If you eschew glitz for the sake of it and seek instead something with real character, then take a look at our top five choices of accommodation in five different countries
To avoid favouritism and so that we don’t have to make a choice, we’ve listed these wonderful places alphabetically
Al Maha, Dubai
‘Based on a Bedouin tent’ is a statement as far from reality as saying the Orient Express is based on a freight train – the similarity ending with the isolated use of a common material.
Whilst the Dubai Royal family might have used it for their inspiration, the construction and attention to detail is outstanding at Al Maha, such that any Bedouin might struggle to see the similarity, other than with the tented ceilings.
This oasis of luxury situated about an hour’s drive into the Arabian Desert from Dubai airport offers all you could ask for in terms of accommodation in individual villas with their own private infinity pools, outstanding cuisine and a raft of complimentary activities from horse riding, through 4×4 drives to falconry. An all-round desert experience that you’ll never forget.
Why stay in a soulless high-rise, when the Arabian nights beckon?
Al Maha website
The Luxury Couple detailed Al Maha review
Fish River Lodge, Fish River Canyon, Namibia
To tell you that you’ll be staying in accommodation that reflects the brutality of the barren rock strata on which it is precariously perched at the edge of the second largest canyon in the world, might not sell you on Fish River Lodge in Namibia – but you’d be missing a unique experience for which we have found few parallels.
Remote, is an understatement. It’s the situation of this Lodge – ‘on the edge of eternity’ – that gives you one of the most spectacular views we’ve ever seen. Coupled this with the dramatically designed individual villas with their own spacious external showers, clinging to the cliff edge in a ribbon that spreads on either side of the hangar-like main reception and dining area and you know you’re somewhere special.
Head south from Windhoek for about a day’s drive to find Fish River Canyon and follow the signs into the wilderness!
Fish River Lodge website
The Luxury Couple Namibia hotels review
Mashpi Lodge – Ecuador
The visionary owner of Mashpi Lodge, Roque Sevilla, certainly had his head in the clouds when he designed one of the most unusual and distinctive places we have stayed in.
Damp, Cloud Forest surroundings might not be for everyone but it’s difficult to get closer to nature than within this jungle haven, where your glass-walled room creates the illusion that you’re within the tree canopy itself.
With exceptional environmental initiatives and ethos, this ultra-modern lodge sets out to be a model for future generations – and the food’s good too! Guided walks, fascinating reptiles, frogs, flora and beautiful birdlife immerse you in the lush surroundings of this forest hideaway; within its own 3,000 acre biodiversity reserve.
You’ll find it off the beaten track some 150kms northwest of Quito in Ecuador.
Mashpi Lodge website
The Luxury Couple broader, country review
Reef Villa & Spa – Wadduwa, Sri Lanka
You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d turned up at the private residence of a wealthy colonial planter, when you arrive at The Reef, 30 mins south of Columbo, amidst an old coconut palm grove on the beach at Wadduwa.
The richly appointed Plantation House, full of echoes of the Raj, Ceylon style and old world charm, immediately immerses you in the luxury of yesteryear with wicker chairs, ‘punkah’ fans and local art in this distinguished residence – and your individual villa or suite, one of only seven rooms set amidst the tropical lily ponds, simply guarantees that you’ll enjoy every minute within this hidden secret.
Lush palm trees, sumptuous seating, richly polished wood and the sound of breaking waves blend together to create a unique personal experience of peace and tranquillity for those who want to escape the madding crowd and kick back in comfort.
Reef Villa & Spa website
The Luxury Couple Sri Lanka boutique hotel review
Riad Adore, Marrakech, Morocco
It’s fair to say that you’ll fall in love with Riad Adore if you venture into the Souks of Marrakech. A little gem hidden away down the narrow alleyways of the souk, you’re literally a stone’s throw away from the hive of activity and barter that epitomises Moroccan city life.
Yet, once within its walls, Riad Adore cocoons you in understated luxury and peaceful ambiance; with a level of service that makes you feel as though you’ve brought your own staff to wait on your every need.
Whilst the attractions of the souk are myriad, we often found ourselves wishing to dine within the Riad’s walls simply to take full advantage of the quaint and quirky surroundings and its excellent meal preparations
Riad Adore website
The Luxury Couple Riad Adore full review
If you simply want more information about these five unique properties then follow the links above – but why not ask us to arrange your own tailor-made travel throughout the world – see below.
Why not download the TLC World guide brochure or give us a call today on 01202 030443, or simply click ‘enquire’ to submit your own personal itinerary request