Rest Your Head - CHABLÉ

CHABLÉYucatán, Mexico

Half an hour from the Yucatán state’s capital of Mérida, conceptualised more than a decade ago and making its hospitality début last year, the aim with Chablé was always to go beyond just another hacienda-style resort to create a calm and peaceful place for wellness and complete relaxation, and not only restore the traditional XIX-century buildings, but also reignite the prosperity the property enjoyed centuries ago and to tie it back to the community.

The result is a resort which blends five-star hospitality, superior cuisine, the world’s largest tequila collection and an enviable location within a mystical natural environment, anchored by a spa and spread across 750 acres in the heart of the steamy Mayan jungle, providing the utmost in privacy, intimacy and tranquillity. Basically, right now Chablé is the coolest spot in Latin America’s to kick off your shoes, disconnect and relax.

Chablé is very much a hotel of two halves: a stunning modern spa and painstakingly restored 19th century hacienda. Yet at the heart of Chablé is a traditional Mayan garden – consisting of raised beds made from local woods and constructed without using man-made elements – recreating 17th century harvesting techniques that had not been used for many generations.

Chablé’s world-class spa has been built alongside a private and natural cenote – a natural limestone swimming hole celebrated by Mayans as the entrance into the sacred underworld – and the spa’s philosophy draws from this ancient culture to offer a wide range of Mayan-inspired treatments, harnessing the powers of the area’s most ancient techniques and ingredients mixed with modern amenities. Each treatment room has been placed within the lush gardens where nature can be enjoyed to its fullest.

Gourmands are amply catered for by consultant chef Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil in Mexico City (one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants), and his right-hand man, Luis Ronzon who helms all three of Chablé’s restaurants. As well as using the hotel’s own organic herbs and veggies, Ronzon sources the best ingredients from around Mexico and keeps menus light and inventive. After dinner rest your head in one of the resort’s forty villas, each with its own pool, hammock and outdoor shower.

The modern touches incorporated with Maya architecture, warm woods and original 19th century walls of the working hacienda are what make Chablé a veritable work of art. Every room has a view and every view is a living part of Chablé.

Rest Your Head - AVATON

AVATONHalkidiki, Greece

Consisting of twenty monasteries and home to approximately 2,000 monks, Mount Athos is the spiritual capital of the Orthodox Christian world, the monastic center of the Greek Orthodox Church, a state-within-a-state, a veritable living museum of religion and the spiritual vortex of Greece. Located towards the top of the “third finger” of the Halkidiki prefecture, Mount Athos (or Agio Oros as it is also known) is home to the oldest surviving monastic community on Earth. The monks’ way of life is practically unchanged since they arrived in the 9th century. Most of them live within the walls of their chosen monastery, but others choose to live in complete isolation, away from any distractions. Women are not allowed within 500 metres of the shoreline, and even female animals are prohibited from walking on Mount Athos. This is because the Virgin Mary is said to have visited the peninsula and prayed to have it as her own. It is believed that the presence of women might distract the monks, tempting them away from true celibacy and leading them to sin.

In the shadow of the UNESCO World Heritage Mount and located at the top of Athos Peninsula in Halkidiki, Avaton Luxury Villas Resort (to give the property its full name) is one of the Greek mainland’s hidden hospitality gems, opened in 2015 and family owned and run.

Positioned directly on beautifully unspoilt Komitsa Beach, this boutique hotel offers a range of uber-modern townhouse-like villas which are more than amply equipped. Discerning travellers, holidaying couples and adventurous families alike are accommodated in two-bedroom units, stylishly decorated and laden with every modern-day convenience, including full kitchens for those who wish to self-cater. Many boast their own private plunge pools. A cluster of half a dozen premium split-level units offer direct access – via delightful little private back gardens – to a grassed path which leads across lush Mediterranean lawns towards Avaton’s beachfront champagne bar, perched on a petite hill. Boasting incredible sweeping views of Komitsa Bay, Avaton’s bar is the perfect place for an afternoon cocktail, fresh sushi lunch or evening sundowners, before heading out to the ancient city of Ouranoupoli just 15 mins away by car and filled with bustling tavernas and lively bars.

The beauty of Avaton is really in its unique, undisturbed location. Komitsa is virtually a private beach and Avaton’s team works tirelessly to ensure that it is kept in pristine condition for the resort’s guests to enjoy its full beauty, and bathe in the tranquil crystal-clear waters in peace and quiet every day of their stay.

