Editor's Choice - Decadent

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 October, 2010, 12:00am

Good crazy

Britain's Crazy Bear hotel in Beaconsfield is a little eccentric to say the least. Walls decked out in velvet and a staircase decorated with 24-carat gold leaf foliage, fur on ceilings, dripping chandeliers and washrooms that are deliberately unmarked, but astonishing once inside. Chill out in the Arab tent or hot tub and take a dip in the swimming pool that glitters at night. At the end of the day you can sink into a giant ornate bed and all bedrooms have huge copper baths. www.crazybeargroup.co.uk

A great Italian job

Five-star Italian resort CastaDiva is surrounded by 26,000 square kilometres of botanical park on the east side of Lake Como in Lombardy. The opulent 18th-century Villa Roccabruna - once the home of lyrical singer Giuditta Pasta and composer Vincenzo Bellini - is the core of the resort, housing its hall, concierge, salons, bar and 10 suites. A spacious spa links to an outdoors floating pool with a jacuzzi and a sun deck, all of which sit directly on the lake, while the interiors evoke the spirit of an extravagant theatrical past, adorned with Como silk, Lombard cotton and precious wooden floors. www.castadivaresort.com

Miami spice

Luxury abounds on South Beach at The Villa By Barton G, an elegant all-suite boutique hotel, restaurant and event space housed in the former Versace Mansion. Events impresario and restaurateur Barton G. Weiss takes up style where Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace left off, following a US$1 million renovation of the 19,000 sq ft property, completed in March. The gated villa is Miami Beach's exclusive backdrop for weddings and events, and gives guests access to the mansion's upper floors and two private lounges. www.thevillabybartong.com

Charmed hills

Tucked away on Italy's Tuscan hillside sits Borgo Santo Pietro, a charming stone villa that has been providing a refuge to locals and travellers alike since the 13th century. A massive brick oven bakes bread and dries figs the same way it did hundreds of years ago, setting the foundation for the rustic cuisine that defines the region. There are just seven rooms, each blending classical furnishings and antiques with contemporary luxuries such as plasma TVs, climate control, and iPod docks. A few rooms look out to the garden, where herbs are picked and added to the many dishes on offer. www.borgosantopietro.com



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