From My Notebook, August 2014


Cape Town Penthouse

Pool at The One Above, Cape Town - The Royal Portfolio © HobermanI fell in love with Cape Town one spring when I rented a house in the residential district of Constantia. I never grew tired of the view of Table Mountain, and I don’t think I saw a cloud for a month. The Royal Portfolio, which contains some of my favorite South African hotels, now offers a spectacular penthouse apartment, “The One Above,” in the V&A Waterfront. The 13,700-square-foot property has four bedrooms, two pools, a gym, a private chef and butler on call 24 hours a day, and a stupendous 360-degree view from wraparound decks.

Ferragamo’s Florence

Suite view at Portrait FirenzeWhere to stay in the Tuscan capital? In summer, I prefer to look down on the city from the cooler heights of Fiesole. True, the Four Seasons Firenze is surrounded by 11 acres of gardens. But in temperate weather, there is the option of the newly refurbished Portrait Firenze (formerly Lungarno Suites), situated at the western end of the Ponte Vecchio. The 34-suite property, owned by the Ferragamo family, has been redesigned by Florentine architect Michele Bonan. Four penthouse suites come with sublime views.

Major Caribbean Debut

View from Farmhouse lodging at Kittitian Hill’s Belle Mont FarmUntil now, St. Kitts has been a fairly sleepy little island, with a dominant volcano, 3,795-foot Mount Liamuiga, and one or two small plantation hotels. This will change with the opening of Kittitian Hill, a $600 million hotel, restaurant, spa, golf and real estate development. The project’s chief designer is internationally renowned architect Bill Bensley. It is set to debut in December with 84 lavish accommodations at Belle Mont Farm. The Kitchen restaurant in the Great House will serve farm-to-table seasonal cuisine. St. Kitts will never be quite the same, it seems.

Mobile Luxury

Shelter Co. tent interior - © Mel Barlow and Co.Camping is not usually my idea of fun, but then, not all tents are created equal. Shelter Co. is the brainchild of San Francisco event planner Kelsey Sheofsky. Mobile luxury camps for families or groups of up to 200 people can be set up in far-flung scenic locations — state parks, wineries, farms — chiefly in California, Texas and New York. The spacious, fully furnished tents come with real beds, fine linens, down comforters, seagrass carpets, wine coolers and private baths. Oh, and a camp butler. The term is “glamping.” Sounds like fun.

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.