Need a place to rest your head? Add this selection of luxury, boutique & unique hotels to your must-visit list.
The Fontenay Hamburg
Opening this October in Hamburg, The Fontenay is an urban resort with 131 rooms and suites located on the edge of Lake Alster. Its modern design replicates three interlocking circles. There will be a seventh-floor rooftop bar and terrace, a gourmet restaurant with a private dining room with seating for up to 10, a swimming pool and a spa. The hotel will be worthy of a visit just for its unique architecture. Except for the partitions dividing each guest room, there are no straight walls and no wall is parallel to another. All furniture and even hallway carpets had to be custom created. If you’re there for business, there will be four function rooms offering 500 to 2,400 square feet of space with natural light.
Terrace Suite, Mandarin Oriental Milan
Located next to La Scala, the Mandarin Oriental Milan just celebrated its two-year anniversary and remains a favorite for both business and leisure thanks to its proximity to Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. One-hundred-and-four rooms and suites set in four 18th century buildings were completely renovated and combined. The hotel also features a two-Michelin-star restaurant, Seta, and a nearly 10,000-square-foot spa, plus an indoor pool. At 645 square feet, the Terrace Suite isn’t one of the largest suites at the Mandarin Oriental Milan, but its elongated layout means that you have access to a wide terrace with comfortable seating from your living room and a bedroom and bathroom through large floor-to-ceiling doors.
Of course, you may want to just enjoy the suite itself with its Italian marble bathroom, wood floors and oak paneling. There also is a large working desk, Nespresso coffee machine, separate bath and walk-in shower, underfloor heating and vanity unit. If you get tired of the terrace view, enjoy the 60-inch LED Samsung television in the living room and TV in the bathroom.
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Cuba
German hotel brand Kempinski has now established a true five-star hotel in Havana with its restoration of a 100-year-old, six-story building in the city’s historic area. Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana has 246 rooms and suites, six restaurants and bars and a spa. Rooms and suites range from 400 to more than 1,650 square feet and the Presidential Suite features 20-foot ceilings, large French-door windows and a patio with city views.
In the hotel, there is Evocación Tobacco Lounge with rums, cigars and spirits; for dining, several options offer seafood as well as locally inspired cuisine. There also is a rooftop infinity pool with views of the old city. The building was originally Havana’s first shopping mall. While it is being managed by the German company, the developer is an arm of Cuba’s military, so if you hold a U.S. passport, you will want to check with an expert before making direct payments to the hotel.
Laucala Resort is a 3,500-acre private island located on Laucala Island in Fiji. It is a private oasis accessible by its own airport. Just 25 luxury villas — each is different, designed with an eye to traditional Fijian style — are available and all come with private pools set among the palms of coconut plantations, white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and lush green mountains. Those who have been are unanimous that this is a “must visit” if you like islands, beaches and unique getaways with lots of activities and soft adventure.
Eighty percent of consumables are self-sustainable, and the ownership prides itself on a philosophy that brings elements of the island into each guest experience. There is a 240-acre farm on the island. All produce is organic and grown on the island. All five restaurants and bars abide by a farm-to-table concept and offer a wide choice of international and local cuisines, complemented by an extensive wine cellar.
Laucala is best known among its VIP clientele for a multitude of sporting and cultural activities for guests of all ages. The island has one of the world’s three DeepFlight Super Falcon submarines. Laucala Water Sports Center offers diving (with multiple dive options), snorkeling, Jet Skiing, kite-surfing, kayaking (in glass-bottom boats), fishing, sailing and more. The center additionally has its own fleet of 14 boats for guests. On land, enjoy the 18-hole championship course (it welcomes less than 150 tee-offs per year), organic spa, tennis, horseback riding, yoga, Pilates, hiking, biking and trekking to meet indigenous artists. There is so much to do; or, of course, nothing to do, if that’s your preference.
Four Seasons Punta Mita
There are two new Presidential-level suites at Four Seasons Punta Mita on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Both feature Mexican-inspired décor, private infinity pools and multiple indoor and outdoor living spaces. They both have full kitchens and the hotel will arrange a chef if you wish, who will cook as well as handle any grocery shopping. A key feature in the suites is the floor-to-ceiling windows. The Sol Suite has five bedrooms, each with a full marble bathroom, and is more than 7,000 square feet with clifftop ocean views. Three of the bedrooms, including the master, have outdoor showers. There are two living rooms, so you can create a suite within the suite between the second living room and one of the bedrooms. Both living rooms have their own separate powder rooms.
The four-bedroom Luna Suite is 5,000 square feet with two oceanfront and two garden-view bedrooms and panoramic ocean views, starting at $7,000 per night. Two bedrooms, including the master, feature outdoor showers.
The main differences between the two suites: Sol is about 40 percent larger with one additional bedroom, a private office and a much larger swimming pool and terrace. Also, all bedrooms in Sol have direct access to the pool area. There also is an Apuane Spa, a Richard Sandoval restaurant and a variety of water-sports, including surfing.