- 1. Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
- 2. The Tasman
- 3. Rothay Manor
- 4. Raby Hunt
- 5. Buahan
- 6. The Pridwin
- 7. The Nici
- 8. Oasyhotel Tuscany
- 9. Villa Igiea Palermo
- 10. Castello di Reschio
- 11. Zafiro Palace Andratx
- 12. Keythorpe Hall
- 13. The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa
- 14. Middleton Lodge
- 15. The Fox at Oddington
- 16. Passalacqua
- 17. Gleneagles Townhouse
- 18. The Idle Rocks
- 19. Can Ferrereta
- 20. Villa Le Blanc Gran Meliá
- 21. Domes Aulūs Elounda
- 22. Boath House
- 23. The Retreat at Elcot Park
- 24. Cashel Palace Hotel Co.
- 25. Silky Oaks Lodge
- 26. Beaverbrook Town House
- 27. Hotel Terrestre
- 28. Linthwaite House Bowness
- 29. The Felin Fach Griffin
- 30. Artist Residence Bristol
- 31. Sextantio
- 32. No.15 by GuestHouse
- 33. The Merrion Hotel
- 34. Shinta Mani Wild
- 35. Casa Maria Luigia
- 36. Sussurro
- 37. Seaham Hall
- 38. Palácio Príncipe Real Lisbon
- 39. The Star Alfriston
- 40. Grand Hyatt Singapore
- 41. The Arundell
- 42. The Tawny
- 43. The Maybourne Riviera
- 44. Heckfield Place
- 45. Six Senses Yao Noi
- 46. Belmond Splendido Mare
- 47. Hotel Le Toiny
- 48. Cheval Blanc
- 49. Gleneagles Hotel
- 50. Rosewood Vienna
1. Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
When booking a city break, there’s often a big decision to be made. Do you stay within walking distance of the main attractions, somewhere which is central but likely to be fairly hectic? Or do you opt for a place that’s more tranquil – even if that means taking a bus or taxi to get to the heart of the action?
With Florence’s Four Seasons, no such compromise needs to be made. Despite being less than ten minutes’ walk from Piazza della Signoria – the city’s most iconic spot – the hotel is nestled within grounds so extensive they constitute Florence’s biggest private garden. When you’re done with the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio, afternoons can be spent exploring the land, which is dotted with historic statues, fountains and centuries-old trees.
The grand hotel is as stunning inside as out, with frescoes lining the walls of the suites designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, the interior master behind the Four Seasons’ George V hotel in Paris. But it’s the one-of-a-kind lobby – described by The Telegraph as “a living museum of eye-popping works of art and original architectural details” – which will remain etched on your mind long after you return home.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
2. The Tasman
Tasmania’s quiet capital Hobart became a hip destination when the sensational Museum of Old and New (Mona) opened there in 2011 – and now the city has its first grand luxury hotel, in this new outpost of the Marriott group.
It’s a great success, says Natasha Dragun in DestinAsian magazine. It’s perched close to – and has great views of – the city’s fashionable waterfront, and is spread across three buildings: a former hospital from the 1840s, an art deco gem and a “gleaming” new structure. Decor varies accordingly, but is consistently stylish, and there’s a good restaurant where chef Massimo Mele serves a local take on old-school Italian cuisine.
3. Rothay Manor
This Regency mansion in Ambleside, just north of Windermere, became a hotel in 1936. Its current owners carried out a “very necessary refurbishment”, says Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph. Interiors now feel fresh and modern, yet pleasingly rooted in the past and in the colours of the surrounding landscape.
Rooms in the main house vary from “soothing” to “memorable” (Colwith has particularly “whimsical” wallpaper), and there are eight “dog-friendly” suites in a new extension. Food is “refined without being precious”. Only its location, in the town, is not ideal, but big lawns and plenty of trees shield the hotel from it.
4. Raby Hunt
Occupying a modest 19th century house in the village of Summerhouse, near Darlington, this two-Michelin-star restaurant with rooms offers “cosy” accommodation and food of “bewitching creativity”, says Sherelle Jacobs in The Sunday Telegraph.
