There is a certain ‘wow’ factor about a place, a rare vibe one gets, that makes a vacation spot so unique and outstanding that it stands out in our memory among all the holiday spots and hotels we have ever visited.
There is a certain ‘wow’ factor about a place, a rare vibe one gets, that makes a vacation spot so unique and outstanding that it stands out in our memory among all the holiday spots and hotels we have ever visited. Such places may not only be blessed with an amazing beach or an awe-inspiring mountain view, they are however crammed rich in character. We capture ten such destination resorts and put them on the top of World Travel. The diversity of these unique locations comes from French Polynesia, Italy, Chile, French West Indies, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland and Mexico.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is a cultural paradise, a resort that blends the romance, relaxations and tranquility of the South Pacific with the invigorating Polynesian arts of dance, song, cuisine, textiles, seafaring and sport. Set upon Bora Bora’s surrounding coral atoll, away from the bustle of its mainland, the Resort is a vast tropical grove, replete with coconut palms and pandanus trees. Meandering channels of pure turquoise lead to the property’s main beach or to smaller lagoons, creating secluded private beaches waiting to be discovered. Every vista is breathtaking, views of the open water and its vast sky contrast with the lush green of the island’s mainland, capped by the towering monolithic peak of Mount Otemanu and the domed summit of Mount pahia.An infinity-edged pool with private cabanas faces the white sand beach, as the lagoon sets the perfect backdrop for a leisurely afternoon under the tropical sun.
Explora proposes a new way of traveling to remote areas in South America, based on in-depth exploration of the surroundings and luxury of the essential. They offer lodge-based journeys in which an explora lodge is the central point for exploring the natural and cultural surroundings. The lodge is located right at the heart of the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in central Patagonia. The varied and untouched landscapes of this area led UNESCO to declare it a biosphere reserve. The Patagonia hotel lodge opened in 1993 on the banks of the Salto Chico waterfall. It affords an excellent view of the unique Paine Massif and two of the three impressive torres, or towers, which give the park its name. For Patagonia travel, the luxury lodge provides the welcome surprise of comfort in a remote area; nonetheless, you are not isolated from nature, but placed “within” it.
Located in the heart of the “Venice of the North”, W St. Petersburg brings additional vibrancy to a city that has for centuries hosted the social elite and aristocracy. The hotel’s location is just steps from the city’s landmarks like the magical St. Isaac Cathedral, the Winter Palace, which houses the famed Hermitage Museum, and the wide Neva River giving St. Petersburg its charm. W St. Petersburg provides an integrated contemporary lifestyle experience through its stylish guest rooms, signature restaurant miX in St. Petersburg inspired by famous Michelin starred chef Alain Ducasse, miXup bar and miXup terrace, and Bliss Spa from New York.
Inspired by the architectural ancestry of the city and jewel-tones of the famous Fabergé Egg, W St. Petersburg reveals surprising elements layer-by-layer throughout the hotel.
Splendido’s enchanting beauty of the landscape is perfect for a romantic getaway. Located on the top of the hill of Portofino overlooking the bay, this monastery turned hotel property still has an air of patrician. A very unique way of enjoying the sun drecnhed Italian coastline!.
Ever since it opened 60 years ago on a promontory of the same name, the island’s original hotel has been a magnet for the A-list crowd. There are 40 individual rooms, suites, cottages and villas located “on the rock” as well as on the beach.
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs truly is one of the world’s most stunning properties in an extraordinarily beautiful part of New Zealand. Located in the Bay of Islands region, set on over 6,500 acres near Matauri Bay,Kauri Cliffs enjoys a commanding position with spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean.
Situated above the 600 acre beach front resort of Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain towers above the vast Caribbean Sea looking out onto stunning views of the Piton Mountains. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s sanctuaries are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of the natural setting.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is found within the gated community of Punta Mita, located alog Mexico’s Pacific coast just north of Puerto Vallarta. The resorts’ architectural style of quaint Mexican-style casitas blends harmoniously into the surrounding natural environment. The pristine, white-sand beaches are set with sumptuous cabanas and plush chaise lounges. Along with access to the two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, additional recreational amenities include the acclaimed puane Spa. Recognized for its creative integration of indigenous treatments, Apuane Spa adds elements of centuries-old wisdom of the region in its menu.
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is a celebration of style, sports, cuisine and fashion, with discreet service and traditional elegance evoking an atmosphere of pampered luxury for all. An ideal destination in both winter and summer, the hotel is located in one of the most challenging ski areas in the world and offers a host of summer alpine activities. Badrutt’s Palace Hotel boasts 157 guestrooms and 37 suites with stunning views of the Swiss Alps.
Majestic mountain peaks, crystal-clear lakes, wonderful waterfalls and picturesque pastures – Switzerland is renowned for its many scenic splendours. And some of the most spectacular are to be found right here in the heart of the country, in the beautiful Bernese Oberland. Snow- capped summits. Interlaken can be considered one of the cradles of Switzerland’s legendary hospitality – not least because of the prestige enjoyed by the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa for more than 140 years. This exceptional 5-star luxury establishment opened its distinguished doors in 1865. Today it offers discerning guests the most modern comforts combined with old world charm, refined elegance with relaxed informality.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over- civilized people are begining to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity… by John Muir. The Swiss & French Alps, the Himalayas and the Rocky Mountains feature in our outstanding mountain retreats. A place to rest, recharge, revitalize and be inspired by soaring rock and stone forged ages ago, witness to countless magnificent sunrises and sunsets.
Uma Paro by COMO offers luxury in the heart of the rugged wilderness of Bhutan. Situated on the cusp of the Paro Valley,one can enjoy sweeping views of the pristine mountains and pine-clad slopes from the 38-acre estate.
A hotel for the outdoor adventurer and alpinist, was the vision Cornelius Van Horne, general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, had in mind for the one-story log cabin constructed on the shore of Lake Louise in 1890. It contained a central area that served as dining room, office,bar and gathering place, a kitchen and two small bedrooms, fronted by large windows facing the lake and a verandah. The original Chalet Lake Louise hosted visitors from different dining stations along the railway line as well as day visitors from its elegant sister,the Banff Springs Hotel.Through two early fires and four architects, this small, summer cabin would evolve to become today’s Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a building which dates back as far as 1911.
Altapura is located at 2300 m in the heart of the highest European ski resort of Val Thorens. Thus the hotel is at the highest of the Alps but also at the height of hospitality since it is now the highest 5 star hotel in Europe. Thanks to its structure and high end services, Altapura can boast of being a skipalace. As a proof, the generous and elegant spaces,the warm jouful and cosmopolite atmosphere. But if it has chosen the expression skipalace, it is well because the world largest ski area of the 3 Vallees is the place to be to enjoy ski and all snow sliding sports. At Altapura, everything is thought towards the snow sports lovers’ well being who are sensible to a certain lifestyle.
In the heart of the Swiss Alps and set amidst stunning natural beauty, LeCrans Hotel & Spa is a haven of peace and refinement.Here, the landscape takes centre stage. Located at a top of the ski resort, the hotel is surrounded by spectacular scenery facing the open skies, the warm sun and the magnificent mountain peaks.
