While most hotels provide cozy accommodations with great service, there are some that deliver an unforgettable experience. Here’s a list of 15 hotels that are a must-book during your lifetime.
The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is a miniature Thai Kingdom. Complete with Lanna-inspired suites, an arts-and-crafts village and 33,000 square-foot spa, it’s an exotic wonderland. Indulge in northern Thai cuisine at its onsite restaurant, takes regional dance lessons and enjoy the A+ service.
This mountain retreat is nestled on thousands of acres of open land. Its log cabins are plush with wood-burning fireplaces. It also has a chef’s table, rotating art collection and a 2,000 bottle wine cellar. Enjoy both the freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies along with a snowshoe excursion on a route traveled by Lewis and Clark in 1805.
The Oberoi Udaivilas is a 30-acre Mewari-style palace perched on Lake PIchola. Enjoy sprawling courtyards lined with reflecting pools and rides in traditional Kashmiri gondolas or motorboats. Almost all of the rooms face a nature wildlife conservatory with views of wild boar and colorful peacocks. Premier rooms feature terraces and private pools.
The Castello di Casole is a storied castle that has been revamped into a five-star boutique hotel. This 10th century former castle sits on over 4,000 acres of undulating hills lined with cypress trees. As a matter of fact, it ranks number two in the world. Experience Old World Tuscan charm and grand European tradition with elegant bed linens and authentic Tuscan cuisine. Dine on the outdoor terrace overlooking dramatic valleys and vineyards, or dine inside among custom Murano glass chandeliers and restored stone walls.
With its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette, this luxurious hotel offers the best in opulence, including an optional chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce. Enjoy a host of personal butlers, four swimming pools, a private beach and nine world-class restaurants. Stay in two level rooms with windows offering a panoramic vista of the Arabian Gulf and the vibrant city.
The Manta Resort in Zanzibar has it all. Dine on the main verandah or pool deck while overlooking the sparkling ocean. Cool off in the oceanfront pool and even learn to dive in the pool. It’s a two-tiered pool with a deep end. The Beach Lounge is ideal for watching a breathtaking sunset over the Pemba Channel and delicious tropical cocktails made with mango and a touch of rum.
Enjoy a luxury villa on a remote island amid small fishing villages, talcum-powdered beaches and world-class surf at the Dedon Island Resort. This resort features a wood sea pavilion, an outdoor cinema and water trampoline. Showers are lined with beautiful tile and surrounded by white beach pebbles. Bed headboards are hand carved with bird and coconut tree motifs. At the Dedon Island Resort, it’s all about the details. The bathroom soaps are even wrapped in banana leaves.
Tucked into the mountains of the Swiss Alps, the Ascher Cliff Restaurant and Hotel clings to the foot of a vertical cliff. It can be accessed by a cable car. It’s not fancy, but the scenery is jaw-dropping. Foodies will be impressed with the mountain-grown truffle at its quaint restaurant.