Self-taught chef couple James and Maria Close serve a “whirlwind” of intricate and “tantalising” dishes (including “fabulously tender” Wagyu beef and “Alice in Wonderland-esque” desserts). Interiors are “Gothic chic”, rooms have luxurious linen beds and rain showers, and there’s a lovely place for walks – Raby Castle and its deer park – nearby.
Set in jungled hills in the heart of Bali, this new resort from the Banyan Tree group aims to immerse guests in nature with a “no walls, no doors” design, says Cristian Rahadiansyah in DestinAsian magazine. Its 16 open-sided timber villas are based on the island’s traditional village halls, with no precautions against intruding beasts beyond eco-friendly anti-mosquito spray, grills on the plumbing, and gauzy curtains.
The villas also have handcrafted wooden furniture, big decks and private pools, and there’s a spa and a shared infinity pool cantilevered over the forest. The atmosphere is “tranquil”, and the Balinese-inspired food is excellent
6. The Pridwin
A four-by-seven-mile beachy islet at the east end of Long Island, Shelter Island has always been a “quaint, quiet, understated” summer retreat, with a “sleepy, ‘old-money’ vibe”.
The Pridwin is a century-old local institution, a big, beloved, white-shingled hotel overlooking Crescent Beach, says Madison Darbyshire in the FT – now “gleaming” after a two-year renovation. Its new “luxury price point” reflects the brash influence of the neighbouring Hamptons in recent years – but room rates are more reasonable off-season and there’s plenty of the old “low-key, all-American family energy”. The 33 rooms are large, and there are 16 guest cottages and a new spa.
7. The Nici
The idea of bringing the “louche glitz” of Miami to Bournemouth sounds preposterous, but that’s what the Nici purports to do – and it works, says Mark C. O’Flaherty in The Sunday Telegraph. Occupying the site of a “Victorian landmark” that was the Savoy until a few months ago, this new hotel is all blush walls, espresso martinis, “gleaming” copper palm trees and white-on-white-on-white.
It’s “flashy, fun and chilled” – “a naff idea executed brilliantly”, with a huge budget and a good eye. Rooms have terraces and huge bathtubs, food is decent, service is good, and the terrace bar will be divine once the planned infinity pool beside it is complete.
8. Oasyhotel Tuscany
This new eco-hotel is located just 40 miles north of Florence, but feels like part of a different world, says Lydia Bell in Condé Nast Traveller. Its 16 guest lodges sit in a 1,000-hectare, WWF-affiliated nature reserve set in forests of chestnut, beech and fir, more than 1,000 metres above sea level in the Apennine Mountains.
Interiors are minimalist but “handsome”, with large verandahs and “picture-book” windows, and there are two restaurants (one of them al fresco), where the ingredients come largely from a sustainable farm on the reserve. Activities include wolf tracking, foraging, hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking and yoga, and there is also a sauna by the lake.
9. Villa Igiea Palermo
Palermo’s grandest hotel reopened during the pandemic under the new ownership of Rocco Forte, and following a makeover by Olga Polizzi and the Paolo Moschino design studio. And it’s “glorious”, says Pamela Goodman in House & Garden – every bit as “glamorous” now as it must have been in 1900, when the wealthy Florio family first opened it as a hotel.
A 19th century palazzo remodelled in art nouveau style, it sits in tiered gardens overlooking the sea. The restaurant offers refined takes on Sicilian specialities, and there’s a large pool, a spa and a shuttle bus service to the city centre, ten minutes’ drive away.
10. Castello di Reschio
For 30 years, the Bolza family has been steadily restoring this “picturesque” 3,700-acre estate in the Umbrian hills. Old farmhouses have been turned into stylish holiday lets, and the 10th century castle at its heart has now opened as a hotel – one of the most “grandly characterful” in Italy, says Steve King in Condé Nast Traveller.
The 36 rooms have great views and are furnished with “quirkily curated” antiques. There’s a “transcendent” palm court bar, a subterranean spa of “delightful strangeness”, and a restaurant serving locally sourced food and biodynamic wines. Activities include riding, fishing, clay-pigeon shooting, and truffle-hunting.
11. Zafiro Palace Andratx
Surrounded by the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, thick pine forest, and looking straight out to the haze of the Mediterranean, the Zafiro Palace Andratx is the newest property from the Zafiro Hotels group on Mallorca and Menorca.
