Travel picks: top 10 seductive stays at boutique hotels
OnlineboutiquetravelbrandMr& MrsSmith(www.mrandmrssmith.com)selects10 boutiquehotelswithseductivesettingsinsomeoftheworld’smostgorgeouslocations
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