Luxury Hotels


We all need love, says Dr Rita, above. She, Rita Rakus – an extrovert Aussie who is based in London – says love is great for the skin, it makes the skin look good and fresh. She should know. She’s a beautician who complements her London salon with outposts at, say, FAIRMONT CENTURY PLAZA in Los Angeles.  There, she has lots of red-carpet customers, the types who are rushing out to yet another awards ceremony. And obviously they want to look their best. Men are in on the act too (Dr Rita, as she is always called, says 20% of her patients, which is what she usually calls them, are male).

Long time ago, at another Fairmont, in Sonoma, Girlahead was somewhat amazed to see men padding around in those ghastly hotel-slippers and white robes that are demeaning for anyone regardless of gender, age or anything else.  They looked sheepish, and obvious. As Dr Rita says, her patients want to be in control, and actually attitudes have moved on.  It doesn’t look at all odd at, say, SIX SENSES SHAHARUT, to see male spa-goers in robes and flipflops. What does still seem odd, however, is that at INTERCONTINENTAL TAHITI Girlahead found she was sharing the spa locker room with a guy. Had he got in there by mistake, or had she boobed?

That notwithstanding, let us return to the word beauty.  Great word. Has been around forever. Apparently the earliest Western theory of beauty can be found in the works of early Greek philosophers of the calibre of Pythagoras.  For them, beauty was moral education of the soul. Girlahead likes that.

Think of hotels and resorts that make you, an ordinary person, feel beautiful for being there. A quick list, going around the world, could include THE HAZELTON in Toronto, New York’s fun PENDRY, Riviera Maya’s BELMOND MAROMA, Iceland’s HOTEL RANGGA, Scotland’s Gleneagles, England’s LYGON ARMS, France’s HOTEL PLAZA-ATHENEE, Switzerland’s BURGENSTOCK, Italy’s FOUR SEASONS FIRENZE, Prague’s MANDARIN ORIENTAL, Oman’s THE CHEDI, Dubai’s FOUR SEASONS JUMEIRA BEACH, Singapore’s RITZ-CARLTON MILLENIA, Bangkok’s CAPELLA, Hong Kong’s PENINSULA, Indonesia’s NIHI SUMBA, Australia’s SAFFIRE FREYCINET and the South Pacific’s THE BRANDO. Each, for a different reason, makes eyes-open guests feel beautiful and in control, for a different reason.

But then we all love variety, don’t we? Listen to Iconic Luxury Hotels’ operating boss here: