The Luxury Editor provides guidance on the best places to go for luxury experiences and luxury escapes. It is an online society for discerning travellers. Here you will find Inspiration and insider tips on the latest and best in the luxury travel, food and drink sectors.
‘Chicago, is my kind of town!’ sings Frank Sinatra; and I can’t help but agree. This US mid-western metropolis has long been a favourite destination. Chicago represents the best of both worlds – small town friendliness and unpretentiousness; combined with big-city architecture and culture.
Found on the shores of Lake Michigan, an expanse of water so huge, one feels like one is looking out over the ocean, this Illinois metropolis offers a cool summer beach city vibe, as well as the sophistication of a world city with great restaurants and a burgeoning arts scene.
Mercat a la Planxa
On the iconic Michigan Avenue, this relaxed and friendly restaurant captures the flavours of a Barcelona market.
I had such an enjoyable lunch here at this Catalan inspired eatery at the newly remodelled BlackStone Hotel. Chef José Garcés and sous-chef Anhuar create small plates and sharing dishes inspired by Spain’s tapas culture. Much of the menu feels more Spanish than Catalan – superb patatas bravas with smoky paprika make me think of Madrid; whist the excellent boquerones with citrus made me think of Malaga. The generous ‘pan con tomaquet’ is mixes Mediterranean influences; Spanish, Catalan and Italian ingredients – I really liked the focaccia bread!
The team are chatty, friendly and knowledgeable and the atmosphere is informal – perfect for a sociable meal with friends and family – Spanish style! Location is great, in front of Grant Park and the lake, and prices are reasonable. The menu includes full plates too; meat, fish and seafood on the grill.
One of the most on-trend restaurants in town, this Korean-American restaurant is the place to go for soft shell crabs with black bean sauce; yellowfin tuna with leche de Tigre; and the best pork belly.
Chicago has a staggering array of luxury and ultra-luxury hotels. They are also venues for some of the best fine-dining in the city.
I enjoyed getting back to my roots with a contemporary interpretation of a traditional English Afternoon Tea. This quintessential English ritual is part of The Langham Chicago’s identity, building on a tradition that has been running at The Langham, London since 1865. Sophisticated canapés are followed by classic scones with Devonshire cream, and then fabulous cakes. All served in an incredible environment.
This integrated city-break visitor card promises you to ‘skip the ticket line and head straight to the fun’.
In my experience they delivered. If you and your family want to enjoy the main attractions of the city from the SkyDeck Chicago to the Shedd Aquarium, then a CityPass makes sense. Not only does it offer significant savings off regular ticket prices it also affords you VIP access, so you can queue jump.
The Chicago Riverwalk has to be the best addition to the city since I was last here. Downtown has a new leisure area thanks to smart urban design that has reclaimed the river for residents and visitors. Now cafés, bars and coffee shops line the river where before just post-industrial wharfs lay idle.
This is such a liveable city and taking the Riverwalk will give you a whole unique perspective of this beautiful city. There are river cruises too.
Cloud Gate has become the new icon of the city. It’s at the heart of the Millennium Park. You can’t leave the city without an Instagram here. Anish Kapoor’s polished stainless-steel sculpture, nicknamed the ‘bean’ reflects the city skyline in a truly compelling way. It’s actually more beautiful, as you might imagine, when there are clouds in the sky.
Like a huge globule of liquid mercury, this piece is the focal point of the surrounding park which really is a beautiful urban oasis.
It’s hard to believe that this skyscraper is almost half a century old. Opened as the Sears Tower, it was for a while the tallest building in the world. I still remember the excitement I felt as a teenager visiting; amazed at the speed of the lifts, and the feeling of unease standing by the huge windows looking out over Chicago to a cityscape that just didn’t exist in Europe at the time.
For an adrenaline-pumping experience, try the ‘Ledge’ for the best Instagram – completely glass cubes hanging out over the city from the 103rd floor!
This is another iconic tower in Chicago. It’s observation deck is one of the oldest but still one of the best. Enjoy fabulous views up Lake Shore Drive from the 94th floor, or over the Lake; and across the city. Ride ‘Tilt’; but hold on tight, as you stand in this glass enclosed moving platform that literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue from the 94th floor!
Chicago’s downtown riverside 1923 Alfred Alschuler-designed London Guarantee & Accident Building is now the LondonHouse Chicago Hotel. Some 200 million dollars and plenty of consideration has made this a sleek, on-trend and sophisticated property.
The early to mid-century style guest rooms bring together old and new. Vintage details like stitched leather headboards join smart technology like keyless room entry using your phone. The highlight is the roof terrace!
This vintage property with contemporary art and furnishings is very much part of Chicago’s story. Now an Autograph Collection Hotel the property has been completely remodelled and is looking amazing. One of the business meeting rooms is a former barber shop was a favourite with Al Capone as it had no windows, so he could visit in secret, and supposedly there was a hidden escape just in case things got tricky!
Capturing the timeless elegance of an upscale family residence, combined with the flair and style that is unique to Mallorca’s Cappuccino bars, the new Mamá Hotel endeavours to bring a touch of magic to the Palma del Mallorca hotel scene, writes Andrew Forbes.
Mallorca is one of the Mediterranean’s largest islands, with Spain’s third largest airport – it’s a major holiday destination. Yet it has genuine rural charm, with glorious mountain villages; as well as a n historical capital, Palma, with an old town chockful of honey-coloured architectural delights. The city is rich in history, with a cultural legacy that embraces the Romans, the Al Andalus Moors, and the Kingdom of Aragon. It’s a colourful, rich and complex and it’s against this backdrop that Hotel Mamá seeks to create its own unique identity whilst reflecting elements of Mallorca’s story.
