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St Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami

Description: St Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami

St Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami

It may be technically in Miami, but the less- then- one- square- mile community known as Bal Harbour is a world apart from the high- volume bling of South Beach. Best known for its clutch of exclusive shops and restaurants, it now has a truly luxurious hotel to match. The resort and residential complex comprises a trio of towers with the 27- story hotel set squarely in the middle. Inside its rather austere, dark- glass exterior are some of the most ornate interiors in Florida. The dramatic lobby is dominated by a dark stone floor inlaid with a subtle pattern of God’s Flowers and lorded over by ultra- pale, wood- panel walls embedded with mirrors. There are 243 rooms and suites, all with terraces or balconies and decent- to- spectacular sea views, decked out in a creamy palate with mirror- paneled headboards and whimsical, monkey- patterned wallpaper: a nod to the original St Regis in New York City. There are a couple of swimming pools (one adult- only) and a sprawling- yet- serene Remede Spa, plus two well- equipped fitness rooms. The signature J&G Grill is a typical Jean- Georges Vongerichten affair, with a crowd- pleasing menu of seafood and steaks; Atlantico restaurant is fish- focused. The real culinary surprise is breakfast, which honours South Florida’s Latin American communities with exotic fruits, spicy egg dishes, smoothies a pan dulcets. It makes a welcome respite from ho- hum bacon and eggs and suits the resort’s modern, tropical vibe.

Description: St Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami

St Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami

When to go

Bearly December for Miami is annual Art Basel fair; bunl with the event’s biggest spenders while avoiding the crowds and chaos

Room to book

Higher rooms in the centre of the tower have views of both the Atlantic and Intercoastal Waterway. 00 1 305 993 3300; www.stregisbalharbour.com. Doubles from $ 565

Argentina – Mio Buenos Aires

Description: Argentina – Mio Buenos Aires

Argentina – Mio Buenos Aires

Wine grower Cesar Catena’s 30- bedroom newcomer sits on some of the country’s most expensive real estate, a jacaranda- lined street near Recoleta Cemetery, Eva Peron’s last resting place. The 12- floor, opaque- glass exterior says little, but Mio Buenos Aires expresses its luxury through its ample spaces within: the cavernous lobby has a two- floor, plate- glass window which lights up the bar, and even standard bedrooms clock in at a cat- swinging as square metres. The designer Delfina Rossi has been admirably restrained in the décor for the rooms: the polished wooden floors are made from guayacan, a subtropical tree from Argentina’s north; the colour scheme is sand- and- chocolate with windows draped in sensual olive silk; the furniture is made from lustrous wedge wood. Each room has a balcony overlooking the august apartments of Argentina’s most patrician families; there are super- king- sized beds, dressed with Frette linen, and statement bathtubs carved from the trunks of natural- fall called trees. Public spaces include a sleek, grey- slate spa and 12- metre pool and a spacious lounge where 19th- century editions of Shakespeare and Mliere line the bookshelves. Sadly the French- Japanese fusion restaurant to, an out post of the one in the Palermo neighbourhood, closed in November; its replacement had not opened at the time of our visit

Description: Winegrower César Catena's 30-room

Winegrower César Catena's 30-room

When to go

For the best sightseeing weather go in spring (October- December); the Buenos Aires buzz slows noticeably in January’s steamy summer heat.

Room to book

Pay extra for a Terrace Suite if you must have both Jacuzzi and bathtub. Mio Suite 602 has an ample sitting room and its own sauna.

00 54 11 5295 8500; www.miobuenosaires.com. Double from $425

Canada Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver

Description: Hotel Georgia, Vancouver, Canada

Hotel Georgia, Vancouver, Canada

When it was built in 1927, the Hotel Georgia was Vancouver’s leading hotel, the place to stay for Hollywood and British royalty, to get married in or seal a deal. But by 2005, when the developers arrived, the Georgia had been better days. The hotel recently reopened after a major refer basement, it listed façade and Spanish Ballroom (with an ornate minstrel’s gallery) once again resplendent. The restored mahogany wall- panelling, brass details and elaborate moldings in the lobby are now complemented by an impressive modern- art collection, including works by Patrick Hughes and local author Douglas Coupland. The glass- bottomed pool in the spa is a contemporary touch with its colour- changing lights. But the standard of service harks back to an era when hotel staff were professionals, not models. There are 156 bedrooms; all have ultra- luxe bathrooms with heated marble floors. Hawksworth Restaurant, heated by local celebrity chef David Hawsworth serves French cuisine  with an Asian twist and has garnered rave reviews, although it breakfast menu probably is not worth the calories or cost unless you are hosting a power breakfast. Bathrobes, while hardly flimsy, are not top notch, and some might find the automatic lighting controls more complicated than helpful. But I had to dig deep to come up with any faults: this is a thoughtfully detailed hotel both in renovation, style and service.

Description: Canada Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver

Canada Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver

When to go

Before or after a Whistler ski trip: its is low season in Vancouver, and easier to get a table at Hawsworth.

Room to book

Room 505  for its wonderful city views. 00 1 604 682 566; www.rosewoodhotelgeorgia.com . double from C $ 230

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