Where we wish we were, and where we plan to be in the future
Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Set within eight hectares of lush gardens, lemon-grass meadows and rice paddy fields, lies Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang; a spellbinding property which has been built to resemble a Cambodian village. Comprising just 45 wooden and stilted villas, the resort was designed to respect and value the surrounding land by limiting its environmental imprint. Guests can expect to see wandering water buffalo inquisitively peeking through their villa windows as they slowly make their way to the hotel’s surrounding paddy fields. Our experience of choice, as arranged by Zannier Hotels, is a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the famed Angkor Wat. A unique way to beat the crowds, this journey guarantees amazing aerial views over the temples.
Jamaica Inn – Ocho Rios, Jamaica
The classically elegant Jamaica Inn is nestled just east of Ocho Rios and is spread over eight-acres. Boasting a 700-foot private white sand beach, considered to be one of the best in the Caribbean, Jamaica Inn has been owned by the Morrow family for over 60 years. The property has a timeless allure of old-time glamour, with Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming and Kathryn Hepburn all having sipped cocktails on the hotel’s famed terrace. We dream of sipping expertly made cocktails on Jamaica Inn’s beautiful beach whilst watching Shadow, the hotel’s resident black Labrador, playfully surf the Caribbean waves and expertly manoeuvre the hotel’s paddle boards.
Villa d’Este – Lake Como, Italy
On the banks of the picturesque Lake Como, lies Villa d’Este, one of the world’s most iconic hotels. Built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, Villa d’Este has become a favourite destination for royalty, Hollywood legends, musicians, writers and discerning travellers. The hotel owns an exquisitely hand-crafted traditional Vaporina boat for truly special occasions. Villa d’Este’s Vaporina can take guests on a beautiful voyage across the famous lake, stopping at nearby villages such as Bellagio and Tremezzo. Time seems to stand still when gliding into the hotel’s docks on board the Vaporina, an experience that only Villa d’Este can accomplish with such finesse.
Zannier Hotels Omaanda & Sonop – Namibia
With potentially weeks – or months – of staying indoors ahead, our desire for adventure is already starting to intensify. The unbeaten tracks, vast desert plains and rugged landscapes of Namibia have never been so appealing. A twin centre trip to Zannier Hotels Omaanda and Zannier Hotels Sonop is high on the bucket list. Comprising ten luxury huts and ten luxury tents respectively, these properties are perfect for those wishing to immerse themselves in nature. Not to mention, with experiences such as helicopter rides over the Namib dunes and rhino tracking in the heart of the Zannier nature reserve, Omaanda and Sonop offer a safari trip of a lifetime.
Villa La Massa – Tuscany, Italy
In early Autumn, the last of Tuscany’s warm summer sun can still be felt, whilst the dry summer scenery has gone, replaced by an autumnal crimson hue. It’s at this time that our favourite Tuscan property, Villa La Massa, a stunning 16th Century Medici Villa, situated alongside the banks of the River Arno offers its guests its famed truffle hunting experience set amidst the beautiful autumnal landscape. Guided by an expert truffle hunter, and with the aid of trained dogs, guests are invited to hunt down the “King of truffles” – the coveted Italian whitetruffle – in the private woodlands of the thousand-year old estate of the Strozzi Princesses. Following an afternoon of truffle hunting, guests have the chance to enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisine at the hotel’s Il Verrocchio Restaurant accompanied by the finest Italian Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino wines and of course the delectable truffles.
Bequia Beach Hotel – Bequia
Known to some as the Caribbean’s best kept secret, the remote island of Bequia is part of the Grenadines and home to Bequia Beach Hotel. This family-owned and run resort is set amidst 10 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and features 57 rooms, suites and villas that are renowned for their charm and vintage-style décor. Bequia Beach Hotel owns its very own luxury superyacht Star of the Sea. With six cabins, this 35 metre yacht can accommodate up to 12 guests and is available for private charter. We wish we were sailing around the Tobago Cays or across to Mustique, relaxing in the onboard jacuzzi whilst sipping on sundowners.
The RuMa Hotel and Residences – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The RuMa is Urban Resort Concepts’ first foray outside of China. With exceptional dining by Tyson Gee, a stand-out spa and glistening cantilevered pool on the sixth floor, The RuMa is a true urban oasis in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle. As part of URC’s philosophy of Hostmanship™, guests are invited to take breakfast anywhere in the hotel including in their bedroom whilst taking in the awe-inspiring views across the city.
Casa San Agustin – Cartagena, Colombia
Within the Walled City of Cartagena, Casa San Agustin has been lovingly restored from three whitewashed buildings to create a calm haven in the centre of this bustling city. Comprised of just 30 rooms and suites, the hotel exudes the feeling of a private home, complete with the ever-popular Restaurant Alma and the hidden Aurum spa. Guests of the hotel can opt for the Acasi experience; a one-hour boat ride to a private island decked with sun loungers and hammocks. Whilst on the island, enjoy a freshly cooked lunch with refreshing local beers provided, and stay to watch the sunset.
Chablé Yucatan – Merida, Mexico
Chable Yucatan opened to much acclaim in 2016 in the depths of the Yucatan jungle. Mindfully designed to celebrate the outstanding natural beauty of the area, each standalone casita boasts its own private pool that oozes exclusivity. Anchored on a tag line of ‘redefining wellness’ Chable’s spa is second to none and is the first in the world to be built around its very own cenote. The programme of activities and spa treatments is vast; guests can choose from meditating on the deck overlooking the cenote to cycling around the 750 acres of land.
Chablé Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico
Just 30 minutes south of Cancun on the white sand beach of Maroma, is Chable Yucatan’s sister hotel, Chable Maroma. Following in its sister’s footsteps, Chable Maroma boasts exquisite restaurants, villas with private pools and a showstopper main pool adjacent to the beach. Our activity of choice is snorkelling on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The second largest reef in the world, it provides habitat to over 500 species of fish, five species of marine turtle and attracts one of the world’s largest congregations of whale sharks.
Coral Reef Club – Barbados
Family-owned and run, Coral Reef Club is situated on the west coast of Barbados overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Renowned for its warm staff and friendly service, Coral Reef Club epitomises barefoot luxury. Coral Reef Club’s wellness retreats run three times a year and invite guests to disconnect from emails and reconnect with nature. The retreats take place within the lush tropical grounds which are teeming with bougainvillea, palm trees and local birds. To truly celebrate the beauty of Barbados, island hikes are also offered, providing guests with the opportunity to achieve a sense of place and marvel at the panoramic vistas.
Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa – Limassol, Cyprus
Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol opened in 2019 on the Blue Flag Beach of Aoratoi. Its facilities are unrivalled, and with family accommodation, standalone luxury villas and an adult-only accommodation wing and pool, it truly caters for everyone. We’re dreaming of lounging on the beach, cocktail in hand, hearing the waves lapping, after an indulgent lunch of Cypriot mezze from Daphne’s, one of the five restaurants this resort has to offer.
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