Palma’s old town is a favourite, and it is a superb choice for an elegant Mediterranean city break. Hotel Mamá is part of a new wave of city centre properties offering the highlights of the city on their doorstep. The remarkable Gothic cathedral of Palma is a short walk away, as are some of the finest historical palaces. Yet a city breaks here is about the enjoying relaxing Mediterranean lifestyle too, indulging in the finer things in life such as seductive cocktails, and gourmet dining. One can enjoy the Balearic bliss of the beaches and the cool, barefoot luxury of the beach bars and harbourside eateries of this chic island (for more information read our Eat Do Sleep Guide to Palma here).
Hotel Mamá offers the kind of boutique luxury one is coming to expect in the Mallorca capital, with a rooftop pool; a sparkling new gym; a wellness spa with hamam; and a few surprises like the hotel’s private cinema ‘Cappucine’ where guests can enjoy matinees of classic movies or book a private screening of a favourite flick within an intimate cinema with the style of 1920s Paris.
Of course, expect the city’s newest Cappuccino Grand Café too, and the Cappuccino menu of coffees, teas, refreshments, light snacks as well as brunch dishes and tempting cocktails. Dining at the hotel is an Asian affair with an outlet of the group’s upscale Tahini Sushi Bar & Restaurant.
Location, Location, Location
Set directly on Plaza Cort, at the very centre of old town Palma, the hotel commands the 0km location; everything radiates out from here. The square is the perfect setting for this hotel’s story, as it the flagship property of the Cappuccino Group, a hospitality company created by Mallorca businessman Juan Picornell. The group is best known for its Cappuccino Cafés, and here on Plaza Cort guests are welcomed by an elegant Cappuccino Grand Café, its tables, shaded by signature parasols spread out onto the stone cobbled street.
Check-in & Welcome
The hotel does away with the usual personalised guest card and gourmet treat in the room, and instead provides a warm personal welcome together with the offer of a refreshment, tea or coffee from the Grand Café. This space is a destination in itself. Even if you are not a guest at the hotel, then make a point to enjoy a creamy morning cappuccino; or a cold lunchtime beer here. It’s super-stylish and in my mind the greatest success of the hotel’s designer, Jacques Grange. It’s a lofty, double height space, with floor to ceiling steel and glass doors that allow the café bar to feel light and Mediterranean. Oversized black and white photographic artwork contribute to a unique, elegant ambiance, which is defined by stylish, immaculately presented bar staff.
The notion of this hotel is that of a private home, and Juan Seguro, the General Manager Hotel Mamá conveys this with his warm welcome. He’s typically working at a table in the lobby, behind front desk, so he is often around to meet guests. He kindly offered me a tour and took me to my room.
Remember as a child, the excitement you felt when you went to stay at your grandparents’ house? The comfy furniture that’s been added to over the years; the crisp linens on the guest bed; that cosy, safe feeling? Well Mamá Hotel is all about recreating that nostalgia of a bygone era; of family holidays; of saying in beautiful homes.
Parisian Designer Jacques Grange was given a completely free hand by Cappuccino Group founder Juan Picornell; allowing unconstrained creativity in the conception of this unique hotel in Palma. Hotel Mamá is the first hotel of the Cappuccino Group and it sets the tone with an eclectic approach that mixes styles, textures and colours. Grange endeavours, in his own words to capture the ‘feeling’ of the city and to reflect the ‘soul’ of Palma in this hotel.
The building is a 19th century Mallorcan property with a classic façade and a large interior courtyard patio with palm trees, typical of the city’s old town architecture. Yet once inside the diverse original art and collectibles, from the South American wrestling masks behind the front desk, to the ceramic sculptures in the Grand Café create a singular ambiance. Artwork on display across the 4 floors of the hotel have been chosen by Picornell & Grange, reflecting not only their personal taste, but also the history of Palma and the different moods of the spaces in the hotel. Works by Sean Scully, Wendy Artin, Chales Maze, David Rochline, Marie Banier and Eva Jospin embrace painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. Each piece adds to the hotel’s story.
Pool Roof Terrace
My favourite space in the property was the roof terrace – bijou and elegant, it offered seductive views out to Plaza Cort, to the historic townhall, across the rooftops to the bay of Palma.
Chic sun loungers are arranged around a plunge pool – complimentary mineral water is offered, and bar service from the Grand Café on the Ground Floor. This feels like the hidden, private oasis of this bustling hotel.
From the elegance of the Mediterranean and North African style of the lobby, Grand Café, and courtyard, the look & feel of the hotel becomes more defined when one reaches the guest rooms.
Many have now been given names, emphasising their individualistic identities.
There are 32 guest rooms, with five categories from standard ‘Roman Rooms’ to suites; each with its own ‘look’. The categories were originally described as Marella, Celadon, Garden, Oriental and Roman. Now as the hotel settles down into its first full holiday season, the property is marketing its rooms under some different names, so it can be a little confusing to know exactly what type of room you are booking.
Designs vary from muted and more feminine, to bolder and masculine.
My first night was in Room 21, a charming Deluxe Room, with a neutral palette, with tall windows that opened out onto a Juliet balcony right on the Plaza Cort – spectacular location.
BAMO announces the completed renovations at Chileno Bay in the Baja California Peninsula.
Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, is the ultimate in laid-back luxury and has received a complete renovation by San Francisco-based interior design firm BAMO who took inspiration from the idyllic location, designing a palette that complements the natural environment, exalting the view with floor to ceiling windows, and leveraging the climate with indoor/outdoor living. It was designed from a perspective of youthful exuberance that exudes a fresh experience to the Baja California Peninsula.
This beachfront hotel and residential resort is nestled within the 1,200 – acre Chileno Bay development. A boutique luxury resort, it features 60 guestrooms with up to 885 square feet and 32 residential villa suites in two, three, four and six-bedroom layouts.
A strong architectural identity is established and reinforced throughout the property, providing a welcome break from traditional Mexican architectural and interior expectations. Buildings dot the landscape in symmetrical arrangements, with broad, horizontal wood rooves that are bisected by stonewalls and white plaster exteriors, contrasting with the rugged land and sea. The contemporary, low profile architecture maximizes the ocean front views and indoor/outdoor living.
In the lobby an open-air passageway envelops guests with unparalleled views of the resort and Chileno Bay. The design invites guests to effortlessly experience the relationship between indoor and outdoor from the very moment of arrival.
Villas and guest rooms are clean, light, and airy. At the entry of the units contemporary, local art selections sit below deeply colored plaster ceilings. Moving further into the space, natural materials and a palette of cerulean blues and golden sand hues respond to the oceanfront setting and exceptional vistas. Full-height windows allow guests to fully absorb the horizon and it feels as if you can almost touch the ocean.
Modern spaces flow one into the next, with limestone flooring balanced by the warmth of wood ceilings above. Stonewalls become architectural features, with soft white plaster completing the interior envelope. Wood is again introduced in clean-lined millwork and screens, as well as live-edge tabletops and organic side tables. Contemporary furnishings upholstered in linen, cotton, and leather are suitably comfortable for lounging.
In the bathroom, encaustic tile in a mix of modern geometrics and traditional patterns appear as mini art installations with colors inspired by the cactus and agave landscape and cerulean blue waters. The hardware and furniture accents in dark bronze harmonize with the warm tones while adding a bit of edge, and a freestanding cast stone tub completes the space.
Outside, a 138-meter swimming pool meanders from the heart of the resort to the ocean’s edge and promises to be the area’s most dramatic pool experience. This piece came to life through collaboration between Glazier Le Architects, Girvin Associates and BAMO. The resort also features an ocean-edge restaurant for dining under the stars and extensive recreational activities: golf course, spa, fitness center, movement studio, kid’s club, and owners lounge.
Palma is full of treasures and is a favourite of The Luxury Editor. The city is known for its varied architecture thanks to a mix of Spanish and Muslin influences, its vibrant and evolving dining scene, and of course it’s beautiful seafront. Add into the mix the beautiful Mediterranean climate and you have the beginnings of the perfect escape to the sun. Check out our favourites to eat, sleep and do in the Mallorcan capital.
Fera Restaurant & Bar
Located in a restored old town palace bursting with history, Fera is on the ground floor of the Circulo Mallorquin, the island’s oldest and most distinguished social club. Whether you are in for a relaxed lunch, gourmet dinner, or cocktail and tapas at their chic bar, Fera is only a stones throw from the city centre. Executive chef Simon Petutschnig serves up a mouth-watering selection of dishes with a unique combination of Mediterranean-Asian flavours and textures. Pair your meal with one of the hand-picked wines on offer at Fera, some of which are exclusives to the restaurant. It won’t only be the food at Fera which delights too the sophisticated décor features is contemporary Spanish at its best and the restaurants eclectic collection of curated art by Aba Art Lab is stunning.
Set in the up and coming Sa Gerreria neighbourhood, Bocalto is still a bit of a hidden gem. Vibrantly graffitied walls on the street contrast with the sophisticated restaurant inside, serving modern Mediterranean fusion. With a plentiful selection of fresh seafood and steak options this is great for the carnivores amongst us. The menu is simple but satisfying, with head chef Alvaro del Campo using high quality produce to create Mediterranean dishes with an international twist. The restaurant décor features modern botanical wallpaper, warm tones, contemporary green velvet chairs, and airy textiles dividing dining spaces which makes for a sophisticated, modern bistro-like setting.
Housed in the 17th century Hotel Convent de la Missio, Marc Fosh restaurant offers the best in Michelin starred cuisine in a modern and relaxed setting in Palma’s old town. The first British chef to be awarded a Michelin star in Spain, Marc creates menus which are inspired by his Mediterranean surroundings and local produce. The restaurant sources the best local ingredients from across the Balearic Islands and we would recommend trying the tasting menu to experience the best of this. Their wine list showcases regions from the old and new world, encompassing traditional and modern styles of wine making, with a focus on artisanal growers.
Take a day trip out of the city to the Cap Rocat hotel, a former military fortress located in the secluded area of Palma de Mallorca’s bay. Staying at the hotel will be sure to please, but even a day visit to the incredible spa there is an experience like no other. Carved into the depths of the fortress, the spa is situated in the former water deposit, beneath the main building. Enjoy the dramatic saltwater swimming pool, sunk 12m below ground level and the conservatory style glass ceiling which allows the beautiful Mallorcan sunshine to flood in. With multiple airy treatment spaces and an elegant but rustic luxury décor with a Mediterranean twist, this is one of the most beautiful spas we have seen!
