In a year of inspiring travels, a number of magnificent properties stood out. Some 5-star hotels didn’t make the list because service wasn’t their first priority.
It isn’t only about service or décor. Sometimes it’s the thoughtfulness behind little touches that make hotels like home. Sometimes it is the overall attitude that lets you know you’re in the hands of professionals. It should be seamless from when the smiling doorman ushers you in until the happy valet packs your bags into the car.
Here’s our list (in no particular order) of our dream hotels, 2017.
Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston, Massachusetts
In a city where all the major luxury hotel brands are represented, you are spoilt for choice in Beantown. Many claim a part of American history. The Fairmont Copley Plaza may not be the oldest it certainly is one of the grandest hotels in all of the USA.
Architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh also designed New York’s Plaza Hotel. The impressive entrance hallway or Peacock Alley is spectacular and the foyer with a 6.4m-gilded coiffed ceiling features a pair of exquisite Empire style crystal chandeliers.
The oversized modern rooms and suites maintain the hotel’s magnificence with wall-to-wall marble bathrooms complete with toilet roll covers emblazoned with the Fairmont ‘F’. The hotel anticipates each guest’s every need with attentive service and remarkable attention to detail. www.fairmont.com/copley-plaza-boston/
Grace Mayflower Inn and Spa Washington, Connecticut
If there ever was a hotel that could make Downtown Abbey look shabby it is the Grace Mayflower. The former boy’s school is a series of historic buildings set in 24 hectares of dreamy gardens and woodlands.
Our suite was nothing short of dazzling – chic without the prissy. An antique, canopied four-poster bed with requisite bed step was draped in the most elegant eau-de-nil silk. The refined suite was a feast of velvet, crystal and marble and phenomenally comfortable.
Little touches of a delicious cheese and fruit plate with a crystal decanter of port makes the usual turn down of plastic water bottle and chocolate look seriously lacking.
The Grace Mayflower Inn and Spa offers a wonderland of spaces and experiences. Truly exceptional. Bonus points for gentle make-up remover wipes. https://www.gracehotels.com/mayflower
The Griswold Inn Essex, Connecticut
The Griswold Inn is the oldest continually operating inn in the U.S. Since 1776 it has also been the community gathering-place for one of New England’s most charming villages.
From the historic Tap Room where the nightly entertainment is always lively to the award-winning Wine Bar, ‘the Gris’ is remarkable. The walls are covered with historic portraits and marine art. Monday nights see locals flock to sing sea shanties while downing a couple of brews.
Upstairs the original floorboards creak in the warren of hallways. The rooms and suites have an old-world loveliness with fireplaces and oriental rugs.
Like the White House, the beds are Leonard’s and also require a bed step. Also receives bonus points for make-up remover wipes. Utterly charming. http://griswoldinn.com/
Elements of Byron, Byron Bay
Eco-Romance©. It’s a ‘thing’. I know because I thought of it just a few days ago. It’s the ultimate mix of luxury with an environmental conscience. Think of it as couple’s therapy without all the talking.
Cue the birdsong and soothing sounds of the ocean and faint hint of eucalypts to ensure instant relaxation. Forget the pina coladas; it’s all about long romantic walks on an endless stretch of pristine, white, powder soft sand. Then crack a bottle of bubbly and turn down the lights.
At Elements of Byron, your every whim has been taken care of before you even think of it. From seamless check-in to simple checkout it is all relaxed. Your only drama is trying to work out why you didn’t stay longer. One of Australia’s best.
Hotel Viking Newport, Rhode Island
The simplest way to describe the Hotel Viking is splendid. It is gracious because of its unpretentious luxury – cosy and comforting. Atop Newport’s Historic Hill neighbourhood, the hotel is a grand dame of elegance in a city dominated by Gilded Age ‘cottages’.
Each individually designed suite in the Viking Wing captures the style of one of Newport’s famous mansions. The spacious Bellevue suites are a little more modern in style but no less elegant. With two bathrooms and a parlour like living area, these suites optimise the Hotel Viking’s aim to please.
Nothing is too much trouble for the friendly staff. The Hotel Viking is also close to many of the city’s highlights.
ThisMagnificentLife was hosted at all of these hotels – but our opinions are our own.