Five Best: Retro retreats
Feeling groovy? Then do the Time Warp in one of these hip hang-outs, says Rhiannon Batten
Saturday 14 October 2006
Hatari Lodge, Tanzania
Set on the northern edge of Arusha National Park, overlooking Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro, this luxury retreat's main claim to fame is that it provided the backdrop to the 1960s movie Hatari, starring John Wayne. Later bought by his co-star, Hardy Krüger, it has recently been taken over and reinvented as a quirky safari lodge. Its eight rooms come with open fireplaces and en-suite bathrooms - each decorated in keeping with the era of the movie. Bush camps can also be organised.
Hatari Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania (00 255 27 255 3456; www.hatarilodge.com). Rates start at US$250 (£147) per person, full board.
Hotel Biba, US
This 43-room Palm Beach hideaway may have been one of the first motor lodges to be built in the States but you wouldn't guess it from the dayglo-fresh décor. Recently redesigned by Barbara Hulanicki (the woman behind the London fashion boutique - and the interiors of several Island Outpost hotels), Biba's "Bermuda vernacular" style is now such a riot of orange, pink and lime green it makes you wonder whether Hulanicki was high on space-dust at the time. Not that it's missing its share of luxury: Egyptian cotton sheets and Aveda toiletries are also included as part of the experience.
Hotel Biba, 320 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, Florida, US (001 561 832 0094; www.hotelbiba.com).
Doubles start at $132 (£78), including breakfast.
Casa LagOmar, Spain
The two simple rental cottages here are nice enough but it's the setting that draws people in. Cut, literally, into the hills in the other-worldly centre of the island, the cottages - and their private pool and tennis courts - are attached to Casa Omar Sharif. Designed by local architect Cesar Manrique, this organically shaped, James Bond-style building once belonged to the Egyptian-born actor, but Sharif is rumoured to have lost it in a card game. These days, as well as the cottages, it also houses a groovy bar and a less impressive restaurant. (The menu is as retro as the architecture.)
Casa LagOmar, Nazaret, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (no phone; www.lag-o-mar.com). Both cottages sleep two and rental starts from €630 (£425) per week.
Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Denmark
The phrase "attention to detail" is rarely so aptly used as at Copenhagen's original design hotel. Created by Arne Jacobsen in 1960, not only did he draw up the Royal Hotel's structure, he also designed every last fitting that would be used in it, from the Egg and Swan chairs right down to the cutlery. Dedicated design buffs should book room 606: while most of the guest rooms have recently been renovated to take advantage of more contemporary Danish design, this one still features Jacobsen's original décor.
Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, Hammerichgade 1, Copenhagen, Denmark (00 45 38 15 65 00; www.radissonsas.com). Doubles start at DKK1,495 (£135), including breakfast.
Vintage Vacations, UK
If you're happy camping, try a more homespun take on the retro experience by booking one of four shiny trailers parked up on a working farm on the Isle of Wight. The country's coolest caravan park, its trailers feature new fridges, old-fashioned games and books and smart new upholstery done out in vintage fabrics. (One of the owners also works as a freelance stylist.) The catch? While the trailers all have baths or showers, the on-board toilets are strictly off-limits, but there are separate facilities on site.
Vintage Vacations, near Newport, Isle of Wight (07802 758113; www.vintagevacations.co.uk). Trailers sleep four and rental starts from £120 for a two-night break, including gas, water, electricity, linen and towels.
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