Five hotels with boats
Sleep soundly, then set sail from these waterside retreats
Saturday 24 January 2009
After arriving at this luxurious Krabi resort by private speedboat, guests can wind down the pace with a trip on the hotel's Siamese junk, Pla Luang. The century-old teak sail boat was built by Chinese merchants to transport mangrove-tree charcoal from Thailand to Singapore. Now restored, it includes a luxurious version of a traditional cabin and offers onboard barbecues, snorkelling expeditions, sunset cruises and access to nearby islands including Phi Phi and Hong.
Rayavadee Resort, Tumbon Ao-Nang, Amphur Muang, Krabi, Thailand (00 66 75 620 740; rayavadee.com). Doubles start at 24,530 Baht (£510), including breakfast and transfers.
This charmingly retro seaside resort creeps right up to the shoreline of Watamu Marine Park. Aquatic life aside, the area is also known for its avian visitors, attracting greater flamingos and yellow-billed storks, many of which gather on the mangrove-lined Mida Creek nearby. An opportunity not to be missed is setting sail on Hemingways' dhow, a traditional Arabic wooden boat, which sails gently up the creek at sunset, stocked with dawas – a cocktail made from honey, lime and vodka.
Hemingways Resort, Watamu, Kenya (00 254 42 32 624; hemingways.co.ke). Doubles start at £118, half board.
Overlooking Loch Awe in Argyll, Ardanaiseig was designed and built in 1834. Hill, forest and waterside walks abound, but with the loch right on the doorstep the best way to take in the scenery is from the water aboard one of the hotel's vessels, including an old Victorian steamboat.
Ardanaiseig Hotel, Kilchrenan by Taynuitt, Argyll, Scotland PA35 1HE (01866 833 833; ardanaiseig.com). Doubles start at £120, including breakfast.
La Reserve, Switzerland
This luxury hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva has a few surprises up its sleeve: a safari theme, children's tree houses and a Venetian motoscafo. The elegant speedboat is available during the summer months to all guests wanting to nip over to central Geneva. Or you can simply retire to the impressive spa, designed like an underwater sanctuary.
La Reserve, 301 Route de Lausanne, Bellevue, Geneva, Switzerland (00 41 22 959 5959; lareserve.ch). Doubles start at SFr365 (£232), room only.
Taj Lake Palace, India
Located in the middle of Lake Pichola on a four-acre island, this 18th-century white marble palace is set against the backdrop of the Aravalli Mountains in Rajasthan. All arrivals pull up by boat and can explore the lake on an antique royal Gangaur barge or the new Royal Jiva Spa Boat, complete with a spa suite, steam bath and viewing deck.
Taj Lake Palace, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India (00 91 294 242 8800; tajhotels.com). Doubles start at Rs17,600 (£263) including breakfast.
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