Discover ten fabulous places to stay that are a complete treat from start to finish. Perfect for that special occasion!
Exquisite luxury and fabulous Indian Ocean settings make Mauritius’s five-star resorts feel like heaven on earth. This year’s most celestial, the St Regis Mauritius, is an elegant, colonial-style hideaway beside dramatic Le Morne Brabant Mountain. Pampering staff hover to hand you fresh towels and fruity cocktails as you drift between muslim-draped pool loungers and white-sand, southwest-coast beach. At night, treat yourself to fab Indian cuisine devised by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar, www.stregismauritius.com.
The capital’s most vibrant luxury hotel has partied with the stars since its opening night, when it threw a BAFTA after-party for the likes of Colin Firth and Helena Bonham-Carter. So its Wow suites, which have floor to ceiling windows overlooking Leicester Square and fabulous E Wow penthouse (pictured) have just the starry quality you’d imagine. Each stay comes with a highly collectible treat: a pair of limited-edition silk pyjamas designed by William Tempest – who has dressed Alexa Chung and Victoria Beckham, www.wlondon.co.uk.
An ultra-luxurious mini-break to Switzerland’s stylish financial capital tells you you’ve arrived! This 19th-century ‘city resort’ set on a hillside has been renovated and enlarged by Norman Foster, and offers a romantic package, Meet Me at Midnight, that drips with exclusivity. You’ll be whisked from the airport by limousine to check into your to your (automatically upgraded) bedroom, and share dinner at the hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurant. Then, you’ll be given private late-night access to the spa, where you’ll sip champagne by the candlelit pool and linger over magical city views. A couple’s massage is also included, www.thedoldergrand.com.
When a new Aman hotel opens, the travel cognoscenti come running. And this converted 16th-century palazzo is well worth the dash. Twenty-four suites dripping with contemporary opulence all overlook the Grand Canal’s vaporetto-crammed views. And the hotel offers to book tempting treats that add to Venice’s allure. Our favourite is a lesson with a Venetian chocolatier, in which you’ll learn to make perfect pralines – and indulge in as many artisan chocs as you like! Or take an island-hopping trip around the Venice lagoon on the hotel’s 1940s-style launch, www.amanresorts.com.
South Cornwall’s picturesque, beach-fringed fishing villages are as appealing to our own children as they’ve always been to us. So why not suggest that your entire family treats itself to a fabulous memory-making holiday? Clipper House, which perches above West Looe, sleeps 22 in its main house plus another 11 in two self-contained apartments. Their motto, ‘We don’t do perfect, but we try,’ sums up glorious days filled with games of beach cricket, smart lunches in Fowey and delicious cream teas in your own panoramic lounge, www.clipperhouse.co.uk.
Tucked into poppy-scattered Provencal hills behind glitzy Cannes, Le Mas Candille is the perfect foodies’ treat. Its Michelin-starred restaurant offers a unique chef’s table experience that begins with a trip to Cannes’ Forville Market to shop just-caught fish, goats’ cheese, honey and herbs. After an afternoon lazing poolside, take your place at a special table set up in the hotel kitchen to share the electric atmosphere as a fabulous eight-course dinner – including prawns sautéed with garlic and thyme and herby rack of Auvergne lamb – is prepared and served, www.lemascandille.com.
For a lazy, luxurious treat, head to Soma Bay, an exclusive Red Sea Riviera peninsula south of Hurghada. Its best private beach belongs to the sleek, five-star Hotel Kempinski, a Moorish-style resort with plush, balconied rooms and smiley, can-do staff. Golf and snorkeling are on the menu, but you’ll spend most of your time relaxing by the hotel’s spectacular, lounger-dotted ‘lazy river’. Or book a treatment at nearby Les Thermes Marins des Cascades – it’s one of the best thalassotherapy centres in the Middle East. Eclectic Med, Egyptian and Asian restaurants mean there’s no need to set foot off the peninsula, www.kempinski.com.
Treat your man to a romantic short-break to whitewashed, traditional Relais Villa del Golfo, which dangles over a laidback stretch of the celeb-studded Costa Smeralda. Head out to discover wildly beautiful secret beaches around the ultra-glam, celeb-studded resorts of Porto Cervo and Baia Sardinia – a private trip on the hotel’s yacht is the ultimate way to do it. Return at sunset to share tagliatelle with clams and ricotta cheesecake on the hotel’s poolside dining terrace – its views of the Bay of Cannigione are utterly heart-melting, www.hotelvilladelgolfo.com.
The Caribbean’s glorious weather is such a treat in late April and May. Enjoy it at Antigua’s The Inn at English Harbour, an adults-only boutique with an exclusive but informal vibe. Colonial-style accommodation is scattered across palm-sheltered gardens – choose between a colonial-style beach cabana and luxurious, mahogany-floored suite. Spend dreamy days kayaking with curious turtles off the private, talcum-fine beach and evenings dining in a choice of Cajun and contemporary restaurants. For an unforgettable treat, dine à deux on a floating pontoon lit by stars – the chef will plan your perfect menu with you, theinnantigua.com.
Join Manhattan’s art crowd at this design-oriented five-star. Set on the Upper East Side, its dove-and-caramel-toned suites make a perfect base for exploring Museum Mile – and it’s currently offering cultural perks that include a free art tour and the chance to book out-of-hours access to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You’ll appreciate the hotel’s own artistry, too. Everything, from Deco-influenced rooms to the Chanel-inspired bar, has been designed with the greatest of care. And you won’t be able to resist smiling at the giant tapestry of Kate Moss in the lobby! www.thesurrey.com,