In addition to defining the utmost in luxury travel, these hotels are marvels of architecture. But, they don’t stop there. Many connect you with your passions and desires too.
Elegant architectural gems that inspire
You can choose any backdrop to live your life, and you choose the best. In addition to defining the utmost in luxury travel, these hotels are marvels of architecture. But, they don’t stop there. Many connect you with your passions and desires too. Feel what it is like to walk into the music room of Marie Antoinette or witness the Northern Lights unobstructed in your bed. Open your heart to the vastness of what can be accomplished as each one of our featured properties have seemingly done the impossible in one way or another. We have a marvel for whatever atmosphere or mood you crave. You are looking for more than a mere getaway. Enjoy picking the best environment for your next trip and welcome the surprises you’ll find there.
Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, Paris
Joie de vivre in Paris • Get away to the past by stepping into the present that is Rosewood’s Hôtel de Crillon. It’s not often a hotel can bridge the gap between centuries in such elegance. With a prestigious history and grandeur as inspiration, architect Richard Martinet, artistic director Aline d’Amman, and four Paris-based decorators attended to her transformation. A four-year renovation unearthed the answer to an essential question. Yes, life is better lived against the backdrop of a one-time private residence of Louis XV, under Amethyst chandeliers and within whimsical courtyards. With heritage landmarks like Salon Marie-Antoinette, Salon des Batailles and Salon des Aigles any event leaves guests wishing the 250-year-old walls could talk. Understand, these aren’t just quaint names given to ballrooms. These are the rooms where a young Marie Antoinette studied music, and the scenes of prominent signatories. The exclusive address on the Place de la Concorde is blissfully close to the Champs-Elysées and Jardin des Tuileries and many hot spots in The City of Lights. Creative and bold, you are looking to nd a property to re ect your mystique. Perhaps the Ateliers D’Artistes suites with balcony views of the Eiffel Tower match your mood. Suites feature designs that re ect the artistic pursuits of poetry, literature and painting. Explore the gastronomic wonders of the wine cellar and aprés dinner treats at the cigar lounge. rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-de-crillon
Hotel Marqués de Riscal Elciego, Spain
Gehry’s Spanish wonder in Rioja • Gehry had a love affair with Spain after designing the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao and just couldn’t help himself in Eltciego, also in the Basque country. Again, pulling off the unthinkable, he designed a modern take on castles of old in a country chock full of medieval, breathtaking beauties-turned- luxury digs. Few hotels will take your breath away quite like Hotel Marqués de Riscal, named after the vineyard it graces. Yes, we said wine. Set in a world-class wine region, a stone’s throw from Rioja, you’ll also be wrapped, slathered and bathed in the elixir at their decadent Caudalie Vinotherapie spa. Just try to choose your favourite from luxurious barrel baths, crushed Cabernet scrubs, and wine and honey wraps. A marvel from a marvel––winner of the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honour; the Japanese Premium Imperiale; and the AIA Gold Medal, the top tribute of the American Institute of Architects––at last you have a Gehry to call home at the 43-room retreat into art and design. Enjoy stunning views of the gorgeous Basque landscape at ceiling-to- oor windows. The Gehry Suite offers views of the medieval city including its church and sweeping vistas of Elciego village. hotel-marquesderiscal.com
Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco
A celebration of architecture • Inspired by the Moorish architecture of Spain, Portugal and North Africa The Royal Mansour celebrates its master craftsmen with attention to traditional architectural details including carved ceilings, and tiled walls and floors where Zelliges and Tadelakt take centerstage. The hotel’s larger- than-life entrance greets guests with the same promise as the great gate of Marrakech “happiness, wealth and prosperity.” They keep the promise with a glorious design that features an underground network of tunnels to grant uncompromising service with each of its 53 riads ensuring guests ultimate privacy and seclusion. Modelled after traditional Moroccan houses, a central courtyard provides a focal point of the riads and a wonderful place to view the impossible quantity of stars in the African desert at night. Privilege Riads come with 430 square meters of living space, the ultimate in luxury. Spanish landscape designer Luis Vallejo created the opulent Le Jardin a homage to famous gardens of the past like Ménara and the Agda. Majestic palm groves provide life-giving shade and beauty at an elegant spot to take in the sun. Choose your ideal cuisine in the one-of-a-kind restaurants La Grande Table Marocaine and La Grande Table Française. royalmansour.com
