From soaring heights and breathtaking architecture to iconic cocktails and suites, all in the most coveted locations, we take a look at some of the BIGGEST, BOLDEST and BEST offerings in the world.
LARGER THAN LIFE
Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower is one of the world’s tallest buildings, with 76 soaring floors standing watch over the Holy City, just meters away from the world's largest mosque and Islam's most sacred site, the Masjid al-Haram. The focal point of the larger Abraj Al Bait Complex, the hotel houses an Islamic Museum and a Lunar Observation Center, and also features the world’s BIGGEST clock. The four-faced clock, with each face coming in at 141 x 141 feet (43 x 43 metres), is illuminated by 8,000 LED lights.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello, renowned for its charm and rustic luxury, proudly holds the title of “world’s BIGGEST log cabin”. Built in 1930, the impressive wood structure in Quebec was created with more than 10,000 red cedars imported from British Columbia by train. Employing more than 3,500 workers, it took just three months to build – a remarkable engineering feat. The family-friendly resort, is also known for housing Canada’s BIGGEST indoor hotel pool, measuring in at a massive 75 x 40 feet (23 x 12 metres).
Singapore’s Swissôtel The Stamford is the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia, towering at 741 feet (226 metres) and 73 storeys, making it the perfect venue for the annual Swissôtel Vertical Marathon. Considered Asia’s most exhilarating vertical race, it hosts more than 2,100 participants blazing up 1,336 steps in the shortest time possible.
Swissôtel Tallinn in Estonia is the highest building in the city, with 30 floors reaching a height of 384 feet (117 metres). In addition to offering guests unrivalled views, it also features the biggest ballroom in Estonia, suitable for up to 500 event attendees.
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
The Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers Azerbaijan takes BOLD architecture to a whole new level. Part of the iconic Flame Towers mixed-use complex, the tallest building in the country, this new but already iconic structure is audaciously modern. The complex’s three columns, or “tongues of flame”, are an apt symbol for the “land of fire”, and are illuminated with various colors and images by the LARGEST media façade application in the world. The renowned landmark has changed the city’s skyline, acting as a beacon of warm Azerbaijani hospitality, and a bold symbol of the country’s re-emergence on the global scene.
Valued at over $225,000 the renowned and custom-made Fazioli Grand Piano takes center stage in the lobby of Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver. This bespoke masterpiece is one of the hotel world’s MOST luxurious instruments and features a three dimensional design under the lid with an intricate walnut inlay.
While many hotels can be considered a work of art themselves, some are also home to BOLD and distinctive art showcases. Swissôtel Büyük Efes, in Izmir, boasts one of Turkey’s largest artwork collections. The hotel has the feel of a modern art gallery, with more than 800 masterpieces on display, many reflecting the country’s history. Highlights include works from Turkey’s leading exponents of modern art, as well as a sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.
Earlier this year, Fairmont Pacific Rim proudly unveiled Bocci, ‘16’, Canada’s LARGEST public art work. This beautiful piece further enhances the already impressive art collection housed in the hotel.
Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris also is host to a private gallery, Art District, which highlights contemporary Parisian art, with many special exhibitions. Works from the hotel’s collection are also featured in guestrooms, including fine art photography, and the creations of international artists adorn the public areas and garden. Raffles Makati and Raffles Istanbul also feature impressive art collections.
BEST IN CLASS
London’s The Savoy, are celebrated for their contributions to keeping cocktail culture alive and well at renowned bars and lounges to this day. Many of the world’s most celebrated drinks such as The White Lady, crafted between 1926 and 1939 by head bartender Harry Craddock, and the Royal Tribute, commemorating the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, were both created within the walls of London’s most iconic hotel and remain classics to this day.
2015 marks the 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most well-loved, illustrious, and BEST cocktails, the Singapore Sling. Created in 1915 at the Long Bar at Raffles Singapore, the drink is synonymous with this legendary hotel. A bespoke Raffles 1915 Gin developed exclusively for Raffles, is a smooth, full-bodied spirit balanced by Malaysian botanicals and award-winning Sipsmith London Dry Gin. This unique and complex gin will inspire a new generation of bartenders to mix captivating gin cocktails much like famed bartender Ngiam Tong Boon – creator of the original Singapore Sling – did in 1915.
Ever wonder about the world’s MOST photographed hotel? Ponder no more, as Quebec City’s breathtaking grand dame, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, lays claim to this prestigious coup – and for good reason. Fresh from a multimillion dollar makeover, the enchanting hotel is rooted with rich history dating back centuries. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in heart of Old Quebec, the hotel’s 611 guestrooms and suites offer up over 2,000 windows which provide extraordinary views of the mighty St. Lawrence River, reaffirming it as an uncontested favorite for shutterbugs and an identifiable symbol for this majestic city.
Goddess Tip if travelling with children:
Many hotels can boast attractions for kids but only one has the BEST children’s suite. New York’s The Plaza, welcomes sophisticated, pint-sized guests to the Eloise Suite, a charming and whimsical delight designed by celebrated fashion designer Betsey Johnson.
Inspired by the classic book series’ impish and sometimes irrepressible heroine and her city adventures, the 18th floor hideaway is decorated with a pink and black palette, a zebra-print carpet, and a signature Plaza chandelier fitted with pink. The king-size bed, perfect for bouncy mischief, has custom-designed bedding depicting pictures of Eloise, and a sparkly padded pink headboard.
Original Hilary Knight prints adorn the walls, and Eloise DVDs and books, a tea set and Eloise and Weenie dolls, Eloise robes and towels fill the room. To round out the experience, an Eloise Tea is available at The Palm Court, and the Eloise Boutique promises special tokens to mark the occasion including a new collection of girlswear by acclaimed British childrenswear fashion designer Rachel Riley.
Goddess Tip for Racing Fans:
The grandest hotels are often found in a destination’s most coveted locations…it’s part of their appeal. One hotel, however, has the BEST location for getting close to the action of one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.
During Monaco’s F1 Grand Prix, Fairmont Monte Carlo offers rooms with unique balconies to watch racing cars negotiate the most famous bend in the championship, the Fairmont Hairpin. The heart-stopping race can also be viewed from the rooftop terrace, or smaller, private terraces. The international elite mingle in these prime viewing areas and toast the good life, all in a glamorous setting overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Pictures left to right: The Plaza Eloise Suite, The Savoy, The Stamford, Fairmont Monte Carlo, Chateau Montebello, Baku.