Where in the world do our well-traveled Kiwi Experts most like to overnight? Every Thursday for the next few weeks, a different expert dishes on their five favorite hotels of the moment, sharing what makes each one especially top-notch. Next up, our chic CMO Jean Marie Healy.
1. Ritz, Paris, France
I’m a Chanel and Hemingway fanatic, enough said! But I’ll say more. I always feel like anything is possible at The Ritz. Over the years, the lovely, unique scent of the lobby and common areas has come to evoke all the happy times I’ve spent there. For those looking for a great way to beat the winter blues, there’s a luxurious pool. If that doesn’t do the trick, the foie gras macarons certainly will.
2. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxford, England
I have a secret crush on Raymond Blanc (owner and chef), well, not so secret now. The tasting menu (with wine pairing, bien sûr!) was the best meal I’ve ever had. I’m based in London, and it’s the perfect weekend getaway—great country location, amazing cozy rooms and to-die-for dining.
3. The Surrey, New York, New York
As a long time Upper East Sider, The Surrey is like coming home, except with a panoramic view of Central Park. Lauren Rottet’s unique design, seamlessly blending traditional and modern aspects, makes you feel like this is a very special place. One of Daniel Boulud’s (my second favorite chef, after Raymond) best boîtes is also there, and it’s perfect for Sunday brunch. Also, don’t forget the guest-only Roof Deck—one of the best places to enjoy the panorama of New York’s skyline.
4. The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, Los Angeles, California
I’m an East Coast preppie at heart, and everything here is pink and green! Plus, people watching at the pool is better entertainment than any film I’ve seen recently. When you’re done at that extra large water cooler, you can eavesdrop on Hollywood’s power brokers over breakfast in the Fountain Coffee Room.
5. The PAND Hotel, Bruges, Belgium
The coziest hotel I’ve ever been to, it was the first hotel my partner Rob and I ever went to and that brings back happy memories. I also have a thing for family run hotels, and the family here is amazingly helpful, warm and welcoming. At Christmastime it’s beautifully decorated and you can sit in the cozy “living room” in front of a roaring fire. The fabulous breakfast is one of the best I’ve had.