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Places to stay - Directors favourites

Argentina

$$$$ Estancia Los Potreros Cordoba

Directors favourites

High in the rolling hill above Argentina’s second city Cordoba deep in gaucho country, the Estancia Los Potreros is a unique family-run 6000 acre, working cattle ranch steeped in family history. 

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$$$$$ Estancia Eolo El Calafate

Directors favourites

Just outside Calafate, nestled in 300 hectares of magnificent, rolling steppe within the Anita valley, the Estancia Eolo is a glorious property that evokes the unique spirit of Patagonia.

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$$$$$ Estancia Helsingfors El Chalten & Mount Fitzroy

Directors favourites

Perched on the banks of Lake Viedma at the heart of the Los Glaciares National Park, Helsingfors is an historic estancia, some 1½ hours’ drive from Calafate.

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$$$$ Rincon del Socorro The Ibera Wetlands

Directors favourites

Located deep in the remote, wildlife-rich Ibera Wetlands, the Estancia Rincon del Socorro is a charming, luxury eco-lodge and former cattle ranch nestled in 12,000 hectares of vibrant lake, marsh and gallery forest.

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Bolivia

$$$$$ Airstream Camper Uyuni and the southern highlands

Directors favourites

What better way to explore the dazzling, white expanse of the Salar de Uyuni salt-lake than with your own vintage Airstream Camper?

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Brazil

$$$$$ Belmond Hotel das Cataratas Iguassu Falls

Directors favourites

The height of 5* luxury and elegance at the heart of the national park, Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is a sumptuous colonial hotel and one of only two properties that directly overlooks the thunderous Iguassu Falls, one of South America’s greatest natural marvels.

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$$$$$ Txai Resort Itacare and surrounds

Directors favourites

Style and soul amidst miles of idyllic, palm-fringed beach, welcome to Txai, one of Brazil’s most exclusive boutique resorts! Tucked away amongst palm groves within an old cacao estate, Txai encapsulates the beauty and charm of Bahia and is located 50km north of Ilheus.

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$$$$ Pousada Picinguaba Paraty and the Green Coast

Directors favourites

Just one hour’s drive from the picturesque colonial town of Paraty, the Pousada Picinguaba evokes the best of Brazil’s glorious “Costa Verde” coast, a small tropical hideaway tucked amongst Atlantic Rainforest and soaring peaks overlooking idyllic islands and golden bays.

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$$$$$ Belmond Copacabana Palace Rio de Janeiro

Directors favourites

Rio’s landmark hotel, the legendary Belmond Copacabana Palace evokes the style and grandeur of the 1920’s, a glamorous art-deco hotel that rises above the golden sands of Copacabana beach.

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Cambodia

$$$$ Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh

Directors favourites

Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, Le Royal is only 20 minutes' drive from the International Airport and within easy access of the city's attractions such as the Royal Palace, Central Market, Russian Market and the National Artefacts Museum. It is the premier hotel in Phnom Penh, a hotel with those rare attributes of both history and style.

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$$$$$ Phum Baitang Siem Reap & the Angkor Temples

Directors favourites

Architecturally designed, award winning ‘Phum Baitang’ is a luxurious green village set on 8 acres, in beautiful Siem Reap Cambodia. 

Elevated timber boardwalks intersect the gardens scattered with fresh paddy fields and crops, where guests can experience Cambodian history, culture and way of life.

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$$$$ Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor Siem Reap & the Angkor Temples

Directors favourites

For more than 75 years, a trip to the magnificent temple complex of Angkor has been synonymous with a stay at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor. Located in the heart of Siem Reap, the hotel is only eight kilometres from the temple site. Now sensitively restored, the hotel's renewed style and modernity complement the mystery and grandeur of Angkor as never before.

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$$$$$ Song Saa Private Island Sihanoukville

Directors favourites

Song Saa Private Island lies secluded just 35 minutes by boat from the port of Sihanoukville on the west coast of Cambodia. Most of the islands in the Koh Rong Archipelago remain undeveloped – deserted oases of virgin rainforests, tropical reefs and glistening white beaches.

