WHY IT RATES: Enjoy an eco-friendly retreat in Thailand, take in the views in Switzerland, indulge in a taste of the Mediterranean in Andalucía or explore the narrow cobbled streets of Baku. These properties offer luxury on their own terms, ensuring independently spirited travelers create unforgettable moments to last a lifetime. – Mackenzie Cullen, Editorial Associate
Twinpalms MontAzure, Kamala Beach, Thailand
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46 rooms from USD434 per night
Opens July 2019
Set on the golden sands of Kamala Beach, on Phuket’s sought-after west coast, Twinpalms MontAzure offers beautifully appointed suites, penthouses and private pool suites ranging in size from a very comfortable 70sqm up to an expansive 300sqm. Guests will also enjoy dipping into the two communal pools – one perfect for laps and the other a beach-level infinity pool that seems to melt into the watery landscape.
The site itself offers almost 820 feet (250 meters) of beach frontage shaded by Casuarina trees and leading up to a 200-year old untouched tropical forest. Combining modern luxury with strong eco-credentials, the hotel launches with a strict “no single use plastic” policy, replacing plastic items with bamboo, ceramic and recycled paper instead. Every element of this beachside boutique hotel is inspired by the surrounds – from the panoramic views of the sea from the rooftops to glass that lets the sunlight flood in.
Adding to the collection of fantastic culinary places to be in Thailand, Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant serves vibrant Asian cuisine with an impressive wine list. If Phuket’s shores are calling, the hotel’s beach shuttle can take guests to Twinpalms Phuket near Surin Beach – the sister resort – as well as Palm Seaside, Catch Beach Club and Catch Junior on Bang Tao Beach or HQ Beach Lounge on Kamala Beach.
SLH Insider Tip: Guests who enjoy leisurely dining will appreciate the hotel’s indulgent special Saturday brunch at Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant, the place to be for the island’s movers and shakers.
Dinamo Hotel Baku, Baku, Azerbaijan
28 rooms from USD243 per night including breakfast
Opened 11th May 2018
Conceived as the home of the Dinamo sport society, the elegant city building with geometrical architecture was built in 1930s in Baku, and was only transformed into a hotel almost a century later. Inspired by the history of the building, exquisite materials, custom-made furniture and decorative arts sourced from the world of sport, have all played a part in creating the stylish and relaxing atmosphere that can be experienced today. There are friezes and statues punctuating the chic décor of the spa and restaurant, while upstairs, the bedrooms make their own statement with pops of colour.
The novelty of Dinamo Hotel Baku aims to emphasise the best qualities of the city and the local culture, utilizing elements such as traditional rug patterns on stone mosaic floors to offer guests a warm and inviting home away from home. For dinner, the aptly named Olympia restaurant is the height of fine dining, with an open kitchen, palate-pleasing wine list and perfectly pitched service. The spa, a luxury health club equipped with a fitness center and swimming pool, also offers a selection of exclusive signature treatments and several beauty services including a Nail Bar. Outside of the Dinamo doors, guests can experience the melting pot of cultures that Baku has to offer. The combination of European, Asian and Middle Eastern influences makes this city a fascinating place to wander – from the cobblestoned ‘old city’ to the ultra-modern Heydar Aliyev’ art complex.
SLH Insider Tip: Children staying on the property can enjoy special welcome gifts, in-room game consoles, children’s bathrobes and slippers as well as special treats at evening turn-down.
Palacio Solecio, Malaga, Spain
68 rooms from USD212 per night including breakfast
Opens December 2019
Set in Málaga’s Old Town, Palacio Solecio, a former palace from the 18th century has been restored by Antonio Obrador’s Architecture Studio, to rise into a modern style hotel with an Andalusian essence. Classic in architectural style, guests are greeted by glimpses of the hotel’s past from the moment they enter the lobby. The original stone staircase leads guests up to the first floor, where the relaxing décor of the rooms, suites and function spaces fuses historical character with contemporary comfort.
The restaurant is a place where tradition and avant-garde cuisine coexist thanks to Michelin star chef Jose Carlos Garcia who transforms traditional dishes from the South of Spain with his innovative touch. Around the hotel guests will find a broad celebration of Málaga’s past and present too – from the magnificent Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga to traditional Arabic baths and Flamenco restaurants. The must-see Alcazaba Fortress is also a short walk from the hotel, and guests can wander the gardens and courtyards before climbing the slope for spectacular city views.
SLH Insider Tip: By day, guests should relax in the hotel’s glass-ceilinged patio, and soak up the sun and bright conversation with tapas and drinks. By night, they can bring the indoors out underneath ornate cloisters and sit by the fountain with evening cocktails.
Alex Lake Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
44 rooms from USD301 per night including breakfast
Opens July 2019
On the Western Shore of Lake Zürich, between Zürich and Zug, is Alex Lake Zürich – a contemporary boutique hotel with a private marina and boat-loads of style. Perched on the water’s edge and set across five floors with a very special architectural design of stone and glass, the property is opening its doors this month. Alex has 44 rooms and suites all with glorious lake views, terraces and kitchens, becoming the first boutique Zurich hotel to offer a more enticing extended stay concept for guests. At the heart of the hotel is a dynamic and vibrant all-day dining restaurant and bar, The Boathouse, which serves Swiss-sourced produce and regional wines.