With year-round sunshine, and flights from London to Palma taking just over two hours, Mallorca is an obvious destination for families, but the hotel’s luxury all-inclusive option makes it an ideal choice if you’re travelling with young children. All 304 suites have private pools completely free from prying eyes.
12. Keythorpe Hall
This early-Victorian country house has recently opened as a full-service rental for up to 20 guests. There’s an “elegant undone-ness” to the décor, with old Chesterfields and chandeliers, and “textural” modern art hung next to 19th century portraits. But the main attraction is the food, says Condé Nast Traveller. Chefs Peter Johansen and Bent Varming use local ingredients, many of them grown in the estate’s walled garden or foraged by ethnobotanist Claudio Bincoletto from the partially re-wilded grounds. Their dishes are “sublime” – “full of flavour straight from the earth”.
13. The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa
For the first time since opening 30 years ago The Laguna Resort and Spa has had a full renovation. Featuring 287 newly-designed guestrooms, suites and villas, the Luxury Collection property boasts a new resort lobby as well as two new F&B spaces – De Bale Bar and Lounge, and Banyubiru Restaurant. There’s also seven shimmering lagoon pools, one for each day of the week.
Located in the popular Nusa Dua area on Bali’s south-eastern coast, this “barefoot-luxury resort” is famed for its “evening fire dance performances, lavish Sunday beachfront brunches and evening cocktail hours featuring Balinese-made wine and cheese”, said Leslie Patrick Moore in The Telegraph.
14. Middleton Lodge
Situated outside the lovely old town of Richmond, this “perfect” Georgian estate first opened as a hotel in 2013, says Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph. Rooms occupy converted outbuildings (the main house is reserved for weddings), with “very natural” interiors (oak doors, linen curtains, neutral colours). Some have private terraces and tin hot tubs, and there are three “charming” shepherd huts in the orchard.
Food is fresh and well-presented, and there’s a pleasant spa. Best of all, though, is the two-acre walled garden – “beyond beautiful” since its recent restoration by Tom Stuart-Smith.
15. The Fox at Oddington
This Cotswolds pub reopened in July following a makeover by Carole Bamford, whose Daylesford Organic farm shop is nearby. The results are excellent, said Susan d’Arcy in The Sunday Times, combining rustic-chic design with a mood that “remains muddy-boots welcoming”.
Decorated in rich earth tones, the rooms and suites are spacious, with varying features (The Den has a free-standing bath, a glass-walled sitting room and its own patio). Food is “inventive” (try devilled-kidney-topped flatbreads, or turbot with dulse-buttered Jersey potatoes), and there’s a stand serving craft beer and cocktails in the beautiful garden.
The composer Vincenzo Bellini wrote two of his greatest works (Norma and La Sonnambula) while staying at this grand 18th century villa on the shores of Lake Como. This year, it opened as a hotel for the first time, says Lydia Bell in Condé Nast Traveller – and it is as “sublime” as its historic connections might lead you to hope. A sister property to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo nearby, it has dazzling interiors, in which examples of modern Italian artisanship shine alongside original frescoes and antiques.
Outside, seven acres of “primped terraced perfection” cascade down to the lake. There is a spa, an outdoor pool, and 24 rooms and suites, some in converted outbuildings. The food is the only simple thing here – “unfussy” Italian cooking from a chef with a background in catering for wealthy families. This is not a budget destination, but if you are really pushing the boat out, book the Bellini suite, which includes the music room where the maestro worked – a snip at £10,000 per night.
17. Gleneagles Townhouse
The Gleneagles Hotel in rural Perthshire is “the stuff of legend”, and this new sister property in Edinburgh bears a pleasing family resemblance to it, says Steve King in Condé Nast Traveller. Spread across two old buildings on St Andrew Square in the city’s glorious New Town, it has 33 rooms, varying greatly in size but with the same “approximately Victorian” décor.
The restaurant is spectacular – “all columns and cupola” – and delivers “the bistro-brasserie-superior goods con brio”. The bar has an “epic” roof terrace, the spa is “immaculate”, and there’s also a members’ club with exclusive spaces including a beautiful lounge.