This wide tree lined promenade has been the heart of Palma for more than a century and is ideal for those who love to shop, with a variety of stores, from Spanish high street favourite Zara, to designer brands such as Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton. The promenade also plays host to parades and fiestas and is worth going to see even if you’re not a fan of retail therapy! Enjoy a late afternoon stroll with a bit of window shopping along the Passeig des Born before settling into a sweet little tapas restaurant for the evening.
Palma is known for its multicultural influences; it’s location in the Med has meant it acts as a meeting point for middle eastern and European cultures and architecture. For possibly the best example of Muslim architecture in Palma, visit the Banos Arabes on Can Serra Street. Located in the beautiful gardens of Can Fontirroig, the Arab baths are an incredible glimpse into the city’s history. The architecture is said to date from the 11th century and it is thought these baths formed part of a noble Muslim’s palace.
There’s not much about the Hotel Es Princep not to like: the location in a peaceful corner of the old town, close to the city’s ramparts; the incredible 360 degree views of Palma Bay; the huge roof terrace with stunning infinity pool; the luxurious spa; and the two dining options. The hotel exudes elegant minimalism, is airy and bathed in natural light, a welcome oasis from the Mallorcan heat. The 68 rooms are sophisticated and relaxing, decked out in neutral shades and featuring dark wood furniture and contemporary art and lighting. An added plus is that all rooms enjoy seascape views, a truly lovely sight to wake up to. Foodies won’t be disappointed here either with choice of the best Mallorcan gastronomy at Balaroja, or all day casual dining at Mura, both helmed by local chef Andreu Genestra.
Situated in somewhat of an architectural treasure, the Hotel Sant Francesc was built in neoclassical style in the 19th century and once belonged to the Alomar Femenia family. Now a stunning 5-star hotel, the restored and renovated building boasts 42 rooms and suites, many with original features such as wood-beamed ceilings, covered verandas, original frescos and moldings. Room décor is achingly sophisticated and make for an elegantly tranquil oasis in the centre of the city. Enjoy a journey for your senses at the ‘Quadrat’ restaurant and garden where head chef Alfonso Lillo offers diners the best in contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The Lobby bar and Mallorcan patio is a chic meeting point for a relaxed drink with friends, but the cherry on the cake is the rooftop terrace and sushi bar where guests and locals alike can enjoy the panoramic views as the sun goes down on this historic city.
Aesthetically combining a new modern structure with the remnants of a 16th century palace, Hotel Tres is comfortable, modern and elegant. Rooms are a mix of rustic Mediterranean style and contemporary design and public spaces are sophisticated whilst still comfortable and homely feeling. The hotel sits at the centre of the old town and the views enjoyed from roof terrace offer a beautiful snapshot of the city skyline. The Hotel Tres Bar Lounge features a range of light bites plus delicious cocktails and local wines by the glass – a great spot for a quick nightcap or evening catch up. The internal courtyard space is a green, Scandinavian feeling space ideal for catching some morning rays.
The fable goes that Positano was founded by the god Poseidon and when you set eyes on the postcard perfect town, you might almost believe it to be true. Positano is maybe one of the most Instagrammable places in Italy and you will never get bored of looking at it. During Roman and Medieval times, Positano was an important port town but by the 1950s and 60s, hit was a vibrant hub for artists, musicians and film stars. Thanks to its great beaches, wealth of stunning architecture, captivating history, and array of beautiful hotels and boutiques, Positano is often called ‘the pearl’ of the Amalfi coast.
Clinging to the cliffs below the main coastal road, this family-owned hotel has achieved legendary status since its opening in 1970. Popular with celebs like Gregory Peck, Peter O’Toole, Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, King of Jordan, and more recently Julia Roberts and George Clooney., the San Pietro is suitably glamorous, but discreetly so. The star-dust from the fabulous regulars mixed with the attention to detail and friendly service characteristic in a family-run affair, creates an ideal luxury hotel. Facilities here are second to none with everything you would want on site from private boat hire and a Michelin-starred restaurant to a private beach and tennis courts. The rooms and suites echo Positano’s set up as they graduate down the cliff side in a series of terraces, each with its own private outside space and of course, stunning sea views. Décor is fresh and vibrant with white walls, hand painted ceramic tiles, and bright textiles in Mediterranean inspired colours. Read More & Reviews
Another iconic family-run hotel in picturesque Positano is Hotel Marincanto. Having supposedly inspired painters and been used as a movie set Hotel Marincanto has been open since 1967 and offers elegance, privacy and five-star service for guests year round. For those who visit to relax, the infinity pool which blends with the horizon, the exclusive private beach and the ocean-view fitness area will be ideal whilst the Terrazza Cele restaurant offers sophisticated local cuisine on an intimate terrace overlooking the sea. The hotel décor is predominantly cool, muted tones of white or cream, wooden floors, classic furniture, with splashes of colour thanks to vibrant textiles. The owners are hands on with service and the intimate size of the hotel (only 32 rooms) means you can always expect to be treated like a star (even if you aren’t one!). Read More & Reviews
