If you’re one of those who expect to see, touch, feel and breathe exclusive style just like your fashion sense, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. We’ve scoured the globe for hotels that offer either by fashion collaborations, or stomping grounds for the world’s front-page faces with their design. Take your pick.
Armani Hotel, Dubai
The splash it made when it opened rippled throughout the world. And not without reason! The hotel’s design is futuristic, luxurious, impeccably sculpted and very Armani in its understated palette of beige, black and white. What you already know is that it occupies 10 floors of the world’s tallest building. But did you know that the Burj Khalifa-house style capsule has eight room categories and that each of them has Giorgio Armani’s personal signature to varying degrees? Even a basic room comes with amenities bearing his stamp, and most of the other rooms boast of spaces designed by him.
Lifestyle managers, as the hotel calls them, will help you plan your day around the city and the hotel. Gaze at the Dubai Fountain from its coffee shop, up your spirits at the stunning Armani/Prive lounge bar (plan ahead, reservation is necessary) that is said to have the world’s largest LCD screen or dine at its specialty Italian, Japanese and Mediterranean restaurants. Missing home? There’s an Indian restaurant too!
Bvlgari Hotel, Milan
If you’ve visited Milan, chances are that you’ve already clinked wine glasses at the hotel’s gorgeous lounge bar. From its sprawling 4,000 sq metre private gardens that some of the restaurants open into, to its rooms that revolve around minimalist luxury with views of Milan’s 17thCentury Botanical Garden, this place is heaven.
If your picture of the perfect Milanese stay includes waking up to a cappuccino al fresco, stroll on lush gardens and read at a 16th Century in-house library, then this is your match. Here, your personal space is elegant, refined, with lots of straight lines and warm tones””oaken walls, a four-poster bed that somehow manages to be contemporary, a mirror that stands on the floor and a chaise lounge that looks like it was carved around a human body. Need we say more?
Hotel Lancaster, Paris
Besides being located at one of the world’s fashion capitals, the hotel earns points for being part of a current promotion by The Leading Hotels of the World, Star-inspired Suites’ which it has earned its Marlene Dietrich Suite””inspired by its namesake, famous for her role in the 1930’s classic The Blue Angel.
Check in to true Parisian style as every nook and corner of the hotel evokes it. To begin with, it is located at ground zero on the avenue Champs-Elysees, meaning that all the luxury labels you will want to swoon over are located at a stone’s throw away distance at Rue du Faubourg Saint-HonorÃ©. The lobby and restaurants are representatives of an upmarket local home, while the antique furniture and accents in the guestrooms take you back a few decades. Among them is the Marlene Dietrich Suite. The German actress stayed her in the 1930s and its mauve, lavender and violet colour palette draws inspiration from her style. Decorated in the true spirit of those times, it is adorned with a fireplace and a grand piano, and features Joseph Von Sternberg portrait of her.
Laucala Island, Fiji
A well-kept secret of the world’s bold, beautiful beach-lovers is Laucala Island. It is owned by Dietrich Mateschitz, best known as owner of Formula 1 team, Red Bull Racing. Also, conceptualised with his social circle’s lifestyle, it exudes exclusivity.
Only 25 villas stretch across the 12-km island. There are five idyllic wine-and-dine options to choose from in this Fijian paradise. Holiday like the world’s crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me; lounge in your private pool or jacuzzi, go horse-riding on stretches of the private, unseen-by-the-world beach, play rounds of golf on its 18-hole championship golf course, take a yacht ride or just go fishing.
Learn a local craft, experience wellness at the hands of handpicked spa therapists from among the world’s best or ask for a local dance performance.
Le Touessrok, Mauritius
A personal butler for every guest, five beach-kissed F&B options to choose from, a private beach and boat ride to a private island and golf course, Le Touessrok is the Mauritian dream. Most of its villas let the sand tickle your toes, or offer bedazzling views of the sea pretty much anywhere in your room be it the balcony, bed or bathtub.
Spend your time in the hotel’s landscaped pool, opt for a spa treatment that you’ll remember for a lifetime, wade into the calm sea, play a few rounds of golf, try out water sports like scuba diving, tyre surfing or parasailing at this property.
If you are more inclined to know the place then be entertained by traditional Mauritian sega dancers, relish painstakingly presented, mouthwatering local delicacies or learn about the nation’s famous sugarcane rum from the bartenders.
FYI, the Kingfisher Calendar 2011 was shot at Le Touessrok and its sister hotel Sugar Beach.
By: Raynah Coutinho