Come Spring each year, the explosion of flowers and color heralds the end of the winter. From cherry blossoms in Japan and China, magnolias in United Kingdom to wildflowers in South Africa, here are some of the best SLH hotels in which guests can immerse themselves in the sweet fragrance of spring blooms.
The parks, gardens and streets of Japan come alive in pink as the sakura flower (cherry blossom) go into full bloom. The much-anticipated event is celebrated with hanami gatherings with friends and family.
The Tokyo Station Hotel, Tokyo, Japan – www.slh.com/tokyostation
An air of golden-age glamour hangs over The Tokyo Station Hotel. This meticulously refurbished domed, red-hued building has been part of the city skyline for over 100 years. Today, the hotel blends Omotenashi – the time-honored spirit of Japanese hospitality – with 21st-century luxury. From their room guests can enjoy wonderful views of Tokyo, or stroll through the Imperial Palace Gardens nearby, one of the best sakura viewing spots in Tokyo. From 1 March to 30 April, any stay at The Tokyo Station Hotel includes a sakura-themed cocktail at Bar Camellia. Rates start from JPY 46,632 nett (approx. USD$399) a night.
SLH Insider Tip: One of the best ways to view cherry blossoms would be at the Imperial Palace’s Chidorigafuchi Moat – rent a boat and row down the moat which is surrounded by sakura trees. The trees are lit up in the evening and food stands can be found at nearby Yasukuni Shrine, where there are around one thousand cherry trees to be enjoyed.
The Nare Hotel, Cornwall, United Kingdom - www.slh.com/nare
Much like the Japanese Cherry Blossom season, the flowering of the Magnolias in Cornwall signifies the true start of spring in England. Flanked by colorful gardens and overlooking the white sands and rolling surf of Gerrans Bay, The Nare Hotel and the head gardeners of seven of The Great Gardens of Cornwall officially celebrate the arrival of spring once all seven champion magnolia trees have 50 flowers in full bloom. This year spring arrived early in the UK and was declared on 10th February.
Guests visiting The Nare Hotel this spring can take advantage of a private garden tour with the head gardeners of The Great Gardens of Cornwall. Spring Garden Breaks at The Nare start at £315 per room, per night in March and £395 in April. The break comprises of four nights accommodation, dinner, breakfast, early morning tea, and afternoon cream tea, tickets to three gardens of your choice and selected meals and VAT @ 20% based upon a couple sharing.
SLH Insider Tip: Explore the beautiful Cornish countryside in a classic convertible Morgan! Set off with a Nare picnic hamper and take a nostalgic drive along the coast.
Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl, South Africa – www.slh.com/granderoche
Spring in South Africa may be during August rather than now, however, it doesn’t mean the flowers in the Cape Region don’t put on an equally good show. Guests staying at Grande Roche Hotel, an immaculately restored Dutch homestead with an award-winning restaurant, can enjoy the stunning jacaranda trees in the region which have become synonymous with the country and were mentioned by Nelson Mandela in his book “The Long Walk to Freedom”. Those on a mission to see the West Coast Wildflowers can opt for a self-drive route through the Postberg Nature Reserve, around 1.5 hours’ drive from the hotel. Local recommendations are to choose a sunny day (the flowers stay closed when it’s cloudy) and to wait until the sun is high in the sky for optimum viewing. Prices start from ZAR2, 780 for a Studio Suite including buffet breakfast (approx. USD$183).
SLH Insider Tip: Paarl is an exceptional base from which to discover the region’s very best Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec wines – start from the hotel’s Michelin-starred Bosman Restaurant.For more information about SLH’s collection of hotels around the world visit www.slh.com