The Telegraph’s hotel editors on their favourite places to stay around the world – for when this is all over

Advice

At a time when many hotels around the globe are shutting their doors and the world of travel has been suspended for many of us, the hotels team of Telegraph Travel has decided to celebrate their favourite hotels. It is these places we return to in our memories when we are feeling blue, and certainly the places we will return to once we can travel again.

Colombe d’Or, Provence, France

I have only ever cried on leaving one hotel. Granted, it was my honeymoon, and granted, I had planned the entire trip around whether or not I could stay here. Colombe d’Or is the stuff of legend: it was opened in 1920 by a local family, and was the place where artists and literati sought refuge during World War Two (many donated artworks that casually line the walls). It more than lived up to expectations: I sunbathed next to a Alexander Calder mobile, slept under a Picasso, drank champagne on the roof and ate soufflé under twinkling lamp-strewn trees wearing my backup wedding dress. Magic.

By Jade Conroy

Read the full review: Colombe d’Or

Colombe d’Or, Provence

Colombe d’Or was the place where artists and literati sought refuge during World War Two

Deplar Farm, Iceland

I discovered Deplar Farm at the end of last year and it remains in my mind constantly. Not only is it the incredibly remote setting in the stark fjords of the north, but the exquisite food by chef Gardar Gardarsson, the sleek spa where you can swim out into the geothermal pool and sip bespoke cocktails under the glow of Northern Lights, and the communal vibe of cottage-cosy interiors make it just incomparable. The staff feel more like friends and the experiences are exactly what you want from a holiday: it’s all about you, here.

By Charlotte Johnstone

Read the full review: Deplar Farm

Deplar Farm, Iceland

At Deplar Farm you can sip bespoke cocktails under the glow of Northern Lights

Petit Ermitage, Los Angeles 

West Hollywood’s Petit Ermitage is like an LA imagining of Europe that would only work in LA, and feels as though it has decades of history, despite only having opened in 2007. There’s a mix of influences; equal parts Spanish colonial, Parisian boudoir and Moroccan riad, with a sprinkling of the circus. Life revolves around the roof terrace, where orange and white striped beds flank the saltwater pool. I was there in 2019 for their epic annual Halloween party, which was wonderfully weird and totally unforgettable.

By Rachel Cranshaw

Read the full review: Petit Ermitage

Petit Ermitage, Los Angeles

Life revolves around the roof terrace at Petit Ermitage

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Thailand

A series of swish hotels line the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river, but everyone knows the Oriental is the only place to stay. It’s legendary, having first opened in 1876, and has hosted a library’s worth of enthralled writers since, but this is no museum. It has been kept elegantly updated, always filling its halls with dramatic floral displays and its restaurants with world-class chefs. At its heart, it is wedded to its river. Every room has views and gazing at life on the water is irresistible, especially the hotel’s wooden boats, which drift back and forth to the spa and Thai restaurant.

By Emma Beaumont

Read the full review: Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

 Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is wedded the river it sits beside

Jade Mountain, St Lucia 

Arriving at Jade Mountain feels like stumbling upon some long lost jungle kingdom. A temple-like building containing the restaurant sits at the top of a steep slope, down which the 29 open-sided suites cascade, not unlike some ancient Mayan pyramid. The enveloping rainforest almost swallows the array of criss-crossing walkways that bridge a deep, verdant cleft in the hillside, hummingbirds flit past iridescent tiles that hint at secret riches, and in the distance the magnificent Pitons loom imperiously over Soufrière Bay.

By Tom Mulvihill

Read the full review: Jade Mountain

Jade Mountain, St Lucia

Arriving at Jade Mountain feels like stumbling upon some long lost jungle kingdom

Brae, Birregurra, Victoria, Australia

Two hours from Melbourne is the organic farm where maverick chef-owner Dan Hunter earns his plaudits. Arrive at lunchtime to sublime set menus that contort pre-conceptions, such as iced oysters realised as milky ice cream with a briny twist. Following hours of feasting, and innumerable paired wines, stroll into Aussie-style country suites, pitching slate floors and recycled red bricks against designer furnishings and sleek dark steel, for exceptional rural peace, only interrupted when your supper basket arrives. Listen to vinyl until the wee hours, then fall asleep under stargazing skylights.

