Luxury Hotels

Luxury is an alpine chalet in Gstaad – or a private Adriatic island off Croatia

The first time the gal went to see the luxury Alpina hotel in Gstaad, the six-storey chalet was still under construction, but the ice room of what would be the Six Senses Spa was already ‘operating’, albeit in trial form.

See a view, above, from Alpina Grand.  It is nestled in 4.5 acres of marvellous pines, has 56 rooms in the main chalet, plus separate detached villas, and residences to let. A big favourite, not surprisingly, is the sixth floor Panorama Suite, 400 sq m total, three bedrooms, two floors, one private spa.  The main Six Senses spa, of course, is a big draw, and its Summer 2020 programme includes Shamanic, Tantric and Tibetan healing practices to enliven the senses and calm the soul (try an Energy Sound Healing Retreat  to reduce stress, induce relaxation, revitalize the body’s energy and provide mental clarity). On the Tibetan front, monk Loten Dahortsang leads meditation and Lu Jong yoga, an ancient practice of Tibetan Buddhist, Tantrayanah and Bön traditions that allows flow of blood to increase – and apparently organs are stimulated and immunity and hormonal balance improve. And beside all this you can walk the hotel’s Jean Mus gardens, and hike the surrounding forests.  Tim Weiland is GM of this gorgeous property, a member of Preferred.


It today’s uber-luxury is a feast of the arts, read on. Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, 62, is one of the world’s most eminent patrons of the arts. (She can afford to be. Her late father was Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, her mother was the first super model, Fiona Campbell-Walter.  Her estranged husband is Archduke Karl of Austria, head of the house of Habsburg Lorraine.)

She owns, among so many other treasures, Lopud, a tiny Adriatic island a few minutes off the southern Croatia coast, 12km north of Dubrovnik. The island’s highlight is the 15th century monastery, with sanctified chapel, that the Baroness/Archduchess has just opened as a five-bedroom hotel, Lopud1483. Until September, when it becomes an ‘ordinary’, though EXTRAordinary, hotel, booked by the room, you can do a five-room buy-out, which comes complete with personal chef and more than enough art, old and new, and antiques, to fill the Uffizi several times over.