Founded in 1848 as the Rossli Guesthouse, the neo-baroque building oozes charm and history.Grand Hotel Kronenhof is situated in the heart of Pontresina, an idyllic mountain village just six kilometres from St. Moritz. All rooms feature majestic panoramic views of the mountains as well as the Roseg glacier. The Grand Restaurant,imposing manor house style, with beautiful ceiling frescoes by Haberer and dazzling chandeliers sets the standard of culinary excellence serving Swiss specialties and a selection of international dishes.
The concept of a private island,conjures up ideas of luxury, privacy, exclusive, remote and privileged. There are cookie cutter resorts plopped a hundred meters from a run of the mill beach and then there are designer villas built with elegance and style, crafted in such a way that you don’t really know when the beach stops and when the villa starts. The privacy that one gets on a private island is addictive. How one can ever manage a recess in any other place, after a spot of vacation on a private island, is beyond me.
Cocoa Island by COMO is a private island in the Maldives. Wrapped in white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, the resort is close to some of the world’s best dive sites. Even the house reef, which encircles Cocoa Island, delineates a gin-clear lagoon that’s rich with sea-life, including ray and baby sharks. This tranquil setting, with the island fringed in wild sea grapes,hibiscus and palms, is enhanced by the understated elegance of Cocoa Island’s rooms, which resemble local dhoni fishing boats and feature direct access to the shallow lagoon.
The 100 List 2013
A pricious green jewel on the fringes of the Seychelles, Frégate Island Private is a highly exclusive, pioneering eco hideaway, located in the midst of the Indian Ocean. Frégate Island Private is a three-km square island offering 16 luxuriously appointed villas, which are arranged so that privacy is guaranteed. Seven beaches can be experienced in total seclusion; exclusivity in every respect is the maxim on Frégate, as well as the preservation and protection of the unique natural environment of the island.
Set upon its own island in Fiji, Laucala Island brings a new meaning to the term “allinclusive resort.” A private island resort, Laucala Island is set amidst coconut plantations, sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, rich green mountains and breathtaking natural beauty. True luxury is appreciated in the privacy of the resort’s 25 villas as well as the freedom to experience a variety of activities, ranging from golf to water sports to beachside horseback riding and more.
The Wakaya Club & Spa is a luxury private island resort unlike any other in the world. This serene retreat in Fiji offers gracious living, sophisticated, international cuisine and unparalleled leisure opportunities – including some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling in one of the most secluded and pristine corners of the South Pacific. The Wakaya Club & Spa is situated on the Western leeward side of Wakaya Island, Fiji – a private 2,200 acre tropical idyll that is one of 333 islands that comprise the Fiji archipelago.Wakaya Island has the benefit of being surrounded by a protected coral reef, and boasts azure lagoons, majestic cliffs and powder white sand beaches.
Necker, Sir Richard Branson’s private island paradise, situated in the British Virgin Islands is a stunning and unspoilt area of the Caribbean. At 74 acres, Necker sits in turquoise waters surrounded by coral reefs and fringed with beautiful white sandy beaches. Necker can become your own private hideaway; away from the stresses and strains of daily life.
A five star hotel is all about living it up like a king. How about taking the concept a step further and being spoilt like a king… in a castle. The grand homes of royalty are now magnets for hoteliers, converting the residences of past royalty to boutique hotels and resorts. Seeped in history, with medieval art and cultural artifacts proudly on display, these resorts give a glimpse of how rajas, emperors and dukes used to live. we take a look at five beautiful heritage resorts in India, France, Italy and England.
The Residenza Napoleone III is one of the most luxurious and unique places to stay in Rome, situated in the XVI century Palazzo Ruspoli on Romes legendary Via Condotti. From the beginning, the palace has had a bent for hospitality, hosting ambassadors and becoming a high society meeting place. The Residenza is named after Emperor Napoleon III, who lived here in 1830 with his mother, Hortense Beauharnais, the former Queen of Holland. The Napoleone Suite consists of three magnificient rooms with antique furnishings, massive oil paintings, XVI century tapestries,parquet floors and hand-stencilled walls. The master bedroom has a large canopied bed draped with beautiful fabrics and silks. One of the six huge oil paintings in the bedroom forms the headboard while another painting opens to reveal an exquisite marble bathroom. Guest enter the Palazzo through huge wooden doors and pass along an elegant arcade of Doric columns with ancient artefacts on display that were excavated on site. A grand marble staircase, lined with antique marble busts of Roman Emperors, leads up to the entrance of the apartment. In the evening the maid light up all candles to create a warm atmosphere.
The magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur,one of the world’s largest private residences, is a golden hued desert sandstone monument set amidst acres of verdant gardens.
An imitable tribute to art deco, the Palace has in its luxurious fold, 64 rooms and suites. The Palace was built, between 1928 and 1943,for H.H.Maharaja Umaid Singh ji, Grand Father of the present Maharaja of Marwar.
Chateau de Bagnols is the five-star deluxe Chateau Hotel in France and is regarded by many as one of the finest vineyard Chateau Hotel in the world Discovered by Lady Hamelin in 1987 in a derelict state, she painstakingly restored the château with much energy and vision, to its former glory, revealing Renaissance wall and ceiling paintings craeted during the chateau’s finest period when nearby Lyon was one of Europe’s great Renaissance cities.
Dating from the 13th century, the château features impressive towers, the original dry moat, honey-coloured stone known as “pierres dorées” and a dramatic entrance across a drawbridge. The Château de Bagnols is one of France’s major historic monuments as well as a unique luxury hotel with 20 suites. Chateau de Bagnols is set among vineyards,forests and green hills in the heart of the beautiful Beaujolais countryside in south-east France, just 17 miles from Lyon.
Cliveden House is a five-star luxury hotel owned by the National Trust and operated under a long lease arrangement by the owners of Chewton Glen. Set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside and with stunning views over the Thames, through the centururies Cliveden has enjoyed a colourful history with a succession of wealthy owners keen to entertain in style and leave a lasting legacy. Less than 45 minutes west of London and 20 minutes from London Heathrow Airport, the hotel has a summerhouse by the Thames, together with boathouse and boats, heated pool, spa and a range of sporting and leisure facilities. The bedrooms were luxuriously appointed and the staff are attentive.The standards set over 100 years ago are still rigorously maintained. Each of Cliveden’s bedrooms and suites are furnished in classical style with antique furniture and fine works of art. Guests can relax in the Pavilion Spa, contained within a walled garden, with indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, whirlpool spas, steam rooms and sauna and a range of spa treatments and therapies. And, of course, all Cliveden guests also benefit from access to acres upon acres of National Trust grounds.
Nestled in the picturesque Aravali Range, Devigarh is an 18th century fort palace which overlooks the rustic village of Delwara, near Udaipur. The tranquil ambience of the Fort Palace where silence is only punctuated by the sound of water makes it an ideal wellness destination. The landscaping combines stone and nature to create calm spaces that invite relaxed contemplation.