By Benjamin Parker

Read the full review: Brae

Brae, Australia

Come to Brae for the sublime set menus

Cours Et Pavillons, Beijing

Sometimes I feel like I don’t pay proper appreciation to the rich history and culture of my home country, China. A visit to this hotel has changed that. It’s built in the style of a siheyuan (Beijing’s traditional courtyard residence); the intricate beams paintings are done by the same experts who repair artwork in the Forbidden City. Rooms are more like living museums, with antique furniture you can touch and use. It’s simply a magnificent showcase of Chinese style.

By Venus Wong

Read the full review: Cours Et Pavillons

Cours Et Pavillons, Beijing

Cours Et Pavillons is built in the style of a traditional Beijing courtyard residence

Katikies Hotel, Santorini 

Santorini is the queen of sunsets, sea views and swimming pools – and Katikies is one of the best places to experience all three. The hotel is made up of a puzzle of whitewashed rooms tumbling down Oia’s cliffside, all with knockout views of the caldera. I will always think back fondly of the afternoon I spent there lounging by an infinity pool that practically melted into the horizon, before a fish feast in the intimate, candle-lit restaurant Mikrasia that reminded me of a secret treehouse. It’s the romantic Greek island utopia everyone dreams about, but not many find.

By Lizzie Frainier

Read the full review: Katikies

Katikies, Santorini

At Katikies, the infinity pool practically melts into the horizon

The Madonna Inn, San Luis de Obispo, California 

Madonna Inn is a kitsch confection of a motel located off the 101, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is a fantastical love letter to Americana and certainly not one for minimalists: white turrets, spiral staircases and lashings of Barbie pink – including even the tennis and basketball courts. No two rooms are the same; many are themed (think Caveman, with rock formations, and a jungle room). The pool (with a waterfall feature, naturally) has a dual view of both road and rolling green hills. Don’t miss the giftshop, where they sell their signature goblets, or the bakery, which serves huge, decorative chunks of cake.

By Jade Conroy

Madonna Inn, California

The Madonna Inn is a kitsch confection of a motel

Nihi Sumba, Indonesia

This faraway hotel is just an hour’s flight from Bali but on an untouched island twice the size. Thatched villas with private pools twist their way up a jungle-tangled cove that overlooks a large stretch of soft sand – where horses from the hotel’s stables can be found playing in the waves. One wave, God’s Left, is particularly famous and led to the hotel’s existence when the owners started a surf shack there in the Eighties. Butlers tend to each villa, and nothing is too much trouble. This is the stuff of tropical dreams.

By Charlotte Johnstone

Read the full review: Nihi Sumba

Nihi Sumba

Nihi Sumba offers thatched villas with private pools twist that their way up a jungle-tangled cove

Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, New York State 

This mountain lodge was given a makeover and became a member of Design Hotels at the end of 2016, when the Catskills were really taking off as the out-of-town weekend destination for Brooklynites. I visited in spring 2017, before its dreamy heated outdoor pool had opened, and was utterly captivated by the achingly stylish Scandi, outdoorsy-chic design, complete with fires and in-room Smore kits to enjoy on the wooden terrace with craft cocktails and killer views.

By Rachel Cranshaw

Read the full review: Scribner’s Catskill Lodge

Scribner’s Catskill Lodge

Scribner’s Catskill Lodge is a popular out-of-town weekend destination for Brooklynites

Phum Baitang, Siem Reap, Cambodia

It’s unlikely that anyone arrives at Phum Baitang without letting out a small gasp as the 20-acre resort, modelled on a traditional Cambodian village, reveals itself. Get your bearings by riding cream-coloured bicycles along wooden pathways which weave through rice paddies, past palm trees and lazing water buffalo. Open-plan villas are styled on a Khmer home, though the sleek interiors and stone tubs are pure rustic luxury. At night the resort is lit up by candles as guests tuck into curries of local fish served on home-grown rice.

