The island that sits on the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, named after former US president Franklin D Roosevelt, has a fascinating history dating back to 1637, including a period as a quarantine site for criminals, smallpox patients and the mentally ill in the early to mid-19th century. Many of these buildings have become city landmarks such as the Renwick Ruin (the remains of an 1854 smallpox hospital, pictured above), Blackwell House (a 1796 farmhouse and one of New York’s few remaining examples of 18th-century architecture) and the Octagon Tower (pictured below) from 1843 which formed part of New York City’s first insane asylum. The island forming part of the city’s historic Statue of Liberty attraction (which is set on nearby Liberty Island) is also home to an abandoned hospital (pictured below), which dates from 1902 and once served as a detention facility for immigrants arriving on the island who were considered to be too ill and physically unfit to enter the country.
An insider's guide to the most romantic hotels in Marrakech, featuring the best for authentic style, lavish décor, tranquil courtyards, lush gardens and traditional hammams, in locations close to the Djemaa el-Fna, Koutoubia Mosque and the city's many souks. Riad Al MoussikaMarrakech, Morocco
An insider's guide to the best all-inclusive hotels in Dubai, including the best for direct beach access, rooms with sea views, lagoon-style swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, extensive watersports options, top-notch spas, and a dizzying array of restaurants and bars serving Middle Eastern, Asian and Western cuisine, near the Dubai Parks and Resorts theme parks, Dubai Marina, and Dubai International Airport. Seaplane tours and fishing trips depart from the marina, while the challenging nine-hole golf course has hosted the likes of Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo.
9Telegraph expert rating This three-star hotel in a superb downtown location with views of Burj Khalifa sets a new standard for affordable hotels in Dubai. 8Telegraph expert rating This great-value four-star hotel in old Dubai is close to the airport and souks.
9Telegraph expert rating One&Only The Palm is one of Dubai’s most secluded and seductive beachside resorts, offering three restaurants by Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno, indulgent spa treatments from the UAE’s only Guerlain Spa, and a spectacular pool. With just 90 rooms and suites and four riad-like villas surrounded by lush gardens, the resort has a boutique hotel feel (for Dubai's standards).
Sherelle Jacobs introduces Telegraph Travel's guide to the best castle hotels in Britain, including the best castle hotels in England, Scotland and Wales, from family-friendly castles big on country pursuits to the best castle hotels with spas and gourmet dining. 9Telegraph expert rating It was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and later ended up in the hands of Anne of Cleves.
A neighbourhood guide to the best areas to stay in Edinburgh, as chosen by our resident expert, including the best hotels near The Royal Mile and George Street, and in New Town, The Grassmarket, Leith and Stockbridge. The essential starting point for any visitor, an exploration of the Mile from Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish Parliament takes in a cathedral, a palace, museums and medieval closes, not to mention souvenir shops, cafés, bars and buskers. G&V Royal Mile Hotel has developed its own uniquely modern Scottish identity.
An insider's guide to the top places to stay in central Glasgow, including the best for stylish interiors, historical buildings, good food – and even bagpipes. 9Telegraph expert rating This began life with two townhouses as One Devonshire Gardens, and expanded to five after being acquired by the Hotel du Vin chain in 2006. The result is an inviting warren of corridors and wooden staircases with superb stained glass windows leading to opulent rooms and suites.
This Neo-Renaissance building with its massive clock tower has been an Edinburgh landmark for more than a century. Built as a railway hotel, it has accommodated film stars, royalty and prime minsters, and was redesigned by Olga Polizzi. The Balmoral has been an Edinburgh landmark for more than a century.
An insider's guide to the best Edinburgh hotels with indoor and outdoor pools, featuring the top places to stay for rootop swimming pools and serene hydro pools, as well as saunas, steam rooms, spas and fitness centres. 9Telegraph expert rating This neo-Renaissance building with its massive clock tower has been an Edinburgh landmark for more than a century. With elegant bedrooms and over-the-top marble bathrooms, a spa, gym and swimming pool, recently refurbished Palm Court for champagne afternoon teas, this is a 21st century version of a grand hotel.
Although predominantly aimed at business travellers, the location, range of rooms and services, luxurious spa and well-regarded restaurant make it the perfect choice for travellers who like to know exactly what they’re getting. The spa is one of the best in town, with a 19-metre infinity swimming pool, thermal suite with seven treatment areas, Espa treatments, gym, café and utterly relaxing rooftop hydro-pool. It’s located on Festival Square on the Lothian Road overlooking the west side of Edinburgh Castle, an easy walk from the city centre or the Old Town.
