Even service charges, taxes and laundry are included. The three Lakeview Bedrooms and two Camellia Bedrooms all offer panoramic views. In the garden lies a metre infinity swimming pool and a relaxation ambalama for absorbing the scene. The climate in the hills is warm during the day yet fresher and cooler at night, and ideal for long walks. Scenic hikes through tea bushes are a highlight of a stay. Welcome to Thotalagala, a remarkable feat of restoration. The bungalow has been revived to its former glory, with seven themed suites based on personalities that shaped the history of the province of Uva, one of the foremost tea growing regions in Sri Lanka, the finest tea growing region in the world.
Luxury, Eco Friendly Boutique Resort built in a 98 acre tea estate with panoramic views…..
Leopard Trails bespoke tented safaris redefine the original tented safari with convenient modern-day amenities, all the while staying true to the romantic ambiance of a by-gone British colonial era filled with adventure. Tented Safaris is the most authentic form of safari, a true immersion into the sights and sounds of the wilderness. For centuries, people here have farmed small clearings in the forest called chena, sleeping beside their crops in modest huts to protect them from hungry elephants.
Overlooking a beach where sea-turtles come to lay eggs by moonlight and elephants wander down from the nearby forest to play in the surf, Chena Huts is fringed on one landward side by tropical jungle and on the other by a saline lake where ibises, painted storks and even flamingos may be seen, wading in the shallows. For guests at Chena Huts, easy access to these natural wonders involves no compromise with comfort or good taste.
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The open-air bamboo-clad Den and Dining Pavilion — designed to mirror the boulders scattered across the golden beach beyond — wrap around the free-form swimming pool. Guests can enjoy creative daily-changing menus of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine and sundowner cocktails and picnics al fresco on the sand dunes, watching dusk settle over the Indian Ocean.
An unspoiled personal tropical paradise on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Our spacious rooms create a sense of privacy and relaxation. You can enjoy the finest authentic Sri Lankan cuisine at Bojun Hala, our all day dining restaurant. The unique Artisan Village showcases the local craftsmen allowing guests to absorb the cultural background of the South Coast. Surrounded by a acre coconut plantation, golden sandy crescent beach and turquoise ocean, rooms and pool villas are designed for couples, families and differently abled guests. Stay energised with a host of leisure and fitness facilities.
Experience indigenous wellness traditions with beach yoga and Ayurvedic spa therapies. Located in a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent-shaped beach, Amanwella is a seaside resort offering 30 contemporary suites, each with private plunge pool and terrace. Guests can relax on the expansive terrace surrounding the main pool or on the sand beach.
Sitting atop a bluff on a stretch of white sand beach on central south coast of Sri Lanka, Ani Villas Sri Lanka commands a panoramic view of brilliant blue waters rolling in among headlands, reefs, and sandbars. The sprawling 15 bedroom beachfront compound was designed to offer large groups and families an exclusive and pampered vacation.
A full staff and service teams including private butlers, chefs, housekeepers, concierge service, and security-all exclusively yours. Created by Reda Amalou and AW2 of Paris, the property combines contemporary tropical architecture with the finest bespoke finishes and furnishings. An event pavilion and related facilities allow the property to host a wide range of events including weddings and corporate retreats. This gorgeous cliff top resort inhabits 12 tropical acres above the Indian Ocean near Galle.
Tableau serves daily changing modern Sri Lanka cuisine. The Surf Bar is poised at the cliff edge, perfect for lunch and sundowners after a morning surfing. The iconic 60m crescent shaped infinity pool takes in sweeping degree blue views. A 6 suite luxury boutique hotel located on a pristine stretch of beach in the southern most point of the island in a town called Mirissa. All suites are styled with intricate attention to detail in design and comfort. They feature touches of hand-crafted leather, decadent glass bottle lights, designer furniture, seashells and beautiful drift wood to create that beachcomber feeling.
The integrated boutique Ubuntu concept shares the same boutique spirit and feeling as the Lantern Hotel, creating a relaxed environment, tastefully appointed with private and communal areas for guests to chill out and relax or greet and meet people from all over the world.