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Chile

$$$$$ Hotel Vira Vira Pucon and surrounds

Directors favourites

Established in September 2014, the Vira Vira is a charming hotel and working farm overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Liucura River set against a backdrop of towering volcanoes.

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$$$$ Luciano K Santiago

Directors favourites

Luciano K is among the latest additions to Santiago’s growing contemporary scene, a landmark art-deco boutique hotel originally designed by the eminent Chilean architect Luciano Kulczewski.

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$$$$ Alto Atacama The Atacama Desert

Directors favourites

Nestled amongst the terracotta canyons of the Catarpe Valley close to the pre-Inca fortress of Pukara de Quitor, the Alto Atacama is a beautiful boutique hotel at the heart of the Atacama Desert.

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$$$$$ Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa The Carretera Austral

Directors favourites

A charming haven of peace and tranquility amidst the majesty of northern Patagonia, the Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa is hidden deep in the wilds of the Carretera Austral, a bumpy 4 hour’s drive from Coyhaique. Perched at the foot of a steep forested fjord overlooking the crystal clear waters of the bay, the lodge is the ultimate retreat and one of Chile’s finest natural spas.
 

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$$$$$ Hotel Tierra Chiloe The Islands of Chiloe

Directors favourites

Ground breaking architecture in an island rich in history and folklore, Hotel Tierra Chiloe is a welcome addition to Chiloe, perched on the Rilan peninsula, some 18 kms southeast of Castro.

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$$$$$ The Singular Torres del Paine National Park

Directors favourites

A magnificent property perched on the Last Hope Sound just outside Puerto Natales. The Singular is one of Chile’s finest luxury hotels and offers a taste of authentic Patagonia amidst rich history and glorious landscapes.

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$$$$ Hotel Zero Valparaiso

Directors favourites

Tucked amongst Valparaiso’s cobbled streets atop Cerro Alegre hill, the Hotel Zero is a charmingly restored, three-storey townhouse, and delightful boutique hotel dating back to the turn of the century.

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China

$$$$ The Opposite House Beijing

Directors favourites

This wonderful hotel is located in the heart of the sophisticated and cosmopolitan Beijing district of Sanlitun, just steps from some of the city’s finest and most vibrant shopping and nightlife areas home to Beijing’s first open plan shopping mall - The Village Sanlitun (North and South), and is home to both local and international designer boutiques and plenty of restaurants and cafes.

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$$$$$ Amanfayun Hangzhou

Directors favourites

Amanfayun lies hidden in a valley to the west of West Lake in Hangzhou. The 20-minute drive along densely wooded bamboo and tree-lined avenues from the centre of Hangzhou takes you past the botanical gardens and inner waterways of West Lake, to the temples and village of Tianzhu. The resort lies just beyond the village, below North Peak and adjacent to the Lingyin and Yongfu Temples. 

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$$$ Li An Lodge Longsheng (Longji rice terraces)

Directors favourites

Li-An Lodge, an entirely wood structure built using the traditional Chinese technique of tongue and groove without a single nail, is located on top of a small mountain, bordering a local village and overlooking lush green rice terraces.

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$$$$ Jing’s Residence Pingyao

Directors favourites

Nestled amongst dusty curio shops and traditional noodle restaurants in the old world walled city of Pingyao is the 19-room Jing's Residence. The design of this small boutique hotel echoes harmoniously with its surroundings, which has been established in the former siheyuan (courtyard home) of a wealthy Qing Dynasty silk merchant. 

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$$$$$ Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai

Directors favourites

Proud, legendary, traditional and lavish, the Fairmont Peace Hotel, overlooking Shanghai’s Huangpu River and the infamous Bund, boasts a history that overshadows that of any other hotel in the China. Its origins date back over 80 years and the hotel has served as a glamorous playground for the social elite of Shanghai and diplomats and celebrities from across the globe. 

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$$$$ Les Suites Orient Shanghai

Directors favourites

Les Suites Orient Hotel is located in the centre of Shanghai, along the city’s prestigious Bund area, with rooms and suites offering stunning views over the Huangpu River and the Pudong District.

