At some hotels, going the extra mile isn’t just about great service and staff that can’t be cracked, but an almost psychic attention to detail and obsessive quality control. These hotels are laying on niche niceties – from gourmet-packed minibars to drive-your-own golf buggies – and doling out amusing job titles – we’re talking tech advisors and sunglasses concierges; salt gurus and imagineers. This top 10 shortlist – drawn from your votes – is currently under the scrutiny of our expert judging panel to see which buttoned-up boutique hotel deserves the distinction of Above and Beyond….
With a staff-to-guest ratio of two-to-one, it’s hard not to feel like a royal at this 18th-century manor. The nothing-is-too-much-trouble service and gorgeous grounds makes this five-star hotel with its spoiling spa, elegant restaurants and country club as seductive as it is suave.
Need something? There are personal butlers on hand to arrange your dinner on the beach (or anything else you fancy), guides to lead scuba tours, the talented therapists will soothe away aches and pains in the world-class spa, as well as yoga and meditation instructors on staff.
Once you arrive, everything is taken care of, truly: the bountiful food, drinks and activities are all included in your stay. Solitude, serenity and privacy are what guests stay here for; staff take a refreshing first-name-basis approach, and the vibe is casual and unfussed.
Privacy and exclusivity are this hotel’s hallmarks. The attentive, yet unobtrusive, owners welcome guests like family to their secluded seven-suite retreat of spacious rooms, with fireplaces, private terraces or plunge pools for a throng-free escape.
True to its name (Latin for deep, multi-sensory experience) this retreat strives to heighten the senses. Indulge in a custom-designed private-dining event, give yourself over to an Aboriginal spa treatment or have the concierge arrange a picnic at a private snorkelling beach.
Dine at one of three restaurants overseen by a Michelin-starred chef or call for round-the-clock room service. Lounge poolside where attendants offer cold beer, ice-cream and more. This hotel excels with its signature style of attentive, friendly – almost intuitive – service.
It’s hard to stray from this retreat with rooms with enormous beds, and guitars or pianos to play, and the two Michelin-starred restaurants in-house. Unwind at the city’s biggest spa or hunt for souvenirs at the high-end boutique crammed with clothing, vintage furniture and art.
Aristocratic luxury plus passionate, personal service will have you feeling like the nobility who once roamed these halls. Baroque details and Florentine frescoes are balanced by modern perks: the city’s largest heated outdoor pool, a glassy Tuscan eatery and a subterranean spa.
The nine secluded villas all have their own private pools and spa gazebos for side-by-side spa treatments. Your personal chef will attend to breakfast in bed and late-night snacks, and, if you need anything else, your private butler has you covered. It’s pampered privacy at its best.
The attentive staff are focused on earthly pleasures: expect inventive cuisine and explosive cocktails, and rooms boast enormous beds and roll-top baths. Even the small details – creative minibar snacks, in-room tea kettles, fresh breakfast pastries – make a big impact.
Curious about the sexiest bedroom or best hotel bar? See all the Smith Awards 2014 categories…