Guests are waited on hand and foot whether at the beach, the bar or in the privacy of their lodgings, where meals selected from a vast and varied international menu can be served in-room or al fresco for a private dinner party-like experience. In-room spa treatments, private transfers via helicopter or limousine from Thessaloniki (Greece’s second city) and memorable cruises around nearby picturesque islands and breathtaking coastlines complete the ultimate deluxe Greek summer seaside experience.

Rest Your Head - OBEROI SUKHVILAS

OBEROI SUKHVILASChandigarh, India

250 km from New Delhi, heading northwards towards fresh mountain air and a more conventional seasonal climate, lies an Indian city of just over a million people which was planned by world renowned Swiss-French architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier. Originally dreamed-up by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Chandigarh is located in the foothills of the Sivalik Hills, a mountain range of the outer Himalayas. Renowned and admired countrywide, Chandigarh is one of the best experiments in urban planning and modern architecture in India. Streets are straight, clean and organised in a grid system, with different districts marking out neighbourhoods. The city is well kept, tidy and ordered. A large proportion of its residents are affluent, proud and generally well-to-do. Basically, Chandigarh is an organised revelation in a country where organised chaos is so very often the norm.

More than twenty years ago, the Oberoi Group reimagined India’s princely tradition of grandiose country retreats and made it relevant for the modern hospitality industry. Late last year, the premium Indian hotel chain arrived in the Punjab with a major opening and one of the country’s most talked-about new spa resorts: Oberoi Sukhvilas, situated thirty minutes outside Chandigarh’s centre, surrounded by more than 8,000 acres of protected forest.

Entered via a sequence of landscaped courtyards, surrounded by arches and colonnaded verandas, Oberoi Sukhvilas really is a hotel of divine splendour. Gilded finials gleam above domed rooftops. Towering brass-framed doors rise from floors of red sandstone. Fountains, streams and reflection pools are all around. Tranquillity and class abound as if one had stepped into another mystical, frescoed world.

Whilst some sixty bedrooms, villas, tents and suites artfully combine Northern Indian features and motifs with chandeliers, four-poster beds, acres of teak, and throws and cushions in Punjabi reds and greens, it is the resort’s show-stopping 12,000ft2 spa which is Oberoi Sukhvilas’s pièce de résistance.

Offering a custom-designed menu of Ayurvedic therapies, spa facilities include a steam sauna, an infrared sauna, a vitality pool, a Turkish hammam and a Roman tepidarium. It also offers courses of Ayurvedic treatments masterminded by Ram Kumar, an eminence among India’s Ayurvedic doctors, and a veritable coup for a hotel chain which only twenty years ago opened its first game-changing Indian country retreat, Rajvilas. In Oberoi Sukhvilas, the purpose-built palace hotel, combining traditional Indian design and contemporary Western facilities, has been brought glamorously up to date.

Rest Your Head - THE KIMPTON SEAFIRE RESORT & SPA

THE KIMPTON SEAFIRE RESORT & SPAGrand Cayman

Around ninety miles south of Cuba, Grand Cayman is by far the largest and most populated of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Though Grand Cayman is most celebrated for its aquatic activities, there’s no shortage of diversions to please landlubbers, history buffs, eco-warriors and families, from turtle sanctuaries and butterfly farms to Michelin-starred cuisine and ruined fortifications. Whilst the majority of visitors to Grand Cayman arrive by cruise ship to spend the day in Georgetown, the island has an awful lot more to offer than the obvious Caribbean holiday clichés of white sand beaches, umbrella-accessorised cocktails and calypso bands. Indeed, if you venture away from the capital’s souvenir shops, you’ll find an island paradise with a rich history and a diverse population that includes well over a hundred different nationalities ranging from Jamaican to Canadian. Understandably, with such cultural diversity comes an incredible variety of food and entertainment. Yet with all that’s happening day-in-day-out on Grand Cayman, it’s hard to believe that the recently opened Kimpton Seafire is the first new hospitality offering to have been built on the island in more than a decade.

Opened in November 2016 and located on Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, Seafire is Kimpton Hotels’ first property outside the States. Situated where the Courtyard Marriott once stood, the site’s new incumbent consists of Cayman’s first pair of 10-storey buildings, one housing the 266-room hotel and the other just over sixty condos. Three roomy bungalows are sited adjacent to the beach.

