One thing we get asked for a lot at Grand Luxury Hotels, is for more exceptional hotel experiences to be added to our collection. So we listened, packed our bags, jumped on a plane and got pampered in some of the world’s top luxury properties as we submitted them to our rigorous tests (tough job but someone’s got to do it) and here are the results.
From South Africa to Florence, the properties listed below all have that special something it takes to be in our hotel collections.
You’ll never find a hotel quite like the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco.
Set in the beautiful Val d’Orcia region, this 800 year old estate is an invitation to travel back in time and discover a type of comfort and luxury which you just can’t find in the cities.
As this is a working wine estate, its grounds are simply massive and filled with relics of the area’s rich history such as ancient castle ruins, a medieval church and the Borgo; the historic village where you’ll be having the privilege of staying. Spacious, comfortable and contemporary, the rooms look like they come straight out of the pages of a design magazine.
The estate is also home to Italy’s only private golf course. Designed by Tom Weiskopf, the 18 hole golf course is a joy to play and even if you’re swing needs some work, any time spent out in the Val d’Orcia’s dramatic landscape, is well spent.
Shopping and culture aficionados won’t find a better hotel in Amsterdam. At the heart of the museum district, the Conservatorium Hotel offers its guests the privilege of being right next door from iconic museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh while the likes of Cartier and Gucci are only minutes away.
Very much a designer hotel, the interiors of the Conservatorium were conjured by superstar designer Piero Lissoni. Lissoni, known for his minimalist designs, shows that less means more and worked around the architecture of the former building (the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music) to create a magnificent contemporary hub for lovers of culture and all things luxury.
With only 16 rooms, 7,500 hectares of space, and a location at the at the heart of the South African Wilderness; calling Bushmans Kloof secluded, is an understatement. This luxury bush retreat offers something different to your usual hotel. Here, out in the foothills of the majestic Cedarberg mountains, the outdoors, is an integral part of the experience.
This stretch of the South African wilds is teeming with Bontebok, Cape Mountain Zebra, Ostrich and many other species… and fortunately, none of them, want you for dinner.
The Bushmans Kloof reserve has the particularity of being free of large predators. So, if you want to head out and explore, or partake in the hotel’s many outdoor activities, you can do so in complete peace of mind. And there’s every reason to. The dramatic landscape holds 130 ancient rock art sites to discover, some as old as 10,000 years. A relic from the ancient Bushman tribes that roamed these plains, these painted depictions of every day bush life are so vivid they look like they were done just yesterday.
The Hotel Lungarno is a great option for lovers of art and culture in Florence. It’s location, right on the banks of the Arno and within arm’s reach of the Ponte Vecchio, is the envy of other hotels in the area… seriously, bar sleeping on the bridge, this is as close as you can get.
Designed by Florentine architect Michele Bonan, the hotel’s funky and stylish interiors are in line with the city’s pursuit for aesthetic perfection. It’s a marvel to look at and the original pieces of art from the 900’s (and originals from Cocteau and Picasso) forge the hotel’s intimate connection with the art world.
Great things can come from humble beginnings. None more so, than the Beaumont London, that started its life as a parking garage in North Mayfair. But you’ll need quite an imagination to recognize its past that now however.
The Beaumont is a gem of Art Deco design where simplicity, elegance and comfort, are favored above anything over the top or stuffy. It’s the Goldilocks effect in a luxury hotel and it feels great.
The hotel’s location in North Mayfair means you’re close to Oxford Street, Selfridges and Duke Street, perfect if you’re after an inner city experience in London. The abstract/impressionist cherry on the cake, is the Antony Gormley suite cum sculpture called Room, which guests can stay in and passers by gaze at. The suite encourages the occupant “to enter a different state of consciousness” or at the very least, “enjoy a meditative pause”… in our opinion, sounds like it’s something that should be lived instead of read about.