There are luxury hotels everywhere, so a grand opening of a new luxury hotel needs to be an event. As any experienced businessperson knows, an event is always about location, location, location. This year’s short list of the top 5 is about their unique settings. If you are going to be visiting any one of them you may want to check your frequent flyer program and see if there are any vacation packages connected with the stay.
1. Monkey Island, Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire, UK
There is nothing like British history to serve as a background for an event, and this luxury hotel set to open in May is located in a village that goes back more than 800 years. Everyone from the local citizens of Berkshire to monarchs of old and famous performers of today have found their way to this locale. The hotel lies on a 7 acre estate with a sparse 27 bedroom and 3 deluxe suite living accommodation option. You will get a magnificent view of the Thames River and experience the best of British hospitality during your stay. When you arrive and finally settle in, you can travel to the only village in the world that has not one, but two restaurants that have earned Michelin star ratings – The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal and The Waterside Inn by Alain Roux.
2. Sheldon Chalet, Denali National Park, Alaska
For an unknown reason, there is something about the barrenness of icy cold environments that strike an inner chord of beauty within us. The Sheldon Chalet property has been owned by Don and Roberta Sheldon since the 1950’s and is uniquely set on 5 acres of land nestled within a National Park. You don’t have to go to the Scandinavian countries to experience the Northern Lights as the hotel is some 6,000 feet above sea level and you will have to book a flight from Anchorage or Talkeetna to ensure you arrive on time. The accommodations are a single 5 bedroom layout, so expect to make your reservations early. But be sure you love the snow and the cold, otherwise you will be stuck in your room for the duration – not the worst possible outcome of your stay.
3. Vista Palazzo Lago di Como, Italy
Lake Como, Italy is a trendy celebrity hotspot, and this latest creation by the Italian Lario Hotel family group is set to open in June. But there will be plenty of opportunity for those who can afford it to book a room as it will be open all year around. It has 18 luxury suites, one with a private Turkish bath. You will be able to view the lake from the privacy of your room or from its rooftop restaurant, which is set with the requisite bar and lounge. You will also be able to get personalized transportation to Bellaggio by scheduling a speedboat or seaplane to take you there.
4. Pechanga Resort and Casino, Temecula, California
Indian reservations are famous for staking their claim to casino resorts and hotels, but this luxury hotel is the result of a 2 year effort by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Though located in California, it has Las Vegas style casino action that can accommodate guests with its 568 room selection. It has a luxury two story spa for its guests that includes 17 treatment rooms. For those who are water lovers, there is also a resort style pool complex that sits on 4 and one half acres of land aptly named “The Cove.” For the more active visitors you can stretch your legs shopping through their new high end retail shops, including a Swarovski boutique.
5. Hotel X, Toronto, Canada
Though the name of the hotel sounds like the setting for a movie murder or sci-fi mystery, Hotel X will lay claim to being one of North America’s largest urban resorts, located within jogging distance of Toronto’s city airport. You will have more than 400 rooms to choose from, with the upper crust able to afford the two penthouses or 39 suites. As expected for a quality luxury hotel, there is 24 hour room service and a restaurant you can eat at all day. What makes Hotel X unique is it offers a spectacular view of Lake Ontario, and you will have to choose from attending a movie in a stadium-like setting, having a seat in their 3 story SkyBar and Lounge, swimming in the rooftop pool, or taking in the beauty of Stanley Square and its amazing gardens. There are also options to keep your children busy, so unlike the other hotels on this list, Hotel X has been created to be family friendly.
On a closing note, with the exception of Hotel X, most of us will not be able to come anywhere near being able to afford an hour at these luxury hotels. But it is nice to dream or put it on your bucket list for the future.