Luxury Hotels


In Cape Town, Tiago Sarmento, GM of THE MOUNT NELSON, A BELMOND HOTEL, is shown, above, in the hotel’s main bar. How bars have gained personality in the last few years…

Thirty years ago, in some countries, bars were for serious drinking and little else. There was the time Girlahead arranged to meet a female pillar of Auckland society in the bar of the INTERCONTINENTAL, long since deflagged. She, the local grande dame, was in flowing pink chiffon. She went in through the hinged saloon doors and did an about turn, on the spot. As she came out her face was tomato-coloured.  Goodness knows what she saw inside but it was amazing that she did not have a heart attack.

Last week, in Mayakoba, some TFesters had the great luck to be lunched in ROSEWOOD MAYAKOBA’s Zapote Bar. That bar is fun, open fronted and overlooking a pool. The semi-dark interior is themed for travel and 360° bookshelves have an eclectic assortment, including Homer’s Odyssey. The bar is in the Best Bars list, The Americas, from S. Pellegrino.

It’s sometimes good to have something to look at in bars. At KIAWAH ISLAND GOLF RESORT outside Charleston SC the Ryder Cup Bar overlooks the 18th hole of the Ocean Club Golf Course, one of five at the resort. Best-seller is Pete’s Punch, named for the late golf designer Pete Dye.

Other times bars are for hiding away – think the basement speakeasy at FOUR SEASONS SEOUL and its counterpart, ground floor, at MAYBOURNE BEVERLY HILLS.  Whatever else, a bar must be memorable. In London Girlahead thinks the overhead chandeliers at THE LANGHAM’s Artesian, and the live pianist in THE SAVOY’s American Bar. Extraneous memories can sometimes even become more lasting than the actual beverages