Nestled on the outskirts of Manuel Antonio, the smallest of Costa Rica's national parks, Arenas Del Mar is a masterpiece of design. Built to blend in with the forest, everything about the hotel is aimed at impacting the local environment as little as possible. A brilliant result of this eco-friendly camouflage is that the hotel grounds are always full of exotic animals, and guests often wake up to find that their balcony has been colonised by a family of monkeys overnight.
Arenas Del Mar boasts some of the friendliest staff around. All the employees are hired from Quepos, so they know everything there is to know about the local area and are always delighted to pass on their knowledge about their beloved country. Most of the staff speak excellent English, and the few who do not are in the process of learning. Any problems or complaints mentioned to a member of staff are instantly radioed in to reception and workmen are usually along to fix things within minutes.
All rooms are outfitted with amenities including wifi, air conditioning, cable TV, DVD players, and fridges with a selection of complementary local snacks and the larger suites have balcony jacuzzis. Depending on which suite you choose, you may have an ocean, beach, or rainforest view, but regardless of what you see from your balcony, rest assured that it will be beautiful.
In addition to the selection of local restaurants and bars, Arenas offers two on-site restaurants, El Mirador and Playitas, and an extensive room service. Lovingly thought-out menus combine local specialities with gourmet world cuisine, all cooked using the freshest local produce available.
Arenas Del Mar offers something for everyone, from a beautiful spa overlooking the ocean, to zipwire tours in the treetops and night-time jungle walks. The range of wildlife to see in the National Park is incredible and all of the guides are extremely experienced. Even if the hotel does not offer a specific activity, the staff at reception will help guests to find somewhere to take part.
What used to be a scandalous nudist beach has now been revamped as the hotel’s private beach, with a full-time lifeguard, body boards and sun loungers available for guests. For those who would rather not brave the ocean tides, the hotel also has two gorgeous swimming pools with views over the sea.
Gracious, iconic and friendly. From the 24, hundred year old King palm trees that line the driveway to the white pillared colonial buildings – the scene is elegant and has oodles of old-style charm. Often referred to as ‘India’s museum hotel’ – just a quick wander around it’s fabled corridors will show you why.
Located on Janpath, the hotel is convenient as it is within close proximity to the shops and restaurants of Connaught Place and is only a short taxi ride to Khan Market – a must for shoppers.
Nothing is too much trouble, everything is done with efficiency and with customarily warm Indian hospitality. There is a high staff-guest ratio which ensures a quick solution to any question or issue. If you have time, ask for the Front Desk Manager who can arrange a tour, free of charge, of the hotel’s incredible art collection.
When staying at The Imperial,
book a Heritage Suite which, at 550
square feet, comes
with wonderfully high ceilings and colonial-era furniture. Grand and
spacious, these suites offer
separate bedroom and living room with a seating area for 5 to 6
bathrooms are roomy with monogrammed towels and Fragonard amenities.
the suites feature an electronic in-room safe, tea/coffee maker, dual
line phone with data port and voice mail, high speed Wireless
Internet as well as a DVD player, Bang & Olufsen TV and exclusive
linen from Porthault . Opt for a room in the northwest wing for
ultimate peace and quiet.
‘1911’ celebrates Indian cuisine and showcases the melting pot of culture and gastronomy –it is spread over three areas - the 1911 Brasserie, the bar and the verandah lounge which overlooks the impressive lawns. Noted as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, The Spice Route reflects the voyage of spices from the Malabar Coast in Kerala through Sri Lanka, and onto South-East Asia. The incredible interiors also reflect this astonishing Asian medley.
With lots more buzz than many of the city’s chain hotels – expect to see some of the country’s hoi-polloi, visiting dignitaries, celebrities as well as some seriously well-heeled globetrotters. Find time to explore the corridors, there are over 3,000 artefacts and artworks in all housed in the hotel. Of ‘British Art on India’ you may see works from Thomas and William Daniells, William Simpson, William Hodges, John Zollony, James Ferguson, J.B. Fraser, Emily Eden, Charles D’Oyly, among others.
Fantastic. The Imperial is a legendary hotel, not just in Asia – but worldwide. It offers a unique experience both in terms of hospitality and the overall experience but uniquely, it also offers an insight into aspects of India’s rich history.
1 Janpath, New Delhi, India
Tel: + 91 11 23341234
The welcome is efficient, graceful and attentive – as soon as you check in here it is immediately obvious that you’re in good hands. The atmosphere is exciting, but at the same time highly refined. After the hotel’s 2005 $115 million US dollar renovation, the hotel has retained it’s original look and feel – Italian marble for the walls and pillars, dramatic chandeliers in public spaces, but there are also dashes of modern brilliance – the new Krug room, for example, has oak floors made of champagne barrels and Hermes plates hang suspended as light fittings.
Walking distance to unmatched shopping - Harvey Nichols, Anya Hindmarch, Chanel cosmetics, Diane von Furstenberg and Jimmy Choo. The Star Ferry is a short 10 minute walk away, which allows a watery trip across the harbour with views of the receding island which is especially dramatic at night. From the airport take the Express train which takes 30 minutes, then spend 5 minutes in a cab to the hotel. ‘Central’, the closest MTR (mass transit railway), is a minute’s walk away, (note – there are 10 exits).
Nothing is too much trouble, everything is done with efficiency and intuition.
the 501 guestrooms the ‘Veranda’ rooms are ideal for a leisure
stay – cool shades of olive, pewter and white contrast with walnut
walls and ceilings, while negligee
drapes curtain off the work area, where pencil street-scene sketches
hang above a low-slung mini-sofa by the wall-to-wall windows - a
perfect spot for making use of the supplied binoculars to scan the
harbour and Kowloon beyond. I-pod dock, flat screen television and
even a secret valet
box all come as standard.
For fine dining and modern French flavours, go to Pierre on the 25th floor, which is run by Michelin-starred Pierre Gagnaire - one of the finest chefs alive and Head Chef at Sketch in London. If available, try the Terra Sienna fried monkfish or the lamb fricassée with plums.
At the M Bar try Kuei Hua Chen Chiew - a Chinese vintage wine and match it with Cantonese tapas.
Past notable guests include Kate Moss, Anna Sui and Princess Diana. The lobby is buzzy and busy with business people, leisure travellers and locals.
The oldest hotel on Hong Kong island, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, continues to wow all guests who are lucky enough to sashay through it’s famous doors.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2522 0111