Five new member hotels from Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) offer pared back luxury built around the local culture and communities. Savor the old-world charm of the ancient city of Sukhothai in Thailand, recreate the glory days of Saint-Tropez in a residential hideaway, marvel at the fruits of nature in a 14th-century Istrian village, take in the wild, sun-caressed beauty of Mykonos from a villa perched on a hill or relish in a pampering private retreat in the exclusive community of Palmilla in Mexico.
The Sukhothai Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand
Just steps away from Bangkok’s business and entertainment neighborhoods, The Sukhothai Bangkok offers much-needed serenity and respite in the heart of the city. Named in honor of the ancient city of Sukhothai, the hotel is surrounded by luxurious gardens and lotus ponds that pay homage to old-world elegance as an icon of luxury in Bangkok for the past 28 years. Designed with the Sukhothai design elements of water, silk, granite, mirror and wood in mind by renowned American architect and interior designer Edward Tuttle, the hotel recently completed refurbishment of their Main Wing in December 2019. Take a plunge in the hotel’s 25-metre, infinity-edged swimming pool which is one of the largest pools in town, or soothe tired muscles with a lemongrass-scented Thai massage in the Spa Botanica.
SLH Insider Tip: No stay at The Sukhothai Bangkok is complete without a meal at its celebrated fine dining restaurant Celadon, voted ‘Best Restaurant in Bangkok’. Celadon has just launched a new dinner tasting menu of Thai dishes inspired by local ingredients found in the restaurant staff’s different hometowns throughout Thailand’s regions. Sample dishes including grilled river prawn with wild water plum chips and Thai vodka with tamarind sorbet. The tasting menu comes in 6-course and 9-course options.
Hotel Lou Pinet, St Tropez, France
Set in a residential area a five-minute drive from Places des Lices, Hôtel Lou Pinet is a hideaway where the spirit of the 1960’s and 1970’s lives on. Guarded by the tall pine trees that give the hotel its name, the property is set across three Provençal homes. Imagined by its owners and designed by French designer Charles Zana to recreate the glory days of Saint-Tropez, staying here is like being invited into an exquisitely tasteful and luxurious private home. Painted light yellow and accented with green wooden shutters, rooms and suites are light-filled and have a strong vintage aesthetic. Designed to resemble a secret cave, the Tata Harper Spa at the bottom of the garden is the perfect spot to unwind or enjoy a morning yoga class, set to the harmonising sound of cicadas. Gourmands will be delighted with Lou Pinet’s famed restaurant Beefbar by Riccardo Giraudi, offering a street food style sharing menu using the finest high-quality ingredients.
SLH Insider Tip: The concierge team is on-hand to arrange for any special excursions with a personal touch, such as a vintage Citroen for the perfect Sunday drive around town, as well as visits to the beautiful surrounding countryside, artisans at the Cogolin rug factory and wine tasting at the celebrated local winery of Domaine Siouvette which is not open to the public.
San Canzian Village & Hotel, Buje, Croatia
Located in the heart of Istria, in the 14th century medieval village of Mužolini Donji, San Canzian Village & Hotel is surrounded by fertile valleys, olive gardens and vineyards, offering guests the opportunity to experience a side of Croatia that is still being discovered by international visitors. Co-owned by a former journalist from Split, the hotel is a dispersed hotel, comprising several small exclusive structures inspired by indigenous styles of architecture yet fitted with modern solutions. San Canzian Village & Hotel is also home to one of the most beautiful bars in Croatia. Privacy is assured with all of its 24 rooms having individual entrances.
SLH Insider Tip: One of the largest truffles in the world (1.31kg) was found near Buje in Istria, so white truffle hunting is a must when visiting in autumn and early winter. At other times, sign up for one of the hotel’s daily scheduled olive oil tastings – the region has been named the best olive oil region in the world by Flos Olei, a famous Italian olive oil guide.
Panoptis Escape, Mykonos, Greece
Opening on 15 May 2020
Overlooking the idyllic Elia Beach in Mykonos, Panoptis Escape is an ensemble of boutique villas that offers a 360-degree view of the Aegean Sea. From its exclusive, hilltop position, surrounded by the wild, natural beauty of Mykonos, everything about Panoptis Escape is the definition of ‘less is more’, using imaginative contemporary architecture, minimalist styling and artisan craftsmanship. Each villa features its own outdoor spa Jacuzzi or private infinity pool, individual design as well as different room concepts. Inspired by its namesake, Zeus, the king of the Ancient Greek gods, Panoptis Escape aims to elevate the hospitality experience to divine standards – and the experienced team of staff are here to take care of guests’ every whim from private helicopter to yacht charters. The resort operates from 15 May to 15 October 2020.
SLH Insider Tip: Be right at home at Panoptis Escape with their groceries shopping and in-house chef services.
Villas del Mar, San José del Cabo, Mexico
A collection of stylish beachfront and hillside residences in the exclusive luxury community of Palmilla, Villas Del Mar has welcomed many high profile guests looking for anonymity, impeccable service and extraordinary views across the Sea of Cortez. Exclusive Villas Del Mar and Espiritu Del Mar amenities, including ‘Ninety Six’ private beach club and kids club, are all just minutes away. Guests can embrace Club Espiritu’s 10,000 square feet of fitness and wellness space backed by ocean and mountain panoramas or alternatively spa treatments and dinner can all be offered in the privacy of their own villa. Golfers are in for a treat with four championship golf courses nearby, including Palmilla’s famed 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature course.
SLH Insider Tip: When the time comes to explore, guests can choose between the lively Cabo San Lucas on one side and laid-back San Jose del Cabo in the other. For those who want to discover an authentic way of Mexican life, we recommend a stroll through San José’s ‘Old Town’, followed by birdwatching in the Estero San Jose wildlife sanctuary before ending the day with dinner at a romantic courtyard restaurant.