Travel Picks: Top 10 seductive stays at boutique hotels
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - When you are looking for a romantic getaway with that special person, the setting for seduction has to be just right. Online boutique travel brand Mr & Mrs Smith (www.mrandmrssmith.com) selects 10 boutique hotels with seductive settings in some of the world's most gorgeous locations. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
Coastal cool: Saffire, Freycinet Peninsula, Australia
Hugging Tasmania's pure eastern shores, boutique hotel Saffire on the Freycinet Peninsula is a natural gem, with beach views from its 20 sleek suites and a spa. At first sight it resembles a shiny UFO, but this stingray-shaped sanctuary embraces the curving Coles Bay coastline, encouraging you to be at one with nature. Chef Hugh Whitehouse presides over Palate, Saffire's top-notch contemporary restaurant where tasting menus of local seafood are a specialty, alongside quality regional produce. Activities include visits to vineyards and a marine oyster farm, trekking and island-hopping.
Cathedral couture: Hotel Notre Dame, Paris, France
Elegantly eccentric Hotel Notre Dame in Paris takes its inspiration from mighty Notre Dame Cathedral which sits before it. Redesigned by French fashion legend Christian Lacroix, the hotel's 400-year-old building has been transformed into a dazzling homage to its illustrious neighbor, with vibrant decor mixing historic, religious and architectural motifs. Even the carpets masquerade as mediaeval paving stones, and the monumental cathedral can be seen from almost every window. Individually styled rooms blend exposed beams, bold textiles and quirky Lacroix-designed wallpaper.
Lakeside luxury: Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand
Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown offers Alpine elegance on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the watery heart of New Zealand's South Island adventure capital. With 11 luxurious rooms - all with majestic lake and mountain vistas - this boutique beauty is blessed with flawless natural assets. Stylish suites feature fireplace-warmed sitting areas, walk-in wardrobes, oversized tubs and private decks. Immaculate service, uncontrived dining and light-filled interiors add to the wow factor. Rev up with a spot of cycling, trekking, skiing in winter or bungee jumping year-round. Then unwind at Matakauri's spa.
Spanish Steps shopping: Portrait Suites, Rome, Italy
Boutique hotels in Rome don't come better located than 14-room Portrait Suites, a stylish Italian townhouse off designer-store-strewn Via Condotti, a handbag's throw from the Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps. An offshoot of the Ferragamo fashion empire above its flagship store, this one-time atelier is festooned with shoe-related artwork and photos of the shoemaker's star-studded heyday. Deluxe Studio 53 is a top tip, boasting a balcony for breakfast with city views. Portrait Suites is within walking distance of Rome's highlights, including chic boutiques for retail therapy. Continued...