ExtraVirgin Blog Post: Nine Luxury Hotels You Need to Check Out (and Check Into) in 2020.

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

Earth Lodge Lux Suite Exterior (2)

AirBnB, but sometimes the occasion warrants something more flash.  And so we present to you some of our favourite stays from around the world in the “that’s a bit more than we’d usually spend” caetgory; from cave hotels to safari lodges.

The prices we’ve given are based on the accommodation’s own website or booking.com (not an affiliate) and, apart from a couple, we’ve priced them all on one night in June –(generally shoulder to high season) for consistency and where relevant, in local currency. Of course, you may find better bargains at other times of the year.

Sant’ Angelo Resort, Matera, Italy

Why you need to go there

To sleep in a cave for one! Matera in Basilicata in southern Italy is said to be one of the world’s oldest continually occupied towns, dating from 9000 years ago. It’s built on ‘sassi’ cave dwellings, occupied by families right up until the 1950s. Today these caves have been turned into shops, bars and cave hotels.



The Property

Sant’Angelo is a five star boutique property (the ‘resort’ part of the name is a bit of a misnomer) consisting of a collection of luxury rooms set among the cave-pocked hillside. Some are actual caves, others more conventional rooms. Luckily there are porters to carry your bags, as it’s foot traffic only up the winding maze of paths on the hillside.

Room are spectacular – the cave walls covered in white plaster, double beds romantically draped with netting, candles set on the bedside tables and glass-walled bathrooms. A short climb up is the breakfast room, a vast cave opening onto spectacular views of the valley carved by the Gravina river.


We Recommend

A junior suite. And don’t skip breakfast – it’s one of the most impressive spreads we’ve seen in a boutique hotel.


Around €260 for a junior suite

Our Tip

Take a tour of Palombaro Lungo, the town’s ancient underwater reservoir

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa

Why you need to go there

Taking a safari to see South Africa’s unique animals in the wild is an extraordinary and (for most of us) once in a life time opportunity. If you’re going to do it, do it in style and make it memorable. South Africa also offers lots of other things to do once you’ve done with safari-ing.

Safari (45).jpg

The Property

The outside of the Sabi Sabi’s Earth Lodge may be purposely low-key to echo the local environment, but inside it’s pure luxury; from the staff greeting you with cool towels at the door as you arrive back from safari, to your private (unless an elephant decides to take a bath!) plunge pool. Villas appear to be part of the landscape too, mud-brick ‘ant hills’ decorated in gorgeous earthy colours, with lots of designer touches. Even the glass fronted bathrooms with deep stone baths and indoor and al fresco showers offer wildlife view opportunities. Safaris, escorted by the lodge’s enthusiastic and very knowledgeable rangers are offered morning and night.

Earth Lodge Lux Suite Exterior (2).jpg

Earth Lodge Lux Suite Bedroom (2).jpg

We Recommend

Pack your best camera. There are over 200 species of wildlife on the private game reserve


From 19,900 rand per person twin-share including all safari activities

Our Tip

Book a dreamy massage at the Amani spa

*Natascha Mirosch was a guest at Sabi Sabi

Hotel Tugu, Bali

Why you need to go there

With cheap flights and relatively short travel times, Bali is an easy destination for Australians in particular, but the rest of the world are slowly discovering it’s charm too; including its incredibly hospitable people, fabulous food, great shopping and loads of stunning scenery and sights. The up-and-coming Canggu has a more chilled vibe and slower pace than the popular beaches of Seminyak or Kuta.

The Property

Outside, motorcycles with riders clutching surfboards zoom past in the steamy Bali heat. Step inside the Tugu however and it’s dark, cool and fragrant, the huge entrance lobby decorated with antique furniture. Scattered throughout the verdant gardens are Balinese statutary and wooden bridges cross lotus-filled ponds and accommodation is in in suites and bungalows, some with beach views, others with private plunge pools.


We Recommend

The upstairs traditional ‘Indonesian house’ Kampong suites. Spacious and beautifully appointed luxury suites with wide wooden teak floorboards, original art work and more.


Our Tip

The hotel owner is the largest collector of priceless Indonesian antiques in the country- ask staff for a tour of his fascinating collection.


From 4,200 000 Indonesian rupiah

*Natascha Mirosch was a guest of Hotel Tugu

Patagonia Camp, Chile

Why you need to go there

Scenery, animals, adventure. Chilean Patagonia is breaktaking. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the glacial lakes, volcanoes, hiking in the surreally beautiful Torres del Paine mountain peaks, and the plethora of wildlife, including penguins, Andean condors, deer, guanaco (relative of the lama) and more.

The Property

If this is camping, sign us up for more! Set among the trees overlooking a stunning blue glacial lake with a backdrop of snow-tipped mountains, these 20 well-spaced luxury yurts come with heating, comfortable double beds and ensuite bathrooms. There’s a main lodge, with bar and dining area (and of course more fabulous views) as well as a lounge where the following day’s excursions can be mapped out with the camp’s guides.

Patagonia video

patagonia Yurt

Packing a bottle of good Chilean wine to drink on the deck of your yurt and take in the views.

Our Tip

If you’re not into hiking, consider the accommodation-only option as it’s pretty easy to DIY with a car picked up from Punto Arenas Airport.


From US $550 per night or $US 2475 for 2 for 2 nights all-inclusive.

SoprArno Suites, Florence

Why you need to go there

Because.. Florence. Okay, it’s an expensive city but it’s a culture-lovers dream destination, home to some of the best art and architecture (such as Brunelleschi’s Duomo) in the world. The shopping’s also top notch – with representation of all the best international labels as well as artisan craftsmen. Take a walk up to Piazza Michaelangelo for a panoramic view of the red tiled roofs and spectacular dome of Florence’s most recogniseable landmark.


The Property

In the atmospheric Santo Spirito quarter, a five minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio, SoprArno Suites, (the name means ‘above the Arno’, the river that runs through Florence) this urbane boutique hotel, tucked away behind large anonyomous wooden doors is owned by an architect; a lawyer and vintage furniture collector, a carpenter and a designer-calligrapher. Rooms are large in this converted 16C palazzo, and stylish – with clawfoot bath, a spread of all the latest hip magazines on a writing desk, beautiful linen, eclectic furniture and art and wood-beamed or frescoed ceilings.

We recommend

Room 8 – The Typography Room. And be sure to look out the window and up!

Insider Tip

Don’t leave Florence without trying the famous ‘bistecca alla Fiorentina’ a t-bone steak from the famous Chianina cattle. It’s simply brushed with rosemary and oil and grilled over coals. Try it at the congenial Osteria Santo Spirito.


Around € 309.00 for a deluxe room with breakfast