three types of foie gras with Venezuelan chocolate and sea salt, and codfish with cocoa powder served with mussels and saffron risotto. The dining room is luxurious and tastefully appointed with creamy stone floors and leather tufted chairs. The historic stone wall is softly backlit; you’ll feel as though you’re in a private dining room at an exclusive club. There is an enormous lounge/cocktail area with plush velour armchairs and love seats done in smoky purples, reds and browns, the lighting low and seductive. In the pristine shop, decadent pasties, chocolates and macaroons are displayed on glass trays laid out on an immaculate white counter. The service in the shop is utterly charming.
The gorgeous spa comes with huge windows affording stunning views of the magnificent surroundings. The spa menu includes special programmes based on the regenerating and toning properties of rose hip and vita murtilla, two bushes native to the region. This all-season destination is a world-class place for summer water sports, winter snow sports, plus golf, fishing, archery, rappelling, trekking and mountain biking throughout the year. Enjoy one of the most picturesque golf courses imaginable, the Llao Llao 18-hole course, which is framed by the dazzling lakes, magnificent mountains, and centennial forests. This is Patagonian majesty at its best
VILLA LA MASSA
Patagonia, Argentina Argentina’s Lake District presents a Patagonian paradise of forests, rivers, lakes and some of the world’s most dramatic mountain peaks. Situated in this majestic landscape, the emblematic Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Golf-Spa is a true ecologic paradise with sensational panoramas. Built in 1940, at the height of Argentina’s Belle Epoque, by architect Alejandro Bustillo, the hotel is a sprawling structure, built from huge cypress logs and the green stone that is typical of the region. It is considered an architectural masterpiece for its setting and harmony with its natural surroundings. Spectacularly located within the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the luxury hotel sits atop a promontory between two impossibly blue lakes, framed by snow-crested mountains. It is reminiscent of Canadian mountain lodges, with cypress and pine-log walls, massive stone fireplaces, beamed ceilings, impressive antler chandeliers and barn-sized salons. Book the rooms in the Lake Moreno Wing to enjoy the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake.
Florence, Italy From the magnificently preserved Renaissance architecture to its river-side position, to the views of Tuscan hills, cypresses and olive groves, everything about this hotel is magical, fairy-taley. Nestled on the banks of the River Arno with views out over the legendary Tuscan countryside, the hotel is housed in a stunning 16th-century Medicean villa. Over the years, many aristocratic families have lived in this Tuscan manor. Then, in 1948, it was converted into a hotel. It boasts one of the finest locations in all of Tuscany, just outside the city of Florence, splendidly secluded amid the rolling hills. It occupies 20 acres of olive groves and fruit trees, with vegetable and herb gardens, and provides commanding views over the Arno and the surrounding countryside. Refurbishment has been done in quintessentially Renaissance style, complete with individually styled guest rooms featuring vaulted ceilings and exquisite antiques, fabrics woven at the historic Florentine textile mills, wrought iron and woodwork from famous old-time Florence cabinet makers, plus lavish marble bathrooms.