Westminster. While a picturesque neighborhood for visitors, its location also made the hotel a strategic spy base for the British Secret Intelligence Service during World War II. Demolition agents would dine alongside guests in the hotel bar, then retire to the top two floors — also home to a hoard of explosives — to plot against Germany. Today, guests can explore the history for themselves, with a number of artifacts on display from the espionage years; and a special spy packet ready for kids at check in.

@Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore, Miami - Coral Gables

While The Biltmore now treats guests in need of R&R, it once served much more dire ailments. In 1946, 20 years after the hotel’s debut, it was converted into the Army Air Forces Regional Hospital. Linoleum masked the beautiful travertine floors, and concrete shuttered many of the hotel’s windows. Remaining as a Veteran’s Administration hospital until 1968, it wasn’t until New Year’s Eve 1987 that The Biltmore would reopen as a four-star hotel and resort. Today, it is a National Historic Landmark with 273 stunning rooms, a Donald Ross golf course and one of the largest hotel swimming pools in the continental U.S.


Retreat at the Blue Lagoon

Privacy abounds for guests of this Iceland retreat. Situated on the edge of the Instagram-famous geothermal pool, the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon offers visitors expansive landscape views, in-lagoon massages and after-hours, crowd-free access to the turquoise waters. But there’s one draw they don’t reveal on their website (or anywhere else): the Blue Lagoon Suite, a two-level, $10,500 per night accommodation equipped with its very own private spa and bathing area within the lagoon. Meant to be the ultimate hideaway, the suite features a private entrance and nearby helipad for inconspicuous coming and going.

@Hotel Not Hotel, photo by Kirsten Van Santen

Hotel Not Hotel, Amsterdam

Sleeping quarters here can be disguised as everything from a replica Amsterdam tram cart to a perched crow’s nest, or hidden behind the book stacks on the second floor reading room. Talk about a new level of privacy.

Sunsets in Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey offer a mesmerizing sight with vibrant colors against the backdrop of fairy chimneys and rock formations. It`s a serene and unforgettable experience, perfect for capturing stunning photographs and enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

Reel : @adrianbaias

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Vietnam is a stunning blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. From the lush rice terraces to the serene waters of Ha Long Bay, its landscapes are captivating. The warmth and resilience of its people add a unique charm, whether in bustling cities like Hanoi or historic sites like Hue. Vietnam offers a profound experience that merges breathtaking scenery with a vibrant local culture, leaving visitors enchanted and inspired.

Reel: @zayyarlin84

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Explore Madeira`s stunning coastline: rugged cliffs, volcanic formations like Ponta de São Lourenço, and charming fishing villages like Funchal. Discover the natural beauty and vibrant culture of this Portuguese gem!

Reel: @andrechaica

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Elevate your date night at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas! Start with a meal at one of the property`s 40+ restaurants, then head to the stunning new High-Limit Gaming Lounge in The Palazzo. Whether you`re spinning the slots or going all-in at the tables, you`re in for an unforgettable experience. Ready to get lucky? Link in bio! ...

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The pool at @krallerhof is an elegant and inviting oasis, nestled within the beautiful surroundings of the Austrian Alps. It offers a serene retreat for guests to relax and unwind, with both indoor and outdoor options available. The pool area is meticulously maintained and features luxurious amenities, providing a tranquil escape for visitors to enjoy during their stay.

Reel: @nichodebiasio

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Point Reyes: A coastal gem with diverse landscapes, wildlife, and stunning views. Perfect for hiking, beachcombing, and stargazing.

Reel: @tylerwayneglass

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The Busan Air Cruise, also known as the Sky Capsule Train, is a popular attraction in Busan, South Korea. This unique train ride takes passengers on a journey above the city, providing stunning panoramic views of Busan`s coastline, mountains, and urban landscape. The futuristic capsule-shaped cabins offer a comfortable and immersive experience, making it a must-try activity for visitors exploring Busan.

Reel: @belet_ryu

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"Checking into Estelle Manor, the closest thing to a Saltburn-esque staycation you`ll ever experience in the UK. Imagine a beautifully restored Jacobean manor on the cusp of the Cotswolds and nestled within 3,000 acres of Oxfordshire parkland, with extravagant interiors to match (expect bold artworks and intricate details around each corner), a Riviera-style pool to lounge by, and three different restaurant to sink your teeth into. The addition of the hotel`s new Eynsham Baths (an incredible spa modelled on traditional Roman baths) really takes the hotel up another notch, despite it already being in a league of its own." - @ginagoesto ...

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A scenic coastal drive in Africa.

Reel: @joshstrauss_

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At The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, HaSalon is the spot for upscale, experiential dining. With an energetic atmosphere, exceptional service, and the freshest eats, HaSalon nails high-end, upbeat interactive dining. ...

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Atlantis Ibiza: Famous for its cliffs and coves, perfect for adventurous activities like cliff diving and snorkeling.

Reel: @saltinourhair

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