The World's Best New Hotels & Resorts
Top-tier brands remain on our travel experts' radar, but boutique properties and South American and Vietnamese destinations are also garnering rave reviews
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Nov/Dec 2007
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TOP 10 CIGAR-FRIENDLY HOTELS & RESORTS
Cigar Aficionado's editors pick the best hotels and resorts in the world for cigar smokers.
Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Dubai is a mecca for cigar lovers and many of its public spaces are havens for lovers of the leaf. The sumptuous 202-suite Burj Al Arab hotel is no exception. A Jumeirah property, the hotel has been built to look like a billowing sail that commands the city skyline. Rich furnishings abound, from jewel-toned velvet pillows to silk coverlets to plush sofas. The Juna Lounge offers an extensive list of premium Cuban cigars, including Montecristos and Cohibas, all of which can be paired with one of the largest selections of single-malt Scotch in the region.
Hotel Byblos, St. Tropez
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, St. Tropez's iconic hotel is a jet-setter's and cigar smoker's dream. Each of the Byblos's 96 rooms and suites is elegantly decorated in neutral hues and Mediterranean reds and blues. The hotel caters to those wanting exclusivity amid rich nightlife as well as those who'd rather relax with a good cigar. Owner Antoine Chevanne developed a cigar menu that includes a brief history of the cigar industry, Cuba's role in it, and a definition of the various shapes and sizes and the famous Cuban marques including Cuaba, Saint Luis Rey, Vegas Robaina and Bolivar.
Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy
This stunning 45-room luxury hotel, perched on a cliff high above the picturesque Amalfi coast, was a favorite haunt of Humphrey Bogart, Tennessee Williams and Jackie Kennedy. Spectacular Mediterranean views abound from the luxuriously appointed rooms. Patrons can take excursions to nearby Capri, Positano or Pompeii or just relax in lovely Ravello. But cigar lovers need look no further than Caruso's Portico terrace at which they can savor a Cuban Cohiba, Partagas or Montecristo from the hotel's list, organized and overseen by head barman Carlo Carlino.
Isle de France, St. Barths
The Caribbean has many outstanding properties and one of the best is this alluring, privately owned hotel on the French island of St. Barths. Designated the top hotel in the Caribbean by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report, Isle de France on Baie des Flamands beach proffers 33 sumptuous rooms, suites and villas, each distinct yet lushly decorated in an island style. The hotel caters to cigar smokers, who can enjoy a Cohiba Siglo or Partagas Serie D No. 4, among others, at La Case de l'Isle, the beautiful open-air French restaurant.
Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong
This renowned, environmentally conscious 700-room hotel has some of the most spacious accommodations in Hong Kong. Each modern room, with its neutral tones and state-of-the-art amenities, features a huge bay window with breathtaking views of the city or Victoria Harbour. The Kowloon also houses one of the only bars in the city where cigar smoking is allowed. The stylish Tapas Bar, known for its extensive wine list, sells Montecristos, Cohibas and Davidoffs. From time to time, the bar also invites cigar rollers to demonstrate the cigar-rolling process for guests.
The Lanesborough, London
Situated on Hyde Park Corner in the heart of London, the 98-room Lanesborough, a St. Regis hotel, re-creates the timeless elegance and romance of the Regency period. Rich velvet pillows pepper sateen coverlets, plush sofas dot the living areas and Carrera marble decorates the bathrooms. Although London laws forbid smoking in dining and drinking establishments, the Lanesborough offers a haven for cigar smokers: The Library Bar features pre-revolution Cuban cigars, such as the La Gloria Cubana Sabrosos and Trinidad Diplomaticos for guests' smoking pleasure.
Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
Nestled on a private island in the Turks & Caicos, Parrot Cay caters to those who want beauty amid exclusivity. Guests can rent spacious beachfront villas with swimming pools or rest in one of 56 tranquil hotel rooms. A mile-long white sand beach beckons sun worshippers while the world-renowned Como Shambala retreat lures yoga lovers. Cigar devotees are not neglected. Smokers are welcome at the Terrace and Lotus Bars, where they can choose from a list of distinctive Cuban cigars, including the Bolivar Tubos and the Hoyo de Monterrey Coronation.
Sea Island Resorts, Georgia
Georgia's scenic barrier islands play host to one of the world's most beautiful golf resorts. Built in 1928, Sea Island offers golfers a choice of three unique championship courses. Guests can stay at the historic 156-room, antique-furnished Cloister at Sea Island or the English manor—style, 40-room Lodge at Sea Island. The Smoking Lounge at the Cloister showcases leather chairs, pecky cypress beams, heart pine millwork and antique maps, as well as an array of single-malt Scotch, private-label brandies and Ports, and cigars, most notably Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Stories and Ashton Cabinet Vintage torpedoes.
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