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The ITC Grand Central has a palatial feel, modelled on the architectural styles of the British Raj in India. Marble floors, plush carpets and gold touches throughout provide an elegant vibe, while nods to the city’s heritage are evident in its architectural features and artworks. Spot a replica of the Rajabai Clock Tower in the courtyard between the main hotel and the restaurant, and note the old photographs and drawings of Colaba in the lobby and hallways.
A small boutique hotel in Mumbai is an exceedingly rare bird: usually the choice is between budget dives, mid-range blandness, or splendid five stars. With only 16 rooms, this is something special, a place with genuine charm and character, where rooms have plenty of space and light (though no views). The hotel is decorated by contemporary artworks that use traditional Indian motifs, reflecting the theme of each room (Krisha, Ashoka, and so on). The works are the creation of more than 150 local art students, with pieces such as sculptures set into the glass-topped coffee tables or wall niches, murals, or hand-embroidered art on the walls.
A lush, tropical jungle practically envelopes this family-friendly beach resort of 106 classic Thai-style rooms and suites. You’ve a choice of three eateries; the main restaurant, Full Moon Samui, specialises in chargrilled delights, the other two have a good selection of Thai and International dishes. Rooms are on the small side but chances are you’ll be in them very little; we’d suggest spending your time in the impressive infinity pool or pampering yourself in the beautifully-designed spa instead. The bars and restaurants of relaxed Fisherman’s village are within striking distance should you want to venture further afield.
Find enlightenment just a 40-minute drive away from the airport at this beachside resort that’s been sensitively constructed around a hillside and cave where monks and locals have been coming (and still do) to meditate for centuries. This is the place to switch off, reboot and reset your body and soul, and we’re not talking the odd yoga or meditation class; an individually tailored spa and wellbeing programme are planned as you check in. Rooms are basic but feature local art and woods, and two open-air restaurants focus on healthy living (don’t worry, there’s a wine list)
Literally a feast for the senses, or at least the olfactory system, once you light your complimentary incense. Step back in time and choose between a European, Chinese or Thai colonial-style suite (there are 15 in total), all brimming with luxury and opulence but filled with individual pieces to set them apart from eachother. It’s set on Bangrak beach, which is clean, swept and great for swimming. Restaurant food is on the pricey side, but the included breakfast is huge. The charming staff are welcoming and on hand to arrange taxis, tours and free kayaks.
Vying for top spot among Koh Samui’s most luxurious pads, these 27 individual, modern villas cling to a hillside, offering stunning views across the Gulf of Thailand. All mod cons prevail, including all-weather fully-equipped kitchens and BBQs, and private infinity pools. There’s no need for a restaurant as your villa manager or chef will come and rustle up a feast in your kitchen, and if you’re too stuffed to move afterwards, fear not – the team of wellness therapists, yoga instructors and even Thai-boxing coaches will also attend to your needs in the comfort of your own villa. The airport is just 10 minutes away.