Rooms with a View
We share our favourites
There are times a hotel, however comfortable, is merely a base from which to explore. But there are occasions when they become the destination themselves. Here are a few favourites in locations you will never want to leave.
TRUE HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH
SIX SENSES Yao Noi - Phuket
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect setting than that of the Six Senses resort on the island of Yao Noi. North east of Phuket, it’s where wellness and relaxation go hand in hand. As you soak in your private pool, look out towards towering limestone pinnacles rising directly up from a tranquil turquoise sea, while pondering the tough decisions of the day: coconut body scrub or acupressure facial?
Teak-clad, palm thatched suites and villas are at the centre of this sensory experience, with Ocean Pool Villas offering lavish amounts of space, private pools and glorious views across Phang-Nga Bay. For optimum luxury, opt for the two-bedroom Ocean Retreat where you can almost play hide and seek. It also comes with its own butler, garden and direct beach access.
Tucked into a lush hillside, the spa is made for relaxing before or after your yoga al fresco or chakra meditation. Then there’s the tempting Thai cuisine to top it all off, withthe Hilltop Reserve being a most exclusive dining venue. Stay put after dinner for a nightcap under a full moon while considering tomorrows choices… pool or beach?
"As you soak in your private pool, look out towards towering limestone pinnacles rising directly up from a tranquil turquoise sea."
Don’t miss getting up close to the mystical limestone karst scenery of the Phang Nga Bay. Take an early morning boat trip and watch as a shimmering sun appears between the jagged rocks. Visit monkey island, snorkel through caves and have lunch on a deserted beach. Absolute bliss.
NATURE IN ALL ITS GLORY
AMANGIRI - USA
Sometimes nature is so dramatic, so awe-inspiring, it can almost overpower the senses. To stay in the middle of it all is the ultimate luxury.
That is the case with Amangiri, set in 250 hectares of beautifully arid desert in southern Utah. The property blends in seamlessly with the environment, its main pool curving around a rock escarpment. The changing light at dawn and dusk is mesmerising.
Suites are clean, spacious and elegantly minimal, featuring white stone floors, concrete walls and natural timbers. The majority have private pools and courtyards or desert lounges from which to soak up the stunning views. Cuisine is drawn from the American southwest: tamales, huevos rancheros
and juices blended with prickly pear for breakfast. Then spiced desert watermelon, buffalo carpaccio and Utah rainbow trout for dinner, while you gaze out on a night sky illuminated by a billion stars.
"To hike here is to truly feel connected and empowered by our planet. To see the earth spread out below you from the height of a hot air balloon is a memory that will stay with you forever."
For a special treat book the Mesa Suite, where the play of light and pattern is perfectly aligned on the rooftop sky terrace, complete with daybed. The result? Rose-gold sunsets, midnight moon bathing and sheer wonder.
RELAX IN PARADISE
HUVAFEN FUSHI - MALDIVES
What do you think of when you picture your perfect island in the Maldives? It has to be intimate with palm-fringed, white-sand beaches straight out of a dream. And it must be surrounded by a clear tranquil lagoon with a reef for snorkelling. There’s something rather James Bond about the approach to Huvafen Fushi, skimming across turquoise sea in a speedboat. Once you’ve arrived and been welcomed, you won’t want to wait before heading to your abode.
There are bungalows tucked away on the beach, or overwater sanctuaries with glass floors through which to spy on the fish below. When it’s time to be pampered check out the underwater spa which has soothing rooms with reef views. This adult only piece of heaven also delivers on indulgent dining – couples can now stay on a premium all-inclusive basis when booking the new ‘Elevate Your Senses’ package bringing you unlimited champagne & cocktails, sumptuous lunches and extravagant dinners.
A visit to the Lime Spa is a must. Combining exquisite architecture, the latest technology and innovative therapies, your journey to total wellness begins here. For a unique experience, what could be better than the world’s first underwater treatment rooms?
"Discover an underwater world that’s teeming with life by diving and snorkelling along the reef before unwinding to the fullest with refreshing cocktails on your private sun deck."
For something thrilling and utterly different try snorkelling at night. You’ll enter the house reef at dusk, and observe how life underwater changes as the sun sets. Watch the busy diurnal (daytime) fish rush around as they find shelter for the night and see nocturnal fish come out to play. You may spot lionfish, lobster and octopus, plus glittering bioluminescence.
A TREAT AT THE TAJ
OBEROI AMARVILAS - INDIA
It has been said that the Taj Mahal – the iconic marble mausoleum commissioned in the 17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved late wife – “rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.”
So close to the Taj Mahal that you could almost touch it, The Oberoi Amarvilas is the most romantic place to stay in all of Agra.
There can be fewer memorable moments than a sunset drink on your private balcony watching the sun sink over Shah Jahan’s testament to eternal love and the same magical vista can be seen from each room, with touches of teak, gold leaf and etched chandeliers adding to a sense of Mughal charm.
After a day out sightseeing, cool off in the pool before heading down to dine to the sound of music as players fill the air with traditional compositions. Or you can retreat to your terrace for a private and panoramic candlelit dinner.
"Its sumptuous blend of Persian and Moorish architecture transports you back to an era of Emperors while its fountains and pools come into their own on a sultry summer’s day."
Make time to go to the spa – a haven of tranquility. Choose an enveloping treatment aimed at re-invigorating your skin using ingredients such as red mud, Himalayan rice and Indian sandalwood.
JADE MOUNTAIN - ST LUCIA
In the West Indies, there’s laid back…and then there’s St Lucia. An island where life is celebrated at a more chilled-out pace, with a cocktail in hand, soaking up the sun with a big smile. In the southwest, you’ll see the symbol of the islands: the Pitons, two mountains that rise some 750m out of the Caribbean, lushly forested in a blanket of green. And it’s here, looking out over them, that you’ll find Jade Mountain.
Jade Mountain is the perfect place at which to relax away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Suites offer the ultimate in privacy. Most have their own private pool and all have “no fourth wall”,
leaving one side open with views to the Pitons. So you can take a post-lunch nap lulled by a sea breeze, fall asleep at night to the sound of the waves below on the beach at Anse Chastanet, and wake in the morning to the sun illuminating stunning mountain views.
"Find some time to relax at the Kai en Ciel spa: for the ultimate indulgence, pamper yourself with a massage where you are enveloped in warm chocolate, made from locally-grown beans."
It’s tempting to spend all your time on that gorgeous beach. But we recommend exploring St Lucia’s lush interior. With a guide, you’ll be amazed what you will find including impressive waterfalls, sulphur springs, mud baths and a jungle flitting with colourful birds.
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Beyond Four Walls
Let us take you beyond the standard four walls of a hotel with this round-up of some of the world’s most surprising and unusual places to stay. From decadent glamping in the Australian outback to sleeping in a pod on a Peruvian cliff edge, these hotels are redefining the rules.
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