Four spectacular hotels around the world to inspire your first post-lockdown adventure
From African Safaris to Diving on the Great Barrier Reef … Imagine These Four Journeys Worth It – And Closing Their Second Lifting
Orpheus Island Lodge, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Best for κλά world class diving
ΤLocated on a private tropical island in the Great Barrier Reef, its magnificent luxury all-inclusive retreat has just 14 rooms, so it feels private even at full capacity. Feel like you have 1,000 hectares of virgin national park and beach. The journey here is an adventure in itself. We boarded a helicopter and flew over the reef – a magical 40-minute journey from which you could see stingrays turtles and sharks in the ocean below – and were greeted with champagne. Ideal for water sports enthusiasts, there are kayaks, catamaran and motor boats that are free to borrow. The staff gave us packaged meals with drinks, fresh fruit and sandwiches to start our adventures. Another highlight was the stunning infinity pool. And for pure romance, book the Dining by the Tides experience, a six-course dinner served on a lighted pier – we’ve never had fresh seafood.
Stella loves: She is so close, close and personal to nature – birds, sharks (thankfully tiny) and corals everywhere. Bliss.
Outside and around: You are withered on an island, but there is plenty to do, such as guided snorkeling to get to the reef, excursions to explore the surrounding islands solo and scuba diving – instructors will teach you by the pool until I’m ready. to go out into the ocean. There is also an award-winning spa (we recommend facial treatments) and many hammocks hanging between the palm trees if you are worn out after all.
Rooms from 892 £ per night (sleeps two) all inclusive (including selected wines and beer), as well as use of motor boats, paddleboards, kayaks and catamaran. ορφαίο.com.au
Melia Serengeti Lodge, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Best for φύση wildlife
A definite candidate for the world’s best swimming pool with a view, the “watering hole” in this 52-room hotel overlooks the vast valley of the Mbalageti River and a frequent movement of elephants, wildebeest and buffalo passing by. It is deep in the national park, with nothing but wildlife and beautiful scenery. The rooms are spacious and beautifully designed, with works of art from Masai and clear white walls, while the floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the stunning views. Lions and other big cats are known to roam the hotel grounds or dive into the pool, so the locals act as night watchmen. Look for highly informative guides who can tell you everything about culture.
Stella loves: Traditional beaded jewelry, wallpapers and candlesticks are all produced by Masai artists, available for purchase at The Terrace lounge – perfect souvenirs unique.
Outside and around: You can not visit without booking a game: there is so much in every turn, it would not be unusual to find all the “big five” (lions, elephants, hippos, black rhinos and buffaloes) in one session. (Book through the hotel – from 1 171 per half-day game per person, sharing. An all-day game drive costs £ 250 per person, sharing.) If you visit in May or June, look for the biggest immigration crazy. For a special trip, book a hot air balloon trip over the park. (From 466 £ per person)
Rooms from 266 £ per night, with full board. melia.com
Read the full expert review: Melia Serengeti Lodge
Montrose West Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA
Best for τί Hollywood star spots
This cool, low-key hotel in West Hollywood, just off Sunset Avenue, is the place to find A-listers. Some celebs are known to have stayed by the discreet rooftop pool, which features comfortable sun loungers (ideal for posing), a lively bar and views across La La Land. Our room was huge – big enough for an after-party – with a mini kitchen, a dramatic black living room and a rock’n’roll edge in the décor: think of music posters, guitars, strollers and huge gold-shaped chairs. The highlight, however, is the location, in the heart of Los Angeles’s most stellar neighborhood.
Stella loves it: The staff are incredibly helpful and full of local knowledge, whether you want to find out the live music event worth going to that night, the nearest bookstore or the best place for a breakfast bun.
Out and about: It is a 10 minute walk (or two minutes by car – no one walks here) at Soho House West Hollywood, which is the place to enjoy the city, all the couches, great cocktails, beautiful people and busy pulse. (Members only? Sohohouse.com). If live music is more than just you, the Viper Room (once owned by Johnny Depp) and Whiskey a Go Go are just a short walk from the hotel. For a special night out, book a dinner table at The Magic Castle, a private magician membership club located in a large, haunted house with lively magic shows and a black dress with a tie – watch out, the tables are closed months from now. advance (magiccastle.com). And if you have not found enough stars after all this, book a Celebrity Bike Tour – an easy 10 mile (even easier if upgrading to ebike) route that takes you to Rodeo Drive, Paul Smith’s Pink Wall and 30 different houses of the rich and famous. (From £ 50 per person, bikesandhikesla.com)
Rooms from 147 £ per night. montrosewesthollywood.com
Read the full expert review: Montrose West Hollywood
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Urubamba, Peru
Best for που Adventure worth a list
Hidden in the Sacred Inca Valley, this spacious hotel is the ideal stop before or after a Machu Picchu route, and is happily removed from the well-trodden tourist trail. The rooms are large and rustic, there is a beautiful spa with all the natural products grown in the “healing garden”, while the hotel is located on the site of an organic plantation, where everything is grown with traditional hand tools and oxen. We toured the farm and picked up dinner products – there are quinoa, huge corn and medicinal herbs. Our room had a high ceiling, terracotta tiles, beautiful eucalyptus beams, and wrought iron chandeliers – all arranged to make the most of the mountain view. The highlight was the terrace, the perfect place to drink overlooking the sunset with a sour pisco in hand.
Stella loves: The gastronomic experience in the restaurant. The grilled trout in black quinoa with fennel and lavender sauce was wonderful.
Outside: Take advantage of the pollution-free skies and book a Twlight Mountain Walk – the informative guide tells Inca astronomy stories. Also worth a visit is Moray, a 15th-century archeological site that includes three sets of large circular terraces. Many consider it an agricultural experiment, as each level is said to have its own microclimate. (You can book both excursions through the hotel.) You can also book hilltop tours, bird tours and bike tours.
Rooms from £ 330 per night, B&B, including guided tours. booking.inkaterra.com/ithu
Read the full expert review: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
Edited by: Laura Powell. Reviews by: Kuchar Swara, Caroline Leaper, Laura Powell and Jason Morris
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