First impressions count.
And these hotels and lodges have it nailed in that department.
From the coastal hotel in Devon that chauffeurs guests in a sea tractor to the resort in Cambodia you arrive at by zipline, these are wow-factor ways for holidaymakers to make an entrance.
Horse drawn carriage – Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, India
At the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, India, guests make their way from the resort’s main gates to its lobby in a magnificent horse-drawn carriage
The Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad is a thoroughbred hotel – not least because guests arrive at the front door courtesy of a magnificent horse-drawn carriage.
Cars can only go as far as the palace gates.
Once the carriage reaches the main door, traditionally-attired staff carry out a welcome ritual that sees guests showered in flower petals.
Sea tractor – Burgh Island Hotel, Devon
The world’s only sea tractor transports guests to the Burgh Island Hotel in Devon when the property becomes cut off at high tide
Burgh Island in Devon is home to Burgh Island Hotel, which is unique for many reasons – not least because guests can arrive on the world’s only sea tractor.
The islet, by Bigbury-on-Sea beach, is connected to the mainland by a spit of sand that’s only walkable at low-tide. But when the sea rolls in guests can hop on the unique recently renovated hydraulic tractor that was designed, the hotel says, in 1969 by Robert Jackson, a pioneer of the nuclear power station programme in the 1950s, for ‘a case of Champagne’.
It’s free for guests and £2 a go for non-guests.
Should you decide to stay at the hotel you’ll be following in the footsteps of several rather notable figures. Past guests include Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, The Beatles, aviator Amy Johnson and Noel Coward.
Rowing boat – Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake, China
The Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou in China is located on the stunning West Lake and incoming guests arrive on a traditional rowing boat
The Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou nestles among temples, lotus groves and ancient causeways
The Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou in China is located on the stunning West Lake and incoming guests arrive on a traditional rowing boat, which first takes them on a ‘tranquil tour’.
The tour, which takes up to 60 minutes, takes guests past temples, lotus groves and ancient causeways.
The hotel’s features include rooms with marble bathrooms, a huge indoor swimming pool and ‘elegant restaurants’.
Zipline – Bensley Collection Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
Adrenalin-junkie guests may like to zipline into the Bensley Collection Shinta Mani Wild in Cambodia
Shinta Mani Wild is deep inside a national park in Cambodia and boasts 15 luxury tents
The Bensley Collection’s Shinta Mani Wild resort is a remote camp in Cambodia deep inside a national park.
And guests can opt for a thrilling arrival – by zipline.
The zipline starts at the highest point on the property and deposits guests next to a waterfall close to the camp’s 15 luxury tents.
Red carpet – Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows
At the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, guests walk the red carpet to reach the hotel’s lobby
The Beverly Hills Hotel has played host to the world’s most famous movie stars, rock stars and celebrities
The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows has played host to the world’s most famous movie stars, rock stars and celebrities.
But regardless of who you are, the property always has the red carpet rolled out – guests walk up one to reach the entrance.
Fitting, you’ll agree, for this ‘ultimate beacon of glamour’.
Saunter past a swan lake – Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles
The stunning swan lake at the Hotel Bel-Air. Guests enter the hotel by walking past the lake on a curved footbridge
The Hotel Bel-Air is the only hotel permitted in the exclusive Los Angeles neighbourhood of Bel-Air. It has a five-star rating
The five-star Hotel Bel-Air is the only hotel permitted in the exclusive Los Angeles neighbourhood of Bel-Air.
And the five-star experience starts with the arrival – guests enter the property by a curved footbridge passing a swan lake and 12 acres of gardens.
To add to the romance, hummingbirds flit in and out of the palm trees.
Funicular railway – St Regis Deer Valley, Utah
Guests staying at the St Regis Deer Valley in Utah take a funicular railway to reach the main lobby
Guests staying at the St Regis Deer Valley make a truly memorable entrance – they’re whisked 536ft up to the main lobby via a funicular railway.
Guests are first welcomed to a lower lobby then must use the railway to reach the central part of the property.
The railway journey takes just two minutes, with the cabins created by world-famous carriage makers Gangloff.
Cable car – Vigilius Mountain Resort, Italy
The only way to reach the Vigilius Mountain Resort, which is perched 5,000 feet up a mountain in the Dolomites, is to take a cable car
The cable car to the Vigilius Mountain Resort takes seven minutes. The hotel promises guests ‘no noise and no stress’
The Vigilius Mountain Resort in Italy is located 5,000 feet up on the side of a mountain in the Dolomites, where there is ‘no noise and no stress’.
Arriving there is quite special. Because there’s no road – the Monte San Vigilio/Vigiljoch cable car is the only option.
It glides from the road at the foot of the mountain to the resort in seven minutes.
A priest’s blessing – Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
On arriving at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, guests are whisked to an open-air temple to take part in a blessing ceremony with the resort’s priest
The pool at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay. The hotel affords guests stunning views of the Indian Ocean
The first thing guests do at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay isn’t stand in line to check-in.
Here, they are greeted with frangipani flowers – a Balinese symbol of purity and immortality – before being led to an open-air temple that looks out on to a bay.
While there the resort priest conducts a blessing ritual and, for travellers that are particular weary, he can gently spritz them with holy water to ‘wash away all the burdens and stresses of daily life’.
Suspension bridge – Capella Ubud, Bali
To reach one of the 22 luxury tents at Capella Ubud in Bali, guests have to make their way across a series of rope suspension bridges, pictured
Each tent at Capella Ubud boasts a saltwater plunge pool and also features batik-covered walls, four-poster beds and copper baths
Located in the jungle of Bali, Capella Ubud’s creators designed it to look like a tented camp pitched by early 19th-century spice traders.
And the only way for guests to reach the resort’s 22 luxury tents, which are nestled among the trees, is to make their way over a series of rope suspension bridges.
Each tent boasts a saltwater plunge pool and also features batik-covered walls, four-poster beds and copper baths.