5 of most spectacular hotel arrivals in the world

Long gone are the days of arriving to a hotel to tediously queue at a lobby and await your turn so someone at the reception desk is free to attend to you. Luxury travelers demand more, much, much more. Many of the more boutique hotels and resorts have done away with reception desks, and even lobbies, and an in-room check-in is now par for the course rather than a surprise at most luxury accommodations, even at many large city hotels. Some hotels even have procedures in place to pick-up at the airport and pre-check-in, either at their private lounge or on the ride over, so everything is ready by the time you arrive at the hotel. But how do you truly arrive in style?

Here are five of the most spectacular hotel arrivals:

Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

Any Maldivian resort that sits on its own island several miles from the capital of Malé, or from one of the other domestic airports, typically requires a seaplane to arrive at – so what makes Cheval Blanc Randheli special? While other resorts, many of them quite luxe in their own right, whisk passengers to-and-fro on a shared seaplane operated and maintained by a local aviation company, guests staying at Cheval Blanc can expect (following a relaxing stopover at the resort’s dedicated lounge) a custom-designed seaplane featuring high-quality leather interiors, embedded technology, an amenity kit, and most importantly, was designed for and is operated solely on behalf of the resort. It’s less dinghy seaplane and more private jet, except it’s a jet that floats on water! The chic design really sets the tone for the resort, owned by luxury fashion-house-conglomerate LVMH and designed by Jean-Michel Gathy.

Private seaplane at Cheval Blanc Randheli Maldives

Read our ‘Top 3 best designed resorts in the world’ at https://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2016/12/25/top-3-best-designed-resorts-in-the-world/

Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

You could take the scenic two-hour drive from Dubai to Six Senses’ north Oman outpost at the rugged Musandam Peninsula, or to speed things up, opt for the speedboat that will whisk you to the resort in 15-20 minutes from the pier. But to make the most and really take in the raw power of the rugged landscape which sees a 1.6 kilometre-long beach straddle the ocean and rugged cliffs, choose to paraglide in 290 metres from the edge of the mountain range in Zighy Bay with Six Senses’ resident paragliding professional.

Paragliding into Six Senses Zighy Bay Oman

Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, India

Royalty begets royal arrivals. At the resplendent Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, the limousine which transports you from the airport to the hotel only reaches a certain distance into the property. From the main gate, you alight and hear the clicking and clacking of horses as you board a horse-drawn carriage, as guests arriving at the palace would have a century ago. The carriage takes you from the gates to the main palace building where the experience to transport you to a different time and place truly begins!

Horse carriage at Taj Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad India

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Of course one of the world’s most extravagant hotels would make this list! One of the most over-the-top cities in the world allows you to really feel the height of some of the world’s tallest buildings with a helicopter arrival. That the helicopter lands on a helipad (where Roger Federer and Andre Agassi once played a friendly match) that juts out, with nothing below it, from at the top of the sail-shaped hotel is just the icing on the cake in this city on steroids.

Helipad at Burj Al Arab

The Peninsula Hong Kong, Hong Kong

The Peninsula Hong Kong also features a helipad, and while a helicopter transfer in this vertical city that mixes mountains and skyscrapers is fascinating in and of itself, Hong Kong’s most famous luxury hotel is famous for its fleet of 14 bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms, painted an elegant, custom and signature “Peninsula green”.

Rolls-Royce Phantom at Peninsula Hong Kong

Chinmoy Lad is the CEO and Founder of The Suite Life.

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Comments (7)

  1. Matthew U says:

    Very definitive and helpful writing. I am going to Dubai next month and will stay in Burj al Arab. I am excited to go there. Thanks for the Informative post:)

  2. Phillip says:

    I love the look of the interior of the plane that flies to the Cheval Blanc Randheli resort. One day soon I will get there and check it out!

  3. The Peninsula Hong Kong is a true luxury hotel. Yes arriving on the helipad is amazing, but there is so much more. The service is impeccable, the food some of the best in the world. The Peninsula is the ultimate luxury hotel for a stay in HK! Highly recommended.
    Oh yes to the Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives! On the Bucketlist ;)

  4. Roshni says:

    I am an Indian, happy to see one of those hotels that I have checked into, in here in the top list. :)

  5. Swathi says:

    I have visited Falaknuma Palace a year back, I can say this truly a great palace/hotel to stay and services are too good and they have greeted as Royals.

  6. Gary Childerly says:

    I think that hotels are finally getting the message that first impressions matter, particularly now that some booking agencies are offering you the chance to provide electronic feedback almost instantly.

    I remember reading, I think it was on A Luxury Travel Blog, about a hotel where you had the option of arriving by zip wire. Now that’s some entrance.

    Last week I stayed in a hotel where not only was I given iced fruit juice, a chilled flannel but a five minute welcome massage to relax my weary neck and shoulders after travelling. Arrival standards are rising!

    • Chinmoy Lad says:

      Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild would be the one where you arrive by zip wire! Most comparable in this list is probably Six Senses Zighy Bay where you can paraglide in.
      A few river-side resorts also have some great arrival options now, including the Four Seasons Sayan in Ubud, Bali, which is on a rapids trail.
      I think one other thing that hotels are understanding is that no one wants to be shoved 15 things in their face upon just arriving – a cold towel and a cool drink (especially in hot, humid destinations) is most welcome, but honestly, welcome drinks CAN wait until check-in is completed. But of course, this may vary from guest to guest.

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