Six hotel bathtubs with world-class views

From the English countryside to the plains of the Masai Mara and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, these vistas can be combined with a long soak

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Bathtubs may not be at the top of your list of priorities when choosing where to go on holiday, but one thing’s for certain: they can offer a whole lot more than a place to freshen up. So much so that these destinations have given them a prime location. Be warned, you may never want to step out of these fanciful tubs.

Amanzoe, Greece

The views from the bathtub at Amanzoe generate contradictory feelings of don’t-want-to-move calm and a yearning to explore Ancient Greece.

The property sits on a secluded hilltop with 360-degree views of the Peloponnese countryside. It is within easy reach of a wealth of archaeological sites, while the cosmopolitan island of Spetses, renowned for its seafaring traditions and Venetian and neoclassical architecture, is a short boat ride away. Amanzoe’s pavilions and villas open on to expansive private terraces, creating a seamless extension of the airy interiors and a sense of space and seclusion.

The nine-bedroom villa is ideal for total privacy or family gatherings. Spread over six levels with two infinity pools, it has several indoor-outdoor living and dining areas, and its own spa with a sauna, steam bath, gym, yoga platform and two treatment rooms.

Trekking in the Peloponnese landscape is a bucolic delight. Local favourite walks include a gentle stroll to paleolithic Franchthi cave, reached by a coastal path only 20 minutes’ drive from Amanzoe. Or for a longer adventure, explore a two-hour trek from the mountain village of Iliokastro through the pine forest to Fourni village, or take the circular trek from Fourni to Katafiki Gorge. Then feast on the region’s famous citrus fruits, sweet olives and assorted seafood, or visit a local beekeeper and honey museum.

You can go island hopping in one of Amanzoe’s high-speed watercrafts for a tour of the uninhabited isles and secluded coves that lie off the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula. Or take a trip to Hydra, a car-free island famed for its vibrant dining and nightlife scene. If you can bear to leave your tub, that is.

www.amanzoe.com

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice

Arriving at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice in a classic Riva water taxi is the ultimate way to make an entrance. Pure drama, pure grace. Situated on the peaceful island of Giudecca, Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is a modern masterpiece. Formerly a flour mill, the listed building has been beautifully restored with a series of recent refurbishments – including the spacious suites, which boast spectacular views of the picture-perfect Renaissance city.

The new presidential suite is the highest and largest in town. It offers private access to the rooftop, which houses one of the city’s rare swimming pools, along with a Skyline Bar, also the highest in Venice, and offers incredible sunset views across a skyline of domes, spires and towers. A few steps higher still, below the rafters of the tower, the suite’s private bathtub looks out through historic arched windows. Possibly the City of Water’s most romantic spot.

This five-star hotel on the water offers one of the largest spas in Venice, with a superb traditional flour scrub, a nod to the building’s heritage. Next door lies the much-celebrated Fortuny building and gardens, showcasing the printed textile genius of Spanish artist Mariano Fortuny.

www.hilton.com

The Newt, England

With a focus on all things local to celebrate the history and heritage of Somerset, the notable estate and gardens of The Newt have been lovingly transformed by Karen Roos, owner of the award-winning Babylonstoren in South Africa’s Franschhoek valley.

With a focus on locality and sustainability, everything stems from a deep respect for the land, its animals and the environment, as well as a passion for horticulture and agriculture.

Capturing the essence of a Georgian country home and historical gardens, the 23-room hotel is set within a Grade II*-listed building and stable yard. It includes a world-class spa with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, gym, bar and various restaurants. Overlooking the gardens, the Hadspen suites have traditional roll-top baths – perfect for taking a soak in front of splendid Georgian sash windows while you gaze out over the estate.

It’s the gardens that take centre stage. Hectares of formal grounds designed by renowned Italo-French architect Patrice Taravella are cared for by an expert team. Everywhere you look, the past is brought to life or reimagined by offsetting heritage elements with contemporary design, styling and architecture.

www.thenewtinsomerset.com

Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

No news and no shoes: that’s the rule at Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives, where the only bulletin is whether or not dolphins showed up during a boating or diving trip.

