World Travel Magazine unveils its Seventh Edition of The 100 List.
World Travel Magazine unveils its Seventh Edition of The 100 List. The properties are selected with focus on service, desirability, exclusiveness, appeal, unique attributes and facilities, representing some of the finest and most luxurious hotels and resorts around the world.
The Leela Palace New Delhi
A visual feast of Indian architecture and finery
Perched right in the heart of Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave, The Leela Place is a five-star hotel bearing the splendour of Indian and European influences. The architectural wonder is embellished with sculptured pillars, grand marble backdrops and eclectic rooms that shine with an oriental glory. Marking the atmosphere of finery are a feast of flowers, posh rugs, and gilded furniture. At the top floor, revel in the grand spectacle of the city while dipping in the infinity pool, or admiring the golden-domed pavilions. The hotel conveniently sits right beside the Santushti Shopping Arcade and is a 10-minute drive from the India Gate. India
A palace fit for the present-day Rajas
Built upon the hunting grounds of the Maharana, Oberoi Udaivilas still retains the mythical air of old India. The sprawling 50-acre resort is drawn out from fairy-tales: beautifully domed palaces engulfed in lush, romantic gardens and a sapphire-blue poolside. Sitting beside it is Udaipur’s placid Lake Pichola, an invitation to ride in skikara boats. The courtyard is a treat for all the senses; a perfect place for outdoor frolics, yoga, or learning a traditional folk dance. Set in isolation, Oberoi Udaivilas is an oasis for the romanticists, urging guests to take a break from the city noise. Udaipur, India
The Peninsula Shanghai
A swanky escape into China’s blissful history
Tucked nearby Huangpu River and slated across the historic Bund, The Peninsula Shanghai is a highly beloved hotel that thrills with the spirit of Art Deco and the extravagance of the Orient. As a celebration of history, the hotel features a glass-encased replica of the Leoning at Rosamonde Lounge, and an antique lift inspired from the 1930s which takes guests from the basement to the second floor. The Peninsula Hotel is located adjacent to many of Shanghai’s landmarks, with spectacular views of Pudong from the balcony. China
The Siam Bangkok
An Art Deco oasis endowed with the cheerful Thai spirit
Perched along the cosmopolitan banks of Chaopraya River is The Siam, a heritage architecture designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley. Soaked in natural light and Bangkok’s cheerful weather, the hotel prides itself with opulent indoor gardens, an expansive pool and a memorable sunset cruise on a rice barge. One can ask for ‘sakyant,’ the mark of the adventurous, a sacred Thai tattoo tied with the country’s traditions. The Siam is only a few minutes away from old Bangkok and the vibrant Chinatown, making it a perfect choice for those who love sightseeing. Thailand
Umaid Bhawan Palace (Taj)
An otherworldly relic of India’s royalty
Set against the desert backdrop of Jodhpur, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is a grand architecture built between the years 1928 and 1943. The yellow sandstone expanse was part of Rajasthan’s legacy, exuding opulence almost similar to the iconic Taj Mahal. Still considered as a residence to the royals, the hotel is strewn with extraordinary luxury, from its Art Deco theme, grand courtyards, and breath-taking architectural details. Stroll through the Champagne Museum with a glass in hand while admiring the antiques. Perched atop Chittar Hill, the palace offers the panoramic views of the Blue City and the Mehrangarh Fort. Jodhpur, India
The Upper House, Hong Kong
Understated luxury that soothes the soul
Located at the Pacific Place, a glitzy shopping complex in Victoria Harbour, The Upper House is a quiet, unassuming property that peels one from the noise of the city. Blessed with a minimalist theme, one steps into a silent extravagance of creature comforts: a glass box lobby, transparent room numbers, and glorious geometrical lines as designed by spatial genius Andre Fu. An expansive art piece, lodged between the 43rd and 48th floors, accompanies one’s journey to serenity. While embracing the meditative interiors, guests can soak into the whimsical views of Victoria Harbour and the mist-covered mountains. China
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
A luxurious retreat to rejuvenate the mind and body
As guests cross the bridge suspended over tall, wooded trees, they enter a private sanctuary of meditative calm dipped in luxury. The Four Seasons pays homage to the cultural lineage of Bali with its rice-bowl shaped architecture set in the midst of the serene Ayung River Valley. The resort channels the sacred energy of the river and the surrounding woods into healing treatments that seek to restore the fragile balance between the mind, body, and spirit. With unique experiences, such as planting rice with local farmers, the luxury resort allows guests to get a true feel of the land and its quaint culture. Bali, Indonesia
InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
A luxury escape into the heartland of Vietnam
Perched atop a verdant hill, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort opens to a majestic view of the azure ocean that stretches on…languid and forever. Everything about the luxury resort is a creative and quirky nod to the intoxicating culture of Vietnam. The four levels – Heaven, Sky, Earth, and Sea – pay homage to the rich history and mythology of the land. There are exotic animals for company, as well as a private stretch of golden beach – a sanctuary of calm tranquillity. The resort is a seductive swirl of luxurious amenities, culinary artistry, and soothing spa treatments. Vietnam
Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai
A resplendent symbol of Shanghai’s 30s era
Along Nanjing Road East is a landmark close to Shanghai’s heart: the Fairmont Peace Hotel, whose green patina roof make it easily recognisable from the many high-rise buildings, and whose walls bear many stories to tell. The hotel has inspired much art; Charlie Chaplin has composed “Smile” on the lobby’s Steinway baby piano and in one of its quiet rooms, Noël Coward wrote Private Lives. Elegant yet moody with its dark-wood interiors, the hotel relives its golden era with its sought-after Jazz Bar accompanied with cocktails. China
Laidback luxury at its finest in the Maldives
Sparkling ocean views, spectacular overwater villas, and aquatic adventures make for memorable holidays at the Soneva Jani in the Maldives. This ultra-luxe resort sits on Medhufaru island surrounded by a turquoise lagoon in the Noonu Atoll. Tropical landscapes and powder beaches spark magical moments. Guests have many wonderful ways to pass the time from enjoying films under the sky at Cinema Paradiso to marvelling at the universe at the on-site observatory and exploring the scenery on two wheels, a sampling of special experiences here. Other standouts include dining at the acclaimed Crab Shack and intimate gatherings at the Wine Cellar. Maldives
An intimate romantic refuge by the bay.
