Every Thursday, a different Kiwi Expert dishes on their five favorite hotels. Up next is Daniel Szelényi, VP of Hotel Relations for Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. Multilingual too, the man can gab about hotels in German, Hungarian, French, Spanish and English. Let’s go with the latter today.
1. Dar Mo’da, Marrakech, Morroco
If you want to switch off and not be found, where better to hide than in the middle of the bustling and chaotic medina of Marrakech. Slip through Dar Mo’da’s gigantic wooden door and you arrive in a quiet refuge with lots of space, classy interiors and an Italian charm that blends perfectly with the Marrakchi culture. The rooftop terrace is the largest in Marrakech, offering you a 360 degree view over the old town as the sun sets and the muezzin calls for prayer. This is the kind of stuff that inspired the truly great.
2. L’Hôtel de Toiras, Île-de-Ré, France
This place wins the prize for being one of the most romantic places in Europe: old fortress style building, interiors designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, overlooking a tiny port. Now imagine a light breeze carrying a pinch of salt as you walk along the quai to your dinner (fresh mussels with a glass of white wine are perfect). Or simply go to the market and buy what you fancy, the chef will happily prepare it for you.
3. Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary
It was originally built as a residence and one of Budapest’s first shopping centers. The hotel’s location is ideal. I am not sure if I prefer the view from inside onto the Chain Bridge, Buda castle and Fisherman’s bastion, or from outside onto it’s majestic Art Nouveau façade. Inside it’s even more beautiful, with a Hungarian Zsolnay tiled lobby and immense mosaic floor.
4. LeCrans Hotel & Spa, Crans Montana, Switzerland
This is a voyage around the world all Alpine aficionados will enjoy as each room is themed after a different mountain. In my favorite room, Annapurna, you’ll find vintage furniture collected by the hotel’s owners during their many trips to India.
5. The Chedi, Muscat, Oman
Zen-ed out to the max, it’s a sight for sore eyes. A peaceful oasis, this is a place that calms you down. The friendly, amazingly hospitable nature of the Omani people leaves you with nothing to wish for.