The big trip

Eight magnificent luxury hotels to discover in 2022

From a Thai island retreat to a Jazz Age icon in Scotland

1

Staffordshire

The Tawny

The Tawny

Located just 20 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent, this new resort is a “superb spot for a long weekend”, said Mark C. O’Flaherty in The Sunday Telegraph. A “seriously luxurious rural wonderland”, it features “hobbit-like” holiday villas, treehouses and cabins, set within 70 acres of lakes, woodlands and trails, and centred on an excellent restaurant.

The accommodation units have big windows and fresh, bright decor, and many contain hot tubs and free-standing bathtubs. There’s a heated outdoor pool, and staff will prepare baskets “full of goodies” for picnics. It is an “impressive” alternative to “England’s assorted Pigs and Soho Farmhouses”.

2

Côte d’Azur, France

The Maybourne Riviera

Maybourne Hotel Group

The Maybourne Riviera

Perched above the village of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, this opening from the Maybourne group (which owns Claridge’s and The Connaught) is the hippest of the top-class hotels on the Côte d’Azur, says Lanie Goodman in Condé Nast Traveller.

A “dazzling block of white criss-crossed lines and floor-to-ceiling glass”, it has a “modernist” feel within, with “museum-quality” art including a huge Louise Bourgeois sculpture. There’s a holistic spa and two pools, as well as private pools in some of the 69 rooms. Restaurants include Ceto, created by three Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco. 

3

Hampshire

Heckfield Place

Heckfield Place

Set in 438 acres of pasture and woodland on Hampshire’s northern fringes (an hour from central London), this revamped Georgian manor house is a fabulously chic home away from home, says Jo Rodgers in Condé Nast Traveller.

The hotel reopened in 2018, after a ten-year restoration, with interiors overseen by designer Ben Thompson. These are true to the building’s “red brick bones” but “perfectly modern” too, with “earthy” textures and tones, “elegantly unadorned” walls in forest-green, ochre and rose, and nothing “stuffy or chintzy” in sight.

A biodynamic farm on the estate supplies the two “wonderful” restaurants, which are both overseen by Skye Gyngell; a spa will open this year. Activities include trail running, wild swimming and rowing on the ornamental lake.

4

Phuket, Thailand

Six Senses hotel view of pool

Six Senses Yao Noi

This “barefoot luxe haven” lies on a peaceful island mid-way between Phuket and Krabi. With its sublime views over the cerulean waters and “dramatic” limestone sea-stacks of Phang Nga Bay, it is worth visiting just to watch the sunrise, says Lee Cobaj in The Daily Telegraph – but its charms don’t end there. It also has an “insanely photogenic” hilltop infinity pool, a gorgeous white beach and a spa that is “one of the best in the region”.

Its 56 thatched villas have driftwood canopy beds, sunken bathtubs with sea views, and large decks with pools. There’s a long list of complimentary activities, including yoga, “mini-massages” and watersports, and the food is good, with a strong emphasis on local cuisine made with ingredients from the hotel’s gardens.

5

Portofino, Italy

Belmond Splendido Mare

Belmond Splendido Mare

Portofino is the jewel of the Italian Riviera, and the Splendido Mare is worthy of it, says Condé Nast Traveller. Occupying what was once a guest house for fishermen, it is the “harbourside sister” of the larger Splendido – the hotel on the hillside above, which became famous as a “magnet for movie stars” (Elizabeth Taylor spent four of her honeymoons there).

Having recently emerged from a subtle but “exquisite” refurbishment, the Mare’s interior features Loro Piana fabrics, local terracotta tiles and plenty of “nautical nods” in its 14 rooms. In the restaurant, Enrico and Roberto Cerea stick to simpler dishes than in their Michelin-starred establishment in Bergamo. Their breakfast banquets are a particular joy, best enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the “emerald” bay.

6

St Barths

Hotel Le Toiny

Hotel Le Toiny

The only privately owned five-star hotel on the French Caribbean island of St Barths, this “tropical sanctuary” mixes “old-school English hospitality” with pleasing interior design and “epic” sea views, says Celina D’Abo in Tatler.

Located on the island’s “wild” side, away from most of its other resorts, it was bought in 2015 by hoteliers Charlie and Mandie Vere Nicoll and has recently emerged from a makeover by British designer Bee Osborn. Its 22 villas are set on the hillside above Toiny Bay, with private pools and calming, neutral interiors. Below them is a four-bedroom villa once owned by Rudolf Nureyev, with a terrace cantilevered over the sea, and an excellent beach club – although strong currents mean it’s not a great beach to swim off.

7

Paris

Cheval Blanc

Cheval Blanc

Housed in the early 20th century Samaritaine department store building – a few doors down from the Louvre – the LVMH group’s first urban hotel is “a chic addition to the 1st arrondissement”, says Tatler.

American architect Peter Marino has made the most of the spectacular views it commands across the Seine in his interiors, with floor-to-ceiling windows and the clever use of mirrors.

The 72 rooms are “feminine, light-filled, white-on-white affairs”, with marble bathrooms featuring “lotions and potions” created by the Dior “nose” François Demachy. Elsewhere, striking modern art adds a dash of colour. There’s a rooftop bar with views of the Eiffel Tower, and four restaurants, including Plénitude, from Arnaud Donckele, who was voted best chef in the world in 2019.

8

Perthshire

Gleneagles Hotel

Gleneagles Hotel

An hour’s drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh, this “old dame” has long been known for its warm service and the array of country pursuits it offers, from clay shooting to fishing and falconry. But now it has “a dash of hipster gloss” too, said The Times, thanks to a recent £30m makeover by the Ennismore company (which also owns the Hoxton Hotels in London).

The exterior – a “baronial” building with modern extensions – is not that appealing; but the interiors “ooze luxury”, with “light-filled” living rooms, antique four-poster beds in the 232 bedrooms, and “tubs for two” in the suites. Of its six restaurants, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie is the only one in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars. There’s a spa, and on the hotel’s 850-acre estate are tennis courts and several golf courses.

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