Sat, May 14, 2011 - Page 16 News List

Hotels on the cutting edge

Looking for a glamorous getaway? Read on for a list of 10 of the world’s swankiest hotels, in locations ranging from Bangkok to London

Reuters, LONDON

SAFFIRE, FREYCINET PENINSULA, AUSTRALIA

Generating global buzz with its wow-worthy mix of directional design and natural charm, shoreside sensation Saffire is putting Australia’s southernmost island Tasmania firmly on the style map. Shaped like a sinuous stingray, Sanctuary, the main body of the hotel, is home to view-packing restaurant Palate, where seasonal local seafood and fish are a must. Spread out like a shoal around it, the 20 suites blend subtle modern design with striking sea vistas. (Snaffle one of the four Premium Suites for a private plunge pool). With spa treatments inspired by gemstones, and massages included in rates, you’ll be hard pressed to leave. Nearby Wineglass Bay on the famous Freycinet Peninsula should tempt you though, or sample Saffire’s adventurous activities, including visits to a marine oyster farm or island-hopping.

ALILA VILLAS ULUWATU, BALI, INDONESIA

It’s no wonder the beautiful people flock to Alila Villas Uluwatu, a jaw-dropping cliffhanger of a retreat on Bali’s dramatic southern Bukit Peninsula, boasting panoramic views over the Indian Ocean. Sleek modern design at this seductive sanctuary comes care of Singaporean architects WOHA, with 61 spacious pool villas embracing the outdoors. Natural stone, wood, water features and rattan rule, with personal butlers on tap. Add to the mix fine dining restaurant Cire, Indonesian eatery the Warung and the heavenly Spa Alila, and you’ll be hooked. Stand-out sensation? Perching in the lounge bar cabana with waves crashing below. Uluwatu’s legendary surf breaks await if you’re having a Kelly Slater moment.

MAISON MOSCHINO, MILAN, ITALY

Sharing your hotel with ornamental sheep might not seem an obvious style statement, but this Milan marvel puts the surreal into the sartorial. Created by Italian mega-brand Moschino, and housed in the city’s first railway station, 65-room Maison Moschino teams haute couture allure with avant-garde decor. Illuminated mannequins light the lobby and beds are backdropped by outsize frocks. (Wannabe Cinderellas should book the Sleeping in a Ballgown boudoir). Quirky touches continue in the restaurant, which serves Italian sushi, and the elegant Culti Spa, where treatments are inspired by beauty-boosting Brittany sea water. Make time to visit cutting-edge concept store 10 Corso Como nearby.

THE WATERHOUSE AT SOUTH BUND, SHANGHAI

Soak up views of Shanghai’s Huangpu River from your designer digs at The Waterhouse at South Bund, set in a restored 1930s factory in the historic Shiliupu dockyards. Its jagged industrial framework is offset by sleek adaptations by Shanghai architects Neri & Hu, with 19 rooms offering minimal styling, Scandi and Italian contemporary furniture and racy baths in see-through boxes. Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton heads up tasty restaurant Table No. 1, a simple dining space with serious culinary cred. Weather willing, there are few finer perching spots than the Roof at Waterhouse, the lofty cocktail-pouring vantage-point atop this urban sanctuary.

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