Small Luxury Hotels of the World is pleased to introduce four new hotels which joined the luxury collection in March. From a glamorous retreat in the south of France and an art deco villa in Germany to a congregation of exclusive townhouses in Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island, these hotels all have something unique and indulgent to offer the independently-minded traveller.
MUSE St Tropez – Ramatuelle, France
Encapsulating the laid-back glamour of the Riviera, MUSE St Tropez – Ramatuelle is a chic retreat where style is born from architectural simplicity embracing nature. Many of the 13 suites open onto private gardens complete with plunge pools and waterways meander through the lush gardens leading to a ‘water salon’ – a cabana-lined central pool that is idea for lounging, sipping sundowners or indulging in a massage. The various rooms offer everything from practical touches such as dedicated massage areas and duplex living to make the most of the views, to outdoor living space and showers, and even a private wine cellar. The restaurant, M, brings to life the flavours of the earth and sea with dishes such as Lobster with Yuzu jelly, petal of black radish and emulsion of citrus fruits while the spa is based on the hydolat technique in which droplets of essential oils are suspended in water. If guests can drag themselves away, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to the beach, as well as custom-made bicycles and a dog sitter!
SLH Insider Tip: Be sure to take a stroll through the enchanting gardens at Muse designed by landscape artist Sophie Agata Ambroise.
Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse; Hokkaido, Japan
The Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse is located at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri, a destination that has quietly become legendary among the skiing cognoscenti and is known for being one of the premier powder destinations in the world. With 2,191 acres of skiable terrain in winter, colourful blooms in spring and outdoor adventures galore in the summer this is a destinations for all seasons – now made all the more accessible by the extension of the bullet train service to Hokkaido which commences on 26th March. The eight exclusive townhouses are an ode to Japan’s heritage of merchant homes from the Edo period with interiors crafted to embrace shibumi and its key principles. Each townhouse accommodates up to six adults, or six adults and two children, and comes complete with a personal residence concierge. Guests can also take advantage of a complimentary one-hour guided mountain orientation on the first ski day of their visit and instructors booked for any private ski or snowboard lessons will greet them at their doorstep. Nearby, enjoy ‘The Garden Open Air Bath’ in Annupuri, one of the few onsen left in Japan where men and women can bathe together.
SLH Insider Tip: If you’d like to try the local cuisine visit the loft club, a Genghis khan barbecue where you cook choice cuts of lamb, beef or venison on your table over coals making this a fun and smoky year round experience
RIVA – Das Hotel Am Bodensee, Lake Constance, German
The vision of Birgit and Peter Kolb comes to life in the RIVA – Das Hotel Am Bodensee on the Swiss/German border. Visitors to this art deco villa and modern building are invited to immerse themselves in the world of refined elegance, spacious rooms and award-winning cuisine on the edge of the stunning Lake Constance. Guests can treat themselves to a stay in the Riva suite which spans over 1200 sq. feet and offers two bedrooms and a unique view of the lake, or opt for a more modest, but no less chic, superior room where they can gaze out over views of the lake from the comfort of their private balcony. A modern gym and spa are available for guests to challenge their body before a relaxing steam or sauna, and for ultimate elation visit the rooftop pool.
SLH Insider Tip: Visit the ‘Flower’ Island of Maina, one of the most popular tourist attractions around Lake Constance. Accessible by boat or pedestrian bridge, the island is home to stunning parks and gardens, rich with semitropical and tropical vegetation as well as a spectacular palace built for the Grand Duke of Baden.
Villa Franca, Positano, Italy
Positano is instantly recognisable by its houses tumbling down to the sea in a waterfall of sun-bleached pinks, oranges and yellows. Villa Franca can be found in the heart of Positano’s old streets just moments from the centre and the two main beaches. What once served as a private home has been renovated into a boutique hotel still managed by the same family, paying homage to the old and new Amalfi. The terrace restaurant serves light snacks and lunch with a wonderful view of the village, and once visitors have indulged their taste buds there’s no better way to relax than with an afternoon of pampering in the hotel’s spa. Sun-seekers won’t be disappointed by the rooftop pool and for more views and culinary delights head to Restaurant Li Galli which serves yp local ingredients and fresh Mediterranean flavours. Villa Franca staff will happily arrange a variety of guided tours to show off the Amalfi coast’s rich history and culture. Many guests choose to view the surrounding area by hiring a boat complete with a personal skipper, or following the meandering roads to hike around some of Italy’s most iconic landscapes.
SLH Insider Tip: Guests seeking a romantic and luxurious experience can choose to stay in the ‘deluxe special room sea view’ where they can enjoy and extra ordinary 360 degree sea view from the privacy of their spacious terrace.