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The 8 bedroom concept includes 4 courtyard rooms, with garden courtyards and outdoor showers suitable for all including couples and families with young children, and 4 ocean view rooms, exquisitely detailed spaces, which seamlessly connect the sky, ocean, and sand to the room. A luxury 53 room boutique resort located on the Southern shores of Sri Lanka. This has been artfully and sensitively fused with innovative architecture, high design features, state-of-the-art technology, sensual living spaces with naturally modern design, and incredible gastronomic experiences, to stunning effect.
The Fortress will offer unprecedented levels of service, extraordinary innovation, attention to detail and a unique blend of Old Ceylon with Modern Asia. Positioned on Church Street within a UNESCO-listed 17th century fort, this spa hotel in Galle promises serenity, high-end service and gourmet modern dining, and makes a very welcoming retreat from the bustling cobbled streets of Galle Fort.
Relax and de-compress at The Wallawwa, 18 bedroom beautifully renovated country house hotel set amongst tropical gardens and just 15 minutes from Colombo airport or 30 minutes from downtown Colombo. Listed by Conde Nast as one of the top hotels of the world , it is the perfect start or end to any holiday in Sri Lanka.
Built over years ago, Tamarind Hill, Galle is a magnificent colonial manor house. Today it is a Small Luxury Hotel of the World. Suites offer a private balcony and exclusive butler service. With seven highly individual bedrooms, it is well known for its fine dining, its privacy, and its eclectic collection of artwork, books and furniture. Perched high on a hill, yet only a five minute stroll away from the center of the seaside town of Galle, The Sun House offers panoramic views of the Galle and the World Heritage site of Galle Fort.
Refurbished and extended with incredible sensitivity to the original design, Shanth Fernando has created yet another masterpiece to give those who stay in the city at Tintagel a new special resort option in true Paradise Road style. Saman Villas is laid out on a magnificent rocky headland dividing two long, surf-swept golden beaches. The resort is inspired by ancient Sri Lankan architecture. The restaurants, bars and villa suites are all angled to take full advantage of the sea shore vista either side of the headland.
A terraced garden draws the eye to a dramatic infinity-edge pool. Built in the nineteenth century by Sheikh Salehboy Moosajee, it is one of the few remaining buildings of its kind in Colombo. Today, Residence is a luxurious eleven-suite city hotel owned and managed by Uga Escapes. Its design is glamorous, contemporary and comfortable, but recalls the rich history of the building and the surrounding area. Nestled in the heart of Cinnamon Gardens, Le Papillon is an ideal spot from which to discover Colombo.
From here, guests can make the most of all that the lively city has to offer. At Le Papillon, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. All guest accommodations feature thoughtful amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort. Le Papillon is an ideal place of stay for travelers seeking charm, comfort, and convenience in Colombo. A true treasure situated in the heart of Colombo, Maniumpathy was home to five generations of a distinguished family. Originally built over one and a half centuries ago, the house has been carefully restored, preserving its historical splendour, transforming it into a modern-day boutique hotel of just eight suites.
The house in 33rd Lane is an essay in architectural bricollage. When the fourth bungalow became vacant this was colonised to serve as dining room and second living room. Ten years later the remaining bungalows were acquired and added into the composition and the first in the row was demolished to be replaced by a four-storey tower. Book Now!
No one can fail to be impressed. Suddenly, there is a very big reason to stay on in Cambodia after seeing the temples at Angkor Wat. Roughly halfway between the capital, Phnom Penh, and the south coast are acres of protected private land hosting a flamboyant new camp—and one of the hottest openings in Asia this year.
Opt to arrive by zip-line, landing next to a waterfall with huge double sun loungers in vivid greens and yellows, driftwood statues of life-size elephants, and 15 tented rooms, some with rolltop bathtubs on the riverside deck. He has once again partnered with hotelier Sokoun Chanpreda, who is behind three delightful properties in Siem Reap branded Shinta Mani. While staying here, join anti-elephant-poaching patrols or explore the hardwood forest between the Southern Cardamom and Kirirom National parks by mountain bike and kayak.
There are seemingly unlimited spa treatments, a sensational foot-long pool, and a daily menu under brilliant chef Patricia Yeo, who uses foraged greens, mushrooms, and fruits from the forest. Shinta Mani Wild opens up an entire region to the jetset, with style and a firm focus on the environment.
