Serene in the city
It’s hard to believe a tranquil escape is possible in the bustle of Tribeca, but the Four Seasons Hotel Downtown New York is just that. It’s one of the city’s tallest residential buildings, boasting sweeping views of Midtown skyline and the nearby One World Trade Center. It’s also worth a visit for the spa alone, which includes a stunning, 23-metre lap pool set against a wall of windows – a rare find in Manhattan. The hotel’s 189 guest rooms, designed by Toronto- and Soho-based superstars Yabu Pushelberg, feature warm wood panelling and soft pastel hues, and four of the suites have outdoor terraces. For the ultimate indulgence, book the Royal Suite, featuring gallery-worthy art and a private media room.
Toronto’s newest boutique hotel, Bisha, is a celebration of collaboration. The 44-storey property in the entertainment district includes an entire floor designed with rock star Lenny Kravitz (pictured), and a restaurant helmed by celebrity chef Akira Back. One more strategic – and patriotic – partnership: Amenities come care of cult perfume brand Byredo, whose founder, Ben Gorham, was raised in Oakville, Ontario.
Bali may be a bustling tourist destination, but at Amandari, traditional island life thrives alongside terraced rice paddies and the Ayung River gorge. Mid-mornings, watch as a community elder blesses the resort’s sacred spirit shrines with jasmine and incense. Afternoons, the teak pavilion near the open-air restaurant doubles as a Balinese dance school where village children practise their graceful, ritualized moves accompanied by live gamelan music. Later, at the spa, get a full-body rice exfoliation or relax in a bath of coconut milk.
The Eiffel Tower may be easy to spot in central Paris, but perhaps no vantage point is more opulent than the Shangri-La Hotel Paris, located just across the Seine. Everything from the decor (gold-leaf mosaics, silk wallpaper, crystal chandeliers) to the state-of-the-art CHI spa and the large, light-flooded indoor pool gives patrons a feeling of an exquisite insider’s club. Which is no surprise, given its origins – the main building was built in 1896 for Napoleon’s great-nephew, and much of it is classified as a French historical monument.