Lifestyle

8 best luxury hotels around the world you must visit

Going on vacation soon? Why not consider these hotels that exude style in spades
 

SWITZERLAND
Chetzeron (3963 Crans- Montana, tel: +41 27 485 0800, www.chetzeron.ch)

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Image: Design Hotels

Imagine waking up to the sight of the majestic snow-capped Alps in the distance. Thanks to its lofty perch 2,112m above sea level, Chetzeron, a member of Design Hotels, affords the kind of postcard-perfect views that are almost too stunning to believe. It’s remote – you can only reach the hotel on foot, on skis, or by using the hotel’s snowmobile service. But that also means you’ll get the most out of the snowy, silent surroundings, far from boisterous family crowds. Our favourite feature: the three levels of outdoor terraces dotted with hammocks and sun loungers from which you can marvel at your majestic surroundings while contemplating life.

FRANCE
Molitor (13 rue Nungesser et Coli, 75016 Paris, tel: +33 01 5607 0850, www.mltr.fr/en)

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Image: Molitor

What was once an iconic Parisian swimming pool – where the world’s first bikini was unveiled and which later became a space for Parisian subculture – has been given a new lease of life by architect Jean-Philippe Nuel. Now a 124-room luxury resort and spa, Molitor is every bit the modern Parisian hotel, sleek and fashionable. Its real charm, however, lies in its restored original features, including the pool’s mosaic tiling and stained-glass windows adorned with motifs of swimmers. Even if you’re not a swimmer, it’d be worth your while to just hang out by the pool – unless you’re a hotel guest, it can cost up to 180 euros (S$270) for a one-day pass.

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Image: Molitor

AUSTRALIA
Wildman Wilderness Lodge (Point Stuart Road, Arnhem, Northern Territory, tel: +61 8 8978 8955, www.wildmanwildernesslodge.com.au)

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 Image: Wildman Wilderness Lodge & Tourism Northern Territory

This luxury eco-lodge is the answer for anyone who’s ever wanted to experience the great outdoors but isn’t willing to rough it out. Ten air-conditioned cabins and 15 safari-style tents, all complete with modern furnishings and en-suite bathrooms, make up the base from which you can explore the lush wilderness of the Mary River Wetlands – hike through the Kakadu National Park if you like, or go on an airboat cruise. Opt for the splurgeworthy option of staying in one of the safari-style tents for a true “glamping” experience – each tent affords an unexpected and incredible closeness to the natural surroundings.

TIBET
The St Regis Lhasa Resort (22 Jiangsu Road, Lhasa, Tibet, tel: +86 891 680 8888, www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3129)

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Image: St Regis Lhasa

The 162-room luxury resort is a study in the juxtaposition between au courant comforts and cultural preservation done right. The rooms are furnished with plasma television sets and the bathrooms have heated floors and toilets, while the architectural details, facilities (which include a Gold Energy Pool and a Meditation Garden) and dining options (Si Zi Kang serves modern Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine) all pay homage to the location. But don’t just stay indoors – the hotel sits on prime land 3,680m above sea level, surrounded by sweeping landscapes, and faces the Potala Palace, a Unesco World Heritage Site that was once the chief residence of the Dalai Lama. Other options to quench your thirst for culture: the ancient Barkhor shopping area and the iconic Jokhang Temple are both a 10-minute walk away.

UNITED KINGDOM
Chiltern Firehouse (1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London, tel: +44 20 7073 7690, www.chilternfirehouse.com)

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Image: Chiltern Firehouse

Hotels of a certain pedigree attract a wellheeled, sometimes even famous, crowd. But Chiltern Firehouse, a former fire station, is a bona fide A-list magnet whose patrons include David Beckham, Bradley Cooper, and even British Prime Minister David Cameron. This is mostly thanks to its in-house restaurant, a New Yorkstyle brasserie where it’s notoriously difficult to secure a table (the restaurant reportedly uses a strict screening process for reservations). You can still stay in one of the 26 beautifully restored hotel rooms – each has its own personal concierge, so you can at least have a taste of what it feels like to be an A-lister.

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Image: Chiltern Firehouse

HONG KONG
The Luxe Manor (39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: +852 3763 8880, www.theluxemanor.com)

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Staying here is never dull – there’s always a quirky piece of furniture to sit on, a kitschy ornament to examine more closely, or a fascinating work of art that you wish you could take home with you. The style of the hotel has been dubbed “European grand house-style grandeur”, with lavish, themed suites inspired by Eskimos and the Middle East. Even its dining establishments, including a Dadaist-inspired bar and lounge, and four private dining rooms designed in a surrealist style, are not spared the treatment. It can cause sensory overload at first, but once you get used to the idea of sleeping in a room with painted-on picture frames and a mantelpiece with a fake fi replace, it’ll be a hotel experience you won’t be in a hurry to forget.

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CHINA
Fuchun Resort (Fuyang Section, No. 339 Jiangbin Dongdadao, Dongzhou Jiedao, Fuyang, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, tel: +86 571 6341 9500, www.fuchunresort.com)

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Fuchun Resort, flanked by mountains and lakes, and set in a working tea plantation, is practically a work of art come to life. Inspired by an iconic 13th-century painting of the landscape in the area around Fuchun River, called Dwelling In The Fuchun Mountains, the resort embodies the dreamlike quality of that piece of art. Naturally, the place encourages complete rest and relaxation – wake up early for a morning stretch session held along the tea terraces; ride a bike along the scenic Fuchun River; or enjoy the region’s iconic Longjing tea and traditional Shaoxing wine on the terrace of the Fuchun Pavilion.

OMAN
Alila Jabal Akhdar (Plot No. 4 Al Roose, Jabal Al Akhdar, Nizwa, tel: +968 2534 4200, www.alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar)

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A two-hour drive from Oman’s capital, Muscat, and set 2,000m above sea level in the Al Hajar mountains, Alila’s first venture outside of Asia is about as far removed from urban life as you can hope for. Constructed almost entirely out of locally sourced stone, the resort blends seamlessly into the natural beauty of its surroundings. Indoors, however, it looks every bit a contemporary hotel – Omani design elements abound in the form of copper ornaments and handmade pottery. Regardless of your choice of holiday activities – going on a guided trek through the rocky mountains or just lazing on your private balcony overlooking a sprawling gorge – this is an ideal spot for those who need to completely unplug, unwind and recalibrate.

This story was first published in Her World Magazine July 2015.

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