Nature is nature and luxury is luxury…but the two do meet with a sprinkle of adventure at the Nihi Sumba. The resort unlocks a private access to the pristine destination of Nihiwatu, where the waves of the untamed sea often grace the golden beach. The hospitality offered reflects the natural surroundings – open, warm, and friendly as the breeze. What makes the Nihi Sumba stand apart is its commitment to maintain a harmonious balance with the island’s ecology and local populace. The much-awarded resort channels the unheralded freedom of the open ocean and the rugged terrain into a transcendental personal experience. Indonesia
The Oberoi Amarvilas
The eternal monument of love beckons
The large windows of the Oberoi Amarvilas open to the most iconic statement of love ever made – The Taj Mahal. The very sight of the marbled mausoleum is an experience that remains unforgettable. Seeped in the rich tradition of undying romanticism, the vintage hotel recreates the sentiment through their passionate service and luxurious hospitality. Set amidst a beautiful landscape of terraced lawns, clear pools, sparkling fountains, and airy pavilions, the very best of Indian culture and cuisine is presented with a sophisticated flourish. The Amarvilas is a testament to the timeless luxury of not just kings and queens, but emperors and empresses. Agra, India
The Oberoi Rajvilas
Royalty, aristocracy, and majestic Indian hospitality
A ‘Royal’ treatment awaits at the Rajvilas. The history of the renovated palace hotel is the history of buccaneering maharajas who welcomed friends and foes with a generous hospitality. The Oberoi is committed to keeping alive the rich Indian tradition, where guests are treated no less than Gods. The sprawling exterior of the palace hotel is reminiscent of a timeless luxury with landscaped gardens and traditional gazebos punctuated by reflection pools. The spacious rooms overflow with a regal opulence that is a signature of the aristocratic heritage. The Rajvilas is a true testament to the rich traditions of an ancient culture served with a modern twist. Jaipur, India
Bulgari Resort Bali
Breathtaking beauty on the Bukit Peninsula
Soaring 150 metres above the sea, the Bulgari Resort Bali in Uluwatu captivates with an arresting aesthetic combining Italian and Indonesian influences. Every turn at this exquisite resort reveals distinctive touches from rich exotic woods to elegant fabrics and original artwork throughout the property. Expansive villas and mansions offer guests a haven with each featuring a private plunge pool and patio hidden by a gorgeous tropical garden. Leisure time calls for unparalleled indulgence whether taking in panoramic views from the cliffside pool, nourishing the mind, body, and spirit with Asian spa therapies, or taking a short journey to explore Kutu nearby. Bali, Indonesia
Old and new combine for an enchanting stay
On Sentosa Island, the Capella Singapore provides a lovely, genteel escape with graciously appointed accommodations and gorgeous gardens and grounds. Spanning two late 19th century Tanah Merah colonial bungalows, the pristine property boasts a harmonious setting and elevated experiences starting with the refined rooms, suites, and villas featuring bespoke details and thoughtful touches by acclaimed interior designer Jaya Ibrahim. When it comes time to unwind, the five-star Auriga spa stimulates the senses with lunar- and Asian-inspired treatments tailored for guests. Gastronomical delights run the gamut from the savoury Cantonese selections at Cassia to creative Mediterranean fare at The Knolls. Singapore
The Temple House
An indulgence of the Buddhist heritage
Right inside the heart of bustling Chengdu is The Temple House, a luxury property that takes after a strong Buddhist legacy. Blending local traditions with modern elements, the spiritually soothing property is made by the London-based Make Architects, who renovated building within high-rising trees, inviting a visit from the local pandas. Beaming with an old-world beauty, the Temple House mimics a century-old Qing dynasty courtyard while staying fully equipped with present-day necessities. L-shaped columns frame the property, separating the gardens that offer views of Chengdu’s skyline. Inside, the interiors beam with minimalist philosophies in soft, natural colours, offering a Zen-like environment to its guests. Chengdu, China
Four Seasons The Nam Hai Hoi An
Experience the pristine splendour of the open sea
The open ocean and the endless horizon await at The Nam Hai. If not the sight of the pristine beach, then the gentle, serenading breeze will surely melt all stress away. The idyllic setting of the resort offers a luxurious space to unwind and reconnect, with the family or with a loved one. A sense of adventure also awaits with private kayak trips to the East Sea. For the more culturally inclined, three UNESCO World Heritage sites are located a short drive away. The Nam Hai recreates an authentic Vietnam with its signature cuisine, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. Vietnam
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
An intimate connect with laidback Thailand
Thailand is at its laid-back best at Koh Samui. With pristine, sandy beaches that stretch in a neat arc, entire days can be spent just staring at the open, blue sea, or listening to the calming breeze. The beach destination offers every imaginable comfort: from relaxing messages to therapeutic wellness treatments. The holiday experience is heightened with overnight yacht trips to unspoilt, exclusive islands on the Angthong National Marine Park where clear tropical waters teeming with colourful fishes await. The Koh Samui serves a private experience of a popular beach destination, far away from the maddening throng of tourists. Thailand
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Bangkok’s exalted legend, a magical escape
Set beside the serene Chao Phraya River, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok radiates nostalgia with its 19th -century old-world charm. The five-star hotel has been home to many of the world’s most prestigious guests, from the astronaut Neil Armstrong to Princess Diana of Wales. The riverside front inspires an air of quiet grace as teakwood shuttle boats glide along the water, offering an unconventional ride to the highly lauded Oriental Spa. Guests can enjoy this whimsical spectacle while lounging at the al fresco dining where during evenings, lanterns glow to magically illuminate the setting. Thailand
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel
Classic and contemporary converge in Vietnam
Set in the Hoan Kiem District in the heart of the old quarter, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Hotel transports travellers to another time with quaint colonial and neo-classical details and an alluring ambiance. Contemporary rooms and suites inspire pleasant stays with calming interiors, subtle accents, and modern conveniences. Diverse dining is on the menu with Haute brasserie Le Beaulieu serving French fare, Vietnamese favourites at Spice Garden Restaurant and refreshing New World cocktails at the Angelina whiskey lounge and bar. Of course, everyone deserves to indulge in downtime and the relaxing outdoor pool and luxurious spa are fabulous options. Vietnam
The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu
A cosmopolitan oasis at the heart of Western China
Overlooking Tianfu Square, home to Sichuan’s cultural landmarks, is an indulgence of modern comfort. The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu is the gift of the West to the blooming East, recalling the majestic glory of old courtyard homes in its interiors while combining touches of contemporary comforts. Luxurious damask embellishments, marble decor, and wood accents are made modern with the vision of skyrises from the large windows. In the middle of the building slithers an indoor swimming pool that cascades with underwater music. Intimate spa treatments and tea houses make one’s stay healing, while a trip to its highly lauded Li Xuan gives one a taste of Sichuanese and Cantonese flavours. China
The Peninsula Hong Kong
The majestic ancestor of Hong Kong’s luxury hotels
First erected in 1928, the Grand Old Lady of Hong Kong binds together the beauty of the past and the hope of the present. For the welcoming of luck, guests are greeted by a traditional Fu dog magnificently sculptured by Jim Dine. The metropolitan splendour continues inside, where rooms brim with extraordinary luxury while offering stunning views of Victoria Harbour. Its sought-after high tea and Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant treat one to new flavours. Lodged with an extravagant spa, an open-air terrace, an indoor pool and crowned with a helicopter pad, The Peninsula still reigns as one of the city’s best hotels, with no signs of stepping down. China
Park Hyatt Saigon
A refined retreat for discovering vibrant Vietnam
World travellers often set their sights on the Park Hyatt Saigon, a sublime hotel overlooking the Opera House on Lam Son Square in Ho Chi Minh City. The property is just a short stroll from notable attractions including the historic Notre Dame Cathedral and the beautiful buildings and boutiques along Dong Khoi. Inside, spacious rooms and suites bring together traditional furnishings with French Colonial-style design and feature exquisite artwork, handcrafted decor by local artisans, and modern amenities. For the ultimate in relaxation, the Xuan Spa harnesses the healing powers of the Mekong Delta with energising rituals incorporating essential lotus oils, plant extracts, and other natural elements. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Indian Ocean gifts, offered at its finest
A holiday retreat surrounded by deep blue waters and the open sky, set within the heart of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Lodged within the Baa Atoll, Four Seasons Resort is a 30-minute ride from the north of Malé; the most wonderful of secrets, after all, requires patience. Guests arrive at the sea-nested property that beams with Maldivian architecture. See the sprawling boulevard of palm trees, inhale the fresh scent of summer and walk through an open-air interior that weds one with the sea. From here, one has access to Indian Ocean’s unique marine biodiversity; catch a glimpse of the gentle whales or dance with them underneath the waters. Maldives
Taj Falaknuma Palace
A Victorian-style masterpiece set on Old Hyderabad
