Mary Gostelow is known worldwide for her unique insight into worthwhile luxury overnights, at city-centre superlatives through to safari ultra-tents, and here, exclusively for Enness Global Mortgages, she shares personal thoughts, [email protected].
How about Riedel flutes from a 300cl (double magnum) Krug Grande Cuvée 168ème Edition, 600 metres ASL in a private Krug lounge at The Dolder Grand Resort, looking down over Swiss meadows to Zürichsee? Add a Royal Release Robusto, 2012 edition, from the Davidoff cigar menu: for service, there’s a push-button ‘Champagne’ bell.
Dolder started 1899 as a kurhaus. Outside, think sports, year round. Inside, it’s wellness, plus 350 original artworks, Dali, Miro and Warhol plus a brown corrugated card, ‘Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan stole all my stuff’.
Norman Foster added identical curlique wings, and of the 173 bedrooms, Karajan’s favourite was the 400sq m Maestro Suite, topping the central tower. I love the 230sq m two-bedroom Carezza Suite., wrap-round all-wall windows, private sauna, handy for the spa.
Heading down there, pass multi-colour mobiles by Switzerland’s ‘Alexander Calder’, Jean Tinguely, and ‘his equally idiosyncratic French wife, Niki de Saint Phalle. The spa is total calm. Buy a themed day, or à la carte, 30-minutes’ Dr Burgener algae drainage or Swiss salt crystal scrub. Detoxed, plunge into the 25-metre curvilinear indoor pool, which appears, correctly, to extend to the outside. Even in the Pantone 11-0602 Snow White of winter, daytime sun gives facial glows.
Hotel GM Markus Grenelli considers food one of life’s greatest art forms. Two-star Michelin from Hanseatic wunderkid Heiko Nieder is, currently, complemented by new-look Japanese from Osaka-born Yoshizumi Nagaya, from Dusseldorf’s Nagaya, also Michelin starred. Choose lightly-roasted wagyu sashimi with yuzu, and sautéed Canadian black cod with saikyo-miso. Try a Sakura cherry blossom cocktail, with Hanami Dry Gin - or go for Krug Clos du Mesnil, Push that bell for a refill.
Rosewood Sand Hill resort, outside Menlo Park CA, is activity heaven. It may not have the most expensive car ever built in the USA – the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600, coming in at $161,550 – but, thanks to creative the networker, Philip Meyer, MD of this 131-room resort, you can take a free trial drive of various others in current Mercedes range.
And cyclists are not forgotten. Try the wind tunnel at Specialized global headquarters, only 30 minutes away (Meyer, whose own favourite steed is a shiny-white Colnago, will also lead local rides, perhaps around nearby Stanford University, the hotel’s owner). For more-sedate calorie burn, join 9 a.m. yoga classes, outside every Saturday and Sunday, and, inside and air-conditioned, the Technogym is 24/7.
I like balancing all this with spa pampering, perhaps a French-Japanese EviDenS de Beauté facial, really popular with local fashionistas. Actually, the entire 26-acre resort feels like a PMC, private members’ club: Rosewood Sand Hill Lifestyle Club is, indeed, the hub of Silicon Valley’s Who’s Who.
Time to think of the sleep experience. Private Villas go up to 3,000sq m but I loved #1307, a 800 sq m Rosewood Executive Suite, upstairs in a two-floor west-facing block. Just before sunset, I headed down 26 steps straight to the lovely, 25m-long pool. Summer-long, poolside food is Hawaiian, overseen by San Francisco’s LihoLiho Yacht Club’s celebrity chef, Ravi Kapur. Pair tuna poke, furikake rice, avocado, and spicy aioli with a perfectly chilled Chardonnay, say a 2017 Flowers Moon Select Sonoma Coast (Meyer thinks of everything and there’s a pop-up Flowers Winery wine-tasting station, a few metres away in well-tended floribunda nook).
Yoga, or an origami lesson looking over a sky-high glass platform named for Diana Princess of Wales’ visit in 1986?
