The Academy, London
Situated in the heart of Bloomsbury, Camden, London is The Academy, which is owned by YTL Hotels and has just been refurbished by renowned New York-based designer Alexandra Champalimaud. Champalimaud has turned The Academy into a sophisticated and charming luxury hotel that juxtaposes timeless glamour and traditional features to create a contemporary take on townhouse living. Inspired by the Bloomsbury Set – a prolific group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists which included the likes of Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes – The Academy’s 50 guest rooms brim with personality, casual exuberance and style across its five townhouses. Large sash windows give guest rooms a light and airy feel, while elegant light fittings, large mirrors and timeless furniture decked out in bespoke furnishings of rich velvet and leather set the tone for a relaxed and sophisticated space.
The ground floor of the hotel houses The Alchemy Bar, a cosy space for bespoke cocktails, specialty gins and glasses of red wine and champagne, as well as the Refectory, an intimate breakfast room and function space. Meanwhile, tucked away in the garden of The Academy is Mr. Ma’s Tea House Spa, a bespoke spa referencing 1920s Bloomsbury and the acclaimed novel, Mr Ma and Son. The spa will offer traditional Asian-style body therapies such as hot medicinal herbal foothbath, zhi ya, a style of Chinese reflexology, and tuina, an invigorating and rhythmical acupressure massage to energise and rebalance the body.
21 Gower St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6HG, United Kingdom. Website here
Healthouse Las Dunas, Málaga
Relaxation, rejuvenation and revival are at the heart of Healthouse Las Dunas, a five-star luxury health and beach retreat in Málaga, southern Spain. Here, guests can choose between a selection of health programmes such as weight loss, detox, or anti-smoking. Programmes will be carried out through a combination of gentle exercise, spa treatments, medical consultations and a healthy diet, all of which will be tailored according to each guest’s preferences, and the results of the full medical checkup each guest is entitled to upon check-in. Keep a lookout for the Medical Spa, which houses a host of rejuvenating treatments such as a vitality pool with warm and cold caves, a salt cabin, a caldarium, and a steam bath. Guests can also look forward to a gastronomic and revitalising diet during their stay. The menu here is designed by world-famous chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of two-Michelin-starred restaurant Mugaritz. Guests can choose from any of the 55 luxurious suites, or the 34 spacious apartments offering access to a private gated garden and swimming pool, ideal for families with small children. Apart from weekend health packages (prices start at €980), a Golf & Spa by the Sea package also offers golf lovers the opportunity to play in the best courses of Costa del Sol.
Autovía del Mediterráneo, 29689 Estepona, Málaga, Spain. Website here
Hui Yue Hotel, Xuzhou
Backed by majestic mountains and flanked by parks, Hui Yue Hotel located in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province of China, was built with a seamless integration into its ecological landscape in mind. Green architecture is at the core of the luxury hotel’s design, and the property runs on renewable sources of energy. Five spacious courtyards afford an unobstructed view of the landscape, and its 23 rooms are furnished with large glass windows for guests to feel an intimate connection to the surroundings. Molton Brown bath products, Nespresso coffee machines, and designer beds by DeRUCCI ensure nothing but a luxurious experience for guests. The hotel’s in-house Chinese restaurant, Hui Yue Xuan, makes it easy to have authentic Cantonese meals at any time of the day. With the VIP karaoke rooms, you can combine entertainment with a gourmet dining experience. For those who prefer a hands-on cooking experience, the barbecue bar located in the outdoor garden is perfect for grilling up some meats and vegetables any way you like.
Top Mountain of Zhushan Dangkou Park, Economy and Technology Development Zone, Xuzhou 221000, China. Website here
Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini
It is increasingly hard to experience the tranquility sunny Santorini offers, what with it becoming an incredibly popular tourist destination. Fortunately, Canaves Oia Epitome has carved out a peaceful spot just outside the main town of this Greek island, giving the all-villa luxury hotel the feel of a hidden paradise. Muted natural tones and a minimalist design in all 24 villas create a sense of stillness here, with activities like daily yoga classes designed to connect guests with quietude. With Canaves offering the best sunset views in the town of Oia, a lounge spot by the pool or your private terrace is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the coastal town’s picturesque white buildings with blue-capped domes. The popular Katharos beach is also within walking distance of the hotel, and a hotel shuttle to the town of Oia makes it easy for those who wish take in the sights at these popular tourist destinations. World-class Greek cuisine is also served up at the in-house fine dining restaurant, Sunsets Restaurant, while the lounge bar is great for those aperitifs or digestifs. Pro tip: Book an Aqua Retreat Villa for its unique see-through glass wall pool view from the lower level bedroom.