18. The Idle Rocks
This boutique 18-bedroom hotel in St Mawes sits right on the Cornish seaside town’s harbour, overlooking the Fal Estuary. There are comfortable rooms for families and couples, with the choice of village or sea and harbour views. The south-facing terrace is a peaceful spot to soak up the restorative sea breeze on a long summer evening.
Guests can explore the Roseland Peninsula by foot or by water, either taking a walking route to a local garden, or opting for one of the sea-faring options: chartering a yacht, coasteering, kayaking and more. After a day’s exertion, unwind with a spa treatment at the Reef Knot Retreat, sample The Idle Rocks restaurant menu, or head to its sister hotel for a viewing at the hidden cinema.
19. Can Ferrereta
A sleepy little town set in a “stark”, landscape, Santanyi is just a 30-minute drive from Mallorca’s capital, Palma, but feels “a world away”. This recently opened hotel occupies a 17th-century mansion near its centre, says Paul Richardson in Condé Nast Traveller’s 2022 Hot List. It is a good base for beaches and hiking opportunities in the Mondrago Nature Reserve.
The sister property of the “chic” Sant Francesc in Palma, it has stylish interiors (linen sofas, walls of “chalky” stucco, “time-worn” stone floors) and a good modern Mediterranean restaurant. The 32 rooms and suites are all spacious, and there is a spa and a beautiful 25m pool.
20. Villa Le Blanc Gran Meliá
Luxury hotels and sustainability don’t necessarily go hand in hand, but the latest addition to Gran Meliá’s prestigious portfolio, Villa Le Blanc, has been designed with the aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions through a combination of environmentally-conscious facilities, new technologies and offsetting projects.
Opening in July, the beach-side hotel is designed to blend the traditional with the contemporary and features large terraces, balconies and open spaces. The hotel has 159 rooms and offers penthouse, presidential and swim-up master suites. With two restaurants and a health and beauty temple, it’s a setting for idyllic indulgence and relaxation.
21. Domes Aulūs Elounda
This adults-only resort is a laid back retreat with a private beach, two cliffside swimming pools and spa. The one and two-bedroom residences and suites are made from Cretan stone, in homage to the surrounding landscape.
For those looking to unwind and unplug, the Cool Living Selection of accommodation offers an elevated guest experience, with 24/7 concierge service, tiered private terraces and a dedicated club. These suites also come with the option of private or shared pools, or an outdoor Jacuzzi. Or for more of the hustle and bustle of a typical Greek island, there’s an al fresco marketplace designed in the style of a traditional piazza, with boutiques and a cinema. The resort also offers indoor, outdoor and beach bars, depending on your mood for cocktail hour.
22. Boath House
Twenty minutes’ drive from Inverness airport, this Regency mansion-turned-hotel outside Nairn has recently been revamped by the team behind the Sessions Arts Club, one of London’s “buzziest” restaurants.
Set in farmland on the edge of the Highlands, it provides a wonderful escape from city life, says Grace Cook in the Financial Times, its interiors “sparse but cosy”, with dark wood antiques, “tactile” jute textures, and calming, neutral colours.
The nine rooms have huge windows, and the restaurant serves modern Scottish cuisine. There’s good fishing and swimming in the river nearby, and a sauna, hammocks and artist cabins in the grounds.
23. The Retreat at Elcot Park
Set in the Georgian house that was home to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s mother and sisters after the poet had drowned in Italy, The Retreat is part of a “post-Babington House” wave of boldly designed but “more accessible and family-friendly” country house hotels, says Rick Jordan in Condé Nast Traveller.
Rooms are “period drama without the creak”, with antique furniture and “a swag bag of stripes, block prints and florals”. The main restaurant serves “flavoursome comfort food of the truffle chip variety”. There’s also a second, pan-Asian restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa.
24. Cashel Palace Hotel Co.
Set on the main street of the postcard-pretty Tipperary town of Cashel, this 18th century archbishop’s residence is one of Ireland’s most beautiful houses. Converted into a hotel 60 years ago, it became a favourite of Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor, and this year it reopened after a makeover by new owners.
The results are good, says Susan d’Arcy in The Times. The place is as elegant as ever, but with a friendly ambience despite all the gilded mirrors and chandeliers. Staff are “boundlessly enthusiastic”, food is “delicious”, the spa is good, and rooms are “stylish”, with views of the ruins of the Rock of Cashel.
