10 of the World’s Best Hotels When It’s Time for Leisure


(CNN) – After more than a year of lockdown and quarantine and social distancing, we are all gearing up for a big, festive, I-just-ended-a-pandemic holiday.

Unfortunately, with many international borders still closed and some countries facing their second – or third, or fourth – waves of Covid-19, much of the world is not yet ready for leisure travel to ramp up. (Though there are certainly signs of progress).

Still, we can plan, right?

From tropical island getaways from the Maldives to Hawaii, to glamorous urban getaways in Sydney and Hollywood and Singapore, we’re dreaming of these post-pandemic splurges – and saving.

Starting rates are in US dollars, per night.

Brando’s on an island 30 miles north of Tahiti is a favorite of celebrities.

Courtesy Brando

The Brando, French Polynesia

If you’re after an over-the-top, once-in-a-lifetime bucket list, you can’t beat Marlon Brando’s ultra-luxurious private island resort, The Brando on Tetiaroa, 30 miles north of Tahiti.

The far-flung resort is a favorite of celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres. Former President Barack Obama also fled to the island to write his memoir after leaving office in 2017. (Recently, Kim Kardashian hosted her 40th birthday party on the island in October 2020.)

It has just 35 thatched-roof villas, each with a private infinity pool, outdoor dining area, and all the creature comforts you might expect to enjoy in a five-star hotel in London or New York. But the biggest luxury? Your very own private stretch of powder-white sand and turquoise ocean, only steps from your bedroom.

brando, Tetiaroa Private Island, French Polynesia. Rates start at $3,500.

W Melbourne, Australia

Opened in February 2021, the W Melbourne is the first international five-star hotel to launch in Australia this year – a hopeful sign for tourism, although it currently borders Australia. stay closed for international travel.

Built inside the luxurious, $1.25 billion Collins Arch complex – also home to luxury residences and upscale retail and dining offerings – the ultramodern hotel features five restaurants and bars, as well as a gold-roofed indoor heated pool with a poolside bar and DJ booth. .

Its 294 rooms are as plush and design-focused as you’d expect from any W hotel, including luxe deep-soaking tubs and sweeping views of the city or Melbourne’s Yarra River.

W Melbourne, 408 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia. Rates start at $450.

Sensei Lanai has private spa cottages scattered amongst the lush green leaves.

Sensei Lanai has private spa cottages scattered amongst the lush green leaves.

Courtesy Four Seasons

Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, Lanai, Hawaii

This adults-only wellness retreat is the epitome of post-pandemic luxury: For starters, it’s located on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which is so peaceful and secluded that it feels like you’re on your own private island.

Then there are the plush suites, which are so carefully hidden among the forest-filled, mist-covered koala mountains of Lanai that you’ll barely be able to see the other guests.

Finally, you get a personalized wellness itinerary crafted by your own Sensei guide, who sets you up with spa treatments and wellness activities – from morning meditation to a sound bath – to relieve any stress or anxiety. for the purpose of doing.

sensei lanai, 1 Kemoku Highway, Lanai City, Hawaii. Rates start at $1,130 single occupancy/$1,610 double occupancy, including $600 per person in wellness experience credits ($650, single or double occupancy-only-room rates).

A swimming pool and acres of maze, lakes and gardens are part of the attraction at Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé.

A swimming pool and acres of maze, lakes and gardens are part of the attraction at Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé.

Adam Link / Courtesy Hotel Château du Grand Lucea

Hotel Chateau du Grand-Lucé, France

Tucked away in France’s enigmatic Loire Valley, this tranquil 18th-century chateau feels a million miles away from the rest of the world – even though it’s only 55 minutes from Paris by train.

Its 17 spacious, sun-soaked suites, each adorned with hand-painted murals, crystal chandeliers, and antique Louis XV furniture, make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. (The grandest is the Le Grand-Lucé Suite, which has sweeping views of the gardens and a lovely claw-foot soaking tub).

Outside, there are 80 acres of mazes, lakes and rose gardens to enjoy, as well as a beautiful stone-paved swimming pool – the perfect countryside escape.

Secluded and luxurious, Jacques Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime retreat.

Secluded and luxurious, Jacques Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime retreat.

Courtesy Jack’s Camp

Jacques Camp, Botswana

If you’re after an ultra-exclusive escape, it doesn’t get much more secluded than at Jack’s, a luxury safari camp inside a million-acre private wildlife sanctuary in the Kalahari Desert. (There are only two other camps in the reserve).

