Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is excited to introduce five new stylish hotels including the first ever Egyptian properties to join the portfolio. La Maison Bleue and Lazib Inn Resort & Spa offer incomparable luxurious experiences in two different parts of Egypt. Get swept away at Castello di Spaltenna and Villa La Madonna in Italy, both of which offer stunning views and award-winning food and wine, or unwind and relax in the Costa Rican rainforest at Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa. Whichever getaway one might choose, these SLH hotels offer intimate experiences to delight each and every traveler.
La Maison Bleue, El Gouna, Egypt
11 rooms from $230 per night including breakfast
Offering a blend of old-world sophistication, timeless glamour, and modern luxuries, La Maison Bleue is set in Egypt’s charming Red Sea resort town of El Gouna. The mansion is the brainchild of antiques collector and interior designer Amr Khalil, who merges artistic influences from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe in one opulent setting. Guests can discover an intimate estate of eleven charming suites, an exclusive beach and lagoon, luxury spa, exquisite dining and absolute privacy. Imagine soft pastel-colored walls, hand-selected period furnishings and lavish chandeliers. All suites measure between 80 to 120 square meters and feature a terrace or balcony, sitting area and a master bathroom with marble floors. Open the tasseled curtains to stunning mountain or sea views before stepping out into glorious sunshine. The elegant spa offers wellness treatments, and its decadent Turkish bath is rivalled only by the indoor and outdoor pools.
SLH Insider Tip: Set directly on the northern shores of Mangroovy Beach and its kitesurfing stations, the property offers seclusion as well as easy access to the town. The restaurants, bars, boutiques, and street festivals are in close proximity, and the Downtown shopping and dining venues are a few kilometers away.
Lazib Inn Resort & Spa, El Fayoum, Egypt
8 rooms from $210 per night including breakfast
Lazib Inn Resort & Spa may be a desert hideaway, but lush greenery and panoramic views of Lake Qarun greet you upon arrival. A modern take on Fayoum’s time-honored residences, the suites marry traditional charm with contemporary elegance. With a king bed, private balcony, rainfall shower and jacuzzi in every room, this is Egyptian living at its finest while the traditional fabrics, fireplaces and characteristic pink clay walls lend a high-end cozy feel. Relaxation is the order of the day, with palm-fringed infinity pools and the incredible desert oasis as your backdrop. Dine in comfort at the hotel restaurant, where fresh local dishes and classic specialties are top of the menu. If that gives you a thirst for adventure, take a trip into Tunis village for traditional arts and pottery, or explore nearby Fayoum. Here, archaeological sites and fossil remains bring the fascinating history of ancient Egypt to life.
SLH Insider Tip: Lazib Inn’s Buddhist-inspired spa is a gateway to Zen moments. Tailor-made treatments include Balinese and Thai massage, sensory sessions and aromatherapy. You can also work up a sweat in the private gym, before a deep-cleansing treatment in the Turkish hammam.
Castello di Spaltenna, Chianti, Italy
37 rooms from $307 per night including breakfast
Set amongst rolling hills and vineyards, the idyllic Castello di Spaltenna is warm, inviting, and utterly romantic. Once a monastery, the 18th century Tuscan castle has kept its historic character while offering gorgeous guestrooms and stunning views. Choose from suites with four-poster beds, far-reaching garden views and furnishings that echo the historic elegance of the castle, or opt for a deluxe room with a private jacuzzi. The castle’s country-style apartments are made for longer stays, with classic terracotta flooring and Tuscan furniture pieces that are as artistic as they are comfortable. Relax in the La Pieve Spa, where the peaceful greenery of the outdoors is reflected in wellness treatments that make use of local fruits in its treatments. Explore the countryside wrapped around Castello di Spaltenna on a short walk to Gaiole in Chianti, where you can step into the history books of this beautiful region.
SLH Insider Tip: The dining options at Castello di Spaltenna are an authentic reflection of Tuscany’s elegant cuisine. Michelin-starred Il Pievano specializes in creative interpretations of traditional dishes while the stone vaulted La Terazza Restaurant, overlooking the Sangiovese vineyards, is the perfect lunchtime setting.
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, La Fortuna De San Carlos, Costa Rica
103 rooms from $351 per night including breakfast
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa is a luxury boutique hotel that celebrates the wonders of the natural world situated in a one-of-a-kind location near the foot of the Arenal Volcano. Located in over 900 acres of verdant tropical reserve, it has a world-class spa with naturally-heated volcanic waters. Each room has been designed to connect you to the rainforest, whether you opt for an Orchid room or a vast Tabacón Suite. King size beds, in-room Jacuzzis and rainforest showers add special finishing touches. Many of the rooms also feature amazing forest views, creating a magical sense of living amongst the treetops. Indulge in signature spa treatments with the peaceful rainforest as your soundtrack, then savor delicious, freshly-made cuisine, or embark on a Costa Rican adventure at nearby Arenal Volcano National Park. Tabacón’s two restaurants – Ave del Paraíso and Los Tucanes – offer everything from breakfast buffets to fine à la carte dining. However you spend your days, the peaceful ambience at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa will let you slow down to a truly luxuriant pace.