25. Silky Oaks Lodge
Queensland’s Daintree National Park is the world’s oldest living rainforest, and this “treehouse-like” lodge offers guests a deep immersion in its wonders, says Chloe Sachdev in Condé Nast Traveller. Set beside the Mossman River, it opened in 1985, but has recently emerged from a makeover by new owners James and Hayley Baillie, who specialise in “smart, culturally sensitive” hotels in remote areas.
There are new suites with outdoor tubs and fires, a huge chef’s garden supplying produce to the lodge’s pan-Asian restaurant, and “First Nations” rainforest tours on which guests learn about the ways of the Kuku Yalanji people.
26. Beaverbrook Town House
The Beaverbrook hotel in Surrey occupies the former home of the press baron Lord Beaverbrook; this one in Chelsea is its sister property. It opened last year, with interiors echoing the glamour of the 1920s, when Beaverbrook was in his prime, said Condé Nast Traveller.
Spread across two Georgian houses on Sloane Street, the 14 suites feature rich colour schemes, prominent use of printed textiles, vintage theatre posters and glassy tiled bathrooms like “precious jewel boxes”. In the bar, Japonisme meets art deco to opulent yet intimate effect, and there’s a Japanese restaurant with a strong sushi menu.
27. Hotel Terrestre
Set back from the Pacific in a fashionable corner of Oaxaca state, 15 miles from the surf town of Puerto Escondido, this new and stylish retreat was designed by the Mexican architect Alberto Kalach, says Mary Holland in the FT.
Its 14 interconnected villas feel both “ancient” and “futuristic”, with arched concrete ceilings, pale brick walls, rooftop pools and “brilliant” views of the sea and surrounding wilds. It is entirely off the grid (all its power comes from the Sun), but very comfortable all the same. The hotel has two communal pools and a hammam, and chic attractions such as the Casa Wabi art foundation and Kakurega Omakase restaurant lie within easy reach.
28. Linthwaite House Bowness
This sprawling Edwardian mansion high above Windermere is a great place for a “grown-up escape”, says Susan d’Arcy in The Times. Public areas are “resplendent in animal stripes and tribal pieces” following a £10m revamp that “nods to the owner’s South African roots”, but the decor in the rooms is pale and understated. Standard ones are small; if you can, opt for one of the spacious, cedar-clad suites set in the landscaped grounds, which extend to 14 acres.
The restaurant is overseen by Simon Rogan, whose nearby L’Enclume has three Michelin stars, and dishes tend to feature local ingredients with an “exotic” twist.
29. The Felin Fach Griffin
Few things are more appealing than “a proper country inn with great food, a blissful bed and somewhere lovely to walk after a heroic breakfast” – and the Felin Fach Griffin fits that description perfectly, says Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph.
Set in one of the most “wildly beautiful” parts of the country, this centuries-old establishment is refreshingly “unpretentious”, with rooms furnished with “auction-room finds” (no “rustic-chic” nonsense here) and supplied with Roberts radios and vases of fresh flowers, but no TVs. The pub downstairs is great, and the food is so robustly tasty it’s worth the journey in itself.
30. Artist Residence Bristol
This new boutique hotel in Bristol’s rapidly gentrifying St Pauls district is the fifth in the Artist Residence chain, a brand that began life in Brighton in 2008. Occupying an “elegant” Georgian town house, it has “playful” interiors and an air of “grown-up hedonism”, says Olivia Morelli in Condé Nast Traveller.
The 23 rooms come with fluffy robes, local spirits and Tony’s Chocolonely bars, and vary in size from “dinky” to “sprawling”. Some have free-standing bathtubs. Downstairs is The Library, a space with “distressed walls and mismatched chairs” that serves as a breakfast spot, a café and a cocktail bar. There is no restaurant now, but there will be one soon.
The website Ecobnb is a good place for “affordable escapes” with green credentials in Italy – and among its most characterful listings is this albergo diffuso in Abruzzo, says Liz Boulter in The Guardian. Perched at an altitude of 1,250m in the Gran Sasso National Park, the hotel is spread across several medieval buildings in the fortified village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio.