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Costa Rica

$$$$ Arenal Nayara Arenal

Directors favourites

Arenal Nayara is a beautiful boutique resort immersed in lush tropical gardens with wonderful views of the smouldering Arenal Volcano. Located just outside the small town of La Fortuna, this award-winning hotel is a charming base from which to explore the national park.

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$$$$ Lapa Rios Osa Peninsula

Directors favourites

Ocean and jungle combine at the wonderful Lapa Rios, a beautiful eco retreat and thousand acre private reserve hidden amongst lush tropical forest deep in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Built on a natural ridge, the lodge rises high above the lush canopy and boasts wonderful views over the sparkling waters of the Pacific and Golfo Dulce Bay.

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$$$$ Monte Azul San Gerardo de Dota

Directors favourites

Contemporary art meets eco-tourism at the stylish Monte Azul, a luxury mountain lodge and 125 acre private reserve located some 3 hour’s drive from San Jose within the lush foothills of Mount Chirripo.

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$$$$$ Pacuare Lodge San Jose and the Central Valleys

Directors favourites

Wildlife, adventure and simple luxury at the heart of the Talamanca mountains! The Pacuare Lodge is a beautiful jungle retreat overlooking the pristine Pacuare River shrouded in glorious rainforest. To arrive, guests raft in through the river’s steep canyon walls negotiating an exhilarating series of class 2-3 rapids.

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Ecuador

$$$$ Hacienda San Agustin de Callo Cotopaxi National Park

Directors favourites

In the shadow of the spectacular Cotopaxi Volcano 2 hours from Quito, the San Agustin de Callo is a sumptuous colonial hacienda and once Augustinian convent built on the ruins of a 15th century Inca palace.
 

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$$$$ Mansion Alcazar Cuenca

Directors favourites

A colonial gem at the heart of historic Cuenca, the Mansion Alcazar is an elegant turn-of-the-20th-century townhouse that has been lovingly converted into one of the city’s finest boutique hotels.

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$$$$$ Mashpi Lodge Mindo Cloud-forest

Directors favourites

Striking contemporary design at the heart of Mindo’s steamy cloud-forest, the Mashpi Lodge is the first of its kind in South America. Nestled in a 3212 acre private reserve, the lodge was constructed with sustainability at its very core and blends seamlessly into the surrounding forest, a bio-diversity “hotspot” that boasts a staggering 500 species of birds.

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$$$$$ Casa Gangotena Quito

Directors favourites

Overlooking the cobbled Plaza San Francisco at the very heart of Quito’s historic old town, the Casa Gangotena is a sumptuous colonial mansion and boutique hotel. Dating back to the days of the conquistadors and lavishly restored, the Casa Gangotena offers a slice of Ecuador’s rich history amidst an eclectic mix of architectural styles.

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Hong Kong

$$$$$ Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Hong Kong Island

Directors favourites

This newly renovated, iconic hotel is located overlooking the glittering Victoria Harbour. The hotel has been the centre of Hong Kong’s social and business scene since 1963 and this glamorous past is echoed in the lavish redesign which saw whole hotel completely transformed into the vanguard of modern luxury.

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$$$$$ InterContinental Hong Kong Kowloon

Directors favourites

This wonderful hotel is ideally situated in the heart of the business, entertainment and shopping area of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. It overlooks the breath-taking Victoria Harbour and enjoys spectacular views across to the iconic skyline of Hong Kong Island.

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$$$$$ The Peninsula Kowloon

Directors favourites

Since first opening its rather grand doors back in the roaring 1920’s The Peninsula Hong Kong has long been hailed as one of the finest hotels in the world. The legendary "Grande Dame of the Far East" continues to set hotel standards worldwide, offering a blend of the best of Eastern and Western hospitality in an atmosphere of unmatched classical grandeur and timeless elegance.

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India

$$$$$ The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra - Taj Mahal

Directors favourites

Located just 600 metres from the iconic Taj Mahal, and with every guestroom offering views of the magnificent monument, the luxurious Amarvilas is one of the world’s best hotels.