There is something about a beach that appeals to the child in all of us. The sun, sand and sea combo is an old faithful for any successful holiday. During peak travel seasons, every square foot of a well located, moderately developed beach is prime property. There are an amazing number of good beaches to choose from globally and there are an even larger number of resorts that fringe them. World Travel present to you, our pick of the ten best beach resorts the world has to offer.
Viceroy Riviera Maya is a serene hideaway that merges every luxury amenity with dramatic sea and jungle, bringing together the best of the destination. The all-villa resort is set on a sugary-whitesand beach lapped by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and is immersed in a lush jungle ambiance dense with ferns, palms and guava trees that is the playground of a resident family of friendly spider monkeys.
The spacious villas feature is a completely private patio and plunge pool, outdoor shower, a high-ceiling thatched-palapa roof that resonates with the jungle environment and a handmade crochet hammock.
A private island and luxury playground in a wonderland of white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and breathtaking reefs. A perfect place to pamper yourself with lavish Maldivian living. The Retreats are a perfect blend of W’s innovative architectural design and contemporary living esthetics with the island village simplicity.
An inclusive resort on a 300-acre private island, casts a spell of serene enchantment. Nestled two miles off the coast of Antigua, this exclusive resort is noted for a landscape lush with rare tropical flowers, abundant foliage and three superb white-sand beaches. Just a short boat trip from mainland Antigua, Jumby Bay is a favorite among discerning travelers seeking world-class service and premier amenities. The resort’s luxurious accommodations has a casual elegance that blends beautifully into the natural environment. The island is a haven for naturalists and birdwatchers seeking rare and endangered species. Because no cars are permitted, guests can relax in the peace and tranquility of a true sanctuary.
Located on the west coast of Phuket,off Thailand’s southern coast, Amanpuri overlooks the blue expanse of the Andaman Sea from a sheltered headland, offering 40 Thai-styled pavilions and 30 private villa homes elegantly spaced within a grove of swaying coconut palms. At the foot of a sweep of stone steps lies the white crescent of Pansea Beach, secluded and unspoilt — a wide smile of sand for guests alone.
Dramatically poised alongside its Art Deco neighbors on Miami Beach’s famed Ocean Drive, The Betsy is a distinguished historic landmark hotel. Elegant but relaxed tropical interiors and an intimate courtyard pool produce an experience that is timeless,unforgettable and passionately low-key. At The Betsy South Beach, you can dig your toes in warm sand, swim in cerulean-hued waters, and unwind to wellness rituals which have drawn upon ancient methods and pure ingredients from cultures around the world.
Truly secluded from the rest of the world, Lizard Island is located right on the Great Barrier Reef, with 24 powdery-white beaches and just 40 villas and suites.Luxury aside, Lizard Island boasts an array of activities, from adrenaline-charged fishing expeditions, indulgent treatments at the Azure Spa, or a hike to the top of Cook’s Look, to a gourmet beach picnic on a deserted beach, snorkeling over a clam garden, or diving the world famous Cod Hole.
The 100 List 2013
Designed by award-winning architectural firm WOHA, Alila Villas Uluwatu is an all pool villa luxury resort situated on an elevated plateau along the southern coastline of Bali overlooking the Indian Ocean providing spectacular views of the extraordinary surf. The villas feature contemporary interiors enhanced with touches of nature and traditional Balinese accents – reflected in planes of wood, water,stone and rattan. Walkways and bridges connect the relaxation pavilions and pools to the spacious living areas. The open-plan design, unique flat lava rock roof and bamboo ceiling allow the gentle sea breeze to circulate throughout all areas of the villa.
Elbow Beach, Bermuda is a 98 room intimate luxury resort.It overlooks stunning South Shore and is set amongst 50 acres of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens that gently slope down to a stretch of private, pink sand beach. Elbow Beach is the contemporary version of a classic island resort, offering fine amenities and great service. The holistic spa has Asian accents, yet the ambiance heralds a distinct island feel.
For those seeking the ultimate paradise destination, remote Desroches Island in the Seychelles, can be described as heaven on earth. This decadent hideaway has 14 kilometres of white beaches and effortlessly combines adventure and relaxation. Escape, the spa, comprises of four sea facing treatment rooms, a relaxation Sala and Yoga platform. The conservational philosophy embraced by Desroches is reflected in the extensive treatment menu. Accommodation options range from one bedroom suites to spacious five bedroom residences, many with private pools and all are just a few steps away from the soft beaches and dazzling blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
In this lush castaway sanctuary, days promise barefoot ease as you stroll along the powder-sand beach. Nature’s richness recharges the spirit with storybook adventure in jungle and sea. Villas are set in the natural amphitheatre of Petite Anse; with interiors that draw their inspiration from a mix of rustic Seychellois and French colonial style. Simple, white-washed timber slat walls allow the carefully curated collection of objects d’art to sing, while the verandah, day bed pavilion and infinity plunge pool set off unencumbered views of tropical greenery and the azure waters of the Indian Ocean; pausing only to kiss the white sand enclosed in the bay, as if framing nature’s own handiwork.
The combination of privacy and space lends an unparalleled sense of relaxation. The hilltop spa is the jewel in the crown of this piece of paradise lost; sitting as it does, stop the jungle on a granite outcrop, with breathtaking views out over the turquoise and azure waters. Time not spent in the blissful surrounds of the treatment room are spent staring out onto the horizon of the glass walled relaxation area, sipping iced tea made from cinnamon leaves picked in the resort. Four Seasons signature service is provided with added local charm throughout, while the tropical birdsong, cinnamon trees and frangipani are pure Seychelles.
Cities are growing at a phenomenal rate and as they expand the demands and pockets of the dwellers call for the growth of luxury hotels, the types of hotels that create an oasis of luxury, refinement and comfort that only a few visionary hoteliers can provide. The World Travel takes you on a tour of cities, modern and ancient, to discover luxury in your own neighborhood.
The Leela Palace New Delhi is one of the finest architectural marvels built from ground up in the last thirty years in downtown Delhi. Built in the shape of a butterfly, this visual spectacle is ensconced in the heart of Chanakyapuri, blending seamlessly with its majestic surraoundings. Evocative of the Lutyer’s Delhi, the hotel,exemplifies the splendid tradition, grace and elegance of the colonia era with a serene and refined ambience of a personal palace.
Located in historical heart of city centre on the Vitava river,just steps from all major historical monuments, with views of Charles Brodge and Prague Castle, Four Seasons Hotel Prague emerged from the careful assembly of four distinct buildings on the banks of the Vitava River. Each originates in a different era: Renaissance, Classical, Baroque and modern. Preserving period details has been the priority of the present-day architects who have transformed the buildings into one of Central Europe’s finest hotels while maintaining the charming character of the Old Town.
Fronting the world famous Bund with spectacular views of the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong and the gardens of the former British Consulate, The Peninsula Shanghai creates extraordinary moments by blending with the historic architecture of its landmark neighbors for a stylish fusion of Art Deco-Inspired glamour.
Cape Grace has held pride of place on its own quay in the V&A Waterfront for the past 16 years, maintaining and increasing its reputation for ultimate style, luxury and service in the perfect waterside setting.