Its interiors are timeless, with wooden beds and “gorgeous” handwoven covers in the rooms, and handcrafted crockery in the restaurant, which serves local, seasonal food. And there are no end of activities on offer, from massages and cookery lessons to wolf tracking and truffle hunting.
32. No.15 by GuestHouse
Relaunched under new management last year, following a “mini makeover”, this townhouse hotel in Bath (formerly called No. 15 Great Pulteney) mixes “Georgian splendour” with “modern whimsy” to crisply stylish effect, says Paula Ellis in Condé Nast Traveller.
The 37 rooms have “quirky” design features, such as coffee machines enclosed in doll’s houses. Elsewhere, “understated hedonism” rules: there is a stylish spa and a great list of “twisted classic cocktails” in the bar; for children, you will find teepee hideouts and instant cameras; and in the “elegant”dining room, they serve good seasonal British food.
33. The Merrion Hotel
This Dublin hotel is “the sort of place where a two-night stay feels like a ten-day holiday”, says Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph. Situated opposite the handsome Government Buildings, it occupies four 18th century town houses (in one of which the Duke of Wellington was born), and has “resolutely traditional” decor, a fine collection of 19th and 20th century art and a wonderful air of calm.
Rooms are well equipped; there’s an excellent new spa (with sauna, steam room, gym and pool) and two of the very best restaurants in Ireland – the “bright” Garden Room and “gastronomic hotspot” Patrick Guilbaud, which has two Michelin stars.
34. Shinta Mani Wild
This riverside camp in southwest Cambodia is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face, said Juliet Kinsman in Condé Nast Traveller. Guests arrive in an ex-military fourwheel drive, but the final leg of the journey is via a “zip wire over the forest canopy”.
Even more thrilling is the camp’s location – an 865-acre swathe of “magical” rainforest that lies between three national parks and which was bought by the camp’s American owner to protect it from loggers and poachers. The tents are “decadent” and “whimsically themed”, the food is “wonderful”, and there’s a spa and “scores” of river- and forest-based activities to enjoy.
35. Casa Maria Luigia
Having won three Michelin stars for his restaurant in Modena, the renowned chef Massimo Bottura opened this country house hotel, in an 18th century villa on the outskirts of the town, in 2019.
It has 12 bedrooms hung with contemporary art, and a pool and a tennis court in the pretty grounds – but the “main pull” is, of course, the food, said Tatler. Guests congregate around communal tables to sample Bottura’s best-known dishes, including “pasta al pesto in abstract” and “the crunchy part of the lasagna”, and on Sundays, there are long, leisurely brunches overseen by his wife, Lara Gilmore.
This new “off-grid, solar-powered escape” on Mozambique’s Nhamabue Peninsula is “the epitome of barefoot luxury”, said Tatler. Its main lodge is built “in the local architectural vernacular, using natural materials”, and its six private bungalows strike a note of “sophisticated African minimalism”, with design details including outdoor baths, woven baskets, thrown-earth pots, and chairs crafted on site.
The resort has a saltwater lap pool and a white-sand beach, and sits beside a 1,425-square-kilometre marine protected area. The diving and snorkelling are good, and dugongs (a rare cousin of the manatee) are often seen in the nearby lagoon.
37. Seaham Hall
Lord Byron got married at this Georgian pile on a sea cliff in County Durham in 1815. Today, it combines “stately grandeur” (vast gardens, chandeliers, open fires) with modern luxury – making a stay here dizzyingly indulgent, says Sherelle Jacobs in The Sunday Telegraph.
The spa is “jaw-dropping”, with a Zen garden, a hammam and numerous pools. Suites are “vivaciously decorated”, and some have outside spaces with hot tubs. The hotel has two restaurants – one specialising in British dishes, the other in pan-Asian cuisine. There are lovely coastal walks nearby, and Durham itself is a 20-minute drive away.
38. Palácio Príncipe Real Lisbon
Recently restored by British owners Gail and Miles Curley, this beautiful pink palacio in the heart of the Portuguese capital is “a home from home”, says Tatler.
There are Nespresso machines, complimentary minibars (try the ginger health shots) and fresh flowers in the 28 bedrooms, some of which have balconies, and all of which have views over the hotel’s leafy gardens and heated swimming pool.