Set amongst a shaded garden of citrus trees and Donna Carmela roses is Palazzo Murat, a tranquil oasis at the heart of the town. Legend has it that Joachim Murat, the King of Naples visited the palace when he came to Positano in 1808, loved the property, and spent the hottest summer months here with his lovers. And it’s no wonder – this hotel is beautifully romantic, despite being right at the centre of town. The public rooms have a certain grandeur about them with vaulted ceilings and are peppered with antiques and fine paintings. Whilst the décor is kept quite simple and fresh here, the details do the talking – expect opulent fabrics, four poster beds and tall French windows opening onto private balconies. Pass beneath the intricate wrought-iron gateway and find yourself in the romantic courtyard, covered in sweet smelling Bougainvillea. The hotel also boasts an incredible restaurant where tables sit under a leafy pergola and specializes in fresh seafood like lobster and turbot. Read More & Reviews
Opened in 1951 by four Neapolitan brothers who turned their summer house into a charming hotel overlooking the bay, Le Sirenuse is now a 58-room resort and known to be one of Italy’s leading and most enduring seaside luxury hotels. Located at the centre of the town on the Amalfi Drive, the rooms and terraces are 70m above the beautiful sea and offer views of the town itself but also the breathtaking bay. The maroon painted frontage makes Le Sirenuse stand out amongst the other neutral buildings on the terraces. Inside you will find an eclectic collection of antique furniture and curated art in the rabbit warren of rooms. Walls are kept white and contrast with the terracotta-tiles on the floor, whilst large French windows opening onto massive terraces provide lots of light. If you fancy spending more time outside, the compact pool terrace has outdoor loungers with lemon trees offering welcoming shade, whilst the Michelin-starred La Sponda restaurant is entirely candle-lit and views over the twinkling resorts lights – romance at its best! Read More & Reviews
Once the private estate of film director Franco Zeffirelli and having played host to well-heeled visitors such as Elizabeth Taylor, Villa TreVille is no stranger to a bit of glamour. Enjoy total peace and privay at this stunning estate consisting of four villas, filled with much of Zeffirelli’s collection of art and curiosities with each of the 16 guest suites being uniquely decorated to reflect their namesake cultural icons. Our favourite might be the Aida suite decorated in refreshing blues and whites and featuring delicate Arabic decorations and paintings to bring a subtle exotic flavor to the room, reminiscent of Verdi’s epic opera. The villas are surrounded by verdant gardens with lovely reclusive spots to relax, cooling plunge pools to escape the heat, and private balconies for a romantic view like no other. Meticulous attention to detail us the key here and the resort promises discreet and personalized service, whether you have an Elizabeth Taylor attitude or not. Read More & Reviews
Marbella is well and truly back as a chic destination for the stylish traveller; especially with the 2018 opening of the Nobu Hotel Marbella. Now there’s really no excuse not to visit, writes Andrew Forbes.
Nobu Hotel Marbella, the first Nobu property on the Spanish mainland, is entering its first summer season, building on the unprecedented success of Nobu Restaurant Marbella which opened last year.
The hotel is found on the prestigious Puente Romano beachside property, on Marbella’s famous Golden Mile, at the epicentre of the resort’s chic restaurants, bar and club scene.
The hotel brings Nobu’s unique SoCal-meets-Asia aesthetic to Southern Spain; and it couldn’t be more at home in the brilliant sunshine of the Mediterranean.
Nobu was co-foundered by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (the chef behind the Nobu restaurants, of course), together with Robert De Niro and Meir Teper.
The lobby & check-in area is of rich warm tropical woods, evocative of an upscale Japanese ryokan. Expect to be greeted with a welcome drink and chilled face towel, whilst your cases are taken to your room.
Guests have access to the swish ‘Owner’s Club’; the new members-only club for the chic Marbella-set.
…sleek, and sexy with a cool, calming natural palette
Guest rooms and suites are sleek, and sexy with a cool, calming natural palette define the laid-back luxury of this seductive urban resort.
Clean lines, blond woods, cool greys, crisp whites, and warm earth tones of wood and leather combine to create a sophisticated, stylish retreat.
Cool tech like large smart TV, blue tooth speaker, fast Wi-Fi and USB ports by the bed keep even the most demanding Millennials happy; whilst luxe-lovers will appreciate the chic silk kimonos and soft Japanese slippers.
Bathroom amenities are made for Nobu by Natura Bissé, and the generous grooming amenities include extras like a cute little leather shoe cleaning kit.
There’s a fab Nobu candle too for those willing to rack up a few rooms charge extras.
In room facilities include a cool little Illy coffee machine, tea making facilities with a selection of gourmet teas, and a comprehensive mini bar.
There is 24-hour room service from the Nobu kitchens, including tuna and salmon mini tacos.
The rooms are found in building around the lively La Plaza courtyard of restaurants and bar. In addition, there rooms are in quieter blocks within the Puente Romano estate, built as an idyllic Andalusian village, surrounded by sub-tropical gardens. Each have a terrace or balcony.
Signature Nobu welcome treats await you in the room, and at turndown expect a cocktail to get you in the mood for an evening of food and fun at La Plaza.
Nobu Restaurant Marbella
LaPlaza, the foodie courtyard, in the shade of huge tropical fig trees is where one finds a host of restaurants and bars including Dani Garcia’s Michelin star ContraTradicion; the elegant Italian trattoria, Serafina; the excellent Thai Gallery; and of course, the Nobu Restaurant Marbella.
Nobu Hotel guests have privileged VIP access to the restaurant.
It’s a lovely fun environment – in my experience much more relaxed than the urban Nobu Restaurants day in London or New York.
The cocktails are great!
Dining at Nobu is a real pleasure. The menu is truly extensive, with the classics from Chef Nobu Matsuhisa including Black Cod Miso…
…and of course Yellowtail sashimi with Jalapeño – delicately prepared Japanese Hamachi with razor thin slices of pepper, dipped in a ceviche style sauce that has an Asian soy base.
