Enjoy all the benefits of a top-tier resort with all the privacy of a private residence with a stay at the Banyan Tree Samui. Perched on a private hill cove above the clear sapphire waters of Koh Samui, this unique resort consists of six different styles of villas, each with an attached private pool, comfortable bed, rainfall shower, minibar, Wi-Fi, and 40-inch TV. Also on site are a full-service spa, multiple dining and drinking venues — including the oceanside Sands — and a kids' club, so your children have something to do while you enjoy doing nothing at all.
The city of Amsterdam does a great job of blending the old with the new — so it's no surprise it's home to a hotel that does the same. Designed by Piero Lissoni, the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam is based around a 19th century building that was once home to the Sweelinck Music Conservatorium, which has been combined with a huge glass-covered atrium to create a space all its own. Inside, you'll find 129 rooms featuring modern furniture, free Wi-Fi, and upscale bathrooms with TVs in the mirrors, as well as a lounge, cafe, restaurant, and bar. Outside, the P.C. Hoofstraat and the city's best museums are just steps away.
As winter lingers on — seriously, go away already — it's okay to contemplate a sunny getaway to somewhere warm. Somewhere like La Samanna. This luxury resort boasts 56 suites, 25 bedrooms, and 8 three- and four-bedroom villas, all of which offer king size beds, private balconies or terraces, and either marble or Caribbean-style bathrooms. Also on site are two restaurants, two bars, a wine cellar, a full-service spa, tennis courts, a fitness center, two pools, and, of course, plenty of beachside cabanas. After all, you didn't come all this way to stay in your room, right?
Going on safari doesn't have to mean roughing it in tents and mosquito nets. At Lion Sands Game Reserve, you get to enjoy all the wildlife and natural beauty of a safari while resting your pampered head in a luxury accommodation. The property includes five lodges, each with multiple suites, as well as three treehouses that put you in the middle of the action while providing a more intimate stay. As for the animals you might see on your outings — they typically take place in the morning or early evening — there are too many to list, but some of the more notable species include elephants, rhinoceros, monkeys, zebra, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, leopards, and even honey badgers.
There are plenty of modern hotels to choose from in Beijing — but if you're looking for something with a bit more character, book a stay at The Temple Hotel. Housed in a temple compound that dates back over 600 years, this unique property offers close proximity to The Forbidden City, while also housing eight rooms, ranging in size from monk's quarters to the lavish Dragon & Phoenix suite. Also on site are a bar, restaurant, art gallery, and large garden and courtyard areas to let you escape the bustling city outside. [Scouted by Alec]
Sometimes being by the ocean just isn't enough. Sometimes you need to be atop the ocean. And for times like those, Velassaru Maldives is an ideal destination. Located in the Indian Ocean just a 25-minute speedboat ride from the airport in Malé, this private island resort offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from humble bungalows to over-water suites and villas, as well as five restaurants, two bars, a full-service spa, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Assuming you feel like doing anything more than just lounging in the water and taking in the views.
Yes, it's a chain hotel — but as anyone who's ever stayed at a W hotel can tell you, they rarely feel like one. The W Austin is no exception. Blending disparate design elements to form a style all it's own, this downtown hotel offers 251 guest rooms — including several VIP suites of varying size and luxury, from "Fantastic" all the way up to "Extreme Wow". The grounds are also home to a fantastic fourth-floor pool with cabanas, a bar, and a fireplace, the obligatory fitness center, a spa, Trace restaurant serving food from surrounding farms, and The Living Room bar that features four distinct areas: a tequila bar, a record room with over 8,000 vinyl selections and a McIntosh stereo system, a red-hued secret bar, and a screened porch. It might be worth the trip all by itself.
Enjoy a different kind of beachside escape with a trip to The Wickaninnish Inn. Set along Chesterman Beach, each of the 75 rooms at this upscale retreat offers panoramic ocean or beach views, as well as a fireplace, soaker tub, and balcony. Beyond the walls of your room, you'll find an excellent restaurant, the On the Rocks Bar and Lounge, a full-service spa, a beach-level cafe, a fitness center, a carving shed, a library, and plenty of paths and walkways from which to observe the surrounding natural beauty.
Sans Cravate is known as one of the best places in Bruges to grab a bite to eat, and there's nothing quite letting the full belly and warm, fuzzy feeling of a couple glasses of wine let you carry directly to bed after a meal. The folks behind La Suite Sans Cravate must agree. Serving as an extension of the restaurant, this three-room bed and breakfast offers unique spaces that blend rustic building materials with sleek, contemporary furnishings, as well as upscale features like rain showers, flat panel TVs, LED mood lighting, espresso machines, and, of course, a custom Sans Cravate breakfast in the morning.
If your next vacation is as much about recuperation as it is about rest, consider making a trip to Spa Village Resort Tembok. This exclusive resort on the island's Northeast coast boasts 27 standard rooms, two suites, and two completely private villas, all of which merge elements from traditional Balinese dwellings with Western elegance. Also on the grounds are a plunge pool, a beachside restaurant, and various buildings dedicated to yoga, spa treatments, wellness workshops, and even creativity class, all of which are designed to replenish not just your body but your mind, as well.
Not feeling up to a typical luxury ski resort? One Happo offers all the amenities of a five-star accommodation with one major missing ingredient: the people. This private chalet offers five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, and room for up to 10 spread across three floors. Up top you'll find the gourmet kitchen, stunning glass wine room, a heated deck with grill, a bar, and a lounge with a Bang and Olufsen TV. The second floor is home to all five bedrooms — including two with mountain views — while the first floor houses a gym, boxing dojo, spa, dry room, and laundry room. Of course, we've left out the best part, which is the direct access to the main Happo resort gondola and Olympic slopes, making this one of the most desirable ski accommodations in the world.
The name sounds adventurous, and there's plenty of it to enjoy at the Bay of Many Coves — but with its 5-star accommodations, you don't have to get any more adventurous than you want. Set on the Marlborough Sounds, this luxury resort offers one- two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as a high-end restaurant, an all-day lounge, a cafe, a day spa, a heated outdoor pool, a six-person cedar hot tub, and, of course, swimming at the Coves' private beaches.