by Natalie Compagno and Angela Fairhurst, creators and writers of “Luxe Lavs” a monthly column on PeterGreenberg.com
photo by David Christopher Lee
As the creators and writers of Luxe Lavs, a luxury hotel bathroom column, we consider ourselves experts on what makes a hotel bathroom truly amazing. We have found everything from over the top candelabras and shifting night sky ceilings to glass floors over tropical reefs.
We absolutely love deep, stand-alone tubs. Give us copious silky bath salts to pour into them and we are in heaven. Sometimes it is the smallest touch that grabs our attention, like a hand-carved knob on a drawer, and other times it is a spectacular and vibrant city view over the Bund that blows us away.
After meeting David Christopher Lee, Editor in Chief of Destination Luxury, we knew we shared something in common. We curated this Top 5 Luxe Lavs list just for DLX readers and to kick it off we have one of David’s favorite finds as an honorary winner.
Honorary: The Hummingbird House at The Tryall Club Montego Bay.
This unbelievable hotel bathroom uses the orange and navy Jamaican sunsets and the lush pink bougainvillea and green island foliage as its backdrop. Whether you choose to soak in the porcelain tub overlooking the ocean or rinse outdoors in the roofless shower, your experience will be divine. The wood details, such as the raised exposed beam roof and wooden carved table enclosing the sink are warm touches in this majestic “hotel room”.
5. South Place Hotel, London England.
We’ve seen glass showers, glass doors and even glass sinks, but when we ventured to London to the 80-room South Place Hotel, we found a never-before-seen glass bathtub in Suite 610 making this hotel our number five. The South Place is the first hotel from restaurateurs D&D London and designed by Sir Terence Conran. The 1292-sq foot suite is situated at the top of the 6-story hotel, has floor-to-ceiling windows and an open floor plan that leads to the slate and marble bathroom.
The main feature of the bathroom is the impressive glass bath by Moma Design. Generous-sized James Heeley toiletries in St Clement’s fragrance complement the Chaise Longue Vitrè Bathtub. There’s even a splash-proof flat screen built into the marble wall opposite the bath; a Bang & Olufsen sound system; soft, fluffy white towels, robes and slippers as well as a heated towel rack. What more does a bath lover need?
4. Gora Koran, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa, Japan.
Staying at a Ryokan is a uniquely Japanese experience that should not be missed by any traveler, and the Gora Koran has managed to blend comfort and luxury making it our mouth-watering fourth choice. Yukatas (cotton kimonos), Japanese gardens, tatami mats and futons are traditional elements that are combined with modern design. Leaving the noise of the city behind, a breathtaking view of Mount Fuji gives zen relaxation at its finest. When it comes to bathing, choose an open-air stone bath in your private garden, a steam sauna with a shower booth, the more traditional indoor wooden bath, or the communal onsens made of two mineral rich wells where the hot spring water flows and feeds the open-air baths for a skin conditioning soak.
3. Rancho Pacifico, Costa Rica
Rancho Pacifico in Costa Rica is a special favorite of ours. It’s not because it’s an Eco friendly hotel set in the middle of 250-acres of preserved rainforest. It’s not because the Treehaus bathroom, with its Zen modern design, has unmatched ocean and jungle views. It’s not because of the natural stone bathrooms, the cotton and bamboo fiber linens or the glass double sinks. No, what takes us over the edge are those sexy his and hers oversized rain showers where you can step out to the deck, enjoy the gardens and listen to the monkeys while letting the water fall over you like getting caught in a refreshing jungle rainstorm.
We chose the Otemanu Overwater Bungalows at Four Seasons Bora Bora for our Number Two. While immersed in the stone oval tub, you gaze out onto the lagoon of Bora Bora and the majestic Mount Otemanu, the land icon of Bora Bora. Their design is a blend of natural wood with rustic nuances and sleek modern appliances. Local art decorates the walls, like the fishing tools that surround the frames.
All L’Occitane products are in eco-friendly refillable dispensers and instead of disposable slippers, Four Seasons provides complimentary local pattern flip flops,perfect for the not-so-long walk to the private plunge pool right outside the bathroom. Guests can wrap themselves into lightweight Yukata robes and order the “Romance Menu”, a luxurious bath kit with bubbles, Tahitian monoi oil, flower petals and cocktails. They had us at Bora Bora Lagoon but the Tahitian touches sealed the deal.
And the winner is….
The Outpost Lodge in northeast South Africa is a pinnacle of decadence and environmental conscience and one of our first Luxe Lavs entries. The Lodge consists of twelve stand-alone suites that can accommodate 24 guests. The suites are connected by a raised Zimbabwean teak walkway so each room feels like its own home rather then a hotel room. The steel and concrete contemporary design is original for a safari lodge but blends in perfectly because of the open-air design of the rooms.
Each Neutra-esque abode has three walls removed, replaced by floor-to-ceiling blinds. For luxe lovers everywhere this is the way to safari. The oval-shaped stone tub overlooks the Luvuvhu River Valley, a Ramsar wetland site. With the expansive 180-degree view, one can see Mozambique as well as 350 different bird species, elephants, monkeys, hyenas and the majestic and iconic Baobab trees. Whether washing your hands in the freestanding sink, or showering in the open air shower, the smells and sounds of Africa surround you.
About the Authors
Natalie Compagno owns the renowned Traveler’s Bookcase in Los Angeles with her husband. She has traveled to 85 countries and loves mixing luxury with local flair. She writes for many travel outlets and is the co-creator of “Luxe Lavs”, a monthly column on PeterGreenberg.com devoted to the most amazing hotel bathrooms around the world. Her favorite place to visit is always the last place she’s been. Follow her at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & her website.
Angela Fairhurst is a seasoned television Producer and Line Producer with over 20 years in music variety and non-fiction television. She’s an avid traveler, from which came the original idea for “Luxe Lavs”. She travels for live shows and research often, including recently a trip to Israel for Peter Greenberg’s Royal Tour. Today, she continues her juggling act – producing, inventing, writing and traveling while raising her two teenage children.