The travel-awards season is in full swing and last week a luxury boutique art hotel in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, was named as the best in Wales in the AA Hospitality Awards, says Karen Price on WalesOnline. The Twr y Felin hotel has 21 en-suite bedrooms and sits in the shadow of St Davids Cathedral. Its walls are adorned with more than 100 specially commissioned works of art inspired by the area. The local theme is continued in the kitchen – the restaurant menu features locally sourced produce and traditional Welsh dishes.
From £320 for two nights in November. See TwryFelinHotel.com.
Cliveden House in Berkshire has always offered “an impressive dose of glamour and intrigue”, says Martha Alexander for MailOnline. First built in 1666 as a venue for the second Duke of Buckingham to entertain his mistress, Cliveden House was also the scene of the Profumo affair of 1961 – a scandal that brought down a Conservative government. Cliveden was recently refurbished with antiques, earning itself the accolade of the “UK’s Best Hotel” in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2017. “The parterre in the gardens is one of the 376-acre property’s many unique features,” and the spa is something to behold, with huge mirrors and refined lighting. Enjoy walks through the gardens, a swim in the outdoor pool, and getting lost in its famous maze.
Rooms start at £445 per person. See ClivedenHouse.co.uk.
A grand stay in Hungary
Said to have been the inspiration for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, the Corinthia Hotel Budapest is grand indeed, says Sarah Kershaw in the Daily Express. Awarded Hungary’s Luxury Hotel of the Year by the Luxury Travel Guide, the hotel is a five-star architectural gem. Often peppered with celebrities, the “palatial lobby makes a starry first impression”, with sweeping lobby steps hinting at the “gorgeous” Royal Spa that hides within. Enjoy “cloud-like kingsize beds and marble bathrooms” between sipping cocktails in the ballroom and feasting on traditional goulash in one of the hotel’s decadent glass-domed restaurants.
Rooms from £130 per room per night. See Corinthia.com/en/Hotels/Budapest.
Novel luxury in Cuba
In the historic heart of Cuba’s Unesco-designated capital lies the newly opened Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinska La Habana, Cuba’s first true five-star luxury hotel, says Irene Rawlings in The Robb Report. “Like many historic structures in this long-isolated country, the Manzana had been slowly decaying since the 1950s.” Now the landmark has been given a new lick of paint and boasts an “unrivalled glamour, with its whitewashed faҫade, elegant colonnades and high-ceilinged spaces”.
The hotel has won a gong from the World Travel Awards and retains its taste of Cuba, featuring a tobacco lounge that offers “Cuban rums, freshly rolled cigars, and a cigar sommelier who can suggest the perfect beverage-cigar pairings”.
Rooms from $400 per person. See Kempinksi.com.
An island makes the hot list
From the shores of the wild Sicilian island of Pantelleria, the Sahara is visible as an “orange haze over the horizon”, a stark contrast to the dark “volcanic scrubland of the island”, says Simon Usborne in the Financial Times. The “black pearl of the Med” attracts the “dressed-down Italian elite” and has won a place on Condé Nast Traveller’s 2017 Hot List. Swimmers can bathe in the Specchio-di-Venere, or Venus’s mirror, a “perfect azure oval of naturally heated spring water framed by vineyards and pines”.
Rooms at the Sikelia cost from £288 per night. See SLH.com.