The former residence of Nizam of Hyderabad sits 2,000 feet above the city, looking below the hilltop with a masterful gaze. Stretching over 30 acres of land, the palatial wonder is made from pure Italian marble – an extravagance of the highest kind, as proposed by Princess Esra who began the hotel’s restoration. Furnished with modern conveniences, the property still retains its old glory – elaborate walls, sparkling chandeliers, marble frescos and canopied beds in burnished wood. A lush courtyard embraces the property from the outside, where guests can take cooking classes or sip their cocktails while enjoying the glorious sunset. Hyderabad, India
Taj Lake Palace
The enchanting mirage reflected on Lake Pichola
Singing stories of its former master Maharana Jagat Sing II, Taj Lake Place is a glorious palace lodged beside Lake Pichola, wonderfully reflecting its architectural magnificence upon the tepid waters. The marble wonder was the royal’s winter home, tastefully adorned with all kinds of luxury, including semi-precious stones. A stretch of elaborate gardens and grand terraces enthral the modern-day wanderers as peacocks make their way, amusing guests with their magical elegance. A favourite location for many of the world’s best films, Lake Palace was also home to many celebrated personalities, including Queen Elizabeth and Jacqueline Kennedy. Udaipur, India
The St. Regis Bali Resort
Unparalleled elegance for the ultimate Indonesia escape
When staying at The St. Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua, guests simply have to step outside of their stunning villas for immediate access to the glorious sand and surf. Spacious accommodations featuring attentive butler service and distinctive Balinese decor also have private patios perfect for unwinding after an inspiring day exploring or enjoying rejuvenating treatments at the St. Regis Bali Spa. Before heading out to dine on Indonesian specialties at Dulang or Asian-influenced selections at Kayuputi, be sure to take in the mesmerising traditional Fire Dance Ritual and enjoy a champagne toast and live jazz performances at the sultry King Cole Bar. Indonesia
One & Only Reethi Rah, North Malé Atoll
A secluded pearl of transcendent luxury
Like a shining jewel of a queen’s necklace, the One & Only Reethi Rah is a bright speck in the Indian Ocean. Calling one of the largest islands of the North Malé Atoll its home, the beach resort is an exclusively private getaway to clear blue skies, bright blue waters, and pristine white-sand beaches. The endless horizon stretches on and on, giving a glimpse of a paradise that is well within reach. The Reethi Rah transcends the regular beach destination with curated experiences that become unforgettable memories. The breezy, spacious resort is indeed a shining jewel of a luxury experience. Maldives
Alila Villas Uluwatu
An architectural revelry harmonising with Bali’s southern cliffs
Surrounded by blue waters and an even bluer sky, the Alila Villas mesmerise in a heartbeat. The property is perched atop Uluwatu, charming guests with its clean, contemporary architecture and a photograph-worthy infinity pool. Minimalist lines reign supreme in the jaw-dropping installations that strongly reiterate the beauty of the mangroves. The villas are endowed with quiet luxuries, each installed with a wide daybed and a floor-to-ceiling window that invites one to soak under the sun. A special pathway leads guests to a meditative lotus pond. Shirodhara treatments make one’s stay soothing, while a yoga pavilion and an organic garden emphasise the importance of intimacy to self. Indonesia
Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg
A wanderer’s dream hotel in Russia’s poshest district
Lodged within the Nevsky Prospect, Corinthia Hotel shines as bright as the many famous landmarks perched beside it. The dramatic facade in white and teal easily beckons reverence, a feeling that persists as guests step inside the majestic lobby. Rooms are clad with rich colours of blue, green or purple; each suite is endowed with marble baths, modern amenities and many, the best views of the street. A solarium treats guests to the sight of the sun on an open terrace. For a flavourful treat, stop by the Micheline-starred Imperial Restaurant that imbibes one with the taste of the local Russian and Mediterranean gourmet. Russia
Hotel Metropol Moscow
Moscow’s cherished home to the regal and revered
Once home to the Russian Revolution of 1917, Hotel Metropol brims with many stories and at times, inspires it. Writer Amor Towles chose it as the setting for his novel A Gentleman in Moscow. Surely there is a mystery to it; originally designed as an operatic theatre, the property radiates a dramatic extravagance. Its lobby is dressed in marble, its dining, draped in gold motif and lofty ceilings. Rooms are a lavish display of Art Deco, with many of them gazing down at the famous Kremlin. For a sumptuous night, guests can treat themselves with the Nordic cuisines at Swavva, or a satisfying sip at the Chaliapin Bar for a traditional Russian tea. Russia
Hotel Plaza Athénée
An exquisite French hotel offering the very best of Paris.
The Hotel Plaza Athénée has been witness to over a century of French style makers and artists, including Dior from its address on Avenue Montaigne. The rooms and suites at the hotel are spacious, bright and elegantly decorated, featuring gleaming chandeliers and luxurious furnishings. Several include incredible views of the Eiffel Tower and the larger suites offer amenities like a private fitness room or even a grand piano. The Royal Suite is the largest suite in Paris! Breakfast at the Athéneée is not to be missed. Served with white gloves under sparkling chandeliers, guests are treated to fresh pastries, flaky croissants, buttery French toast, smoked salmon, and other seasonal essentials. It’s no wonder so many celebrities call the Athénée their Parisian home. Paris, France
The Peninsula Paris
An Haute-Couture hotel that exudes hospitality.
The only Peninsula hotel in France, the Peninsula Paris is located within easy walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe, the swanky 16th arrondissement and its upper crust residents. For her guests, Peninsula Paris is home. The generous rooms and suites are packed with modern luxury, and include state-of-the-art technology hidden away and accessible at a touch of the button, and even a built-in nail dryer! A stay in the rooftop garden suite is a special treat for any guest, with its incredible views over the City of Lights. Families are welcome, and adjoining rooms make stays with children that much easier. Of note is the Peninsula Academy, which offers bespoke experiences for guests, including a Rolls-Royce excursion and behind-the-scenes tour of the Palace of Versailles. Paris, France
An unforgettable stay, surrounded by historic grandeur.
Located along the famous Rue du Faubourg Sainte-Honouré, in Paris, Le Bristol has been providing luxury stays for its guests since 1925 and is deemed France’s first “Palace hotel” due to its location within steps of the Elysee Palace. Guests of Le Bristol can enjoy a variety of in-house amenities, including the spa, swimming pool, a rooftop garden and an elegant courtyard garden. Since arriving at Le Bristol, Executive Chef Eric Frechon has accumulated four Michelin stars, three of which belong to Epicure, a stunning restaurant specialising in French cuisine, and one to 114 Faubourg, a more relaxed “brasserie de luxe.” Of note are the hotel’s Fashion Saturdays, where guests can appreciate items from selected collections while enjoying a “high tea” including champagne and sweets. Paris, France
La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa
Elegant luxury in the heart of the City of Lights.
There is a reason La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World is adored by travel connoisseurs the world over. The hotel exudes Parisian elegance and taste. The gorgeous suites are sumptuous, with modern touches including Ipad controls for entertainment and filled with natural light, thanks to large Parisian-style windows. Each room is stocked with wines from the owner’s estate in Bordeaux, Cos d’Estournel and one of the hotel’s in-house restaurants earned two Michelin stars in 2017. It is the service that sets La Réserve apart from its peers. For instance, a butler is dedicated to each guest who goes above and beyond to make a stay at La Réserve truly discreet, comfortable and unforgettable. Paris, France
Setting the romance of Venice aglow.
The meandering waterways of Venice carry fairy-tales and myths, one that can be thoroughly enjoyed from Palazzo Papadopoli. The legendary residence, a few steps from the main market and the ever-famous Rialto, carry a luxury line of property from Aman. Lavish suites in beach-houses perched inside the gardens focus on the history and wonders of Venice without taking away the convenience of modern excellence. Each marked with the extravagance of a palazzo, each alcove bears silk-draped interiors, cherub-lined frescos and even an altana – an Italian terrace – offering sumptuous views of the earthen-coloured belfries, a lovely spot to sit in while sipping a cup of cappuccino. Italy
A supremely stylish hotel on an Italian island.
This gorgeous location overlooking the Mediterranean has been home to J.K. Place since1876. Originally the Continental, J.K. Capri lives up to its legacy, and does not disappoint. This hotel provides a luxury-resort getaway for guests that exudes sophistication, while not taking itself too seriously. The interior design is inspired by the sea, which surrounds the island, but remains modern with its crisp, white Italian deco-inspired style, punctuated with pops of colour. Guests can enjoy a variety of experiences while staying at J.K. Place, including tennis, scuba diving, hiking, and helicopter tours, as well as scooter rentals, for that truly Italian experience. Capri, Italy
Badrutt’s Palace Hotel
A winter palace set in the heart of the Alps.
The snow-covered alpine mountains gaze at the cheery warmth of Badrutt’s Palace, a majestic holiday retreat lodged in the heart of St. Moritz. From afar, one can recognise its distinctive green roof and gorgeous turrets, reminding one that magic, in some special places of the world, is real. Badrutt’s Palace casts a spell to its guests with its unyielding extravagance and amber-lit rooms that shine best during the night. Once a home to Audrey Hepburn and Alfred Hitchcock, the Swiss resort presents its guests with epicurean adventures, diverse amusements, and first-class service, inviting cultures from all the world to enjoy its beloved Swiss hospitality. St Moritz, Switzerland
Belmond Hotel Cipriani
Old-world elegance with the spirit of Casanova.
