Words cannot suffice. Pictures won’t do justice. The hotel properties we are about to reveal are straight out of wonderland or so one might think. These are the Narnias of the real world, the perfect escape spots to fulfill anyone’s fantasy. And luckily for us, they come minus the mythical beasts. So, lets brace our city dwelling selves and plunge in to explore, some of the world’s most fantastical hotel properties.
10) Hotel Villa Honegg, Ennetburgen, Switzerland
Tucked away discreetly on Mount Bürgenberg, the establishment proudly boasts being Switzerland’s smallest superior 5-star hotel and can be reserved en bloc for the exclusive use of one group of guests (read: ultimate privacy). With quiet rooms and snow-spiked views, the place is a wooden floored, velvet laced 23-room abode offering the charm of the hills wrapped in exceptional comfort and luxury.
9) Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
Two words, Royal Mystique! A floating vision in marble, the Taj Lake Palace with all its decorative gilt moldings, sculpted marble columns, and fine fretwork screens is very reminiscent of the ‘Maharajas’ or Kings who earlier ruled the city. With the Aravalli Mountains and city palaces as a backdrop or a heritage walk with a royal escort armed with caviar, pate and a bottle of bubbly for activity, the place is nothing short of a royal dream. Especially not if you can sail into a purple sunset on a 150-year old ceremonial barge complete with candlelight and oarsmen dressed resplendently.
8) The Naka Island Resort, Phuket, Thailand
Phuket being far from unchartered may not seem like some otherworldly locale but this island resort sure is. Nestled among stunning beaches, lush coconut groves, with never-ending views of the emerald-green Phang Nga Bay, The Naka Island is a uniquely private and intimate retreat. Located just off the Phuket coast, it is accessible only by private speedboat. The vibrant 67-villa property looks out from the hilltop over the Andaman Sea boasting both, spectacular sea views and inimitable luxury.
7) The View Hotel, Monument Valley, USA
You should not judge a book by its cover but you may totally judge this hotel by its name! “The View Hotel is the only hotel built at the edge of the valley and a place you can wake while watching the sun rise over the Mittens.” Its views of the famous formations of Monument Valley are unlike anywhere else in the world. Built and staffed mostly by Navajo, the 90-room hotel merges with the natural rocks formations and the contours of the land, becoming one with the earth. Its sacred setting, adjoining the Tribal Park Visitors Center not only preserves culture but also offers sublime landscape for stargazing.
6) Dusit Thani Maldives
When graceful Thai hospitality blends with the unparalleled luxury setting of destination Maldives, you get Dusit Thani. Encircled by white sandy beaches, a rich house reef and turquoise lagoon, the resort on Mudhdhoo Island is an amalgamation of modern sophistication and natural revelry. Accessible by seaplane from the capital Malé and by speedboat from the new domestic airport in Baa Atoll, it serves up everything from Beach Villas to exclusive Ocean Pavilions and Beach Residences becoming the perfect amenity enhanced home away from home.
5) Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza, Spain
Home to the world’s hottest nightlife, Ibiza sounds nothing like the place you would go for “the white of the emerald sea brushing the wild cliff.” But you’d be surprised. An Ibizan style estate suspended at 180 meters high atop of a cliff, Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena sits in the heart of a preserved natural park and fits snugly in the aforementioned party capital. Its philosophy of living four times with dawn, siesta, sunset and night stars vastly contradicts the bustle lying barely 20 minutes away, which wouldn’t be hard with a 2 km coastline surrounded by a Mediterranean pine forest.
4) Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, Australia
Capella Lodge calls out to you claiming “chic, secluded, inspired, exotic, pristine”. And you agree. World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island’s premium boutique accommodation commands stunning ocean and mountain views. It could be called a sophisticated escape for its first name service, intimate surrounds and contemporary cuisine. Resting over romantic Lovers Bay, Capella is perhaps one of the only places to provide extraordinary luxury and satiate exploration pangs at the same time, through the surrounding lush forests, rolling surf, serene lagoons and rugged volcanic peaks.
3) Hotel Salto Chico, Patagonia, Chile
Located right at the heart of the extraordinary Torres del Paine National Park in central Patagonia, the lodge is an abode of enchantment. Nestled in remoteness, it has the unique Paine Massif surrounding it as well as two of the three impressive torres, or towers, which give the park its name. “It was designed to create a dialogue with its environment, putting human beings in touch with the sublimity of their surroundings.” Even the swimming pool and jacuzzis are at the same level as Lake Pehoé, to provide a continuous view of the lake.
2) Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
“Rising majestically above the 600-acre beach front resort of Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain St.Lucia is a cornucopia of organic architecture celebrating St Lucia’s stunning scenic beauty.” You have to see the beauty to believe it. There are rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky and individual bridges leading to infinity pool sanctuaries. With the fourth wall entirely absent in its rooms, Jade Mountain’s lodgings are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of St Lucia’s Pitons World Heritage Site, and of course, the eternal Caribbean Sea.
1) Andronis Luxury Suites, Santorini, Greece
Spa? Check. Dining options? Check. Dreamy Mediterranean setting? Double check! Cascading down the side of an unparalleled Greek island and overlooking the island’s volcanic crater, the multi-villa property rises from the quiet town of Oia in Santorini. It is a short drive away from the airport but miles away from the madness that drives a city.
Traditional Aegean architecture helps combine elements of minimalist design and stunning island sunsets. The place oozes Zen with multi-level balconies and furniture in a predominantly white assortment. This experience of calm is awoken occasionally by touches of blue and red and further elevated for its elite visitors with its 22 award-winning suites