To choose from the vast array of celebrated luxury hotels, each with their own dazzling range of facilities, accommodations and special features, is no easy task. However, unique being the key word here, we drew up a list which would justify that adjective. The 5 unique luxury hotels of the world chosen below have all the usual trappings of course, grand rooms, superlative services, beautiful layout and food fit for kings. However they owe their uniqueness to either some special features which they alone offer or for offering services which are unrivalled by their brethren. Simply put, these names are unique because they would stand out in the remembrance of the most jaded traveller’s mind.
The Point Resort, Saranac Lake, New York
Perched on the edge of the lovely Saranac Lake, amidst the Great North Woods, this majestic log retreat is all of 10 acres. Built by William Avery Rockefeller and set in the private Adirondack estate, it holds out the rare promise of solitude and utter tranquillity, which comes from the absence of televisions, phones and children. Gourmet fare by the Michelin starred chef, superlative service by an ever-attentive staff and some of the most beautiful surroundings in the world are yours to enjoy in this rustic getaway. There are 11 guest rooms, each with lake view, massive beds, chrome fitted baths, huge fireplaces and antique furnishings to match. The Boathouse is the most popular and the loveliest one to stay in. Guests can enjoy dinners at the Great Hall or private barbeques, luncheons and island picnics. Skiing, skating, ice-fishing (in winter); boating, water-skiing, swimming; tennis, golf, hiking, fishing, trekking, horse-riding are some of the activities you can enjoy. Evenings are for gathering around a fire or setting off on a cocktail cruise. The finest of drinks are at your disposal. The entire property can be booked for special events (this is the place for dream weddings).
USP: The best all-inclusive rustic, luxury camp in the world. It is so private that not even its exact location is generally known, it is revealed only after you have made reservations to stay.
The Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji
If Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne ever fired your youthful fantasies of living under water, here is your chance to make it a reality. Welcome to the Poseidon Undersea Resort, located under the sea in a 5000 acre lagoon near a private island in Fiji. Accessible via an elevator from the island shore, it is an aquatic world complete with 24 underwater guest rooms, bar, gym and a restaurant. Seventy per cent of the room are transparent affording breath-taking views of the teeming marine life with up to 200 feet visibility. The Poseidon Mystery Island has 3 types of accommodations – underwater suites, island villas and overwater villas. Facilities include king-size beds, in-room refrigerators, marble bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs, a library, Wi-Fi/internet and televisions. Built with complete safety in mind, each capsule-like suite of the resort can be detached and pulled up for repairs if the need arises.
There is no dearth of things to do here. You can actually learn to navigate a submarine and explore the underwater world. Or just relax with a drink in hand and view the lovely reefs from the comfort of a luxury passenger submarine. Go scuba diving or walk the sea floor with a hi-tech diving helmet. There are regular activities like kayaking, wind-surfing and snorkelling, parasailing, ultra-light flight, tennis, golf or island-caves’ explorations. Marvel at the star studded sky from the hill top observatory, enjoy a lunch at the private honeymoon island, attend cooking classes or workshops or just relax in the lounge choosing your drink from the list of 9000 wines. The Amphitrite Spa offers superb body treatments. World class cuisine is guaranteed at the underwater restaurant or the beach side cafes and bars (6 restaurants and 7 bars in all). There is a fitness centre, a library, a lovely room which can be used as a conference room or the world’s only underwater wedding chapel. There is also a dive shop as well as a boutique selling lovely local products and more.
USP: The world’s first seafloor resort and pressurized undersea structure and the only luxury underwater retreat where you can stay 40 feet under the sea!
Four Seasons George V, Paris
Taking luxury and pampering to a whole new level, the palatial Four Seasons George V is an eight-storey building dating back to 1928. Beautifully renovated, it is the last word in French grandiosity, sophistication and impeccable service. It boasts of fantastic location right near Champs Elysees, a superb view of the iconic Eiffel Tower, stunning mural work, signature floral displays and a world class spa and pool. The 244 luxury rooms have exquisite art pieces, lovely 18th century tapestries and beautiful chandeliers. Many have private terraces affording lovely views of the city and many of its famous landmarks. Food at the renowned Michelin starred ‘Le Cinq’ will linger in your memory long after it has vanished from your tongue. The original secret wine-cellar is still in use and offers a choice of 50,000 wines. For cocktails and snacks, guests can head to La Galerie or Le Bar. The royal opulence and grandeur is seamlessly blended with every modern amenity and comfort. In the comfort of your Louis XVI style furnished room you can enjoy flat screen televisions, internet access, CD players and PlayStations. State-of-the-art equipment is available at the Health Club while the spa offers the top luxury body treatments.
USP: A legend among classic luxury hotels. The hotel offers its guests the services of the only Hermes-inspired, hand-built and custom made Rolls Royce Phantom in the world!
Ladera, St Lucia, West Indies
This resort is a tribute to Nature’s loveliness. Located in St Lucia, a mountainous, lush tropical Caribbean island, the Ladera resort was once part of a famous cocoa plantation. There are 32 suites which will transport guests to the very lap of nature. Coupled with the absence of phones or televisions, the result is a lovely feeling of being in your own private Eden with views of green hillsides, volcanic mountains and the blue sea. Suites come with queen beds, en-suite bathrooms, plunge pools, robes, mini-bars and in-room safes. Higher-end suites have heated pools with waterfalls. They are made of tropical hardwoods, local stone, tiles and artwork. There is complimentary breakfast service, nightly turn down service, a dream pillow service, pool service and beach shuttle service to the nearby Jalouise Beach. The highlight of the resort is undoubtedly the lush, colourful tropical setting. There are a whole lot of sight-seeing activities for absorbing the local Caribbean culture. Apart from the tours, you can also play golf, go hiking, horse-riding, snorkelling, whale and dolphin watching or just unwind at the pool. Food at the Dasheene is not to be missed, especially the local dishes made from freshly harvested produce. Finally indulge in luxurious pampering at The Spa.
USP: The resort is perched 1100 feet above sea level with the fourth wall missing from rooms to allow sweepingly, stunning views of the Piton Mountains, the Caribbean Sea and tropical forests.
Cappadocia Cave Resort and Spa, Turkey
The Cappadocia Cave Resort is a luxury retreat tucked away into the rock carved dwellings of Uchisar. Spectacular views of the jagged, rocky stone formations called ‘fairy chimneys’ meet your eye at every turn. The suites have a rustic theme in keeping with the cave like surroundings but they contain every modern amenity including flat screen TVs, digital jukebox, massage showers and Wi-Fi! The first cave spa in the world, Leea offers the delights of the famous Turkish hammam, as well as other body treatments. The best of European, Turkish and Japanese cuisine coupled with the finest vintage wines will delight your taste buds at the award-winning Padishah Restaurant. Cocktails and spectacular scenery are offered at the Erciyes Pool Bar. Two heated pools (indoor and outdoor) are available for refreshing dips. A fitness centre, 2 saunas, a snow room, steam room, adventure shower and conference rooms are also available. There are a host of sightseeing activities to choose from as the resort is located within convenient reach of famous tourist spots like Uchisar Castle, Gerome Open Air Museum, Pigeon Valley and the underground city of Kaymakli. Guests can also go horse-riding, hot air ballooning, enjoy dinner with folklore shows or experience the mesmerising Whirling Dervish Show.
USP: The luxury cave-resort and spa is in Cappadocia region which is famous for its lunar-like landscape and cave structures and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.