Heads of state are meeting for the G7 World Economic Summit at the luxury Schloss Elmau hotel in Bavaria. And they won’t just be talking about global problems there, they’ll also be staying at the hotel, protected from the outside world.
We take a look behind the scenes at the five-star superior hotel close to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the south of Germany. What does German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s hotel room look like? And US President Joe Biden’s bathtub? How’s the view from the balcony over the Alps? What’s the food like at the hotel’s two-star Michelin restaurant? How much does it all cost? And why is the hotel manager such a fan of elephants?
Schloss Elmau, built by the philosopher and theologian Johannes Müller and architect Carl Sattler between 1914 and 1916, is a four-story national monument with hipped roof, tower and porch, situated between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Mittenwald in a sanctuary of the Bavarian Alps, Germany.
May 15, 2022 – Seville is ready for a true return to form. The city whose splendour has inspired countless works of music, art and poetry is in the beating heart of Andalucía, with its enchanting streets lined with orange trees and Moorish highlights. It’s a flavour that infuses the city’s architecture, which is also full of colonial influences due to the wealthy merchants that traded across the Spanish Empire. Saturated with various styles and cultures, many of the city’s age-old properties have been carefully converted into cool places to stay, while remaining steeped in heritage. Whether you’re in search of a rooftop pool to dip into or classic Moorish architecture, this is your ultimate guide to the best hotels in Seville.
Alfonso XIII For a taste of truly regal extravagance, look no further. Built specially for Seville’s 1929 Expo, this majestic establishment was commissioned by the then king of Spain, who gave it his own name. Look out for the monarch’s mahogany and bronze throne: this was originally used in the royal office of the premises, which is where the restaurant Ena now sits. Here, executive chef Brian Deegan had just launched a new menu including grilled Iberian pork with escalivada and scallops with cauliflower foam. The hotel’s 148 rooms alternate Andalusian, Castilian and Moorish decorative styles; with grand stairways, sweeping corridors and ornamental patterns everywhere the eye can see.
Located on an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll, Soneva Jani features 51 enormous overwater pool villas that come with retractable roofs and water slides. The villas are spread along two jetties that curve into a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) magnificent lagoon of crystal clear waters.
Follow chef/owner Stefano Secchi through an entire day at his rustic Italian restaurant Rezdôra, from organizing a kitchen of line cooks and rolling fresh pasta through serving dinner each night in the heart of Manhattan. Take a first hand look behind the scenes to see what really goes into serving high-quality cuisine day in, day out.
Flowering mountain slopes and traditional meadows. Icy glaciers and majestic summits. With their untouched nature and raw beauty, the Alps have always been a source of fascination. Angelika Taschen presents the best accommodation for Alpinists – historic inns, guesthouses, monasteries, mountain huts, chalets, palazzi, design hotels, even a youth hostel.
A Mountain Tour of the Alps
The Alps are Europe’s biggest and greatest mountain range. Formed millions of years ago, they became a popular destination for travelers in the late eighteenth century – first for adventurers and explorers, then for artists and writers, and finally for everyone who wanted to spend summer in the fresh air of this wonderful scenery or take part in winter sports. Angelika Taschen has followed in their footsteps and collected the finest hotels in the Alpine nations of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy.
They include the Kranzbach near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, built for a British aristocrat, Gasthof Hirschen in the Bregenzerwald, where art-loving visitors have been welcomed since 1755, and the Seehof near Salzburg with its emphasis on contemporary art and fine cuisine. The journey goes to Waldhaus Sils in Sils Maria, where many creative guests have found inspiration, to the Schatzalp in Davos, which Thomas Mann immortalized in literature in “The Magic Mountain”, and to picturesque bed & breakfasts with a personal touch such as Brücke49 in Vals and Maison Bergdorf in Interlaken.
High above Chamonix, mountaineers have stayed overnight for more than 140 years at Refuge du Montenvers with its view of the Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France. In the exclusive Megève, too, which Baroness Noémie de Rothschild put on the tourist map, travelers experience the Alps à la française in the chalet hotel L’Alpaga; and a bit of Italian dolce vita is provided by stunning addresses in the South Tyrol such as the Ottmangut in Merano, Villa Arnica in Lana with its nostalgic atmosphere, and Pension Briol near Barbiano, constructed in 1928 in the Bauhaus style and extended in 2021 with the addition of two extremely modern buildings.
