11 Hotels to Visit in Your Dreams


With journey restrictions holding on account of the continuing battle towards the pandemic, we’re left to reminisce about previous journeys or plan far forward, selecting some unsure date for a future one. In lieu of the true factor, although, these could be nice workouts, particularly after they contain conjuring a room with a view — whether or not of the Amalfi Sea or Rio’s Corcovado Mountain — or at the least with quick access to a glamorous foyer bar. On the event of T’s Nov. 15 Travel subject, we requested a variety of inventive varieties, a few of them common T contributors, to inform us about their favourite resort.

Responses have been edited and condensed.

The Brewery Gulch Inn is a reclaimed redwood A-frame, spacious but not sprawling, set on a promontory above the wild Pacific in Mendocino, Calif. It isn’t a slick design palace. It doesn’t have troves of scurrying staff members and a smug, officious concierge. But it is luxurious, in the truest sense — that is to say, going there is like stepping out of the workaday world and into bewitching beauty. I went on my honeymoon in December of 2018 (ah, the Old World!). It was the off-season and there weren’t many other guests. My wife and I arrived after 10 p.m. on a Monday night; our key was waiting for us at the front desk. In our room, the fireplace was lit and, in a miracle of timing, in front of it sat a tray with bowls of still-hot soup — I believe there were artichokes involved — and warm bread, as well as cheeses, very fresh salads and a bottle of zinfandel from a winery a few miles down the road. It was glorious — perfect, actually. We ate in leather armchairs with woolly throws over our knees, the fire crackling and the windows ajar to the crashing surf and salt air. In the morning, we woke to sun pearling through sea mist, and the air was iridescent and golden all at once. Every day for breakfast the small and kind staff served housemade bread and pastries and various fluffy egg concoctions with perfectly ripe avocados, and then off we went to explore the coastline, or, more inland, the wonders of the redwood forest. In the evenings, we’d return a bit windblown to find some delicious dinner waiting in the dining room. We’d choose a table near the wide wooden and glass double doors and watch the reflection of the moon on the water. The days went on this way, enchanted and outside of time. The trip home was like waking from a dream I didn’t want to end. Now we are, all of us, trapped in another kind of dream. But someday this shall pass, and when it does we’ll go back to the Brewery Gulch and it will be sublime. — AYANA MATHIS, author and professor

To get my mother to move to the suburbs from a duplex overlooking Central Park when I was in middle school, my father, who could no longer bear the grueling early morning ritual necessitated by alternate side of the street parking, made a deal: They would spend a weekend each month in a suite at the Carlyle. From the doorway of their bedroom, I’d watch as she readied herself to leave: beige cashmere, pearls, scarlet lipstick, a spritz of Arpège. I had only visited the hotel once, as a child, for lunch with an aunt at Bemelmans Bar, where I fixated on a particularly jaunty male rabbit in the famed murals based on Ludwig Bemelmans’s “Madeleine” book series. Like my father, this character wore a blazer and smoked. In the late 1970s, once I had moved back to the city for college, the Carlyle became my inside joke: I took my punky entourage for drinks, all of us in black leather. There were frosty glances as our Doc Martins clomped through the polished black marble lobby, with its marigold mohair sofas, but I’d flash an unthreatening smile and, as my father had taught me, press a folded $20 into the palm of the door guy. In a photo from those days, I’m sitting in a tufted banquette below a Bemelmans giraffe with my Billy Idol-ish boyfriend — Ben? Ted? — my dyed and permed mohawk the color of my white Russian. I remember telling him that JFK and Jackie kept a suite there during Camelot; in response, he belched so loudly that the helmet-haired lady next to us said, “Please!” As an adult, I can blend into the Carlyle crowd, though I’ll always feel like a bit of an impostor, never native to its effortless chic. Still, it’s where, for decades, I’ve told out-of-towners to meet me for a drink, knowing that cocktails there will stay with them. Since Covid, I sometimes walk there, for exercise, from my apartment downtown. Standing under the awning, I imagine my parents, now long gone, at the Café Carlyle listening to Bobby Short play Cole Porter, then grabbing a nightcap at the bar. One day soon, I remind myself, I’ll be back. — NANCY HASS, writer at large, T Magazine

War and pestilence have kept me from my favorite hotel in the world: the Beit al-Mamlouka in the old city of Damascus. I am a man of simple requirements: I love small hotels, so small, in fact, that there is never a bill, and one signs for drinks in a register by the bar. I love glamorous hotels, where at any moment the dozen or so guests might include an English art dealer, an Italian automobile heiress, a minor royal and a Kuwaiti prince, “the sheikh of chic.” Most of all, I love an air of intrigue. The Beit al-Mamlouka is all this and more. Its owner, May Mamarbachi, was jailed under Bashar al-Assad for forwarding a cartoon of the dictator in flagrante delicto with the prime minister of Lebanon. She is a wonderful, gossipy woman who converted the building, an old Arab house with classical features, into the most romantic if-you-know-you-know place in town. When I was last there, there were slim-limbed citrus trees in the courtyard, as well as inward-facing balconies that rose three or four stories high. There was a beautiful iwan, that vaulted space, with a high-pointed arch and three alcove-forming walls, dressed in the black-and-white ablaq masonry that is the glory of Islamic architecture … Would that it were always 6:30 p.m. and I were there: The sun is setting. The call to prayer has sounded. In the center of the courtyard, the tinkle of glasses can be heard over the asthmatic gurgle of the fountain. The guests are gathering in the orange-scented air for their first arak of the evening. — AATISH TASEER, author and T contributing editor

At some point in my adult life I developed the habit of going to hotels by myself, and not for work — I’d check in with a book and read, uninterrupted, like Laura Brown in Michael Cunningham’s novel “The Hours” (1998). I was not a housewife escaping a child and an unhappy marriage — rather, I was single and worked all the time, so I felt like I was the husband, the wife and the child all at once, and I was desperate to go somewhere and have other people do everything so I could vanish to myself. I’m no longer single, but if I were, suddenly, able to get on a plane and go somewhere to read alone, I would absolutely get a suite at the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia, one with a view of the pool. I’d read my book over Negronis in the Elephant Bar in the lobby, over dinner at the nearby Cuisine Wat Damnak restaurant and on a chaise by the aforementioned pool, which looks like the emerald-cut sapphire cocktail ring of a goddess. I would pause, of course, to enjoy the view from the birdcage elevator as I went up to my suite, and then pick the book up again on the balcony, order dessert from room service, and maybe fall asleep there for a while. Or I would draw a bath and read there, with a martini, as if I were Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald at the same time. In the morning, I would bring the book with me and wander the aisles of food of every kind that comprise the breakfast buffet, coming to rest by the silver ice bucket — really almost a tub — of champagnes, and the massive dumpling steamer, which has stayed in my mind all these years since my first visit there in 2015, like a siren calling me back. And I would not intrude on the other guests but I would, after all this time in quarantine, exult in the pleasure of their company, which I have not had in so long — the pleasure that comes from reading alone in public surrounded by others. — ALEXANDER CHEE, author and editor



Source link Nytimes.com

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