At the top of Giudecca Island overlooking the blue lagoon lies Belmond Hotel, a Venetian property that shines with remarkable luxury. The location is minutes away from the bustling St. Mark’s. Surrounded by manicured gardens, boutiques and an atmosphere of nostalgia, guests are treated to a picture-perfect spectacle that is beautiful in all angles. Artisan-crafted Murano glass reflects the picturesque waterway, while striking high towers and lush courtyard offers a glance at Venice’s history. Lodged in the property is a Micheline-starred restaurant, an Olympic-sized pool, and a courtyard where the famous Casanova charmed his lovers that may have fallen for him – or perhaps, the beauty of this place. Venice, Italy
Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino
A hidden summer house for the aristocrats
Offering picturesque views of Portofino and surrounded by a lush garden on a hillside, Belmond Hotel Splendido bears many tales – being first home to a Benedictine monastery, then to Baron Baratta, who transformed the four-storey-high building into his own summer house. Since then, its doors have welcomed the nobility and the noble, including the Duke of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill, among many. Lodged inside are a saltwater infinity pool, a spa, and two restaurants. Follow the footpath that leads to a charming quay, beaming with its quaint shops or, for a more adventurous jaunt, take a trip to the nearest wineries with its sunset champagne cruise. Italy
Borgo Egnazia, Puglia
A modern-day castle by the enchanting bay of Puglia
Slated on the shore side and wrapped by olive groves is Borgo Egnazia, a contemporary castle that brims with Italy’s rural beauty and a haunting sense of nostalgia. One would be surprised to hear this glorious property was built in 2010, made to resemble a real Italian borgo, with 28 private villas for an exclusive intimacy. Rooms are rustic and romantic, bequeathed with private gardens, rooftop decks, and patios. Endowed with two private beaches, a golf course and a Michelin-starred restaurant, Borgo Egnazia naturally impresses with its photographic scenery paired with flawless service, including a tailor-made trip for guests with families. Italy
Ballyfin, Co. Laois
Romance and nostalgia set aglow in Ireland’s finest mansion
By the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains lies a secret indulgence – the Ballyfin, a Regency mansion set within the heart of a 600-acre expanse, embellished with expansive gardens, peaceful grotto, and cascading fountains. The medieval structure was saved from years of decline, in which its present state was made to revive its old glory with gloriously draped rooms, a majestic library, an abundance of artwork and the jovial Irish hospitality. Guests are invited to set out into new hobbies: archery, boating, golf, or guided walks by the Sieve Bloom Mountains. When it’s time to rest, dip into the 14-metre pool embellished with mosaic tiles or have a taste of their classic cuisine in their elegant State Dining Room. Ireland
Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Torlundy
A quiet grace in the middle of Scotland’s peaks
Time stopped in this memorably sublime country house perched at the foot of Ben Nevis. Wonderfully wrapped by verdant highlands and blue skies, Inverlochy Castle, which immediately swept Queen Victoria’s heart in a week’s stay, continues to impress with its old-world fashion and remarkable extravagance. Brocades of silk, sparkling crystal chandeliers, gilt and polished wood take one to a trip in the past without taking away the comforts of the present. The isolated area offers more time for tranquillity and for enjoying a sport – skiing, white-water rafting, or mountain biking. Row around the loch and come home to a five-course dinner at the Great Hall. Scotland
The Lanesborough, London
Crowned deservingly as England’s prime hotel
Once served as the St. George’s Hospital, the Lanesborough was given new life by Alberto Pinto, who endowed it with all the dissipation of the 18th century Regency. There was no holding back; lofty ceilings shine with gold leaf accents while crystal chandeliers light the way while neoclassical elements. Stunning pillars and remarkable artworks pervade the halls, completing its dramatic flair. Classic, timeless, without being archaic, the Lanesborough indulges guests with friendly but formal service with its relaxation lounge, state-of-the-art gyms, and saunas. Rooms are ornately decorated with a baroque air. On afternoons, guests are treated to tea, a splendid time at the Library Bar, or a fine dining experience under five-starred chef Erich Frechnon. England
The Kensington, London
British high street hotel in the South of Kensington
Wanderers of London’s museum district will find a home at the equally remarkable Kensington Hotel lodged fittingly at the Queen’s Gate. Made up for four townhouses, this grand estate radiates with a true Victorian flair; from its stuccoed facade, expansive porch, and drawing rooms that brim with all sorts of finery. The attention to detail persists in their suites, where rooms impress with a subtle Parisian flavour – plush upholstered period chairs, art deco trappings and antique crystal chandelier that helms from Murano, Italy. Filling one’s appetite is the Town House, a three-room restaurant vibrantly decorated with rugs. The avid liqueur lover will find K Bar a perfect place to linger, with its decadent cocktails and an expansive wine spread. England
Dreamy alcoves set in the gorgeous landscape of Perivolas
Atop the cliff of Oia is the hotel Perivolas, a cluster of centuries-old yposkafas exceptionally carved out of stone. These man-made villas of the old, formerly home to olden farmers and fishermen, are lavishly embellished to suit the panache of the modern-day wanderer. Despite its old-world, Cycladic charm, the Perivolas boasts of many contemporary indulgences: steam rooms, plunge pools, even their own terraces. Meals are served in a wine cellar, serving decadent Grecian cuisine. Despite not having present-day entertainment, blissful sunsets and a trailing infinity pool make this a sought-after Instagram spot where one can enjoy nature, comfort, and solace, minus the busy crowds. Greece
The Alpina Gstaad
A mountain retreat for the exclusively extravagant.
One would not hold anything back at The Alpina – a picturesque retreat lodged at the foot of the Swiss Alps. Its exteriors, a glorious construction of antique barn wood and Ringgenberg limestone, boasts of architectural indulgence. A stay in the terrace offers a pastoral view of either the glacier or the valley, where one can admire the summer streaked Oldenhorn, the rolling hills, the charming villages and the sight of the train making its way through the tracks. Spacious rooms with private balconies are constructed with an extraordinary display of woodwork exclusively native to Swiss brilliance, inspiring guests to slow down and take their time. Switzerland
Cheval Blanc Courchevel
A wintery welcome into the posh French Alps.
One could touch the sky from Hotel Cheval Blanc, a majestic property perched at the top of Courchevel 1850 – the perfect location for skiers and admirers of winter. The two-hour drive from Geneva is worth it; the chalet is gloriously inviting from its threshold, with its interiors designed by the genius Sybille de Margerie. The property’s lingering warmth can be credited to the soft leathers, animal hide and charming cuckoo clocks that reminds one to take their time. Personalised ski services and a dazzling Guerlain spa makes one’s stay a treat, but the real magic must be the ethereal peace brought about by fireside pleasures, 3-star Michelin dining and a seat in the yurt. France
An intimate romantic refuge by the bay.
