Attention to detail is what separates the special from the extraordinary. When it comes to hotel rooms—and bathrooms, in particular—the little details can add a lot of character and ambiance. This month, Luxe Lavs contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno share bathrooms that are all about the little details.
The Williamsburg Inn, Virginia
The Williamsburg Inn, with its 19th Century Regency-style detail, makes it stand out from other luxury hotels. Created and built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1937, he wanted a hotel that replicated a grand country residence where his friends could stay and feel at home. Rockefeller and his wife were personally involved in every aspect of the original design. In 2001, the Williamsburg Inn underwent extensive renovations to update and expand the guest rooms and the guest bathrooms. In keeping with the tradition of Rockefeller’s dream—as well as his passion for the fine points—historians and archivists studied documents and artifacts to replicate everything from period wallpaper and window treatments to floor finishes and furniture arrangement. To ensure authenticity, no detail was considered too small during the renovation. We found this especially true in the elegant and spacious bathrooms. Guests feel like honorary socialites in the magnificent lobby, but upon entering the suite’s bathrooms, the transformation is complete. Twin marble vanities, Italian marble-enclosed soaking bathtubs, and large marble showers in shades of salmon and rose provide modern luxury, while the experience is truly colonial. Our favorite little touch is the elegant easy chair upholstered in authentic silk damask next to the tub. It’s the perfect place to rest while the bath is drawn.
Ladera Resort, St. Lucia
Luxe Lavs found a unique touch at Ladera resort in St. Lucia that we haven’t seen anywhere else. The eco-lodge was designed to participate in the natural beauty of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea by eliminating the fourth wall in each guest suite, making the view a part of the room. In one accommodation, we found this concept taken one step further. Not only was the wall removed from the room, but also from the shower and ergo the bathroom itself. Guests feel the breeze off the mountains and hear the sounds of the rainforest while rinsing off in the open air shower, or while sitting, well, you know where. No need for a magazine when guests have the moving tableau of nature to entertain. The generous Molton Brown products and soft thick bath towels remind guests that, while they might be bathing with nature, they are still wrapped in luxury. Ladera prides itself on providing a complete St. Lucian experience that transcends the iconic view. All the art, furniture, and tile work are made onsite by master carver Boniface Modeste and tile layer Mervin Edgar. The hand carved fish towel rack in the bathroom and hand laid palm tree tile art in the shower are perfect examples of locally inspired details. It is this devotion to the environment and the small artistic touches in the bathrooms that make Ladera unlike any other.
St. Regis, Bora Bora
Besides being located in French Polynesian romantic paradise, the St. Regis on the island of Bora Bora has boudoir details we absolutely fell in love with. The luxury resort’s huge bathrooms not only feature a heart-shaped tub, but also clear glass tiles cut into the floors for ocean viewing. Guests can enjoy the delicious turquoise blue waters and sea life while in the refreshing rain shower. Or, what could be better than “swimming” with tropical fish while enjoying our favorite experience—the bath? The bathroom materials are of exotic wood and Italian marble, with double sinks, enormous overhead spa showers and sliding panels opening up to the bedroom and looking out to the Lagoon. Each bathroom combines Tahitian details with luxury materials and amenities. The Resort uses Remede products in the bathrooms and has added a new, 13,000 square-foot Miri Miri Spa by Clarins, boasting breathtaking views of Mount Otemamu from its beach. If, for some reason, these details aren’t setting the mood, St. Regis offers a Romance Concierge to help couples create the perfect event or experience. One ticket to paradise please!
Lord Balfour, Florida
Miami is known for edgy nights mixed with sultry days, and the details in the bathrooms at Lord Balfour certainly have you feeling this 24-hour party. Recently re-opened, the boutique hotel was designed by Malcolm Berg, who was influential in keeping the hotel’s original 1940’s structure, giving guests an authentic experience of Art Deco design. Taking inspiration from Arthur James Balfour, the former British Prime Minister and philosopher, it features unique design details throughout. There is a tattoo-clad lady as a backdrop in the rooms and lit-up scriptures in the lobby with his quotes that make their way into the bathrooms on property. This includes Balfour’s most famous quote “Nothing matters very much…and few things matter at all” on a mirror in the bathroom, giving guests something to ponder over while they spruce up for a night on the town in Miami. A subtle hint perhaps of future fancy? The renovated bathrooms also feature white marble across the sink and shower walls, and a platinum steel finish on all fixtures. The palette is neutral and very sophisticated, in keeping with the rest of the property. Our favorite detail is the unsuspecting hand in the rainforest shower—a butler’s hand—there to pass you a perfumed bar of ETRO soap. Good things do come in small packages. Take it from Lord Balfour.
To see more unique luxe lavs destinations, check out:
- Remodeled Bathrooms for Summer
- Savor Spring in California Wine Country
- Eco-Conscious Hotel Bathrooms
By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com