Passion Points: Escape
Eleven special hotels and resorts around the world join the prestigious Indagare Adored, a list that includes our travel community’s most beloved properties.
We launched the Indagare Adored list two years ago with ten incredibly special properties—places that defy categorization but excel at one thing: making guests feel transported. (Read the complete listing here) This year, eleven magnificent addresses made the cut, ranging from a Vancouver wilderness tented camp and a wellness hideaway in Bali to a gorgeous boutique hotel in New York City’s SoHo and a stunningly renovated grande dame on the French Riviera.. These are the Indagare Adored 2013.
AUSTRIA: HOTEL SACHER WIEN
Adored For: Family owned, expertly run and with famous Café Sacher on the premises.
This legendary hotel, centrally located opposite the State Opera, opened in 1876, and even today its chandelier-lit reception halls and antiques-filled drawing rooms exude old-world elegance. Most of the cheerful rooms, designed by owner Elisabeth Gürtler, are done in a sumptuous 19th-century style with silk-covered walls and original paintings from the Sacher’s private collection. Café Sacher is located on the ground floor, and a miniature version of the famous Sachertorte is placed on guests’ pillows at turndown. Read more about Hotel Sacher Wien.
BALI: COMO SHAMBHALA
Adored For: Bali’s most romantic resort; a honeymoon must.
The Como Shambhala estate was designed by architect Cheong Yew Kuan. The twenty-two guesthouses that make up this paradisiacal property are made of local stone, wood and traditional alang-alang roofing. All the villas, which are freestanding and divided into five themed groupings — Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Forest — boast sumptuous communal outdoor living spaces and pools. Rooms showcase Asian antiques as well as beautiful Balinese crafts and contain dreamy four-poster beds with white mosquito netting. Read more about Como Shambhala.
CANADA: CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS RESORT
Adored For: The ultimate fantasy camp, set in Vancouver Island’s great outdoors.
If the beautifully rugged scenery is the prime highlight of a visit to Clayoquot, then a close second is the food, celebrating seasonal ingredients and the property’s stunning location. Accommodations tucked between trees and connected by elevated boardwalks give the impression of a series of tree houses, but features like lush linens and thermostat-controlled wood stoves ensure comfort. Activities range from whale- and bear-watching excursions to pontoon boat journeys, shooting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and biking trips. Read more about Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.
FRANCE: HOTEL DU CAP-EDEN ROC
Adored For: The perfect mix of old-world glamour and contemporary style.
This iconic grande dame is set on twenty-two acres of private gardens on the southernmost tip of Cap de Antibes. The stylish interiors feature antique Louis XV and XVI furniture, which lend sophistication to an already glorious property. Guests should not miss the saltwater swimming pool that is carved into a seaside rock face; the stairway, diving board and private cabanas are particularly special, with ocean views and the utmost privacy. Read more about Hotel du Cap-Eden Roc.
HUDSON VALLEY: GLENMERE
Adored For: A romantic weekend getaway from New York City with exquisite interiors.
An ochre Italianate villa in the lower Hudson Valley, Glenmere was commissioned as a grand folly by a Gilded Age titan. The structure highlights its original moldings and wrought-iron railings but has been infused with a modern sensibility. Each of the nineteen rooms and suites has its own decor, with custom Loro Piana curtains and Casa del Bianca linens. Guests rarely leave the grounds during a visit; the resort has a pool, tennis courts, a championship croquet court and a well-equipped fitness center and spa. Read more about Glenmere.
ITALY: GRAND HOTEL TIMEO
Adored For: Authentic Sicilian hideaway full of history and charm.
Despite a dazzling vista and pedigree, Grand Hotel Timeo has stayed a bit under the radar of sophisticated travelers, and that’s part of its charm. Its trump card is its hilltop perch beside the ruins of the Greek theater in Taormina. Boats linger in the bay below, while Mount Etna simmers in the distance. The property (owned by Orient-Express) has distinguished bones, and the decor strikes just the right note, featuring creams, gold, brocades and Baroque detailing. Read more about Grand Hotel Timeo.
LOS ANGELES: SHUTTERS ON THE BEACH
Adored For: The epitome of laid-back California style right on the beach in Santa Monica.
Set on a choice stretch of the Santa Monica State Beach and a short walk from the famed pier, Shutters has an easy seaside style. The lobby lounge—outfitted with overstuffed couches and phenomenal beach-themed art by artists like Robert Motherwell—is the kind of place where you can have a tête-à-tête or, with sand still in your flip-flops, relax with a glass of Champagne. Rooms have hardwood floors, Oriental rugs, four-poster beds and either a small balcony or a terrace. It’s all very L.A. Read more about Shutters on the Beach.
NEW YORK CITY: CROSBY STREET HOTEL
Adored For: The perfect downtown hotel with chic interiors and even chicer guests.
The first foray into an American city by U.K. firm Firmdale has been a huge success, thanks to designer Kit Kemp’s inspired vision. The hotel occupies a modern eleven-story building on a relatively quiet side street in SoHo, and each room is different, giving the accommodations a personal feel. Upper floors have marvelous city views spanning the East Side and down to the Brooklyn Bridge on one side and uptown on the other. The lounge and bar area has become a SoHo hot spot, rivaling even nearby Balthazar for the best breakfast scene. Read more about Crosby Street Hotel.
SOUTH AFRICA: ELLERMAN HOUSE
Adored For: The most intimate, luxurious perch in Cape Town.
Its sumptuous eleven guest rooms and location, overlooking Bantry Bay, a small bay between Sea Point and Clifton, are what make the Ellerman House the top choice on Cape Town’s Atlantic coast. But it is the private villas, in particular, that cause jaws to drop with their inspired interiors, impeccable service and private pool. Many of the restaurant’s ingredients are from the on-property garden. Guests also get a cultural history lesson during a stay: the owner has made the place a showcase for the finest South African art of the past half century. Read more about Ellerman House.
TANZANIA: SINGITA GRUMETI SASAKWA
Adored For: The most exquisite safari lodge in East Africa.
Of the three camp options on the Grumeti Reserves, Sasakwa commands the highest perch, literally and figuratively. The lodge, which consists of one grand main house and ten guest cottages, is set high on a hillside overlooking the Serengeti plains. Interiors are opulent, with fabric wall coverings and antiques. One of the secrets to the success of Singita, however, is the relaxed ambiance. Read more about Singita Grumeti Sasakwa.
THAILAND: FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP
Adored For: An incredible setting (bamboo forests) and renowned elephant program.
An almost African-safari sensibility pervades this tented camp, considered part of Thailand’s Golden Triangle. Guests arrive to the splendid natural setting by boat. The property includes just fifteen luxurious canvas bungalows, which are hidden amid giant palms. Its elephant-rescue program is considered one of the world’s best, imbuing each stay with a giving back angle. Guests can interact with these gentle giants, as well as sign up for mahout training and elephant trekking. Read Indagare’s Thailand destination report.
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