Cape Grace’s sense of place is emphasised by stylish interiors inspired by Cape Town’s heritage and unique floral kingdom. 17th century maritime history is reflected in silk drapes hand-scribed from original ship’s logbooks and carefully hand-painted tapestries and murals, while natural history is celebrated through beautiful botanical images.
Encircled by Table Mountain, the yacht marina, a working harbour and the bustling V&A Waterfront, there is no doubt that the Cape Grace is the ultimate destination in Cape Town.
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, located on the shores of the magnificient Bosphorus overlooking the ancient city offers the ultimate in luxury and glamour of a genuine Ottoman Palace. With its splendid style, superb location, fascinating view and its resort ambiance including a spacious green garden with palm trees, the only Ottoman Imperial Palace & Hotel on the Bosphorus, ensures an unforgettable stay in the city where East meets West, Europe meets Asia and history meets contemporary.
The spa managed by Sanitas offers an infinity pool which gives its guests the feeling of floating on the Bosphorus and an authentic Turkish Bath, an indoor pool,a jakuzzi saunas and a wide variety of treatments from skin care to ayurvedic massages.
High in the Andes, at 3,000 metres above sea level, lies the historic city of Cuzco, famed for its unique blend of Spanish and Inca cultures – a gateway to one of the great wonders of the world, the ruins of Machu Picchu. Right beside the lively Cuzco central square is Hotel Monasterio, a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592. This delightful Orient-Express hotel combines its centuriesold charm and ambience with luxury hotel service, inspired restaurants and boutique rooms and suites. The Hotel Monasterio was created through the transformation of a 16th Century Spanish monastry,located adjacent to the Nazarene Convent which is also part of the hotel buildings.
The Connaught, the legendary Mayfair hotel built in 1897, has opened its doors on Carlos Place after an extensive restoration and renovation programme. The detailed work includes a magnificent redesign of the guest rooms, suits and interiors, as well as the United Kingdom’s first ever Aman Spa, a David Collins’ designed penthouse, a delightful Japanese influenced garden created by renowned landscape artist Tom Stuart-Smith, and a Ballroom for international and local Mayfair events.
Part of the Fullerton Heritage precinct, The Fullerton Bay Hotel opened on 8 July 2010 with 100 rooms and suites. At its prime waterfront location at Marina Bay, the luxury hotel exudes a classical and elegant atmosphere that aptly captures Singapore’s modernity while upholding its heritage. Completely built over water,the hotel is a stunning jewel-like addition to the renowned Marina Bay waterfront, and is illuminated by the setting sun. Well- positioned in the heart of the Central Business District, the hotel is ensconced between the iconic heritage buildings, Clifford Pier and Customs House. Both buildings played important roles in Singapore’s history and saw the arrival of many of Singapore’s early settlers. Nestled in the vibrant financial,arts and cultural precinct,the hotel is located with immediate proximity to the bustling dining and entertainment hubs, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, as well as cultural centres Chinatown, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Singapore Art Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Baroque Rome, the City of Bernini, Borromini and Pietro da Cortona, admired daily by the tourists who stroll through its streets and piazzas,finally has a hotel that brings back to life,with a refined touch, the design lines and decor typical of the patrician villas of the venerable noble families of Rome at the end of the 1600’s, reviving all the sumptuous luxury and wealth of the Roman Baroque. Luxuriant and regal, Splendide Royal is located in the noble heart of a City which was and is once again an intersection of cultures and communication. The historic late 19th century palace,just a short walk from the famed Via Veneto, is today a luxury five stars hotel: the style is rich and opulent.
The Ritz-Carlton returned to New York’s Central Park South on the site of the former St. Moritz Hotel. This prime location, on the corner of Central Park South and Sixth Avenue in the heart of Manhattan, affords unrivalled views of Central Park and the city skyline. The hotel is within easy walking distance of the city’s best shopping and favourite tourist attractions, including the shops and boutiques of Fifth Avenue, Lincoln Centre, the Museum of Modern Art and Carnegie Hall.
One will be forgiven to associate words such as sweat, uncomfortable and rough lodging when one thinks of taking on a safari. We are here to tell you that you can now associate words such as grandeur, extravagance and self-indulgence when thinking of trekking, safari and wildlife excursions. World Travel takes you on an adventure to luxury lodges and resorts where you can safari in style.
The Line Sands Private Game reserve is a name bound for greatness. Located about 490km north east of Johannesburg, this family owned location has a rich history dating back to 1933. Passed down for four generations, Kingston has grown and developed into the Lions Sands Private Game Reserve. This gem that shares the bank of the Sabie River with The Kruger National park offers timeless elegance and luxury comfortably cradled by the rustic, untouched African bush.
Luxurious and elegant, Singita Sasakwa Lodge enjoys a spectacular, elevated setting offering breathtaking views of the Serengeti plains within Tanzania’s Singita Grumeti. With its trun-of-the century charm and dignified air,it is reminiscent of a stately home with nine exquisitely styled, spacious one, two and three-bedroom cottages, and a four-bedroom villa.
The Oberoi vanyavilas is a luxury jungle resort located adjacent to the Ranthambhore National Park. The resort is the ideal base from which to explore the territory of the majestic tiger. The resort combines the exhilaration of jungle adventure with the luxury of 25 elegantly appointed, spacious tents that blend seamlessly into their serene natural surroundings of a meandering watercourse, and fragrant mango and lime trees. The Luxury Tents measuring over 790 square feet each feature an elegantly appointed bedroom, a walk-in closet and a spacious four feature bathroom. Each Luxury Tent includes a private terrace around its perimeter overlooking a private garden that is surrounded by a traditional Rajasthani mud wall,according complete privacy to the residents.
Wild Bush Luxury’s strikingly beautiful Bamurru Plains property is a unique wilderness lodge, located on the Mary River Floodplains in Australia’s Northern Territory. Situated on a working buffalo station,the privately-owned property has been designed to expose guests to the extraordinary nature around them, and brings a touch of luxury to a remote location. Just 20 minutes from Darwin by light aircraft, or three hours by car, Bamurru Plains provides a spectacular setting for an exceptional experience in Australia’s Top End region. An astounding abundance of bird and wildlife make the 300 km² property their home to which visitores have exclusive access. Guests encounter tens of thousands of magpie geese mingling with whistling kites, egrets,herons,crocodile and buffalo on the floodplain,while blue-winged koookaburras. parrots, cockatoos and agile wallabies inhabit the fringing woodlands.
Lying as it does in the very heart of the Okavango Delta, the Jao Concession embodies all the magic and mystique of Botswana. Each year floodwater flows into the Okavango Delta from its source in the moist African highlands over 1000 km away, creating a unique wetland that supports and sustains the huge diversity of wildlife in the Okavango Delta. Narrow water channels cut their way through the papyrus and reed beds in the permanent delta to the north and east of the Jao Concession, beautiful lush palm islands dot the water, begging to be explored. In the central region of the concession, Jao Camp lies in the southern side of the plains, an area with beautiful islands fringed with riverine forests.