The story steel and glass structure, shaped like a mythical Chinese dragon symbolizing health and prosperity, has drawn mixed reviews but the Rosewood Phnom Penh, which occupies its top 14 floors, only garners accolades. To say that a bedroomed hotel with five restaurants, swimming pool, spa, patisserie, and whiskey library feels cozy may sound far-fetched. Art, often with a dash of whimsy, abounds.
Cambodian artifacts, carved timber panels evoking the Khmer heritage, and artisanal crafts are here, there and everywhere. In a city where the blending of traditional and modern has been less seamless than its regional counterparts in Bangkok and Hanoi, this Rosewood pulls it off easily.
With its star attraction, Sora, the cantilevered sky bar, there is no where else you should stay in this town. Despite an uptick in visitors over the past decade, magical, spiritual Luang Prabang, in northern Laos, still has genuine caught-in-time appeal: a place to move easily between traditional gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, and francophone bookstores. For those chasing a Somerset Maugham fantasy, the new Rosewood Luang Prabang is the perfect home base.
The hotel is on the outskirts of town, a simple minute drive from the historic district. The tents, luxe hillside aeries, require light climbing, but the payoff in privacy and sunrises from the balcony is worth it. To reach all of the Bill Bensely—designed rooms teak and plenty of throwback touches like dial telephones and framed vintage maps , cross a river that snakes through the property.
Cleverly, the wooden bridge is also a bar, serving excellent vodka highballs with Laotian snacks. A few days is utterly resetting; it may even compel some to put pen to paper and try for the next great novel. The phrase game changer gets bandied around a lot, but the Datai was truly that when it opened 26 years ago, transforming this under-the-radar Malaysian castaway spot into the go-to Southeast Asian escape.
But there are plenty of new elements to discover: a butterfly garden and a revamped spa with treatments by pedicure maestro Bastien Gonzalez. Most fun is the bigger beach club where families feast on satay as the sun sets. A game changer? But one that still feels like a wonderfully wild secret. But the notoriously inventive Bill Bensley envisioned something wholly divergent for this acre patch of jungle north of the city on the Wos River: a fanciful take on a tented camp pitched by earlyth-century spice traders. This is hotel as theater: On arrival, visitors receive a survival kit sunscreen and insect repellent, a map , plus a carved walking stick to help pick their way over the suspension bridges leading to 22 black canvas tents with saltwater plunge pools.
Nor does the food shake the storyline: The Mads Lange, named after a notorious Danish trader, turns out full English breakfasts in cast-iron pans. The clubby library is filled with books guests actually want to read and will soon be lending to the public. Also set to lure locals: an foot rooftop lap pool, with an alfresco bar and an edible garden, opening this summer. Upstairs, intimate is a kind word for guest rooms that make the most of a minimal footprint, with yacht-like cabinetry and space-saving design.
Try not to bring more than two suitcases. The minibar, however, is as maximal as they come: a marble-topped set piece stocked with William Yeoward crystal, a wellness guide, and baoding balls to help unwind. Stepping inside is arresting—not only because of the jewel-encrusted screen that anchors the lobby but also because the hotel has a purification system that promises the cleanest air in the pollution-choked city. Adam Tihany was tasked with the redo and took subtle cues from the work of Sir Edwin Lutyens, the architect behind the layout of modern New Delhi. The rooms are generously sized—taking a gamble by reducing the count from paid off—and details like gilt-edged Art Deco touches and sprawling stand-alone bathtubs are suitably ornate.
The magnificent landmark is restored as the pulse point of the city. The laid-back Med luxe is epitomized in the sunset-facing Mura Bar, the sky-blue shutters, wicker globe lamps, and chic cane sofas making it the hotspot for a sundowner and a suck on a shisha pipe. Every last detail is simple and delicious, down to the coconut croissants. Japanese Saoke, one of three restaurants, serves 50 different sakes. But the highlight is lying back in a hammock and watching soft-bellied fruit bats swoop down while nursing a cocktail.
But then, white stone villas that resemble something in Greece or Ibiza have never been done over these waters before. Isabelle Miaja, the diving-enthusiast designer who was also behind Ozen by Atmosphere on neighboring Maadhoo, wanted it to feel like the type of place Bond Craig, not Connery would escape to post-mission, when needing a hit of punched-up sexy solitude.
