The vibrant Arts Quarter in San Blas is the site for the third property from family-owned Mountain Lodges of Peru and rejoices in all things local. XO Art House is a charming converted casona
(home from the Spanish colonial era) and each of its seven rooms is decorated with jewel-toned cushions, techie touches in the form of iPads and Alexa, and bold artworks – such as electric blue stag’s head sculptures, gold leaf adorned prints and colour-popping traditional Peruvian handicrafts – by hip home-grown collective Totemiq.
The atmosphere here falls somewhere between that of boutique hotel, apartment and living gallery; there’s a glass ceilinged indoor courtyard to hang out in where breakfast is served, and larger rooms have kitchenettes with a fridge, hob and microwave meaning you can save money on dining out and cook your other meals. Also, the concierge can arrange walking tours to Cusco’s lesser-known archaeological sites, and the best markets where you’ll find piles of colorful produce and Andean super-foods.
Known for out-and-out luxury, it’s no surprise that for the first foray into the London hotel scene Belmond has landed in prime position where three of the capital’s smartest neighbourhoods (Chelsea, Belgravia and Knightsbridge) meet. Five adjoining Victorian buildings – the premises of the old Cadogan Hotel, the Union Bank and three townhouses – have been restored to the tune of £36m to create the Belmond Cadogan Hotel. It’s set across Queen Anne revival-style buildings with bold striped brickwork and towering turrets, which are as striking as the scalloped floor mosaics, marble touches and oak panelling inside.
Fifty-four rooms pay homage to the founder of the Cadogan Estate, Sir Hans Sloane, whose love of nature is reflected in thick timber-slice tables, butterfly motifs in the minibar and coral-patterned carpets. There’s history in the walls too; Oscar Wilde was famously arrested in room 118 of the Cadogan Hotel (now the Royal Suite) and actress Lillie Langtry lived in one of the townhouses. Food comes courtesy of Adam Handling (of the popular Frog restaurant), there’s a dinky Bamford treatment room, afternoon tea served in a chandelier-filled lounge
and guests have access to private green space at nearby Cadogan Place gardens.
The First Roma Dolce, Rome, Italy
Right in the thick of the action on the famous Via del Corso avenue, inside a classic 19th-century building designed by Italian architect Giuseppe Valadier, this new patisserie-themed hotel cuts quite a dash, bringing together old world charm and modern pizzazz. Just a short walk from the Trevi Fountain, Vatican and Spanish Steps, the boutique crash pad has 23 rooms with a practical, contemporary feel; think earthy and charcoal tones, fitness equipment, beds with headboard libraries (many books are dedicated to pastry) and marble bathroom