It may seem a little superficial but luxury hotels have been a lifelong passion for me. Browsing hotels websites, reading Conde Nast traveller and Lonely Planet is a feast for my eyes and I’m always planning where I’d like to stay next. I’ve even got a bucket list which I’ll be telling you about every #WanderlustWednesday on my Instagram Stories. But for this post I thought I’d tell you ten reasons why I’m so obsessed with beautiful hotels.
1. A Warm Welcome
There is seriously nothing better after many hours of travel than when a hotel welcomes you with open arms and a welcoming drink. For example after a 9 hour flight, second fifty minute flight and twenty minute boat ride, I couldn’t have been more happy to receive a cool pina colada when we arrived at Petit St. Vincent Private Island.
And the welcome couldn’t have been warmer when we got to Mnemba Private Island and were greeted by the manager, chef and our own private butler with a refreshing lemon drink.
2. Interior Design
When choosing hotel it’s usually the beautiful interiors that’ll will be the decision maker. But what’s my personal favourite aesthetic? Honestly I don’t really have one as long as it’s really good quality and there’s some kind of reference to the location.
I’ve loved so many hotels and it’s difficult to play favourites but two very different places that I loved equally were Singita Boulders:
Which had a gorgeous indoor / outdoor style using natural materials throughout but with inspiration from the hotel’s African setting.
The Gritti Palace I loved for it’s opulent interiors and use of local artisans such as the famous Murano glass chandeliers and gorgeous fabrics by Rubelli.
Every detail of the beautiful interior contributed to the very unique sense of place on the Grand Canal in Venice.
3. Having Your Room Cleaned for You
There’s seriously nothing better than coming back from a tiring day of sight seeing and your room has all been made up with fresh sheets and fluffy towels.
For me one of the best things about staying in a hotel is never having to make your own bed! A hotel I remember for it’s particular attentive service was Hotel Imperial in Vienna, who not only tidied the room to perfect but bought canapés every afternoon.
4. The Softest Sheets
If you’re anything like me, you’ll relish high thread count soft sheets and the fluffiest of pillows. Something I’m seeing more and more often is a pillow menu.
The Fullerton Bay in Singapore at ten different options for example. Talk about pillow perfection!
5. Bathroom Goals
Many of us with busy lives rarely take the time to really have a long relaxing bath and when better to indulge when you’re in a hotel with a beautiful bathroom.
Perhaps the most beautiful bathroom I’ve ever had was at Velaa Private Island in the Maldives which looked right out to the ocean. Some hotels even have a bath butler to create the most perfect experience for relaxation in the tub!
6. Turn Down Time
I love a good hotel turn down; that fantastic anticipation of returning to your hotel after dinner and wondering what it’ll look like.
For example at one of my all time favourite hotels, Jade Mountain in St Lucia, we’d arrive back to a bed covered in rose petals, a swan shaped towel, a giant slab of chocolate cake and a bottle of bubbly.
At the Rosewood Mayakoba, I arrived back to find my initials embroidered on the pillow and at The Gansevoort Meatpacking in New York, the soft chocolate cookies were laid for us before bed.
7. Best Breakfasts
Seriously who doesn’t love a long leisurely breakfast at a beautiful hotel? And the opportunity to deviate from your usual boring toast / yogurt / cereal routine to over indulge in pancakes, waffles, bacon and sausages. For me the setting of the most important meal of the day is just as important as what I’m eating.
Perhaps the most unbeatable has been right on a clifftop at Birkenhead House in Hermanus, South Africa.
But I also loved the dramatic dining room and exquisite pastries of Le Meurice in Paris.
But perhaps the most interesting hotel breakfast I’ve ever had is a traditional Ryokan, Gora Kadan in Hakone, Japan.
A traditional Japanese breakfast of epic proportions.
8. Spa Time!!
No matter how much you try, it’s impossible to replicate the feeling of a really good luxury hotel spa at home. For me the very best spas incorporate local experiences and products in a beautiful setting. For example T Spa at Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como, Italy features treatments using the herbs that naturally grow on the shores of Lake Como and flowers for the Grand Hotel Tremezzo garden, The Spa Suite is one of the most beautiful I’ve even seen.
At Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine, a beautiful hotel and vineyard, here the ‘Spa Sommelier’ offers wines for the guests to try in order to determine appropriate treatments.
The rainforest spa at Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort in St. Lucia, makes great use of the beautiful environments with gorgeous treatment rooms throughout the forest. Ingredients from St Lucia are integrated into the therapies for a truly authentic experience; bananas to smooth wrinkles, coconuts to exfoliate and cocoa butter.
9. An Epic Pool
Though a cool pool isn’t a pre-requisite, it’s always a fab addition to a hotel especially when there’s something special and quirky about it. Like the tiered pool at Hanging Gardens Ubud.
Or pool with underground bar at Deplar Farm.
And of course the famous rooftop pool at The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
10. Wonderful People
I’ve said it before, but however beautiful a hotel is it’s the people that really make it. My favourite hotels throughout the year; Singita Boulders, Jade Mountain, Mnemba Island, Sasaab, Deplar Farm and Ellerman House all top my list because of the warm welcoming management and staff and that feeling of being at home rather than at a hotel.