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$$$$ Glenburn Tea Estate Darjeeling

Directors favourites

Located about an hour’s drive from Darjeeling, in the spectacular foothills of the Himalaya, Glenburn Tea Estate is a simply stunning boutique property situated on a working tea estate.

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$$$$ The Imperial Delhi

Directors favourites

This Delhi institution, whose design was inspired by legendary architect Edwin Lutyens, successfully blends Victorian, colonial and art deco designs to create one of Asia’s most lavish and visually stunning properties.

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$$$ Raas Jodhpur

Directors favourites

Situated in the walled city of Jodhpur, at the foot of the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort and a stone’s throw from the Clock Tower; stands Raas.

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$$$$ Mihir Garh Rohet

Directors favourites

Located in the heart of the Thar desert approximately 1 hour’s drive from Jodhpur sits this spectacular boutique hotel. Translating to Fort of the sun, Mihir Garh is the brainchild of Rajput husband-and-wife owners, Sidharth and Rashmi Singh, who also own nearby heritage hotel Rohet Garh.

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Malaysia

$$$$$ The Datai Langkawi

Directors favourites

The Datai takes pride of place on a long stretch of powdery white-sand beach carefully secluded in a 750 hectare virgin rainforest on the northwestern tip of mystical Langkawi Island. The resort is, justifiably in our opinion, renown as one of the best in Malaysia – if not the whole of Asia.

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Mexico

$$$$ Hacienda San Jose Cholul Merida

Directors favourites

45 minutes’ drive from the state capital Merida, the Hacienda San Jose Cholul is a gorgeous 19th century colonial estate surrounded by lush forest and plantations. Small and intimate, San Jose retains its heady old-world charm with crumbling ruins set amidst beautifully restored verandahs and gardens.

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$$$$ Casa Oaxaca Oaxaca

Directors favourites

The Casa Oaxaca is charming 18th century colonial townhouse and an exclusive boutique property close to the bustling, historic heart of Oaxaca.

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$$$$ La Purificadora Puebla

Directors favourites

Contemporary design and colonial history merge at La Purificadora, a stylish boutique hotel that occupies a former 19th century water purification factory close to the centre of Puebla. 

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$$$$$ Maroma Resort & Spa Riviera Maya

Directors favourites

Palms tumble onto powder white sand framed by the dreamy turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The Maroma Resort & Spa is one of the Riviera Maya’s most exclusive hideaway hotels flanked by 200 acres of beach, jungle and coconut plantations just north of Playa del Carmen.

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Morocco

$$$$$ Royal Mansour Marrakech

Directors favourites

The Royal Mansour belongs to these rare places in the world that defy the codes of hotel excellence. 

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Myanmar (Burma)

$$$$ Mount Popa Resort Mount Popa

Directors favourites

Located a 45 minute drive beyond Bagan’s landscape of pagodas lies the geologic and cultural anomaly known as Mount Popa. Uniquely, because the resort sits perched on the half way up the 5000ft mountain, it has its own microclimate and affords fantastic views across to the Nat shrine. The lush moisture found on Popa’s hillsides stands in total contrast to the arid Bagan plains.

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$$$$ Sandoway Resort Ngapali

Directors favourites

This spectacular resort is nestled amongst coconut palms on the pristine beach frontage of Ngapali Beach in the Bay of Bengal. The hotel has been designed by a famous Italian architect and everything purpose built. It is just a 45 minute flight from Yangon to this wonderful 10km long stretch of beach.

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$$$$ Belmond Governor's Residence Yangon (Rangoon)

Directors favourites

This wonderful imposing teak mansion hotel dating from the 1920s is located in the elegant and quiet Embassy Quarter away from the noisy town centre yet just a few minutes drive to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda and ten minutes from the city centre.

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Peru

$$$$$ Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu

Directors favourites

Nestled in lush cloud-forest high above the village of Aguas Calientes, the Sanctuary Lodge is a smart Orient Express property overlooking the raging Urubamba River and Vilcabamba mountains on the very doorstep to Machu Picchu. 

