Most hotel aficionados agree: Nothing sets a suite apart like an over-the-top bathroom. We scoured the world to find 10 great reasons to put out the Do Not Disturb sign.
Best Artistic Design
In a town known for its gorgeous architecture and thriving artistic community, los baños at the 37-room Casa de Sierra Nevada, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, fit right in. Each is uniquely designed, with antique Talavera tiles (many hand-painted), plus appreciated extras like separate tubs and walk-in showers, heated floors (it gets chilly in this mountain town, especially in the winter months) and Molton Brown amenities. The most stunning water closets are housed in Casa Limon, the 18th-century-style mansion on the grounds. Our favorite, in the colonial suite, contains a hammered-copper tub tucked into a nook with shutters that open for breezy evening baths.
The hillside Jade Mountain, on the island of** Saint Lucia**, is one of the Caribbean’s sexiest resorts. The 23 rooms (known as pool sanctuaries, each with a celestial name like Moon or Galaxy) were built without a fourth wall, so there’s nothing between you and incredible views of the sparkling sea and towering Piton mountains. Bathrooms are open-plan, melding into the ambience. Showers include a rain showerhead and six separate body sprays, but our favorite touch is the two-person chromatherapy Jacuzzi, whose underwater LED lights are customizable to your mood, from calming green to energizing red.
Got a gadget-loving groom? He’s gonna love this. With just a simple tap on the tubside control pad, guests at The Peninsula Tokyo can switch the bathroom ambience to “spa,” which dims the lights, silences the doorbell and phone, and pipes in soothing music. The toilets are also high-tech: Seats automatically raise, shut and heat — and they come with four bonus buttons, including bidet, wash, dry and a curious option known as “massage.” There’s even an automatic nail-polish dryer! The tech touches extend beyond the bathroom: Enjoy wireless, Skype-able phones; bedside controls for lighting and temperature; and surround-sound music systems. But all the bells and whistles can’t compete with the comfort of your round ofuro soaking tub, some with front-and-center city views.
Malaysia is known as a cultural melting pot, and the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, on Malaysia’s white-sand Tanjung Rhu Beach, reflects that with decor that blends Asian, Indian and Arabic influences. All baths feature imported Spanish Amarillo marble and accents in the rich yellow hues associated with Malaysian royalty. Upper-level pavilion loos are inspired by Turkish hammams, with a two-person sunken bath accessed through a spade-shaped entryway. Lower-pavilion rooms up the ante with outdoor terrazzo soaking tubs. The spa can set you up with an in-room Malay bath ritual, which blends coconut leaves, Kaffir lime, lemongrass and spices into a blissful soak.
California’sPost Ranch Inn is an oasis tucked in the cliff above Big Sur. The 40 architecturally varied rooms have a few things in common: a design aesthetic that harmonizes with nature, copious amounts of windows, and incredible views from as many places as possible, including bed, terrace and bath. Pacific-suite bathrooms put tumbled-marble soaker tubs in front of floor-to-ceiling windows, and they open to wraparound terraces. Each Ocean House suite has a two-sided fireplace, to be enjoyed from both the living room and bathroom. Mountain rooms swap views of the ocean for endless acres of pristine forest.
Phuket is one of Thailand’s busiest tourist towns, but you’d never notice while tucked away at Anantara Phuket Villas, situated on a blessedly secluded stretch of Mai Khao beach. Modeled after the traditional homes of southern Thailand, the oversize villas here are feng shui perfection, built with architectural principles that embrace outside light and air. The 83 pool villas have sleek marble bathrooms with floor-to-ceiling doors that open to gardens blooming with orchids, jasmine and birds of paradise. Here you’ll find your outdoor rain shower (there’s another one inside), plus a mosaic-tile plunge pool and a sunken terrazzo tub that’s encircled with candles come nightfall.
Anguilla’s powdery beaches are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, but sometimes you want to soak up the sun with no fear of tan lines. Enter the oceanfront junior suites at Cap Juluca. The top-to-bottom marble washrooms were designed with couple-friendly tubs and glass-enclosed showers that open onto private outdoor solariums complete with lounge chairs, palm trees and half-walls that ensure privacy without making you feel closed in. In the mood for a romantic bath à deux? The spa concierge can prepare an in-room Tropical soak using papaya, candlenuts, sea salt and rose petals.
Few places on the planet can claim scenic superiority to the expansive landscapes of East Africa. Perched on the edge of the 12-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world, Tanzania’s&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge makes the most of the locale. After a day on safari spotting lions, zebras and elephants, get cleaned up in your dreamy bathroom, designed with Tanzanian pine, floor-to-ceiling windows and a claw-foot tub. Opulence comes in unexpected forms, like glass-beaded chandeliers, vases stuffed with lush red roses from nearby Arusha, and the views: The tub, rain shower and W.C. have windows facing the caldera.
Bigger is better at The Palazzo hotel, in Las Vegas. Even the entry-level Palazzo Luxury suites come with 120 square feet of bathroom fun, with a deep Roman tub, a 20-inch high-def TV, chic bath products from Agraria San Francisco, and a separate vanity area with a wall-mounted makeup mirror and plush velvet stool, perfect for primping. Higher levels throw in a jetted tub and choice of room extra: massage table, pool table or piano.
Leave it to film director Francis Ford Coppola to build the film-set-worthy Turtle Inn, an award-winning eco-resort in coastal Belize. The 26 thatch-roof cottages are designed to mimic the region’s tropical beauty. Open-air showers are deceptively simple, with a clever bamboo nozzle for faucets, plus landscaping that features locally sourced limestone and lush vegetation like red ginger and fragrant hibiscus. Interiors are finished with handcrafted furnishings and textiles personally chosen by the family and imported from Bali and Central America.