Today is all about hotels, but not just your run-of-the-mill hotels. I'm talking about elephants upon arrival, celebrity chef room service, and Savannah views. Take a look!
At the Chambers Hotel in New York City, guests won't have to wait months in advance to snag reservations at celebrity chef David Chang's restaurant Momofuku Ko. Instead, they can call up room service and have duck confit banh mi and truffeld ricotta gnocchi delivered straight to their room from the on-site French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant Ma Peche, which is Chang's latest culinary venture.
When Guy Aubrey Chalkley founded the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in South Africa in 1933, he built a treehouse for his daughter to sleep in and warned, "Never fear the roar of the lion for its rather when you don't that you need to be aware." The treehouse has since gone through many transformations, including a photographer's platform. Now guests can spend the night on the platform with little more than a mosquito-netted double bed, a hot-water bottle, dressing gowns, a water basin, bug repellent, flashlights, lanterns, and a two-way radio. Not for the fair-hearted, the platform is located in prime lion-spotting location.
At the Leopard Hills located at the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve in South Africa, each "tent" (there are only 8), gets a private dipping pool overlooking a watering hole popular among leopards. The tents' glass front also allows for optimal viewing.
Want to make a James Bond worthy entrance? Look no further than the Six Senses Zighy Bay resort located in Oman. The hotel will send a driver to pick you up from the airport and take you to a 962-foot ledge on Zighy Mountain. Once there, you'll get the chance to paraglide with an instructor over the Gulf of Oman literally to the front door of your villa where you'll be greeted with a drink. Cheers to that...
Forget a standard bellhop. At the Oberoi Vanyavilas in Ranthambhore, India, you'll be greeted by two elephants named Laxmi and Mala who have been trained to tap each guest with their trunks (in India, this is considered a maharaja's welcome and is thought to bring a happy life to the recipient).
Madiera (an island off of Portugal) has been on my wish life for a while because of its Guinness World Record winning New Years fireworks show. Now I have another reason. The rooftop pool at the Hotel The Vine is one of the chicest in the world with its 360 degree views of the island and reclining daybeds. The boutique hotel specializes in wines and I cannot imagine a better place to enjoy a glass.
* images via Conde Nast Traveler