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Bathrooms are decidedly modern and concrete, and have tubs that sink down deep in that way only hotel bathtubs ever do. The sapphire-blue pool has pops of red and an ice-cream cart straight out of South Beach, while the Barium private dining room has aquariums for walls. And then, well, there is INTI restaurant where the eye-roll-inducingly fresh ceviche blows the typical menu of grilled fish out of these turquoise waters.
This is a place where the children of families who used to come to the Maldives every year are now choosing to return to themselves as grown-ups. Rich textures and subtle cultural references are combined in the lobby, which is decorated with bamboo-sculpted emerald-porcelain walls and contemporary Chinese artworks in the glow of a 3,piece Venetian chandelier.
Italian architect Piero Lissoni continues to weave his minimalist magic in the bedrooms there are also long-stay residences. Here, moody, dark woods are contrasted with pops of blue and canary yellow. Walls of windows on three sides in the Studio 90 rooms create the illusion of floating in a swell of skyscrapers. The complimentary Maxi Bar and oversized tassel-cord by the bed that triggers the master switch are fun touches, but the glass-walled bathrooms might be a bit too revealing for the more prudish.
Arranged around a circular wooden walkway out at sea, its 15 rooms conjure spacious Japanese ryokans: designed by minimalist Tokyo architect Yumi Yamazaki from soothing wood, stone, and reed-thatch, and fronted by a wide deck, plunge pool, and ladder into the swirling blue sea. Unusually, thanks to the solar panels that roof the airy living area, there is not a single generator to be heard, just a gentle lap of waves on creamy beaches, and the occasional thud of a coconut.
Like Aman and COMO, which both debuted in , the hotel takes its design cues from traditional dzong —fortresses with whitewashed stone walls and flared roofs. Bhutanese hot stone baths are a centerpiece of the spa and cultural activities include lessons in archery, the national sport. The room resort caters to wellness junkies who want a dose of culture along with their farm-fresh food and meditation sessions. Join your spa therapist on a foraging excursion around the grounds and collect ingredients for your hot compress treatment. Wa Ale opens as something new: a collection of slick safari tents that slip easily into the surrounding jungle, 55 nautical miles west of the mainland.
Centuries-old strangler fig trees muscle up beside 11 smart tent-villas, while a pair of reclaimed-wood treehouses hover in the lush rainforest canopy. A warm sea breeze blows through the mesh windows, and mosquito nets are draped across grand four-poster beds. Bathrooms, meanwhile, have open-air showers and dark teak decks running between tropical shrubs. The only soundtrack is the clicking of thousands of cicadas through the heat of the late afternoon, and the muffled thud of macaques and squirrels acrobatically dashing on top of the main pavilion.
This a wild corner of southeast Asia where time has stood still. A Bali or Boracay before the hordes arrived. Those repelled by the excessiveness and hyper-development of those islands will be mesmerized. The open-air lobby overlooks the wind-latticed surf, while winding stone switchbacks lead past rows of white stone villas with carved wooden doors to a wide infinity pool that stretches to, well, the infinite horizon and beyond it, Australia.
The hook of this place is how it lets us—forces us, really—to stop. Owner Claire Gemes has thoughtfully put together a relaxed retreat on the property she and her family have lived on for more than a century: lush acres, hidden away on a hill by the ocean on the Bellarine Peninsula near Melbourne. Each of the seven rooms is filled with warm, earthy interiors inspired by the surrounding landscape: moody seas and rolling dark greens.
Lon is a place to do everything, including rambling without a map, or nothing at all. Massages at the simple spa are very good; a soak in the mineral pool is even better. Breakfast baskets are filled with banana bread and granola to graze on in bed or on the balcony while taking in the views in every direction. All the talk in recent years might have been about the Mornington Peninsula, but Lon makes a compelling case for the lo-fi charms of lesser-known Bellarine.
Every so often a new hotel announces that a destination has arrived. The Calile does just that for Brisbane. The vaulted lobby is cool and airy with honey-hued travertine walls and roughly hewn stone floors, softened by mid-century-modern furniture. Upstairs, the private pool deck has mint-colored cabanas and a flush of tropical plants to create a sophisticated hideaway for beautiful people in small swimsuits and large straw hats.