The St. Regis Vommuli Resort Maldives
Exquisitely exotic island architecture • WOW Architects, based in Singapore, conjured an exquisite experience at The St. Regis Vommuli Resort always focused on the inspirations of the natural beauty of the atoll and its creatures of the sea. The showcase of high end, at times whimsical design, unique in the atoll includes a whale bar, the lobster-shaped Iridium Spa, and villas in the form of manta rays. All constructed with a muted palette that allows nature’s colours to shine, exquisitely comfortable furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows so you don’t miss a bit of the best sunsets of your life. Indulge at the John Jacob Astor Estate Presidential Water Villa Suite that will take your idea of island travel to a whole new ultra-luxurious level, one of the largest overwater villas in the Archipelago. A 1542 square meter playground comes with private balconies and a private pool, cinema room, three Jacuzzis and 24-hour butler service. The 43 other overwater villas all have endless Indian Ocean views from private balconies. Among them are fisherman-hut inspired villas, all with views of the real stars––reef sharks, turtles and stingrays and the ability to see the show at will, just steps away. Top off the experience with wine tasting in an underground wine cellar, featuring bottles dating from the mid-1700s. stregismaldives.com
Museum Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey
Luxurious caves and romance • Once upon a time where there were ruins now sits Museum Hotel, one of the unique and extravagant hotels in the world. Get lost in the metaphor among this museum hotel steeped in thousands of years of history. Somethings money can’t buy–– like a storied history. Others, like a decadent night in the most luxurious cave in the world, thankfully is in our reach. In the late 1990s, Mr. Ömer Tosun began work on Museum Hotel’s extensive restoration project––a patchwork of ruins, caves and houses at the site of the Uchisar Castle. 55 staff members serve the 30-room property and give a new meaning to the idea of intuitive service. The magic of the property can be felt in its materials and intimate spaces, filled with organic owing walls and unique art pieces with plenty of spaces for quite reflection by a fire. Equally stunning outdoor spaces welcome you to relax and indulge in a bit of hookah as you take in panoramic views of the Turkish countryside. Huge bathrooms feature large Jacuzzi and unique tub installations that make you feel more like you are bathing on a throne. Exquisitely soft lighting enhances the romantic mood. museumhotel.com.tr
Hotel Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, Austria
Masterpiece of contemporary architecture • Atelier Jean Nouvel beat out three other Pritzker winners in a site-specific competition and Hotel So tel Vienna Stephansdom won, taking her place in the historic heart of Vienna. Wanting to enrich Vienna with a work of art, Nouvel leaves guests with a sensory experience unlike any other. Sophisticated and streamlined, the hotel invites you to make your home-away-from-home in an environment filled with juxtaposition and sensibilities that inspire your sense of curiosity. An atmosphere of endless conversation pieces, it is likely that you will leave not only relaxed and restored but decidedly more satiated as well. Subtle plays of colour, materials and textures abound in this marvel where minimal form meets maximum function in a beautiful example of sustainable design. 182 elegant rooms and suites let you conveniently explore the old town, Vienna Woods, and the famous Ferris wheel. Peel back the layers on concepts of the possible and impossible over international cuisine at the Das LOFT restaurant with stunning, wall-to-wall views of Austria’s City of Music. Or just linger in the 180-square-meter Magnifique Suite entertaining guests at a table for 12, then pampering in the spa bathroom complete with whirlpool and Hammam. sofitel-vienna-stephansdom.com
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, USA
Posh relaxation by Rodeo • Pierre-Yves Rochon makes a statement in the entertainment capital of the world where luxury is an art and architecture
a sport. Destined to be an icon, The Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hills reimagines Streamline Moderne, taking into consideration all things Hollywood, and infuses it with bygone glamour of the thirties and forties. Portuguese limestone reaches 12 stories into the California clear blue sky and welcomes you to a grand three-story lobby at the famous corner of Sunset and Wilshire, only blocks away from storied Rodeo Drive. Lalique glassware and hand-painted murals up the romance as do the luxurious gardens. Elegant coastal furnishings help you settle into relaxation mode and California’s easy, effortless and elegant lifestyle where everything is bigger, even ultra-luxury. Oversized balconies and panoramic windows enhance the suite experience with stunning views of Beverly Hills. 170 guest rooms all feature terraces and floor-to-ceiling views, capitalising on the vistas outside. The rooftop bar’s 360-degree views of a mammoth cityscape and rolling hills provide all the drama you’d expect in the city that’s home to Hollywood’s elite. How did they celebrate the opening of the $200 million dollars stunner? With a death-defying Batman walk down all twelve stories of Portuguese marble, of course. Welcome to Beverly Hills. With the Waldorf Astoria in New York closed for renovations over the next few years, California is ready to host the tried-and-true. waldorfastoriabeverlyhills.com
