Ten new members have joined Relais & Châteaux, all of which "embody the organization’s values of sharing a unique history and rich cultural heritage, as well as a strong commitment to preserving the environment... All while offering unique activities and quality services in exceptional settings," according to the company.
Quintessence Hotel, Anguilla
The Quintessence Hotel is set on a white sandy beach on a peaceful bay. Recently opened as the island’s first boutique luxury eco-hotel, it is home to nine suites and villas with furniture was designed by local artisans. When it comes to cuisine, chef Dominique Thevenet blends local dishes with French cuisine in an “Island Soul Food” spirit.
What makes it unique: The owner’s vast collection of Haitian art fills each of the hotel’s rooms. A location worthy of a trendy art gallery.
Awasi Iguazú, Misiónes, Argentina
Nestled in the jungle, on the banks of the Iguazú river, Awasi Iguazú is a great option for discovering the national park and its waterfalls. Scattered throughout the tropical forest in Misiónes, the hotel’s 14 villas' interior's are inspired by the colors and textures of the surrounding forest and the region’s red earth; the expertise of the Guaraní people is present in the traditional textiles and woven baskets. Villas also have their own private pool.
What makes it unique: The property is close to magnificent hiking trails, which run through the tropical forest, home to more than 400 species of birds.
Palé Hall, Gwynedd, Wales
In the heart of Snowdonia national park, Palé Hall has distinguished itself as the quintessential countryside hotel, with a gourmet restaurant created by Michael Caines and Michelin-starred chef Gareth Stevenson. Located in the Dee Valley, the Victorian manor has 18 rooms decorated in Jacobean style. Once the property of the Duke of Westminster, the property has hosted the likes of Her Majesty Queen Victoria and Sir Winston Churchill. Today, it offers guests the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of these inspiring figures, while enoying the scent of herbs and garden vegetables grown at the hotel, which also generates its own electricity through a hydroelectric system.
What makes it unique: A station for cleaning muddy paws after a walk in the wooded garden is also available.
Hôtel Splendide Royal, Paris, France
Photo by Emanuele DiPasquale
Located between the Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Gabriel, the Hôtel Splendide Royal is a true haven of peace where one feels right at home. Known as “Paris’ Miniature Palace,” it has 12 suites with a classic décor enhanced by a distinctive, chic and laid-back design. Gastronomic excellence, art galleries, luxury boutiques and international auction houses are all located nearby.
What makes it unique: The Splendide team is home to a quality, multilingual babysitting service.
Pastorale, Reet, Belgium
Located within a former presbytery a few miles outside of Antwerp, the Pastorale restaurant has offered a cuisine blending tradition and modernity, developed using local, organic products since 1991. Bart de Pooter, the two Michelin-star chef and owner, creates Flemish dishes revisited with foreign influences, often with a touch of Asian flavor. The chef’s creativity extends beyond his dishes, as he is also behind the interior design, with a minimalist and Art Nouveau style. The property’s garden, home to a sculpture by Belgian artist Jan Fabre, adds to the exceptional experience.
What makes it unique: The property also offers a three-course “urban menu” for lunch, with four courses for dinner.
Palais, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
Located in the Heidiland region, Palais, constructed in the 18th century, offers access to plenty of outdoor activities. With skiing, hot springs, mountain bike trails, golfing, and more, it has everything you need to enjoy an active and relaxing holiday at any time of the year. The Swiss cuisine prepared by the property’s Zollstube restaurant is a good follow-up to long strolls in the area, and the same can be said for the spacious guestrooms.
What makes it unique: The hotel was a source of inspiration for Austrian writer Rainer Maria Rilke.
Chalet Hotel Schönegg, Zermatt, Switzerland
Located in front of the peak of the Matterhorn, on the Italian/Swiss border, Chalet Hotel Schönegg has its very own tunnel and private lift to access the village and Sunnegga-Zermatt ski resort, which always delights lovers of pristine slopes. Run by the Metry family, the property has produced its own wine in Varen for four generations. It offers an array of over 80 wines, which are paired with dishes freshly prepared by the chef of the gourmet restaurant, Uncorked. The panoramic terrace is the top spot to unwind and breathe in the fresh mountain air. To finish the day, there nothing beats basking in a hot tub while enjoying a view of the Matterhorn.
What makes it unique: In addition to its 365 days of guaranteed snow per year, Zermatt is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts with its 250 miles of trails.
Epoque Hotel, Bucharest, Romania
Opened in 2010 in the heart of Bucharest, the Epoque Hotel is the first hotel-restaurant in Romania to join Relais & Châteaux. With its style worthy of a Wes Anderson film set, this Art Deco property's façade pays homage to the Paris of 1900, while its restaurant, L'Atelier, with its elegant and intimate setting, has cuisine inspired by French and Romanian dishes, made from local products. After a day exploring Bucharest, guests particularly enjoy sipping a glass of tsuica on the private terrace, or taking a dip in the indoor pool.
What makes it unique: Set in eclectic surroundings, Epoque will be an inspirational context for your journey through the ages of Bucharest, as it reveals a décor of character through a captivating interpretation of neo-Romanian architecture
Hôtel & Spa Le Doge, Casablanca, Morocco
Located in the heart of the city of Casablanca, Hôtel & Spa Le Doge was originally built for the wife of an Italian entrepreneur in the 1930s. There are 16 rooms that have retained their old-world charm, as well as a centerpiece bar on the top floor, offering views of the white city. (When the sky is clear, you can see the old façade of the Rialto cinema.) What’s more, each of the mansion’s rooms are intimately linked to the story of a filmmaker. Tip: Treat yourself to a relaxing massage or a typical Moroccan dinner by the fire after a film in the city.
What makes it unique: In the lounge, once a bar and a library, you can enjoy sipping a mint tea while reveling in stories about the golden age of Arab cinema.
Ahilya By The Sea, Goa India
Oasis of natural beauty
Located in a quiet corner of Dolphin Bay, the Ahilya by the Sea hotel offers travelers the chance to stay in a large, simple and elegant family home. Designed by the property owners, the Holkar royal family, the interior design is an invitation to travel, with objects collected from all over the world. In the kitchen, the chef offers dishes with Indian, Italian and French influences, while using fresh produce from local markets. Outside, lining the villas with their Portuguese colonial architecture are two pools surrounded by coconut trees ando pink and white frangipani. Guests are invited to try their hands at crabbing with the hotel’s boatman.
What makes it unique: On the second floor of Arjun's Tree House, a tower nestled in the boughs of a 200-year-old banyan, hides a perfect room for a romantic escape that exudes an indescribable feeling of well-being.