As vaccines continue to roll out (however slowly) and life beyond COVID creeps a bit closer, we find ourselves dreaming of stately manors, lavish hotels, and lush resorts around the world. Here are some of the most memorable 5-star stays we’ve covered over the years. To safe travels soon!
Four Seasons Resort, Lanai
“In ancient times, this tiny Hawaiian island was rigorously avoided by its neighbours, who feared the man-eating spirits that were roaming about with abandon. But when a Maui prince was banished to the desolate isle as punishment for wild shenanigans at his father’s court, he beat back the monsters of the dark and in their place made light—literally. Huge flames from his bonfire signaled that the coast was clear, and that it was now perfectly safe to visit. And they haven’t stopped coming over ever since.” Read more.
Hotel Danieli, Venice
“The ornate decor of the central building serves to accentuate its Byzantine Gothic architecture. An enclosed four-storey courtyard is the heart of this hotel; stylized archways offer glimpses of the floors above and of the golden staircases and balustrades coiling sturdily skyward.” Read more.
The Crane Resort, Barbados
“An adult-only pool with Grecian-style columns is serene and quiet, while the Cliff Pool Complex features a staggering 1.5 acres of splashing fun: a waterfall pool, a Jacuzzi, a children’s wading pool, and more. For the keenest of swimmers, there are also suites with private pools: corner plunge pools, ground floor pools that can be up to 28 inches long, and penthouse pools with rooftop gardens.” Read more.
The St. Regis, Osaka
“Set on the upmarket Midōsuji thoroughfare, the hotel affords proximity to such destinations as the ancient Shitennōji Temple, the Municipal Museum of Fine Art, and the city’s most exclusive shopping boulevard, Midōsuji Street. Expansive views of the skyline can be taken in from the garden terrace, or better yet, by pulling back the curtains in the plush, comfortable, and handsomely decorated suites.” Read more.
Hôtel Ritz, Paris
“The historic monument’s many common areas also benefitted from restructuring. The Grand Jardin was updated with astounding attention to detail: the garden features spacious greenery-bowered alcoves, along with a light grid underneath the lawn to prevent heels from sinking in. Newcomers of note include the Proust salon which, with its bookshelves, fireplace, and smoothly ambulating waiters, offers a leisurely afternoon tea service: a welcome addition to the Bar Hemingway’s legendary cocktails and l’Espadon’s upscale French fare.” Read more.
Four Seasons, Costa Rica
“For the more adventurous, activities abound. By air, enjoy a zipline flying tour through the treetop canopy. By sea, surf at two of the world’s most famous spots—Ollie’s Point and Witch’s Rock. On land, nature is the main attraction: Bird watchers are invited to spot parrots, antbirds, and mankins; hikers can explore the area’s many protected national parks; and mountain bikers can traverse technical trails.” Read more.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
“Perched atop the Airport Express Kowloon Station, this luxury hotel—designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates—is the highest hotel on the planet, and among the highest buildings in the world. Occupying the top 17 floors of the International Commerce Centre (the lobby is on the 103rd floor), this five-star hotel on the Kowloon peninsula will take your breath away, starting with the elevator ride, which soars to 1,588 feet at 32 km/h.” Read more.
Shompole Lodge, Kenya
“From our bedroom, hanging eerily over the floor of East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, my binoculars are trained on a new day dawning. The sun is rising over the plains, casting light on Shompole (Red Ochre) Mountain. Wee birds from the dawn chorus orchestra have already arrived on our deck for crushed cookies. Dressed in her Shompole Masai finery of distinctive white beading, Anna has just delivered a tray of tea.” Read more.
“Northern Ireland is noted for its hearty, wild territory, well explored during a hike around the hotel’s 43-acre grounds, or at the nearby sites including ancient Slieve League Cliffs. And Lough Eske is situated just minutes away from a handful of oceanside golf courses, including the Donegal Golf Club and The Nairn Golf Club, where crisp, salty Irish air enriches a round.” Read more.
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