This March, SLH is pleased to introduce hotels in destinations we’ve never featured before. With two new luxurious retreats in Iceland, a historic gem in Armenia, and the ultimate island hide-away in Nicaragua, independently-minded travellers will be spoilt for choice by these new SLH offerings.
Hotel Ranga: Sudurland, Iceland
Rooms from EUR 393 per night
The most spectacular feature of this luxury log-cabin is its location. The landscape, free of pollution and 60 miles from the capital, is one of the world’s best spots to view the phenomenon of the aurora borealis. Every inch of the hotel celebrates its surroundings, from the panoramic glass windows in the gourmet restaurant to the outdoor geothermal hot tubs with views of the active Hekla volcano. Seven of the 51 rooms and suites are eclectically themed to the world’s continents, while the rest strike the perfect balance of spacious yet cosy, with heated wooden floors and river or volcano views. Farm-to-table menus at the on-site restaurant embrace the seasons’ (and location’s) finest ingredients. The games room offers pool tables and puzzles and is littered with quirky touches celebrating southern Iceland – such as the stag horn chandelier above the pool table. On the second floor is a casual cosy lounge and bar serving up hot toddies and tasty cocktails.
SLH Insider Tip: The hotel is set-up for stargazing and you can opt for a wakeup call should the northern lights begin after you’ve gone to sleep. They’ll provide arctic winter suits and take you up to the observatory to watch the show.
Tower Suites Reykjavik: Reykjavik, Iceland
Rooms from EUR 790 per night
Opened June 2016
Located on the 20th floor of one of Reykjavik’s only high-rise towers, just seconds from the city’s waterfront, Tower Suites Reykjavik is Iceland’s latest luxury hotel. This eight-roomed property was designed with the view in mind, the suites all smartly arranged so the panoramic views of the ocean, Mount Esja and Snæfellsjökull glacier can be seen from every angle. Each suite is named after a mountain surrounding the capital that you can see from that particular room, there are also postcards of the mountain in the room which the hotel will post for you to anywhere in the world. The hotel is overflowing with designer style, designed by local architects T.ark who have created a space inspired by the Icelandic landscape with a thoroughly modern look and feel. Guests are welcomed to the hotel with a glass of bubbly and while there is no restaurant, the Skylounge serves organic breakfast by local restaurant Happ (also in the Höfðatorg tower) and light snacks throughout the day on request. Also included in the price of your suite is entry to the prestigious Laugar Spa and in your room you’ll find luxurious Sóley toiletries.
SLH Insider Tip: Forget the touristy blue lagoon and take a dip in the small geothermal pool in Seltjarnarnes, Islandia, on the northern coast of Reykjavik. The beautiful view over the Faxaflói fjord, the mountains and the lighthouse make for a stunning backdrop.
Grand Hotel Yerevan: Yerevan, Armenia
Rooms from AMD 85000 per night
Rich in ancient cultural heritage and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Yerevan is home to many of Armenia’s most impressive landmarks. Grand Hotel Yerevan, SLH’s first boutique hotel in the country, puts guests right at the heart of all the city has to offer. Living up to its name, the vivid ochre building with soaring white columns around its entrance suggests grandeur at first glimpse. Once inside, the atmosphere is surprisingly intimate, with subtle hints of its heritage intertwined with contemporary décor. The 104 rooms and suites are home to fresh white linens, soothing wall colours and in some, balconies with city-scape views. The thoroughly modern spa is open year-round with plenty of beauty, health and relaxation treatments to choose from and the onsite restaurant; Ristorante Rossini, is an Italian indulgence for the eyes and the tummy. Guests can spend warmer months in the outdoor pool, before retreating to the sophisticated bar where they’ll be serenaded by the melodic tones of harp and violin music.
SLH Insider Tip: Armenian’s take their coffee seriously and Yerevan is known for its café culture. We recommend the very Instagram-worthy Malocco Café, just 15 minutes from the hotel.
Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa: Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
Rooms from USD 300 per night
Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa is a match made in heaven of laid-back luxury and a celebration of all that is local on the northern curve of this tiny island. The 16 eco-chic ocean suites are spacious, complete with decks overlooking the sea, dark wooden-floors, a fresh white palette and hot stone-walled showers with locally made coconut-oil bath products. The casual open-air restaurant is heavy on freshly-caught fish and freshly-picked produce from the resort’s garden. Spa treatments take their cue from the natural beauty of the island and feature clay-mud therapies, chocolate and honey masks, and banana sea salt scrubs. Guests can take yoga classes bordering the jungle or on a wooden pavilion overlooking the sea, or outside of the hotel, visit the uninhabited Pearl Keys for snorkelling and picnicking. The best thing about Little Corn Island though is how totally unspoilt it is, with neither cars nor roads interrupting the peace.
SLH Insider Tip: Yemaya recently launched a chocolate-making class where you can learn how to turn local organic raw cacao beans into delicious truffles. Available on request for 30 USD pp.