Gone are the days when a simple pillow menu signaled a luxury stay. Here, with the help of luxury experts, Mr and Mrs Smith, we give you five hotels with the very best, most opulent in-room amenities you can find.
THE UPPER HOUSE, Hong Kong, China
Things you will long to take home with you after a stay at the Upper House in Hong Kong: the espresso machine in your room, the on-loan yoga mat and the full-size Ren bath products that smell so tasty you’ll want to eat them. (Don’t.) Those are the little things – and everyone knows little things count – but bigger reasons to never leave include the swish André Fu styling – lashings of luxurious milk-and-honey hues, contemporary art and feel-good furnishings – and the killer views of Harbour, Hong Kong Island and the hills. Of course, the hotel restaurant is excellent: no wonder the city’s financiers keep coming back for the tarragon-infused crab bisque, saffron-scented pasta fiore and heirloom-tomato salad. Finish your night with cocktails at Sky Lounge. There’s even a secret garden on Level Six.
MATAKAURI LODGE, Queenstown, New Zealand
If you’re ever able to peel your face from the windows and their amazing views of Lake Wakatipu and the craggy mountains, eye-up your in-room extras: treat-packed minibar, iPod dock begging for a party-time playlist and Evolu bath products that will have you smelling nicer than a field of Queenstown wildflowers. The Lodge’s eight cottages and four suites are styled by one of the country’s most famous designers, Virginia Fisher, and set in verdant native forest. Open fireplaces and private jacuzzis will have you feeling like Hansel and Gretel (with an added trust fund).
AMANUSA, Bali, Indonesia
When living by the beach, you need a beach bag. Generous Amanusa gives all guests a locally made straw beach bag to put holiday essentials in – you’ll get a hat, too (and yes, you can take them both home with you). Freebies aside, this hotel is totally crush-worthy: one glimpse of those private villas on Nusa Dua’s chalk-white sand and you’ll be tearing up your passport. If you’re into swinging (not that kind), you can perfect your stroke on the 18-hole championship golf course; there are also two tennis courts and a frangipani-fringed pool where gamelan players often serenade sunset. There’s no spa as such, but don’t throw in the (beach) towel – expert masseuses can massage, scrub and bathe you in the privacy of your ocean-spying villa.
NIHIWATU, Sumba, Indonesia
Luxury doesn’t always come with a healthy conscience, but it does at Nihiwatu, which is powered by bio-fuel (produced from coconuts at the hotel’s bio-diesel factory) and designed in complete sympathy with Sumba, the eye-bogglingly beautiful island it sits on. To get a bit of island style, you’ll be given a bracelet made by ikat weavers at Nihiwatu; to get a flavour of Sumba, local coffee will be left in your room. Sit and enjoy a perfect brew, or swap caffeine for cocktails at the open-air Ombak bar, which serves fruit-infused daiquiris, rum-addled caipirinhas and an excellent mojito made with home-grown mint. Surfers will be in paradise here, but there’s also amazing horse-riding, trekking and snorkelling on offer. Don’t leave without taking a tour of the Sumba Foundation: working hand-in-hand with the local communities, this unique philanthropic setup is responsible for much of the island’s preservation.
ARMANI HOTEL, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Hoping for Armani-scented luxuries left, right and centre? You won’t be disappointed. Start each day smelling like Giorgio by making the most of your bathroom’s stash of Armani bath products; continue the Italian theme by whipping up a potent coffee, thanks to your in-room Nespresso machine. Rooms are styled with a couture colour-palette of mink, taupe and tan; each one comes with a lifestyle manager, who will book you a table at one of the hotel’s six (yes, six) restaurants. If you want to smirk smugly at the city, opt for one of the loftiest rooms overlooking the Dubai Fountain (and don’t miss the fountain’s light-and-sound show, held every half hour from 6pm to 11.30pm). Before you head home, have one last hit of those fragrant toiletries in the glittering Armani Spa: 12,000 sq ft of blissful, perfumed indulgence.