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Hot hotels: luxury escapes to lay your head

Our mission is simple: find the hotels that meet High Life’s exacting standards and tell you all about them. Below, we take a look at the most exciting properties from around the world ready to offer you stunning sanctuary

01/09/2020Fact-checked 16/11/2020

Yotel London

Business travel isn’t always sexy, and you might not think that a hotel from the same guys who brought conveyor-belt sushi to the mass market would help the cause. Fortunately, Yotel London – the capital’s first hotel to open post-lockdown – is in ever-classy Clerkenwell, land of coffee-powered creatives and furniture boutiques. Inside, you’re greeted by a brassy pop-art mural from local artist Rich Simmons, but the rooms (or ‘Cabins’) are all pre-meeting calm, white with a bit more white and, best of all, ready to out-tech your friendly neighbourhood spaceship. Inescapably fast Wi-Fi, HD smart TVs with Chromecast, endless USB ports, meeting hubs with AV technology and a public coworking space mean it’s never been easier to get down to business.


Yotel has its own signature SmartBed, complete with a cooling gel memory foam mattress that can be adjusted at the touch of a button.

Ideal for anyone who needs a temporary base in the city – or fancies a bottomless punch lunch at the weekend.

Take off to Yotel London


Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa

Crete’s beauty is undeniable, hence hotel developers have turned Elounda into a busy little coastline. Yet just off the same stretch, newbie Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa feels lofty and separate in that way only swanky hillside properties can. Its palette (from Italian designer Gian Paolo Venier) mirrors Crete’s natural bounty: emeralds and earthy greens, teddy-bear browns and soothing, slate greys. Wine in the glossy hotel bar has its Dionysian charms, while Pasithea (Greek goddess of relaxation) clearly had a hand or two in the onyx spa. And while all good Greek resorts will have you dine beside a glittering horizon, Cayo throws in a menu crafted by legend Lefteris Lazarou, the first Greek chef to gain a Michelin star

Cayo’s luxury spa and bespoke wellness team make more than a few promises to deliver ‘inner-peace’, so drifting off with ease won’t be a problem.   

Enjoy a seven-night stay at Cayo in a Superior Sea View Room on half-board basis, including flights from London Gatwick, with British Airways Holidays. 

Take off to Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa



Just as Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo idled around a hotel bedroom in Breathless, so will a generation of beautiful young things do the same at Chouchou, which opened in Paris’ Opera district in September. this mischievous boutique’s manifesto (‘We sing, chitchat, misbehave, behave, relax’) is peak French. And why not, after all? You’re in Paris to revel in that faire la bise spirit, no? Slurp a dozen oysters from The Market, a ground-floor food-truck duo, one an ode to the land and one to the sea, and nurse a Negroni at the Guinguette Bar. There’s one chic bedroom to stumble into once you’re done.  

If you want to drift off to views of the elegant Opera Garnier, you’ll need one of the three rooftop suites, named after French pioneers: Gainsbourg, Piaf and Vian.

Unusual for a city-centre bolthole, there are three pools in the hotel basement that can be rented by the hour.

Take off to Chouchou


Ace Hotel Kyoto

Conjure up a traditional ryokan, and sliding screens, tatami mats and floor-level furniture come to mind. Ace Hotel Kyoto (above and opening image) is not a traditional ryokan, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have all these things, because it does, and their inclusion into Ace’s crisp, cool aesthetic is exquisite. The brand’s first outpost in Asia had a rather quiet opening this summer, but it deserved more fanfare. Not least to appreciate the work of Japanese architect on the project, Kengo Kuma, who left his fingerprints (and love of stacked timber structures) across the complex. The restaurants and lobby – Ace has always been particularly great at the latter – bring about the zingy, communal vibe, while ditching your fellow travellers is easy in its Zen Japanese garden. 

The Tatami Suite is the only room type that switches out beds for traditional futons. If you want an authentic Japanese night’s sleep, this is where to get it.  

Love sushi, ramen and gyoza? Then go elsewhere. The hotel’s three restaurants (one soon to come) riff on Mexican, Italian and American classics.

Take off to the Ace Hotel


ME Dubai

Dubai’s hotel scene has long teetered on the edge of cliché, a balance of Arabian Nights extravagance and sci-fi spirit, held in place by a club of UAE billionaires. But to ME Dubai’s credit, it makes no bones about its all-out futurism. The long-awaited legacy project of Zaha Hadid, ME Dubai has both space-age exteriors and interiors from the late British Iraqi architect (the first time she’d done both). Music to the ears of many, ME’s spa isn’t the only showstopper in this city. For that, head to One&Only at the Palm: its Guerlain Spa is pure Moorish magic. 

Did you watch that cheesy sci-fi flick Passengers, only to conclude that the set design of the bedrooms was the best bit? Well ME Dubai is this, but real. 

This city doesn’t have to break the bank. ME Dubai’s Aura guestroom (with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Downtown) can be bagged for around £190 a night. 

Take off to ME Dubai


The Lakehouse On Canandaigua

The American dream isn’t dead, it’s in Upstate New York. The Lake House on Canandaigua has had, much like the American dream, a boat load of promise to deliver since Vogue plucked it from obscurity late last year. Red ribbon barely cut, today the estate is all white-shuttered balconies, broad porches and lakeside parasols. Its nautical, East Coast cool holds strong in the guestrooms (all 125 of them) thanks to impeccable taste from brother-sister design duo, The Brooklyn Home Company, who spent their childhood summers on Canandaigua Lake. For post-swim refreshment, Sand Bar is an informal affair serving cocktails and chocolate milk against the marina, while chef and Rochester native Scott Riesenberger runs a fancier operation at the recently opened Rose Tavern.

All the Lakehouse beds (four posters, no less) are hypoallergenic with 350 thread-count linens, but only in the suites will you find clawfoot bathtubs for a pre-sleep soak.

The Finger Lakes are a bit of a schlep from NYC. Luckily, a chartered seaplane is on hand to take up to eight guests from the East River directly to the hotel marina.

Take off to The Lakehouse on Canandaigua

British Airways Holidays is here to help you find your perfect break. From carefully selected hotels to straightforward car hire, all costs are included in the final price, meaning there are no surprise extras. Plus, with a Customer Promise, ATOL protection and a 24-hour helpline, you’ll have total peace of mind when booking your holiday.

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