A visit to a luxury spa while on a vacation, in our books, counts as a double vacation. Countless of our readers mail in to us about their luxury spa experiences and based on a simple scan of these, we can confidently reveal the secret to a successful vacation – spend the first and last day of the vacation in a luxury spa and get pampered to the hilt. There are of course the few lucky ones among us who get to spend each and every one of their vacation days, living the high life in a luxury spa. World Spa and Travel presents to you our pick of the five best destination spas in the world.
COMO Shambhala Estate is a residential health retreat with luxury villa-style accommodations near Ubud, Bali. This ‘retreat for change’ occupies an extraordinary 23-acre location featuring The Source, a natural spring locally revered for its healing properties. As a place to relax and improve individual wellbeing the Estate takes a personalised approach to health. Whether the goal is fitness, detoxification, stress-management or just a health-boosting break,the Estate’s Resident Experts, including a Yoga Master, Ayurvedic Doctor, Nutritionist and teachers in Tai’Chi, Qigong and other martial arts, work together to create purposeful healing programmes to mend mind, body and spirit.
When it is time to pause the frenetic pace and rediscover senses dulled by the incessant demands of life, there is a place called Maia Luxury Resort & Spa- offering something more than just breathtaking views. Maia is a place to restore yourself. The private villas all boast their own infinity pools, a submerged outdoor double bath and a secluded gazebo with an oversized day bed. Guest can take advantage of the many private dining options available, whether it be on the beach, in the privacy of their villa or under the stars on the hill top.
Les Sources de Caudalie, located among the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a Graves great growth, was established in 1999. A true hamlet, like so many others in the Aquitaine region, Les Sources de Caudalie has been environmentally friendly from the very beginning. Pioneer of a concept invented in France a decade ago, at a time when only beauty centers and thalassotherapy centers existed, the Caudalie Vinothérapie spa continues to combine the virtues of naturally warm spring water (that comes from a depth of over 540 meters) combined with vine and grape extracts. This 1,500 m2 spa offers exclusive well-being treatments based on vine and grape- based products, such as the famous Crushed Cabernet scrub, Honey and Wine Wrap, Barrel Bath, and Winemaker’s Massage.
A unique destination spa located in the tranquil Himalayan foothills, close to the spiritual cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh,Ananda is surrounded by graceful Sal forests and majestic Himalayan mountains. Overlooking the holy river Ganga as it meanders into the distance, Ananda is not just a retreat that will leave you breathless with the enchantment of its surroundings, but assistes in redefining lifestyles through its renowned well programs. Ananda integrates the well-known traditional Indian wellness regimes of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta to bring about the union of mind, body and soul.
Kenoa an exclusive beach spa & resort is located on Brazil’s stunning northeastern coast 30 km south of Maceió, caressed by an emerald-colored, seemingly infinite ocean and miles of pristine white beach. Its position just nine degrees south of the equator ensures year-round summer temperatures. The kenoa spa is a wellness sanctuary, a private retreat, where all five senses are pampered. Here you are invited to surrender to the synergy of kenoa spa’s myriad choice of artful treatments. Slow down, feel safe, and let go of old habits. The space weaves the elements of air, fire, earth and water into a singular subliminal message of colors,flavors,scents,textures and sounds.
This corner of the world is a magnet for travellers seeking the exotic, oriental, royal and historic. Be it the destination, the food or the shopping, between the backpackers to the Louis Vuitton bag pushers, this region offers something unique to every pallet and for every wallet size. Among the hundreds of amazing resorts and destination hotels, World Travel present to you our pick of the ten best destination hotel & resorts of Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Retrace the steps of Nizams, European royalty, enchanting Begums, distinguished Heads of State and walk the walk of Kings through this Palace in the sky. Bought over in 1895 and used as the residence of Nizam VI until 1911, Falaknuma Palace later went on to be used as a royal guesthouse for dignitaries, including free India’s first President Dr.Rajendra Prashad who availed of its famed, lavish hospitality in 1951.
2000 feet above Hyderabad, Taj Falaknuma Palace’s 60 beautifully refurbished and lovingly restored rooms allow one to journey into the clouds and into the gilded ages, where grandeur and excess is celebrated and savoured in equal measure.
The Taj Falaknuma Palace, built entirely of Lime stone and mortar, still breathes a sense of Renaissance royalty through the colonnaded verandah, while the blue grey edifice glows golden with the setting sun.
Amanjiwo (‘peaceful soul’) rests in the rural heartland of Central Java. With the bluff Menoreh Hills rearing up behind it and no less than four volcanoes punctuating the horizon, the resort is cradled in a natural amphitheatre. In the middle distance, rising above the rice fields of the Kedu Plain, lies the splendour of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist sanctuary in the world. In hompage to Borobudur, Amanjiwo’s major architectural motif of circles, squares and crescents echoes its design, the centuries old patterns of grand temple architecture that once filled the nearby plains and slopes of Central Java. Regardless of where you stand in the resort, the view continues to point toward Borobudur.
Udaipur, the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar, one of the oldest surviving dynasties in the world, is set charmingly on Lake Pichola, against the dramatic backdrop of the Aravalli Hills. The city, with its rich and beguiling tapestry of lakeside palaces, forts, temples and bustling bazaars has earned the dual distinction of being India’s most fabled and romantic city.
Located in this tranquil and salubrious setting, The Oberoi Udaivilas is conceived as a traditional Indian palace. Magnificently recreating the romance of the past and yet complete in keeping with the 21st century. this luxury hotel reflects its inspiration. Spread over 30 acres of rambling landscape on the banks of Lake Pichola, the hotel features courtyards and walkways,gentle rippling fountains,reflecting pools and verdant gardens.
The Peninsula Bangkok is a perfect mix of timeless elegance, and contemporary comforts and technologies. The hotel’s distinctive waved-shaped design affords each of its 370 rooms and suits with stunning panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River. With unrivalled hotel facilities. The Peninsula Bangkok features the magnificent Peninsula Spa offering treatments layer Thai, European and Ayurvedic philosophies for an entirely new experience.
The iconic Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, which will be celebrating “50 Fantastic Years” in 2013, is the epitome of contemporary luxury combined with oriental heritage. Having delighted guests with its award-winning service and impressive facilities since 1963, it is the much-loved address of those seeking an exclusive sanctuary in the heart of this exciting metropolis. Located in Hong Kong’s Central district, this legendary hotel is only steps away from the city’s finest shopping, entertainment and historical areas, offering the perfect location for both leisure and business travellers. The Mandarin Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong offers a haven of tranquillity in the heart of the hotel. Honouring the hotel’s Chinese heritage and original design, The Mandarin Spa provides holistic rejuvenation and relaxation in a meditative setting designed to soothe the body, mind and spirit.
Qualia, Hamilton Island’s world class luxury resort on the Great Barrier Reef is a uniquely Australian property on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Situated on Hamilton Island’s sun-drenched northern-most tip with breathtaking views of the surrounding Whitsunday Islands and tranquil Coral Sea, qualia’s unique design combines a sense of space, openness and harmony that draws the outside in. Set amongst native Eucalypts, the 60 luxurious pavilions are an indulgent space to unwind in, with either a sundeck or private infinity edge plunge pool.
