1. BVLGARI HOTEL SHANGHAI
Few cities on earth are as electric and eclectic as Shanghai. Known in the 1920s as the ‘Paris of the East’, it has developed into a destination that serves up culture and excess, art and mystique in equal measure. Found on the Huangpu riverbank, just a stone’s thrown from the Bund, Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai balances nature, contemporary design and heritage architecture to intimate effect. With just 82 rooms - 19 of which are suites - the sense of exclusivity is tangible. As part of the city’s visionary Suhe Creek project, the hotel steals sweeping views over the Bund and Pudong’s dramatic skyline.
The Bvlgari Suite - all 400sqm of it - is accessed by private elevator and is a lesson in refinement. Bringing your family? Then simply extend the suite to create a 570sqm three-bedroom residence. Inside, there’s black oak flooring, ivory panelled walls, a backlit onyx bar, private steam room, and SPA massage room. You’ll never tire of the view, but beyond the suite Il Ristorante - Niko Romito awaits, as does the two-Michelin-starred Chinese fine dining restaurant, Bao Li Xuan, which serves haute Cantonese cuisine. When fuelled on dim sum, braised lobster and pickled goose wings, a stroll along the Bund is essential. Those views won’t get photographed by themeselves...
2. MANDARIN ORIENTAL SANTIAGO
Hugging the foothills of the sweeping peaks of the Andes Mountains that soar over the Argentinian capital, Mandarin OrientalSantiago is not short of a view or two. The hotel is plumped in a perfect location that takes advantage of glamorous residential properties, leaf-filled green spaces and excellent shopping districts. Follow our lead and choose a Premier Suite With Terrace to make the most of your surrounds, with views stretching from modern city to mountain behind.
A brand renowned for its wellness excellence the world over, do yourself a favour and make one - if not more - appointments at the Mandarin Oriental Spa. The Neyün ritual is 90 minutes of herbal baths and Mapuche body massages. Fancy something for the face? Try the Oxygen Facial Renewal that infuses oxygen into the skin’s cells, creating hydration and balance. Fine dining takes place at Matsuri, which celebrates the art of Nikkei cuisine where Japanese-Peruvian chef Juan Ozaki creates culinary magic. Or for something more Mediterranean, Senso will speak to the pizza-pasta lover in you. Explore the surrounding area to see the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art or take a stroll to Parque Araucano and amble down the rosedal, its beautiful rose-petal strewn path.
3. CHARLES HOTEL, MUNICH
Named after Sir Rocco’s father, Lord Charles Forte, The Charles Hotel opened in Munich 13 years ago - a new build envisaged by Olga Polizzi. Surrounded by the city’s botanical gardens, it provides a verdant oasis near the beating heart of Munich’s old town, Königsplatz. A hotel where contemporary style meets traditional Bavarian hospitality, inside modernity sits alongside history, with paintings by Franz von Lenbach, photography by Hubertus von Hohenloe and Faber Castell sculptures, all working together to create a cultural enclave for art aficionados.
You have 160 rooms and suites at your disposal, with the Monteforte Royal Suite (named after the village birthplace of Lord Forte) on the top floor providing the most space at 200sqm and the best views over the Old Botanical Gardens from your private balcony. There’s ample opportunity to revel in the suite’s objets d’art too, from the grand piano to a curated collection of antiques. To fuel a walking tour around Munich, Sophia’s Restaurant exemplifies botanical bistronomy and takes inspiration from the neighbouring gardens serving the best seasonal produce that’s been hand-picked from local producers, where quality is paramount. Retire to the bar for a nightcap - certainly one of the coolest spots in the city.
4. IL SALVIATINO, FLORENCE
The beauty of Il Salviatino is that it’s just 10 minutes from the city, but perched high above Florence in the bucolic hills of Fiesole, with tumbling views that stretch over the countryside and the city. Wind your way up the hilly roads and you’ll stumble upon this gloriously over-the-top hand-restored 15th-century villa, a Renaissance classic with frescoes, fireplaces, fine art and even finer food. The rooms are truly sumptuous with each designed uniquely, respecting the particularities of the villa and its setting. An elegant blend of local artisanship and the latest hi-tech wizardry, alongside handmade authentic Tuscan linen and the finest leathers, luxury knows no bounds.
Il Salviatino is also set in a 12.5-acre park, meaning the grounds are spectacular – manicured but also just the right side of wild – where you’ll find a heated outdoor swimming pool, walking paths and, if you feel like venturing out, bike tours. When you’re not immersing yourself in Florence’s cultural side, you can grab a book from the hotel’s historic library and take yourself off to the outdoor terrace, with its views of Brunelleschi’s dome, and enjoy the tranquillity of your city-cum-countryside retreat. Oh, there’s also a spa tucked away in the grounds, which uses products by Florentine’s famous perfumiers and cosmetologists, and La Terrazza restaurant, which uses vegetables, fruits and aromatic herbs from its organic garden.