By Emma Beaumont

Read the full review: Phum Baitang

Phum Baitang, Cambodia

Phum Baitang is a 20-acre resort, modelled on a traditional Cambodian village

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California 

This hotel is hidden on a bluff 1,200ft above sea level, in California’s mystical Big Sur. On one side there are 180-degrees views of the big blue; on the other, an oil painting-like frame of the Double Cone and Manuel peaks. The wooden huts and angular treehouses are architectural marvels – the restaurant, which has glass walls on one side, is suspended over the hill so you feel like you’re closer to heaven than earth. The two infinity pools, heated to 40 degrees Celsius, are available 24 hours a day – it is from here that I spotted condors, deer, bunnies and even, on one afternoon, the faint rings of whales breaching below.

By Jade Conroy

Read the full review: Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn, California

Post Ranch Inn is hidden on a bluff 1,200ft above sea level, in California’s mystical Big Sur

Casa Fayette, Guadalajara, Mexico 

Leafy Mexican chic through the lens of Wes Anderson is the order of the day at the Habita group’s Casa Fayette, in the architectural heaven that is Guadalajara. Breakfast on the lush terrace and observe the leisurely neighbourhood goings-on, lounge on the chic pool deck, or simply admire every carefully thought-through design detail – from sultry red tasseled keys to avocado-green units in rooms. I had never stayed anywhere quite like here and am sure I never will again.

By Rachel Cranshaw

Read the full review: Casa Fayette

Casa Fayette, Mexico

Leafy Mexican chic through the lens of Wes Anderson is the order of the day at Casa Fayette

Credit:
Casa Fayette Facebook

Phinda Homestead, andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa

I don’t think I will ever forget my first safari. That would have been the case wherever I went, but the fact I returned from game drives to Phinda Homestead, pushed this trip into the hyperbolic. This four-bedroom villa with alluring rim-flow pool is found on the andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve (also home to six traditional lodges) and is known for its stellar conservation efforts. A highlight? One night, we returned from watching elephants play in the watering hole, to find the bath in our room already run, candles lit, and a glass of port poured. Pure joy.

By Lizzie Frainier

Phinda Homestead, South Africa

Phinda Homestead is a fabulous four-bedroom villa that is a joy to return to after game drives

Milaidhoo Island, Maldives

This private island hotel is Maldivian through and through: it’s Maldivian-owned; the effervescent décor in the over-water and beachfront villas is by a local architect; it’s also home to the only Maldivian restaurant among the country’s private island hotels. The snorkelling, on both the house reef and Hanifaru Bay (where I got to witness a fleet of manta rays in action), is stupendous. Stay here if you’re looking to experience an authentic side of this bucket-list destination.

By Venus Wong

Read the full review: Milaidhoo Island

Milaidhoo, the Maldives

Stay at Milaidhoo if you’re looking to experience a more authentic side of the Maldives

Fermain Valley Hotel, Guernsey 

Fermain Valley isn’t the most stylish hotel in the world, nor is it the most high-spec. What it is, however, is peaceful. Remarkably so. It resides on Guernsey’s lush southeastern coast at the head of a narrow valley that cuts sharply down to the sea. A winding path takes you down through a fragrant subtropical garden to a little cove, fringed by sandy beach and tree-lined cliffs and lapped at by startling clear waters. A few days here and the worries of the world just melt away.

By Tom Mulvihill 

Read the full review: Fermain Valley Hotel

Fermain Valley, Guernsey

Fermain Valley sits at the head of a narrow valley that cuts sharply down to the sea

La Donaira, Andalusia, Spain

Never have I felt more at home at a hotel than in this stylish farmstead in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Perhaps it’s Nicky, who whips you up eggs while chatting to you from the open kitchen at breakfast, or kind-eyed maitre’d Bienvenidos who pours you even kinder glasses of biodynamic wine from the cellar. Huge picture windows remind guests where they are and the spa is open 24 hours a day meaning you can time a visit for sunrise or sunset. By day there’s hiking and horse-riding, by night there’s karaoke (and more wine).

By Jade Conroy 

Read the full review: La Donaira

La Donaira, Spain

At La Donaira, the spa is open 24 hours a day meaning you can time a visit for sunrise or sunset

The Caves, Negril, Jamaica

The Caves is a boutique, exclusive resort of just 12 cabins, set atop and aside the cliffs of Negril. Staying here is a high-luxe experience, yet still with a certain sense of homeliness –cabins are cute, colourful and refreshingly lo-fi. Access to the sea is via a series of characteristic jump spots, with ladders for the less daredevil such as myself. Watching the sunset from a hammock with a fresh lime daiquiri is among my favourite memories of being there.

