3 heavenly hotels that will make you want to travel again
Although it’s wise to stay in and away from others for awhile, nothing is stopping you from enjoying a place that’s all your own. Check out these three private options for some much-deserved rest and relaxation.
According to owner Kevin Wendle, the spectacular white-sand beaches are what will lure you in.
“I knew that if I wanted to have the best beach resort in the world, I would need to start with the best beach — everything else could be fixed,” he said.
From that dream grew Hotel Esencia, a private, luxury getaway in Xpu Ha, Mexico. Complete with mid-century modern furniture by Pierre Jeanneret — such as armless teak chairs, sofas and armchairs — Serge Mouille metal, aluminum and brass tripod floor lamps and Charlotte Perriand chairs, it offers as much visual stimulation indoors as outdoors. The walls are adorned with some of the biggest names in art, including an Andy Warhol print, drawings by Fernando Botero and Eduardo Santiere and vases by Pablo Picasso.
“The estate’s provenance as a place of leisure for nobility is the guiding inspiration for a modern reimagining,” explained Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, the hotel’s artistic director. “While preserving the many qualities of the hotel, every detail was redefined and reinvigorated. The strong architectural features of the hotel are reinforced by an entire collection of furniture designed especially for Hotel Esencia, as well interior accessories such as hand-woven rugs, bed throws, custom tableware and ceramics, among others. All are subtly paying a homage to mid-century design and art in Mexico and, more generally, places of leisure, from California to the French Riviera to Acapulco. We work as much as possible with artisans and craftsmen, and our policy is that if it can be custom-made, following our designs and, in many cases, handmade in Mexico, that’s the way to go.”
Despite the intense work that goes into curating every detail, the atmosphere of the hotel is laid-back, luxurious and welcoming. Wendle wants the space to feel as comfortable as home.
Surrounding Hotel Esencia are natural water and jungle attractions, including natural pools and underground, freshwater rivers. The Sian Ka’an is a popular place to visit, according to Gutiérrez, because of its canals and lagoons inhabited by manatees, crocodiles and hundreds of bird species. Visitors can also take a day-trip to Tulum and Coba, as well as Valladolid, Izamal and Mérida.
“We have spectacular sunrises, so many guests do get up early to see the sun rise from the middle of the sea, then go to our beachfront restaurant for breakfast or enjoy our daily morning yoga class under a breezy thatch roof palapa in the garden,” Gutiérrez said. “The rest of the day is dedicated to our glorious beach; our guests appreciate the luxury of peace and tranquility — reading, relaxing, swimming, mixed with a little bit of snorkeling or paddle boarding in the shallow waters of Xpu Ha bay where we are located.”
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
Nestled on the tip of Cap d’Antibes, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has been the backdrop for deeply glamorous tête-à-têtes and soirées for 150 years. Throughout that long history, it has hosted many of the giants of the artistic, cinematic, literary and political worlds — and, of course, royalty. To celebrate this momentous anniversary year, the hotel’s cuisine has been given a complete overhaul in collaboration with three-Michelin star chef Eric Frechon from the Oetker Collection sister hotel Le Bristol Paris. Frechon has worked alongside Hotel du Cap’s Executive Chef Arnaud Poëtte to push the boundaries of perfection even further. This has culminated in exciting new menus for all three restaurants with updated décor by renowned interior designer Patricia Anastassiadis.
New Look, Timeless Feel
The spaces of each restaurant have been entirely re-designed, combining contemporary, bespoke furniture with original architectural features, placing emphasis on the spectacular sea views. A palette of azure blue and emerald has been used throughout, inspired by the infinite blue of the Mediterranean and the deep green canopy of the pines. The décor uses colour and precious materials to narrate the eternal meeting of the rocks and sea. Anastassiadis’s goal was to explore and honor the past while embracing the enduring timeless elegance of the hotel.
“Our mission is to turn precious moments into magical memories,” said Phillippe Perd, the hotel’s managing director.
This restaurant is a quintessential symbol of summer for many of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc’s loyal guests. The spectacular terrace overlooking the sea is a relaxed dining venue for both lunch and dinner. The same menu is served at both sittings and encompasses the spirit of a contemporary brasserie offering traditional Mediterranean dishes, international classics and exotic specialities.
