6 international ELLE editors share their splurge-worthy travel recommendations Advertisement

6 international ELLE editors share their splurge-worthy travel recommendations

Totally worth breaking the bank for

By Compiled by Neville Bhandara  November 15th, 2018

Exotic vacation spots, over-the-top spa rituals and meals that are worth all the calories — here’s everything that’s on this luxury list.


Your most luxurious hotel stay in the past year?

One winter, I visited Casa Cuixmala in Mexico with my family. This newly renovated destination is an ecological luxury hotel encircled by organic farms, crocodile lagoons and incredible wildlife. We saw zebras and antelopes while walking to the beach. And speaking of beaches, the Pacific coast of Mexico is beautiful and serene; the food delicious, and the atmosphere idyllic.

14 CuixmalaSuite

19 BungalowPalmar

Casa Cuixmala

(Visit: Cuixmala.com)

Your most memorable resort experience?

I am lucky to have travelled across the globe throughout my life, largely thanks to my role in the fashion industry. Resort/Cruise shows often take me to thrilling new destinations. Chanel’s 2017 Cruise show took us to Cuba, where its open-air street show in the streets of Havana embodied an atmosphere I’ve never experienced before. It was intoxicating and beautiful.

Chanel Cruise 2016 17

Chanel’s 2017 Cruise show

An indulgent spa therapy?

This summer, I was in Ibiza, and stayed at Hacienda Na Xamena hotel. Its ‘cascadas suspendidas’ are eight consecutive outdoor pools, heated at different temperatures with hydro jet massages. It’s an unbelievable experience. Add to that, the spa’s renowned facials, massages and reflexology, and you’ll understand why its tag line is “Feel reborn”.

(Visit: Haciendanaxamenaibiza.com)

A bucket list-worthy meal?

L’Ami Louis in Paris’s third arrondissement. Trust me when I say it’s worth all the calories.

(Call: +33 1 48 87 77 48)

Your biggest purchase?

Using a concierge service to aid with my travel and shopping. I used Floris Special Events when I was island-hopping in Greece last year and it took away all the stress. It was worth every penny.

island hopping in greece

Island-hopping in Greece with Floris Special Events

(Visit: Florisspecialevents.com)


Your most luxurious hotel stay in the past year?

Lanserhof Tegernsee in southern Germany. It’s very modern and minimalist in a Japanese way: a lot of wood, stone and glass. It’s a health resort, and a good place to recharge your batteries. It puts a lot of emphasis on natural and holistic treatments, gut health and stress management.

Lanserhof Tegernsee Aussen2

Lanserhof Tegernsee

(Visit: Lanserhof.com)

Your most memorable resort experience?

Fregate Island Private in Seychelles. It’s an island-hotel, where each guest room is a little villa with its own pool. And the spa, the property’s masterpiece, is at the very top of the island. All meals here are made with organic ingredients grown on the island itself. Everywhere you look, it’s gardens, jungle, and the endless ocean—a truly unforgettable experience.

Fregate Island Private

Fregate Island Private in Seychelles

(Visit: Fregate.com)

An indulgent spa therapy?

Spa Pure Altitude at Fermes de Marie in Mégève, in the French Alps. The property is made up of old wooden chalets, and the stoneand-wood spa offers plenty of indulgence. My favourites were the Japanese bath and the outdoor bathing, where you’re surrounded by snow. The Massage des Alpes was just what my muscles needed after
skiing and hiking.

spa pure altitude

Spa Pure Altitude at Fermes de Marie in Mégève

Fregate Island Private Glac

(Visit: Fermesdemarie.com)

A bucket list-worthy meal?

So many! Bouillabaisse at Fonfon restaurant in Marseilles. The Japanese buffet at Le Royal Monceau in Paris. The ‘potato with caviar’ at the Maison du Caviar. The Damascan rose and sheep yogurt ice-cream from Maison Aleph in Paris. And finally, Ladurée’s signature Ispahan—fresh raspberries sandwiched in a rose-flavoured macaron filled with rose petals and lychee cream.

Your biggest purchase?

A detox retreat at La Réserve Ramatuelle in Saint-Tropez. For the magnificent views over the Mediterranean Sea, the walks on the beach, and all the yoga I did on the grass…

La Reserve Ramatuel

A view of the Mediterranean Sea from La Réserve Ramatuelle

(Visit: Lareserve-ramatuelle.com)


Your most luxurious hotel stay in the past year?

A long weekend at Hotel Eden in Rome, next to Trinita dei Monti and its wonderful steps. Lavish, exotic marbles in the suites and bathrooms, a rooftop terrace with the most romantic sunset overlooking the Villa Borghese gardens, and a hi-tech lighting system in each room that’s like your own son et lumière show.

Hotel Eden Rome

The terrace at Hotel Eden

(Visit: Dorchestercollection.com)

Your most memorable resort experience?

My stay at Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco, Peru. It’s a former 16th-century monastery that’s been turned into a hotel. It’s like stepping into a time machine, and a lesson in the flamboyant and cruel history of colonisation. Definitely memorable!


Monasterio Hotel Peru

Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco

(Visit: Belmond.com)

An indulgent spa therapy?

Tyrolean Sensual Delight, the signature massage at spa at Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in Telfs, Austria. It’s two hours of cocooning where you are wrapped in local herbs and flowers, massaged, and cared for by two attendants throughout.

