At the end of a sweeping driveway, lit by flaming torches, the Oberoi Amarvilas is a luxurious celebration of Moorish and Mughal architecture with cascading foundations, gold-leaf frescoes, wood carvings and a white-marble spa. Its trump card? This is the only hotel with unfettered views of the Taj Mahal from every room – it’s a mere 600 metres away, after all, and they can whisk you there by golf buggy.
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
Often rated the Maldives’ most stylish hotel (it is an LVMH “Maison”, after all), the Cheval Blanc Randheli welcomes guests by – what else? – private seaplane. Once you’ve landed, the air of exclusivity continues: the 45 villas were designed for barefoot living by the maestro of hotel decadence Jean-Michel Gathy; there’s the option of a private, four-bed hideaway on a separate island; and the Guerlain spa has another island all to itself as well.
Marlon Brando first bought Tetiaroa, his peaceful Polynesian hideaway, after spotting it while scouting locations for 1962’s Mutiny On The Bounty. Since 2014, it’s traded as a luxurious eco-resort, with 35 beach- edge villas powered – literally – by sunshine and coconut oil.