We all need a vacation now and then, whether it’s a quick weekend to the coast or a hike across the Great Wall of China, there’s nothing like getting away.
But while tourist attractions can promise all manner of fun, many of us venture to certain destinations around the world just for the hotels themselves – many of which offer grandeur beyond our wildest dreams. If you’re looking for somewhere extra special to go and treat yourself, check out these incredible hotels from discernible destinations all over the world.
Palacio Nazarenas, Peru
Rated as the best luxury hotel in the world, the Palacio Nazarenas has received glowing reviews from 900,000 guests – and it’s no wonder with its gorgeous Machi Picchu location. The five-star hotel features 55 suites which it claims are “enriched with oxygen” for the pleasure of its guests, while tourist attractions are just a stone’s throw away, such as the Nazarenas Square, and the Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman fortresses.
The Venetian, Las Vegas
Few hotels in the world can boast their very own canal within their four walls – but the Venetian on the Las Vegas strip offers just that. Part of the largest five-diamond hotel and resort complex in the world, it features more than 4,000 suites and hotel rooms, all decorated with an opulent Italian theme. Of course, it wouldn’t be Las Vegas without mentioning its 120,000 square foot casino. Indeed, nowadays people may be more tempted to play at online alternatives like Jackpotcity, but with such an array of different games on offer, the Venetian really does it like no other.
Jumby Bay, Antigua
For those who are looking for privacy, nothing says isolated luxury quite like Jumby Bay. Situated on the Caribbean isle of Antigua, the Jumby Bay is reachable only by boat, and is surrounded by white powdered beaches with bicycle paths in an excluded, paradisical part of the world. Be sure to take a visit to the Lazy Lizard villa, which features an 18,000 square feet beach estate and a moated entrance.
Cordevalle, San Martin, California
Golfing fans can enjoy grandeur like no other in the Cordevalle Golf Resort in California, which offers unrivalled hospitality set amongst a backdrop of rolling Californian hills. Home to the US Women’s Open, the golf course is just one of the many facets of this stunning resort, which also features its own vineyard, gourmet dining and health spa.
Mara Kempinski, Kenya
Get in touch with nature in Kenya’s stunning Mara Kempinski resort. Visitors can gaze out of the bedroom windows and enjoy views of wildlife in the Masai Mara, featuring 35,000 acres of prime grassland, riverine forests and acacia woodlands.
Corte San Pietro Hotel is an abandoned structure that was beautifully restored into a luxury hotel by architect Daniela Amoroso, located in Matera, Italy. Matera is one of the most ancient cities in the world and its territory contains the evidence of human settlements as from the Palaeolithic times.
The Sassi districts, World Heritage site, are the original urban core of the city and, based on natural caves, they have been further extended over the millenniums to be turned into even more complex structures.An intricate network of streets, alleyways, inner courtyards and neighborhoods overlooked by habitations of all sizes, ancient defensive walls, towers, warehouses, wine cellars and cisterns. A never-ending excavated and built system.
In the very heart of the Sassi district, an abandoned structure in disuse dating back to the XVII. C and which surrounds an internal courtyard has been restored and reinvented to be turned into new spaces of a 5,381 square foot (500 square meters) hotel.
Useless architectural contaminations and superfluous layers of pavement have been removed, uncovering the original tufa stonework topped with vaults: the historical structure has been laid bare, as an architectural evidence to confront and dialogue with. In this search for essence, authentic, pure space free from excess, we can recognize the Wabi spirit conceived by the Belgian Axel Vervoordt.
The historical places, full of an attractive identity, harmoniously and precisely combine to the comfort and to the refined and elegant design.
Turned into refined hotel rooms, the former habitations at the ground floor overlook an internal courtyard which, thanks to long and accurate restoration works, is characterized by an original stone pavement called “a chiancarelle”.
Enlightened with candle lights in the evening, the courtyard becomes very cozy and intimate, giving a sense of protection.
The rooms located all around the courtyard are rigorously monochromatic, characterized by chestnut brown shades, from the beige of the stone to the brown of the wood and the weathering steel. Soil, stone pavement and the natural colour of the stone become wall, ceiling and sitting.
The constant search for a connection between the various inner rooms and the landscape is the very base of this combination of local stone, wood and iron in each single room with different proportions according to a linear and essential design. Poor elements usually combined to a country style become light and modern.