An insider's guide to the best hotels near Edinburgh airport, including the best for free shuttles, parking and comfortable bedrooms, in locations including Ratho and South Queensferry. The Bridge Inn, Ratho
8Telegraph expert rating Don’t let the high-Gothic entrance fool you, The Glasshouse features lots of groovy furnishings (including a snug/bar complete with fire bowl), a fab rooftop garden, retro-styled bedrooms overlooking the city or garden and a restaurant that only opens when it feels like it. 9Telegraph expert rating Goldilocks could not help but approve of such carefully appointed bedrooms, where everything is just right.
An insider's guide to the best cheap hotels in Edinburgh, including the top affordable places to stay for chic rooms, great breakfasts and views of Edinburgh Castle in locations including Princes Street, the Royal Mile and Old Town. If you want something more stylish and better equipped than a hostel – more flighty, flexible and just plain bonkers than a traditional guest house or budget hotel – then this wildly imaginative, full-on fun palace is for you.
An insider's guide to the top boutique hotels in Edinburgh, including the best for stylish sensibilities, Michelin-starred restaurants and romantic bedrooms, in locations near to Edinburgh Castle, Arthur's Seat, Princes Street and the city centre. 24 Royal Terrace
8Telegraph expert rating Guesthouses and b&bs are 10-a-penny in the city, but finding one that does everything so well in the budget price range makes Abbeyfields a real contender in its league. It’s a 10-minute walk from the city centre and has a charming and characterful ambience: think breakfast tables blooming with fresh flowers each morning and an original fireplace lit with coal in colder months. Rooms have comfortable cast-iron and brass beds, televisions, Wi-Fi, and generously sized en-suite bathrooms.
Linda Macdonald, Telegraph TraveI’s Edinburgh expert, writes: “It is not difficult to understand how local boy Robert Lewis Stevenson came to write Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, growing up as he did in a city of such extraordinary variety. From the history-soaked medieval Old Town to the sweeping Georgian elegance of the New Town, Edinburgh deserves its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and compelling cities”. “Glasgow is back,” says Gavin Bell, our expert.
An expert guide to the best Brighton hotels with parking, featuring the top places to stay for sea views, great food and charming interiors. Private parking at the hotel is free and the nine spaces operate on a first come, first served basis.
Nineteen is a slick b&b tucked away in a small Kemp Town side street. With just seven rooms spread over a skinny Victorian townhouse, expect pared-back elegance with plenty of unexpected trimmings: internet-connected HDTVs, late check-out and complimentary weekend Bloody Marys with breakfast. White airy rooms feature high ceilings, oak floorboards, the odd splash of bathroom colour and international contemporary artwork to offset residual starkness.
An insider's guide to the top hotel rooms in Brighton with a sea view, including the best for spacious interiors, Art Deco furnishings, floor-to-ceiling windows, free standing bathtubs and balconies, in locations near Brighton pier, West pier, Kemptown and Regency Square. Brighton Harbour HotelBrighton, East Sussex, England
8Telegraph expert rating The Bath Priory delivers the refined atmosphere and all the trappings of an upmarket country-house hotel, yet within walking distance of the city centre. Under chef Sam Moody, the hotel has Bath's only Michelin-starred restaurant.
An expert guide to the top castle hotels in Scotland, including the best for loch and mountain views, rich history, dog-friendly services, spas and fine dining, in locations including Loch Lomond, Loch Fyne, the Isle of Mull and Trossachs National Park. Queen Victoria said she ‘never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’ than Inverlochy Castle in 1873, and it remains as impressive as ever. With Albert and Michel Roux Jr in charge of the kitchen the food is as good as the peerless service.
An insider's guide to the top hotels with swimming pools in and around Bath, including the best for indoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, luscious gardens, heated outdoor pools and spas, in locations including Bath city centre, Bradford-on-Avon and wider Somerset. 9Telegraph expert rating The first five-star hotel in Bath in 30 years, the Gainsborough is also the only one in Britain to have access to natural thermal waters.
This highly individual boutique hotel is just two minutes from the skeletal West Pier and offers nine quirkily decorated Oriental-themed rooms within a handsome Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse. Feng Shui is the thinking behind its design, so don’t expect any straight angles.
8Telegraph expert rating The Kennard’s location is perfect: on a wide, gently-curving terrace of residential Georgian properties on peaceful Henrietta Street very close to the city centre. The 13 bedrooms are individually decorated in fun styles and breakfast, served in an attractive two-part dining room one side of which has picture windows on to the street, is really excellent.