| Everyday Luxury Travel Top Tens

My Top Ten Hotels of 2015

I’ve read several articles on what defines ‘luxury travel.’ For me it’s something that you really can’t put a price on; a hotel that gives you an experience that is personal, unique and special. I’ve stayed in some absolutely wonderful hotels over the course of the year and I’m excited to tell you about my favourites and why I loved them so much.

1. Best unique architecture – Jade Mountain, St Lucia  

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I totally fell in love with Jade Mountain for so many reasons but what made the place so unique was the incredible architecture; each room has only three walls with third space being taken up by an infinity pool.
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The rest of the hotel was visually stunning with bridges, pillars and artwork creating a beautiful futuristic and labyrinthine effect that was just out of this world. DSC_1469
Aside from the architecture other highlights of the hotel were the incredible food; many of the ingredients were sourced from the hotel’s own garden and the chocolate made at the in-house laboratory. Service was second to none we had our own butler who catered for every need almost as soon as we asked for anything plus all the staff we met were great fun and always had smiles on their faces.

2. Best Foodie Hotel – Ellerman House, Cape Town 

Ellerman House, ten minutes from the centre of Cape Town, was easily a favourite for Mr S and I this year. DSC_5187
The hotel itself was like a home away from home with a highly personalised service, a private art collection and gorgeous views of the bay. But it was the food that was a real highlight of the hotel.
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The chef uses a farm-to-fork philosophy and only cooks with the finest and freshest local ingredients. The menu is totally flexible and guests are encouraged to come and talk to the chef about what’s for dinner before popping to the pantry to enjoy sweets and homemade cakes. We absolutely loved eating a relaxed lunch by the pool and then dinner on the terrace by candlelight in the evening. We also had a tour of the wine gallery which houses over 7,000 wines in a beautifully designed space.

3. Best Tropical Setting – The Viceroy, Ubud, Bali

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The Viceroy Bali had one of the most jaw-dropping tropical settings that I’ve ever seen; a beautiful piece of paradise surrounded by lush jungle and the Petanu river below. DSC_7231
A well as in incredible view from the main building, Mr S and I were housed in a huge villa with a large pool and our own private view of the jungle. I don’t think it gets more romantic and exotic than that! The service at the hotel was incredible and we also loved eating authentic Balinese food at the hotel’s Cascades restaurant and a couples massage at the Lembah spa.

4. Best City Hotel – The Fullerton Bay, Singapore

Mr S and I totally loved The Fullerton Bay Hotel in Singapore with a modern and stylish interior, a great location and roof top pool, I honestly couldn’t ask for more from a city hotel…
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Ooooh… how about an amazing view of the Marina Bay Sands light show directly from the hotel’s rooftop bar? DSC_6356

5. Best Hotel with History  – The Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg 

A serendipitous meeting on the plane journey to Istanbul meant that when Mr Silver and I arrived at The Saxon in Johannesburg we were upgraded to the gorgeous presidential suite.
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Our suite was huge and beautiful with touches of traditional African artwork; we were sad to only stay one day!DSC_4797
The hotel also had a beautiful pool and garden and it was home to 500, one of the best restaurants in South Africa. But most interestingly of all were the former guests of The Saxon, the most famous being Nelson Mandela who completed his autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom, while staying in hotel.

6. Best for Going Back to Nature – Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay 

Due to the pouring rain, our visit to Plettenberg Bay whilst in South Africa was rather a misadventure. But fortunately staying at Tsala Treetop Lodge meant we had our own little treehouse for two to enjoy while the weather raged outside. DSC_5827
Quite possibly the cutest, cosiest room we’ve ever had with a large brick fireplace, wooden fixtures and fittings, a view out to the forest canopy below and our own private infinity pool. The rest of the hotel also took us back to nature as each part of the hotel was connected with jungle walk ways and bridges. DSC_58791
We were sad not to see the local area but we loved our little lodge in the treetops!

7. Best Hotel on the Beach – Four Seasons Jimbaran, Bali 

A really special hotel gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, a sense that this is place where you will always have a smile on your face and feel happy. DSC_6713
The Four Seasons Jimbaran was located right on the beach, perfect for Mr S and I to enjoy lunch at the gorgeous Sundara restaurant and then go for a dip in the pool or a walk along the beach. The grounds of the hotel were simply beautiful, the food was amazing and we had the most incredibly spacious villa.DSC_6646
But what really set this hotel apart for me was the warm and friendly service – a classic characteristic of the Four Seasons – so that you always feel at home and relaxed.

8. Best Cliff Top Hotel – Birkenhead House, Hermanus

Imagine waking up to a breakfast like this…
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Well that was the experience we had waking up our first day at Birkenhead House, a beautiful cliff top hotel in Hermanus, about an hour outside of Cape Town. Hermanus is renowned as one of the best places in South Africa for whale watching, though we were there at the wrong time of year we still enjoyed the absolutely stunning coastal views. DSC_6369
Our trip to South Africa involved lots of travelling and sightseeing so Mr S relished the chance to have a few relaxing days enjoying the pool in this beautiful hotel styled like a classic beach house.
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9. Best Family Friendly – Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort, St Lucia

When Mr S and I arrived at Sugar Beach via water taxi we were greeted with a stunning vision of row upon row of white beach huts and a strip of glistening sand. DSC_19641
Aside from the beauty of the place, what really struck me was what a good all-rounder it was. With a pool and beach, four restaurants, a cool bar, loads of water sports, a kids club and a beautiful rainforest spa there was definitely something for everyone; couples looking for romance, solo travellers looking for relaxation and for families looking for fun and entertainment.
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10. Just the Best Hotel Ever – Singita Boulders

Singita Boulders located in Sabi Sands, South Africa, is by far the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Everything was just utter perfection from the incredible views across the plains, our huge and gorgeous room to the delicious food. DSC_8179 DSC_8190 DSC_8212 DSC_82781
But best of all was the wonderful experiences that we had there; our out-of-this-world twice daily safaris but also watching monkeys playing while we had our breakfast, antelopes nibbling on the branches hanging from our balcony and rumours of a leopard one night creeping into camp….

Do you have any favourite places from your travels?