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$$$$ Inkaterra Machu Picchu Machu Picchu

Directors favourites

Nestled deep in a private 12 acre cloud-forest reserve at the edge of Aguas Calientes, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu is an enchanting Andean village style hotel and resort perched at the foot of Machu Picchu. 

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Singapore

$$$$$ Raffles Singapore - City

Directors favourites

To the locals and tourists alike Raffles is as much an iconic landmark as a hotel and in 1987 was declared a National Landmark. With its restoration and reopening in 1991, Raffles Hotel today stands as a jewel in the crown of Singapore's hospitality industry, renowned and loved for its inimitable style and unsurpassed excellence in service and facilities. 

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South Africa

$$$$$ The Silo Cape Town

Directors favourites

Towering over the V&A Waterfront in a spectacular manner, the Silo Hotel has brought a fresh edge to the Cape Town hotel scene, surrounded by the natural wonder of South Africa’s Mother City. 

Built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo, the hotel occupies six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).

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$$$$ Grootbos Garden Lodge Garden Route

Directors favourites

Set in the picturesque mountain and sea landscape of the Hermanus area in the Western Cape, the exotic, stone and thatch retreat of Grootbos Garden Lodge is one of two lodges in the private 2,500 hectare Grootbos Nature Reserve. Perched on a slope of the Duineveld Mountain, Garden Lodge is surrounded by multi-hued flowers and lush fynbos foliage.

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$$$$ Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

Directors favourites

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge is located in the south western sector of the private concession of Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. 

Adjoining the unfenced Kruger National Park, game rambles freely between the reserves and the slightly elevated position of Bush Lodge provides uninterrupted bushveld views.

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$$$$$ Singita Ebony Lodge Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

Directors favourites

Nestled amongst enormous trees on the banks of the Sand River in the western Sabi Sand Private Reserve, is Singita Ebony, the original Singita Lodge. 

Ebony has a compelling presence while welcoming visitors with the warmth of a family home. 

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$$$$$ Tswalu Motse Tswalu Kalahari Private Reserve

Directors favourites

Against the dramatic backdrop of the Korannaberg Mountains, Tswalu Motse is an isolated oasis which lies baking beneath the Kalahari sun. 

Overlooking the stretches of semi-desert grasslands the property is scenically beautiful, its natural stone, thatch and wood structure illuminated by the changing light of day. 

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$$$$$ Tswalu Tarkuni Tswalu Kalahari Private Reserve

Directors favourites

Against the dramatic backdrop of the Korannaberg Mountains, Tswalu Tarkuni is an isolated oasis which lies baking beneath the Kalahari sun. 

Overlooking the stretches of semi-desert grasslands, the exclusive-use property is scenically beautiful, and ideal for families or small groups. 

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$$$$$ La Residence Winelands

Directors favourites

La Residence is nestled in the tranquil vineyards of Franschhoek Valley. It is located on a 30 acre private wine and olive estate commanding magnificent views of the surrounding area.
 

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$$$$$ Mont Rochelle Winelands

Directors favourites

 
Surrounded by picturesque vineyards and a dramatic mountain backdrop, the stunning Mont Rochelle is a haven of elegance and tranquillity. 
 
Located just outside Franschhoek and under an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the thatched property has a country-house feel and the stunning setting adding to the appeal. 
 

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Sri Lanka

$$$$$ Amangalla Galle

Directors favourites

Sitting within the ramparts of 17th century Galle fort, the Amangalla is a truly outstanding property. The original 150 year old hotel has been spectacularly restored by the renowned Aman group and now offers an unrivalled level of luxury in the heart of Galle Fort.

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$$$$ The Kandy House Kandy

Directors favourites

The Kandy House is located in a beautiful rural setting just a short drive from the centre of Kandy. The original property is over two hundred years old and has been lovingly converted into a stunning boutique hotel.

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$$$$ Stafford Bungalow Nuwara Eliya and Tea Country

Directors favourites

Stafford Bungalow is located in the rolling hills around 30 minutes away from Nuwara Eliya set within a 50 acre working tea plantation.

It was constructed in 1834 and encapsulates colonial history, with more recent renovations in 2013. It was the former home of the pioneering Scottish tea planters.