Gili Lankanfushi is set in a hard-to-rival location: a little island in a large lagoon in the North Malé atoll, a 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé itself. The toughest trial of the day is leaving your tub, which stares out over the calming turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

The rustic-chic design is inspired by the resort’s natural surroundings, with glass floor panels offering a glimpse of the corals blooming below.

Well-being and balance are central to Gili Lankanfushi’s ethos and Meera Spa offers holistic healing in a spectacular overwater setting. A range of activities, including meditation, reiki, crystal healing and ancient singing bowl sessions, supplement the spa treatments, which draw on Ayurveda and ocean and healing therapies.

Across the resort, a warm, neutral colour palette is complemented by flashes of locally sourced turquoise fabrics, and every piece of furniture is custom made by craftsmen using upcycled materials, including bed frames made from recycled teakwood and lampshades handwoven with recycled wire mesh to depict fish and sea turtles.

www.gili-lankanfushi.com

Iniala Harbour House, Malta

Iniala Harbour House epitomises the ambitious vision of owner and philanthropist, Mark Weingard, who fell in love with Malta’s capital, Valletta, many years ago.

Weingard decided that the combination of peace, privacy and incredible sea views found in the St Barbara Bastion neighbourhood made it the ideal spot for his property.

The view from your Maltese bath is timeless: living history kept alive by hundreds of years of preservation. Spread over four historic Maltese houses and their ancient vaults below, Iniala offers 23 uniquely designed rooms and suites across The House, The Residences and The Hideaway, with spacious sitting rooms, an indoor pool in a hidden vault, a spa and gym facilities.

ION-The Harbour, the hotel’s rooftop restaurant overlooking the Grand Harbour, was awarded its first Michelin star within six months of opening and head chef Andrew Borg aims to create a “unique dining experience that ventures beyond the usual boundaries of fine dining”.

Valletta is extremely walkable and is perfectly located to explore the “three cities”, a collective description of the fortified Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua. It’s also a great base from which to discover Malta’s beautiful beaches and the incredible, clear waters of Gozo and Comino islands.

Iniala offers VIP access to whatever interests its guests – from an after-hours visit to view the famous Caravaggio by candlelight in the Co-Cathedral to an access-all-areas tour of Valletta.

Other options include a day trip on the hotel’s Riva to the clear waters surrounding Gozo with a gourmet picnic, or an exploration of the marine life with a top underwater photographer.

www.inialamalta.com

Olonana, Kenya

Safari-goers have long recognised Kenya’s Masai Mara as the game-viewing centre of Africa. The country is considered the birthplace of the modern safari, placed on the map by luxury travel operator Abercrombie & Kent, which this year celebrates its 60th birthday with, among other things, a total refurbishment of its Olonana safari lodge. It is situated in Kenya’s section of the Great Rift Valley, a series of geographic trenches stretching from Somalia to Mozambique.

A stay in the heart of this game reserve provides the best of all worlds. An exceptional lodge set on a private stretch of the Mara River, it features 14 super spacious glass-sided suites, inspired by the Masai Mara’s natural wonders: an abundance of wildlife and a dramatic river that runs right through the lodge’s forest setting – all viewable from your bathtub.

Game drives, cultural visits to the local Masai village, delightful bush dinners, scenic sundowners and thrilling balloon rides make for a fabulous African safari, and Olonana is one of only a handful of properties in Kenya to be Gold Eco-Rated by Ecotourism Kenya.

The new Geoffrey Kent Suite is a free-flowing space containing two private en-suite bedrooms, accessed via a private pathway. It is hugely popular for those wanting to travel in a private bubble and has the best bath with a view in the bush.

www.sanctuaryretreats.com

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Updated: July 01, 2022, 5:47 AM
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