Endless memories of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, in Oman’s Al Hajar mountains, 2,000 metres ASL. After a zigzag tree-free climb, arrive at this five-year old, timeless-look fort, for macho+pampering. Mountain biking and rotating climbing walls allow displays of prowess. A pomegranate scrub in the spa, and 12 niche varieties in dinner’s salt menu, nourish the inner self. The prestige of the 115 rooms is the 700 sq m, three-bedroom Royal Mountain Suite but I really warmed to the more-modest 188 sq m room 4, which came with an empty sketch book and coloured pencils, plus a significant private pool.
Think romance, including proposals, and culture, say curated local soukh market visits. Kids, four years up, lap up such activities as camel rides.
GM Rami Farhat, https://www.anantara.com/en/jabal-akhdar/
The Cartier Queen’s Cup, running through 27th June 2021 at Windsor Great Park, is the most important challenge organised by Guards Polo Club. Cup sponsors include Cartier, Champagne Laurent-Perrier and Mosimann’s Club.
Based at Windsor Great Park, Guards Polo Club manages polo operations at all 14 polo fields in the immediate vicinity. Two of these polo fields are on the 97-hectare (240-acre) adjacent estate that is the Dorchester Collection’s idyllic English-countryside resort, Coworth Park. At the main house and surrounding cottages, all total-71 rooms come with copper bathtubs and heated bathroom floors, open fireplaces, and some have terraces and private gardens. Cool.
I loved 67sq m Junior Suite #31, up 53 oak stairs in the main house, which dates back to 1776. Curtain-free four-poster with wrought-iron bird headboard. Fun. Mitchell and Peach farm-produced toiletries. Seven minutes’ walk to the serious spa, living roof, 18 -metre pool, Scottish-seaweed ishga products, or Carol Joy cucumber. Aromatherapy Associates Mindful Moments.
For sharing with family and friends, all ages, the 206 sq m North Lodge is perfect. Gated, playful garden, three bedrooms, butler, and chef to star in the Miele kitchen arena. Wherever - main house gourmet dining or, say, a sticky short-rib burger out on The Barn terrace, Netherend Farm butter, Coworth Park preserves - you know ‘the boss’, the favourite-girl-next-door GM Zoe Jenkins, is contemporary foodie. Happiness, too, from inside walls hung with equestrian art, and, outside, grounds dotted with bronze sculptures. And country pursuits, including biking and hiking, and polo.
In Morocco, Royal Mansour Marrakech will, by the end of 2021, have six extraordinary private dining tables. Hotel MD Jean-Claude Messant, passionate about dining and ambience from small-boy days in Normandy, today cannot stop enthusing about one-off tables-for-eight, all to be booked ahead in the kitchen garden, or in the wine cellar or in The Nest, raised treetop-high.
Owned by King Mohammed VI, it was he who led a three-acre extension to the already peaceful gardens. Now, thanks to planning, the addition of five feet of topsoil and quick-growing trees, private dining is complemented by public-welcome access. A herb and vegetable garden supplies all Royal Mansour’s restaurants, mostly overseen by Yannick Alléno. A glass-walled Atelier d’Artiste offers curated classes for you-do-it, art through to photography and pottery, with occasional artists in residence. Atelier is also part of all-round wellness retreats launching this September: Messant has, by the way, added Dr. Burgener Switzerland, Intraceuticals and Subtle Energies to his spa’s brands.
All 53 Royal Mansour suites are in three-floor riad buildings, looking more mediaeval than 2010-vintage. Forsake sky-high Louboutins for Yeezy Boost 700 sneakers. Typically, at suite #43, total inside 1,750 sq ft, it’s 33 steps from stained-glass window living room up to bedroom (Balenciaga alarm clock). Add 26 steps to emerge in the bright Morocco sun to your private rooftop. Privacy and calm in a seemingly-vertical space. At ground-level, wend between other riad buildings en route to spa or Technogym, pool, Atelier or rest of the gardens. Pair those sneakers with 100% Capri-style flowing white, topped by a raffia Helen Kaminski Provence 10. Order yet another Riedel flute of Moët before the sun calls it a day.