This new column will feature avid travelers and they’ll dish on their favourite luxury hotels, the properties that have inspired their own sense of style, their favourite hotel amenities and much more. To kick things off, I thought I’d answer the questions myself. So, here’s the debut Close-Up column, featuring me – Natalie DiScala. Hope you enjoy!
1 What luxury hotel would you design your house like if you could?
I’m always looking at hotels for design inspiration and the one that has most inspired me is the Powerscourt Hotel in County Wicklow, Ireland. The soft palette of pale blue and a golden yellow was just beautiful and the subtle mixture of patterns (pinstripe wallpaper on one wall, damask on the other, for instance), worked beautifully. Ample moldings and ornate fixtures added that feeling of luxury to an otherwise understated space. My room was the perfect mix of traditional and contemporary.
2 Favourite luxury hotel?
The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto. It oozes luxury in a most tasteful way. It’s such a beautifully designed hotel that my husband and I chose to get married there, so it’s very special for that reason, too. The service is top-notch; I’m a big fan of the personalized welcome that guests get – this is one hotel that’s got luxury figured out.
3 Favourite luxury bath amenities?
The La Prairie amenities at Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo.
4 Favourite hotel bathrobe?
I love the pink and white striped robes at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki; they’re fun, whimsical and oh-so-comfy. I’ve really liked the robes at all the Westin hotels I’ve stayed at, especially the Chamois Shawl Collar Robe.
5 Best hotel bathtub?
The bathtub at the Four Seasons Bora Bora overlooks the shimmering, turquoise waters of the South Pacific – that’s pretty tough to beat!
6 Best hotel for afternoon tea?
The afternoon tea at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris is an affair to remember. Tempting treats (finger sandwiches, scones and macarons) served in the most sumptuous of settings is an experience that deserves to be savoured … just like every bite.
7 Most spectacular view?
Richard Branson’s luxury safari camp, Mahali Mzuri, is situated in Kenya’s Masai Mara. At an elevation of about 1,700 metres above sea level, Mahali Mzuri provides guests with sweeping views of the rugged landscape and the incredible animals that inhabit the land.
8 What hotel would you move into if you could?
Le Meurice in Paris. No question.
9 How do you define luxury?
Luxury is a feeling. It’s intangible. It’s not always about extravagance. Superior comfort and thoughtful service can be the most luxurious thing of all.
10 Best celebrity sighting at a hotel?
I’ve had a few celebrity sightings recently and they were all on Oahu in Hawaii. Over the holidays, I spotted Charlize Theron and Sean Penn at the Moana Surfrider and a few days later, I saw Reese Witherspoon dining at Morimoto at The Modern Honolulu.
11 Best hotel arrival?
Arriving at the Taj Falaknuma Hotel in Hyderabad, India was one of the most unforgettable experiences. When guests arrive at this grand hotel, formerly a palace, they are transported in a horse-drawn carriage to the front entrance of the imposing and majestic building. The light at dusk created the perfect backdrop and made my arrival even more magical.
12 Best spa?
The Bulgari Spa in Bali. At this spa, it’s all about the rich Balinese atmosphere, the warm air and the feeling of utter relaxation that guests feel the moment they arrive.