by STELLA magazine writers, The Telegraph, October 8, 2018
These cities never sleep, but you have to – so best make it somewhere extra special.
Sofitel City Centre, Singapore
Best for... poolside splendour
The low-down: Unveiled last year, the elegant 223 room hotel is a masterclass in hospitality, stunning interiors and an infinity pool of our dreams. It’s close to Chinatown and with a MRT station directly below, exploring the bustling metropolis is a breeze. All rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows, heavenly beds and Bose sound systems whilst suites include access to the Club Millésime, an executive lounge serving up high tea, cocktail hours, free mini bar and butler service. Head to Racines, an open-kitchen experience to savour impeccable French and Chinese creations or hangout on the pool’s terrace, an impossibly lush, zen space surrounded by skyscrapers. Surreal but sensational.
Out and about: A shopper’s delight, Orchard Road serves up designer buys in super-slick malls whilst Chinatown is fun to explore and seek out trinkets (don’t forget to haggle). A real find is Singapore-based label Beyond The Vines, a contemporary womenswear label –think Cos – but at amazing prices. The Botanic Gardens are a must-see and the food within the tropical setting at The Halia is simply the best. No trip to the Lion City would be complete without gawking at The Gardens at the Bay or sipping a glass of something at the top of Marina Bay Sands the iconic boat-shaped hotel with the best views around.
Stella loves: Each guest has use of smartphone with free internet access and calls, which makes navigating around the city a doddle.
Read the full review: Sofitel Singapore City Centre
Rates from £156 per night; sofitel-singapore-citycentre.com
The Peninsula Tokyo, Japan
Best for... skyscraper wow-factor
The low-down: The Pen Tokyo’s warm welcome starts with it’s smiling page boys and girls, dressed in pristine white, and soon extends to afternoon tea in the buzzing ground-floor lobby. After an invigorating treatment in the award-winning ESPA spa head for the Peter restaurant, occupying the entire 24th floor, for great grills and stunning views.
Out and about: Amidst the Yurakucho district, you must head under the train tracks to the famous restaurant area that caters from a glass of something cold and casual eats through to fine dining. It is easy to feel overwhelmed so sign up for a food tour for the ultimate experience. Retail therapy is close by in Ginza from colossal department stores, high-end luxury boutiques and quirky independent shops. The largest branch of Uniqlo is located here (12 stories worth!) or why not take the weight off your feet get a Hello Kitty manicure? When in Japan...
Stella loves: Created almost entirely by Japanese artists, over 1,000 artworks scattered throughout the hotel are just sublime
Read the full review: The Peninsula Tokyo
Rates from £494 per night; peninsula.com
The Lowell, New York, United States
Best for... nostalgia seekers
The low-down: Steeped in old world elegance this boutique hotel – 74 rooms and suites – on the upper East Side, has the discreet, intimate atmosphere of a private townhouse. Opened in 1982, the hotel underwent a major renovation last year, overseen by Michael S Smith, who decorated the private quarters in the White House for the Obamas. Everything reeks of class – from the marbled floors and Zuber wallpaper in the lobby, to the luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, to the lounge-style Club Room – like an aesthete’s private quarters, crammed with art, sculptures and books, to the scent perfuming every corner of the hotel from the extravagant floral displays.
There is a new restaurant, Marjorelle - named in honour of Jacques Marjorelle, the French painter who built the house and garden in Marakkech later own by Yves St Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, and under the direction of the celebrated restaurateur Charles Masson, boasting a menu of French Classics with Mediterranean influences from the Riviera to Morocco. A truly classic hotel; the fact that 75 per cent of the clientel are repeat customers testifies to its enduring popularity.
Out and about: A whole host of museums are on your doorstep and just one block from Central Park and four from Bloomingdales and Barneys, the location is first class. Closeby Birch serves the best coffee for miles and anyone with a sweet tooth must head to Serendipity 3 for out-of-this-world desserts enjoyed in the past by Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, George Clooney and Beyoncé.
Stella loves: The impeccable, friendly service. A hotel that knows your name.
Read the full review: The Lowell
Rates from £455 per night; lowellhotel.com
One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, UAE
Best for... a beachside city break
The low-down: Dripping in luxury from the moment you arrive at the front gates, the Royal Mirage in Dubai caters brilliantly for couples who want all the buzz of a lively city break combined with afternoons of drinking mimosas on the beach. There's a roster of top-quality restaurants to choose from (the Indian-inspired menu at Nina is a particular treat) and you're smack bang in the middle of the city to hit up all the lively nightlife.
Out and about: Grab a boat from the beach at Royal Mirage across the water to The Palm (the man-made island in the shape of a palm tree). The sister property on the Palm is a great spot for an afternoon tipple. The Mall of the Emirates is 10 minutes away and is home to incredible shopping, Magic Planet, an enormous family attraction with rides, simulators and video games plus Ski Dubai boasting its own chair lift, toboggan run, zip line and real life penguins!
Stella loves: The award-winning Hammam spa and Espa treatments for when you want to unwind
Read the full review: One&Only Royal Mirage
Rates from £185 per night; oneandonlyresorts.com