The Gold List 2022
1/11 ● Condé Cast Traveller
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A Rosewood Hotel, New York City
Just saying the words ‘Meet me at Bemelmans for a drink’ makes me feel instantly more sophisticated.
Mick Jagger allegedly still keeps a residence for when he’s in town.
Some hotels are scenes, while others are escapes.
The Bel-Air has always been the latter; a pastel-hued, Mediterranean-influenced refuge for Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, who did a nude Vogue shoot here six weeks before her death.
Photo: Jeanne Le Menn.
From the small plane that flies you to the Caribbean island, the red roofs of Eden Rock in the middle of St Jean beach resemble butterflies clustering on a rock.
St Barth’s is French, legally and spiritually, and a relaxed insouciance infuses every part of the hotel, shifting it romantically from the Americanised luxury nooks of other Antilles.
Sonoma, California, USA
Photo: Jaime Kowal.
A Périgord black-truffle omelette laced with local Cowgirl Creamery cheese, cedar-roasted salmon and yuzu-scented rice are just a few of the breakfast marvels plated up at this wine-country take on a traditional ryokan.
After stints in Japan and the UK, chef-owner Kyle Connaughton and his wife Katina returned to the USA and opened SingleThread in 2016, aiming to meld Japanese sensibilities with a Californian look and feel, via a fine-dining kaiseki restaurant – one that has quickly earned a place among the world’s best, along with three Michelin stars.
Los Angeles, USA
There’s money and there’s old money, and in LA it doesn’t get much older than at the Beverly Hills, built in 1912 on Sunset Boulevard, four decades before the street would star in an eponymous film noir.
Everyone has stayed at this hotel, from Charlie Chaplin and Grace Kelly to John and Yoko.
Lanai, Hawaii, USA
There’s a decided snap to the morning air at Hawaii’s first proper destination spa, set at the base of the forested Koloiki Ridge.
At first blush the setting makes it an unlikely choice – Lanai is the smallest and least visited of the American state’s inhabited islands, and the hotel sits 1,600 feet above sea level, a solid 20-minute drive from the nearest beach.
But leave it to Four Seasons to bet right in partnering with the Los Angeles-based, evidence-led wellness brand Sensei for its first step into the health arena.
Photo: Oberto Gili.
All around the world this year, travellers have forged deeper relationships with favourite hotels a few miles away from their home base. For a New Yorker, that might mean a place such as Hotel Tivoli, painters Brice and Helen Marden’s 11-room refuge in a century-old building in the Hudson Valley.
The place is hung with art by the Mardens and famous friends such as Francesco Clemente, and filled with an eclectic mishmash of design both high and low: Prouvé chairs, Aalto pendants, 1stDibs finds, tchotchkes from Marrakech.
British Virgin Islands
When Little Dix Bay opened in 1964, it was to a glittering three-day party of New York’s elite.
The host was Laurance Rockefeller (grandson of oil tycoon John D Rockefeller), whose dream was to create a smart hideout based on the simplicity of a beachcomber lifestyle.
An early advocate of conservation, he envisaged the hotel blending unobtrusively into the landscape, giving nature centre stage.
Rainbows appear frequently on Anguilla, more so than anywhere else in the West Indies, which is why locals call it Rainbow City. So it comes as no surprise that Linda and Charles Hickox called their hotel Cap Juluca, named after the rainbow spirit of the indigenous Arawak people
Photo: Nick Smith.
Alan and Lady Elizabeth Godsal were ahead of their time. When the couple purchased a mansion on the Caribbean coast in 1968 with the intent to turn it into a hotel, little did they know that the property’s colour of choice would become today’s hottest shade.
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