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.
With the 2014-15 ski season due to get underway, I head to the Austrian village of Lech am Arlberg for a couple of nights in the family-run Hotel Gotthard.
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
The Sokos Hotel Ilves is centrally situated and offers great views over Tampere, Finland’s most populous inland city. If you enjoy having a room with a view then it’ll be worth asking for a city facing room on one of the upper floors of this 19 storey hotel.
Frankfurt’s skyline is arguably the most famous in Germany. Before turning to my bed I spent a few minutes admiring the high-rise buildings from the floor-to-ceiling window of my 25th floor room in the Jumeirah Frankfurt.
It’s not often that I murmur a ‘wow’ upon arriving at a hotel. I’m not the most demonstrative of travellers but the grandeur of the Al Bustan Palace's 38 metre high central hall raised even my eyebrows a centimetre or two.