I’m a big fan of The Ritz-Carlton’s hotels around the world. Their skyscraping Tokyo hotel is one of my favorite places to stay in Asia, as is the relatively new Mandapa Reserve in Bali.
It would take a pretty hardened or anxious soul not to be able to relax at NIZUC Resort & Spa. Located in Cancun’s ‘hotel zone’, at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, the resort is just a 20 minute drive from the international airport, which makes getting there pretty hassle-free for a start.
The ‘new’ smell hasn’t yet faded at Lympstone Manor. The hotel, a modern take on the traditional English house, just opened in April 2017, and there’s a pleasant waft of the new every time you walk on the thick carpets or open a cupboard.
Anyone who’s familiar with the Monopoly board game will know the most expensive street to buy or to land on is Mayfair. The same goes in real life.
“Down the rabbit hole” is how someone described Gidleigh Park to me, but, really, that’s the wrong literary reference. It’s less Lewis Carroll and Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, far more H.G. Wells and The Time Machine. Arriving at the Tudor–style country house, having driven down narrow country roads, feels like a kind of time warp.
Good things are happening up on the 15th floor. The Jacuzzi is bubbling away at 38 degrees.
“White, white,” laughs our butler, leading us through the corridors of Le Blanc. “”All white.” He's right, but really the explanation isn't all that necessary. Even if my rudimental French didn't mean I already understood the hotel's name, it doesn't take long at all to figure out there's a whole lot of white at Le Blanc.
The old saying that “You can't judge a book by its cover” needs to be updated. These days, we judge everything not by the cover of the book, brochure or pamphlet, but by it's website.
It takes just 25 minutes on a ferry, across from the mainland port of Chiquila on the northern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsular, to reach Isla Holbox.
Arriving at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, you need to do a double take. Are you still in Mexico? The hotel is just a few miles outside Playa del Carmen, the lively party beach and party town on the coast of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsular, so this should definitely feel like Mexico.
A good hostess is friendly and welcoming. It doesn't make a good first impression for any hotel if they're aloof and noisy, as happens at Belmond Maroma Spa and Resort.
I reach a set of black gates, the top of the rails coated gold. A Union Jack flag flaps in the wind above. There's more gold outside, in the form of regal-looking statues. A long line of people are queuing at the gates. Clearly, this is a popular place, but then this isn't my hotel, not yet.
As a child, Paris was a city stop on family holidays as we ferried across the Channel from England and drove down to the beaches in the south of France.
Old, crumbled, faded, a shadow of it's former greatness…. There are plenty of buildings to match that description across the Yucatan Peninsula, this area of southern Mexico being a hotspot for ancient temples and archaeological sites from the mighty Mayan empire.