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Continuing over a century of wellness-focused hospitality, the third and fourth generations of the Bolland-Anton family – whose surnames combine in the resort’s own moniker – are now at the helm of the BollAnts Spa im Park, established 110 years ago as the Felke Jungborn Kurhaus Dhonau. Located around an hour from Germany’s business capital Frankfurt, the current-day reincarnation offers top-class luxury, qualified medical wellness and evocative touches of the past. For example, accommodation is in buildings ranging in style from Jugendstil and Bauhaus to modern, nestled amid an extensive private park. The Michelin-starred Jungborn restaurant – one of three on the property – is set beneath vaulted ceilings, its name recalling that of the original establishment. It was here that the Felke healing method was developed, and this holistic natural medicine practice is still followed at BollAnts today – alongside a raft of outdoor activities, excellent spa facilities and numerous sustainability-focused measures, from organic quality body care to the use of local produce and support for local wines.
In Bali’s verdant heart, on the banks of the mystical Ayung River and close to the island’s artistic centre, the tranquil hillside retreat of Alila Ubud resembles a Balinese village, blending contemporary design and traditional architecture around a stunning 25-metre emerald infinity pool with views of the valley and greenery. Guests can try excellent Balinese dishes in the open, thatch-roofed restaurant as well as locally inspired treatments with organic products at the spa, and enjoy sunrise from lofty perches above the jungle canopy in the Terrace Tree Villas. With the property offering authentic trips to mountain villages, rice terraces and natural springs, as well as participating in numerous community projects, full immersion in an authentic Balinese environment awaits.
It is not an overstatement to say that The Peninsula Hotels are a byword for the ultimate personal service. The original Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong has been the benchmark for that Chinese hospitality since opening in 1928 – but that’s not to say that the luxury hotel group is stuck in its ways. Over the years, The Peninsula brand has been able to translate their values without obstacle from Los Angeles to Paris, from Shanghai to Manila. For those looking for a bespoke experience, The Pen offers a series of unique programmes in its Peninsula Academy – a Broadway experience with a post-show artist Meet & Greet in New York, the art of lantern making in with Master Chan, Hong Kong’s leading lantern artisan, or a two-hour karate lesson for young and old in Tokyo – just to name a few. While each of the ten Peninsula Hotels has its own individual style, there are important qualities that they all have in common: impeccable service, prime urban locations and the best afternoon tea anywhere.
After a tumultuous history, the grand old building on Fifth Avenue that houses The Peninsula New York has finally found its purpose. First opened as the Gotham Hotel in 1905, the strong Italian Renaissance style property exchanged countless hands for decades without success, though at one point in the 1960s it housed New York City’s first public discotheque with a tiny dance floor in its basement. Everything came together when the hotel reopened as The Peninsula New York, with new modern interiors complete with flat-screen TVs installed over the marble bathtubs. Today The Peninsula New York is considered one of the best hotels in the world – your home base in the middle of Manhattan.
Guests staying at a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills expect Hollywood star treatment, and that’s exactly what they get at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. The impeccable service starts before you even arrive – a Peninsula concierge can pick up your luggage at the airport and direct you to a waiting car, where you can order room service on your way to the hotel. The property itself, steps away from the famous Rodeo Drive, boasts large Renaissance-style rooms renovated in 2018, a rooftop garden complete with palm trees and wisteria, and the see-and-be-seen Belvedere restaurant. If you like the idea of 24-hour check-in and truffle popcorn with your movie, this is the place to stay.
The only way to honour our past is to include it in our future. The Peninsula Paris is a project that succeeded in restoring a 19th-century GE Haussmann building’s rich history by giving it back its true identity with a modern finishing touch. The resulting style has been termed ‘classic modernity.’ The hotel’s 200 rooms are finely decorated with such delicate details as marble, gold-leaf finishes and wood panelling. Continuing with this theme, the hotel’s rooftop restaurant offers a notable take on ‘classic-modern’ French cuisine. Experience this grande dame of Parisian buildings and keep your ears pricked: you may hear the faint echoes of history pacing the halls.
Not even the minor inconvenience of an attempted coup involving an armoured car crashing through its glass lobby doors could keep The Peninsula Manila from losing its immaculate cool. After renovations, the hotel emerged from the incident in 2007 even more beautiful than before. This confirmed its status as the centre of Philippine happenings – but also proved that it isn’t afraid of a challenge. This is the hotel where the country’s movers and shakers gather, above all in The Lobby, famous for its live jazz music, round-the-clock service and iconic ‘Sunburst’ centrepiece by sculptor Napoleón Abueva. An exploration of the Philippines’ compelling capital begins here at its beating heart.
As with their other establishments, The Peninsula Group was bold when choosing their Japanese location. Facing the Imperial Palace in Tokyo’s business district, The Peninsula Tokyo stands out as a slender, rose-tinted tower modelled after traditional Japanese lanterns. The rooms are calming and spacious, especially by Tokyo standards, and guests can control every detail of comfort down to the humidity level. For the hotel’s best dining experience look to The Chinese Chef’s Table. Here diners enjoy a private room with a front-row view of the kitchen where acclaimed Cantonese chef Dicky To creatively goes to work. You might wonder whether your imperial neighbours across the way really know what royal treatment feels like.
The culture and traditions of the Middle Kingdom were the inspiration behind The Peninsula Beijing’s recent comprehensive makeover. Distinctive Chinese materials, including bronze, onyx, Chinese jade and marble, were used as a tribute to the country’s heritage, while Hong Kong-based designer Henry Leung added a contemporary twist to the stunning 230 new suite-style guest rooms. Here, state-of-the-art technology makes for a very comfortable experience: the completely paperless guestrooms feature an innovative in-room system, which is pre-set in 11 languages and controls everything in the room, so guests can turn lights on or off, order room service or look up dining and nightlife information for Beijing – all without having to get out of the bed or the tub.
The streets of Bangkok are notoriously crowded, but guests of The Peninsula Bangkok don’t have to worry about that. The five star hotel sits directly on the Chao Phraya river with a superior view of the city, so it offers an all-day ferry service that carries its guests in comfort to and from the property. The best place to enjoy the city skyline is the hotel’s sparkling three-tiered pool, although sitting riverside at Thiptara Thai restaurant is just as tranquil. Watch boats float by while dining on recipes that palace cooks have been passing down for centuries. With traditional Thai music and luxuriant tropical gardens in the background, you’re sure to get the feeling that you’ve travelled back to a more peaceful time.