The world’s most impressive hotels and resorts

The world’s most impressive hotels and resorts

At Ambiente Sedona in Arizona, there are 40 cube-shaped pods. Photo / Jeff Zaruba

It’s a dog-eat-dog world we live in, but it’s beneficial to the humble traveler. While hotels and accommodation play a one-off game, we – the guests – benefit from better than ever places to stay.

Ambiente Sedona, Arizona, USA

Deep in the Arizona desert, where hoodoos run rampant and the landscape is a post-apocalyptic red, there exist 40 cube-shaped pods. Shining in all their bronze-toned glory, these futuristic atriums are part of Ambiente Sedona, the first “landscape hotel” to land in North America. For the uninitiated, this relatively new concept refers to accommodation that blends seamlessly into its surroundings, like a sly desert chameleon. Striking as it is, guests will undoubtedly notice the landscape first, while the shiny hotel facade – somehow – plays second fiddle. An adults-only resort with a minimalist design that screams kid-free, nearly every cube has a rooftop deck with daybeds and fire pits for lazy stargazing, and floor-to-ceiling windows that cleverly blur the line between indoors and outdoors.

Ambiente Sedona in Arizona features a rooftop deck with daybeds and fire pits. Photo / Jeff ZarubaCabn in Kuitpo Forest, South Australia

Do you have a love-hate relationship with technology? Love your wireless gadgets, but hate the never-ending “recharge” grind. Fortunately, there is CABN. Based in South Australia and set to branch out to Queensland in 2024, these sustainable (you guessed it) cabins are scattered across the state and offer a completely off-grid, eco-friendly experience. With a minimalist design, the latest offering is a new selection of Kuitpo Forest cabins, 45 minutes south of Adelaide. Tucked away in the forest, like a trio of secret Skandi-style pods, enjoy a front-row view of the native surroundings from large windows. Fire pits and indoor fireplaces make it cozy all year round and if extra coziness is required, you can even bring your dog.

Hut in Kuitpo Forest: Hidden in the trees, 45 minutes south of Adelaide. Photo / Provided by Moxy Downtown Los Angeles

Gone are the days when hotel new builds could rely on a cookie cutter design and a Bible in the top drawer. Oh no, it’s 2023 and punters expect to be dazzled — something Moxy Hotels took note of when it created Moxy Downtown Los Angeles, which is set to open in early April of this year. First of all, this is Tinsel Town, so boring just won’t cut it. Fortunately, the city skyline—much like its residents—requires guests to “look at me,” and Moxy accommodated with floor-to-ceiling windows. The urban views also extend to the pool deck and four outdoor terraces. And just in case you didn’t feel like frequenting an LA dive followed by a 3am ride, the hotel boasts 13 restaurants, bars and clubs. Anything but dull, the only basic thing about Moxy is the price; guest rooms are surprisingly reasonable.

AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.Moxy Downtown Los Angeles has floor-to-ceiling windows and skyline views. Photo / ProvidedMovenpick Cebu, Philippines

It’s Movenpick, of Swiss restaurateur and hotelier fame, but we’re bypassing the obvious chocolate-swirling incentives and heading straight to the pool, specifically the adjacent Ibiza Beach Club at Movenpick Cebu (the entire hotel is Mediterranean-inspired) for stunning sunset- views and the area’s best nightlife. Located on the island of Mactan in Cebu, this Movenpick outpost enjoys ocean views and a small but enticing curve of private beach. The on-site Ibiza Beach Club attracts the bikini-clad from far and wide, with all-day cocktails, 8pm entertainment and a 15-course barbecue. As well as the daily “chocolate hour” that Movenpick is internationally known for, Movenpick Cebu is decidedly smooth. Think all-white courtyards and wooden lines with floor hammocks jutting out over the ocean water. In other words, it looks good. Instagram stuff.

The on-site Ibiza Beach Club at Movenpick Cebu attracts the bikini-clad from far and wide. Photo / Movenpick Resort CebuMaridaallah Retreat, South Australia

These days, most boutique accommodations know that the full quota of luxuries is of the utmost importance to modern guests: polished rooms, fire pits, pools and luxury baths. At Maridaallah Retreat you also get a billabong at the end of the property and seven varieties of wine from the McLaren Vale region. Located in Inman Valley, an hour’s drive south of Adelaide and designed with extended families in mind, the property sleeps eight guests across four bedrooms. We’re not talking about bunk beds in the closet. Each suite has matte black fixtures and windows that in some rooms are so expansive that there is no distinction between the end of your carpet and the beginning of the bucolic hill. It’s a landscape worth protecting, hence the property’s state-of-the-art water collection and solar power system.

At Maridaallah Retreat, suites have matte black fixtures and enormous windows. Photo / Victor Harbor Property PhotographyThe Aurum Catskills, New York State

Hold your horses, this one is still in development but expected to open later in the year. If you are someone who has always viewed the Roman Empire with mild envy, then it will be worth the wait. Clinging to the mountainside of Mount Tremper in New York State, the Aurum Catskills uplifts and relocates the ancient bathing rituals of Rome, creating a reimagined bathing experience for the modern-day hotelier. In other words, the on-site spa will be fit for the gods. Expect a Turkish-style hammam – the first of its kind in the region – and luxurious bathhouse facilities with clear Roman roots. It’s already one of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2023, but it’s all pretty hush hush at the moment, so you’ll have to stay tuned.

Hotel Calimala, Florence

It’s a tough job to be a hotel in Florence, even a boutique one. How to compete with a city that is so effortlessly beautiful and iconic at the same time? Somehow Hotel Calimala holds its own. First of all, the facade, in all its fresco glory, is enough to make you pack up your life and move to Italy. Good design will do. Once inside, bare stone walls and shuttered windows clash perfectly – as only the Italians could achieve – with Art Deco aesthetics and a pop of bold colour.

AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.At Hotel Calimala, stone walls and shuttered windows clash perfectly with Art Deco aesthetics and a pop of colour. Photo / Provided

Designed by Alex Meitlis and featuring artwork by Ivo Bisignano, the property is well within the realm of creative genius. The pièce de résistance, to steal from the French for a moment, is the hotel’s rooftop hideaway. ANGEL Roofbar and Dining houses a Southern-Mediterranean restaurant, two bars, a plunge pool and secret garden, all overlooking one of the most famous and central shopping streets in the city.

ANGEL Roofbar and Dining is the piece de resistance at Hotel Calimala in Florence. Photo / Provided

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *