Clearly, I am not the only one to still get excited every time I am given a hotel room key.
My insatiable appetite for a unique hotel with history, charm and charisma has been reignited by series four of the fantastic BBC television series, Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby.
I know this programme has grabbed the attention of several of my clients, friends and associates, and for those who haven’t managed to catch it as yet, it features journalist Giles Coren and chef Monica Galetti rolling up their sleeves to work alongside staff in some of the most extraordinary hotels across the globe.
I never miss an episode, loving to see hotels in which I have stayed; ones that my clients have stayed in and of course those on the wish list.
The show’s very first episode featured the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and I remember looking at the hotel's infinity pool thinking, one day I will swim in that. Some clients have beaten me to it and enjoyed a stay here, combining it with a holiday in Thailand.
Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya was another in series one and I was so surprised watching guests having breakfast with the giraffes poking their heads through the window of the dining room to be fed. I have had honeymooners stay here for a couple nights before moving on to sister property, Sala's Camp in the Masai Mari.
My absolute highlight in the first series was seeing the Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland, Canada. When it aired, little did I know that I would be staying there a year later. The hotel is as stunning in the flesh as it was on the TV, and the views from every window were unbelievable. I even got to meet 'Make and Break', the two Newfoundland dogs that reside at the hotel.
Monica spent time with Norm, a community host who also grows crops and maintains the gardens for the hotel. During my stay, I also spent time with this lovely man who proudly showed us the vegetable plot that he took Monica to and his framed picture of them in his house. Norm even made us lunch in his Saltbox House which was a real treat.
I had heard lots about the contemporary Silo Hotel and found it fascinating to hear how it was built. The hotel sits atop a former grain silo overlooking the V&A Waterfront, a perfect location for a stay in Cape Town. If you are considering a trip along the Garden Route, adding a few nights here at the start or the conclusion would make for one special trip.
The Anantara Al Jabal Ak Akhdar is a bucket list hotel of mine that was featured in series two. I am keen to visit Oman and seeing this incredible hotel has further fuelled that desire. Perched 2,000 metres above sea level on the Green Mountain, it’s the highest 5* hotel in the Middle East, a two-hour journey from Muscat by four-wheel drive. I have stayed at an impressive Anantara Hotel in Dubai and the brand’s portfolio has a great reputation.
I am not sure if I will ever get to the gambling capital of the world, the self-governing Chinese city of Macau, but if I do, I will be staying at the MGM Cotai. This episode in series three was a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most high-tech hotels. I was amazed by the secret VIP section of the hotel that some of the staff don't even know exists and where the suites didn't even have a price.
During lockdown there were a couple of enjoyable UK-based episodes. The fine looking Torridon in Scotland caught my eye and is now on my radar for when I embark upon the UK's Route 66 equivalent, the North Coast 500. London’s highest hotel, the Shangri-La in the iconic Shard, was mighty impressive but you won't find me changing career to be a window cleaner there.
I have been fortunate to holiday in St Lucia, but sadly didn’t get to stay at the phenomenal looking Jade Mountain, where Giles and Monica got to work behind the scenes. The idea of staying in a room with no exterior wall and waking up with a view of the magnificent Pitons greatly appeals and has been added to my list.
Anyone who has enquired about short haul holidays with me will be aware that Croatia tops my list of recommendations. I have been numerous times, as have my wonderful clients, Simone and Julian, who visited one of my favourite places, Rovinj, on their most recent visit.
If you managed to catch the latest episode in the new series, you will have seen why, and we were all super excited when Monica and Giles loved the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj as much as Simone and Julian did.
It's great to know there are so many amazing hotels to visit and probably like you, I cannot wait to stay in a few more...