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Dave Karger, Movie Awards Mainstay, on His Favorite Hotels Around the World

If you’ve lived in America in the last 25 years and care at all about the entertainment world, then Dave Karger has likely spent a lot of time on your TV screen. One of the country’s most reliable, level-headed, and accurate experts on the Hollywood awards season horse race, Karger is also an entertainment journalist and a year-round cohost for the popular Turner Classic Movies channel.

Karger’s Oscars expertise is also on American bookshelves: His 50 Oscar Nights: Iconic Stars & Filmmakers on Their Career-Defining Wins is new in 2024.

But despite all those roles in his professional life, Karger still finds time to travel—and travel well.

I caught up with him as we sailed aboard a recent TCM Classic Cruise somewhere in the western Caribbean Sea. He took the moment to muse a little about some of his favorite hotels in some of his favorite places.

Karger: “I’m a huge fan of all of the Firmdale Hotels, which are all designed by Kit Kemp. The Soho Hotel, the Ham Yard Hotel, the Charlotte Street Hotel—I’ve stayed at all of those, but I really loved the Charlotte Street Hotel [pictured below] because I really loved the neighborhood. You can walk everywhere. I’m happy to be smack dab in the middle of crazy Soho, but the Charlotte Street is just off the beaten path.

“I just love the décor. It’s very floral, very cheery and bright, but it’s very different from how I live my life. I’m a little more minimal in my personal taste, but I love the kind of explosion of colors and textures and fabrics that Kit Kemp does. I also love the bath products, which are called RikRak. I sometimes go to the Crosby Street Hotel in New York just to buy the incredibly expensive bath products [laughs]. They have this gardenia-scented shampoo and body wash that is my absolute favorite.”

(Credit: Firmdale Hotels)

“I’ve been to France, I think, 22 times and I’m a huge fan, particularly of the south of France. And I stayed once in a hotel in St.-Tropez called the Hôtel de Paris [pictured below]. And it was one of the most beautiful and magical places. I love St.-Tropez in the daytime. I’m not a person who goes out and dances on tables till 4 in the morning. I go to bed at 10:30. For me, St.-Tropez is about the little fishing village that it used to be and kind of still is. I like going into the little stores and alleyways and then having a nice dinner and then going to bed. When people think of St.-Tropez, they think of Hôtel Byblos and all these crazy nightclubs, but there’s another side to St.-Tropez that makes it, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places to go.

“Hôtel de Paris is kind of midsized. It has a beautiful little pool on the roof and is just close enough to the water. It felt like a secret to me. We had this little window that we could peek out of and see the Mediterranean—the whole trip was just magic. And a lot of that was because of the hotel, I thought. The people there were great, and it was just fancy enough. Not too much, not too little. Perfect.” 

(Credit: Hôtel de Paris)

“I’m also a big Caribbean person. I grew up going to the Caribbean every year with my family. And now that I try to go on my own, I like to discover places. And the place that has the resort that has stayed with me the longest—and I’m sure you know it well—is Parrot Cay [pictured below] on Turks and Caicos.

“I remember going there and being enthralled with the entire experience from start to finish, starting from the speedboat ride that takes you from the main island, Providenciales, to the private island of Parrot Cay. The food was very spare and chic and kind of Asian-inspired, and you stay in a little villa. It felt like the most exclusive place that I’ve maybe ever been. And I’m dying to go back there.”

(Credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts)

“The Standard [pictured below] is the sexiest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. And largely that’s because of Michael Fassbender in the [2011] movie Shame, because that’s where he was staying in that and having his escapades. But I love that hotel because I like the location of it [in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District].

“It does have a great rooftop nightclub, which I’m not cool enough to go to, Le Bain, and also the Boom Boom Room. The hotel will do pop-up restaurants, it has a beer garden, and it also has a great restaurant, The Standard Grill. So this, if people can afford it, is the hotel that I tell people to stay at in New York.”

(Credit: Shutterstock / Kit Leong)