Travel picks: top 10 se­duc­tive stays at bou­tique ho­tels

On­linebou­ti­que­trav­el­brandMr& MrsSmith(www.mrandmrs­smith.com)se­lects10 bou­tique­ho­tel­swithse­duc­tiveset­tingsin­some­ofthe­world’smost­gor­geous­lo­ca­tions

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

WHEN you are look­ing for a ro­man­tic get­away with that spe­cial per­son, the set­ting for se­duc­tion has to be just right.

Coastal cool: Saf­fire, Fr­eycinet Penin­sula, Aus­tralia. Hug­ging Tas­ma­nia’s pure east­ern shores, bou­tique ho­tel Saf­fire on the Fr­eycinet Penin­sula is a nat­u­ral gem, with beach views from its 20 sleek suites and a spa. At first sight it re­sem­bles a shiny UFO, but this stingray-shaped sanc­tu­ary em­braces the curv­ing Coles Bay coast­line, en­cour­ag­ing you to be at one with na­ture. Chef Hugh White­house pre­sides over Palate, Saf­fire’s top-notch con­tem­po­rary res­tau­rant where tast­ing menus of lo­cal seafood a r e a s p e c i a l i t y, a l o n g s i d e q u a l i t y re­gional pro­duce. Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude vis­its to vine­yards and a ma­rine oys­ter farm, trekking and is­land-hop­ping.

Cathe­dral cou­ture: Ho­tel Notre Dame, Paris, France. El­e­gantly ec­cen­tric Ho­tel Notre Dame i n Paris t akes i t s in­spi­ra­tion from mighty Notre Dame Cathe­dral which sits be­fore it. Re­designed by French fashion leg­end Chris­tian Lacroix, the ho­tel’s 400-yearold build­ing has been trans­formed into a daz­zling homage t o i t s i l l us­tri­ous neigh­bour, with vi­brant dé­cor mix­ing his­tor­i­cal, re­li­gious and ar­chi­tec­tural mo­tifs. Even the car­pets mas­quer­ade as me­di­ae­val paving stones, and the mon­u­men­tal cathe­dral can be seen from al­most ev­ery win­dow. In­di­vid­u­ally styled r ooms bl end ex­posed beams, bold tex­tiles and quirky Lacroix-de­signed wall­pa­per.

Lake­side lux­ury: Matakauri Lodge, Queen­stown, New Zealand. Matakauri Lodge in Queen­stown of­fers Alpine el­e­gance on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, t he wa­ter y heart of New Zealand’s South Is­land ad­ven­ture cap­i­tal. With 11 lux­u­ri­ous rooms – all with ma­jes­tic lake and moun­tain vis­tas – this bou­tique beauty is blessed with flaw­less nat­u­ral as­sets. Stylish suites fea­ture fire­place­warmed sit­ting ar­eas, walk-in wardrobes, over­sized tubs and pri­vate decks. Im­mac­u­late ser­vice, un­con­trived din­ing and light-filled in­te­ri­ors add to the wow fac­tor. Rev up with a spot of cy­cling, trekking, ski­ing in win­ter or b u n g y j u mpi n g y e a r - r o u n d . T h e n un­wind at Matakauri’s spa.

Span­ish Steps shop­ping: Por­trait Suites, Rome, Italy. Bou­tique ho­tels in Rome don’t come bet­ter lo­cated than 14-room Por­trait Suites, a stylish Ital­ian town­house off de­signer store-strewn Via Con­dotti, a hand­bag’s throw from the Pi­azza di Spagna and the Span­ish Steps. An off­shoot of the Fer­rag­amo fashion em­pire above its flag­ship store, this one-time ate­lier is fes­tooned with shoe-re­lated art­work and pho­tos of the s hoe­maker’s s t a r - s t ud­ded hey day. Deluxe Stu­dio 53 is a top tip, boast­ing a bal­cony for break­fast with city views. Por­trait Suites is within walk­ing dis­tance of Rome’s high­lights, i nclud­ing chic bou­tiques for re­tail ther­apy.

