After a 17-month closure, The Lanesborough reopened on London’s Hyde Park Corner in July. Now part of the Oetker Collection, which includes Le Bristol in Paris and the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, the property has been reinvented by the celebrated Alberto Pinto interior design studio. The 93 rooms (including 43 suites) have been decorated in full Regency splendor, with ornamental plasterwork, stenciling, gold-leaf and handpainted trompe l’oeil. The spectacular main restaurant, Céleste, is now Venetian in style, with a domed glass roof, chandeliers, bas-reliefs and fluted columns. Chef Patron Eric Frechon, who presides over three-star Epicure at Le Bristol, has installed his protégé, Florian Favario, as head chef. Menus feature gourmet cuisine employing the finest British ingredients. Enhancements at The Lanesborough also include the Spa Studio, featuring treatments by La Prairie.
Scheduled to debut at the end of this year, Amanera is a new Aman resort located on the pristine northern shore of the Dominican Republic. Set on a 2,000-acre estate surrounded by rain forest and backed by the Cordillera Septentrional mountains, the resort has a dramatic clifftop setting overlooking the mile-long Playa Grande beach. Its 25 Casitas all provide ocean views; the top-of-the-range two-bedroom Bay View Casa comes with a 65-foot private pool. Amanera is integrated with the legendary Playa Grande Golf Course, designed by the great Robert Trent Jones. The 7,085-yard course, which boasts the highest number of ocean holes in the Western Hemisphere (10), is currently being restored by his son, Rees Jones. If golf is not your thing, Amanera has a two-story spa, plus studios for yoga, Pilates and meditation. Marlin fishing and scuba diving are also available.
Safaris can be tiring: The dirt roads are often bumpy; the sun presses down; and game drives generally begin in the half-light before dawn. A relaxing spell on a tropical beach is the ideal way to conclude a trip and to prepare for re-entry into the real world. Now, travelers to Southern Africa have a new option in Mozambique’s blissful Bazaruto Archipelago. Safari specialist &Beyond has recently opened a new lodge on Benguerra Island. Twelve thatched casinhas and cabanas, plus the three-bedroom Casa Familia, all with private pools, overlook a spectacular beach and the tranquil waters of a marine conservation area. Activities include scuba diving, catch-and-release big game fishing in a deep channel nearby, and dhow cruises.
Perched on a ridge at the heart of the Luberon, Gordes is one of the most spectacular villages in Provence, its ancient buildings seemingly clamped to the hillside in reckless defiance of gravity. La Bastide de Gordes is the quintessential Provençal hotel, surrounded by turreted 12th-century fortifications of golden stone. After a 12-month, $35 million renovation, the hotel reopened in June. The 33 rooms and six suites (three of which have private balconies with dramatic views) have been redecorated in a Gallic country house style by Christophe Tollemer. One of the two restaurants is now under the supervision of Parisian three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire, while the other, La Citadelle, serves traditional Provençal and Mediterranean cuisine. The new 8,600-square-foot Sisley Spa offers a large indoor pool, plus a 82-foot lap pool set amid terraced gardens.
October brings two more of my personal travel guides: France & Monaco and Northern Europe & Russia. Updates feature my latest discoveries, regional notebooks, touring maps, restaurants and, of course, a complete list of my recommended hotels with numerical ratings and detailed descriptions. The Andrew Harper Collection books are now available for individual purchase here. They are also mailed bimonthly to Premier subscribers. To upgrade your subscription, contact [email protected].