Condé Nast Traveler has just released the results of its annual Readers’ Choice survey for the Best Hotel in the World. It revealed that the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai luxury hotel is the 2011 winner of this prestigious title.
In second place was Peninsula House in the Dominican Republic, just ahead of the Four Seasons Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. Luxury hotels in South Africa, which have done very well in tourism awards so far this year, was represented by the Safari Lodge at Phinda Private Game Reserve which was given fourth place.
The awards are chosen by a large cross-section of business and leisure travelers as over 28,000 readers submitted their top choice. The same process was used for readers to vote for the best city in each country. Here the United States winner was Charleston, South Carolina. Quebec City was voted top city in Canada and San Miguel de Allende won for Mexico.
Further awards were given for each continent, giving travelers more ideas for some great city trips. Sydney, Australia was voted the top city to visit in the Oceania section, Buenos Aires won for Central and South America, Kyoto won in Asia and the lovely city of Florence, Italy won the award for best city in Europe.
Despite an onslaught of hype and billions of dollars invested, Dubai did not get a mention until #49 when the Park Hyatt Dubai was named, well behind more modest offerings in England, New Zealand and Greece.
Everybody’s idea of affordable luxury is different. What some consider a reasonable sum for a luxury hotel per night, offers may consider a fortune. However, reports show that some luxury villas cost the same per night as an average family sedan.
Take the 2011 Ford Taurus, for example. Described as a balance of beauty and strength with a well-appointed console of features, prices for a basic model start from $26,245. Not a bad price for hopefully seven years of comfortable family motoring. But would you be happy paying that same amount per night for a luxury villa?
The Caribbean island of St Barts is where the wealthiest travelers seek rest and relaxation, far from the stresses of the remainder of the world. But a six-bedroom, six-bathroom estate at the Sand Club apparently costs between $21,428 and $35,714 per night, depending upon the season.
A beachfront location, stunning pool deck and a wine cellar are included along with breathtaking waterfront views across Flambards Beach and staff at your disposal 24/7. Alternatively, checkout the luxury hotels on Anguilla, St Martin and St Barthelemy for great value with Luxique.com and put the savings towards that new sedan!
The chance to stay in an old English Fortress on the small island of Jersey will no doubt appeal to many looking for a historic or romantic way to experience the island’s past. This pretty English territory lies just 12 nautical miles off the Normandy coast of France and is known for its mild weather and unspoilt natural beauty.
The novel vacation accommodation in various old fortifications is however more historical than luxurious, with cast iron doors and bare stone walls. One example is the former military bunker, built by prisoners of the Nazis who occupied the island during World War II. It is part of an old concrete radio tower but the top floor makes a great observation room with 360 degree views across the island.
This and nine other historic fortified buildings are being renovated by Jersey Heritage to preserve the island’s history and culture. The strategically located island was constantly fought over by the English and French naval forces in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The buildings include La Tour Cârée, formerly a Battery Tower, and several Martello Towers which were built to defend the shores of this 46 square mile island. Fort Leicester at Bouley Bay offers stunning sea views and the opportunity to hike across the causeway to the nearby Seymour Tower at low tide. The most attractive building in the project is the red and white striped Archirondel Tower, built as a garrison in 1792 and now used as a navigational landmark.
However, those who prefer to stay in a real luxury hotel on Jersey may prefer the Chateau la Chaire, bookable through Luxique.com, which offers plenty of 18th century history without having to rough it in a draughty fortress.
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels
When describing the newly opened Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong, you are likely to run out of superlatives, for not only is it the tallest hotel in the world, it is also one of the most innovative. It has the first ever Chocolate Library, the highest bar in the world and one of the largest ballrooms in Hong Kong. Other bold moves are the floor-to-ceiling mirrors – in the shower – and the fitness room equipment which reads your weight settings and preferred routines onto each piece of high-tech equipment from your personal USB drive.
Above the infinity-edge swimming pool the LED screens on the ceiling change from moods to scenes. They feature everything from calming seas to the beauty of the seasons and from modern art to the night sky. Every visit will be a new experience.
In a country known for its tea, this exceptional luxury hotel in Hong Kong has a tearoom with a bedazzling choice of dozens of teas, all stored in special tea caddies in the floor-to-ceiling cubbyholes. Not to be outdone, the wine wall wraps around the walls of the restaurant and displays over 6,000 bottles to choose from.
Non-residents can pop in and take the express elevators to the Ozone, which has unrivalled views over the city from the 118th floor windows. If you want a clearer view, all the guest rooms come with a telescope on a tripod, not for looking up at the stars, but for looking down at the world in miniature below!
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels