Aqua W retreat & Spa Maldives www.Starwoodshotels.com It's W for wow at the hotel's new resort in the Maldives. The villas are stunning but the most chic award goes to the Ocean Haven villa: 492 square metres of chilled-out, hi-tech design-savvy pleasure and all for a very cool US$15,000 a night. Features include a jacuzzi, BBQ grill,78-square metre pool and Bose sound system. Villas are decorated with a funky mix of Moroccan chairs and Indian embroidered cushions and pumping up the cool factor is the underground club, 15 Degrees, which hosts a number of international DJs. The hotel's Aquum Spa is a delight, offering the latest in water therapies, including the world's first underwater spa treatment rooms. If yoga's your thing then don't despair - classes and personal lessons are available. Wow indeed. Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia www.southernoceanlodge.com.au The land Down Under has upped the ante in luxury accommodation with the opening in March of the Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Perched atop a cliff on a stretch of rugged coastline, the eco-chic lodge takes in stunning views of the wild ocean and dense wilderness. Expect to find comfort among the creatures with 21 suites boasting lavish king-sized beds, sunken lounges and dramatic glass-walled bathrooms. Designers have wandered down a natural path with sandblasted limestone floors, recycled spotted gum walls and local artwork, and if you plan to visit in winter when the temperature can drop to 17 degrees then you will appreciate the heated floors. Pamper yourself with a soak in the huge baths and relax on the spacious outdoor terrace with daybeds and private plunge spa. Tuck into fresh seafood and savour the fine wines from the state's famous vineyards in the Coonawarra, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Clare Valley regions. For more pampering the Southern Ocean Lodge's Spa Retreat has an impressive menu that has drawn on traditional Aboriginal ideas. Urban Banyan Tree Bangkok, Thailand www.banyantree.com Bustling is one way to describe Bangkok and when the sights, sounds and smells overwhelm you it's comforting to know that there's a hotel to escape the heat and the masses. The Banyan Tree is the tallest all-suite luxury hotel in Bangkok with spectacular city vistas. It features an award-winning spa, fitness centre and a gourmet's choice of superb fine dining. The interior combines a cosy mix of traditional Thai silks and teakwood. For relaxation, the spa provides a peaceful sanctuary with 23 spa rooms with amazing city views. The Peninsula Tokyo, Japan www.peninsula.com New to the city's pulsating heart in the fashionable districts of Marunouchi and Ginza is the Peninsula Tokyo: 24 storeys of high standards, impeccable service and stunning views of one of the world's coolest cities. For the best views - as well as some great food - get to know Peter, the hotel's dazzling rooftop restaurant which dishes up 360-degree views of the city and the surrounding Imperial Gardens. Designed by the US and Canadian architecture and design team Yabu Pushelberg, Peter is dining at its most hi-tech. There are semi-private dining areas and an interactive video wall providing images and entertainment. The hotel has 314 rooms and suites, decorated in rich, earthy tones and bamboo and lacquer. Traditional meets modern in the spa where ice fountains are reminiscent of the onsen, Japan's traditional hot-spring bathhouse. Slopes Blanket Bay, New Zealand www.blanketbay.com Remote. Relaxed. Rustic. Blanket Bay combines these three Rs with perfection to create a retreat for nature-loving travellers seeking solitude. Established in 1999, Blanket Bay is set near Lake Wakatipu on a huge country farm on the country's South Island - where most of the scenes for The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. And as New Zealand's premier lodge it is the ideal place to take in the sights, sounds, crisp clean air and fine local food and wine. Blanket Bay comprises 12 rooms including spacious suites, lodge rooms and chalets. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Kiwi Collection, the lodge's accommodation provides travellers with vast sitting rooms, king-sized beds, stone fireplaces, secluded balconies and spectacular views. If fishing is your game then you are in the right spot. Hikers, horse riders and lovers of water sports are also spoilt. The cosy decor is accentuated by antique furniture and huge couches. Far from the madding crowd. Hotel Salto Chico, Chile www.explora.com Chilean Patagonia is a gift from nature. With its impressive glaciers and magnificant mountains and flora, the area is blessed with enough beauty to make any eco-lover's heart melt. And buried within the Unesco-listed world heritage site of the stunning Paine National Park, perched above the milky, turquoise waters of Lago Pehoe, is the Hotel Salto Chico. Comprising 24 rooms and four suites with views of Macizo del Paine or Salto Chico waterfall, this architectural wonder has cornered the continent's market when it comes to chic eco-tourism. Decorated with local wood, slate and copper, the hotel has an indoor heated pool, exercise machines, massage facilities and open-air jacuzzis. It's the ideal base for trekkers wanting to explore the area's natural beauty without compromising on high standards. Monuments Oberoi Amarvilas, India www.oberoihotels.com There's good reason why more than 2.5 million people annually make the trek to Agra in India to marvel at the Taj Mahal. The 17th-century marble monument to love, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1983, is considered the prized jewel in the crown of Muslim art. So imagine a hotel with views of this architectural gem. Enter the Oberoi Amarvilas, a five-star hotel just 600 metres from the Taj. It has 105 rooms and seven suites - and if you want to live like a king or queen then the Kohinoor suite should meet your needs. Take in a Taj view from the privacy of your own balcony while enjoying a candlelit dinner or a decadent cocktail. The hotel is set on four hectares of ornate gardens featuring marble fountains, terraced lawns and pools and pavilions. When you step inside you will be transported back in time. The decor showcases the rich arts and crafts from the region and from the Mughal era. Be dazzled by the intricate marble inlays, gold thread and bead embroidery and wood carvings and hand-woven tapestries. Four Seasons George V Paris, France www.fourseasons.com The Eiffel Tower is an obvious choice but one that can't be ignored when on the subject of amazing monuments - particularly if romance is on the agenda. And what better place to gaze at it than from the luxurious surrounds of a five-star hotel - The Four Seasons George V Paris, for example. The eight-storey landmark, built in 1928, has 245 guest rooms, with many featuring private terraces overlooking the City of Light and the Champs-Elysees, the ideal place for Champagne and fine dining under the stars and the glow of Paris. The grand hotel takes luxury seriously and has all the five-star facilities you would expect: swimming pool, saunas, steam rooms, spa and gym. The historic building drips with 17th-century tapestries and has a spa with private treatment rooms. French blissing indeed.