Formerly a summer house overlooking the gorgeous bay of Positano, Le Sirenuse charms with a congenial air. Its deep-red facade makes it easily recognisable from afar; a lovely splash of colour amongst the withering tones of Amalfi. A row of charming potted lemon trees welcomes guests while inside, the hotel is laden with more terracotta and brightly coloured tiles that echoes Italy’s local crafts. Boasting commanding views of the Mediterranean Sea, the hotel also possesses direct access to the shore with an exclusive elevator, bringing one closer to the watery wonder. Endowed with a private pool, a vine-draped terrace restaurant and posh rooms not lacking splendid views, Le Sirenuse is perfect for distinguished guests with refined discernment. Positano, Italy
Carlton Hotel, St Moritz
A fresh take on The Alps’ old-world luxury
Perched on the north of Lake St. Moritz is a hotel that radiates with the crisp vibe of the alps, affording guests the panoramic view of the Engadine from their swanky suites. The 1913 property has undergone a major facelift in 2007, endowing its vintage appeal with a modern update that will delight the younger clientele. Some things stay the same; for one, the Bel Etage still lures guests with its two open fireplaces, live music, and a vibrant ambience that keeps one’s heart jolly. Tailor-made experiences make one’s stay closer to perfection, but what really captures the soul are the awe-inspiring sights of the snow-capped mountains gazing down from the sun-soaked terrace. Switzerland
Winter’s abode fit for the glamorous and gallant
From afar, the Gstaad Palace peers down with its notched turrets and gleaming glass windows. Amongst the charming chalets, the hotel is in a league of its own, perhaps credited to the Scherz- Hacker family who manages the property with intense passion. Magnificent ladies – Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, and Grace Kelly, all strolled around its corridors. Michael Jackson offered to purchase it, but, alas, was turned down. Guests are treated to a plethora of indoor sports – a 50-metre swimming pool and four clay courts for tennis offer opportunities to unleash one’s prowess. The better option would be to trace the trails surrounding Gstaad and admire the beauty of the environment wrapped around it. Switzerland
Cotton House Hotel, Barcelona
Resonating Barcelona’s sun-kissed city and its dated cotton guild
A part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, Cotton House Hotel is nestled on the famous Gran Via, making Barcelona’s pot of attractions easily accessible within a distance. The property was once used as the headquarters of the Cotton Producers Guild in the 19th century. Today, it is preserved in its utmost glory, including a wood-clad lobby dressed in belle epoque details, as highlighted by Lazaro Rosa-Violan’s brilliant knack for aesthetics. The Cotton room, its special suites, comes with a private terrace and spectacular views of the distant sea. The rooftop pool lures one into an afternoon dip while admiring the views of the bustling city. Spain
Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, Palma, Mallorca
19th-century mansion redefined as a modern-day luxe hotel
Mallorca’s convivial atmosphere is reflected in Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, a 1880s manor transformed into a glamorous boutique hotel in the old town of Palma. Guests are called to revel in its rooftop pool, sumptuous dining and tasteful interiors from the genius of Maria Jose Cabré. Art pieces make every corner vibrant; one can admire bespoke collections from artist Guillem Nadal and photographer Bárbara Vidal. Gaze at the entire community from the hotel’s solarium before heading to Quadrat which serves a spread of contemporary Mediterranean cuisines and Majorcan wines. Adjacent to many famous landmarks – including the Almudaina Palace and the majestic Palma Cathedral – Sant Francesc Hotel Singular is the perfect launchpad for the tourists who want to immerse themselves in the Mallorcan culture. Spain
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cote d’Azur
Cinematic retreat for the world’s beloved luminaries
Veiled by thick pine groves lodged at the tip of Cap d’Antibes is Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, the setting which sparked many dramatic dreams, including F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. With its sublime elegance and panoramic pleasures, the hotel confers unobstructed vistas of the Iles de Lérins and Pointe Croisette, with the famous Cannes just behind the adjacent bay. From a 1880s chateau, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc was transformed into a luxury resort that redefines old-school glamour, a favourite spot to many luminaries around the world. Charming cabanas, blooming gardens, and picturesque creeks complete the celebrity experience, where the service is utterly confident, and the stay, uniquely indulgent. France
Le Meurice, Paris
Otherworldly luxury nestled in Rue de Rivoli
Faced across the Tuileries Garden and tucked in between the Louvre and Palace de la Concorde, Le Meurice is a luxury hotel that radiates with the true spirit of the Versailles. Bearing the shape of a jewellery box, the property greets guests with its floor-to-ceiling windows, grand Doric columns and sleek cornices embedded with flamboyant trimmings. Inside, intricate décor, exquisite food, and upscale service imbibe a home-like feel. There is no doubt that many of the world’s greats found their way here and lingered: Salvador Dali, Rudyard Kipling, and the King of Spain, to name a few. Rooms are decked out with plush carpets, ornate wall crowns, silk curtains and the view of the interior courtyard. With many of Paris’ spectacular sights along the way, Le Meurice becomes a quintessential portal to Paris’ sight seekers. France
Madinat Jumeirah Mina A’Salam
A grand display of Arabian hospitality.
Perched inside the bustling district of Umm Suqueim, Madinat Jumeirah Resort captures the glory of ancient Arabia with its three majestic hotels, 29 Arabian summerhouses and 50 world-class dining venues. Spread over 2 kilometres of private beach, the resort offers a plethora of indulgences, including an extensive Talise Spa, spacious tennis courts, a golf course, and a high-altitude suite made for the adventurous. Lodged right inside the city’s bustling epicentre, Madinat Jumeirah Resort offers convenient access to many of Dubai’s prominent districts, including Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Dubai, UAE
Bvlgari Resort Dubai
A royal Italian retreat in the modern Middle East.
Like a gem to a crown, Bvlgari Resort Dubai is an upscale Mediterranean-inspired property lodged inside the man-made island of Jumeirah Bay. With attention to detail, the resort echoes the same craftsmanship of a Bvlgari jewellery, showcasing luxe furnishings complemented by heritage pieces curated from the brand’s archives. Mingle with the swanky crowd in cashmere while strolling in the Bvlgari spa. 20 private villas spread across the sandy shore. Farther beyond, the resort boasts of a private Marina that offers commanding views of the sea and is home to Bvlgari’s own yacht club. Dubai, UAE
One&Only The Palm
Exclusive hospitality at a sophisticated address.
A luxurious jewel nestled in the iconic Palm Island of Dubai, the One&Only resort is a signature address for exclusive travellers with discerning tastes, for whom nothing but the best is a way of life. Each and every element of the resort is handpicked and curated for a premium experience tinged with supreme sophistication: be it the architectural grandeur of the property, the opulent rooms and suites, the holistic spa and message treatments, or the Michelin-inspired cuisine. One & Only The Palm is an elevated experience of pure indulgence that seeks to satiate the most elevated of tastes of its well-heeled and well-travelled guests. Dubai, UAE
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
A dazzling destination in Dubai
Housed in one of the world’s most iconic architectural marvels, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah entices discerning global travellers with alluring all-suite accommodations that feature panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, impeccable service and inspiring interiors by noted Chinese designer Khuan Chew from a kaleidoscopic cascade waterfall to spectacular, colourful aquariums and a towering atrium. At the acclaimed signature restaurant Al Mahra, Michelin-starred Chef Nathan Outlaw attracts worldwide attention for his delectable cuisine, while The Terrace impresses with luxurious amenities including a marvellous man-made beach setting and a popular pool that draws quite the fashionable crowd after the sun sets. Dubai, UAE
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At The Bosphorus
A private gateway to an authentic experience of Turkey
Standing on the cusp of the Bosphorus strait, the palatial Four Seasons is more than just a luxury hotel: it is a site where the various cultures of the world, of Europe and Asia, meet in appreciation of each other. It is history itself, as a restored 19th century Ottoman palace that now hosts modernity and progressive ideals, without losing its Turkish heritage. The Four Seasons is an authentic experience of the rich heritage and delectable international &Turkish cuisine: a private gateway to witness the city of Istanbul from its peaceful promenade that overlooks the Bosphorus and the Asian continent. Turkey
The Mena House Hotel, Giza
Discover the majesty of the ancient pyramids from this 5-star hotel
With incredible views of one of the ancient wonders of the world, the Mena House hotel is possibly the only serious location to stay for anyone visiting Giza. The pyramids are a mere 700m from the hotel! Guests at Mena House can enjoy the quiet, far from the noise and bustle of downtown Cairo. They are treated to luxe comfort in large, inviting rooms, several of which have direct views of the pyramids. Once a hunting lodge, the original part of Mena House now has 97 guest rooms, while other wings hold several more. Included on the resort is an 18-hole golf course, a swimming pool and health club, as well as a spa, to help you feel relaxed and refreshed after a day sightseeing in the desert sun. Egypt
Armani Hotel Dubai
Supreme luxury in the heart of the world’s tallest tower
Strung inside Burj Khalifa is Giorgio Armani’s namesake hotel, exuding with contemporary elegance the brand has to offer. Broody colours, Eramosa stone floors, and remarkable installations harmonize with the clean lines that convey Armani’s minimalist, restrained grace. Guests are treated to their personal Lifestyle Manager, who customizes their stay to their unique panache. Rooms are iPad-controlled, most of them in lavish 24-karat covers, allowing one to get things done hands-free. Lofty glass windows bestow one with uninterrupted views of the city. Dinners are served Armani style, where head chef Alessandro Salvatico presides over the kitchen to impress each guest with his fine Mediterranean menu. Dubai, UAE
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Palatial wonder boasting prime views of the Arabian Gulf
One of the most expensive hotels ever built, the Emirates Palace is a gargantuan spectacle lodged in the city of Abu Dhabi. Beloved Islamic elements pervade the sun-coloured architecture, with an imposing dome, tall columns and defined arches all shaped in grand proportions. Inside, guests are treated to either gold-clad or marble suites, all endowed with elaborate decor, marble bathroom, and the breath-taking spectacle of the skyline. An expansive beach allows guests to enjoy the sea exclusively to themselves, while the indoor spa relaxes with diamond-infused treatments and even a 24-karat gold facial. Not holding back with extraordinary extravagance, the hotel is also lodged with its own marina, helicopter landing pads, and international restaurants to quell one’s cravings. Abu Dhabi, UAE
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island
The waterfront prince of the Abu Dhabi
Nestled in between the glitzy Galleria Mall and the Saadiyat beach, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi affords swanky holidays in both luxury shopping and isolated serenity. The marble-clad lobby greets guests with a bounty of flowers and artwork; walls shine in iridescent pearl hue reflecting the beauty of the waters. Rooms are draped with the signature Four Seasons beds, neutral colours and art deco embellishments, made more extravagant with silk wallpapers and floor-to-ceiling windows. At sundown, its restaurants are lively; most of them heavily booked in advance for their popularity and cuisine. Young children are kept busy with the Kids for All Seasons program, making this hotel a family-friendly option for those staying in Abu Dhabi. UAE
Palazzo Versace Hotel Dubai
Middle Eastern conviviality with the soul of Italy
Subtle elegance meets artistic pursuits in Dubai’s very own Palazzo Versace. The gargantuan architecture is perched on The Creek, shining with the aesthetics of 16th century Italy without being on the nose. Gold-gilded columns on marble floors all scream with the signature Versace mark, including a 1.5-million-piece Medusa mosaic that is nothing less than a stunner. All rooms are draped with meticulous colour themes of opulence: salmon, gold, blue and turquoise, with parquet floors and silk-dressed beds that makes one feel like a hero in the myth. A lagoon pool flows through the creak, with another cascading through Giardino – an all-day restaurant that quells the hunger of buffet lovers. Dubai, UAE
The Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh
Red Sea’s majesty captured in a decadent holiday destination
Just 25 minutes from the Hurghada International Airport is The Oberoi, a modern Moorish resort imbibed with all kinds of Egyptian luxury, from sunken marble baths, elegant private gardens and a plethora of treatments performed with multicultural traditions, including Thai, Ayurvedic, and Indian. As the sun rolls down, guests are gifted with the panoramic spectacle of the Red Sea. Dine in at the restaurant, where kids under six are treated to a free fare. Endowed with its own dive centre, the hotel arranges snorkelling and diving programmes for adults and kids even offers sailing opportunities to the Giftun Islands. Egypt
Waldorf Astoria, Jerusalem
The stalwart knight of the Old City
Placidly sat in the heart of Jerusalem, the Hilton property reigns in both architecture and location, being conveniently adjacent to the Old City and a few more remarkable landmarks, including the Tower of David, Mamilla Mall and Dormition Abbey. The open-air concept is built with glass panels that soak the lobby with natural lighting and a breezy feel. Like all Waldorf properties, a grandfather clock ticks with a metronome as the concierge assists guests with the top destinations at the best hours of the day. Rooms are quiet, bathrooms are luxurious and each one is installed with a free-standing bath for a pleasurable dip. The traditional kosher restaurant, offering sumptuous gourmet including lamb medallions, is made to look like a nostalgic inner courtyard put together in pale Jerusalem stones. Israel
Royal Mansour Marrakech
One of the most sumptuous hotels in all of Morocco.
