Checkout our collection of not so Hotelish Hotels to visit before you Die…
10. Singita Kruger National Park, South Africa
Two lavish lodges with treetop suites and riverside rooms make up this Singita property. The glass-walled Lebombo Lodge overlooks the plains and the Lebombo Mountain Range, while the Sweni Lodge is nestled among trees along the Sweni River. Join the twice-daily game drives and request a guided walk along the Mozambique border for a good chance of sighting of zebras, giraffes, and impalas.
9. The Westin Excelsior, Rome
Built in 1906, The Westin Excelsior Rome has an impressive pedigree in the Via Veneto district. Though most rooms are affordable, their piece de resistance is the Villa La Cupola Suite that has recently been “refreshed” with a $7 million renovation. This signature luxury cocoon spans two full floors making it the largest suite in Italy. Furnished in grand old style with modern high tech gadgets, hand-frescoed cathedral style domes, its own private fitness room, sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi, and a formal dining room, it’s a perennial favorite for those who deem money to be no object.
8. Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Each of these tented camps displays rustic furnishings along with elegant safari touches like canvas fabrics and flagstone flooring. Days are filled with wildlife sightings—giraffes, lions, hippos during game drives—as well as cultural activities like a visit to local Maasai villages. Wind down with dinner around the open hearth or a dip in the freshwater pool.
7. THE LODGE AT SEA ISLAND, ST. SIMONS ISLAND
Anchoring the end of the island’s historic Avenue of Oaks, the decidedly English-style manor has tranquil views across the Sound and golf course and service more akin “to an intimate European hotel, with Southern charm” (think: “meeting your every need without being over the top or overly effusive.”) Folks “love the sunset bagpiper” and personal butlers that can “draw you a rose petal bath.” Golfers consider it a nirvana, but “couples will be equally enchanted.”
6. Amandari, Indonesia, Bali
This 30-suite sanctuary resides in central Bali near the artist community of Ubud, amid rice terraces above the dramatic Ayung River. The property has been designed to reflect a traditional village, while at the same time offering such resort pleasures as a luxurious spa, pool and tennis court. Each of the freestanding thatch-roofed suites is its own retreat; all come with courtyard gardens, and many include private plunge pools. For the ultimate in privacy, guests can stay in the 1,500-square-meter Amandari Villa compound, complete with five separate pavilions containing bedrooms, living space, a dining room, a kitchen and a two-tiered swimming pool. Relaxation here comes in many forms, including private classes with the resident yoga teacher.
5. Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
Built in tribute to the legendary lost city, Atlantis Paradise Island is a 141-acre waterscape and touted as the premier luxury resort destination in the Bahamas. But it’s their Royal Towers Bridge Suite on the 23rd floor that really pulls out ALL the swanky stops. It spans ten plush rooms topped by 12-ft. ceilings and full length windows and includes a grand piano, twin entertainment centers, a formal dining room with a 22-karat gold chandelier, whirlpool tubs, and more… plus a permanent staff of seven to cater to your every whim and fancy.
4. The Boulders, Arizona
An extremely prestigious golf and spa resort, the swanky decor is left up to Mother Nature at The Boulders, as it’s impossible to compete with stunningly surreal 12-million-year-old rock formations. Spanning 1,300 acres of the Sonoran Desert, ultimate natural rejuvenation is promised at their massive spa compound, and their two golf courses which are world class. There’s also an über private gated Villa Retreat for celebs seeking anonymity. PR rep Deborah Bridges says, “Our clientele is among the wealthiest in the world, but we’re not allowed to talk about who our VIP guests are until they’re dead.” That says it all.
3. Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
Designed in Mewari style, the Oberoi Udaivilas sits gracefully on its own 50-acre island near Udaipur. Check-in starts with a private boat ride past palaces on Lake Pichola, and a personal butler escorts guests to one of the 87 rooms and suites. While all 19 Premiere Rooms have private pools and terraces, the nine that face the hotel’s 40-acre plus nature preserve offer wildlife spotting (peacocks; deer; wild boar) as well as views of the marble palaces of mainland Udaipur.
2. Discovery Shores Boracay, Philippines
Set on a 2 n half mile stretch known for having the world’s softest sand, the 88 suites at this resort feature large glass walls that look towards a scenic rock garden. Take a dip in the pool, or Jet Ski on the Sibuyan Sea. For people watching, head to the Sandbar, where bartenders stir up lychee- and mango-infused mojitos, then sing your heart out with the recreation lounge’s selection of 1,000+ (mostly English-language) karaoke tunes.
1. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Costing approximately $3 billion to build, Emirates Palace has 394 rooms and suites, 40 meeting and conference rooms, a white sand beach, a myriad of pools and fountains, a sumptuous spa, marble imported from 13 different countries and over 1,000 crystal chandeliers. It’s like a small pleasure fortress that also boasts the most prestigious marina development in the Middle East. Royalty, or those who want to feel like it, can luxuriate in one of the many palace suites, all with lavish surroundings that would befit a Sultan of old yet with enough modern amenities to please today’s top tycoons.