All have some form of balcony or terrace for air and views; those architects knew better than to rid guests of the blazing sun and bluer-than-blue Queensland sky. Among Australian cities, Melbourne rules the design and foodie game. But until now it has fallen shamefully short on the hotel front and developer Darren Rubenstein knew it. When asked advice by a friend on where to stay in his hometown, he was completely uninspired. So he decided to become a hotelier and sort it out himself.
The result is a gift to his friend and anyone planning to visit Melbourne. Of the 12 smart yet understated rooms, those in moss-green tones have views of the gardens; the others, in shades of dusky pink, overlook the neighborhood. Every detail here is carefully considered and in line with the taste level expected in this style-driven city. There are expansive balconies for relaxing with a dram of Sullivans Cove whisky, distilled in Tasmania, and a Patricia Urquiola Redondo sofa to curl up on in the living area. Each morning, a seasonal breakfast yogurt with berries and dark chocolate is delivered at a time that suits.
Creatives in all black and sharp glasses sip flat whites and hold lunch meetings over slick Mac laptops in the sun-drenched Paramount Coffee Project, ostensibly the lobby of the hotel. Paramount House is the only truly cool boutique hotel in a Sydney neighborhood you want to be in, with food and design to make you stay indoors all day.
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A private island resort is one thing. An entire archipelago in one of the most ruggedly beautiful, previously inaccessible parts of the world is a whole other level. Proof: The place runs entirely on solar energy, but the air conditioning works perfectly. Wicker and rattan are well-deployed, fabrics are all crisp natural whites, sage greens and light blues, and everything is indoor-outdoor wherever possible: Each casita wall is constructed with louvered slats to let in the breeze, massive doors slide open and turn the whole room into the chicest screened-in porch ever.
Even the shower can be had both ways, depending on which way you position the door. Islas Secas marks its arrival. This, its third venture, was 10 years in the making. The challenge? The highpoint is, of course, the cascading cataracts themselves, viewed with a private guide at canny times of the day. Like many special hotels, this one is tricky to find. There are no sign posts. No terrace on the street flowing with hotel guests and a stream of waiters with spritzes. Only the discreet stone archway that leads off the square to what was once a private family home—then a school run by nuns—indicates you have arrived.
The designers have excelled in filling this space with natural light and drama with a mix of both vintage and new furniture.
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Their vast, custom-made walnut beds and in-room cocktail bars with integrated stereos are real highlights. Among the crush of boutique offerings in medieval Palma, Can Bordoy captures the true heart of the place in a way worthy of the moment. Finland's handsome capital has never topped the list of Nordic cities on a traveler's radar.
It doesn't have an Old Town like Stockholm. Or the food scene of Copenhagen though Tommi Tuominnen's mini empire is starting to change that. It didn't even have a hotel doing for the city what The Thief did for Oslo. Until— until —last May, when homegrown hotel group Kamp turned an old newspaper publishers a couple blocks from the water into a modern Grande Dame. The stylish St George walks the line between show pony for local design and emporium of international tastemakers.
There is the charmingly minimal blond wood desk and chairs in each sunlit room, where function matches design in a way to make Alvar Aalto proud. Ai Wei Wei's wonderfully bizarre hanging dragon commands the space downstairs from the check-in desks. Down the checkered hallway, a Monocle cafe where sharply dressed Finns tap at laptops and sip strong coffee channels Stockholm but serves the city's most fragrant rye rolls, a Finnish staple.
The 18th-century building was originally designed by Onni Tarjanne, who also did the National Theater across town; it's why the grand public bar resembles the old winter gardens, with its canopy of plants and pale blue walls, that were fashionable in the s. It's an appropriate way to modernize the city's past, in a hotel that will finally land it on the traveler's itinerary.
Parisians are not so unlike Londoners and New Yorkers. Come Friday, they, too, hightail it to the country for 48 hours of blissfully slower living. Their options for where to spend the weekend have been mostly restricted to ancestral manors and castles that require serious mileage to reach—as well as a dress code at dinner.
