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The desire to travel is universal. We all have a need, now and then, to get away from it all. Inevitably, this leads to the question 'Where should I go?' and, just as importantly, 'Where should I stay?'In a world of ever-expanding options - particularly in the context of accessibility and affordability - the choice is bewildering. Thus even the most travelled among us can benefit from a source that offers travel and accommodation ideas on a global scale, and that spares us the nightmare of any nasty surprises.

In every corner of the globe there are Highly Individual Places to stay. Some are big, some are small, some expensive, some not: the thing they have in common is that these are the hotels that help make travel memorable - the places that provide stories for many a dinner party to come. Not only can they generate travel experiences to be treasured but they are also destinations in their own right.

HIP Hotels is an atlas of global opportunities; a worldwide guide to the kind of hotels we all want to find, if only we knew where to look. Unusual, unique, interesting, out of the way, and almost always charming, the places that HIP Hotels feature make travel what it should be, namely exciting and rewarding.

The diversity on offer is spellbinding. From a restored seventeenth-century mud kasbah built on the old African slave route in the Sahara, to a collection of open-plan contemporary timber bungalows set amongst the boulders of a hidden beach in Vietnam, to a Frank Lloyd Wright cabin on a North American pond in the woods of Wisconsin, HIP Hotels lets you experience the kinds of places once found only on the pages of James Bond novels.

The temples of Luang Prabang, the shores of Sri Lanka, the wilds of Tasmania, the ruins of Angkor Wat, the turquoise treasures of the Bahamas, the colourful 'pueblo' traditions of Mexico, the magnificence of India's Raj, the peasant charm of Provence, the Zen of old Japan, the mystery of ancient Egypt, the breathtaking beauty of Italy's Renaissance.... All of these need not merely be admired; they can now be experienced. Name a travel fantasy and HIP Hotels will not only place you smack bang in the middle of it, but you'll also be able to spend the night. You, the traveller, become integrated into your surroundings. It's a new kind of tourism that involves 'being', as opposed to merely seeing.

HIP Hotels provides a unique global perspective on precisely the sorts of places that make you want to pack your bags and escape.