Our guide to some of the world's greatest hotels
Finding the right hotel can be tricky. We have some inspirational – not to mention aspirational – places for you to consider. The kind of hotels where you get your own pillow butler, yoga teacher and plunge pool. In other words: the kind of hotels we all want to stay in. So, if you only settle for the best or you’re looking to treat yourself then read on. We’ve got the lowdown on some of the finest hotels on the market.
Cotton House – Mustique
If you’re pursuing luxury Mustique is a good place to start. This private Grenadine island was purchased by Colin Tennant in the 1950’s, and his first guest of honour was the Queen’s younger sister, HRH Princess Margaret – she was so grand she had a throne installed in her toilet. Princess Margaret fell in love with Mustique, and the great and the soon good flocked to the island. It became the stomping ground of David Bowie and Mick Jagger, and a byword for decadence. If you want to experience Mustique you should stay at the Cotton House, the islands’ only fully serviced hotel. Redesigned in 1968 by Oliver Messel, he added his signature Messel Green paint to the colonial era building. This 13-acre retreat has 17 rooms, some of which come with private plunge pools and verandas. All of the rooms have stunning panoramic views. The island is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to the East. The Cotton House is also the social hub of Mustique. Head to the Great Room Bar at cocktail hour. Every Tuesday evening the residents of Mustique gather to exchange gossip and enjoy the largest selection of rums in the Caribbean. Although this is a tiny island there are activities to keep you amused. You can head to the equestrian centre and enjoy a horseback ride along the shore. But the two main pastimes of Mustique are relaxation and high society schmoozing.
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So, if you’re ready to follow in the footsteps of Princess Margaret, you’ll need a ten-inch cigarette holder in one hand and a glass of famous grouse in the other, and then make your way to the Cotton House Hotel. Exploring the pristine beaches of the island, you may find fossilised remnants of Her Royal Highness’ cigarette butts.
Longitude 131 – Australia
Located in Uluru just by Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. The red sandstone expanse of Uluru looks like the surface of Mars. This area is sacred to the local Aboriginal people. You can find ancient paintings carved on the red stones. You may even see the endangered Black-flanked rock-wallaby, an obscenely cute creature that looks like it hopped out of the pages of a Beatrix Potter story. On a sand dune near the National Park you will find Longitude 131, a luxury desert glamping hotel. Each room has a tented rooftop and is themed on a different Australian explorer. The style of the rooms is based on traditional safari-style camps found throughout Africa. From this luxurious base in the wilderness you can enjoy guided tours, such as the Sunrise Walk, where you can see the shifting colours of the desert landscape as you make your way towards the National Park. The hotel has a celebrated restaurant, Table 131. Here you can enjoy a four-course meal with Australian wines served under the stars. After you eat the resident astronomer will explain the extraordinary Southern constellations to you. The Dune House bar is the central hub of Longitude 131. With panoramic views of the desert, you can indulge in a wide selection of wines and spirits. Head over to the Dune Pavillion for spa treatments and a dune-top plunge pool. This is a rare chance to experience luxury in a wild desert landscape.
Baros – The Maldives
The Maldives has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. A country comprised of over a thousand coral islands in the Indian Ocean – around 200 of which are inhabited. Just 40 years ago The Maldives were largely free from tourists. Now The Maldives is one of the most aspirational destinations; some say they are the most beautiful islands in the world. If you want to experience The Maldives in style you should stay at Baros. This luxury resort offers several different types of villa, the most striking of which are the water bungalows. Built on stilts in a lagoon, you’ll fall asleep with the waters lapping around you. As there is no industry in this area the waters are crystal clear. Each villa has its own steps leading to the sea. You can also stay in a Premium Pool Villa on the beach with your own plunge pool and jacuzzi. All of the rooms come with wifi and flat-screen TVs. But you’re unlikely to spend too much time staring at screens when you’re surrounded by such flawless scenery. If you’re a fan of scuba diving then you can’t pick a better location. And, if you’re feeling daring, in between spa treatments and yoga you can go diving with hammerhead sharks. In the evening go and unwind at The Lighthouse restaurant and enjoy French cuisine; you even may catch a glimpse of sharks and rays swimming by. Don’t worry, you’ll be at a safe enough distance!
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Just 150 miles from the Arctic Circle, this stunning resort is the ultimate winter getaway. You can stay in your very own glass igloo in Lapland. You’ll be surrounded by the snowy wilderness and sleeping under the Northern Lights. Each glass igloo has a double bed surrounded by glass walls and ceilings. The brilliant lights of the Aurora Borealis will be flashing above you. You can also hop on a husky-driven slay and go Aurora hunting. The main lobby of the hotel has wifi but the igloos do not. Can you imagine? No internet, TV or phone signal? Could be a shock to the system at first, but you’ll experience a satisfying digital detox in magical surroundings. The interior of the igloos is truly Scandinavian: pinewood walls, deer-antler light fittings and your own private sauna. You can head out on a reindeer safari, exploring the wild with reindeer herders. You’ll actually be able to ride on a reindeer-driven sleigh.
So, there are some luxury destinations to consider. You can also read our blog about The Brando Hotel in Tetiaroa. It’s one of the most exclusive hotels in the world, and it’s situated on Marlon Brando’s private island.