SLH Insider Tip: With a philosophy centered around the life-giving properties of its natural springs, the spa at Tabacón takes wellness to leafy new heights. Start with a dip in a thermomineral hot tub before a treatment in your own private bungalow. The palm-thatched roof and caña brava walls allow you to experience the scents and sounds of the rainforest in complete privacy. Tabacón also offers invigorating yoga in its open-air studio.
Villa La Madonna, Monastero Bormida, Italy
18 rooms from $363 per night including breakfast
Looking out over the peaceful surroundings of the Bormida Valley, and with restaurants rooted in the Italian ‘slow food’ culture, Villa La Madonna has all the ingredients for a truly restful getaway. This boutique hotel and vineyard is an effortless blend of sophisticated styling and authentic influences with open hearths, exposed-brick ceilings and handpicked furniture. A natural palette is the backdrop for stylish vintage furniture and supremely comfortable beds. Wake up to glorious views of the Bormida Valley from your terrace or balcony, then head downstairs for breakfast or a dip in the pool. Quiet your mind with yoga or meditation in the beautifully lit atelier, or soothe aching muscles with a signature body treatment. The hotel prides itself on fusing local Piedmont cuisine with country-wide Italian classics and world-class wines. On cooler evenings, feast by candlelight in the intimate dining room, or swap your table for the terrace or picnic in the hills in warmer weather.
SLH Insider Tip: The UNESCO-protected 16th century wine cellar offers world class wine tastings. The property also cultivates its own Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for a truly savory experience of the region.
And in other news…
Room Renovations and a Farm to Table Experience at Naxian Collection – Naxos, Greece
Situated on the lesser known Greek island of Naxos, Naxian Collection is a chic hill-top retreat with ten sugar cube white villas and suites providing a serene sanctuary. The hotel is currently renovating all of its villas featuring private pools and fully equipped kitchens in time for the 2019 summer season. In addition to the hotel’s organic fields, free-range chicken coop and family vineyards, Naxian Collection is building a farm so guests can experience a farm to table experience with fresh locally-sourced ingredients first hand.
Michelin Star Awarded to Le Mas Candille – Cote D’Azur, France
Heading up the kitchens at Le Mas Candille since February 2018, Executive Chef Xavier Burelle has just won a Michelin Star. From the age of 15, Xavier followed his vocation, learning and cultivating his culinary knowledge and skills from such master chefs as Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athenee, in the brigade of Jean-François Piège, and beside Philippe Legendre at the Georges V in Paris. Drawing on inspiration from his various experiences and subtly blending flavors of the south and the French Riviera, Xavier has established his own distinctive culinary identity at Le Mas Candille.
137 Pillars House Announces a New Era of Elegance – Chiang Mai, Thailand
The award-winning 137 Pillars House is a stunning 30 suite boutique has just revealed a new era of elegance following a refurbishment which took place over the past 9 months. In addition to being returned to its
original condition and maintaining the integrity of the colonial elegance of the property when it first opened, highlights of the refurbishment include the unveiling of a new suite category, softscape and landscape improvements, renovated perimeter and garden walls, new gym equipment with digital connectivity and enhancements to the Spa. Later this year the hotel’s dining experience will be further refined with the existing Palette Restaurant being transformed into a new dining concept.
Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites Unveils Room Renovations – Crete, Greece
Like a precious gem in a unique setting, the family owned and run Elounda Gulf Villas is a hidden refuge of natural beauty, which clings to the hill face overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. In time for the summer season 2019, all villas have been renovated and refreshed to incorporate a more modern style including the Royal Spa Pool Villa, a longtime favorite of royalty, politicians and celebrities. Covering an area of 350m², the luxurious villa features a spacious lounge, dining area with fireplace, open plan full equipped kitchen, stylishly decorated marble bathrooms, private pool with Jacuzzi, private gym room, sauna and steam bath.
Aguas de Ibiza Grande Luxe Adds 32 New Rooms and a Rooftop Restaurant – Ibiza, Spain
Aguas de Ibiza Grand Luxe Hotel marks the 2019 summer season with the opening of a new rooftop area that features a new gastronomic concept which will be announced soon; and 32 new Premier Rooms, Ibiza style rooms with a natural set of design details to add up to a king size bed and a large private terrace. Located in the bay of Santa Eulàlia, with now 145 rooms, Aguas de Ibiza Grand Luxe Hotel is one of Ibiza’s premier hotels, favored by those looking for a peaceful Ibiza retreat without ostentation. All rooms and suites are bathed in light and based on a Feng Shui philosophy, with spectacular views of the Mediterranean and Formentera. The hotel has been recognized and awarded for its sustainability innovation – which include photovoltiac rails and water and energy saving systems.
Grand Hotel Principe Di Piemonte Reopens Two Michelin Star Restaurant – Viareggio, Italy
Grand Hotel Principe Di Piemonte’s Il Picolo Principe restaurant will reopen from March 8, 2019 with two reconfirmed Michelin stars. New this year, the restaurant will be open for both lunch and dinner and will include two new menus at lunchtime designed by Chef Giuseppe Mancino. Located on the fifth floor of the hotel, guests can choose to eat inside or on the sea-view veranda with panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apuan Alps. Originally from Campania, Giuseppe’s Mancino’s cuisine is inspired by Southern Italy and combines dishes from both land and sea.
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