Top 10 Favourite Hotels

Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.

The Phoenician, Scottsdale Arizona:  The Phoenician is an iconic hotel on the slopes of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale Arizona with every luxury you could imagine. From the three golf courses to a heavenly spa, from endless pools cascading down to desert gardens, The Phoenician is simply wonderful.

Reid’s Palace, Madeira:  Set in subtropical gardens overlooking the Atlantic on an oceanic island of flowers, this legendary Orient-Express hotel has been a haven of peace for more than a century. From Edward VIII to Winston Churchill, the great and the good have found a favourite retreat here over the last 120 years.

Fairmont Banff Springs, Alberta:  Few hotels in the world rival the majesty, hospitality and grandeur of The Fairmont Banff Springs resort. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle in 1888, this National Historical Site is located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounded by mountain peaks.

Bussaco Palace, Portugal:  I stumbled across this fairytale confection of a hotel in central Portugal by accident one misty night and now it’s a firm favourite. Benedictine monks established a hermitage in the midst of Bucaco Forest in the sixth century. The present Palace was built as a summer retreat for the Portuguese monarchy.

Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong:  I remember my stay here as one of unadulterated, yet exquisitely refined, luxury. At 490 meters high, it dominates the city skyline as the world's tallest hotel from the 102nd floor to the 118th floor, with unrivaled views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island and the New Territories.

Villa Pitiana, Tuscany:  Dreams of Tuscan idylls are made of this…The yellow walls and red tiled roofs sit on a hilltop floating over the bountiful countryside, with gardens and pools cascading down the hill. A thousand years of history from fort to monastery to nobleman’s villa, wake to morning mists making an ethereal island of the hotel.

Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor, Egypt:  An oasis within a riverine oasis, the faded elegance of this mythical hotel is an appropriate base to unwind beside the banks of the Nile after a long, hot and dusty day of exploring Egypt’s greatest archeological sites. Tropical gardens cloak a hotel that has hosted royalty and celebrities.

Parador Arcos de la Frontera, Spain: The Paradors of Spain are a wonderful collection of hotels carved out of ancient buildings across the country. This is my favourite. It is perched atop cliffs high, high above a fertile plain in the medieval village of Arcos de la Frontera with a typical Andalusian courtyard and just 24 rooms.

Kakadu Lodge, Australia:  Breathtaking Kakadu National Park with its rugged escarpments, dazzling waterfalls, lush wetlands and the spectacular gorges are on the doorstep of this unpretentious lodge. Uniquely shaped in the form of a crocodile, it has a lagoon style pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

Sabi  Sabi Lodge, South Africa:  There has to be one African safari lodge on this list – and this is my choice. Deep in the African bushveld, within South Africa's famous Sabi Sand Reserve, this private game reserve offers world-class luxury accommodation, exceptional close wildlife encounters, personal service and delicious cuisine.