There are many reasons for remembering luxury hotels. Some only stay in one occasionally and that hotel then occupies a big piece of one’s mind, afterwards. For those, like the gal, and her colleague, Sybaritic Single, flitting like a butterfly from one property to another means particular points need to stand out. For Sybaritic Single, the quality of the hair dryer is an essential Unique Selling Point, but for those who have very short, and straight, hair, other USPs, say gyms, breakfasts, smiles and service generally and overall are essentially added to the must-have list. Sunsets provide another aide-memoire.
I am lucky enough to have seen superb sunsets around the globe. In the Maldives, opening GM of One&Only Reethi Rah, Michael Luible, took a boat out to a tide-dependant sandbank, for Krug and the sunset. In the Caribbean, then-GM of what was Raffles Canouan, Louis Sailer, organised a sunset cruise with unlimited Veuve Clicquot. In Dubai, Waldorf Astoria GM David Wilson somehow arranged to show me to my room just as the sunset was at its best. In Istanbul, GM of Swissôtel The Bosphorus Gerhard Struger always manages to include a look at spectacular sunsets over the Golden Horn in between discussions of Byzantium and its goings-on.
Next year, back in Brazil for Travelweek São Paulo by ILTM, I shall hope once again to see the country’s glorious sunsets, whether in São Paulo, from the rooftop bar of my base there, Hotel Unique, or, afterwards, in Rio, perhaps from Belmond Copacabana Palace or Fasano. I could actually think of great sunsets for all ILTMs, from Grand Hyatt Cannes Martinez during 2015’s big global ILTM, and from Belmond Mount Nelson during ILTM Africa. My room at Fairmont Mayakoba during this year’s ILTM Americas showed sunsets over the mangrove canals, while during ILTM Japan I looked out of Conrad Tokyo over Hamarikyu Gardens.
And then there are luxury resorts with stunning sunsets. In the last few months memories include the sunsets at Los Romanos at Costa Navarino, in the Peloponnese, and at Ebony Lodge, at Singita Sabi Sand. I am also lucky enough to have more than my fair share of glorious sunsets back home – see the image at the top of this story.