Above and Beyond Hotel Stays
At some hotels, going the extra mile isn’t just about great service and staff, but an almost psychic attention to detail and obsessive quality control. If you’re planning a last-minute Christmas holiday escape or scanning the globe for what is on offer in 2015, these luxury hotels, selected by travel experts, Mr & Mrs Smith, lay on plenty of niche niceties – from gourmet-packed minibars to drive-your-own golf buggies.
1) Chewton Glen, Hampshire, UK
With a staff-to-guest ratio of two-to-one, it’s hard not to feel like a royal at this 18th-century manor. The nothing-is-too-much-trouble service and gorgeous grounds makes this five-star hotel with its spoiling spa, elegant restaurants and country club as seductive as it is suave.
2) Cocoa Island by Como, Maldives
Resembling a collection of Keralan boathouses, this private Maldives retreat offers luxury accommodation in a breathtaking beach-lagoon setting. Slip straight into the turquoise ocean from your door, with 33 overwater private suites on offer. There are personal butlers on hand to arrange your dinner on the beach, guides to lead scuba tours, talented therapists in the world-class spa, and yoga and meditation instructors on staff.
3) Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia
Once you arrive, everything is taken care of, truly: the bountiful food, drinks and activities are all included in your stay. Solitude, serenity and privacy are what guests stay here for; the staff takes a refreshing first-name-basis approach, and the vibe is casual and unfussed.
4) Aenaon Villas, Santorini, Greece
Privacy and exclusivity are this hotel’s hallmarks. The attentive, yet unobtrusive, owners welcome guests like family to their secluded seven-suite retreat of spacious rooms, with fireplaces, private terraces and plunge pools for a throng-free escape.
5) Qualia, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
True to its name (Latin for deep, multi-sensory experience) this retreat strives to stimulate the senses. Indulge in a custom-designed private-dining event, give yourself over to an Aboriginal spa treatment or have the concierge arrange a picnic at a private snorkeling beach.
6) One and Only Palm, Dubai, UAE
Dine at one of three restaurants overseen by a Michelin-starred chef or call for round-the-clock room service. Guests can also take a private sea taxi or limousine to go shopping or enjoy a round of golf at award-winning courses. This hotel excels with its signature style of attentive, friendly – almost intuitive – service.
7) Le Royal Monceau Raffles, Paris, France
It’s hard to stray from this retreat with rooms offering enormous beds, and guitars or pianos to play, and the two Michelin-starred restaurants in-house. Unwind at the city’s biggest spa or hunt for souvenirs at the high-end boutique crammed with clothing, vintage furniture and art.
8) Villa Cora, Florence, Italy
Aristocratic luxury plus passionate, personal service will have you feeling like the nobility who once roamed these halls. Baroque details and Florentine frescoes are balanced by modern perks: the city’s largest heated outdoor pool, a glassy Tuscan eatery and a subterranean spa.
9) One Eleven Bali, Seminyak, Indonesia
The nine secluded villas all have their own private pools and spa gazebos for side-by-side spa treatments. Your personal chef will attend to breakfast in bed and late-night snacks, and, if you need anything else, your private butler has you covered. It’s pampered privacy at its best.
10) No 131, Cheltenham, UK
The attentive staff are focused on earthly pleasures: expect inventive cuisine and explosive cocktails, and rooms boast enormous beds and roll-top baths. Even the small details – creative minibar snacks, in-room teakettles, and fresh breakfast pastries – make a big impact.
For more boutique and luxury hotels and exclusive special offers, visit: Mr & Mrs Smith.
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