The fish bar serves fresh ceviche, carpaccio, tartare and other marinated fish, all using the local catch of the day. Main courses include cod with provençal aioli, morel and asparagus pasta; Irish angus entrecôte, pea risotto, chanterelles and aged parmesan; melted croque-monsieur with truffle butter and vitello tonnato and grilled lobsters. For dessert, cakes meant for sharing take center stage, like the sumptuous rum baba, along with traditional plated desserts, such as the sinfully delicious chocolate lava cake and crème brûlée with Piedmont hazelnuts. The dessert display also includes local fruits.
Breakfast and lunch are both served at the Eden-Roc Restaurant, accompanied by awe-inspiring views of the sea and Lérins Island. Breakfast is an array of traditional French pastries as well as delicious fresh fruit, eggs and other balanced options, while lunch is freshly-caught local fish, grilled meats and homemade desserts, all served with just-baked homemade breads. Dishes all use hand-picked herbs from the garden, and as the seasons change, so does the menu. For dessert, Lilian Bonnefoi has interpreted traditional recipes with a local twist — think provençal almond calissons, Saint-Honoré cake with stewed white peaches and wild strawberry mille-feuille.
“As with all of our renovations, the challenge was to respect our 150 years of history while at the same time anticipating the future, which Eric Frechon and Patricia Anastassiadis have both achieved with their remarkable expertise,” Perd said. “They have offered us a more contemporary interpretation that is perfectly in line with Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc’s timeless luxury and with the expectations of our loyal guests.”
An Anniversary to Remember
Although the pandemic has prevented the hotel from throwing a grand 150-year birthday bash, there are still local experiences to enjoy. As Perd explained, the cabana experience has been foundational to the ethos of the Rivera since the 1930s.
“It is a parenthesis out of time, listening to the waves, facing the immensity of the Mediterranean and facing the Lerins Islands,” he said. “There are only 31 cabanas where you can while away the hours and have lunch al fresco.”
The Lanesborough Club & Spa is one of London’s most exclusive fitness and health clubs, offering members and hotel guests access to internationally-recognized experts and leaders in the fields of fitness, beauty and wellness. It offers a 360-degree approach to well-being for modern-day Londoners, seeking to offer an environment within which members can re-invigorate, re-energize and relax, mirroring The Lanesborough’s core principles of being vibrant, elegant and grand.
Design firm 1508 London furthered the tone of the hotel’s 2015 renovation while simultaneously generating a new design aesthetic totally unique to The Lanesborough Club & Spa when it officially opened in 2017. Inspired by the ceremonial spaces and intimate areas associated with a Roman bath spa, 1508 London respected and re-imagined the classical aesthetic of the hotel while creating an inimitable strength of character. The concept team sought to create a balanced hybrid of luxury club and lounge with fitness and spa retreat.
The interiors have British characteristics and classical details, as British materials and craftsmanship have been used throughout. Silk wallpapers, wood panelling and leather upholstering give an opulent feel, while colors, such as peacock-blue satins, deep green silks and bronze trims, complement the classical beauty of oak, marble and stone.
The Lanesborough Club & Spa is accessed via the hotel and also by a members-only entrance on Grosvenor Crescent. A stately and traditional lobby set under the easterly wing of the hotel welcomes guests into a social area with the tone of a private club. This area features a members-only restaurant with semi-private dining area flanked by a manicure and pedicure suite (The Painting Room) and an expansive fitness area.
Moving through to a quieter central zone, spaces split to intimate male and female zones, changing rooms and thermal suites surrounding a central spa treatment lounge and series of elegant treatment rooms. The easterly side of The Lanesborough Club & Spa will be a mixed area with a hydro-pool designed to encourage quiet contemplation and relaxation.
Nearby local experiences include outdoor fitness classes at Hyde Park, including running tracks with a view of the London skyline.
Proud to partner with the world’s leading brands and experts in the fields of health, fitness beauty and wellbeing, The Lanesborough Club & Spa operates with a collection of resident experts and residencies. Partners include much-loved spa and beauty brands La Prairie and Ila, super-facialist and beauty expert Anastasia Achilleos, the creator of The Couture Brow Suzanne Martin and, as of last year, “Queen of Green Beauty” Tata Harper.
“We have total exclusivity in London,” said Jessica Sardo, general manager of the Lanesborough Club & Spa, of the partnership. “We are so glad to be working with this high-class brand and offering 100% natural, anti-ageing skincare to our guests.”
The Club & Spa also welcomed Bodhimaya, the award-winning wellness retreat specialists, with a brand-new residency and mind-focused Day and Overnight Retreats. Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, holistic beauty specialist Mikiko Hayano will also join as a consultant and visiting practitioner, showcasing her unique, integrated therapy, later in 2020.