Billed as a ‘medina within a medina,’ the Royal Mansour Marrakech exudes elegance from another time with beautiful appointments indoors and out. The remarkable riads raise the bar with each making a statement with a captivating design, plush furnishings, and tranquil patios. At the renowned fine dining restaurant La Grande Table Marocaine, Michelin-star Chef Yannick Alléno tempts the palate with an adventurous approach to haute cuisine, while his open-air establishment Le Jardin presents a chic setting to enjoy international fare from tapas to sushi alfresco. Afterward, guests retreat to the rooftop terrace for fabulous views of the majestic Atlas Mountains. Morocco
Relaxation and refinement in the Red City.
Nestled in the winding alleys of the medina lies a luxurious, intimate oasis, L’Hôtel Marrakech. Inside a 19th century Caidal palace, the stunning gem evokes glamour reminiscent of the 1930s. Credit the alluring ambiance to the riad’s owner, noted British fashion and interior designer Jasper Conran, who brilliantly brings together antiques, art and fine furnishings in a sophisticated fashion. When not unwinding in the elegantly appointed suites or exploring the nearby Souk, guests enjoying basking by the pristine pool surrounded by fragrant bougainvillea and orange blossoms, and escaping to the roof terrace to admire the Atlas mountain from afar. Morocco
Six Senses Zil Pasyon
An elegant, ecological escape off the coast of Africa.
Overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Six Senses Zil Pasyon sits in serene seclusion on the private island of Félicité in Seychelles. The chic resort seduces travellers with an exquisite collection of luxurious villas and residences surrounded by the sand and surf of the beach and lush, verdant greenery above. Nature enthusiasts delight in discovering the trails of Top Hill and seeing rare species on awe-inspiring snorkelling and diving excursions. Attentive pampering also awaits with signature spa services such as the Afrique Mystique Facial. As for dining, African, Chinese, French, English and Indian influences blend beautifully together for sumptuous feasts daily. Seychelles
Constance Le Prince Maurice
Cabanas-themed hideaway tucked in the island of spices
Cradled by the Indian Ocean’s shining blue waters, the palm-fringed beachfront Constance Prince Maurice woos guests with its isolated, romantic atmosphere and posh private villas. Shining with pure Mauritian pleasures, the sun-kissed hideaway impresses with its picture-perfect seascapes and sumptuous fusion cuisine, as credited to its strong history in the spice trade. One could not help but fall into a hedonistic lull with linen-decked beds, parquet floors, and bright textiles. Suites on stilts allow one to live above the lake; protruded decks overlook the water, affording guests incredible sunsets. Bigger villas come with their private pools and an outdoor bath, some placed on the white sand beach, allowing one to bask in the beauty of privacy and the breath-taking nature. Mauritius
One&Only Le Saint Géran
A delicious island escape for the romantics
Helmed after Le Saint Géran – the tragic sunken ship that inspired Paul and Virginie – One&Only is perched on an isolated white sand beach, inviting seekers to trudge into an adventurous getaway. The property was first built in 1975 before receiving a multi-million renovation in late 2017, endowing the resort with a colonial-style aesthetic that takes after the sugar cane plantations in the island. Villas shine in white, made more opulent with plush sofas, large windows, wicker furniture, and wood floors. An infinity pool, Mauritian cuisine and a dedicated butler makes one stay more regal. Hop on a Harley-Davidson and breeze through the forest, or spend the afternoon on Lady Lisbeth, a private cruise initially built for Queen Elizabeth II, with a glass of champagne while admiring the cerulean waters. Mauritius
The Oyster Box, Durban
Award-winning hotel with the best views of the Indian Ocean
Bright red umbrellas adorn the shoreline across The Oyster, a highly lauded colonial property perched at Durban where outstretched beaches meet the ever-busy ports of South Africa. Slated beside the Umhlanga Lighthouse, the resort bears a plethora of marine opportunities that attract ocean-loving guests. Sunsets are spectacular, but so are indoors, with its whirring staircases, radiant marble floors, and glamorous white interiors that shine with a contemporary flair. Dining at the Grill Room lets one relish the taste of local seafood. The Ocean Terrace impresses with strong Indian flavours. Its very own spa, performing native KwaZulu-Natal methods, applies African plant extracts and Himalayan salt crystals for body rejuvenation. When done, submit into sweet luxuries into the spa lounge overflowing the cream-dolloped fruity treats. South Africa
The Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe
South Africa’s home for the connoisseurs
Dramatically perched at the edge of Batoka Gorge, the Victoria Falls Hotel is a trace of Africa’s colonial history, with its vibrant red roof and a collonaded facade that impresses a with timeless Edwardian beauty. After a 25-minute drive from the airport, guests are welcomed by manicured gardens and a vintage-themed lobby that showcases the refined nature of Africa’s old-world opulence. A grand library, a charming pool house, and cosy rooms keep one entertained inside. The real pleasure, however, is its offerings of activities, such including helicopter tours and river cruises that allows one to peek into the resplendence of Africa’s setting. From Stanley Terrace, one can see the falls spritz downwards. Guests should take the opportunity to walk on the improbable bridge and admire the natural waterworks close by. Zimbabwe
A private island resort in the South Pacific.
Surrounded by crystal blue waters, the Laucala Island resort is a perfect combination of rain-forest and white sand beaches. With only 25 villas on site, the resort offers privacy in an idyllic setting, all the while being sustainable and preserving much of the small island’s original wilderness. The Laucala Cultural village is one of the last Fijian traditional villages, and residents showcase their culture to resort guests. Much of the food for the resort’s restaurants and spa is farmed right on the island, meaning guests are truly eating locally. This is the perfect getaway for those who want to experience luxury while supporting the local environment. Fiji
A luxury Polynesian resort on a private island.
Situated in a gorgeous group of private islands of Tetiaroa, The Brando resort is the perfect locale for anyone seeking luxury combined with untouched nature. The resort was named for actor Marlon Brando, who bought the atoll in 1967 after seeing it while filming Mutiny on the Bounty. Together with Richard Baily, the concept of a lavish resort in a self-sustaining environment was born. Every villa on site has a private beach and plunge pool, as well as all the mod cons one would expect at a luxury hotel. You can also participate in several activities provided in the area, including snorkelling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, cycling, and naturalist excursions. Tetiaroa, Tahiti
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Beaches, palm trees, Hawaiian traditions, and ultimate relaxation.
Located right on the white sand and black-lava beaches of Hawaii’s Big Island, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai offers a luxurious stay while in keeping with the nature and traditions of Hawaii. From traditional guest rooms to exquisite villas, the resort has something for everyone. It also offers tailored local experiences, including a seafood tasting, sea-salt harvesting, a private tour of a local coffee farm, and a triathlon clinic. To satisfy your hunger at the end of the day, the resort has six different dining and lounge options, including the Beach Tree, where you can dine with your feet in the sand. Big Island, Hawaii, USA
An incredible resort in the centre of the Grand Circle.
The Amangiri Resort, part of the larger Aman hotel and resort group, is located in the heart of some of America’s most spectacular natural scenery. Act of Congress had to be passed before it could be built because the area is so pristine. Its nearest neighbours are the indigenous Navajo people, living on the largest Native American reserve in the country. While the scenery may be rustic, the accommodations are anything but. Clean lines and minimalist décor fit right in with the bare rock faces of the cliffs, which sit at the back of the resort. It’s an ideal place to find your zen. Canyon Point, Utah, USA
A luxury hotel in a legendary location.
Beverley Hills is known for many things, including celebrity mansions and high-end shopping. Sitting apart from this frenzy, the Hotel Bel-Air sits nestled among trees with an idyllic fair-tale garden boasting 483 specimen trees and over 4,000 plants. The entire hotel covers 12 acres but feels much like a private home. In operation since 1946, the hotel’s beautifully appointed rooms pay homage to old Hollywood glamour, while remaining thoroughly elegant. An on-site spa provides a variety of services for guests, and at least two suites include their own private pool. The hotel’s restaurant is by world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck, under Executive Chef Hugo Balanos. Los Angeles, California, USA
The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel
A modern luxury hotel in a historic landmark building.
Located in one of the very first skyscrapers built in New York City, the historic Beekman Hotel is now a centrepiece in Manhattan. Its façade was declared a New York City landmark in 1998, and it was reopened as a Thompson Hotel in 2016, having been lovingly restored. Walking into the hotel feels like stepping back in time to the golden age of travel. Visitors are awed by the nine-storey atrium, surrounded by elegant wrought-iron railings full of intricate details. An old-fashioned turndown service is complimentary to all guests, and a fabulous collection of art covers the walls, in both public and private spaces. New York, USA
The St. Regis New York
An iconic hotel and a New York City landmark.
The St. Regis hotel, which was founded by John Jacob Astor IV, has been a haven for weary travellers since it opened in 1904. Declared a New York City landmark in 1988, the St. Regis boasts exquisite designer suites, including one in unmistakable Tiffany Blue. The Dior Suite, inspired by the Dior ateliers, exudes Parisian elegance. Likewise, the Milano and Bentley suites are tastefully decorated, with wonderful views over the city. There is even a Bentley courtesy car available to all guests, making quick trips around Manhattan even more special. And no stay to the St. Regis would be complete without the hotel’s butler service. USA
The Peninsula Chicago
Five-star accommodations that are family-friendly.
One of only three Peninsula hotels in the US, the Peninsula Chicago offers luxury accommodations with high-tech amenities. The rooms and suites are beautifully appointed, and families are welcome. They include special amenities like “Camp Peninsula”, with a fun pop-up tent and fake campfire, and a visit from the hotel’s mascot, Peter Bear, with his wagon of treats. The hotel even offers child-sized robes and slippers, and the spa has manicures and pedicures for kids – perfect for a mom & me getaway weekend. This hotel is unique in its embrace of families’ needs while providing luxury and comfort for everyone. Illinois, USA
Baccarat Hotel & Residences
Luxury and polish in the heart of New York.
One cannot help but be astonished when staying at the Baccarat Hotel & Residences in New York City. Baccarat crystal adorns the glamorous salon and bar; even the façade of the hotel is made from glass. One of the finest hotels in the world, the Baccarat’s suites are inspired by simple Parisian elegance and include Baccarat glassware and crystal wall sconces. The hotel also boasts a serene heated indoor pool and spa. Dining is available in its sumptuous Grand Salon, where one’s French experience in Manhattan is further enhanced with fresh croissants each morning and charcuterie boards in the evening. New York, USA
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
A sublime retreat on Hawaii’s last pristine island.
It is best to reach this secluded five-diamond resort, which is located on the unspoiled island of Lanai in Hawaii either on foot or by 4-by-4. While this may sound like it is remote and rustic, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai is anything but. Its rooms and suites offer incredible ocean views, with large windows opening to private lanais. The interior design is authentic and includes artwork and textiles that are either inspired by or made by Hawaiians. While at the resort, guests can partake of several experiences, including a UTV ride around the island, immersion in Hookipa culture, a private sailing cruise, and golf. Hawaii, USA
SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, California
Swanky Hollywood hotel with a supreme visual sensibility
Slated at the edge of the bustling Beverly Hills, with a few minutes’ drive to many of LA’s sought-after sights, SLS Hotel is a Philippe Starck-designed property exuding with high fashion, by all means. The lobby beams with a minimalist beauty, greeting guests with a glimpse of José Andrés’ Tres, while the other entrance beckons like a vintage museum, charming onlookers with mismatch furniture, shops without walls, and high-end bars. Walls are highlighted with chic photographs, rooms are spacious and sleek, and baths are constructed with glass, equipped with products from the hotel’s own spa. Atop the property is a modern rooftop pool which affords the view of the ocean and the photographic Hollywood sign. Two restaurants serve high-end menus paired with a spread of wines and a delectable Patisserie. Los Angeles, USA
The Lowell, New York City
Upper East Side’s most refined English offering
Anything but gaudy, The Lowell is set on a 1920s building hidden on the upscale Upper East Side. Wood-burning fireplaces and impeccable drapes resonate the old-world English country house charm, as evident in its Art Deco-inspired lobby. Michael S. Smith, former decorator to the White House, designed the rooms with masterful elegance, making use of soft neutrals and pastel blue colours that sings perfectly with the oak floors. Vine-laced terraces charmingly overlook the city, creating a wonderful backdrop especially at night. Lounge beds and marble baths beckon for a relaxing stay. Small details, like a daily dose of fresh flowers, are a welcome treat. Lovers of the New York meaty menu can find a home at the Post House, while at the Pembroke room, guests can revel in a luscious afternoon tea. New York, USA
The Langham Chicago
Majestically mid-century, Windy City’s beloved heritage home
A thirty-minute ride from the O’Hare International Airport, The Langham Chicago is a riverfront property slated along the banks of Chicago River. As the final masterpiece by designer Mies van der Rohe, the hotel is 2010’s addition to the National Register of Historic Places. Brooding brown pillars, shining bronze accents, and lush furniture all shine with minimalist mid-century, in addition to the marble-dressed lobby that welcomes guests in. A 67-foot indoor pool lures one into a relaxing dip, while the spa features hydrotherapy tubs, loungers and salt saunas. From the posh south-facing rooms, one can admire the panoramic views of the lake and the Loop. Chicago, USA
Shutters on the Beach, California
Beachfront wonder lures with a dreamy Hollywood escape
The Edward Thomas Collection-owned hotel is part of The Leading Hotels of the World. Erected in 1993, Shutters on the Beach occupies what was once Edgewater Beach Club; its construction, therefore, pays homage to Southern Californian resorts, endowed with chic coastal rooms, cocktail lounges and opulent sun seats facing the ocean. Artworks from Roy Lichtenstein, William Wegman, and Jasper Johns bedeck the walls. The better kind of art is the one made by nature; guests can watch the striking Pacific sunset at Pico restaurant where local seafood fares are served by chef Vittorio Lucariello. Lodged in the heart of Santa Monica, the hotel is just a thirty-minute drive from Beverly Hills and the nearest airport. Santa Monica, USA
The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles
Hollywood’s hotel for the rock stars
