From the African bush to the Atlantic coast, these 10 hotels may be diverse in their settings but they all set new benchmarks of experience and hospitality in their respective countries. By Divya Behl & Vikas Plakkot
1. The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Maldives
The thoughtfully created Children’s Club that is surrounded by nature and equipped with world-class learning materials is one of the many features that make St Regis, located on a private Maldivian island, the ideal family holiday resort. Relax in the hydrotherapy pool or enjoy a couple’s spa treatment at the Iridium Spa, sip on cocktails at one of the six eclectic bars, go for a customised yacht tour, or lounge in your presidential over-water villa that has its own jacuzzi, plunge pools, cinema room and more. Over-water villa from INR 1,27,000.
2. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Dubai
Live in an embellished Arabian paradise with the sea in sight and the unmatchable hospitality of the award-winning Jumeriah Al Qasr to pamper you. Located in the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, this property is designed as if it were an Arabic summer palace: the blue and white rooms, marbled baths, extravagant dressing areas, and opulent amenities are all fit for royalty. Shop in one of the 95 boutique stores, dine at one of the 50 restaurants, and indulge in a hammam at the Talise Spa. Doubles from INR 81,000.
3. NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa, Italy
Considered the oldest hotel in Italy, this boutique property located in central Florence has witnessed eight centuries of history unfold. Awarded for its world-class restoration, the hotel offers glimpses of the past in every nook and cranny. Walk to iconic sites like the Duomo or view them from the comfort of your frescoed suite. Eat from a range of truffle-based dishes at the in-house restaurant, or dig into a delicious private dinner in your historic room. Doubles from INR 24,000.
4. InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam
Hidden away in the Son Tra Peninsula Nature Reserve, this Bell Bensley-designed property is an amalgamation of Vietnamese tradition and modern architecture. With langurs for company, a stunning private beach, tai chi classes in the morning, and delicious local food, it offers a retreat like no other. Visit the famous Hoi An village using the hotel’s shuttle service, climb the Marble Mountains, go for a guided trek, and end the day at the Long Bar, enjoying the signature Lotus Cocktail. Doubles from INR 34,000 per night.
5. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Singapore
Once a General Post Office and now a gazetted National Monument, this hotel is a landmark in Singapore. Take the complimentary heritage tour and dive deep into the country’s colonial past. Dine at the in-house Lighthouse Restaurant, or catch a Fullerton Merlion Cocktail at the sleek Post Bar. Whether you’re organising a meeting or a personal event, there are multiple avenues with unique features. In the evenings, head to the Merlion Park or the National Gallery, both a stone’s throw away. Doubles from INR 24,000 per night.
6. Hotel Le Cep Beaune, France
Nestled in the winemaking region of Burgundy, this multiple award-winning five-star boutique property croons perfection. Each of its elements—from fabric to antique furniture—is handpicked for each of its 62 rooms and suites. Walk around the 16th-century courtyards, dine at the in-house Michelin-star restaurant, and enjoy total sensory immersion at Spa Marie. Sip on the superb wine collection that features picks from the world-famous wine auction of Hospices de Beaune, and explore the vineyards of Beaune. Doubles from INR 25,000 per night.
7. Marriott Cancun Resort, Mexico
Whether it’s for Cancun’s wild parties, Instagrammable beaches, historical Mayan ruins, or the adrenaline- pumping adventures, Mariott Cancun Resort makes a perfect abode for all types of holidays. Located in the famous Hotel Zone beach area, the luxury resort offers
11 restaurant options to dine in, a unique kids’ club for the little ones, private space for couple’s spa therapies, and a heated outdoor pool. Quench your thirst at the nearby Tequilla Museum, and top up with artisan cocktails from the in-house bar as you lounge in your private hammock. Doubles from INR 11,000 per night.
8. Mount Lofty House Adelaide Hills, Australia
Built in 1852 as a personal summer house, Mount Lofty House has withstood fires, and the erosion of time. Located in the Adelaide Hills wine region, this property has two popular vineyards located under an hour away and a wine cellar carved out of a rock. The property’s self-contained luxury cottages are perfect for a hilly getaway. If you’re planning to get married in winter, the property offers an impressive setting and mouthwatering food. A 3 BR cottage starts from INR 40,000.
9. Park Hyatt Tokyo, Japan
Offering stunning views of Mount Fuji and Tokyo city centre, the Park Hyatt in the Japanese capital soars high above its peers, quite literally. Occupying the top 14 floors of a 52-storeyed tower, the hotel has something special in store on each level. You must dine at New York Grill, which occupies the 52nd floor and boasts ceiling-to-floor glass windows, sample local fare at Kozue, located on the 40th floor; nibble on dessert in a garden-like setting on the 41st floor; and retire into one of the 23 opulent suites for the ultimate luxe stay. Tokyo Suite from INR 1,80,000.
10. Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve is a prototype of the utopian wildlife destination. Go for game drives with experienced rangers and spend your afternoons relaxing, swimming, sipping cocktails, or hitting the gym at the luxe ‘Rock Lodge’, which offers spectacular views of the Drakensberg mountains. Adventurers can go on a bushwalk while slow travellers can indulge in a spa treatment. An all-inclusive package for two starts from INR 1,20,000.