By Rachel Cranshaw

Read the full review: The Caves

The Caves, Negril

Staying at The Caves is a high-luxe experience, yet still with a certain sense of homeliness

Nick’s Cove, Marshall, California

In northern California, on the edge of Tomales Bay on the Point Reyes National Seashore there’s a line of lovely cottages. Some sit directly above the water on stilts, and others are found just behind, but all come with a wood-burning stove and plenty of cosy character. I spent childhood holidays exploring the area, a narrow inlet on the Pacific Ocean known for its rugged coastline and tip-top oysters (three of which you’ll find in your room on arrival), but only recently stayed here on a return trip with my dad. Nick’s Cove is best known for its seafood restaurant; and slurping up barbecued oysters slathered in garlic with multiple glasses of wine featured heavily on our father-daughter trip.

By Lizzie Frainier 

Read the full review: Nick’s Cove

Nick's Cove

The cottages at Nick’s Cove come with wood-burning stoves and plenty of cosy character

Don Totu Dimora Storica, Salento, Puglia

Puglia is special to me as my family have a trullo in Valle d’Itria. When Don Totu, a dimora storica (historic house), opened near Lecce I knew it was going to be stunning. Whitewashed walls with exposed pietra leccese stone make rustic interiors pop, while outside silvery olive trees rustle on sun-soaked terraces and fruit trees surround the sparkling pool. There’s a subterranean hammam, and electric bikes are available for exploring the sleepy village. In the evenings, aperitifs and canapés are served before you head out to dinner.

By Charlotte Johnstone

Read the full review: Don Totu Dimora Storica

Don Totu Dimora Storica
Salento, Puglia,

Whitewashed walls with exposed pietra leccese stone make rustic interiors pop at Don Totu Dimora Storica

Stone House, Ubud, Bali

With only a limestone wall along the road, Stone House gifts remarkable seclusion from Ubud’s vibrant – and oft-saturated – heart. It’s a tropical sanctuary where every strand seems to tell a story: a canopied bed crafted from ironwood salvaged from Sulawesi (distressed after a century underwater), an outdoor sectional sofa made from reclaimed railroad ties, a Javanese palace wall. A warm pool made of hand-cut stone sits on the edge of rice paddies, where you can ease through humid days before evenings of nasi campur and beef rendang by candlelight. 

By Benjamin Parker

Read the full review: Stone House

Stone House, Bali

Stone House is a tropical sanctuary where every strand seems to tell a story

Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte, Rome 

Even in the Eternal City, few hotels capture their past in the way Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte does. The name gives a clue: this was once the private home of Hortense de Beauharnais, Napoleon Bonaparte’s step-daughter (and later sister-in-law). She lived here with her young son, who was to become Napoleon III, and the palazzo retains the regal trappings worthy of the Emperor of France.

By Tom Mulvihill

Read the full review: Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte

Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte

Few hotels capture their past in the way Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte does

Primero Primera, Barcelona

Located in the upmarket, but not particularly central Tres Torres neighbourhood, Primero Primera is not one for first-timers to Barcelona. But if you’ve had your fill of Las Ramblas and Gaudi, there is nowhere better. This family-owned hotel (the elegant matriarch still lives on the top floor) blends sleek design and homeliness in a way that feels rather singular. Sepia-tinted family photos sit on mantle pieces, walls are painted in moody colours and there is a chic little honesty bar that invites lounging. No wonder it’s the top choice for indie artists coming to play at the city’s summer festivals.

By Emma Beaumont

Read the full review: Primero Primera

Primero Primera, Barcelona

Primero Primera blends sleek design with a homely vibe to great effect

Salinda Resort, Phu Quoc, Vietnam

This hotel is a dream. From its location on Long Beach, you can enjoy fresh coconut water as the golden sun slowly slides beneath the skyline. The activities hit the spot, from visits to the pepper farm and fish sauce factory (the island is famed for both) to a night market snacks tour. At breakfast, you can sample delicious pho, based on the owner’s family recipe.

By Venus Wong

Salinda Resort, Vietnam

Salinda Resort is a dream if you love good food and pretty sunsets

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