One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives is located on North Male’ Atoll, one of 26 natural atolls scattered across 90,000 square kilometres of Indian Ocean. Its spectacular shape creates six kilometres of stunning coastline with 12 beaches – ample space to grace each and every villa with an ocean view, a generous private verandah, and over-water deck or stretch of powdersoft sand. Sleek and spectacular, with unprecedented privacy, One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives inspires extraordinary journeys for the soul.
This stunning backcountry retreat sits along the serene northern shores of Lake Wakatipu, amid a majestic backdrop of towering alpine peaks just outside Queenstown. Lofty beamed ceilings, massive rock fireplaces and vast picture windows frame the heroic stone and timber Lodge with its Great Room and other amenites. Among the sporting diversions are an outdoor lap pool, bush walks, guided fly fishing, jet boating and horse-back riding.
The internationally acclaimed luxury lodge Saffire Freycinet rests peacefully by the coastal waters of Tasmania, Australia’s island state. Distinct in its design and set apart by its approach to uncompromising service, Saffire is dedicated to providing quality, memorable experiences; indulgent and self-selected dining options; inspiring accommodation spaces; and leaving guests with an overall sense of wellbeing and relaxation.
The island of Boracay in the Philippines has been recognized as one of the best beaches in the world for its powdery-white sands and clear blue waters. It is a short 55-minute flight from Manila. For guests of Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa, the holiday begins from the airport followed by a 15-minute scenic tour of the island on board the private speed boat which carry them directly to the resort’s own jetty at the northern tip of the island. The resort is home to a secluded spa village called CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, sitting closest to the serene eco-reserve.
The old dame of the travel world, it is the dream of every parent to tour this historic continent at least once in a lifetime and the dream of every youth to party and rave in the happening and lively cities of this beautify continent. As the value of the euro takes a beating, this once pricy luxury circuit offers good value. World Travel picks the ten best hotels and resorts in this region based on charm, luxury and style that only Europe can provide.
La Bastide de Marie is a blend of hotel and guesthouse, located in the heart of the Domaine de Marie’s 57 acres of vineyards, offering an idyllic break in Provence. Between Gordes and Ménerbes, you will spot an elegant 18th century residence: a typical country farm restored with respect for the pure tradition of the Provencal “mas”. Nestling among 23 hectares of vines, La Bastide de Marie shines out with a splendour rooted in authenticity. A driveway bordered by cyprus trees, century-old olive trees and enchantingly scented lavender bushes leads up to the house.
Hotel Arts Barcelona boasts stunning panoramic views from its unique location on the waterfront, in the heart of the city’s Olympic Village area. Designed by renowned architect Bruce Graham, Hotel Art features 44 floors of exposed glass and steel making it a prominent feature of Barcelona’s skyline. Guests seeking a serene escape may enjoy singnature treatments in the 43rd floor Spa by Six Senses Spas. An oasis of calm and spiritual wellbeing, in the city but just a few metres from heaven.
Gracing the Southern tip of the Cap d’Antibes, the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is an enigmatic sanctuary served by true artisans dedicated to a 140- year legacy of exemplary hospitality. A scenic 20-minutes drive from Nice International Airport ,the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is set amongst 22 exclusive acres of ornamental gardens and pine forest with pristine coastline and inspirational views of the Mediterranean.
The Dorchester, on Park Lane in London’s Mayfair, was built in 1931 on a site where British nobles had lived during the 18th and 19th centuries. Sir Robert McAlpine, vowing to create a luxury hotel that would “rank as the finest in Europ,” bought the site with Gordon Hotels in 1929. For almost 80 years, The Dorchester has played host to the noble and noteworthy: Prince Philip hosted his bachelor’s party on the eve of his wedding to Queen Elizabeth II in the hotel’s Park Suite; General Dwight D.Eisenhower planned the Normandy Invasion from his suite. Calling The Dorchester a hotel is like calling champagne a fizzy drink orcaviar a sandwich spread. The hotel rejects bland luxury in favour of an unabashed celebration of opulence in décor, a level of service that is nearly telepathic, and food and wine that is gloriously over the top.
Located on the famous Amalfi drive, just a few minutes away from the famous town of Amalfi,the Santa Caterina enjoys a panoramic coastal setting of incomparable beauty. The hotel is situated at the summit of an extensive property, which begins along the Amalfi drive and tumbles down to the water on a series of landscaped natural terraces. Elevators and scenic garden paths transport guests past citrus groves and gardens to the seaside level, which includes a sea water heated swimming pool and sunbathing decks. Winters are mild in Amalfi,spring comes very early and summer ends late, with a Mediterranean Summer that extends well into the autumn months.
Located on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne, the Hôtel Plaza Athenee is only a few steps away from the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. It has welcomed since 1913 the most high-profile and distihguished guests in the world. Perfect mix between tradition and modernity, the hotel offers rooms and suites including the Royal Suite,true Parisian apartment and the Eiffel Suites with its staggering views on the Eiffle Tower. In addition to its five restaurants,among which the Relais Plaza,the chicest of Parision Brasseries, and the Galerie des Gobelins,the perfect place to savour the hotel’s French pastries, created by Christophe Michalak, the hotel boasts a wonderful bar which is a perfect mix between modernity and tradition. The Director Thierry Hernandez has developed audacious and creative cocktails that continually astonish and wow the A-list of Parisian beauties.
For almost two hundred years, the Hotel Le Meurice has entwined its history with the history of France, the splendour of Paris and the aspirations of the world. Since the moment of its creation, Le Meurice has borne aloft the inspiration of the pomp and pageantry of Versailles, of Kings and Queens in their palaces, their gardens and their festivities. Undoubtedly, France has made its art of living one of the ultimate expressions of its culture, and Le Meurice has elevated this art to the rank of fine art. A classical sense of measure and harmonious proportions,a love of beauty but also a taste for flourish and fantasy confer on Le Meurice its grace, spirit and style. Le Meurice takes the art of being and well-being to its apogee with personalised attention to guests, excellence in service, and deliciously refined cuisine.
The sumptuous surroundings of the Hotel Imperial were originally created in 1863 as the Vienna residence of the prince of Württemberg. The stately palace on the magnificent Ring Boulevard was tranformed into the Hotel Imperial for the universal exhibition in 1873. The hotel gained renown around the world as a byword for discretion and impeccable service. The Hotel Imperial takes pride in pampering and delighting discerning travellers, those who are accustomed to staying at the best addresses.
Situated at the heart of a major European crossroad, Beau-Rivage Palace enjoys not only its nearness to the heart of Lausanne but also its fame as a haven of peace and quiet on the shores of Lac Leman. Stars in the history of the century, Victor Hugo, Camille Saint-Saens, Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel, Gary Cooper, Nelson Mandela and many more have one thing in common – they have all walked up on the marble and velvet of the Beau-Rivage Palace.
