Secret Luxury Hotel Within A Hotel
By Kelly Villasuso
How do you make a luxury resort visit even more bespoke? Don’t stay there! Instead check with your preferred luxe property to see if they have gotten on board with one of the hottest trends in the travel industry: the hotel-within-a-hotel trend.
What Happens in Vegas Shouldn’t Always Stay in Vegas
More than a decade ago, MGM Resorts International introduced a novel concept, now mirrored by other luxury hotels throughout the world, at their Mandalay Bay property in Las Vegas. They dedicated the top five floors of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino as a separately branded, smaller hotel — a Four Seasons Hotel to be exact — complete with its own private entrance, dedicated express elevators, and uber-luxuriant surroundings and service. Its own private, extremely exclusive oasis within the dazzling confines of Sin City.
The travel industry has seen this hotel-within-a-hotel trend grow within the boundaries of Las Vegas over the years, including at one of the best luxury hotels on The Strip, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace. However, the trend’s successful migration outside of the Glitter Gulch has only occurred in more recent years and now spans the globe.
With some of the world’s most luxurious hotels like Qasr Al Sarab carving out space to offer luxe, bespoke experiences to their guests proves that what happens in Vegas should not always stay in Vegas. Magical destinations, such as the Royal Pavilion Villas at Qasr Al Sarab described below, are helping to solidify the hotel-within-a-hotel trend as a true, global “Trend Taking Off” this year, per Condé Nast Traveller (October 2016).
The Royal Pavilion Villas at Qasr Al Sarab
Two hours east of Abu Dhabi in the world’s largest sand sea — Rub’ al Khali or The Empty Quarter — lies a palatial desert oasis, Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara. Named among the 20 best resorts in the Middle East, Africa & the Indian Ocean in Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2016, the sand-toned Qasr Al Sarab floats like a mirage amidst the pinks and ochres of the dunes encircling it. This $5-billion sand castle will beckon you in with its majestic offerings and will continuously captivate you with its views of a landscape that is nothing short of ethereal.
From sunrise to sunset, your every wish will be the command of their approximately 400-person staff. So how could life get any better than Qasr Al Sarab, you ask? As with the leading luxury hotels-within-hotels in Vegas, you don’t stay there! Instead, book your stay in their extremely exclusive hotel-within-the-hotel: the Royal Pavilion Villas.
Once reserved solely for the United Arab Emirates’ royal family’s use, the 10 villas in the Royal Pavilion Villas are now frequented by dignitaries, aristocrats, other VIPs and guests, such as honeymooners, looking for extreme luxury and privacy.
Whether you are coming by way of Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the Royal Pavilion Villas will provide exclusive transport to this Arabian retreat via private limousine or helicopter. Upon your arrival, your personal host or butler will welcome you to your villa, offer you a traditional Arabic tea tasting (truly a delicious and beautiful experience), and arrange for a foot ritual to ease your travel stress. You will also meet with the Chef for the Royal Pavilion Villas to discuss preferences for your custom-prepared meals.
You will be given a tour of your villa, which you are sure to find outfitted for the likes of a sheikh. Complete with a private swimming pool, outdoor rain shower, sunbathing cabana, and a dining terrace, you will not want to leave the privacy of your villa … but you really should. The land outside your door is truly an Arabian wonderland.
At this royal hotel-within-a-hotel, your stay includes two desert activities per person per day, including desert walks, desert land sailing, hard and soft dune drives, dune bashing, fat biking, a traditional United Arab Emirates’ falcon show, and, a personal favorite of this author, sunrise camel trekking complete with a camel master and Arabic tea served dune-top … and you may catch a glimpse of a delicate Desert Gazelle. Regardless of your preferences, the Royal Pavilion Villas at Qasr Al Sarab will treat you like royalty and open your eyes to a whole new world … a world nestled within a hotel-within-a-hotel.
Other Luxurious Hotel-Within-a-Hotel Properties
The Penthouses at Hotel Arts Barcelona
As a Ritz-Carlton property, luxury should be truly this hotel’s middle name. Then you see The Penthouses within Hotel Arts Barcelona and you know you’ve gone to heaven. Twenty-eight penthouses offer special guests the finest in offerings and individualized care … all with spectacular views.
Nobu Hotel in Eden Roc Miami Beach
Ever experience a Japanese beach house nestled within an iconic tropical Miami Beach hotel? If not, head to Nobu Hotel within the Eden Roc Miami Beach to discover the pinnacle of the hotel-within-a-hotel experience … the Nobu Experience. The entire experience has been curated by Chef Nobu Matshuhisa.
The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician
At the base of Camelback Mountain in the Sonoran Desert surrounding Scottsdale, Arizona resides The Phoenician, a 640+ room resort renowned for its service and luxe accommodations. If you venture West, though, don’t stay there. Stay at The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician to experience an exclusive, five-star stay from start to finish.