Oia Santorini Greece, Greece. Website here
HGU New York, New York
Wellness meets elegance at HGU New York, located in the trendy NoMad district of Manhattan. With ornate plaster ceilings from 1905 and mid-century modern furnishings in its 90 rooms, old-world classic glamour meets contemporary chic at this luxury hotel. Going beyond the usual yoga mats and detox treatments, HGU provides a comprehensive wellness experience with everything from a pillow menu and concierge to liquid lunches, in-room meditation sessions, Vitality NYC cryotherapy treatments, and complimentary access to Solace gym. An in-room infusion therapy from REVIV that replenishes hydration and nutrient levels is also available, perfect for countering that jet lag. When you’re ready to venture out, a four-minute walk from the Empire State Building, and an easy 15-minute stroll from Fifth Avenue and the Flatiron District makes HGU New York the perfect point to start exploring Manhattan from. What’s more, the HGU concierge can book theatre tickets, make dinner reservations, or put together personalised itineraries just for you.
34 East 32nd St, New York, NY 10016, United States of America. Website here
Akyra Sukhumvit, Bangkok
A green luxury hotel, Akyra Sukhumvit is set to be the first hotel in Asia without single-use plastic in its 46 rooms or food and beverage outlets. Ideally located in Sukhumvit soi 20, an area known for its buzzing atmosphere, fine-dining restaurants and high-end retail options such as EmQuartier and The Emporium, Akyra Sukhumvit fits right into the urban locale with its understated interiors boasting floor-to-ceiling glass doors, natural wooden floors, neutral colour schemes, and rooms fitted out with crisp white linens. Watch the city go by from the rooftop, where a pool and a bar are located, or head down to the ground floor where Siam Soul Café serves up authentic Thai and international cuisine in a laid-back setting. To further the hotel’s eco-initiative, guests will also be presented with stylish stainless steel water bottles and reusable shopping bags upon arrival for them to take the eco-friendly initiative into their own hands.
7 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand. Website here
Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa, Champillon
Located in the heart of Champagne, the Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa is a wine country retreat for all seasons. Taste the best of the region’s eponymous produce – champagne – , take a tour through private champagne houses, and embark on harvesting sessions with local wine producers on tours specially curated by the hotel’s in-house concierge team. Each of the 49 rooms here offer spectacular views of vineyards, and are decked out with Hermès amenities and state-of-the-art comforts. Taking this focus on comfort a step further, the hotel is also home to the region’s first world-class spa destination, spanning an impressive 16,000 square feet. Nine treatment rooms offering natural spa treatments; top-notch fitness facilities; a wood-lined yoga studio; a eucalyptus-infused sauna; manicure and pedicure stations, and a mosaic tiled Hammam are but some offerings to pamper yourself with. Meals here also go beyond the ordinary – a gourmet dining room, Le Royal, and a casual all-day restaurant, Bellevue, are the hotel’s two in-house restaurants, headed by two Michelin-starred chef Jean Denis Rieubland. Contemporary French cuisine using farm-fresh produce from the region will be the focus of chef Rieubland’s menus.
9 Rue de la République – Hameau de, Rue de Bellevue, 51160 Champillon, France. Website here
Fendi Private Suites, Rome
Sitting right above Fendi’s flagship store at Via dei Condotti – arguably the most famous shopping strip in Rome – is the first luxury hotel by fashion brand Fendi. Fendi Private Suites houses seven impeccably designed suites. The elegant hotel redefines luxury with Lepanto marble dooorways, suites furnished in neutral tones and Fendi’s signature clean lines, as well as walls dotted with black and white photographs by Karl Lagerfield. Furniture sourced from classic designers such as Hans J Wegner and FENDI Casa are perfect for lounging on to take in views of the city life outside. Meanwhile those who prefer exploring the city on foot can look forward to shopping trips with a personal shopper, and discovering Rome with a guide from the hotel. The hotel’s lounge and in-house restaurant are perfect for unwinding after a day of adventure, with cocktails served at Zuma lounge, and contemporary Japanese cuisine at Zuma restaurant.
Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 48, 00186 Roma RM, Italy. Website here
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