Place to stay - luxury

Independent Travel Awards 2015 - your chance to nominate

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The Independent Travel

High thread-count bedlinen and chocolates at turn down are no longer benchmarks of luxury in the hospitality industry; hotels have had to innovate, from card and keyless doors (Starwood) to creating social hubs that reach beyond the bar and restaurant (Ace Hotels). Moreover, guests are willing to pay a premium for authenticity - that is to say, feeling connected to their locale via "experiences", design and food and beverage.

A multi-million dollar deal has enabled the Soho House group to expand into exciting territory, with a glistening new hotel and members' club in Istanbul and a family-friendly outpost in the Cotswolds. More Houses are slated for Mumbai, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Brighton.

In the Caribbean, a new model for high-end tourism opened on the island of St Kitts, with rustic-luxe villas dotted about a vast organic farm that produces food for the restaurants and hands-on experiences for guests. 

The spa-focused Six Senses group has breathed new life into both the former Aquapura hotel and Portugal's Douro Valley with a hotel that focuses on life's pleasures - relaxation, food and wine. And if that wasn't indulgent enough, Venice's high-end scene was enhanced by the JW Marriott, which occupies a private island in the lagoon.

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