Bathrooms have heated floors, large tubs, rain showers and Byredo products. Dinner, served inside or under the stars, is “simple and seasonal”, and the extensive wine list is excellent.
39. The Star Alfriston
Recently revamped by the hotelier and designer Olga Polizzi, this medieval inn is an ideal base from which to explore the South Downs, said Tatler. The interiors are lovely (both in the main building and the 1930s and 1960s extensions, where most of the rooms are), with a mixture of contemporary and antique furniture, as well as “jaunty” Richard Smith textiles and “painterly” Lewis & Wood wallpapers.
The cosy restaurant is run by River Cafe alumnus Tim Kensett, who draws on a larder of local ingredients, and the bar, with its beamed ceilings and stone floors, is a great place for a leisurely Sunday roast.
40. Grand Hyatt Singapore
Located right at the start of Orchard Road – Singapore’s answer to Oxford Street – is the Grand Hyatt, a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of the Lion City. With its smack-bang-central position, cavernous conference facilities and suites bigger than the average London flat, this hotel is the perfect Singapore base whether you’re visiting for work or for pleasure.
The hotel contains several restaurants including mezza9, its signature, which is found on the mezzanine level and offers several cuisines, from traditional Chinese dishes to a Japanese sashimi bar. The buffet breakfast at StraitsKitchen – where guests can opt for a classic fry up or a regional speciality like laksa or wok-fried carrot cake – is one of the most varied you’ll find.
Sustainability is at the heart of this 677-room hotel; it has an in-house waste management plant that converts 1,000kg of daily food waste into organic fertiliser, guests are given sugar cane drinking straws and it rescues 4,000kg of “ugly” oranges from landfill each year – squeezing them for juice instead. And as the Grand Hyatt marks 50 years since it opened its doors, the hotel is planning to introduce several other sustainability innovations to help minimise its environmental impact even further.
41. The Arundell
One of Britain’s most “beloved” fishing hotels since the 1930s, this former coaching inn near the Tamar in Devon recently emerged from a refurbishment that has left its “tranquil, traditional feel” intact, says Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph.
New owners Simon Village and Arabella Monro have opened a deli in an outbuilding – already proving “hugely popular” – while the food in the “grand” dining room remains “impressive”. You don’t have to fish to enjoy a stay here: the hotel, in the “inconspicuous” village of Lifton, is also a great base from which to explore some of England’s “loveliest” countryside.
42. The Tawny
Located just 20 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent, this new resort is a “superb spot for a long weekend”, said Mark C. O’Flaherty in The Sunday Telegraph. A “seriously luxurious rural wonderland”, it features “hobbit-like” holiday villas, treehouses and cabins, set within 70 acres of lakes, woodlands and trails, and centred on an excellent restaurant.
The accommodation units have big windows and fresh, bright decor, and many contain hot tubs and free-standing bathtubs. There’s a heated outdoor pool, and staff will prepare baskets “full of goodies” for picnics. It is an “impressive” alternative to “England’s assorted Pigs and Soho Farmhouses”.
43. The Maybourne Riviera
Perched above the village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, this opening from the Maybourne group (which owns Claridge’s and The Connaught) is the hippest of the top-class hotels on the Côte d’Azur, says Lanie Goodman in Condé Nast Traveller.
A “dazzling block of white criss-crossed lines and floor-to-ceiling glass”, it has a “modernist” feel within, with “museum-quality” art including a huge Louise Bourgeois sculpture. There’s a holistic spa and two pools, as well as private pools in some of the 69 rooms. Restaurants include Ceto, created by three Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco.
44. Heckfield Place
Set in 438 acres of pasture and woodland on Hampshire’s northern fringes (an hour from central London), this revamped Georgian manor house is a fabulously chic home away from home, says Jo Rodgers in Condé Nast Traveller.
The hotel reopened in 2018, after a ten-year restoration, with interiors overseen by designer Ben Thompson. These are true to the building’s “red brick bones” but “perfectly modern” too, with “earthy” textures and tones, “elegantly unadorned” walls in forest-green, ochre and rose, and nothing “stuffy or chintzy” in sight.
A biodynamic farm on the estate supplies the two “wonderful” restaurants, which are both overseen by Skye Gyngell; a spa will open this year. Activities include trail running, wild swimming and rowing on the ornamental lake.