The hotel has been designed as a highly social, active resort environment, and, with its bohemian-meets-mid-century decor, wholly embodies the sense of playfulness and irreverent hospitality that characterises the Kimpton brand. Somewhat overnight, Seafire has become one of the hippest hotel options in the Cayman Islands and has ushered in a new era of contemporary luxury to the British territory. It’s luxurious, perfectly decorated, tech-savvy, and, just like Kimpton’s other properties, dog-friendly. Shack-up here and you’ll find it hard to escape the hotel’s extensive and alluring facilities.

Hotel rooms boast balconies with ocean views and deep tubs to soak in. Meanwhile, for those with a touch more cash to splash, six separate deluxe suites are contained within three bungalows mere steps from the sand and cloistered between tropical swimming pools. In addition to a very full schedule of wellness programming ranging from yoga to an al fresco boot camp and pilates, a beach kiosk offers unlimited use of snorkelling equipment, paddle boards, kayaks and mini catamarans, the sprawling central pool has its own bar, and the beachfront has plenty of secluded cocoon-like chaises perfect for soaking up the Caribbean sunshine in style.

Rest Your Head - SIR JOAN

SIR JOANIbiza, Spain

World renowned for having some of the best nightclubs on the planet, there is little one can say about the Spanish party island that hasn’t been written before. A luxurious bohemian retreat with a distinctly members club feel, and billed as “An Urban Oasis Minutes from Old Town Views of the Marina”, Sir Joan is the boutique hotel brand’s fifth global destination and its first Ibithincan property, opened just a few months ago amidst the party mania in the heart of Ibiza Town, less than 500 yards from the infamous white isle’s most iconic nightclub, Pacha, which has been at the epicentre of the island’s nightlife scene for forty years.

Located in the heart of the exclusive marina district of Talamanca, Sir Joan boasts thirty-six luxury rooms plus two stunning penthouses. Each penthouse boasts 80m2 of wraparound terraces with 360° views of Ibiza, outdoor seating, a private cabana and an open-air kitchen.

Paying homage to yacht-living, Sir Joan’s ocean-inspired interiors were fashioned by award-winning architects and interior designers Baranowitz + Kronenberg, whilst Barcelona-based architects Ribas & Ribas faced the building with a unique and contemporary checkered façade. The slick guest accommodations reflect a high-end design aesthetic whilst giving more than a passing nod to the hotel’s surroundings, courtesy of stripped wooden yacht flooring and polished stainless steel wall panelling which, when struck by sunlight, give the appearance of moving waves.

The property boasts a collection of carefully curated artworks, including pieces by Spanish art legend Joan Hernandez Pijuan and renowned installation artist Carlos Irijalba, alongside photographs from Toulouse-born artist/photographer Landry A. famed for his Barcelona nightlife collections which reflect the nocturnal activities of the throbbing underbelly of the Catalan metropolis.

Each Sir property is based on a characterful aristocratic persona and Sir Joan is no exception. A sociable yachtie sort, whilst Sir Joan appreciates Ibiza’s nightlife he also enjoys hosting fun times in his own intimate spaces, which include an outpost of Amsterdam-based IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar serving quality Japanese-Peruvian dishes, and late-night burger bar THE BUTCHER. There’s also a cabana-lined rooftop pool and garden for those inevitable after-hours gatherings to watch the sun rise over Spain’s illustrious party isle.

Rest Your Head - NEKUPE

NEKUPENandaime, Nicaragua

When the owners of the hotel you’re checking into are the country’s biggest philanthropists, you can probably feel good about your stay right from the get-go! Meaning “heaven” in Chorotega – a largely extinct Oto-Manguean language indigenous to a native Nicaraguan tribe – Nekupe opened in November 2016 in the shadow of the Mombacho volcano, set amongst a 1,300-acre reserve and animal sanctuary in the country’s mountainous region, thirty minutes from Granada and an hour and a half south of Managua.

The country’s first luxury countryside resort is entirely surrounded by stunning landscapes in every direction, and guests enjoy miles of natural terrain ideal for both active pursuits as well as more sedate pastimes. Combining a strong wellness component and its stunning location makes Nekupe ripe with spots for yoga and meditation, and, unlike the backpacker lodges and surfing hotels that line the country’s coast, the resort was conceived to immerse travellers in Nicaragua’s little-known inland treasures and make the most of the breathtaking scenery. Residents at Nekupe can horseback ride along a series of lakes and mountains, clay pigeon shoot near a babbling brook, or sandboard down an active volcano.