Spa of Interalpen Hotel in

The spa at Interalpen-Hotel Tyro

(Visit: Interalpen.com)

A bucket list-worthy meal?

A lunch at the Mandarin Bar & Bistrot at Mandarin Oriental, Milan. Burrata on red beet, grilled pulp and home-made mango sorbet.

Lunch at the Bistrot of Man2

Home-made mango sorbet at Mandarin Bar & Bistrot at Mandarin Oriental, Milan

(Visit: Mandarinoriental.com)

Your biggest purchase?

A perfect copy of Antinoo Braschi’s head (the original is at Musei Vaticani) in Carrara white marble. I bought it from an art dealer on Via Margutta in Rome. I crave perfect, classic beauty.

5. Luxury purchase

Antinoo Braschi at Musei Vaticani


Your most luxurious hotel stay in the past year?

Hotel Palafitte Neuchatel in Switzerland. The most luxurious part is that you can look out from the terrace of each pavilion to enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Neuchâtel and the Alps.

(Visit: Palafitte.ch)

Your most memorable resort experience?

Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. What can make anyone happier and more relaxed than living beside white-sand beaches, looking up at a blue sky, feeling the sea breeze, and diving into the crystal-clear Indian Ocean every day?

4 seasons Maldives

(Visit: Fourseasons.com)

An indulgent spa therapy?

The Bastien Pedicure, performed by the studio manager at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. He will handle your feet with great care, and you will leave the spa with super soft feet and shiny nails after the treatment.

Heat Water Facilities Tep

(Visit: Mandarinoriental.com)

A bucket list-worthy meal?

China Tang Landmark is one of the best restaurants in Hong Kong. The dim sum here is super tasty and very delicate. The steamed pork dumpling with whole abalone, the superjuicy barbecued pork, and the steamed rice rolls with black truffle and wild mushroom are all a must-try.

china tang

China Tang Landmark

dimsums at china tang

Dim sum at China Tang Landmark

(Visit: Chinatang.hk)

Your biggest purchase?

Usually the most luxurious things in this world cannot be purchased, like time. You can make money off time, but it cannot be purchased.


Your most luxurious hotel stay in the past year?

The villas of Myconian Villa Collection. The interiors are beautiful and done in the traditional blue-and-white palette. Each villa has a stellar view out over Elia Beach. Some guests arrive by helicopter and the yachts of the rich and famous are anchored in the bay. It’s a celebrity hotspot.


Myconian Villa Collection

(Visit: Myconiancollection.gr)

Your most memorable resort experience?

Jackalope is a stylish hotel in the Mornington Peninsula wine region of Australia. It has a fantastic view over its vineyards, especially during sunset, when the light bathes everything in gold. The interior design as well is phenomenal: there are curated artworks and installations by designers such as Emily Floyd and Rick Owens. Special mention goes to the black bathtubs in the rooms.



(Visit: Jackalopehotels.com)

An indulgent spa therapy?

Hammam at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in the Hajar mountains of northeast Oman. You get a private suite here, and its all-white marble makes it extra chic. You’ll feel good as new by the And the beautiful view out over Outer Alster Lake just elevates the entire experience.

Spa Hamma

(Visit: Thefontenay.de)

Your biggest purchase?

A six-week-long road trip through Australia, along the east coast from Cairns to Melbourne, where we did everything from spend time in Sydney, visited national parks and went diving off the Great Barrier Reef. end, all scrubbed and washed clean.

(Visit: Anantara.com)

A bucket list-worthy meal?

The four-course meal at Lakeside, the recently opened rooftop restaurant at The Fontenay in Hamburg, helmed by the Swiss chef, Cornelius Speinle. The food is artsy, modern and inventive.

The Fontenay Restaurant Lak

Lamm Hoch at Lakeside


Your most luxurious hotel stay in the past year?

I went to Bali this May and stayed at an amazing hotel in Canggu, called the Hotel Tugu Bali. It was like stepping into an Indonesian fantasy; every detail is so well thought out and the service is perfect.

tugu bali2

(Visit: Tuguhotels.com)

Your most memorable resort experience?

I was in the Maldives in January 2018, at Goidhoo in the Baa Atoll and we stayed at two local guest houses: Olive and Horsburg. It was a truly magical way to discover the Maldives and discover just how spectacular itreally is, away from the tourists and big resorts.

Terrace view 5

Olive guest house in the Maldives

(Visit: Olivegoidhoo.mv)

A bucket list-worthy meal?

The four-course meal at Lakeside, the recently opened rooftop restaurant at The Fontenay in Hamburg, helmed by the Swiss chef, Cornelius Speinle. The food is artsy, modern and inventive.


Ricotta Basil Anolini at The French Laundry

(Visit: Thomaskeller.com/tfl)

Your biggest purchase?

My super cute, bright-red Fiat 500.

Photographs: Michael Gilbreath (Casa Cuixmala), Olivier Saillant (Chanel’s 2017 Cruise show), Alexander Haiden (Lanserhof Tegernsee), Les Fermes de Marie/L. Di Orio, MPM, T. Shu & DR (Spa Pure Altitude); Deborah Jones (The French Laundry); Sharyn Cairns (Jackalope), Deborah Jones (The French Laundry)