One for the ultra-rich
St Regis Bal Harbour, at the top end of Miami beach in Florida, attracts “the ultra-rich – Russian oligarchs, Saudi princes, Wall Street bankers and their families, and ‘Ab Fab’-style shopaholics”, says Lucie Young in The Daily Telegraph. The hotel “oozes money… think enormous crystal chandeliers, glass walls, high ceilings – conjuring up a modern take on art deco opulence and the days of grand old hotels. You’ll have to dress up not to be outclassed by the decor.”
Each bedroom has an ocean view and a generous terrace – even the smallest rooms “are the size of a small New York apartment”. Book one of the beach villas, which come with their own wet bar, lounge and dining patio, and you’ll even get your own butler. Of course, this level of luxury isn’t cheap – but you are getting the “best on the beach”. From $850 a night. See www.stregisbalharbour.com, or call 00 305 993 3300.
A foodie haven
It’s not by the sea, but Nobu Hotel, Las Vegas is surrounded by sand and worth the diversion inland. The Times included it in its list of the 20 coolest new hotels opening in 2013, saying it was one of the “most stylish places to stay” this year.
It is co-owned by actor Robert De Niro and Japanese sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa, who founded the globally successful Nobu restaurant chain. Rooms are “sumptuously designed with low-level oriental-style furniture and Japanese calligraphy decorating the walls”.
Unsurprisingly, the restaurant is the main draw. It is “huge, and features teppanyaki tables, a sushi bar and private dining area. Guests can also order from an exclusive room service menu.” If you’d like to sample Las Vegas’s gambling delights, you couldn’t be better placed: the hotel is in a wing attached to Caesars Palace on the Strip. Doubles from $336 (see www.nobucaesarspalace.com; 00 1 702 785 6677).
The Inn at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, California, has once again made it onto Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List of the world’s best hotels. This “iconic grande dame”, with its “pink stucco façade, terracotta-coloured roof tiles, art deco common areas, and brightly coloured rooms”, has sat on Sunset Boulevard for over a century. The staff “give a whole new meaning to the words warm and gracious”.
For a really special occasion, book one of the two 5,000 sq ft Presidential Bungalows. Set “among the banana and palm trees and manicured gardens, each comes with a full kitchen, three bedrooms, steam showers and a private pool”. You can go celebrity spotting over cocktails at the hotel restaurant, the Polo Lounge.
Prices start from $495 per night for a double room. Call to discuss rates if you wish to book one of the Presidential Bungalows. For more, see www.beverlyhillshotel.com, or call 00 1 310 276 2251.
The Four Season Resort Hualalai in Hawaii has made it onto Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List every year for the past five years. Why? Because it is “the perfect example of a hotel designed to fit its surroundings”. Sitting on black lava rock, “palm fronds drape over low-rise bungalows, and earth-tone guest rooms have lots of bamboo, thatch and slate”. Every room “is built around a water feature or the Jack Nicklaus golf course”, and if you book a ground-floor room you’ll get an outdoor shower. The other key attraction is the excellent, intuitive staff. “How did they know I needed that complimentary Mai Tai after that long flight?” asked one Condé Nast Traveller reader who voted for the hotel.
Rates start from around $625 for a double room. Visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai, or call 00 1 888 340 5662 for more.