I particularly enjoyed the Nobu House Special sushi (tuna, cod, salmon, avocado), and their Lobster Ceviche on Lettuce – both are perfect for sharing and a good way to start our evening.
With its close proximity to Naples and Capri, incredible outlook over the Bay of Naples, top quality hotels, and historical and cultural significance, it’s no wonder Sorrento is a popular destination for those visiting the Amalfi coast. As a compulsory stop on the 19th-century ‘Grand Tour’ famous faces have been visiting the town for decades. This interest was first piqued thanks to the poet Byron, whose penchant for romance can only have been fuelled by this picturesque place. Read on to find out more about The Luxury Editor’s pick of the best luxury hotels in this charming Italian resort…
According to legend this hotel is built on a site which was once home to sirens, dangerous creatures who lured nearby sailors to shipwreck on the cliffs with their enchanting music and voices. Whilst you may see some beautiful people with flowing tresses around the hotel, it’s more likely the jet set and Hollywood A-listers these days. This flamboyant hotel is brilliantly OTT in a truly classic Italian way. Interiors are bold and vibrant, taking inspiration from the natural beauty of the surrounding Sorrento. The hotel’s not short on facilities either with a spa, a gym, manicured gardens, a library, a sunbathing platform, a restaurant, a bar, and a club lounge all on site. We would recommend the Superior Sea Rooms for their sophisticated Italian elegance, opulent chandeliers and antiques, and of course, those incredible views over the Gulf of Naples.
Arguably one of the most stylish hotels in the area, we love this boutique hotel for its refreshing, breezy feel, perfect for escaping that Italian heat. Located right above Sorrento’s original fishing port, hanging onto the cliffs, La Minervetta is owned (and designed) by architect Marco de Luca and has the perfect contemporary nautical look for your ideal summer, seaside retreat! Walls are painted white throughout, whilst hand-painted Vietri tiles and colourful, vibrant ceramics and textiles really make the rooms pop. Many of the rooms have huge picture windows offering unrivalled scenes of the Gulf of Naples whilst open-plan public spaces with comfy sofas offer plenty of opportunities to sit back and relax. This hotel truly feels like someone’s (very stylish) seaside home, with the added luxuries of a sun terrace, a bar, a pool and a small whirlpool tub.
A shrine to Italian modernist icon Gio Ponti, the Parco dei Principi opened in 1962 and retains many of the hotel’s original features. It may be outside the centre of the town, but this allows for true peace and quiet alongside incredible views and space for some fabulous facilities. The hotel boasts a private beach accessed by a tunnel through the cliff rock, an amazing salt water pool, the Gio Ponti restaurant with floor the ceiling windows of the sparkling gulf, a three-hectare botanical (and very romantic) garden featuring many rare plants, plus a lounge bar and high spec gym. Like many properties in the area, the land on which the hotel sits has some cultural and historical importance too as it belonged to the King of Naples, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who acquired the land in the 18th century to build a stunning villa for his cousin. The current building designed by Gio Ponti is a stunning example of the architect’s modernist work, a structure rooted in the earth, inspired by the ancient villa and the Sorrento coast. Inside, this inspiration continues through a 1960s-aesthetic mixed with blue and white tones influenced by the local natural beauty. Some may find the extensive cubism and cool colour scheme too minimal, but we think it makes for a very tranquil atmosphere throughout.
Situated slap bang in the middle of Sorrento town on the Piazza Tasso, Palazzo Jannuzzi has been a family owned hotel for years and offers warm and welcoming hospitality. From here, everything is within easy walking distance so no need to worry about transportation, and whilst the hotel is small and doesn’t offer a restaurant, you are so central, this doesn’t pose a problem. With just 12 spacious guest rooms all decorated in cheerful, vibrant, yellow tones offset with contemporary black, white and grey, the rooms at Palazzo Jannuzzi are bound to put anyone in a positive mood! Rooms are spacious, clean and modern with Mediterranean touches and tall French windows leading onto terraces and balconies. Whilst the hotel is compact and facilities are limited, it does boast a generous rooftop terrace, sunny public areas, a small but tranquil sitting area, and a reception open 24 hours a day.
This 180-year-old 5-star hotel features 84 rooms and suites each unique in design with original period furniture and many with almost unbelievable seafront views. Originally founded by the Fiorentino family in 1834 as the Amalfi Coast Hotel, the hotel has had a long tradition of upholding warm Italian hospitality and this amazing service is still at the forefront of the business today. The location, on a high cliff near Sorrento town centre, is supposedly meant to be the site of Roman Emperor Augustus’ Amalfi coast villa. The property is surrounded by lush greenery and gardens, whilst the hotel also boasts a spa, a pool, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a top of the range gym. In terms of style, its elegant with a twist of opulence. There are plenty of original features including marble floors, stucco cupids above doorways, and intricate metal fretwork, whilst furnishings are also pretty traditional. Rooms are peppered with antiques, classical busts and ornamental vases. This one is truly fit for an emperor.
Amalfi is an enchanting town in southern Italy close to Naples. Beautifully situated on limestone cliffs overlooking the Gulf of Salerno, Amalfi was a powerful maritime republic in the 9th century but is now a small fishing port and tourist resort. The town boasts a number of stunning hotels for lovers of luxury to choose from, here is a selection of the best.
NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi
Anyone who has ever fantasised about staying in a 13th-century monastery while gazing at stunning ocean and harbour views is sure to love staying at the NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi. The hotel was established in 1885 and quickly became one of the best places to stay in Almalfi as it flawlessly combines traditional style with luxurious touches. The hotel boasts seven floors along with the original church and cloister, while the Monks’ Walk has been transformed into a stunning terrace. Guests will love wandering through the lemon groves and unwinding in the gardens, while the pool provides a pleasant place to place around and soak up the sun.
Situated on the edge of Almalfi, the Santa Caterina Hotel features charming terraces and gardens that lead the way down to the crystal clear waters of the ocean below. While the hotel boasts all of the create comforts and luxurious touches that guests would expect from an establishment of this calibre, there are also plenty of surprises in store. Riding down the cliff in the glass lift is a delight for the senses and serves as a unique introduction to the intense natural beauty that surrounds the hotel, while the pool bar and swimming pool are cut into the cliff face and are ideal places to unwind in style. People who enjoy messing about in the water can also enjoy a magical boat ride along the coast before returning to their hotel in time to enjoy a delicious dinner created from fresh local ingredients.
This enchanting hotel commands an impressive position on a hilltop in Ravello and guests are treated to stunning views across the Bay of Salerno. This magnificent building was established in the 11th century palazzo and offers guests a romantic atmosphere complete with traditional Italian décor and plenty of charm. The hotel pool with its infinity edge is world class, while guests are also treated to a number of excellent bars and restaurants to choose from, a luxurious spa and fifty different spacious rooms and suites, while walking along the coast as the sun slowly sinks behind the horizon is a popular activity among couples. This family run hotel takes pride in providing guests with personal touches to help make their stay truly special.
Guests who choose to stay in one of the nineteen suites set in the large gardens of this luxurious hotel will be treated to plenty of privacy as well as the best that travel has to offer. Each suite is decorated in a unique style and comes complete with a stunning coastal view as well as a huge fireplace, a marble floor and magnificent frescoed ceiling. Lovers of fine dining will want to make sure that they sample a meal or two in the onsite restaurant where a Michelin star chef creates masterpieces in the kitchen, while the swimming pool is set in the large central courtyard and offers pure relaxation.
The enchanting clifftop setting of the Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa provides guests with stunning panoramic views of the ocean as well as the charming village of Conca dei Marini. Every aspect of the building and grounds speak of elegance and luxury, from the stunning guest rooms and suites to the fabulous terraced gardens with their heated infinity pool that appears to be suspended over the ocean far below. The outdoor gym also provides guests with impressive views while they work up an appetite for the range of delicious dishes that are served either on the dining terrace or bar terrace, while enjoying complimentary afternoon tea on the bar terrace while soaking up the ocean views is a decadent experience that should not be missed.
Eden Being, the luxury lifestyle brand of the prestigious Oetker Collection, has partnered with Globe-Trotter – the masters of handcrafted luxury luggage – to launch an exclusive collection of bespoke signature suitcases inspired by the Collection’s masterpiece hotels
Eden Being has partnered with renowned luxury luggage makers Globe-Trotter to release a capsule collection of travel trunk suitcases inspired by the Oetker Collection’s top hotels. Designed with the hotel’s discerning clientele in mind, the luxury luggage features the uncompromising craftsmanship characteristic of Globe-Trotter products plus beautifully hand-drawn designs of Oetker Collection hotels printed on the interior of the cases. This exclusive collection is only available for purchase on edenbeing.com and in Eden Being boutiques.
“Our lifestyle brand Eden Being’s ethos is all about capturing memories – the exquisite special something that will forever remind travellers of their time in one of our masterpiece hotels, perfectly befitting our new partnership with Globe-Trotter. Authenticity and the most precise attention to detail are hallmarks that unite Oetker Collection with Globe-Trotter today and the curated pieces by Eden Being reflect this philosophy,” said Frank Marrenbach, CEO Oetker Collection.
The collaboration is a perfect pairing of great British design and beautiful luxury hotels from around the globe, with a sense of adventurous spirit. The suitcases are crafted from Globe-Trotter’s trademark Vulcanised Fibreboard, a well-guarded formula which they company have used to make high quality products for over a century. Known for their durability and lightweight construction, Globe-Trotter suitcases have long been the first choice for well-known explorers such as Captain Scott and Sir Edmund Hilary, whilst the brand remains proud that HRH Queen Elizabeth II chose the brand for her honeymoon luggage in 1947 and continues to use their products to this day.
“The creative inspiration behind the Globe-Trotter x Eden Being partnership was to encapsulate the delight in travelling, while conveying the glamour, lifestyle and sense of discovery travel offers. Drawing upon the history of Oetker Collection’s masterpiece properties and the iconic standing of the Globe-Trotter brand, we have created a range of suitcases that are the perfect luggage for today’s modern traveller,” comments Martin Tonks, Creative Director for Eden Being.
The collaborative collection adds a sense of fun to these classic suitcases, featuring five different designs, each created to represent the masterpiece hotels in the collection and evoke a sense of place from each. Designs available include Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, Le Bristol Paris, Eden Rock – St Barths, The Lanesborough in London, and Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden. Each iconic hotels in stunning locations, which make for equally iconic products.
Palma is a city close to the hearts of all the team here at TLE – we adore it. The island traditionally had a reputation in the UK for package holidays, with visitors ignoring the capital and heading to the resorts. Yet the island has emerged as an upscale destination, and the capital, once an overlooked gem in the Mediterranean, is now a chic city break favourite. Beautiful shops and boutiques; an ever-growing number of luxury hotels; and a food and drink scene that matches any of the larger Spanish cities and only around 2 hours flight from the UK makes it the perfect mini-break destination. We’re frequent visitors to the island – so read on to find out where to stay in the city.