This opulent book of photographs presents the Alpine range and accommodation in large-format images, short texts, and useful details on prices and how to get there. Walkers, skiers, gourmets, and lovers of good living will find valuable tips and very special accommodation: former monasteries where guests still find peace and seclusion, a mountain hut at the heart of the Dolomites, and a youth hostel occupying what was once a sanatorium, a rare example of modern architecture in Switzerland that was declared a heritage monument in 2002.
First, the fizz. Part of Seville’s exuberance is because the city is preparing for two festivals: Semana Santa, over Holy Week, and the April Fair (actually in May). The first involves processions of elaborately trussed religious statues sitting on decorative floats held aloft by men in cream-coloured cloaks and cone-shaped headdresses, a vision that surprised me when I attended, by chance, while interrailing around Europe decades ago. The April Fair is equally flamboyant, although with more frills — Sevillanas in every shade of flamenco dress. Everyone learns flamenco at school, so there’s no excuse for poor footwork. And, naturally, getting a new dress, of slightly different design, is the done thing each year.
After all that, arriving at La Donaira via the white mountain village of El Gastor is a change of pace. Not least because the views are lurking under cloud (the calima again), so I am inclined to make the most of the hotel’s cosiness rather than head out for a grey hike.
What was once a private house, converted into a hotel in 2015, strives to maintain that homely feeling. It’s working — guests wear athleisure at dinner, pad around in socks and Crocs, and children jump on the giant sofa by the living-room fire. The vibe here is so relaxed, we leave our bedroom door open at night to listen to the rain and feel the cool mountain air. The living room is a big, open space — a former barn, with picture windows over the courtyard, a library and plenty of lounging spots.
Visiting Den Røde Cottage (pronounced “roll” = red) a historic building from 1844 which has been a restaurant for a few decades now. The 8 course dinner can be ordered together with 8 glasses of wine which almost doubles the price of the dinner bringing it up to 2500 DKK (335 EUR) but it is highly recommended since the wine complements each dish greatly and the wisely chosen wine selection itself gives a nice overview of the diversity of the taste of wine.
Den Røde Cottage is a Michelin Guide restaurant and is located 10 minutes outside of Copenhagen in a town called Klampenborg.
The Potting Shed lies in a north Wiltshire village rather than the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire territories of the Cotswolds, but it’s most definitely worth driving south for. The focus is all things seasonal and local, and the menu changes monthly to reflect this, as well as the produce from the two-acre garden.
The Sunday roasts are some of the best in the area but it’s also worth trying the main menu – highlights might include a black pudding scotch egg with mustard mayonnaise, a fluffy smoked mackerel pate with sourdough toast or the crispiest beer battered fish and chips. Keep an eye on the specials board for the fish of the day too. The charming Rectory hotel (where you’ll find The Potting Shed’s sister restaurant) is just down the road and is worth spending a night or two, so might as well make a long weekend out of it.
The Lamb Inn, Shipton-Under-Wychwood
With the success of The Bell Inn comes this new pub-with-rooms from the same owners. And it might just be one of the biggest Cotswolds openings of 2021, with bedrooms that are as smart as the menu. Peter Creed and Tom Noest are known for working their magic on derelict country inns that are in desperate need of a facelift. Here they’ve redone the space with a proper standing bar, mismatched picture frames and a large garden out back. The menu is similar to its big sister (devilled kidneys on toast, juicy burgers) but this time with a French twist – escargots and crispy frogs’ legs, bavette-steak tartare with game chips, confit duck frites with zingy aioli. Oh, and a must-order tarte tatin for pudding.
Hoanib’s eight pale olive, luxury tented suites peak like whitecaps on an ocean of sand. Totally solar-powered, Hoanib has a fresh, contemporary design, with a colour palette reflecting the surrounding desert. The camp (suites, common areas, pool) looks out on a wide, rugged valley that slopes down to the usually dry Hoanib River. One of many highlights: dining under impossibly starry skies, perhaps perhaps at the firepit as a jackal cries, or a lion roars, punctuating the stillness of the inky night.
Explore the Namib Desert’s rust-coloured crags and arid plains in search of desert-adapted wildlife – elephants, lions, hyaenas, giraffes, oryxes among the regular sightings. Take a rollicking drive over the floodplain and dunes to the Skeleton Coast, a wild stretch of the Atlantic where the desert meets the sea, where white sand beaches are littered with whale bones and shipwreck remains. Fly back to camp for an aerial view of what seems uninhabitable, but is full of life. Walk with a guide to witness that life, including the smaller creatures, a fascinating variety of birds and unusual flora. Discover the remnants of Strandloper – Beachcomber – lifestyle from centuries past. Linger in the camp’s wildlife research centre to learn about the latest local conservation initiatives.