5. ANASSA, CYPRUS
A secluded hillside hideaway overlooking Polis Bay, Anassa is one of Cyprus’ hidden gems. Flanked by olive trees and lush landscaped gardens, this is the definition of a true nature-infused escape, with views over the Mediterranean’s sparkling cerulean waters. 166 light, bright beach-chic suites form a crescent around the resort, in the style of a whitewashed Byzantine village, cascading down through vibrant, flower-filled gardens to a sandy beach. The spa won No.1 Overseas Hotel Spa in The World’s Top 100 back in 2018, and is still riding high on the crest of its success. There are towering Roman columns, sun-lit courtyards, healing thalassotherapy pools, a vast indoor pool, saunas, steam baths and a saltwater exercise pool.
The only hotel in Cyprus to make all of its own cheese, breads, pastries, jams and sauces on site, the food is pretty special. For romantic evenings, the sunken candlelit cavern at Basiliko will do the trick, while dinner set to a soundtrack of live harp music at Helios will immerse you into Mediterranean life. For something a bit different, try a pottery lesson with Cypriot potter Avgoustios, who’s been crafting clay for over 30 years.
6. JUMBY BAY, WEST INDIES
A private island sanctuary located just two miles – and a 10-minute private yacht sail – off the coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay is in of one of most undisturbed places in the world. Miles away from the crowds of the Caribbean and named after the Antiguan word jumbee, meaning playful spirit, the resort is a chic and elegant island enclave that puts natural experiences first.
Set in 300 acres of pools, powder-white beaches and palm-fringed paths, there are no cars here, just bicycles – and the resident Hawksbill turtles who nest here, courtesy of the resort’s conservation programme. Stay in an Estate Suite with its infinity pool, outdoor garden shower and sea views (in fact, every suite overlooks the Caribbean), or go the other end of the spectrum in the four-bedroom Tortuga villa that splurges on understated elegance and beachfront charm. What we love about Jumby Bay is its all-inclusive approach, where you could arrive with nothing bar your swimsuit and everything will be taken care of. There’s complimentary dining, cocktails and champagne, as well as spa treatments, rum tasting and Caribbean cooking classes, watersports from hobie cats to wakeboarding, round the island boat trips and snorkelling, and tennis if you’re up for a game. Having won the 2021 Five-Star Award by Forbes Travel Guide this year, you know you’re in very safe hands.
7. FOUR SEASONS PAPAGAYO, COSTA RICA
Costa Rica is one of those Central American gems that most people know about but few people have visited. It still feels untouched, unspoiled and undiscovered. Meaning ‘rich coast’ in Spanish, Costa Rica prides itself on its beautiful tropical beaches, ravishing rainforest topography, grand adventures in the wild and its incredible cuisine. The people also make an experience here truly unique, as they’re some of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet.
From your hillside perch of Four Seasons Papagayo, your views will stretch across the Pacific Ocean, a hotel where adventure meets relaxation and ‘pura vida’ comes part of the package. From zip lining through tree canopies and hiking up a volcano to surfing some Pacific Ocean waves... adventure bunnies will be well at home.
There is obviously a slightly sleepier way of life, for those wanting to slow things down: think golf at hotel’s Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole course, with views of Bahía de Culebra and the accompanying chatter of monkeys; an abhyanga massage or ayurveda with the resort’s wellness ambassador, Beto Peña; vegan cooking courses; meaningful volunteering in the community with the Creciendo Juntos ‘Growing Together’ programme; or leisurely nature safaris and stargazing for Papagayo’s curious guests. You can’t go wrong staying in the three-bed Miramar Suite. Just look at those views...
8. ONE&ONLY MANDARINA, MEXICO
The rustic charms of One&Only Mandarina on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, so perfectly capture the setting, that indoor/outdoor living becomes one. When it opened in 2020 in Puerto Vallarta, One&Only’s second resort in Mexico, it heralded a new era of luxury eco-havens offering undisturbed experiences in aweinspiring settings. Its home on the emerald cliffs of Riviera Nayarit will plump you straight into the environment, flanked by rainforest, beach and ocean, letting you experience, first hand, the transformative powers of nature.
Promising life-altering adventures, from fine dining at the hands of celebrity chefs – such as Enrique Olvera – through to sacred connections with the earth in the company of 50 species of indigenous trees, butterflies, iguanas and humpback whales, to recalibrating your mind, body and soul, you’ll emerge transformed. Nestled in tropical rainforest amid 200-yearold trees, the hotel’s villas and treehouses are a homage to nature, leaving the surroundings completely undisturbed. The seven-bed Villa Jaguar perches on the rugged cliff-face, all natural sandstone hues and terraced views for days and days. Villa Pacifico is the second largest clifftop villa and gives the feeling of floating on a cloud, as mesmerising scenes unfold below.
