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Unwind In Luxury

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Beacons of opulence, hallmarks of comfort, and icons of luxury. Sophistication and style define them. We check out some of the world's finest luxe suites, each with its distinct design, décor and character, custom-created for those who live and endorse high-end lifestyle.

Galleria & Harisch Suites, Kitzbuehel, Austria
In an impressive, traditionally built Alpine wooden chalet over several floors, spatial smartness is not what strikes you instantly. But this address in the world's most exotic ski paradise in Tyrol, Austria, celebrates design and comfort quite incomparably. The Harisch Suites are stylishly boutique, very, very exclusive and expensive, and patronised by royalty such as the King of Thailand. Alpine chalets exude quaint charm in the raw timbered and raftered living areas that define them. But at the Harisch Suites, the spatially modern and futuristic goes way beyond the imagination. With unobtrusive Alpine wood elements, buff matte European shades interplay between warm light browns, mauves, lavenders, mahogany and pale white. Natural lighting washes the living lounge with gaiety, while charcoal grey and raw wood make a strong presence. Signature design elements, fixtures, digitally controlled lights and bath features, dedicated temperature controls, sleek kitchenette with mezzanine in-balcony highlights add up to custom living that spells sophistication and class. Tariff: On request.

Graf Pilati Suite, Bayerischer Hof, Munich
This regal hospitality landmark in the heart of the Bavarian capital has played host to a stunning line-up of world luminaries, including royalty from Saudi Arabia, Belgium and Denmark, Michael Jackson, Henry Kissinger, the Clintons, the Dalai Lama, Willy Brandt and many more. Endowed with princely, avant-garde and contemporary chic décor, the hotel's Graf Pilati suite, with its soothing ochres, ambers, teakwood and pastel tones, is sensuous and awe-inspiring. Lush jacquard brocade furnishings and upholstery add verve to matte-toned bedspreads, and soft mood lighting lends a romantic and evocative lure. Stylised sink-in seating ensembles create ease in movement and rhythm in layout as side tables, king beds and discreet state-of-the-art features ensure a mellow caress in high living and relaxed lifestyle. Art deco marries classic chic in portions while the hint of minimalism adds linear grace and poise to pronouncedly understated interiors as synergetic colour combos enliven the experience. Tariff: Rs 2.42 lakh per night, including breakfast.

Ocean Suite, Le Touessrok, Mauritius
Overlooking the tranquil Treau de Douce Bay, this grand suite with a wooden balcony and spacious living areas is a getaway with romantic overtones. While pastels dominate the décor, earthy Mauritian shades of turquoise, peachy orange, lemon yellow and sparkling white are complemented with teakwood furniture reminiscent of Creole homes and French lattice details. Extra-large beds, an oval designer bathtub, him-and-her vanities, split-level living lounge and dining area with a separate writing desk and serving niche add to the warmth of the ambience. Spot mood lighting and cheerful local art on walls with floral arrangements create an exciting tropical environment. Tariff: Rs 70,000 per night including breakfast and dinner.

Theme Suite, Stapleford Park, Leics., England
This grand heritage country estate sprawled over an undulating 500 acres of woodland and golfing estate, rose garden and fountains is an intimate escape. Complementing the soothing green environs is classical décor with charming olive greens, bold chequered reds, paisleys and matte tones. Victorian regality is modernised into a suite identity that's uniquely elegant. The combination of buff, half-scaled olive-green moulded wood panelling with stately table lamps juxtaposed with an extra-large king bed with Scottish-esque red checked bedspreads and head rest serves as a magical contrast. The navy blue checked sofa chaise with contrasting red checked cushions are avant garde as the carefully appointed tones create an aura of grandeur. Tariff: Rs 54,500-66,000 per night including breakfast.

Villa Suite, Azur Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand
Perched on a grassy hillock overlooking the mystical Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, the suite offers super-luxury decadence with a country touch. Extra-long king beds, sumptuous leather sofas, a roaring fireplace, a wet sink area and minibar behind the bedroom, and a spacious bath with an on-the-edge bathtub mark the specialty of the suite. The simple yet inviting décor allows access to the magnificent scenery. As the sunset mellows moods and nerves, a sun deck with chairs and glass partition is ideal for great New Zealand wines and cigars. Tariff: Rs 48,000 per night including breakfast, airport transfers and pre-dinner drinks.

CREATURE COMFORTS: A view of Lake Wakatipu from Villa Suite at Azur Lodge Queenstown, New Zealand

Deluxe Suite, The Westin, Hyderabad
The Westin deluxe, executive and luxury suites find preference among those looking for calming spaces. The interiors in matte sienna, buff grey, soft beige and fawn drapes create an aura of peace that welcome after a busy day. The award-winning ‘Heavenly Bed', a multi-layered creation of luscious soft comfort with dedicated pillows and mattresses, found patronage from the likes of Laura and George Bush. Expansive, liberally planned, straight-line décor and grace dictate the environs with lush amenities and features; muted seating and diffused spot mood lights complement the furnishings and upholstery. Workstations, 37-inch flat screen TVs, writing desks, well-lit baths, walk-in wardrobes and grand views of the Hi-Tech City are more than deluxe offerings. Tariff: Rs 30,500 per night including Executive Lounge access.

CREATURE COMFORTS: The ‘Heavenly Bed' at Deluxe Suites at The Westin, Hyderabad

Pool Hut, Orange County, Kabini, Karnataka
An integral part of the fragile Nilgiri biosphere, fringed by lush forest acres and the famous Nagarhole Game Sanctuary is this eco-sensitive resort designed on the lines of the unique Kadu Kuruba tribal huts. Replete with the creativity of local craftsmen, each pool villa features hand-finished and recycled elements, bamboo screen ceilings, natural and uneven woodwork. The private pool suite is heightened with unique bottle gourd lamps, hand-plastered facades, ethnic furniture, tribal motif furnishings and handmade soft light lamp spots that lend a country game lodge character. The soft-veiled linen and four-poster, frill-decked king bed sprinkles the ambience with a romantic twist. Tariff: Rs 28,000 plus taxes per night including breakfast, lunch, dinner and nature activities.

CREATURE COMFORTS: and the ethnic decor at the Pool Hut at Orange County, Kabini, Karnataka

Luxury Suite, Fairy Hill, Swansea, Wales
Boutique and petite, snuggled in the Gower peninsula near the Mumbles Headland is this superlative getaway. It has only eight ‘Living Havens' or bedrooms that have real Egyptian cotton linen and modern amenities.

The elegance is instantly heart-warming. Delightful hand-crafted table lamps, cheery drapes, hand-textured walls, unobtrusive cabinets and settees along with plasma TV and svelte creature comforts add to the country home feel. The essentially boutique touch comes from the Continental furnishings, Welsh tapestry on walls, and crocheted and hand-embroidered Ceredigian crafts unique to the suites. Tariff: Rs 27,500 per night including breakfast and dinner.

The authors are high-end luxury travel, lifestyle and hospitality writers, and wine-awareness consultants

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 09-05-2011)