Is­lands: Six Senses Yao Noi, Phuket and Khao Lak, Thai­land. For a rus­tic es­cape in a sub­lime lo­ca­tion, treat your- self to a sooth­ing stay in Six Senses Yao Noi, a bou­tique re­treat set on cast­away Yao Noi Is­land near Phuket. Perched on a cliff­side, with beau­ti­ful views over Phang Nga Bay’s lime­stone pin­na­cles, the re­sort’s 56 palm leaf-roofed teak vil­las feel like plush log cabins or tree­houses, but come with pam­per­ing per­sonal but­lers. Drink in the verdant vis­tas from the in­fin­ity pool or sip a mo­jito in the sul­try Den lounge. Later re­tire to the Six Senses Spa in a tra­di­tional long house for holis­tic Thai treat­ments.

Peak view­ing: Jade Moun­tain, St Lu­cia, Caribbean. You’ll feel like a James Bond vil­lain in un­be­liev­ably lux­u­ri­ous is­land lair Jade Moun­tain in St Lu­cia. Ar­chi­tec­turally as­ton­ish­ing and blessed with breath­tak­ing views of the Caribbean Sea and balmy bay­side, it teams zigzag­ging stone walk­ways with ad­ven­tur­ous al­fresco spa­ces and cas­cad­ing koi pools. Each of its 29 colos­sal suites has an open fourth wall so you can ad­mire the is­land’s land­mark Pi­ton moun­tains (24 also flaunt pri­vate in­fin­ity pools with vibey fi­bre-op­tic light­ing). Throw in a glam main pool, a lofty ter­race bar and a seafood res­tau­rant.

Beach­side bliss: The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Viet­nam. Be­side le­gendary China Beach, The Nam Hai is a sea­side shrine to de­sign in cen­tral Viet­nam. Its 100 op­u­lent-yet-zen ocean-view vil­las will se­duce you with net-canopied plat­form beds and free­stand­ing eggshell-l ac­quered baths open­ing onto pri­vate gar­dens and out­door r ain show­ers. Beach­front vil­las are par­tic­u­larly al­lur­ing, of­fer­ing in­stant beach ac­cess. Dive in or just watch the waves from the re­sort’s t hree sl eek pools. For more aquatic re­lax­ation, the spa’s over­wa­ter pav­il­ions ex­tend above a peace­ful lo­tus pond.

Fairy­tale end­ings: Am­ber­ley Cas­tle, West Sus­sex, UK. In­dulge your in­ner prince (or princess) by book­ing into moated me­dieval manor Am­ber­ley Cas­tle in West Sus­sex. You’ll feel suit­ably pe­riod-drama as you glide up the drive of this Bri­tish cas­tle and ar­rive at the main gates and portcullis. Once you’ve taken in the man­i­cured grounds, ogle the his­tor­i­cal fur­nish­ings in­doors. Ide­ally stay in the main body of the 19-room cas­tle: Am­ber­ley of­fers sump­tu­ous beds, his ‘n hers bath­rooms and a win­dowseat over­look­ing the court­yard. The in­ti­mate Pevensey has its own door to the bat­tle­ments.

Glam ocean vi ews: Soho Beach House, Mi­ami, USA. Lord­ing it over its Mi­ami Beach lo­ca­tion, retro-quirky Soho Beach House’s bright-white 16-storey build­ing boasts a Cow­shed Spa, A-list res­tau­rant Cec­coni’s and a rooftop pool. This is the hotly an­tic­i­pated new Florida in­car­na­tion of orig­i­nal mem­bers’ club Soho House in London, beloved of the i n-crowd. Min­gle with the beau­ti­ful peo­ple at no less than three bars: the Cuban-style Club Bar, in­spired by 1940s Ha­vana; Tiki Bar, be­tween the beach and sun lounger-flanked gar­den pool; and the adults-only eightth-floor bar with dreamy At­lantic views.

Rooftop ro­mance: The Fuller­ton Bay Ho­tel, Singapore. Rooftop bars are all the rage, and Lantern, light­ing up the top of The Fuller­ton Bay Ho­tel on Singapore’s s uper-c e nt r a l Ma­rina Bay water­front, is one of the best. Perched pool­side on t he s eventh f l oor with dreamy day-beds, Jacuzzis and loungers, it’s a sexy spot to sink a cock­tail while soak­ing up strik­ing sci-fi views of the three-tow­ered casino com­plex op­po­site and the city’s se­duc­tive sky­line. With swish pub­lic ar­eas de­signed by ris­ing tal­ent An­dre Fu, it has 98 bed­rooms that doff their caps to the Lion City’s colo­nial and pan-Asian roots. – Reuters

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