Have you been watching the BBC’s “Amazing Hotels” series? In this fascinating six-part television programme, Times restaurant reviewer, Giles Coren and Masterchef judge, Monica Galetti head to some of the world’s most incredible destinations to work alongside staff in some of the most extraordinary hotels across the globe. Make sure you don’t miss these intriguing episodes screened every Tuesday night at 9pm on BBC Two. Missed out so far? Don’t worry, you can get them all on Catch Up…
Move over fly-and-flop holidays, it’s time for experiential bucket-list-worthy escapes! From a spectacular hotel sculpted entirely out of ice to sharing your breakfast with visiting Rothschild giraffes, these hotels are sure to fuel your wanderlust:
Episode 1: The Brando, French Polynesia
Join Monica and Giles in French Polynesia at one of the world’s most expensive eco resorts. On the small island of Tetiaroa near Samoa, this luxurious hotel surrounded by the ocean and colourful coral reef has hosted the likes of Pippa Middleton and Barack Obama. Learn how Brando and his team run the hotel, ensuring minimal impact on the environment and join Monica and the resident beekeeper as they harvest some of the purest honey on earth.
Episode 2: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Oman
One of our favourite hotels in our luxurious Oman collection, we were really excited to hear that Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar is getting the attention it so rightly deserves by being featured in the Amazing Hotels series. Positioned delicately on the curving rim of Oman’s Green Mountains, 2,000 metres above sea level, this 5* resort is a remarkable hotel in an even more remarkable location. Join Giles and Monica as they test out the hotel’s new adventure course and discover the challenges of creating the Middle East’s highest 5* hotel with architect, Lotfi. See more.
- Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
- Ashford Castle, Ireland
- The Silo, Cape Town
- La Residence, Franschhoek
- Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira, Chile
What you’ve missed…
Episode 1: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
A colossal $3.5 billion was required to build the impressive Marina Bay Sands towering over the Singaporean city skyline. With 2,500 Feng Shui designed bedrooms, 60 restaurants and 9,500 members of staff and one of the longest elevated infinity pools in the world – the size of three Olympic swimming pools – a visit to this hotel is truly memorable. Join Giles and Monica as they delve into catering for the hotel’s restaurants, discover life as a butler or valet and get stuck into the mammoth laundry process where tens of thousands of towels are laundered per day. See more.
Episode 2: Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
A luxury cocoon in the clouds, the glass-encased Mashpi Lodge is tucked between the cloud forest and the rainforest, home to wild cats and howler monkeys. With just 22 rooms – all with floor to ceiling forest views, of course – this tree-lined retreat is both striking and sophisticated. For Monica, the highlight was going down a gondola that looks over the forest floor. “As was spending time exploring the rainforest and being out with nature when I was there. I discovered I have a real love for insects, a passion I never really knew I had; I got so enthusiastic about the wildlife.” Join the team as they discover the challenges of guest relations at a hotel far away from civilisation. See more.
Episode 3: Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Meet Giraffe Manor, a Scottish style 10-bedroom hunting lodge. Located at the edge of Nairobi National Park on Samburu tribal land, this unusual hotel’s prime stars are the resident Rothschild giraffes that often stick their heads through the window at breakfast time, ever hopeful for a snack. Join Monica and head chef, David Kisevu, as they go grocery shopping in the lively suburb of Rongai and learn about Nairobi’s Samburu tribe – the tribal heritage of 75% of the hotel staff. See more.
Episode 4: Royal Mansour, Marrakech
One of the quietest hotels in the world, this luxurious hotel was commissioned by King Mohammed VI in the middle of ancient Medina. Join Monica and executive housekeeper, Laurence, as they primp the hotel’s 350 pairs of curtains by hand and explore a kilometre-long network of underground tunnels that allows staff to get their work done without disturbing the guests. You’ll be impressed by the hotel’s grand interiors filled with Cedarwood doors, Berber rubs, tasteful mosaics and the 53 riad bedrooms with their own rooftop plunge pools.
Episode 5: Fogo Island Inn, Canada
Known by the local people as “far away from far away” Fogo Island Inn feels as though it’s on the edge of the world. Undeniably unique, just about everything in the inn is made locally from handmade quilts to carefully crafted furniture. Located on stilts on a remote island in the rugged North Atlantic, there’s no better place for sea and star gazing or taking a step back in time, picking wild berries and foraging for mushrooms. Join Giles as he is initiated as an “honorary” Newfoundlander and Monica as she discovers the effort and art that goes into growing the perfect potato. Want a quote? Call our specialists.
Episode 6: ICEHOTEL, Sweden
This famously freezing hotel is entirely rebuilt each year in Swedish Lapland. Created from ice and over 30,000 litres of water sourced from the Torne River, this unusual pop-up hotel comes complete with champagne themed ice bar, an art gallery lined with ice-sculptures, art deco snow beds and glittering, albeit perilous, icicle chandeliers. Tune in to watch Giles and a team of international artists as they create the most incredible rooms out of ice!
Which of these amazing hotels would you like to stay at? Visit our website or give our specialists a call to start planning your trip…