The Mykonos Grand is a unique resort on the beautiful island of Mykonos in Greece, barely three miles from Mykonos Town, on one of the island’s most famous beaches Ayios Yiannis known for the glorious sunsets as seen on the movie Shirley Valentine that was filmed here.The resort’s Cycladic architecture of cube shaped whitewashed buildings linked by pathways and terraces is combined with classic interior ambience. The resort’s facilities include an outstanding spa where Greek inspired massages can be held in cabanas by the sea and an impressive stone-built amphitheatre for inspiring yoga sessions.
Best Africa & Middle East
Between Asia, Europe and Americas, people tend to skip over Africa and the Middle East in a hurry. From the luxury and stylish over the top hotels in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia to the rustic and beautiful hotels in Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco or the idyllic island hotels of Seychelles, this piece of land has a lot to offer. World Travel picks the ten best hotels and resorts in this region based on elegance and lifestyle.
A place epitomising the term “barefoot luxury”, North Island is a truly unspoilt tropical retreat 30km from the main island of Mahé. After a comprehensive rehabilitation and conservation plan known as the Noah’s Ark Project, the island is now a spectacular tropical retreat. With 11 individually handcrafted guest villas on the island, accommodation is spacious and elegant. North Island enjoys private isolation within the Inner Island group of the Seychelles.
Located in inspiring surroundings, overlooking turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs, North Island’s spa provides a unique treatment. This is an experience of luxury, and is unencumbered, uninhibited, in touch, in tune, at ease and at peace.
The now-famous’no menu’ concept presides over guests’ culinary encounter, where the island’s chef develops a personalized daily carte du jour based on every guest’s preferences and desires. Balanced, delectable and attractive, each meal is a feast to stimulate the senses.
In Burj Al Arab’s relatively short tenure on the Dubai coastline, the legendary and symbolic hotel has attracted international attention. Designed to resemble a billowing sail, Burj Al Arab soars to a height of 321 metres, dominating the Dubai skyline. Illuminating at night by choreographed lighting representing water and fire – Burj Al Arab is simply unique, inspiring and impressive.
Your luggage is collected, your passports stamped, and your limousine service is waiting, all while you enjoy Arabic hospitality in Ahlan’s Dubai International Airport Lounge. You are escorted through customs and into your car for the easy 90-minute drive across the mountains to the East Coast of Oman’s Musandam Peninsula.
The rocky Hajar Mountains stretch skyward to the clear blue sky, silently protecting the 1.6 km stretch of sandy beach and azure water at Six Senses Zighy Bay Resort and Spa. Tantalize your senses: feel the sand beneath your toes with a walk through the traditional Omani-style village; observe marine life up close with a snorkel or scuba; listen as your sunset dhow cruise glides through waves, washing away the sounds of the city; smell fresh herbs emanating from your beach barbecue; taste culinary delights of Oman’s Musandam Peninsula; ascend as the healing hands in the award-winning Spa take you beyond.
Following an extensive restoration project led by internationally acclaimed interior designer, Jacques Garcia, La Mamounia re-opened in 2009 with stylish guest rooms, suites and Riads. The legendary hotel, which has hosted the “who’s who” of international royalty, politicians, celebrities and the jet set, is regarded as a notable and desirable hotel. Situated on the edge of the walls of the old city of Marrakech, La Mamounia is named after its legendary 200-year-old gardens, originally given as an 18th century wedding gift to Prince Moulay Mamoun by his father, King Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah. Today the gardens at La Mamounia cover almost 20 acres with an enviable variety of flora and fauna. Since the hotel originally opened in 1923, La Mamounia has been symbolic of traditional Moroccan hospitality and a classic example of the great age of grand hotels.
One & Only Cape Town is a destination unto itself – an urban chic waterfront resort providing an unprecedented level of luxury in South Africa. In the heart of the picturesque Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with captivating views of Table Mountain, this contemporary resort features the finest accommodation in Cape Town, with a stylish island design and Africa flair. Located on its very own private island lies an exclusive, unparalleled spa retreat. One & Only Spa offers tailored holistic experiences, ranging from pure relaxation to unique and signature wellness journeys.
The Oyster Bay is like staying with friends, a beautiful large home and garden with eight luxurious ocean facing guest suites, spacious in the extreme in contemporary African style, in a timeless setting – balmy, equatorial, coastal, Dar es Salaam.
Delaire Graff Estate with two outstanding restaurants, a state-of the-art winery, exclusive Lodges, a destination Spa and two luxury boutiques is nestled between majestic mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch. Striking Cape Dutch architecture meets African artifacts and styling, with original artworks on display throughout, represnting some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists. Perched on the slopes of the magnificent Helshoogte mountain pass and surrounded by sweeping views across stunning vineyards and mountains towards Stellenbosch, the Lodge and Spa is accessible yet secluded.
At the heart of the capital Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a palatial retreat waiting to be discovered. The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh is a majestic and elegant oasis located within 52 acres of luxuriantly landscaped gardens, abundant water fountains, Chorisia trees, native palms and 600-year-old olive trees. As befittings a hotel of such imperial stature, guests are offered a selection of gourmet dining venues, including Al Orjouan, the signature all-day dining buffet restaurant featuring Lebanese favourites and Turquoise, the cigar lounge that will be home to one of the widest selection of Cuban cigars in Saudi Arabia.
Built as an iconic landmark showcasing Arabian culture and hospitality at its finest, Emirates Place has created an enviable niche in luxury hospitality, welcoming world leaders, celebrities, global business travellers and leisure guests with a truly memorable and unique experience, luxurious contemporary facilities and amenities in comfortable and traditional Arabian surroundings with personalized world class service.
At Great Plains Conservation’s ol Donyo Lodge, a partnership with the original owners of the land, guests stay in a new luxury version of the historic ol Donyo safari lodge, keeping the essence of the old.
The United States is home to some of the classic and renowned names in travel. The name of these grand ladies – Four Seasons New York, Bellagio Las Vegas or the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills epitomizes class, service and excellence. The immediate neighbors of the United States of America, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean also offer a variety of luxury offerings in unique locations. World Travel picks the ten best hotels and resorts in this region based on elegance, lifestyle and charm.
Bellagio is about things that are good for the soul – fine dining, gardens, flowers, art and fashion. The goal, from the outset, seems to be to create a hotel that would exemplify absolute quality while emphasizing elegance and romance – in the literary sense – a place of ideal beauty and comfort; the world everyone hopes for, as it might be if everything were just right. Inspired by the beautiful villages of Europe, the Bellagio overlooks a Mediterranean-blue eight-acre lake in which fountains perform a magnificent aquatic ballet choreographed to music and lights. Elegantly appointed accommodations, pairing modern conveniences with the warmth of home, feature sweeping vistas of the resort’s lake, surrounding mountains and world-famous Las Vegas skyline. At Spa & Salon Bellagio, an international array of innovative treatments and specially trained therapists provide the ultimate indulgence. The Spa’s menu incorporates a fusion of treatments discovered around the world and perfected at the resort. Distinct services include Watsu, Thai Yoga Massage, Danze Delle Mani Massage and Ashiatsu Massage, performed with the feet. A beautiful and serene Meditation Room, surrounded by water walls and glowing candles, offers an ideal place to read, meditate or simply relax. The exquisite beauty of the lush Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, an intimate wedding chapel, luxury retail shopping, an elegant casino and a wide range of nightlife entertainment add to the symphony that is Bellagio.
