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Photo Credit: The Royal Mansour, Morocco

3 Extraordinary Hotels to Add to Your Bucket List

Jul. 21st, 2017

The world is home to hundreds of thousands of hotels, all offering their own unique style and brand of service. But very few have captured the hearts and minds of the travel community in such a way as these three hospitality gems. From the glittering lights of Saigon, to the winding souks of Marrakech and the icy horizons of Sweden, these properties are dubbed as some of the world’s most extraordinary. 

The Royal Mansour, Morocco

Owned by the King himself, this grand hotel is no stranger to royalty and the odd diplomatic guest, with the likes of Hillary Clinton and John Legend having stayed here in the past. The king’s brainchild took over three years to build and the result is an extravagant onslaught of polished marble, towering ceilings clad with gold, parquet flooring and a whole lot of Moroccan architectural splendour in the form or graceful arches and colourful mosaics. 

royal mansour
Photo Credit: The Royal Mansour, Morocco

Guests are far outnumbered by staff here, and nothing is too much trouble. The hotel is home to an underground network of tunnels where the hundreds of staff can be found gliding between guest requests and duties, and thanks to the hotel’s humongous size—on golf buggies, no less. The underground setup was designed just as meticulously as the guest-facing areas, with staff studying the layout and utilizing it to be able to pop up at the exact point in the hotel where they’re needed. There are 53 traditional riads on offer, all as elegant and intricately designed as the next, but the crowning glory lies in the hands of the Riad d’Honneur: an 1,800-square-meter showpiece boasting its own set of staff and an underground cinema. Perhaps best reserved for the likes of the rich and famous, the Royal Mansour is undoubtedly one of the world’s most extraordinary wish list hotels.

The Reverie Saigon
Photo Credit: The Reverie Saigon

The Reverie Saigon

Set at the heart of District One, this 38-story towering luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh is throwing some undeniably strong punches in the battle to be labelled the world’s most extravagant and beguiling hotel. With design that would blend effortlessly into a fine art museum and indulgent service capable of turning the heads of the rich and famous in a heartbeat – it’s opulent, and unapologetically so too.

The Reverie Saigon
Photo Credit: The Reverie Saigon

As guests arrive onto the seventh floor lobby, revealed is a dazzling and elaborate sign of things to come, with priceless artwork and magnificent artefacts setting the tone. Each room is bespoke and designed by one of Italy’s finest, including Colombo Stile, Giorgetti and Visionnaire to name but a few, with all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city. Private chefs and butlers or on hand should you so be inclined, but it’s the madness of riding around in Asia’s most motorbike-saturated city in a Rolls-Royce or Bentley that we love. You’ll find five places to drink and dine around the The Reverie Saigon, as well as an impressive open-air pool (not standard in Ho Chi Minh) complete with Jacuzzis and an expansive spa. No two suites are the same, so if you’re a design aficionado and have an appreciation of all things unique, The Reverie will serve as a playground. It’s sophisticated, whimsical and won’t break the bank.

icehotel
Photo Credit: Icehotel / Asif Kilger

Ice Hotel, Sweden

Located 200km north of the Arctic Circle amid sub-zero temperatures and unsurprisingly, a whole lot of snow, you might question the logic behind wanting to spend the night in a hotel like this, when for the same price you could easily find yourself tucked up underneath Egyptian cotton. But that’s all part of the magic apparently – a hotel formed entirely of ice. You know – the rarity of the offering, the unique experience and the beauty of nature that surrounds you? If you’re not sold, you’ll be pleased to know that guests have the choice of either a warm or cold room.

ice hotel
Photo Credit: Icehotel / Asif Kilger

The cold rooms will see you soaking up the icy atmosphere from beneath a reindeer-skin cover as you lay upon a bed made completely of ice. The hotel’s ice bar is of course a hit with all those who visit, where even the glasses are specially crafted from ice on site, hundreds at a time. What truly has people reaching for their passports and booking months or even years in advance is the fact that each year, the hotel is allowed to melt and then rebuilt by 40 talented artists using the ice from the nearby Torne River. You have to admire the work that goes into the build and the intricacy of the sculptures throughout, all carved tirelessly by hand. This is one for the bucket lists of those with a love of the great outdoors, with the Northern Lights on your doorstep.

Ian Garstang

Ian Garstang is a travel writer and marketing specialist working in the luxury travel market. Ian is the editor at Luxury-Travels.net and has worked with such brands as GHM Hotels, Four Seasons and Aman. Ian was named Hotel Club's 'Bali Expert' and nominated in the top 20 luxury travel bloggers on USA Today. Ian has written for various websites including A Luxury Travel Blog, Luxury Asia News and Travelo Cafe. ...(Read More)