I was allocated a sizable ground floor bedroom at the back of the hotel, with a sash window that opened onto the garden. The quiet location and heavy curtains ensured that even on a summer’s night I was able to sleep well. The décor of my room was classically English in pastel colours, with framed prints on the walls. The en suite bathroom was stocked with Penhaligon’s toiletries.
“Did you hear the whales singing during the night?” asked a smiling, fellow guest as I headed downstairs for breakfast at the Doctor’s House Inn and Spa at Green’s Harbour in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Birds are chirping and geese are honking on the far side of the fairway as I raise the sash window of my vast guestroom at Maften Hall in rural Northumberland. It’s pleasant to wake with a view overlooking a championship standard golf course.
I pause by the lifts and photograph down into the atrium. Its volume, subtle illumination and stylish design were sufficient to draw a murmured wow from me upon arrival last night.Even in daylight it looks remarkable. This hotel opened its doors in 1987 but there’s nothing tired about the Marina Mandarin Singapore. Refurbs have ensured John Portman’s symmetrical design continues to impress.
St Mary’s Inn is a gastropub that offers B&B accommodation in the former administrative building of St Mary’s Hospital, a couple of miles from Morpeth in Northumberland. In its heyday up to 2,000 patients were treated at the hospital, an asylum that closed in 1996.
Berns, I learn during my two night stay close to central Stockholm’s Nybroviken Harbour, is more than just a hotel. You might think it smacks of marketing speak to describe a hotel as an institution but this place is worthy of the term.
The Hotel Gotthard, at Lech am Arlberg, has been in the hands of the Walch family since 1931 and is currently run by Clemens and Nicole, a husband and wife team. Nicole originates from South Australia and like the Gotthard’s receptionists and waitresses, wears a traditional Austrian Dirndl while working.
A doorman wearing a khaki uniform, a pith helmet and a smile and welcomes me to the Danna hotel on Langkawi, Malaysia. The tall, arched windows of the airy, marble-floored lobby remind me of those in Colonial era buildings over on peninsula Malaysia and Singapore.
There’s something uplifting about waking up in the tropics, pulling back the curtains of a luxury bedroom and opening the door, stepping down from the veranda then wandering barefoot on a white sand beach in the early morning sunlight.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe used to sip Madeira wine in the cellar, Adolf Hitler stayed at least 35 times and there’s a secret tunnel dating from World War II and leading from the cellar under the adjacent market place