Five exceptional hotels for glamorous escapes
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Conran cool in Marrakech
When Jasper Conran opened L’Hôtel Marrakech, his peerlessly stylish Marrakech riad, it was to great fanfare. Which, in a city said to have more than 1,000 such houses-turned-hospitality ventures – many of them, similarly, temples to high design – is saying something. But there is divinity in the details here. They cohere with particular elegance and delightfulness in the first-floor Casablanca and Fez Suites, which is where Conran’s sixth sense for mixing periods, textures and palettes meets ample indoor and outdoor spaces to play with it in. Kilims – on floors and furniture – and inlaid wood abound, as do the wrought-iron Moorish windows, varnished black, and buttercream-delicate tadelakt plaster on the walls (and in the huge bathtub). You can sit all day on the wide terrace and admire the courtyard garden and its lap pool. Or pull the white cotton-voile curtains to, and relish the quiet and privacy – which happen to be two of the medina’s scarcest luxuries. l-hotelmarrakech.com, from €560
Hong Kong’s view of views
Hong Kong Island address, or Hong Kong Island view, from Kowloon? It’s a matter of personal choice; but there’s one view that puts Kowloon decidedly in the lead: the one from the top floor of The Peninsula Hong Kong. The hotel’s Peninsula Suite is a splurge beyond, one strictly for the deep-pocketed (or for a very special occasion); but we’re not sure there’s another space that combines such a dazzling perspective on Victoria Harbour and the HK skyline with real provenance and history, of which the hotel has much to spare. There’s a Biedermeier sofa and an original contemporary art collection, a terrace overlooking the harbour, and a gleaming baby grand piano in the sitting room. Plus two bathrooms and a gym. (And, in the huge sitting room, a beautiful antique telescope. For those views, which is why you’re here.) peninsula.com, POA
Make like Rita Hayworth in LA
Jeff Klein’s Sunset Tower remains one of the stalwarts of old-world LA glamour: from the landmark art deco façade to the scrums of Hollywood power brokers populating the Tower bar and restaurant day and night, it manifests a centre-of-the-world energy that few other hotels in the city match. A night (or a few) in a Townhouse Suite here brings the full Golden Age of Cinema fantasy effect. The two-storey space, with its dark parquet floors, 20ft ceilings and wide terrace (complete with views of the city below) isn’t the biggest around, and it’s far from the flashiest. But renovations have left the whole hotel looking swanker than ever; and in these suites, Klein’s eye for proportion and designer Lisa Koch’s for tone results in warm, blush-hued light that makes everyone look like a star, so you can swish down the graceful curved staircase feeling properly Rita Hayworth. sunsettowerhotel.com, from about $2,800
A London Lodge fit for a prince
How do we love The Connaught? Let us count the ways: its exclusivity (just 121 rooms); its sexy chiaroscuro central stair and long, hushed halls; its zen Aman spa, hidden away on a subterranean level; its two championship bars, of course. And The Prince’s Lodge suite: in a hotel where every room is individually designed, this fifth-floor beauty stands out for sheer originality. Named for Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn – the third son of Queen Victoria – the relatively diminutive space (a bit under 600sq ft) punches way above its weight for design genius. The huge four-poster wooden bed was carved by hand in Kabul; likewise much of the other furniture (designer Guy Oliver worked in collaboration with the Turquoise Mountain foundation on the Lodge, which is meant to evoke the city’s famed Peacock Palace). Ornate, burnished wood panelling contrasts with limed rafter beams. A round porthole window lights the tiny study; two bay windows flanking the French doors that lead to a small balcony invite gazing and dreaming. A more romantic hotel space in London is hard to think of. the-connaught.co.uk; from £1,519
Top of the (Cape) Town
When it opened in 2017, Cape Town’s Silo Hotel broke a lot of ground. It was the first hotel to sit atop a major museum (Zeitz MOCAA, the contemporary African-art collection of conservationist-philanthropist Jochen Zeitz); it was the first in Africa designed by Thomas Heatherwick; and it was the first city property in Liz and Phil Biden’s Royal Portfolio, whose estates and safari lodges set bars across South Africa. All these elements come into play in The Silo’s Penthouse Suite: besides ticking all sorts of indulgence boxes (2,000-plus sq ft, private cinema, double bathrooms, a spa treatment room), it capitalises on Heatherwick’s unorthodox concave floor-to-ceiling windows to create triple-aspect views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and the Cape Town CBD. The ebullient decor is vintage Liz Biden (like Firmdale’s Kit Kemp, she’s beloved both for her liberal use of colour and her championing of local artists and artisans); and the hotel has its own private museum entrance. theroyalportfolio.com; from about $5,150