The linen curtains of the entrance doors skillfully made by hand let a bright light reach the first area of each room dedicated to sitting/living area and relax whereas the following private areas carved out from the rock face, are enlightened through skylights from the vaults. These small windows, from above, allow beams of light to alternate with large dark intimate areas.
Tufa arches introduce to bathrooms, intimate and cozy spaces featured by niches and cavities now containing large stone bathtubs or showers.
The interior design is based on restored vintage furnishings and typical tools. Nature and timeworn objects perfectly suit each single room through various furnishing elements: old benches in century-old chestnut tree become either doors, shelves or tables, old wooden chairs frames become towel holders, tree logs become stools or bedside tables.
The whole hotel develop horizontally all around an area, the courtyard, characterized by slight differences of level and surrounded by five rooms, the reception hall and the breakfast room, in an ancient typical system which features the whole structure.
Under the hotel, below ground, are located eight bell-shaped cisterns, evidence of the former system for the collection of the rainwaters and excellent example of sustainability. Rainwaters were forwarded through gutters, drainpipes and channelings down to the cisterns connected to the habitations. Cisterns are visitable through narrow inner passages. Going through the changeable silence of a cave and adapting ourselves to these dark environments means to be immersed into another dimension, where it is possible to seize the deepest and ancestral meaning of these places, of this land. It is a place where to feed our souls and feel a strong well-being.
From the entrance in Via B. Buozzi, visitors are greeted as in a private house in the graceful and cozy reception, elegantly furnished, through which it is possible to access the private courtyard.
Photos: PierMario Ruggeri
Chalet Le Coquelicot is a luxury ski chalet designed by Wilkinson Beven Design, built into the mountain at the exclusive location of Nogentil in Courchevel 1850, France. The interior design brief for this 6,243 square foot (580 square meters), six story ski chalet was for a highly comfortable mountain retreat, suitable for family winter ski holidays and entertaining. Providing living, dining and bedroom spaces spread over a number of levels, each room has bespoke design features and carefully selected materials and finishes.
With 6 bedrooms which sleep up to 12 guests, rates range from $86,518 to $144,196 per week, from here.
A special lighting design scheme was created for the client enjoy a number of subtle options for mood and ambiance, achieved with a combination of concealed lighting and decorative fittings. A design palette was selected that suited the client’s taste for natural colors and textures and specialist fitness recovery features, such as a spa, hot and cold plunge pools, massage and steam rooms make this an ideal location for the serious winter sports enthusiast!
No expense has been spared in decorating this luxury chalet with the highest quality, modern materials such as marble, stone and mosaic tiles. Best of all, there’s no tramping through the slush, lugging your skis, to get home. At Chalet Le Coquelicot you ski straight out and back home to your door.
After the welcome drinks, take a little time to explore your exciting Alpine pad by gliding up and down in the elevator. At the top of Chalet Le Coquelicot you’ll find the huge, sumptuous living and dining area with an open fire, high tech sound system and magnificent views, and down in the basement you’ll discover the streamlined surroundings of the spa area, pool and another stylish lounge.
The floors in-between are packed with lavish indulgences and state-of-the art technology. Step out on floor -3 for the swish indoor parking area, accessed by car lift. Exit at level -2 for the state-of-the-art ski room and well-stocked cellar. Alight at levels -1 and 0 for the sophisticated comfort of the en-suite bedrooms and private terraces.
The large master bedroom suite has been designed with comfort and luxury in mind. Soft finishes, textures and fabrics create a sumptuous retreat and the en-suite bathroom boasts a free-standing bath and walk-in shower to soothe away those après-ski aches and pains.
The chalet has been expertly designed to seamlessly blend refined finishes and exciting new materials with state-of the-art equipment. Snow-inspired textures and glimmering finishes have been used throughout to echo the magical mountain surroundings. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the splendid spa and swimming pool area. The ten-metre pool, relaxing steam room, Jacuzzi and massage room are all imbued with the spirit of the mountains, providing a relaxing sanctuary after a day on the slopes.
Chalet Mont Blanc is a new mega-luxury ski chalet in Megève, a town well-known as a ski resort for its proximity to the Mont Blanc in the French Alps. This magnificent mountain retreat is one of the most exceptional properties available to rent in the world, offering ski-in/ski-out access to the Jaillet piste.
The chalet accommodates up to 12 adults and 4 children with over 7 en-suite bedrooms, a spa and a private heli-pad, with rates ranging from $200,540 to $376,014, from here.