Es Princep Hotel & Spa
Once you step across the threshold of Es Princep, you immediately notice you’re somewhere special – you are embraced by the warmth of welcome you’d expect from this Mediterranean island, but you also become immersed in the sophisticated vibe of a capital city hotel.
Es Princep is a full-service luxury hotel. There’s the urban flair of its destination cocktail bar, Gremium (where mixologist and bar manager Andreu Genestar works his magic, bringing genuine cocktail flair to Palma’s vibrant bar scene); fine-dining at the hotel’s Bala Roja restaurant (named after the hotel’s historic district, overlooking the city walls); and the upscale pampering of ‘Coco’, Es Princep’s luxury oasis spa – whilst the capacious guest rooms boast sea views.
A converted 19th century building homes the airy Boutique Hotel Calatrava, which sits as part of a façade of buildings that used to form an ancient Arabic wall in Palma. The hotel is decorated in a contemporary Spanish style – there is a lot of natural wood throughout, interesting art adorns the clean walls, and the furniture is a stylish mix of modern and vintage. There are only 16 rooms for a truly boutique experience, all of which have King size beds and spacious closets. We recommend going for a suite if you can as you are guaranteed a view over the bay of Palma from your private balcony, perfect for lazy holiday breakfasts. The Boutique Hotel Calatrava also offers a comprehensive luxury concierge to ease the stress of travelling – from organising day excursions to booking your private yacht, their staff can do it all for you.
Found in a restored and renovated 19th century mansion that used to belong to the Aloma Femenia family, the Saint Francesc is right at the heart of Palma’s historic town centre. The building itself is of neo-classical 19th century style although inside the décor is paired back and contemporary with classic touches. The use of light marble and wood textures, stone checkerboard or stained wood parquet flooring, and huge arched glass windows, create a luxurious but warm feeling – the lobby looks more like the entrance to a beautiful modern art gallery than a hotel. Most of the 42 rooms and suites have exposed wood beams, covered verandas, and original frescos and mouldings. There is an impressive collection of modern art and photography, some of which have been privately commissioned for the hotel. There is of course an obligatory roof terrace with particularly impressive panoramic views over Palma’s old town. For the night owls and those who are more active, the Spa and fitness area are open 24/7.
The traditional Majorcan patio with magnificent arches and lush plants welcomes you to the Can Cera hotel. The layout of this hotel hints to its past as a family home and although the building has been renovated, there are still plenty of original features. There are lots of common spaces in the hotel including the Recibidor meeting room, the intimate Salon Dorado, the comfortable Bibliotecca or reading room, and the top floor Terraza with views over the old city rooves. With only 14 rooms this hotel is small and elegant. The rooms are spacious and bright with traditional Majorcan influences. French doors lead out onto Juliette balconies and the bathrooms are simple and modern in muted tones. Each room has a different character much like the rooms of a house, adding to the feeling of comfortable luxury. The hotel is also home to a spa which includes a Finnish sauna, Hamman sauna and a Jacuzzi.
This hotel is a modern structure within the remnants of a 16th century palace that mixes rustic Majorcan style with contemporary design. The rooms are bright and airy, have marble floors, crisp white bedding, and sensual art hanging above the beds. The simple white décor is punctuated with leather or cow hide and chrome accessories lending a more modern feel to the bedrooms. The plant filled patio nestled between the buildings provides the perfect spot for a relaxing glass of wine lounging under the palm tree. The encouragement to relax at this hotel continues to the rooftop terrace which houses an infinity splash pool with great views over the city, a sundeck and a sauna with a difference. There aren’t many saunas that have a window that provides an unrivalled view over the rooftops towards the Palma cathedral. Although the feel of the hotel creates a very tranquil atmosphere, there is a gym just off the courtyard for those interested.
Tucked away in amongst the narrow medieval streets of the old centre of Palma is Posada Terra Santa – an unassuming boutique hotel housed in the Boixador Baron’s former stately home (dating back to 1576). A large central patio leads off to the reception area as well as peaceful interior patios which reflect the out-door/in-door feeling that many traditional Spanish homes are known for. Follow the flower filled urns that adorn the stairs up to the main body of the hotel. The Posada Terra Santa has kept the original layout of the 26 bedroomed home, each of which are decorated in taupes, greys, and light luxurious neutrals, keeping a comfortable and cool elegance running throughout the hotel. There is an almost scandi-inspired design element to the hotel with modern furniture design and lots of wood. The rooms are situated higher up in the townhouse so most have views out across the terracotta tiled rooves. La Despensa del Baron restaurant is a lovely place to chill out – the original 14th century gothic arches provide for a shady arcade under which to enjoy some local wine and tapas. The hotel too has an abundance of common space including a terrace with a solarium and small heated swimming pool, a cosy library, and an honesty bar perfect for midnight snacks.
Hotel Cort is truly unique in its style. The hotel is reminiscent of seaside retreats with subtle nods towards traditional Spanish abodes whilst retaining a luxurious feel. It is obvious that when designing the hotel, they aimed to keep it feeling homey and comfortable. The rooms themselves have a relaxing ambience and each room is unique in design, from the lemon tree filled suite, to the Hamptons-like room with sailing inspired pieces. As for exploring the rest of the hotel that is an adventure for each visitor to partake – there are multiple bars and terraces tucked away in corners and up staircases that are just waiting to be discovered!