1 Year, 260 Stars: Reader Favourites From 2009

The Opposite House’s in-house
transport includes a stylish Maserati.
 
Hotel 3.14, extravagant and
welcoming on the French Riviera

Here we are, the end of another year.  Fifty-two weeks of five-star hotels—260 stars all together.  Which properties attracted the most attention?

Beijing’s The Opposite House was among the early favourites.  Deservedly so.  From the Maserati airport pick-up to the extra-large rooms, chic staff, and active socialising in the public rooms, The Opposite House is one of Beijing’s most eclectic hotels experiences.  In a city with five-star hotels around every corner, it takes a great property to stand out from the crowd; Australian GM Anthony Ross and his team see to it that this little gem in Sanlitun Village has no problem doing that.

Eclectic is a word that definitely applies to Cannes’ Hotel 3.14, a star to rival those in town for the city’s famed film festival.  This superb property brings classy and casual together to form the perfect hideaway, if you like your hideaways in the form of enormous suites decorated in one of a kind style a block from the Mediterranean.  The decor of the public rooms at 3.14 is startlingly original; from the Reception aviary to the quirky furniture, this is one place where fantasy meets reality.


The Widder’s penthouse suite.
White mink included.
 

The Observatory Hotel’s pool
under its night sky.
 
 

Swiss hotels seem to be a favourite among the readers; I know they are with me.  Zurich’s Widder Hotel, typically discreet, is tucked away in the city’s Old Town.  Beyond the low-key lobby is a world of stylish design combining modern design elements with historic architecture.  Not many hotels have their lifts set in place by helicopter.

Paraglide into Check-in at
Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay.
 

Not many hotels have their guests paraglide into Check-in, either, but that is one option for intrepid travellers arriving at Six Senses Hideaway on the edge of Zighy Bay on the Sultanate of Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, itself a hideaway of sorts for weekenders from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  The spacious villas and their private pools match the excellent cuisine in the pleasure they bring to the guest experience. 

It seems the small hotels, perhaps less known among readers, attracted a good deal of attention.  Articles about Stockholm’s hip and happening Lydmar Hotel and Sydney’s elegant Observatory Hotel joined the aforementioned small properties in the popularity stakes. 

The Westin Resort offers a delightful
respite from Macau’s gambling frenzy.
 

Big hotels were not overlooked, however, with The Westin Resort Macau‘s appealing rural location on Hac Sa beach and Grand Hyatt Berlin‘s centre of the action on Potsdamer Platz also catching the readers’ collective eye.

What does the coming year have in store for Mr eTraveller?  Wherever he may sleep, let’s hope the travel industry can make 2010 a happy new year for all.

 

Source = Mr. eTraveller
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