There are four double suites in the master chalet and two double bedrooms in the guest chalet, alongside the specially designed children’s bedroom which sleeps four little ones. Each bedroom is beautifully designed and comes with plasma TV, mini-bar and safe.
The chalet complex spans two neighboring buildings and features a large outdoor heated infinity pool that overlooks Megeve. There’s a spa with indoor pool with jet streams, a sauna and hammam. The property also has a massage room and can arrange treatments, massages and in house hair styling. Mont Blanc also features a fully equipped gym.
The wine cellar completes this sumptuous chalet enabling indulgent evenings with the chalet’s à la carte wine list. After you have enjoyed the dinner created by your private chef, you could spend the evening relaxing watching a film in the home cinema, or with a cocktail in the heated outdoor lounge looking out over the resort.
The chalet benefits from its own helipad which makes arriving from Geneva quick and simple. Should you choose to arrive by car, the chalet has a garage that can house 12 cars and even has a professional washing area.
Situated on the Jaillet piste just above the Jaillet lift for easy ski in ski out access, and only a two minute drive from the resort of Megève via the heated driveway, the chalet is the perfect place to unwind for an unsurpassed ski holiday. Chalet Mont Blanc has to be the most luxurious residence in Megeve and one of the finest in the world.
Chalet Gstaad is a stunning private holiday chalet in the Swiss Alps designed by Laurence Rouveure of Ardesia Design in collaboration with Amaldi Neder Architects. The objective of this weekend hideaway was to create a warm, cozy atmosphere using a natural palette of neutral colors and soft textures such as linen and wool. The drive of the design was towards pure and clean lines with a sense of lightness and neutral colors. The designer concentrated on the design of pure and clean lines of the 4,090 square feet (380 square meters) lodge and carefully selected a palette of natural materials.
The walls of this chalet are covered in Australian rough-sawn timber and the floor is made of Danish fir planks of up to 15 meters long. In the bedrooms, wool and cashmere fabric have been mounted instead of a headboard to break up the all-wood appearance. The bathrooms are plastered in marmorino (or tadelakt) to create contrast to the wood while keeping to the natural theme. The furniture is a mix of new, contemporary, furniture, traditional pieces and eclectic finds sourced from all over Europe.
Avoiding a conventional layout, Laurence divided the 5 bedroom-bathrooms suites between the basement and the ground floor and dedicated the top floor with its huge rooftop apex to socializing and entertaining.
The walls throughout the house are covered by panels of rough sawn Austrian timber that was slightly burnt, brushed, and braised. Flooring is made up of wide Danish planks from Dinesen of lye and white soap finish fir that measure up to 16 meters long.
A palette of neutral and natural colours is to be found throughout the all house, including grey tadelakt and white Turkish limestone in the bathrooms. The natural material of tadelakt, usually used in warm places, was brought to this mountain interior and mixed with the roughness of the wood.
The brushed stainless steel kitchen with its island countertop and sink in stone Pietra del Cardosa gives a cool and industrial feel, which contrasts with the timber surroundings of the chalet.
Photos: Alessandro Costa
Baan Hinyai Villa is a stylish and spacious luxury vacation home that is available for rent, nestled beachside in tropical Baan Makam, Koh Samui, Thailand. Upon entrance to the villa, the first thing that strikes you is its generous size. The beautiful designed split-level, living and dining area opens onto breathtaking tropical views and a drastic infinity-edge pool.
To stay at this sensational luxury vacation home in Koh Samui, rates range from $1,150 – $2,750 / per night, from here.
The villa features five bedrooms all of which have TVs, feature king size beds and boast sea views, as well as dramatic en-suite bathrooms. The bathrooms feature free standing bath tubs and separate shower cubicles, plus his and hers washbasins. Generous sized wardrobes with gowns and slippers supply 5-Star comfort.
A huge wooden dining table seats up to 20 people, whilst the nearby pool-side sala is perfect for outdoor dining and relaxation. Back in the main living area, two oversized sofas sit either side of a sleek wooden table with a flat screen TV (satellite channels) and DVD unit poised for evening entertainment.
An open-plan western kitchen is equipped with LG and Siemens fridges, a fitted oven, microwave, gas hobs and a full range of modern appliances.
For watersports lovers with a sense of adventure, staying at one of the two expansive, luxury beachfront villas of either Baan Hinta/Hinyai offers a unique opportunity not only to enjoy a memorable beachside vacation, but also to try out the very latest in hi-tech marine toys. The villa comes with a choice of watersports equipment, including a Sea Kayak and paddle board.
