Coolest hotels to stay in: The world's 10 hippest hotels

1 SO SOFITEL, BANGKOK

Christian Lacroix and several Thai designers dreamed up this hotel of city vistas, fibre-optic wall displays and oh-so-trendy rooftop bar and restaurant. You're whisked up to the ninth-floor reception area, given a cocktail and checked in as you ogle the light-twinkled urban landscape. Sexy guestrooms have big leather-framed beds, soaking tubs and low lighting. Don't be surprised if a pool party if going off, and the lifts are full of half-clad youngsters. See www.so-sofitel-bangkok.com 

Read: Traveller's full review of So Sofitel Bangkok

2 MONDRIAN HOTEL AT SEA CONTAINERS, LONDON

Hunkered in the artsy, entertainment South Bank right on the Thames, the maritime-themed Mondrian startles from the moment you enter its copper-clad lobby and ascend in lifts in which Queen Elizabeth I eyes up a punk rocker on the walls. It culminates at the rooftop Rumpus Room where wild cocktails compete with city views and (on weekends) a live DJ for attention. Guestrooms are vast and glamorous. See morganshotelgroup.com

3 RAAS JODHPUR, JODHPUR

An old courtyard haveli (grand traditional house) deep in Jodhpur's old town beneath the walls of spectacular Mehrangarh Fort might suggest a fusty, colonial-themed property. Yet this hotel is a knockout for combining gorgeously restored haveli architecture with contemporary additions, a magnificent pool and two chic restaurants whose evening fortress outlooks are stunning. Spacious rooms have all-modern interiors. The service would stand out anywhere, and in India is simply astonishing. See www.raasjodhpur.com 

4 CHATEAU MONFORT, MILAN

Can you be both an opera lover and hip? Yes, if you stay at this opulent Milan villa whose rooms pay quirky homage to the likes of Turandot (dragons and Chinoiserie), La Bohème (Parisian attic with style) and Madama Butterfly (a whimsy of butterfly motifs). The original Art Nouveau decoration is overlaid with the kind of chic only Milan can produce, and the Relais & Chateaux label ensures fine contemporary dining, too. See www.relaischateaux.com 

Read: Traveller's full review of Chateau Monfort

5 MONTE-CARLO BEACH HOTEL, MONACO

Though geographically a tad across the French border, this glossy, Art Deco-style beach club has been central to Monaco's social life since the 1930s. Think Hollywood meets the Riviera, revamped by Paris-based, colour-mad interior designer India Mahdavi, who creates rooms like Matisse paintings. Few urban hotels have such beautiful beach access: lounge under the umbrella pines and watch sunny people in shady glasses arrive by private yacht. See monte-carlo-beach.com

6 ST REGIS, KUALA LUMPUR

With coffee-table books covering everything from rock bands to architecture, a Japanese toilet that primps and blows, a rain shower with a view and a private butler, this new hotel personifies upmarket hip. Suites are so large you feel as if you're in a designer Manhattan apartment. The sensational spa is matched by a rooftop swimming pool, yoga room and an uber-cool Japanese restaurant headed by Malaysia's first three-Michelin-star chef. See www.stregiskualalumpur.com 

Read: Traveller's full review of St Regis, Kuala Lumpur

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7 THE BURRARD, VANCOUVER

The original motor inn opened in 1956, and the reimagined hotel retains a mid-century feel, with retro furniture and rooms arranged around a courtyard erupting unexpectedly in banana and palm trees whose trunks are wrapped in fairy lights. A big pink photo in the lobby shows a 1950s family meal, but features dad in red stilettos – all part of the quirky, subversive artworks that set the tone in this friendly, hip hotel. See theburrard.com

8 PULLMAN BARCELONA SKIPPER, BARCELONA

What gives this mainstream hotel a hip edge? Perhaps its location just beyond the old town on the sparkling waterfront, its youthful, helpful staff, or the great buzz from the moment you step into the lobby. In guestrooms, red doors and accent walls provide Catalan passion, and a white-leather sofa and armchair a dash of hedonism. The superb breakfast buffet will tempt you to outrageous bouts of gluttony. See www.pullman-barcelona-skipper.com 

9 MARKTGASSE HOTEL, ZURICH

This building has served as an inn for 500 years – though surely never so comfortably. Medieval architectural features remain but the old-town hotel has had a contemporary redesign that features blonde Swiss wood, funky furniture, retro lamps and bathrooms with black tiles and walk-in showers. You know you've hit the hip mother lode when Aussie brand Aesop provides the toiletries. Baltho restaurant has a startling art installation and great cocktails. See www.marktgassehotel.ch 

Read: Traveller's full review of the Marktgasse Hotel

10 HOTEL WIESLER, GRAZ

You can hardly get more hipster than a hotel with both a bicycle and barber shop in its lobby. Though built in 1909 and graced with art nouveau mosaics, this hotel in Austria's second-largest and very cool city has contemporary quirkiness and guestrooms of industrial-chic minimalism, leavened with colourful artworks. Vinyl soul music enlivens Speisesaal restaurant, where you can follow soba noodles with lime tart, and Czech beer with Turkish coffee. See hotelwiesler.com

Brian Johnston has stayed as a guest at all these hotels.

See also: Ultimate destinations: 10 of the world's dream hotels

See also: World's best hotels named in TripAdvisor's annual awards

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