The legendary camp, which opened in 1993, was closed for renovations in 2019 and in January 2021 with 10 spacious luxury tents (more than twice the size of the original tents) with plush four-poster beds, lavish old-world charm. Safari was reopened with decorations. and private plunge pool overlooking the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan.

There’s also a library, billiards room, bar, and a luxurious tea tent with Persian rugs and plush cushions – the perfect place to unwind with a glass of iced tea after a long, hot day on safari.

Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, Kalahari, Botswana. Rates from $1,450 all-inclusive (game drive included).
1 West Hollywood has some of the biggest and most luxurious rooms in the whole of Los Angeles.

1 West Hollywood has some of the biggest and most luxurious rooms in the whole of Los Angeles.

Courtesy 1 West Hollywood

1 Hotel West Hollywood, Los Angeles

If escaping a glamorous city is more your style, it doesn’t get better than this sleek urban oasis on Sunset Boulevard.

Opened in 2019 — a few months before the pandemic hit — its rooms are among the largest and most luxurious in Los Angeles, with earthy, minimalist-chic decor, luxurious marble bathrooms, and unique expanses on the Hollywood Hills.

Then there’s the daybed and cabana-flanked pool, a true sanctuary of calm and serenity above LA’s busy, palm-lined streets.

But most impressive of all is the brand’s sustainability-focused ethos, which is seen everywhere from the design (the furniture is made using reclaimed California wood) to the food (an onsite organic garden supplies the restaurant with herbs and vegetables). does).

The entire hotel is also plastic- and (nearly) paper-free, and guests can join a loyalty program that allows them to reduce their carbon footprint with every stay – a time when we live in a post-pandemic world. If you step in it makes all the difference. .

Crown Sydney, Australia

Soaring majestically over Sydney’s skyline, the Crown Sydney – opened on December 28, 2020, four years after construction and worth $1.7 billion – is today Sydney’s newest and most luxurious hotel.

Billing as a six-star hotel, the dazzling, petal-shaped skyscraper features 14 restaurants and bars (including the world-famous Nobu), an infinity pool overlooking Sydney Harbor (cabanas can be had starting at $500) and 349 guest rooms Designed with deep soaking marble bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city.

The decadent spa features yoga and meditation terraces, relaxation rooms, infrared saunas, and a secluded hydrotherapy retreat inspired by Roman baths—the perfect place to let go of worries.

Crown Sydney, 1 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo, New South Wales, Australia. Rates start at $850.

A pool floats over Lake Como at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

A pool floats over Lake Como at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

Courtesy Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Italy

As European borders begin to open back to international travelers, your first stop should be the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, an iconic Art Nouveau hotel located on the shores of Lake Como.

Its 90 rooms are all individually decorated, furnished with lavish details like spacious balconies, terraces and whirlpool tubs. While it’s worth every euro to spend on lake-view rooms, the beautifully manicured grounds in garden-view rooms also provide a tranquil oasis.

Outside, you’ll find three swimming pools, one of which floats directly over the lake.

Soneva Jani, Maldives

If you want to treat your family to a post-lockdown vacation that will blow their minds, Soneva Jani is it: Its overwater villas are equipped with private infinity pools and waterslides that will take you to the spectacular turquoise ocean below.

Other family-friendly attractions include an overwater cinema, a star-gazing observatory, and an ice cream and chocolate room. Each villa comes with a retractable roof, so that the kids can sleep under the stars.

For the parents: a great spa, a huge wine cellar, multiple dining options ranging from sashimi to Spanish tapas and sunset cruises (you can even bring kids if you want).

soneva janik, Medhufaru Island, Manadhu, Maldives. Rates from $3,290.

Luxury hotel Grand Dame Raffles Singapore recently updated its suites.

Luxury hotel Grand Dame Raffles Singapore recently updated its suites.

Courtesy Raffles Singapore

Raffles Singapore

If you want to go big — like, “Crazy Rich Asians” — you can’t beat Singapore’s iconic Raffles: one of the Grand Dame hotels in the world and the benchmark for many other five-star hotels around the world today. .

The 133-year-old property is the definition of luxury, from its recently updated suites (boasting the usual old-world colonial charm but with subtle contemporary touches) to its elegant Long Bar, where a 1915 Singapore Sling The cocktail was invented. .

Each guest is assigned their own butler, providing a rare type of service that is spontaneous and discreet, yet discreet – perhaps the greatest luxury of all.

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