Kandolhu Island is an exquisite luxury resort in the Maldives, a tiny private island showcasing a beautiful white sand beach and pristine coral reef. The resort features just 30 villas in five different styles, each style distinct in design. All of these villas perfectly combine natural elements of the Maldives with local architecture, modern interiors and creature-comforts, creating an experience so memorable that it will stay with you forever. Choose between beach villas or over-water villas, some with a Jacuzzi and others with a private plunge pool. All have daybeds, a sundeck and sun loungers to make the most of the outrageously beautiful sea views. Grab your complimentary snorkelling gear and discover Kandolhu Island’s colourful house reef encircling the island.
A luxurious spa facility along with a gym, four wonderful restaurants, and a wealth of non-motorised water sports, this could be your temporary Maldivian home. A diver’s paradise, Kandolhu Island provides day and night dives from on board a Maldivian dhoni. Swim among turtles, Napoleon wrasse, parrotfish, snappers and jacks through caverns and overhangs. Take sailing lessons, or enjoy hours of pampering in the spa. Go on a sunset cruise and return later for Mediterranean cuisine in the Olive Restaurant or fresh seafood at the Sea Grill, right on the beach.
Located 70 kilometres south west of Male’ in North Ari Atoll, Kandolhu Island is reached in 25 minutes by seaplane. To stay at this sensational retreat, the average daily rate starts at $826 per night, with a two night minimum, from here.
Vintage House Daylesford is an 1860s miner’s cottage that has been completely restored and re-designed by interior designer Kali Cavanagh, located on the border of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, Victoria, Australia. Surrounded by various established trees, Vintage House Daylesford sits high on almost an acre of land with views over Wombat State Forest and Doctors Gully.
The home is available to rent as luxury accommodation and location hire. The house and studio currently sleep a maximum of 6 people, with rates ranging from $620 – $2,740, depending on whether you want to stay one night or a week, from here.
Sit in the leather chesterfield sofas and enjoy a glass of wine by the unique 1800’s cast iron fireplace from France. Original French CAFE sign sits above. Surrounded by many industrial furniture finds from the US.
Completely restored and re-designed with love to highlight the original features of the house. Combining the use of wood, metals and shades of white, black and everything in between to bring new life to the cottage. Finished with antique, vintage and industrial furniture and artwork from around the globe.
An old post office table from England made in the 1700’s sits with industrial wooden chairs and a leather chesterfield banquette. Seats eight. Large original stable doors open up to the side garden which holds a fire pit and an over-sized custom designed outdoor table made from oak and metal.
The layout of the house was re-designed to enjoy open plan living.
Cook up a feast in the restored 1920’s gas Chambers oven from the US which sits pride of place in the center of the kitchen. A double butler sink, dishwasher, industrial lighting also from the US along with custom made lighting. Old church doors were restored to house the fridge. Custom designed island bench made from old industrial metal legs and separate wood top is a perfect place for breakfast.
Each room has been carefully considered and designed. With three bedrooms and three bathrooms in total.
Two bedrooms have been combined to create the ultimate bedroom and en-suite! Featuring a king sized bed and luxury linens from the US. Enjoy a soak in an original claw foot bath before bed or shower in the en-suite bathroom which you enter through restored barn doors.
Enjoy sleeping in the ‘grey room’ with high ceilings, luxury linens surrounded by antique and industrial furniture and art from the US, France and the UK.
Lie back and enjoy the view in an over-sized bath big enough for two! It features a marble surround and large shower head from the UK. The large industrial window opens up fully to the nature surrounds.
Custom designed window, bench and mirror make the bathroom unique – combining industrial vintage pieces with new metal and materials to create the ultimate bathroom for a weekend away.
Vintage House Daylesford sits on just under an acre of land. The garden studio makes up a very private 3rd bedroom, complete with queen bed, luxury linens, original artwork from an old garage in the US and industrial pendant lighting.
An over-sized claw foot bath with shower looks out a large wall of glass to the valley below. Also contains a separate toilet, reverse cycle heating and air-conditioning and wall mounted TV to make the studio the perfect romantic hideaway!
The house and studio sit on almost an acre of land with large established willow trees, pine trees and many fruit trees including plums, lemons, apples and olive trees.