The contemporary and sophisticated interiors are complemented by a unique and impressive waterfront terrace with spectacular views across the lake. A peaceful wellness area is also available exclusively for guests and features a sauna, steam room, relaxation area, fitness room, plunge pool, spa treatment room and direct access to the wonderfully clean waters of the lake for swimming. Guests will also have access to several activities and services including the hotel yacht, water sports on the Lake, bicycles for exploring the local area and rowing from the local club adjacent to the hotel.
SLH Insider Tip: One of the highlights of Lake Zurich is the beautiful boat trip to the picturesque town of Rapperswil, famous for its rose gardens, medieval castle and the longest wooden bridge in Switzerland perfect for romantic strolls.
And in other news…
Rockliffe Hall Launches Orangery High Tea – Darlington, United Kingdom
Richard Allen, Executive Chef at Rockliffe Hall’s flagship 4AA Rosette restaurant, The Orangery, is launching an exciting, indulgent new afternoon tea experience. Available from 1st July, High Tea at The Orangery will allow guests to experience Richard’s exceptional culinary activity whilst indulging in sweet and savoury treats. Richard and The Orangery team take inspiration from the changing seasons and the abundance of produce available on the Rockliffe kitchen garden and estate grounds.
Examples of the savoury delights guests will be able to enjoy on the new Orangery High Tea menu include Duck Egg Mayonnaise and Cured Cumbrian open sandwiches, Wagyu Beef, Yorkshire Relish and Caramelised Onion Brioche and Warm Whitby Crab and Wensleydale Cheese Tart with Garden Chard. Sweet treats will include Single Estate Chocolate Éclair, Salted Caramel and Gold Leaf, Pistachio and Olive Oil Cake and Raspberry Short Bread with Rockliffe Estate Honey and Candied Lemon. All served with fine leaf tea or fresh coffee. The Orangery High Tea is available every day between 1 and 3pm for £35 per person. There is also a Champagne Tea, priced at £49 per person, which includes a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut.
Cooking Lessons and Squid Fishing Excursions at Casa Angelina – Positano, Italy
Cooking lessons are now available for the first time at Casa Angelina as private or group experiences. Taking place on the partially covered rooftop terrace overlooking striking views of colourful Positano, guests can learn how to make authentic, local dishes from the region, including variations of just-caught fresh squid, fish, and seafood from the adjacent Tyrrhenian Sea. A nod to the Praiano’s roots as an ancient fishing village, Casa Angelina is now offering authentic squid fishing excursions with a local expert fisherman. Taking place at night––the most optimal time to catch squid––guests will be able to sail on a Gozzo Sorrentino––a typical wooden boat from the region––from the Marina di Praia to participate in some of the world’s best squid fishing three miles off the coast. Upon returning to the hotel, guests will be taught to make the region’s traditional “Totani e Patate” (squid and potatoes) with their catch from the excursion.
New Summer Flights Make it Easier to Travel to Boutique Hotel Alhambra – Losinj Island, Croatia
Silver Air has introduced new seasonal summer flights from Lošinj Airport to Zagreb (Croatia), Venice (Italy) and Lugano (Switzerland) making it even easier to travel to the beautiful Croatian island which enjoys more than 2600 sunshine hours per year. Daily flights from Zagreb, Venice or Lugano started on 15th June and will run until 28th September 2019. All flights are operated using the seventeen-seater L-410 Turbolet aircraft. For maximum comfort, Boutique Hotel Alhambra offers guests an optional transfer service from the airport directly to the hotel. Alhambra is a unique place which merges the spirit of aristocratic times and exceptional luxury, combined with top-rate customized service. In the Alhambra, guests can enjoy 36 excellently equipped deluxe rooms and 15 suites named after Lošinj’s prominent captains and meritorious visionaries of the Lošinj archipelago.
Flemings Mayfair Appoints Svetoslav Manolev as Head Sommelier – London, United Kingdom
Ormer Mayfair, the highly-acclaimed restaurant at Flemings Mayfair hotel has appointed Svetoslav Manolev as Head Sommelier. Svet brings over a decade of specialist wine experience from some of the finest establishments in London. Previously, Assistant Head Sommelier at 67 Pall Mall, widely considered one of the top wine members’ club in the world, Svet managed a team of 18 sommeliers and assisted with curating and overseeing its 4000-strong wine list. Prior to this, he has held positions at COYA Mayfair, Park Chinois and Roka. As Ormer Mayfair’s Head Sommelier, Svet will work closely alongside Michelin star-awarded chef Shaun Rankin and be responsible for the operational management of all wines within the restaurant and hotel, including Manetta’s bar. This will include regularly reviewing and updating the impressive wine list and ensuring guests receive the highest standard of wine service.
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is pleased to announce the completion of the makeover of its 12 rooms located on the 6th floor of the building. The design of the rooms combines modernity with the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, defined as “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance” with a focus on a less-is-more mentality. Each room is named after ancient Japanese names such as “Izumo” or “Musashi” and is individually decorated with patterns and paintings that are inspired by the region. Little touches include headboards inspired by folding screens used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies as well as walls adorned with Yabukoji, a Japanese plant that bears beautiful red fruits in winter.
Reservations for any SLH hotel can be made online at www.slh.com or via the iPhone app, by contacting a travel agent or calling a Small Luxury Hotels of the World reservations office; click here to view a listing by country.
SOURCE: Small Luxury Hotels of the World press release.