Four Seasons New York, rises elegantly over Manhattan’s premier shopping and business district between Park and Madison Avenues. Boasting oversized guest rooms and suites, this I. M. Pei-designed architectural icon features stunning views and a gracious style, and boasts an urban renewal spa and fitness center, The Bar known for its martinis, TY Lounge and The Garden Restaurant. Its crown jewel, the Ty Warner Penthouse suite is one of the most expensive suites on top of New York’s tallest hotel 52 stories high. As much a suite as a multi-layered work of art, the Ty Warner Penthouse Suite offers spacious rooms with cantilevered glass balconies and floor-to-ceiling, 360 degree views of all Manhattan.
Nestled along the shores of scenic Lake Austin in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Lake Austin Spa Resort offers guest the sanctury of a world-class spa and the warmth of a best friend’s lake house. Included in every visit to this award-winning destination spa are healthful meals prepared by Excutive Chef Stephane Beaucamp,a variety of indoor and outdoor fitness activities and classes, educational programs, more than 100 spa services at the 25,000-square foot LakeHouse Spa and a setting that beckons rest and relaxation upon first glance. With just 40 rooms, guests receive personalized attention and relish in the southern hospitality that greets them upon arrival. From cooking classes and garden tours to stand up paddleboarding and boat cruises on Lake Austin, guests pack their schedule with activities yet always make time for a nap in a hammock on the shores of the lake.
In an enchanting artists’ village nestled in the mountains north of Mexico City, the resort of Rosewood San Miguel de Allende has risen among the handsome colonial villas, cobblestone lanes and church spires of central Mexico’s oldest town. Cradled within the historical heart of downtown San Miguel de Allende, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors enjoy near perfect weather, offering the perfect balance between summer and spring — an ideal climate in which to enjoy a variety of al fresco experiences.
Enchantment Resort lives up to its spectacular setting with architecture and activities that pay tribute to the history of this colorful region. Guests enjoy exploring the hiking trails and ancient ruins amidst the Secret Moutain Wilderness as a delightful contrast to the luxurious splendor of the resort’s world class dining and destination spa. It all adds up to a truly enchanting experience.
Tucked away at the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California’s wine country, CordeValle, A Rosewood Resort is a hidden gem that combines the extraordinary beauty of an awe-inspiring natural landscape with the convenience and hospitality of a luxury resort. Sprawling over almost 1,700 acres and cradled in a valley surrounded by rolling Northern California countryside, CordeValle is a sanctuary of gently undulating meadows, tree-dotted hills, seasonal creeks and waterfalls. Masterfully managed by luxury resort expert Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, CordeValle also boasts the 85-acre Clos LaChance winery and vineyard.
King Pacific Lodge is anchored along the shore of Barnard Harbor, Princess Royal Island in British Columbia, Canada; about 380 miles north of Vancouver. The island has no permanent inhabitants or structures and this highly sensitive enviroment is in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, the world’s largest remaining tract of temperate rainforest. In 2006, a coalition of native people, the British Columbian government and private enterprise took a visionary stance and placed in protection 21 million acres of the world’s largest expanse of intact temperate rainforest to safeguard it for future generations. A floating luxury wilderness lodge built of native pine,fir,cedar and stone on a 120 x 60 square foot barge,the lodge is operational from June through September. The lodge is towed from its winter home in Prince Rupert to its summer operational location in Barnard Harbor.
Situated in Las Terrenas on the North East coast of the Dominican Republic, The Peninsula House is an exclusive guest house over looking the Playa Coson & the Atlantic ocean. With it’s true Victorian Colonial architecture, decorated with antiques and objects, The Peninsula House takes you to an era gone by.
You haven’t really done Napa if you haven’t been to Auberge du Soleil. What began as a fine California- French restaurant created by Claude Rouas, a leading San Francisco restaurateur, has evolved into one of America’s most sought-after small luxury hotels. Perched high on the hill above the valley, the separate villas are like little bird’s nests looking out over the whole Jurassic wondrousness. There are logburners and the most dreamlike beds. The restaurant is incredible and you can’t help but take up clean living at this 33 acre olive grove, the food and wines are locally sourced and the spa uses Napa’s own grapes, olive and flowers.
A history-rich luxury hotel in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, Beverly Wilshire presents fresh, contemporary rooms and luxury suites. Beverly Wilshire is located just steps away from one of the most famous luxury shopping districts in the world. With more than 80 boutiques to choose from, the Hotel’s concierge can arrange for a private shopping experience along Rodeo Drive.
The Incas prophecy of 2012 may have been misinterpreted but there is no denying that 2013 will see more interest in South America than ever before. The tapestry of mountains, lakes and forests of Patagonia, the rich culture and history clubbed with the thriving cities of Chile, Argentina and Brazil work in sync to offer an alternate that is exciting and insiring. World Spa and Travel present to you our pick of the five best destination hotels in this region.
The Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa seeks to open a traveler’s eyes, to explore, to feel, to connect, and to return revitalized and changed by a truly authentic experience one will never forget. The Lodge is located in the Catarpe Valley, 3km from the village San Pedro de Atacama in Chile’s northern desert, the driest in the world. Known for its Mars-like landscape, high Andean culture, and ethereal ambiance,the Lodge offers more than 30 adventurous excursions to visit geysers, hot springs, climb volcanoes, mountain bike through stark desert canyons and more.
Located in Nahuel Huapi National Park, in the Argentinean Patagonia, Llao Llao, is perched on a small hill between lakes Nahuel Huapi and Moreno, framed by lakes, woods and the Andean peaks. Built by architect Alejandro Bustillo in 1938, the Canadian- style building with Norman roof tiles and visible cypress logs blending with the region’s green stone, the Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Golf Spa is an attraction that should not be missed when visiting Argentina.
Uxua’s casas range from restored fisherman houses facing the town’s historic Quadrado, to a sleekly opulent but ecologically-conscious treehouse and other innovative homes hidden in a lush garden of nearly six thousand square meters. All 10 casas have been designed and decorated by Wilbert Das in collaboration with local artisans using traditional building methods, reclaimed and organic materials, and Brazilian antiques and art. The rustic elements fuse with contemporary design, with open, airy rooms and a merging of indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Situated in the heart of Buenos Aires’ exclusive La Recoleta district, Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires is within easy reach of the capital’s business and cultural attractions. The hotel offers spacious rooms and luxury suites in La Recoleta, including seven one-of-a-kind suites in the adjacent belle epoque- style mansion.
Located on legendary Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Valparaiso, a land of legends, pirates and treasure. It is an absolute paradise for hikers, divers and sport fishers. The Lodge offers evrything guests may need for a perfect stay. A marvelous spa will enhance your senses while enjoying Pangal Bay view from the hot tubs located in the terrace. Spectacular excursions lead the guests to discover the most incredible stories and legends, where more than one may become true. Crusoe Island Lodge presents a unique journey from the beginning to the end, transforming simple holidays into a lifetime experience.
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