Ruth Jackson looks at six award-winning hotels.
A 15th-century villa
Il Salviatino in Fiesole, Florence, Italy, is a 45-room, 15th-century villa, and is the best place to stay in Europe, according to Condé Nast Traveller’s readers. It has “a wood-panelled library with antique leather-bound volumes” and the bedrooms don’t stint on modern comforts, including “TVs that cleverly double as oversized mirrors”.
• From £267, salviatino.com.
Fabulous safari lodge
The Londolozi at Sabi Sands, South Africa, is not only a safari lodge but also the best hotel in the world, according to Condé Nast Traveller readers, who voted for it in their droves in the magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards 2014. It offers “the vacation of a lifetime – everything is fabulous”, says one reader. “In a perfect-scoring location on the Sand River, accommodations include Pioneer Camp, with three private suites decorated in Ralph Lauren style, and Varty Camp, where chalets in earth tones have private pools,” says the magazine. Enjoying breakfast on the deck while watching the elephants was “absolutely incredible”, says another reader. “The safaris are beyond fantastic. The Big Five [game animals] are literally within reach.”
• From £435, londolozi.com.
Raymond Blanc’s gastronomic delight of a hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford, has added another award to its collection – readers of The Times have voted it the UK’s best hotel. “For 30 years, Raymond Blanc has put heart and soul into his 15th-century manor,” says The Times. Don’t miss out on a tour of the kitchens: “it’s fascinating to see the technology required to create truly haute cuisine”.
• From £545, manoir.com.
Asia’s top resort
The Mulia in Bali is a seaside resort ranked by Condé Nast Traveller as the best in Asia. “The ocean is just steps away, though you may be inclined to linger at one of the Mulia’s pools with a cocktail,” says the magazine. “With a spa, fitness centre, and play area for kids, the resort offers a comfortable stay for singles, couples, and families alike.”
• From £148, themulia.com.
Following renovations, this hotel on St Mark’s Square in Venice, the Gritti Palace, has been named the best overseas hotel by The Times. It’s like an exclusive museum, says Martin Hemming in The Sunday Times. It was built in 1525, and post-facelift now has a spa. “Otherwise it’s a period-sensitive polishing” that’s made it “the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime indulgence”.
• From £145, luxurycollection.com.
A little of the shabby, lots of chic
It only opened in June, but the fourth hotel in the Pig chain has already been named “hotel of the year” by The Sunday Times. Its 23 rooms are housed in a “fanciful, higgledy-piggledy Victorian creation painted yellow, which sounds vile, but looks magical”, says Stephen Bleach in the newspaper. It has one of the best views on the south coast, looking over wide lawns to “sparkling” Studland Bay. “The Pig’s signature style is shabby chic – just a little of the shabby, with a lot of the chic.” Room 20 is the best value for money and has a cracking view, from £159 a night.
• From £119, thepighotel.com.