Six Stars under Palm Trees
Author: Silvana Rosenzweig
The luxury tourist trade worldwide gears up a level: white sandy beaches, crystal-clear water and five-star amenities are often not enough to ensure that millionaires in need of a rest are getting guaranteed satisfaction out of their holiday. In an attempt to design the best holiday places on the planet, hotel companies copy exotic royal palaces, fill dream beaches with white coral sand, transform islands into tropical gardens of Eden using 15,000 plants, or lure colourful fish to an exclusive underwater restaurant.
On the Maldives, hotel operators rely on luxury taken straight out of “Thousand and One Nights” to attract the international A-list guests to the island state in the Indian Ocean.
Luxury resorts such as Cocoa Island or Soneva Fushi provide peace and relaxation on the highest possible level by means of luxurious water villas and abundant service staff. The Reethi Rah hotel offers to its guests no less than ten massage pavilions, twelve beaches, thirty diving spots, and holiday villas up to 322 square metres in size and private pools. The 24-hour-a-day service of a personal butler is as normal here as a crash course in opening champagne bottles with a sabre. Those who can afford it could actually rent the entire island including the 600 employees. The going rate is one million US dollars for five nights.
In Thailand, too, several resorts have qualified as acceptable addresses for the super-rich in need of a rest. Owing to its exquisite wellness facilities, the Four Seasons hotel in Chiang Mai is frequented by the international jet set; in the latest spin-off of the Mandarin Oriental luxury hotel chain, the nouveau rich can now feel what it’s like to be royalty: an exact replica of the king’s palace in Mandalay has now been built in the Dhara Dhevi resort.
year of production: 2006