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$$$$ Water Garden Sigiriya Sigiriya

Directors favourites

The hotel’s rural location feels well off the beaten track, yet the rock fortress of Sigiriya, undoubtedly the region’s premier attraction, is within sight and just a 20-minute drive away. Paddy fields and trees surround the hotel’s substantial grounds, making it blissfully peaceful. 

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$$$$$ Amanwella Tangalle

Directors favourites

Amanwella is a located on a delightful 800 metre beachfront, near Tangalle. It is set amongst 36 acres of stunning coconut grove, making it the perfect retreat escape after a tour around the island.    

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Thailand

$$$$$ Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Bangkok

Directors favourites

The renowned service of The Oriental Bangkok dates back almost 130 years to when it was first opened as a seaman’s lodge along the Chao Phraya River. It typifies a golden age of travel and attends to guests needs at the highest level. All 358 stunning rooms and 35 suites have been designed with traditional Thai flair and are luxuriously appointed for your utmost comfort.

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$$$$$ The Peninsular Bangkok Bangkok

Directors favourites

In the 10 years or so since the hotel opened, the lavish riverside Peninsula Bangkok has quickly established itself as not only one of Bangkok's premium hotels but one of the world's best hotels, winning many awards and honours along the way.

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$$ Old Capital Bike Inn Bangkok

Directors favourites

A real Oasis favourite! Old Capital Bike Inn is a "boutique inn" that combines the charm of Bangkok's yesteryears with modern amenities and a refreshingly eco-friendly attitude. Conveniently located in Bangkok's Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok's historical and cultural quarters, the Inn is a stone's throw from Bangkok's major historical landmarks.

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$$$$ Anantara Resort Golden Triangle Chiang Rai & the Golden Triangle

Directors favourites

Perched on a ridge, near the small town of Chiang Saen, overlooking the hills of Myanmar and Laos, this property is as enchanting as the fabled Golden Triangle region in which it is located.

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$$$$$ Soneva Kiri Koh Kood

Directors favourites

Surrounded by pristine white sandy beaches and alluring turquoise waters this is one of Thailand’s (and in our opinion – the world’s) most awe-inspiring luxury resorts. Set nestled within 40 hectares of pristine rainforest this unique resort is situated on the remote island of Koh Kood, in the Gulf of Siam very near the Cambodian border.
 

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$$$$$ Rayavadee Krabi

Directors favourites

This breathtaking luxury resort is set on the stunning Railay Peninsula overlooking the Andaman Sea. Close proximity to Phuket and famous islands like Phi Phi as well as the stunning seascape of Phang Nga Bay make Rayavadee the perfect base for discovering this enchanted corner of the Kingdom.

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United Arab Emirates

$$$$$ Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi

Directors favourites

Combining business and pleasure, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel edges Abu Dhabi’s skyscrapers on one side - on the other, an expanse of mangroves and tranquillity refreshes. 

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Vietnam

$$$$ Sofitel Metropole Hanoi

Directors favourites

If you are the type of person that loves the old grandeur of colonial hotels then you will love Sofitel Metropole Hanoi.  Arriving at this hotel is like arriving on to a movie set.  The lobby with its stunning reception desk, with the original dark wooden boxes behind the desk and the staff in their traditional uniforms….you will be whisked back in time and reminded that you are truly experienc

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$$$$ Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi

Directors favourites

Hotel de l’Opera is located just a few steps away from Hanoi’s beautiful Opera House. The hotel gleans the best of Hanoi – colonial accents in the architecture and theatrical design with contemporary interiors. Being in the heart of the fascinating “old quarter” gives great walking access to the many small restaurants and bars as well as the interesting “36 streets”.

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$$$$$ Amanoi Vinh Hy Bay

Directors favourites

Located around an hour’s drive south from Nha Trang airport in the spectacular conservation area of Vinh Hy Bay, the Amanoi is a very welcome addition (Sep 2013) to Vietnam’s luxury hotel scene. Backed by a national park and overlooking a marine nature reserve, Amanoi embraces nature while providing a serene beachside retreat.

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