Harper Auctions are some of the best in the business; various packages can offer savings of up to 80% of retail value. Click on a hotel photo to view this week’s auction details (all of these auctions close this Tuesday at 4 p.m. CST.)
The Merrion Hotel, Dublin
Gracious 142-room hotel (19 suites) occupying four beautifully restored Georgian townhouses in a fashionable downtown district. Guest rooms, furnished with Irish fabrics and antiques, include comfortable armchairs, writing desks and spacious marble baths with twin vanities, large tubs and separate showers. Most rooms have views of the parliament buildings or the hotel’s gardens. Irish art adorns the elegantly appointed Drawing Rooms and No. 23 bar, as well as Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud gastronomic restaurant and revamped Cellar, serving simple Irish cuisine. Attractive garden terrace for summer dining, weather permitting. A health/fitness spa includes a steam room and an infinity pool. Dublin’s prestige address for discerning travelers.
Hotel Fasano, Rio de Janeiro
Boutique hotel offering magnificent ocean views from an ideal location at the Copacabana end of Ipanema Beach. Designer Philippe Starck has employed natural materials — such as an impressive oblong of Amazon wood for the front desk — that provide a warm counterpoint to the rough-hewn granite block walls. Not the usual stark Starck: The property may be contemporary, but it also offers a high level of comfort. The 89 spacious accommodations have hardwood floors, dark wood accents and floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto large private balconies with panoramic views. Generous white marble baths provide separate walk-in showers. The fashionable Fasano al Mare restaurant serves excellent seafood. A spectacular rooftop pool affords unforgettable views; also casual dining, small spa, fitness center and hammam. The Fasano may be a chic “designer” property, but it is also very hospitable and relaxing.
The St. Regis Deer Valley, Utah
New 181-room ski-in/ski-out resort with the main building reached via a 230-foot funicular. The structure is done in handsome lodge style with stone floors, soaring ceilings, wood accents, stone walls, a large open fireplace and towering windows that offer full views onto the ski runs and peaks. The best rooms offer vistas of the slopes, and suites come with the attentive service of a St. Regis butler; also ski butlers and ski valets. The two-level free-form pool has mountainside views, and the 14,000-square-foot Remède spa features treatments to counter the effects of cold, dry air. The J&G Grill is under the direction of star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Jack’s Camp, Botswana
Unique, extremely well-run camp at the edge of the Kalahari’s Makgadikgadi salt pans, an hour by air southeast of Maun. Enormous canvas main tent, filled with a treasure trove of fossils, skulls, spears, books and maps, is lined by a voluptuous canopy of pale raspberry-pink cotton. Sisal mats and Persian carpets cover the dark wooden floor; easy chairs come with kilim-covered cushions. The 10 guest tents share this nostalgic décor but are now very comfortable, with en suite baths, indoor and outdoor showers, and spacious verandas. Delicious food and a good selection of wines. Splendid swimming pool set in a tented pavilion. A nearby water hole ensures wildlife sightings year-round; also walks with the local San Bushmen. A second, dry season camp sits immediately adjacent to the salt flats. For those of a romantic and adventurous spirit, Jack’s Camp cannot be recommended too highly.
San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara
Sophisticated 500-acre cottage-style resort in the leafy foothills of Montecito just outside Santa Barbara. A new owner has recently invested $100 million to restore the historic property. Landscaped grounds contain 41 handsome lodgings in 18 peaked-roof cottages, many with generous sitting areas, working fireplaces and private patios, some with hot tubs. Dining venues include the award-winning indoor/outdoor Stonehouse restaurant and a bistro-bar. Amenities include a heated outdoor pool, tennis courts, a fitness studio and in-room massage and spa treatments.
Domaine de Verchant, Montpellier
Lavishly renovated 19th-century limestone manor set amid vineyards and century-old trees in Castelnau-le-Lez. Twenty-two individually styled rooms feature contemporary décor, offering a charming contrast with the old house’s traditional architecture, exposed beams and stenciled terra-cotta tile floors. Modern baths, some with whirlpool tubs and separate rainfall showers. All rooms equipped with high-tech fittings such as electrically operated curtains and Bose DVD/CD players. Casual restaurant, opulent spa and beautiful indoor pool, as well as small outdoor pool.