Luxury Hotels

Hudson Valley, Dubai, Seychelles

Anyone who sensibly believes that all-inclusive and luxury can go together only has to venture 90 miles north of New York, up the Hudson Valley to New Paltz, to Mohonk Mountain House (above). Part of Historic Hotels of America, the 259-room hotel has been owned by five generations of the Smiley family – it traces its evolution to  Quaker twins Albert and Alfred Smiley who bought 300 acres of land, with a ten-room inn, in 1869. The property is named for Lake Mohonk, which half a mile long, and fishing on it is one of the main all-included activities: among the many other things to do are swimming indoors or out, and winter skating.


Once borders are opened up, Dubai should be back in business with a vengeance.  One luxury hotelier tells Girlahead he is so happy with Government.  Obviously led by the Emirate’s Prime Minister, officials come to visit at least three times a week, not ‘policing’ but coming to support and give ideas on enhancing safety measures. When global travellers return, they will feel 100% confident and relaxed


One of the most beautiful and discreet resorts in the entire Indian Ocean is Maia, on the southwest coast of Mahé in the Seychelles (we remember it as a near-vertical forest, with its 30 detached villas so totally private we thought we had ‘the whole wide world’ to ourselves). Designers are Bill Bensley and Lek Bunnag. We stayed in #209, near the top of the 12-acre estate, with views far far down to Anse Louis Beach. Our 250sq m space, with plunge pool, was surrounded by Rousseau-type lush foliage. Memories? Watching, chilled Cristal in hand, a myriad of birds at sunset and, in the morning, the chef arriving to fix eggs, exactly.


Not long now – the next episode of MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST features Forbes Travel Guide CEO Filip Boyen