Dubbed with a longer moniker, The Beverly Hills Hotels and Bungalows is a world-class property tucked inside Sunset Boulevard, home to many Hollywood luminaries that constantly pervade its posh rooms. Pink is its trademark colour, as evident in its soft pastel walls accentuated with earthen tiled roofs, white arches, and white wicker furniture. An indoor pool is set just beside the beach. The sunroom showcases vistas of the majestic Pacific Ocean, affording guests Instagram-worthy shots. Service is polished, rooms are opulent, with 23 bungalows endowed with their own private pools and, for the musical enthusiast, grand pianos. Patterned rugs, vibrantly-hued sofas, gold-embellished furniture complete the celebrity escape that portrays the glitz of what Hollywood is made of. Los Angeles, USA
Fogo Island Inn Canada
A contemporary vision against the wild of the world
Decidedly modern, the Fogo Island Inn is a future-forward interpretation of a hotel, being lodged on the rocky coast of Newfoundland. Its seclusion is integral to its striking concept; the minimalist architecture immediately sets itself apart from the sky and the sea while shouting the splendour of modern design. Home to 29 polished suites – each blessed with bespoke Scandi furnishings in bright textiles against the glamorous white- the inn is also a reminder to preserve the island’s art and fishing culture. There is no lack of amenities, from its own gym, a wood-fired sauna, a contemporary gallery, and its built-in cinema. Guests are invited to admire the outdoor views from the glass wall windows of the restaurant that faces the North Atlantic. Canada
Hotel Esencia, Tulum
A romantic beach abode set in the Mayan Riviera
Cerulean waters and powdery white sand, with tall palm trees waving their leafy hands, inviting travellers to a one-of-a-kind getaway. Hotel Esencia was once home to an Italian duchess. Set on Xpu-Ha beach, an hour away from Cancun Airport, the beachfront boutique resort stretches over 30 acres with a vast collection of private suites and villas overlooking the dense jungle or the breath-taking sea. Pools are equipped with sun-loungers, its spa brims with a natural aromatic fragrance, and its exclusive suites bear many indulgences, including 360-degree views and private gardens. Set close to the Mayan ruins, there are a plethora of tours to choose from. Snorkelling and diving are common hobbies, but as for the lucky guests, they can view turtles in their annual nesting season and watch these splendid sea creatures multiply. Mexico
Viceroy Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen
Legendary rustic escape in the jungles of Yucatan
Veiled within the lush, tropical forest of Playa del Carmen is a high-end, all-villa resort for the earthly romantics. The upscale property trails through the beach, bearing a facade that echoes the local Mayan culture with its thatch-roofed alcoves, cosy rattan furniture, and plush drapes, letting guests settle with the seaside spectacle. The central area greets one with an infinity pool and two outdoor restaurants paired with beach-side cabanas. 41 villas are strategically placed with thoughts of privacy, all of them with private outdoor decks, a plunge pool and a relaxing hammock. At night, the property glows with candle-lit romance, where La Marea presents a fine touch on Mexican cuisine, and guests can watch the waves lap under the indigo sky with wine in hand. Mexico
UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa
An authentic experience in a historical setting.
One would not be remiss in labelling this hotel – actually a group of casas as “quirky.” But that is a welcome compliment! Once fisherman’s cottages, the casas at the UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa put the idea of going local front and centre. The rooms are decorated with touches by local designers and craftsmen. Some include rooftop terraces, hand-laid aventurine quartz, and there is an on-site spa, offering products made by local Pataxó Indians. Each cottage includes a beach bed at the nearby Uxua beach club, and easy walk through this car-free area. Suites are anything but quaint and still offer comfortable and luxurious furnishings. With only 12 rooms, this is a special getaway location for anyone seeking something other than “traditional” 5-star accommodations. Trancoso, Brazil
Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt
A grand hotel in the heart of the historic Recoleta.
The stunning Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt was once a neoclassical palace, which is today a combination of the palace and the more contemporary Posadas building. The palace holds 23 beautiful rooms and suites, which are serviced by a team of butlers, while the Posadas building has 142 and is more modern. Several include garden views and some even include balconies lined with lush greenery. Guests can enjoy the quiet terraced garden on site, where they can wander or dine “al fresco”, or enjoy one of 2 other restaurants the hotel has on offer. If you have a hankering for something sweet, an onsite patisserie is available. The two buildings are linked by an underground passage, the “Paseo de las Artes Duhau”, which contains an incredible collection of art. Buenos Aires, Argentina
A welcome oasis in the Chilean desert.
Inspired by the ruins from Pre-Incan civilization in San Pedro de Atacama, the gorgeous Awasi Atacama provides a cool, welcome respite for anyone visiting the area. The hotel’s name, which means “home” in the native language of Quechua, includes serene thatched-roofed adobes. While rustic on the outside, they include fabulous mod cons inside, including king-sized beds and marble bathrooms. With only 10 private suites, this is an intimate hotel experience. Stargazing is a highlight from this high-altitude area, and the desert climate means guests can fully enjoy the various outdoor spaces, or simply curl up with a good book around the fire. San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Playa Grande Beach Club
Caribbean flavour, and a relaxed Dominican resort.
Located along a one-mile stretch of beach, the Playa Grande Beach club offers a stylish refuge for guests, all the while being chic and low-key. Victorian architecture abounds, with its gingerbread cutouts and large porches, as well as pastel colours. Furnishings are comfortable and well suited to the area and include many items that are locally made. The bungalows are not overly kitschy, however; they are fun and colourful while providing a relaxed vibe – very Caribbean. Club service is laid-back and friendly, but still intimate. Spa treatments are available either in-room or in the gazebo located on site. For those looking to be more active, a tennis court is available to guests, as well as yoga, body and paddle boarding, surfing, and hiking. It’s the perfect place to simply kick back and relax. Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
Hotel Unique, São Paulo
Ship-shaped spectacle in the heart of Brazil
Within a generous spot in São Paulo lies an architectural masterpiece true to its name. Hotel Unique rests in the Jardins, taking up space due to its unusual shape – one carved like a ship. Its dramatic form comes with various functions; for one, a rooftop pool is lodged above it, water slides are infused all throughout, depositing risk-takers in its coloured waters. The concept is from Paulistano architect RuyOhtake, who endows the hotel with art installations all around. Its service, however, is less theatrical; Hotel Unique indulges guests with 5-star treatment, with its own spa, gym, concierge, and gloriously furnished rooms. The Skye Restaurants sits at the top of the hotel, covering a fusion of European and Brazillian cuisine, plus a magnificent bar that serves its signature Wasabi Martini. Brazil
Inkaterra La Casona, Cuzco
Incan heritage property surprises with colonial charm
Formerly a training camp for Incan soldiers, the 16th-century manor house shines with stories of valour, as depicted in its moody dark wood furniture, bright Peruvian textiles and bronze furnishings. The refurbished property is tucked above the Andes and bears 11 suites, each retaining its old-world glory as a conquistador’s private home. Each suite, complete with antique decor, marble bathrooms, and floor heating, bear its own vistas; two of which affords guests to the quaint view of the Plazoleta de las Nazarenas. Food is served in the courtyard; however, being close to the plaza, one can stroll into the district of San Blas and enjoy the local cuisine with a camera in hand. Peru
Nayara Springs, Arenal Volcano National Park
Costa Rica’s breath-taking biodiversity in one tropical escape
Lodged inside the Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Springs is a swanky honeymooner resort that binds its guests closer to nature. Dressed in varnished wood and local stones, the 16-villa property radiate with warm, tropical beauty. Each alcove is imbibed with its private mineral-water pool, outdoor shower, and an oversized bathroom, not to mention the gorgeous wood furniture that complements the entire decor. Explore the forest with a buggy, take a zip-line or white-water rafting, then relax in the hotel’s signature treatment which makes use of nutrient-rich mud. Learn how to dance salsa, or just admire the splendid views of Arenal Volcano while dining at Amor Loco. Costa Rica
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Torres del Paine
A minimalist haven set on the geographical marvel of Patagonia
Generously carved from the native lenga wood, the two-story building is set strikingly by the shore of Lake Sarmiento with resplendent views of the snow-capped cliffs of Torres del Paine just across it. The swanky destination banks on seclusion and the glorious spectacle of nature surrounding it. Inside, the lobby puts guests at ease with its bounty of plush furniture and patterned rugs. Rooms are comfortable with plush fabrics and Scandinavian aesthetics. Guests seek this holiday retreat for a Chilean excursion, but relaxing options are aplenty. Lounge in the wicker egg chairs that hang from the lofty beams or take a sip at the indoor pool while admiring the views from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Chile
© This article was first published in June-July 2019 edition of World Travel Magazine.
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