A few weeks ago, I revealed a little about the famously incognito hotel reviewer Andrew Harper, publisher of the exclusive Hideaway Report. This week, I’m sharing the results of a short interview on his favorite subject—hotels, of course.
Q: Do you have a favorite hotel?
A: “For general excellence over several decades it is hard to beat The Oriental in Bangkok. Also, a place that changed the travel world and which is consistently superb is Singita, the famous safari lodge in South Africa. And the Amanresorts group inspires constant admiration for its innovation and exquisite aesthetics.”
Q: Where do you go to get away from it all?
A: “Le Tahaa in French Polynesia and the Wakaya Club in Fiji are favorites. In the US, I love Smith Fork Ranch in Colorado, which is at the end of a box canyon and surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks. Staying there is a return to the Old West. I’m also a big fan of The Lodge at Sun Ranch in the Big Sky country of Montana.”
Q: What’s your favorite city hotel?
A: “I always enjoy staying at The Lowell in New York. They ring up and ask you if you want the butler to light the fire in your suite before you get back and it is wonderful to come back to your room to find a fire blazing.”
Some other city favorites include: The Hassler at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome; the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires; and The Stafford in London.
Q: What hotels do you think are best for service?
A: “The service at Asian hotels is still the best in the world. Properties like The Peninsula in Hong Kong, The Oriental in Bangkok and some of the Amanresorts, such as Amanpuri in Thailand and Amankila in Bali are consistently outstanding.”
Q: Where are you happiest?
A: "Home for me is where my wife and children are, and that is where I am happiest. Sounds sentimental, but it happens to be true.”
Jenn Bain is a freelance contributor to Travelandleisure.com.