Guests are accommodated in just eight suites making Nekupe perfect for a buyout. There’s even a small chapel for intimate weddings. The main residential compound, incorporating four suites, is perched on a hill allowing for unobstructed views of the reserve out towards Mombacho Volcano. Just steps away from the main residence, four villas have been arranged so that guests are immersed in nature, each with a king-sized bed, living area and bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and walk-in showers. Floor-to-ceiling windows and open terraces allow the natural splendour of the great outdoors to gently permeate the indoor spaces.

The vision of Nicaraguan philanthropists Don Alfredo Pellas Jr. and Doña Theresita Pellas – both avid travellers and adventure enthusiasts – their commitment to nature is amply exhibited through Nekupe’s core principle of respecting the environment. The end result is a socially responsible mountain-based sanctuary that whilst enriching any outdoor sporting lifestyle also creates an external place to retreat to one’s inner peace.

Rest Your Head - AHILYA BY THE SEA

AHILYA BY THE SEAGoa, India

Run by a husband and wife team, beachside boutique property Ahilya by the Sea is a veritable love letter to Goan culture, and staying here is a little like visiting the retreat of that wealthy and eccentric yet tasteful long-lost relative you always wished you had. Perched on Coco Beach overlooking Dolphin Bay in peaceful Nerul in North Goa, the busy beaches, parties and seaside shacks the western Indian state is infamous for are forty minutes’ drive away from Ahilya, making this home-turned-hotel the perfect place to getaway, unwind and recharge.

Built just over a decade ago as a trio of private homes, by the granddaughter of Antonio Xavier Trindade, Goa’s greatest painter, the property was converted last year into a nine-room hospitality gem. Whilst still flamboyantly decorated with the owner’s selection of antiques and artworks, and stuffed to the gills with the most fabulous treasures, carefully curated from a lifetime of exotic travels, Ahilya combines quintessential local old-world charm with southeast Asian influences, resulting in a contemporary luxe experience.

Set amidst lush tropical gardens and two crystal-clear swimming pools that provide a welcome retreat from the strong Goan sun, all three graceful guest villas exude a gentle blend of Balinese architecture and local Goan craftsmanship, with heavy laterite walls and intricately patterned wooden brackets adorning the roof. Bedrooms are cosy and intimate with muted lighting in keeping with the tasteful warm tones. Large doors open out from every room towards the sea. Rooms located on the first floor each have a little balcony. Bathrooms are kitted out with antique fittings, spacious showers, local toiletries and plenty of towels and robes. But it is the little details – a refreshing drink, cold towel, welcoming reception staff, bespoke artworks, aromatic diffusers and suchlike – that really make guests feel at home. Deck chairs positioned in relaxing nooks, a library laden with books, board games and musical instruments scattered around all contribute to the inordinately relaxing atmosphere. Wi-Fi and laundry are free of charge. All-day snacks and beverages are readily available, with lunch and dinner menus featuring a limited but sumptuous selection of both local and European-styled fare.

Rest Your Head - THE BEEKMAN

THE BEEKMANNew York, U.S.A.

New York’s most anticipated opening of 2016, The Beekman is one of those rare hospitality gems that manages to temporarily transport guests into lives that are more beautiful, more glamorous and more effortlessly stylish that their normal day-to-day existences, without making them feel like they’ve stepped into Disneyland or onto the set of a movie. Occupying a landmark 1881 Queen Anne building, originally constructed by architecture firm Silliman & Farnsworth, formerly known as Temple Court and erected at the height of New York’s early golden age, The Beekman has incredibly good genes. In its heyday the building served as a white-collar hub of industry, where more than 200 businesses operated, from accountants and lawyers to publishers and press agents. And the glorious redbrick turreted structure has a magnificent nine-storey Victorian atrium and pyramidal skylight as its crowning glory.

There’s a palpable sense of cultural history as one walks into the lobby. The interiors, designed by much-celebrated hospitality firm Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, are sensitive to the building’s history without turning it into kitsch or farcical lodgings. This is core to The Beekman’s architectural success. For instance, in the Bar Room, leather club chairs sit next to bookshelves, floors are piled with Oriental rugs and portraits of famous authors hang on the walls, yet it’s all done with rather good taste. The 285 rooms plus two turret suites which ring the soaring central atrium, all kept their original style mouldings, understated period chandeliers and high ceilings. They’re furnished with a mix of antique and custom furnishings, studded leather headboards, bar carts and chinoiserie lamps, balanced with contemporary accessories and funky colours. The large bathrooms are clad in a Carrera version of timeless New York subway tiles and can be closed off with giant barn doors. The overall effect is the complete revival and reimagination of a long-time neglected beauty while maintaining its unique and original patina, all of which is completely suited to Wall Street’s current gilded age, and the general revitalisation of newly uber-cool lower Manhattan.