An intimate, surprising ryokan in the city • Located in the Otemachi district, Japan’s Wall Street, you will find Hoshinoya, Tokyo tucked away from the street where concepts of harmony and balance are not only articulated in its materials but also in its structure. Walk through the doors and step into the elegance of simplicity and serenity––an architectural feat in the heart of this mega-busy city that endlessly pursues all things driven and technological. Rules of a traditional ryokan apply right down to taking off your shoes when you walk in the door. A symphony of hand- plastered walls and sliding shoji screens, made out of chestnut and paper, greet you. Tatami mats are used throughout and infuse the air with a distinctive exotic fragrance. 84 guest rooms on six levels help foster a surprisingly intimate experience in the heart of Tokyo. Lighting throughout gives an authentic, warm experience highlighting the materials dramatically and effortlessly. A mixture of plaster with compressed earth sculpts the entrance to the restaurant and is a great counterpoint to the granite feature wall. Architect Rie Azuma leveraged natural materials which became the inspiration for many aspects of her design for its randomness, variety, and the way it can age beautifully over time with care. The penthouse spa has a granite lined bathtub and has its water pumped up from a hot spring that was discovered under the site of the hotel. Azuma shares that it is a joy to show people how traditional culture can fit into modern, everyday life. hoshinoyatokyo.com
&Beyond Matetsi River Lodge Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Ethereal peace and majesty on the Zambezi • Set on 15 km of private Zambezi Riverfront, you will find an ultra-luxurious outcropping as surprising as the 50,000-hectare Matetsi Private Game Reserve itself. The lodges’s stunning architecture reflects its wild setting in one of the natural wonders of the world. Alongside the deep waters of the Zambezi lie two camps each with nine suites featuring stunning views of the river, including a family suite. Exquisitely furnished in fabrics and materials from Zimbabwe’s rich heritage, you’ll feel the warm welcome of centuries gone by in a contemporary setting inspired by the natural finishes of the region and one-of-a-kind art by local artisans. For the ultimate in rustic opulence, the luxury suite features an expansive bathroom with an enormous tub just steps from the private pool. Find panoramic views and unique dining under the shade of mangosteen trees, or under the stars along the water’s edge. Dine to the music of the bush––a chorus of frogs and laughing hippos. This exquisitely lit oasis provides a sweet glow in the evening and the sweet spirit of letting the outdoors in. The architectural showpiece explores old and new and invites guests to do the same both in their adventures at Victoria Falls and in the internal landscape that can change in such pinnacle moments. Enjoy the shift in an environment where nature takes the stage. andbeyond.com
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Finland
Mysticism at the top of the world • What could be more Nordic than Arctic Treehouse Hotel set on a steep, natural slope? And what could be more Scandinavian than a minimalist approach to luxury living that provides inspiration and highlights nature’s beauty in a way that is at once fantastic and mystical? It is said that the units on the slope seem to wander in nature just like the animals that call the forest their home. There is a sense of playfulness and wonder about them. A sort of opening- curtain feel with nature as the star of the show all around you. And this is perhaps one of the most incredible architectural feats––making the environment disappear in order to become completely immersed in the setting. The simplicity of the timber structures clad in wood and accented with natural materials give them a part-nest, part-fort feel that speaks to something primal in us all. Clearly not just any treehouse, this house is sustainable, with the principal features that offset the resort’s carbon footprint such as its green roof and interior design that focuses on healthy indoor air quality and leverages the ultimate in serenity with attention to acoustic details. Enjoy nature’s embrace in one of 32 suites or the ultimate in Northern Light viewing within one of 5 glasshouses. santaparkarcticworld.com/arctic-treehouse-hotel
© This article was first published in Aug-Sept 2017 edition of World Travel Magazine.
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