9. AMANJENA, MARRAKECH
Inspired by the rose-hued buildings of old Marrakech, palatial Amanjena lies just outside the fabled Red City, where shady courtyards with petal-strewn fountains pave the way for gardens, guest pavilions and private pools. With the High Atlas Mountains in the background and the Agafay desert all around, a life of surrender and serenity unfolds, amid the vaulted ceilings and Moorish arches of the property. With some of North Africa’s most diverse topography, Marrakech is ripe for exploration and to see more, just a short drive away you’ll find Lake Lalla Takerhoust, a beautiful mountain-water reservoir, where you can picnic or enjoy a yoga session by the lake. Back at the hotel, try something special at Nama, a restaurant that celebrates Japan’s UNESCO-protected washoku cuisine, with artfully created and plated sushi and sashimi.
You’ll sleep well in any of the maisons or pavilions, but a particular favourite is the Al Hamra Maison. Spread across 1,130 square metres, there’s space for four guests, each able to enjoy the private heated pool, dining room with open fireplace, shared garden with two minzahs for eating in, extensive main pavilion, and on-tap assistance from a private butler. The design features reflect the character and charm of the hotel’s beautiful location, with Berber carpets scattered over zellij tiled floors, bathrooms with Ouarzazate green marble finishes, and a courtyard with fruiting mandarin trees.
10. BELMOND HOTEL DAS CATARATAS, BRAZIL
If you haven’t yet visited Brazil’s Iguassu Falls (spelled many different ways), please put it top of your To Do list. It’s one of Mother Nature’s most extraordinary achievements and one of the largest waterfalls in the world. It is utterly breathtaking. To witness it in all its glory, stay at Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas, where you can see the Falls in near solitude.
Restored to its original 1950s charm, the hotel’s hacienda-style, pastel-pink exterior creates the groundwork for a warm and inviting stay. Brazilian rainforest thrills meet timeless luxury here, with sculpted grounds and kaleidoscopic nature setting the tone for a holiday of discovery. See the majesty of first light on a dawn walk to the falls and enter the park before the crowds, or take a hair-raising speed boat ride, or helicopter charter and soak up the churning, tumbling torrent of water from up high. The rooms and suites exude a Portuguese-Colonial vibe that breathe oldworld elegance into every nook and cranny. Stay in a Cataratas Suite for luxury indulgence to rival the majesty of the Falls. End your daytime adventure with a Brazilian barbecue in the heart of the jungle or organise a private al fresco dinner with the Falls as your only companion.
11. GUARDA GOLF HOTEL, CRANS MONTANA
To many, Switzerland is far more a winter destination than a summer one, but those-in-the-know head here for blue skies, alpine fresh air, nature’s outdoor pursuits and the greenest of golf courses. Guarda Golf Hotel boasts an exceptional location for all this and more, in the centre of Crans-Montana, in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Here, surrounded by mountains strewn with pine trees, and with its 300 days of sunshine a year, you’ll find worldclass golf (the hotel has a nine-hole course, and there’s an 18-hole course next door designed by Severiano Ballesteros), hiking, mountain biking, horseriding, paragliding and Crans-Montana Beach and wakepark.
In Crans-Montana, you’ll also find luxury boutique shopping, from the likes of Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Chopard. Stay in a Deluxe Room for scene-stealing views over the golf course and Alps, with French windows opening out onto your private terrace, and a beautiful Italian limestone bathroom with Bvlgari amenities. At the end of a hard day of adventuring, reward yourself with an aperitivo from Les Alpes Bar, before relaxing into a night at FIVE, sharing Levantine mezze and Mediterranean-style seafood. Don’t miss the award-winning Guarda Golf Spa for an experience that promises to bring your soul and body together.
12. SIX SENSES BHUTAN
Bhutan, or ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ as it’s been known since the 17th century, remains one of the most uncharted countries in Asia, largely due to its controlled tourism and quest for peacefulness. A landlocked Himalayan kingdom tucked between India and China, it is a country of culture, tradition, forests, monasteries and mountain passes. Six Senses Bhutan comprises five lodges set in unique locations, designed to complement their natural habitat. Six Senses Thimphu offers a casual respite from the kingdom’s capital, plumped within apple orchards and pine forests.
At 7,710 feet, its jaw-dropping infinity pool has the best views over Thimphu valley, with each of its villas and suites designed to reflect the values of Bhutanese culture: simplicity and harmony. The three-bedroom villas have valley views, a double spa treatment room and open-air courtyard. Known as ‘a Flying farmhouse amidst the rice fields’, Six Senses Punakha is a beautiful rustic lodge inspired by the valley’s farmhouse architecture. There’s a pool, yoga studio and meditation huts, and from here, you can visit one of Bhutan’s highlights: the majestic Punakha Dzong. The chic and contemporary pine-infused Upper Lodge Suite has all the views you need.