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Our little black book of enchanting places


Hotels that will float your boat by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O'Sullivan

Stay at a hotel with a boat

There's only so much luxury you can squeeze into one tiny island resort , so many of the best resorts also have a yacht which guests can book for a night or two. The Landaa Summer (above) belongs to the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. The three-deck, 16.7m luxury catamaran is available for three-, four- and seven-night cruises with the chance to try sunrise and night dives, snorkel on isolated reefs or picnic on isolated sandbanks. If you’re after something a little more authentic, this traditional Indonesian Phinsi belongs to Amanwana, an Aman property on Moya Island, east of Bali. To be launched next month, the Amandira will accommodate up to 10 guests and will sail the pristine waters of Indonesia’s Komodo National Park (April to September) and Raja Ampat (October to March). Amandira is operated by a crew of 14 including a certified diving instructor and a chef. Stay at a hotel that is a boat

The seven-storey, 142m Sunborn Gibraltar (above) is the world’s first purpose-built five-star yacht hotel. Moored in the swanky Ocean Village Marina, it has 89 guest rooms (don’t call them cabins), most with terraces or balconies, and all the facilities you would expect of a five-star: spa, fitness centre, cocktail lounges, fine dining restaurants and a grand ballroom. The company, which has more yacht hotels in the pipeline, also owns the Sunborn London (below). You might have already spotted the Sunborn London at the western end of the Royal Victoria Dock and assumed it belonged to a visiting Russian oligarch. It has 136 spacious guest rooms over five floors, a bar and lounge and a fine-dining restaurant. Don’t worry about mal de mer: movement is apparently undetectable and there’s no chance of Sunborn London floating down stream either as it’s attached to dry land by two hefty supporting arms. Stay at hotel that thinks it’s a boat

With glass and steel wave balconies running right across the front of the building, The Royal Yacht in St Helier certainly has the look of a super yacht. Inside, the theme continues: the restaurants are called Sciroco (above) and Zephyr, while the bars are named The Drift, Little Drift and P.O.S.H (as in Port Out, Starboard home). The guest rooms are less obviously themed, though the penthouse terrace Jacuzzis do have glorious views across the marina.

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