45. Six Senses Yao Noi
This “barefoot luxe haven” lies on a peaceful island mid-way between Phuket and Krabi. With its sublime views over the cerulean waters and “dramatic” limestone sea-stacks of Phang Nga Bay, it is worth visiting just to watch the sunrise, says Lee Cobaj in The Daily Telegraph – but its charms don’t end there. It also has an “insanely photogenic” hilltop infinity pool, a gorgeous white beach and a spa that is “one of the best in the region”.
Its 56 thatched villas have driftwood canopy beds, sunken bathtubs with sea views, and large decks with pools. There’s a long list of complimentary activities, including yoga, “mini-massages” and watersports, and the food is good, with a strong emphasis on local cuisine made with ingredients from the hotel’s gardens.
46. Belmond Splendido Mare
Portofino is the jewel of the Italian Riviera, and the Splendido Mare is worthy of it, says Condé Nast Traveller. Occupying what was once a guest house for fishermen, it is the “harbourside sister” of the larger Splendido – the hotel on the hillside above, which became famous as a “magnet for movie stars” (Elizabeth Taylor spent four of her honeymoons there).
Having recently emerged from a subtle but “exquisite” refurbishment, the Mare’s interior features Loro Piana fabrics, local terracotta tiles and plenty of “nautical nods” in its 14 rooms. In the restaurant, Enrico and Roberto Cerea stick to simpler dishes than in their Michelin-starred establishment in Bergamo. Their breakfast banquets are a particular joy, best enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the “emerald” bay.
47. Hotel Le Toiny
The only privately owned five-star hotel on the French Caribbean island of St Barths, this “tropical sanctuary” mixes “old-school English hospitality” with pleasing interior design and “epic” sea views, says Celina D’Abo in Tatler.
Located on the island’s “wild” side, away from most of its other resorts, it was bought in 2015 by hoteliers Charlie and Mandie Vere Nicoll and has recently emerged from a makeover by British designer Bee Osborn. Its 22 villas are set on the hillside above Toiny Bay, with private pools and calming, neutral interiors. Below them is a four-bedroom villa once owned by Rudolf Nureyev, with a terrace cantilevered over the sea, and an excellent beach club – although strong currents mean it’s not a great beach to swim off.
48. Cheval Blanc
Housed in the early 20th century Samaritaine department store building – a few doors down from the Louvre – the LVMH group’s first urban hotel is “a chic addition to the 1st arrondissement”, says Tatler.
American architect Peter Marino has made the most of the spectacular views it commands across the Seine in his interiors, with floor-to-ceiling windows and the clever use of mirrors.
The 72 rooms are “feminine, light-filled, white-on-white affairs”, with marble bathrooms featuring “lotions and potions” created by the Dior “nose” François Demachy. Elsewhere, striking modern art adds a dash of colour. There’s a rooftop bar with views of the Eiffel Tower, and four restaurants, including Plénitude, from Arnaud Donckele, who was voted best chef in the world in 2019.
49. Gleneagles Hotel
An hour’s drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh, this “old dame” has long been known for its warm service and the array of country pursuits it offers, from clay shooting to fishing and falconry. But now it has “a dash of hipster gloss” too, said The Times, thanks to a recent £30m makeover by the Ennismore company (which also owns the Hoxton Hotels in London).
The exterior – a “baronial” building with modern extensions – is not that appealing; but the interiors “ooze luxury”, with “light-filled” living rooms, antique four-poster beds in the 232 bedrooms, and “tubs for two” in the suites. Of its six restaurants, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie is the only one in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars. There’s a spa, and on the hotel’s 850-acre estate are tennis courts and several golf courses.
50. Rosewood Vienna
Set in a former bank headquarters built in 1835, this is the first luxury hotel to open in Vienna for eight years, and it is “splendid”, says Laura Jackson in The Times. Plasterwork and other original details have been sympathetically restored, but there are “eclectic” design details throughout, including plenty of modern art. Chef Alexander Baumann focuses on traditional Austrian fare in the excellent restaurant, and there’s a spa with fine views of St Stephen’s Cathedral. Rooms are spacious, with high ceilings, and suites are “magnificent”. One is on the site of the rooms where Mozart wrote his comic opera The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1781.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.