Design Studio Be-poles, which was responsible for the louche interiors of Le Pigalle hotel, did a fine job of keeping the countryside in focus here, placing plants throughout and blending raw materials such as corkboard in the rooms, which were used to store grain in the s. As Paris moves in a direction that feels increasingly hipster, Le Barn is the type of place where those breathing new life into the city go to recharge.
Did Grace Kelly have a sense of humor? If so, you might think of the gorgeously reinvented University Arms as the Grace Kelly of hotels. Cambridge has been arguably the smartest town around since about A mere years later, it has a hotel to match. If it all sounds a bit over the top, it is. Blond wood and glass walls render the whole triple-deck interior Champagne-colored and the golden-leafed sculpture hanging in the atrium is truly lovely.
Very large bedroom terraces, indoor and outdoor pools and jacuzzi all offer panoramic views of the world-famous and now UNESCO World Heritage-listed vineyards, while the top-floor bar has access to the cellar's different Champagnes as well as views that look over the vineyards. As anticipated openings go, this one was a humdinger: Stories about the extraordinary restoration of Heckfield Place made the rounds for 10 years before the redbrick Hampshire mansion opened to guests last September.
On site are two restaurants overseen by super-chef Skye Gyngell, who has the run of acres of organic farmland to fuel her menus, and a seat cinema showing new releases three times a week. Like Babington House some 20 years before it, Heckfield confirms that big-city tastes can translate to the country, and that doing so does not mean compromising the intimacy urbanites so desperately seek when needing to escape for a long weekend. It takes imagination and sensitivity for a global brand to turn a much-loved local favorite into a chic little beach hotel without accusations of cultural imperialism.
Soho House has done just that with this Barcelona arrival. There are only 17 rooms, including one duplex with a private terrace, so staying here feels more like a cheeky weekend away with your best friends. Everybody greets each other in the restaurant, where lunch is selected from an ice-packed fish counter, or when claiming their striped sunbed on the beach. DJs in the bar—a stunning space where the floor-to-ceiling windows let a sea breeze in—provide gently rocking vibes in the evenings. Massages using Cowshed products are given outdoors on the terrace.
The vibe in Garraf is off-beat. With this opening, Soho House injects the town with an alluring dose of urbane sophistication and the right amount of local sensibility. It was tired, of course. Rising Scottish star Adam Handling runs the restaurant, bar, and tearoom, designed with relative restraint by Russell Sage, who also did The Fife Arms. Belmond has planted its U. Set away from the hubbub on Ramatuelle beach west of the town proper, and tucked behind the sand dunes, it is the antithesis of loud-money Saint-Tropez.
There are 10 simple, whitewashed cabins, designed by Madison Cox, the man behind the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. Then last year the place was given a spruce by Italian interior designer Monica Damonte. She turned to old pictures and vintage furniture to recreate the feeling of the golden age. Time travel is not at odds with modern luxuries though.
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Though it is tough to resist the deep-blue Mediterranean, so close you can hear the lapping waves. This is the riviera, brought back to its roots. In its Adelaide cocktail bar, large-scale black and white prints pop against maroon walls and golden curtains that surely recall the fabulous living rooms of the smart designers along Via di Monserrato, a Gimlet or three is a revelation. Rather brilliantly, he found ways to make it feel relevant and not forced, which rarely land so easily in Rome. Staying at this converted 18th-century townhouse places guests properly amongst the muck, and with three bars and restaurants from which to watch the daily life unfold with an elderflower cocktail in hand, naturally.
Interior designer Dorothee Meilichzon took her cues from the neighborhood when decking out the 50 rooms with textures, shapes, and colors. Petite guestrooms have luscious greens, blues, and pinks; against this palette the plump all-white beds seem like fluffy, cozy clouds. Tiny wooden stools near windows with ball-gown length drapes create the atmosphere of a Parisian parlor. Though when the bustle of the 2nd all gets a little too much, the ideal escape is on the rooftop, where gin joint The Shed serves a mean vodka with lemongrass to young locals who will no doubt be dressed better than yourself.
Paris rarely feels as fun as it does from the inside of a hotel run by a bunch of bartenders. The overall feel is far from austere, because of the floor-to-ceiling shelves of antique books, collection of tropical plants that borders on a mini rainforest, and sumptuously upholstered furniture—good luck getting back up after sinking into one of those wool-lined moon chairs. Drinks on the gambling floor and in the lobby-level Pink Bar put the focus on locally distilled spirits such as Sarajishvili brandy.