Rest Your Head - PROVOCATEUR

PROVOCATEURBerlin, Germany

Famed the world over for its diversity, never-ending nightclubs and anything-goes attitude, Berlin has busied itself with becoming one of the most stimulatingly colourful, creative and cultural cities in Europe since the fall of its world-renowned Wall. It is a city that truly offers something for everyone, and is an infamous hub for hedonists and hipsters, where parties can go on for days rather than hours, and all manner of sexual goings-on within the walls of some of its establishments is tantamount to normal.

In the midst of this shamelessly sensual mélange, to the West of the centre a little farther out than the usual West Berlin hubs of Wittenbergplatz and Zoologischer Garten, lies flamboyant boutique 58-room Provocateur. A hotel, restaurant and club opened in February 2017, Provocateur was fashioned by Amsterdam-based Israeli hotshot interior designer Saar Zafrir, who is the fêted name behind a number of Europe’s most talked about new properties. Designed to push buttons and encourage guests to push their boundaries, the hotel’s ethos is to be provocative and explorational, catering to the up-all-night sleep-all-day traits in both hotel guests and nightlife enthusiasts alike.

What was once a residential property has been given a fun and seductive makeover by Zafrir, that’s characterised by the bold and lavish use of reds, golds and blues, married with sensual fabrics (including lashings of velvet) and decadent furnishings. The result is sultry and seductive rooms in four categories which all feature slightly erotic interiors of red walls, Asian-style wardrobes, minibars that resemble actual bars, and black-tiled bathrooms with high-end showers and heavy ceramic sinks with brass fittings. Bellevue rooms and Terrace Suites have spacious balconies that look out onto the leafy street or rear garden and espresso machines. Some also have free-standing pearl-shaped bathtubs. Every room has a “provocateur mode” setting, allowing guests to set the mood and drift to a different world as the room’s lights dim, seductive tunes entertain the ears and video art plays, all designed to encourage you to stay in bed or linger longer with your lover..

Rest Your Head - ANDBEYOND

ANDBEYONDBENGUERRA ISLAND, MOZAMBIQUE

A group of islands off the coast of Vilanculos in Mozambique, any visit to the spectacular Bazaruto Archipelago makes for the quintessential Indian Ocean vacation. Indeed, some of Africa’s finest beaches and sandy shoals are to be found here, amongst the five main islands, all of which are gently lapped by turquoise waters filled with a few thousand types of colourful fish, together with dolphins, loggerhead, leatherback and green turtles all swimming through the clear seas. Needless to say, countless opportunities abound for first class diving, snorkelling and birding, the latter offering the avid watcher dozens of bird species to view, including fish eagles and pink flamingos.

Since 1971 much of the archipelago has been protected as 550mi² Bazaruto National Park, Mozambique’s only marine reserve and home to a stunning array of creatures large and small. Formerly known as Santo António, the island is a vision of pearl and dreamy blues, and the thatched cottages of andBeyond Benguerra Island, strung along a splendid crescent of sand, all look out over the park. Assuming that the helicopter ride is timed just right, guests arriving on Benguera from Vilanculos Airport are in for a breathtaking first glimpse of the island’s dazzling natural wonders.

Benguerra first opened as a fairly basic fishing lodge some thirty years ago. In the past three decades, it has gently evolved into something nigh on sophisticated, until andBeyond purchased the stunning isle a couple of years ago. Setting out to transform the resort into a multifaceted eco retreat, conservation outfit AndBeyond skilfully reimagined the property as an upmarket yet unpretentious beachside retreat, minus the gimmicky nonsense of some of the other hotels in the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Laid out in a simple safari camp-style configuration, AndBeyond Benguerra Island consists of ten casinhas, two cabanas and one three-bedroom casa, each imbued with a decidedly chic yet authentic Afro-Portuguese aesthetic that’s distinct to Mozambique.

Hidden behind high walls, the secluded thatched roofed guest accommodations boast private plunge pools, outdoor showers, canopied beds, welcoming verandas and beachside cabanas. Inside the rooms are quiet colonial-style sanctuaries of copper and cream, lifted with touches of royal blue that deftly mimic the shades of the waters that lie beyond the lodgings. Shuttered windows close out the heat of the sun.

From horseback riding to big-game fishing and sunset dhow cruising to collecting crabs on the sand, everything and anything is possible at this wondrous resort.

