Luxury travel means something different to everyone. To some, it’s an escape. In this time-starved, technology-obsessed world, some travellers see it as an absolute luxury to simply evade reality for a while and boldly set off to explore the planet’s most remote, untouched wilderness areas. For them, disconnecting from their laptops, phones, WiFi and social media and truly getting back to nature and experiencing its beauty are key.
For others, luxury travel is an authentic learning experience. These travellers actively seek meaningful and educational multi-generational holidays where they not only bond and reconnect with loved ones, but they are also able to connect with and learn from different cultures and give back to the world in a significant and sustainable way.
To us, luxury travel is multi-faceted and entirely unique to each traveller. It’s about reconnecting, exploring, broadening horizons, meeting new cultures, witnessing extraordinary wildlife, tasting local delicacies, savouring world-class wines and gourmet menus, learning about conservation, making a difference and truly finding yourself. And … let’s be honest, whether you seek escapism, education or enlightenment (or all of the above), a bit of over-the-top luxury never hurts.
We’re not talking gold-plated taps, white-glove treatment and satin sheets – that’s not (at all) our style here at &Beyond – but whether we admit it openly or deny it vehemently, we all secretly love to indulge in some of the unashamed pampering and extravagances that luxury properties provide. Am I right…?!
Africa addicts will attest there’s nothing better than spending an adventurous day outdoors exploring Mother Africa’s rugged landscapes and being exposed to her unforgiving sun, wind, dust and dirt, then retiring to your luxury suite for some rest, relaxation and some good old-fashioned pampering. From in-room massages, champagne bubble baths, private dinners for two and commanding views, to plush bathrobes, comfortable slippers and beds so comfortable you won’t want to get up … we make sure that our guests feel like royalty.
And this extends beyond Africa of course. Action-packed days spent trekking in Torres del Paine, leisurely afternoons spent sipping wine in leafy vineyards, hot sunny days spent meandering the bustling markets and monuments of India, and energetic, once in a lifetime hikes up to Machu Picchu and Tiger’s Nest all deserve that end-of-day luxury and self-indulgence.
Here are 10 luxury bathrooms you’ll fall in love with … we encourage you to indulge in a bit of guilt-free, over-the-top luxury every now and then.
1. Dramatically suspended
One could spend hours soaking beneath bubbles and admiring the staggering view from the gorgeous, one-of-a-kind bathtub in the Vik Master Suite of the Viña Vik boutique wine spa in Millahue, Chile. As bold as it is utterly unique, the carbon-fibre, the hammock-inspired tub is dramatically suspended from the walls and boasts an uninterrupted 180° view of the Millahue valley, vast vineyard and starry sky from the floor-to-ceiling glass window.
Image © Viña Vik.
2. Magnificent marble
The uber-classy and shamelessly romantic Tower Suite of the Faena Hotel in Argentina’s cosmopolitan Buenos Aires take luxury to the next level, quite literally. The dramatic arabescato marble-clad bathroom, with its oversized marble Jacuzzi for two and open waterfall shower, graces the entire second floor of this exclusive three-storey suite. It’s a wonderful fusion of timeless elegance and city edge, with its quirky details such as the silver swan taps.
Image © Faena Hotel Buenos Aires.
3. City soak
The trendy W Santiago is a sophisticated and sleek urban hotel situated in one of Santiago, Chile’s most hip neighbourhoods. Cosseted in your own glitzy bubble high above the bustling streets below, the two larger-than-life, floor-to-ceiling windows bring the twinkling city lights to life. As luxurious as the bathroom is, our favourite part of the Wow Suite is actually the free-standing, deep-soaking bathtub that boldly sits in the middle of the bedroom commanding its million dollar view of the city.
Image © W Santiago.
4. Fairytale view
Undeniably the ultimate in storybook romance, The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra in India is situated a mere 600 m from the iconic and unashamedly romantic Taj Mahal. Be sure to reserve the elegant Kohinoor Suite, order some champagne on ice, and slink into a steamy, candlelit bubble bath in the spacious, standalone bathtub, which by the way, boasts uninterrupted views of the world’s most famous tribute to love.
Image © The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra.
5. Sunsets to remember
Lavish and luxurious, the Grand Sunset Residence of the One&Only Reethi Rah in the tropical Maldives is an opulent beach escape. This elegant three-bedroom private villa, complete with deep soaking bathtubs and romantic rain showers, overlooks a vast stretch of private beachfront and is perfectly poised to showcase the most unforgettable sunsets over the turquoise water and impossibly white sand.
Image © The One&Only Reethi Rah.
6. Mara dreaming
Mere footsteps from Kenya’s world-famous Masai Mara and situated just below the location where Out of Africa’s famous final scene was filmed, the oh-so-romantic &Beyond Bateleur Camp is the ultimate in classic safari elegance. The sumptuous ensuite bathroom in each luxury tent not only boasts a 180° view of the Mara, but its glass walls and ceiling provide a view of the forest canopy and stars above. Enjoy adventure by day and romance by night, with a candlelit bubble bath complete with rose petals and chilled sparkling wine.
7. Fit for a king and queen
Where Maasai meets Versailles, the award-winning &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania sits dramatically perched high on the very edge of the world’s largest intact caldera. With its Maasai inspired architecture and dramatic Baroque interiors, this quirky African chateau is fit for royalty. Soak in the most romantic bubble bath, surrounded by countless long-stemmed roses and a velvety carpet of petals, and admire the jaw-dropping view.
8. Safari chic
The newly rebuilt &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge in South Africa’s Kruger National Park is sheer safari elegance. Tucked beneath a canopy of mopane and Tamboti trees, each spacious ensuite thatched cottage exudes a romantic colonial ambience with nostalgic safari memorabilia throughout. Soak off the day’s exhilarating adventure in the deep, soothing bathtub or follow the enchanting lantern-lit path to a private alfresco shower where you can bathe under the starry African sky.
9. Beach bliss
Like secluded castaways on an exclusive private island, guests visiting &Beyond Mnemba Island, off the tropical shores of Zanzibar, can indulge in rustic, yet luxurious, barefoot beach bliss. The spacious, open-air bathrooms are surrounded by dense, lush foliage for added privacy, and boast large showers with turquoise glass beaded shower curtains where guests can wash away the sea salt from their sun-kissed skin.
10. Forested seclusion
Deep in the heart of a mahogany forest and continually serenaded by peaceful birdsong, &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge in Tanzania is a blissfully tranquil escape from city life. After a day out in the African sun, there’s no better place to relax and unwind than the treehouse bathtub. Overflowing with bubbles and surrounded by candles, it’s time to relax, get back to nature and take in the lush, green scenery.