The Hamilton Lodges are two. Belap is located high up on the Aletsch glacier, which is part of the Unesco world heritage while Zweisimmen is set in the Gstaad district. Attentive service, tasteful rustic mountain rooms and breathtaking views.
Baja California, Mexico
A bunch of cottages blending with the surrounding gentle hills of Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, just one hour and a half from San Diego. These cabins (with a swimming-pool) are a perfect combination of luxury minimalism and raw charm.
Chesa Wazzau is a traditional Engadine house from the 17th century. The small windows are typical of these buildings: the smaller they are, the less heat can escape from the house. Even so, they are shaped so that they can bring as much light as possible in the rooms. With a total of ten rooms distributed over 3 floors, it can host up to twelve people. The dining table is big enough for an extended family meal or for a rendez-vouz among close friends.
New York, USA
Located between the West-Village, the East-Village and Chelsea, MySuites is a collection of small apartments with a true home feel. With exposed bricks, candlelit fireplaces and vintage notes, this is refined bohemian style brought to a homely dimension.
Going up to the 52nd floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo is one of those things you need to do at least once in your life. You don’t have to sit at the restaurant, you can just chill out in the New York bar, order a cheeseburger with chilli pickle salsa, hand cut bacon and crispy potato fries. It costs about the same as a sushi dinner for two. However, the view is apocalyptic. Live music depends on the evening, but stay here until the early hours to really savour the experience, just like Charlotte e Bob in “Lost in translation”.
In Morzine, Le Mas de la Coutettaz is known as the oldest house in the village. Years ago the house was turned into a maison d’hotes and its name changed to The Farmhouse by its owners although the original name remains on the facade. A marvellous and perfectly located retreat in the heart of the High Savoy region, it’s at walking distance from ski slopes and fairy-tale mountain paths.
With white walls, sturdy chairs and the Nordic purity of a refectory, Rochelle Canteen is a small bistrot converted from an old bike shed and set in Arnold Circus in East London. The dishes bear Arnold & Henderson’s signature, one of the most prestigious catering services in town.
Russell’s has all the right to be considered part of a new generation of bed and breakfasts that are cosy, honest and affordable. Set in upcoming areas that are popular with the trendiest hipsters, they are both poetic and convenient. Hurray! Russell’s is set in Hackney, East London
New York, USA
An old creaking staircase, velvet of perfect shades, from perfectly balanced reds, to sage and crimson and a fireplace facing the bed. No reception and no breakfast room (only room service, à la carte), nothing to make you feel like you’re in a hotel. The atmosphere is what you would find in a discreet, sophisticated, beautiful house, only a few steps away from Bowery.
Kyoto is what you would expect Japan to look like: low houses along the river, old temples surrounded by amazing gardens, hand-stretched noodles and for the luckiest (it’s not easy to see them), geishas walking with silent and short strides and disappearing behind a door made of rise paper. To make the most of this magical experience, sleep in one of Kyoto’s historical houses, now open to tourists. Staying in one of the traditional machiya (old townhouses with workshop) is an experience in itself. Relax on the unexpectedly comfortable futons, enjoy take-away sushi on a low table, try the sauna with views on the zen courtyard. Not only it’s cheap, it’s well worth the expense.
They claim to be a “Hôtel accroché à la montagne” (Hotel on the top of a mountain) where “Happiness is in the air”. Pleincliel captures you first and foremost with words. A former funicular cable car station now converted into a 24 rooms mountain refuge, it features green and red walls, boiserie in natural wood, simple decor and a pool table. The most spectacular thing here is the scenery: 360 degrees views on the Dents du Midi mountains. Access can be challenging. During winter the only way is a cableway. Hotel and restaurant are completely smoke-free.
Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
It was Virgilio and Aurora who transformed Malga Panna from a simple refuge serving polenta and cheese into a first class restaurant. Today, their sons Massimo and Paolo look after it with the same passion and with pride.
Valle d'Aosta, Italy
Immersed in the silence of its multy-century history, lie the Walser villages. Their houses are simply made of wood beams and stone according to the tradition of this mountain area and have recently undergone a very crafty and considered restoration. Some are private houses, others welcoming and charming relais hotel like the Hotellerie de Mascognaz. You sleep in the Chalet lo Miete (seven rooms and a wellness area) that can also be entirely reserved or in Suite Monterosa, the old barn now converted in 2 rooms that can host up to 4 people. Dinner is served in the Chalet Lo Pejo and includes delicious local dishes and specialities from the Savoy region. The village can only be reached by foot or by snowmobile. Etre Mascognaz and Breithorn Hotel, in the centre of Champoluc, are under the same management.
San Francisco, USA
Magnolia is a perfect example of gastropub where they serve beers and first class food. The long menu is squeezed on a big blackboard. Abundant portions and hamburger gourmand, right on the hippie Haight Street.
Los Angeles, USA
It’s a businessman who left the East Coast for the milder South California that built this Victorian mansion in 1887. Converted into a b&b in the ‘90s, Bissel House retains all the charm of a family house. Mornings here have the taste of a ritual where all guests sit together around the oval table while the owner serves a delicious and perfect breakfast. The 7 rooms have flowery tapestries and you might find a vintage laced long dress hanging in your wardrobe, a reminder of the dinner parties often hosted by Anna Bissel at the beginning of the 19th century. Bissel House is located in South Pasadena, an elegant small town close to Los Angeles that every second Sunday of the month hosts the famous Rose Bowl Flea vintage market.