At Small Luxury Hotels of the World, every one of their 520 small, independent hotels has one thing in common: excellence. They’ve carefully selected each hotel to celebrate their individual quirks and characters, and they’re all of a consistently high standard. They “understand the importance of being independently minded, so [they] seek out independently-spirited hotels to cater to [their] guests”. First opened in 1989, they have now discovered everything from secret caves to trend-setting tree houses. With over five hundred luxury hotels in more than 80 countries, the only difficult thing about booking is choosing where to stay! Here are five of their locations that are hidden treasures:
Milaidhoo Island: Baa Atoll, Maldives
This tiny island in the breathtaking Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has been transformed into a brand new contemporary luxury resort, opening on November 10, 2016, where coconut palm thatched villas sit nestled among pristine beaches and lush greenery. A thirty-minute trip by seaplane from Male International Airport, and with its closest neighboring island home to just 420 residents, this resort provides the perfect secluded location for an exotic luxury break. With 50 rooms ranging from lodges to land and over-water villas, each with a private pool, guests can indulge in all aspects of island life: rejuvenating spa treatments, yoga and meditation classes, and sensational gourmet food at one of three restaurants. The resort is “no infant” and informal dress code policies make for a tranquil and casual stay. Rate includes daily buffet breakfast and a la carte dinner at the main restaurant, free WiFi and welcome drinks.
Naman Retreat: Da Nang City, Vietnam
This secluded beach front enclave has 104 minimalist villas situated between iconic sandy beaches and the historical city of Hoi. Naman Retreat is dedicated to a philosophy of holistic wellness, and offers guests 3-14 day detox journeys focused on cleansing and purifying the mind and body. In addition, they offer more bespoke spa treatments at the in-house Pure Spa. If guests are interested in culinary adventures, the Hay Hay restaurant serves specialties of Hoi, such as ‘cao lau’ (made with noodles pork and local greens). Or guests can ride the 15-minute shuttle bus to the city, and take a cooking class to try their hand at re-creating the tasty cuisine. The cool and contemporary Naman retreat is made up of luxury villas, many of which boast private plunge pools and stunning vistas of the East Sea. Price is for a one-bedroom pool villa and includes daily breakfast, one spa treatment and WiFi.
Mahana Villa: Upper Moutere, New Zealand
A complimentary bottle of wine produced by the hotel’s vineyard and a selection of delicious canapes await guests every day of their vacation here in Nelson, NZ. Just one of many ways the staff at Mahana Villa ensure guests are cared for to an impeccable standard at this former apple orchard turned luxury retreat and winery. The property consists of the owner’s villa and the loft suite, both of which boast a private terrace from where guests can enjoy sweeping views beyond the vineyard to Tasman Bay and the Southern alps. Guests can spend their days sampling the best of the vineyard’s produce with expert winemakers, enjoying picnics at the nearby Abel Tasman National Park or horse riding along the shore. When it’s time for dinner, the chefs at Mahana Kitchen create delicious cuisine from local seasonal produce. Many of the vegetables and herbs come from the hotel’s own garden. Price includes three meals, pre-dinner canapes, wine allowance and mini-bar.
Althoff Hotel Villa Belrose: Saint Tropez, France
This Florentine-inspired villa houses a small collection of elegant bedrooms, each with a private garden or bay-facing terrace, just moments from the busy town of Saint Tropez. Many of the 40 rooms offer private balconies, taking full advantage of its prime location on a private estate in the hills; this location overlooks the manicured gardens and the unfurling bay of Saint Tropez. The surrounding area also has much to offer, from idyllic drives to exploring vineyards and picturesque villages to beach clubs, all ideal for people watching and getting a feel for the local scene. The hotel’s restaurant, ‘Le Belrose’, is presided over by Chef Pietro Volonte, holds a Michelin star, and is dedicated to serving inventive cuisine in an elegant, airy setting. The cuisine is complemented by the sea views that guests can enjoy from the grand terrace, while tasting specialties such as Risotto Pietro Volonte, served in a Parmesan wheel. The restaurant is proud to offer the largest wine list in the region, featuring over 500 French wines.
Elite Spring Villas: Anxi, China
From the moment of arrival at Elite Spring Gardens, guests will feel the sense of serenity and peace that the hotel’s owners have worked so hard to foster. The hotel has 17 individual suites, set in contemporary water gardens and are private havens, inspired by historic Chinese design, but with a more modern look and feel. This hotel is all about authentic Chinese experiences, without leaving luxury behind: guests can gain insight into centuries-old traditions, such as tea ceremonies in the hotel tea house or the ancient beliefs surrounding incense burning. Elite Spring Villas is a perfect choice whether you are looking to explore the hillside temples and tea plantations of Anxi, or to simply relax and rejuvenate in the hotel’s natural, tea-infused, hot-spring waters. The authentic experience carries through to the exceptional cuisine at Elite Springs, where guests can sample regional Min and Yue cuisine at the onsite ‘happiness loft restaurant’–or on warm evenings, they can enjoy a barbecue by the pool. The price is based on double occupancy and includes a daily breakfast.
To learn more about these luxury hotels, and others, visit the Small Luxury Hotels of the World at http://www.slh.com/.