Aqua Expeditions, Amazonia Peru
Trust us, there’s no better way to see the serene Amazon than a five-star AQUA Expedition cruise. The ships feel like floating luxury boutique hotels with a small number of large, well-appointed rooms. Experienced guides take travelers out on skiffs to visit villages and find wildlife like pink dolphins and howler monkeys while back on board, Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, turns local Amazonian ingredients into haute cuisine. Dishes like Amazon bass tiradito, heart of palm soufflé and yucca empanadas have drawn visitors such as Nobu Matsuhisa and Todd English.
Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco, Peru
Inkaterra took a 16th century mansion in Cusco and created the very first Relais & Châteaux approved hotel in Peru. A charming stone courtyard and heavy, original wood doors belie the refined rooms sitting behind them with enormous marble bathrooms and roaring fireplaces. The hotel is located near the city’s central plaza, Santo Domingo Cathedral and Peru’s best alpaca textile stores and is a perfect stop en route to Machu Picchu.
Ganchos Resort, Brazil
This cliffside Brazilian paradise outside the city of Santa Catarina is right out of a dream. Every villa offers sweeping ocean views, deep soaking tubs with chromatherapy and top-grade interior design that is in touch with the natural surroundings. Other niceties include private pools, an organic garden and some of the most haute cuisine around. Hit the spa and then book dinner for you and your boo on their own private island. A 5:1 help to guest ratio assures you’ll want for nothing.
Unique, São Paulo Brazil
Architecture by Ruy Ohtake and interiors by Joao Armentano have made Unique a São Paulo landmark. The hotels offers dramatic spaces with a totally new design ethos as well as uncompromised luxury and service. French chef Emmanuel Bassoleil helms their Skye Restaurant, which is considered one of the world’s best. But even those that can’t book a room can enjoy their famous rooftop, which is the sexiest spot in the city and offers sweeping views overlooking Ibirapuera Park.
Tcherassi Hotel + Spa Cartagena, Colombia
Colombian fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi opened up a boutique hotel in the red-hot city of Cartagena. With only seven rooms, this former colonial mansion is truly exclusive. Rooms boast open bathrooms, private balconies, and rich hardwood floors. A full service spa de-stresses tony travelers while a chic Italian restaurant with a dramatic vertical garden, feeds them.