Photos: Armelle Habib
Bridge Loft II is a spacious two storey industrial penthouse loft with trendy glamor, located in the DUMBO district of Brooklyn, New York. This residence offers two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a rooftop terrace with a garden to enjoy the spectacular city views and plenty of amenities. If you would like to stay here, the home sleeps 4-6 people, with a minimum stay of five nights, from here.
Iron and wine
Brooklyn may have transformed its industrial hide for a newer and trendier outfit, but down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass – that’s “DUMBO,” if you please – things haven’t gone soft. In Water Street, two bedroom and two and-a-half bathrooms inject a craft polish into this an aesthetic composed of cement on steel, soaring ceilings, and two stacked storeys of wide-eyed windows announcing an unmistakeable industrial loft legacy. Industrial, spacious, but with trendy glamor Water Street is adorned with plush furnishings, hide throws, and fine art fixtures that speak to an attentive, hand-moulded sweetness – a homage to craft, hand-made sensibility and the eclectic flair of artsy DUMBO. Space is no object here – peer out over sweeping vistas of the East River and twinkling Manhattan beyond to see for yourself.
Your hosts are a family of inventive New York City natives, trailblazers of industries both aural and spatial. Long-time residents and lovers of DUMBO in particular, over the years they’ve labored to shape a cozy and distinctive home here in Brooklyn’s creative boiler room.
Elevator doors part to deliver you directly into penthouse-level Water Street, a well-oiled machine fueled on the eclectic. Two storeys’-worth of picture windows soar unobstructed in places, making for an airy, atrial feel. Cool your engines on the lower of the two floors, where the sage- and smoke-grey kitchen, living room, and dining room come together in a loosely woven warp and weft. Sprawl at shift’s end on the sun-warmed Dunbar sofa, or feast like a steel baron by the city lights (or the light of a modern, smoked glass chandelier). Shift gears to the second floor, where a cozy, coal-colored den is stocked with books and arresting, changeable vistas – all the raw materials necessary to fire up a dreamy diversion. At quitting time, dust off the city in the steel and stone master washroom before retiring to your minimal, steam-grey master bedroom – with its private terrace, it’s also a port to the open air and the perfect post for a master overseer to observe the whirr of metropolitan gears.
Goods and services
DUMBO is the beating heart of Brooklyn’s creative industry. A powerhouse of art and design, it’s coveted for its surprisingly quaint cobblestone streets, landscaped promenades, and proximity to Manhattan (it doesn’t get any closer than this). Take a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge – it’s an easy jaunt into the city, and the views en route are finest in this direction. If you prefer quicker carriage, the High Street A and C lines, and the F at York Street, will deliver you to your destination in a wink.
Villa Kra is a luxury dream vacation showcasing luxurious rooms in a beachfront villa, surrounded by beautiful tropical surroundings in Koh Samui, Thailand. Nestling on a hillside, the villa has taken a unique location on one of Thailands most beautiful islands. As you gaze out over the sea, the nearby islands, the tropical gardens and the incredibly beautiful pool, you realize that paradise exists.
Just seven minutes away lies Koh Samuis vibrant centre, Bophut, with its trendy bars, quaint shops and bustling markets. And as if that were not enough, the international airport is a mere fifteen minutes away. In short: Largo Villa Kra is a dream destination.
To stay at this fabulous retreat, rates run from $593 – $942 per night or $4,155 – $6,594 per week, from here.
This four-bedroom villa has everything necessary to melt stress away in an instant. In this modern design, the boundaries between inside and outside are blurred, making this a perfect getaway for groups of friends or successful family holidays. The stunning infinity pool is both refreshing and eye-catching. A small shallow childrens pool in the shade makes the outdoor area ideal for small children. A third pool with pool bar is the perfect setting for enjoying the stunning sunset on Koh Samui. In the stylish Chill Lounge you can enjoy a drink and each others company, while the eating area by the pool is a dream place to start your day with a delicious breakfast. At the end of a sublime day, you can go out onto the Moon Terrace. The wonderful Thai night sky conjures up a firework display that makes Las Vegas seem half-hearted.
The interior of Largo Villa Kra is likewise a joy to behold. Four bedrooms are tastefully decorated, and each has a private bathroom. The master bedroom comes complete with a relaxation pool on the terrace. Almost anything is possible in this little fragment of heaven on earth: you only have to ask. By request the chef will be delighted to make the finest local dishes, but even French cuisine is on the menu if you so desire. Yoga, massage, Pilates the range of relaxation options is endless.
Photos: Courtesy of Largo Villas
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