At the heart of this stretch of long beaches backed by rolling olive-and-wine country is Orbetello, a laid-back town in Grosseto with something of a Spanish feel, scenically set on an isthmus in a coastal lagoon. Now its chef, Andreas Caminada, is giving them reason to stay the night. Last October, he opened the exquisite Casa Caminada in a born-again barn on the castle grounds, where rustic ambience is tempered with urban touches, and authenticity replaces the musty luxuries ubiquitous in Swiss mountain-palace hotels.
Upstairs, 10 sun-flooded rooms retain original exposed beams, enhanced by reclaimed larchwood parquet floors and furniture custom-made by local carpenters. To soften the masculinity, Patricia Urquiola added pops of refined Italian style, including brass-and-magenta-linen loungers for absorbing sunshine or finishing a novel.
It is unexpected and fabulous. The airy new restaurant offers buttery and crunchy maluns crumb-like dumplings made with shredded potatoes and walnut tortes baked in a volcanic-stone oven. Casa Caminada places the design and food expected of Milan, miles south, in one of the most glorious natural settings anywhere on earth. Plenty of pubs in Scotland have names like the Flying Stag.
The sense of energy here is irresistible. The room Fife Arms takes a familiar tartan-clad template and—with love and respect and even a kind of delicacy—blows it to smithereens. Even the rooms, from designer Russell Sage, which range in size and budget and bear grand names such as the Duke of Fife Suite, are a mastery of textile and layering. After a four-year renovation overseen by designer Philippe Starck, the resulting hotel is as much about a lifestyle as it is a place to crash.
For one thing, the buzzing restaurant draws fashionable locals from breakfast until the early hours with its patisserie, plates to share, and potent drinks. Even the swimming pool booms with a killer sound system. The party continues in the rooms, each with its own mini concept store the minibar is so , stocked with pre-made cocktails by the Avantgarde Spirits Company.
Not that the guys behind the Experimental Chalet can take credit for that. Such stuff is in the hands of God or geology. The French hospitality hotshots burst onto the scene in with the Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris , which they followed up with wonderful bars, restaurants and hotels in London , New York , and Ibiza. The new place—actually an old place that has been given the Experimental treatment—is a remarkable addition to this great winter playground, a town that is proud of its discretion and sporty credentials. The restaurant—regional with flair, pairing saucisson cooked in brioche and earthy Pinot Noir—is superb, and the bar better still.
This is mid-century hipster with high-altitude flourishes never before seen here, proving that cool has its place among the classic in Verbier. Last summer, its glass doors reopened after a spectacular four-year restoration by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who also designed the Mandarin Oriental across the Seine.
Though never has it seen so much urban drama as right now. Despite a profanity of high-rises gobbling up the sight lines, the Bankside Hotel is appealingly succinct at just six stories behind Blackfriars Bridge, angled to catch the light. One of the standout pieces, however, is the ceramic mural running along one wall of the restaurant and bar, picking out scenes from riverside history: Viking boats, fishing, and the Great Fire. Pick up Tom Ford sunnies and even engagement rings from the elevator-side vending machine.
There are water-carafe stations on each floor, single-use plastics are banished, and key cards are made from paper. A mezzanine gallery with arts titles for browsing leads onto a garden terrace—views of the river and St. Families flew to Cap J year after year, while major handshake deals would go down on Maundays Bay, and legendary parties would keep the drinks flowing at Pimms restaurant. Eventually, of course, the crowd moved on, and the beleaguered owners sold the property to Belmond in May —just before Hurricane Irma barreled in. Approving regulars are back, though no sooner had they crossed into the new lobby than LVMH announced it had snapped up Belmond—a sign that memories are the most precious things we can own.
Cap Juluca shows that classics can be reinvented, and be just as alluring as the original. There are a few givens we look forward to with beachside mega hotels. Water toys—paddleboards, overwater trampolines, jet skis—are fun and plentiful. But it also pulls off something exceedingly rare for its genre: It captures the destination in a way that goes beyond the conch-fritter shack off the beach path which we also love.
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