Rest Your Head - HELENA BAY

HELENA BAYWhangerei, New Zealand

Estimated to have cost USD 50 million to build, and named the world’s best new luxury hotel of 2016 yet consisting of just five suites capable of accommodating no more than ten people, every conceivable convenience has been incorporated in Helena Bay to ensure that its guests literally want for nothing. Owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Abramov, who is chairman of steel company Evraz in partnership with Roman Abramovich, this adults-only oceanfront retreat is a three-hour drive north of Auckland, situated on two miles of stunning coastline in the northeast corner of New Zealand’s North Island.

Yet whilst the size and scale of this boutique property is as breathtaking as the detailing and decadence of the place, it’s as much about what you cannot see as what you can. In a modern take on Upstairs Downstairs, a rabbit warren under the main residence comprises rooms within rooms, services on a par with a vast commercial venture, hidden corridors running the length of the main swimming pool, and kilometres of ducting, pipes and underground corridors to ensure that the main residence’s comfort levels of air handling, fire safety, IT, kitchen services, heating and cooling are top of the line.

Helena Bay is the first ever hotel to offer accommodation directly on one of New Zealand’s beaches, while being surrounded by lush forest and the tranquil cove. Guests are accommodated in two separate 1,450ft2 beachfront villas along with five 700ft2 suites boasting sliding doors to the waterfront. Five staff members attend to the whims of each guest. And whilst the architecture and décor is intentionally on the bland side so as not to distract from the beautiful surroundings, guest rooms are kitted out with the finest European linens and bathrooms are mosaic lined.

Facilities include a private European-style spa, art gallery and heated outdoor pool. Michelin-starred executive chef Ernesto Laccarino, from Italy’s famed Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890, oversees chef Michele Martino in the creation of traditional Italian cuisine sustained from the property’s own farm, including vegetable and herb gardens, greenhouses, orchards, cattle and sheep. In fact Laccarino’s ‘estate to plate’ policy means that delicious lamb and Wagyu beef come directly from the on-site farm. There are even eight beehives on the property producing Helena Bay’s own honey.

Naturally this level of luxury and exclusivity come at a price. Nightly rates for an entry-level junior suite start at USD 1,750 for one person including pre-dinner drinks, dinner and breakfast. Spa treatments are extra.

Rest Your Head - FOUR SEASONS HOTEL AT THE SURF CLUB

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL AT THE SURF CLUBSurfside, Florida

Welcoming guests since March 2017, the 77-room Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club is located at 9011 Collins Avenue in Surfside, on the site of the former private beach club fashioned in the Mediterranean style of the 1920s and founded by the tyre tycoon Harvey Firestone.

The historic Russell Pancoast-designed club opened at the north end of Miami Beach on New Year’s Eve 1930, was an instant hit and one of few places in the States where the bars never ran dry during Prohibition. Despite extensive remodelling, the new hotel retains much of the club’s former grandeur and also boasts swishy new Le Sirenuse Miami Restaurant and Champagne Bar on the site of the former ballroom, the first foreign outpost of the magnificent Le Sirenuse in Positano (on Italy’s Amalfi Coast), where Antonio Sersale’s restaurant, La Sponda, has a Michelin star.

Designed by New York-based Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, the hotel’s entrance and expansive lobby lead to an art gallery – known as Peacock Alley – of glorious photographs of former habitués: Gary Cooper; Elizabeth Taylor; Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner on their honeymoon, plus various nobility including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Queen Soraya of Iran and Winston Churchill. In fact the latter used to paint in one of two cabanas that he rented (the other was “for naps”), drawn to the place, Churchill said, by the promise “of sun, solitude, something to eat and perhaps something to drink”.

A central 12-storey tower, rising out of what was the original club’s courtyard and cantilevered out over its tiled roofs so that it appears to float above them, is where the hotel’s guest rooms are to be found, each an exquisite essay in subtle earth tones, neutrals and greens, courtesy of Joseph Dirand, the French master of modern minimalism.

Aside from the hotel, the 9-acre mixed-use oceanfront property includes two residential towers, a private club, two restaurants, four swimming pools, cabanas, a gym, oceanside gardens and a park – all designed by Meier, with landscape designer Fernando Wong laying out the gardens incorporating almost 1,000 feet of ocean frontage.

With its historic and glamorous pedigree coupled with such modern-day greats of design and gastronomic excellence, Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club is unsurprisingly making waves in Miami’s social and style circles.